By Violet Gonda
20 0ctober 2009
On Tuesday Robert Mugabe went ahead and chaired a cabinet meeting with his
party and the MDC-M, despite the boycott by the MDC-T. However, while the
ZANU PF & MDC-M were meeting at Munhumutapa government offices, ministers
from the MDC-T were having their own separate meeting at their party
headquarters - Harvest House.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was not present as he is on a tour of the
region to appraise SADC leaders of his party's decision to 'disengage' from
ZANU PF, pending the resolution of all the outstanding issues affecting the
The state controlled Herald newspaper took it's usual anti Tsvangirai stance
on Tuesday, reporting that his regional trip was un-procedural as
'government officials do not leave the country without getting authority
through the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet.'
The Herald went on to quote Mugabe's spokesperson, George Charamba, who said
his boss was not formally informed and therefore does not recognise
Tsvangirai's suspension of ties. "As far as the Head of State and Government
was concerned, Mr Tsvangirai was still the PM because he had not
communicated anything to the contrary in a formal manner."
"Government is not run through media statements. In the same way that
President Mugabe formally appointed him to the post of Prime Minister he
must also communicate any decision to disengage, or whatever it is they are
calling it, in a formal manner," Charamba is quoted saying.
Under the Global Political Agreement, Mugabe's party has 15 ministries,
Tsvangirai 13 and Mutambara three.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara told reporters on Monday
that his party would not boycott the Cabinet meeting, 'to block any
misguided shenanigans' by ZANU PF and 'to tell Mugabe in his face about his
transgressions, and stop in him in his tracks.'
He said: "It is important to note that Cabinet does not proceed by quorum.
Hence, it will proceed with or without the Ministers of the two MDC
formations. There is the real danger that ZANU PF can use our collective
absence to push for unsound, retrogressive and unwise decisions which will
be binding on all of us. Hence we are going to Cabinet in order to stop ZANU
PF from making outrageous decisions."
It is not clear what was discussed in Tuesday's cabinet meeting as the
deliberations are kept away from the public. Tsvangirai's party insists that
whatever decisions were made would not be binding. The MDC said on Tuesday
the matter of the outstanding issues is now before SADC and the African
Union, as the guarantors of the GPA, to help resolve the crisis.
The inclusive government is at breaking point and many wonder if this is a
fracture that can be mended. It also depends on what SADC, if anything,
decides to do.
By Tichaona Sibanda
20 October 2009
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was set to hold a crucial meeting on
Tuesday with Mozambican President Armando Guebuza, who chairs the SADC's
organ on Politics, Security and Defence.
Sources in the MDC told us Tsvangirai and his delegation flew out of
Johannesburg for the day long visit to Mozambique on Tuesday morning.
Guebuza's spokesman told journalists that the two leaders were due to meet
in Chimoio, in the province of Manica.
During his whirlwind tour of the region, the MDC leader will also have
meetings with South African leader Jacob Zuma, Angolan President Eduardo dos
Santos and current SADC chair, President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic
Republic of the Congo.
Tsvangirai embarked on his diplomatic offensive on Monday in a bid to
explain to regional leaders the reasons the MDC has disengaged from the
The MDC leader is also pushing for SADC to hold an extraordinary meeting on
Zimbabwe to deal with outstanding, non-compliance and toxic issues that
continue to impede the transitional government.
Last week, the MDC withdrew from the unity government until Robert Mugabe
fully implements the terms of the power-sharing deal. Having been
frustrated for months the move was finally sparked by the arrest of the
country's Agriculture Deputy Minister designate Roy Bennett on terrorism
Other issues include sharing of posts of provincial governors, diplomats,
senior public servants, the disputed appointments of attorney-general
Johannes Tomana and Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono, arrests of MPs and
full implementation of the political agreement signed in September last
During his five-leg tour, Tsvangirai will meet the key SADC figures, like
Guebuza, Dos Santos and Zuma, who form the SADC Troika.
SADC brokered the power-sharing agreement between Tsvangirai and Mugabe and
alongside the African Union are the guarantors of the pact. But so far they
have shown little interest in getting involved and ensuring that Mugabe
finally commits to really sharing power.
Oct 20, 2009, 11:16 GMT
Harare(dpa) - Five people have died in Zimbabwe as a new cholera outbreak
that has seen 117 people infected in the last month continues to spread,
officials said Tuesday.
Last year, the worst epidemic in Africa in at least the last 15 years killed
4,282 people out of over 100,000 infected, as wrecked health, water and
sanitation infrastructure created ideal conditions for the spread of the
The deaths were confirmed by Tstitsi Singizi, spokesperson for the United
Nations Children's Fund, which is leading efforts by non- governmental
organizations to restore clean water and efficient sanitation to vulnerable
Zimbabwe health ministry permanent secretary Gerald Gwinji said the new
cases, the first since the end of the last epidemic in June, occurred across
a vast area in the north, east and centre of the country.
He said the five deaths in the remote north were among members of a
fundamentalist Christian sect who refuse the use of medicines.
Cholera became endemic for the first time in Zimbabwe's history last year, a
situation blamed on years of neglect by President Robert Mugabe's
government, the reckless economic policies of which, combined with violent
repression, plunged the once-prosperous country into ruin.
The formation early this year of a coalition government between Mugabe and
former opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai allowed Western aid agencies to
step in and staunch the epidemic.
UNICEF has warned repeatedly that a new outbreak was inevitable with the
start of the summer rains.
'The fundamentals of last year's epidemic are still there, in terms of the
sporadic availability of water. The situation has been improving, but not to
the levels needed,' said Singizi.
UNICEF has been providing households with water purification tablets and
other items to reduce the chance of infection. The World Health Organization
has also drawn up an elaborate strategy, according to UNICEF, for the
treatment of another cholera outbreak.
By Tichaona Sibanda
20 October 2009
A losing MDC candidate during last year's rural district council elections
is lucky to be alive after he was severely assaulted and left for dead, by a
group of ZANU PF militias in Makoni South, Manicaland province.
Elliot Mutizhe, who stood as an MDC candidate in the 2008 harmonized
elections, is recuperating in a private hospital in Mutare following the
attack on Monday night.
A group numbering 20 youths, led by two well known war veterans named as
Mudzamira and Nhongo, visited Mutizhe's home and said they had 'come back to
finish him off' after failing to do so in June last year.
MDC MP for Makoni South, Pishai Muchauraya, told SW Radio Africa that the
gang first ransacked his house and took almost all his clothes and $450 he
had in cash after selling two of his cows.
'They stole all his MDC cards and party regalia he had in the house. They
also forced him to prepare a meal for the gang after which they started
beating him up with logs, stones and sticks. It was so vicious they knocked
him unconscious and thought he was dead,' the MP said.
Immediately after the gang left neighbours were able to rush to his aid.
Muchauraya said while the attack might have been an isolated incident, there
are fears militias were regrouping to try to enforce the ZANU PF favoured,
Kariba draft constitutional document.
The legislator said there was a campaign already underway in most of the
wards in his constituency, to reject a people driven constitution.
'We're getting reports of meetings being held where village heads are being
ordered to tell people to support constitutional reforms spearheaded only by
ZANU PF. It is a concern really when you hear that the militias are
regrouping and wanting to cause havoc again in the rural areas,' Muchauraya
'We can never doubt ZANU PF. We know how cruel they are and how dangerous
they can be when they're cornered,' the legislator added.
October 20, 2009
By Our Correspondent
HARARE - MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai has praised his close ally,
Botswana's President Ian Khama, for conducting a peaceful election in his
country over the weekend.
The election secured Khama a new five-year term as leader of the world's
largest diamond producer.
In a statement Monday, the MDC leader said Botswana's election was a proof
to the continent that national elections were possible without contesting
parties victimizing their opponents.
"The MDC congratulates the people of Botswana and President Ian Khama for
holding a peaceful election which serves as a major lesson to the rest of
Africa and the region that it is possible to hold a free and fair election
with an uncontested result," said the MDC.
"It was a bloodless election where all parties contested freely. A free and
diverse media covered the polls while citizens freely voted and campaigned
for political parties and candidates of their choice."
The conduct of Botswana's election was in sharp contrast to Zimbabwe's
combined elections last year which saw long serving leader President Robert
Mugabe muscling his way back into power after being beaten at the polls.
Over 200 supporters of Tsvangirai's party died at the hands of the military
and Zanu-PF militia unleashed to punish the electorate for rejecting Mugabe
in the March 29, 2009 elections.
Mugabe went on to win a June 27 run off election after forcing Tsvangirai
out of the race through an orgy of violence.
Khama is one of the most vocal critics of Mugabe's policies.
He told South Africa's Financial Mail weekly last week Zimbabwe's
power-sharing arrangement was an affront to democracy.
Said the MDC, "The MDC believes that the election in Botswana and the recent
election in South Africa have sent a clear lesson to both the emerging and
established dictators in Africa that the people's unfettered will must be
allowed to prevail.
"Since the democratic election in South Africa held in July, Africa can only
marvel at the emerging tempo and the changing times on our continent and the
"Our neighbours in South Africa and Botswana have sent a clear message that
the feudal politics of machetes, knobkerries and guns have no place in
modern Africa and violent polls must be a subject for the archives."
October 20, 2009
By Our Correspondent
ZIMBABWE'S Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara held separate meetings on
Monday with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe in
a desperate bid to resolve the country's newest political crisis.Speaking
between the meetings he referred to Mugabe as an illegitimate leader of
Zimbabwe and cautioned Tsvangirai against what he called grandstanding.
Mutambara, who lost in parliamentary elections last year but proceeded to
sign a power sharing agreement to set up the current coalition government
together with Tsvangirai and Mugabe, met Tsvangirai in the morning before
sitting down with Mugabe in the afternoon. He disclosed that he had since
last Thursday been trying to meet Mugabe over the fresh crisis.
"I have held bilateral meetings with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai this
morning and I will be meeting President Robert Mugabe at 16:15pm. The
meeting is by request. The next position is for the three of us to meet.
SADC must be seized with this matter. We can't allow this lawlessness to
continue," said Mutambara.
He disclosed that the traditional Monday meeting between Mugabe, Tsvangirai
and himself had failed to take place.
Tsvangirai announced last Friday that his former opposition MDC party had
terminated all contact with Mugabe's Zanu-PF party and would boycott the
country's power-sharing government because it will not "sit in meetings with
an unreliable and unrepentant partner". He cited Mugabe's reluctance to
resolve outstanding issues agreed upon under the Global Political Agreement
(GPA) and also contained in the SADC communiqué issued in January this year.
Mutambara said ministers from his smaller faction of the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) will attend the cabinet meeting on Tuesday to
register their protest over Mugabe's unwillingness to resolve the
outstanding issues, including the appointment of Attorney General Johannes
Tomana and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono and the prosecution
of Deputy Agriculture Minister-designate, Roy Bennett, the treasurer-general
of Tsvangirai's MDC party, who currently faces terrorism charges.
"We are going to go there to condemn the Attorney General and Robert Mugabe
in his face," said Mutambara. "We are going to cabinet to go and express
disgust with the way Roy Bennett's case was handled. It was not necessary to
incarcerate Roy Bennett last week. It is about vindictiveness. It is about
malice. What we saw last week was the absence of political sensitivity.
There is no case against Roy Bennett. This is politically motivated."
Mutambara said Justice and Legal Affairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa was at
one time convicted but was not fired from his ministerial position while
Finance Minister Tendai Biti and Constitutional Affairs Minister Eric
Matinenga were appointed ministers when they were facing treason and public
The Deputy Prime Minister said he sympathized with Tsvangirai for taking a
decision to disengage from cabinet and council of ministers meetings.
"What we have right now is a dysfunctional marriage. We are very upset and
very angry. Mugabe lost to Morgan Tsvangirai in last year's elections. The
only election was in March last year. How can he run this country alone? If
this Global Political Agreement is to collapse I would say to Robert Mugabe,
you are not the President of Zimbabwe. You are an illegitimate leader. If
this GPA is to collapse I would say to Morgan Tsvangirai please no
Mutambara also took a swipe at the State-run Herald newspaper and the
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation for "being used as instruments of
propaganda by Zanu-PF against their colleagues."
by Hendricks Chizhanje Tuesday 20 October 2009
HARARE - Zimbabwean Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara on Monday
said his smaller MDC party will attend today's Cabinet meeting, breaking
ranks with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's larger MDC-T party that has
announced a partial boycott of the coalition government because of
differences with President Robert Mugabe.
Mutambara's MDC is seen as holding the balance of power in the
coalition because the MDC-T and Mugabe's ZANU PF parties control an almost
equal number of seats in Parliament and would each require the support of
the smaller party to pass laws.
The Deputy Premier criticised last week's detention of top Tsvangirai
ally, Roy Bennett, and called for the resolution of several outstanding
issues holding back the unity government and that were also cited by the
MDC-T when it announced its decision to boycott the government.
But Mutambara said his party will attend Cabinet to condemn Mugabe's
conduct in his face.
"We are going to go there (Cabinet) to condemn . . . Robert Mugabe in
his face. We are going to Cabinet to go and express disgust with the way Roy
Bennett's case was handled," Mutambara told journalists in Harare.
Mutambara - whose party is independent of Tsvangirai's group although
it broke away from the latter - said he sympathised with his former
opposition colleagues' decision to boycott government and warned Mugabe not
to collapse the coalition government because he has no legitimacy outside
the power-sharing arrangement.
"How can he run this country alone? If this Global Political Agreement
(power-sharing agreement) is to collapse I would say to Robert Mugabe, you
are not the President of Zimbabwe. You are an illegitimate leader,"
Zimbabwe's coalition government is in the grip of the worst crisis of
its eight-month existence after Tsvangirai and his MDC-T party said they
would no longer attend Cabinet and were cutting all contact with Mugabe and
his ZANU PF party until all outstanding issues are resolved.
Tsvangirai left Harare on Monday for South Africa, the first part of a
mission to persuade regional leaders to intervene to end the crisis and save
Zimbabwe's coalition government.
He was expected to meet President Jacob Zuma before proceeding to
Mozambique on Tuesday for talks with President Armando Guebuza who chairs
the Southern African Development Community SADC)'s special organ on
politics, defence and security.
The SADC that brokered the power-sharing agreement between Tsvangirai
and Mugabe is alongside the African Union a guarantor of the pact. The SADC
tasked its defence and security organ to monitor the Zimbabwe power-sharing
Tsvangirai also planned to travel to Angola and the Democratic
Republic of Congo to brief the leaders of those countries on what he says is
Mugabe's refusal to fulfill commitments made under the power-sharing
agreement including the veteran President's refusal to swear in Bennett as
deputy agriculture minister.
Mugabe has refused to swear in Bennett saying he must first be cleared
of terrorism charges. But Tsvangirai says the terrorism charges are false
and politically motivated to prevent Bennett - a white farmer - from taking
up his job in the new government.
Tsvangirai says the trial of Bennett and several other top MDC
officials in the past months is a violation of commitment by Mugabe to halt
all politically motivated prosecutions.
In addition, the Premier says Mugabe also breached the power-sharing
agreement by appointing his allies to head the central bank and the Attorney
General's office without consulting his coalition partners.
Mugabe has not publicly commented on the MDC-T's boycott of government
but his spokesman George Charamba at the weekend called the move a non-event
and said Cabinet would meet today as usual with or without Tsvangirai's
Analysts say the MDC-T and ZANU PF do not want to see the coalition
government collapse because both stand to benefit from its continued
existence. But they warn that incessant squabbling between the two biggest
parties in the coalition could in the long run cripple the administration
and damage its long-term effectiveness. - ZimOnline
Written by Taurai Bande
Saturday, 17 October 2009 12:41
HEADLANDS - Soldiers deployed by Brigadier Justin Mujaji at Karori
farm, have allegedly raped three women and looted property at the farm in a
bid to scare away workers. Armed soldiers stationed at the farm since 2004,
have reportedly raped Vongai, Rhoda and Regina. An army sergeant identified
as Moyo, is set to appear in court facing rape charges.
"In a bid to displace the rape victims so that they fail to stand as
state witnesses in court, the soldiers evicted workers from the farm end of
last month on October 27. Helpless workers and their families were driven
off the farm on tractors driven by the gunmen. Some were dumped in bushes
while others were abandoned along the Harare-Mutare road. Houses of
management staff were crashed down leaving property trapped in side," said a
displaced farm worker.
Karori farm resembled a war zone as sergeant Makono fired live bullets
at fleeing defenseless workers and their dependence.
"Soldiers looted workers' households including cell phones, television
sets, radios, blankets and clothes. They decided which items were to be
taken along with the workers and what had to remain behind. We lost all our
life time purchases to the soldiers, who told us to relocate with our
employer Charles Lock, to England," said a worker who was beaten up by the
Seven workers: Last John, Wunganai Mukamba, Kenny Mauyaswa, Shadreck
Chacha, Victor Bakayawo, Taurai Kashata and Makiona Macheche, were savagely
attacked by the soldiers. Edina Wilson was shot in the arm by a stray
The soldiers allegedly drained 200 litres of diesel from tractors and
remained behind with four cattle. More than a hundred children have been
thrown out of school and relocated at Dozmery farm with their parents.
Charles Lock has found temporary sanctuary for his workers at nearby
Dozmery farm, while he pursues his legal battle for ownership of Karori
farm. Brigadier Mujaji has defied several High Court and Supreme Court
judgments to vacate the farm. Efforts by a Headlands Sheriff to drive Mujaji
off the land have been in vain.
Donor organizations such as the International Red Cross and others
have distributed blankets, food and other basic items to families camped at
Dozmery as most of their belongings were looted by the army.
By Lance Guma
20 October 2009
A decision by the Ministry of Education to extend the deadline for pupils
who had failed to raise fees for this year's exams did not help, because
most schools did not get the relevant government circular. Education
Minister David Coltart issued a statement saying parents and guardians of
affected pupils could make arrangements with schools and regional ministry
offices to pay the exam fees in installments, until January 31, 2010. The
arrangement was granted by government with the provision that the Zimbabwe
Schools Examinations Council (ZIMSEC) could withhold results until the fees
were fully paid.
On Tuesday Newsreel learnt that the majority of schools claimed they had not
received the relevant circular from government granting the extension and
concessions. Oswald Madziva, the Programmes and Communications officer for
the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), told us most school
administrators made it clear they don't take instructions from the media,
where the announcement was made, and could only implement such directives if
they had physically received the circulars from the Permanent Secretary in
the Education Ministry. So this extension turned out to be 'virtual' and
'did not touch ground to benefit students,' Madziva said.
It's not clear what role the Permanent Secretary had in the delay to send
out the circulars but all permanent secretaries are aligned to ZANU PF. The
appointment of permanent secretaries to run the ministries was one of the
contentious issues between the MDC and ZANU PF in the unity government. The
MDC gave in, over the argument that they 'were career civil servants
qualified to do the job' and opportunities would arise in the future for MDC
candidates. So the MDC allowed Mugabe to appoint them all.
The preparations for exams this year have been dogged by a myriad of
problems, including a strike by workers at ZIMSEC who were demanding salary
increases from US$115 to US$400. The strike was later called off last week
Thursday after a meeting of ZIMSEC management and workers in which they were
promised salary increases up to US$270 per month. The main problem for exams
this year however has been the cost of fees. At US$10 per subject for 'O'
levels and US$20 for 'A' levels, most pupils have not been able to register.
According to ZIMSEC only 139 000 out of 380 000 students have registered.
By Alex Bell
20 October 2009
Chegutu farmer Ben Freeth, who last week concluded an awareness-raising trip
to the United States, on Tuesday said that the intervention of the United
Nations will be critical for Zimbabwe's future. He also expressed concern
that nations such as Britain will not move against Robert Mugabe.
Freeth travelled to Washington last week to appeal in person to the Barack
Obama administration, asking them to pressure the Zimbabwe government to
stop the ongoing seizures of commercial land. Freeth has previously written
four times to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai pleading for him to intervene
in the wave of farm invasions that have in the past year alone resulted in
the forced seizure of more than 80 farms. The farm attacks have left over
66,000 farm workers without jobs and homes, while at the same time
absolutely no food is being produced, despite the country still facing a
critical food crisis.
But Freeth's pleas have fallen on deaf ears and Tsvangirai has done nothing
to intervene despite the worsening situation on farms across the country.
Freeth insists that, "Tsvangirai could at least be calling for action. He
doesn't seem interested in doing anything to get the rule of law respected".
In desperation Freeth decided to take his case to Washington, where he met
several concerned legislators, NGOs and other groups sympathetic to the
Zimbabwe crisis. He has now taken his case to the UK. But Freeth told SW
Radio Africa that his hopes for international intervention still rest on the
US, and its ability to force to the UN to intervene.
"It would appear that the British are more politically correct and seem to
have fallen into Mugabe's propaganda trap," Freeth said. "The Americans will
hopefully force the UN to see reason and make them intervene in Zimbabwe's
The attacks against the remaining commercial farming community meanwhile are
continuing, with observers expressing fears that the land 'reform'
programme, initiated in 2000, will be completed by the end of the year and
there will be no commercial farmers left. The attacks themselves have proved
the motive is not land redistribution, but rather greed, with one of the
country's most successful indigenous black farmers being illegally evicted
from his land last week.
Luke Tembani, 72, has been successfully farming in Manicaland since 1983,
but in the past year he has fought an increasingly difficult battle to stay
on his land. He first faced eviction earlier this year after the state run
Agricultural Bank of Zimbabwe (Agribank) sold his farm to recover a loan he
had borrowed more than a decade ago to expand his farm. In desperation
Tembani turned to the human rights court of the Southern African Development
Community (SADC Tribunal), telling the court that the bank had reneged on a
deal to allow him to sell part of his farm to settle the loan.
According to court documents, Tembani defaulted on part of his repayments in
1997 as Zimbabwe's economic crisis unfolded. Documents filed with the
Tribunal stated that the bank had sold the farm in 2000, without any court
hearings, even though Tembani was still living on it. In June the SADC
Tribunal ruled that Agribank's repossession and sale of Tembani's farm was
'illegal and void', and ordered the government to take all necessary
measures not evict Tembani and his family. But as with all other orders by
the Tribunal, which the government has decided it no longer recognises, the
ruling has been wholly ignored, and Tembani's eviction was carried out last
At the same time, the rampant theft on Charles Lock's Karori farm in the
Headlands district has continued, despite the intervention of Judge
President Rita Makarau. Lock has received numerous court orders against
Brigadier General Justin Mujaji, who is heading the invasions on Karori
Farm. But Mujaji, who is related through marriage to Justice Minister
Patrick Chinamasa, has ignored every order including those passed down by
Makarau. Mujaji last week even appeared before Makarau to say her orders
would be honoured, but the theft has continued regardless. Makarau has
reportedly given Mujaji two weeks to comply with her orders, but by that
time, there will be nothing left for Lock to claim.
Meanwhile, there has been no move by the government to claim the money
offered by the European Commission for a comprehensive and 'transparent'
land audit. The head of the Commission, Xavier Marchal, last week said the
money was available to the government to complete the audit, the promise of
which had been shelved because of the government's financial restraints. But
the money is yet to be claimed, and it is widely understood that the ZANU PF
dominated government does not want the full truth of the land 'reform'
programme made public, as it would clearly show how the ruling party chefs
are mostly the ones who have benefited.
Written by Natasha Hove
Monday, 19 October 2009 17:34
HARARE - A national housing convention to craft new policies aimed at
providing accommodation to millions of Zimbabweans without shelter will be
held at the end of October in conjunction with UN-Habitat. (Pictured:
Fidelis Mhashu, the National Housing Minister)
A circular sent to the country's municipalities by the National
Housing and Social Amenities Ministry said the housing convention would be
held under the theme: "Towards an integrated approach to sustainable and
affordable housing and social amenities in Zimbabwe."
"The objective is to create a housing policy that will expedite
housing and social amenities delivery and permits other players to
participate, with the government being a facilitator," reads the circular.
Fidelis Mhashu, the National Housing Minister told The Zimbabwean that
the convention would draw more than 300 delegates from both public and
Mhashu was quoted last week as saying the government had committed to
providing housing for victims of an infamous clean-up exercise, Operation
Murambatsvina, launched by President Robert Mugabe's administration which
left thousands homeless.
by Hendricks Chizhanje Tuesday 20 October 2009
HARARE - A pioneering black Zimbabwean commercial farmer has been evicted
from his farm in defiance of a Southern African Development Community (SADC)
Tribunal ruling barring his eviction.
Mutare Deputy Sheriff, identified as Dzobo, last week evicted Luke Tembani
from his farm, known as the Remainder of Minverwag of Clare Estate Ranch,
which he has occupied since 1980.
Tembani had appealed to the regional SADC court when he was due to be
evicted on May 21 by the Agricultural Bank of Zimbabwe (Agribank) which
wanted to sell his farm to recover money he owes the finance house.
Trouble for Tembani arose after he failed to make repayments when interest
rates soared in 1997. But the Tribunal said the Agribank had failed to
provide the exact amount which Tembani owed.
The farmer had requested the figures as he wanted to sell off a small
portion of his farm to clear the loan.
The Tribunal ruled that the repossession and sale of the farm by Agribank
was "illegal and void".
The Windhoek-based regional court also ordered the Zimbabwe government to
take all the necessary measures through its agents from evicting Tembani or
his family from the property and to stop interfering with his use and
occupation of the property.
But the 72-year-old black commercial farmer was evicted last week to make
way for Takawira Zembe who claims to have bought the farm from the financial
Tembani's eviction brings into question the authority of the SADC Tribunal
whose ruling last November declaring President Robert Mugabe's chaotic and
often violent land reforms - which saw white-owned farms seized and
parcelled out to landless blacks - racist and illegal under the SADC Treaty
has been disregarded by Harare.
White farmers continued to lose their properties after the Tribunal ruling
and in August Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa wrote to the Tribunal
informing the regional court of Harare's decision to withdraw from cases
brought against the government by former white farmers who lost their
properties in the controversial land reform programme.
Chinamasa informed the Tribunal that Harare would recognise its authority
only after a protocol establishing the court was ratified by at least
two-thirds of the 15-nation bloc's members as is required under rules and
procedures governing the regional grouping. - ZimOnline
by Own Correspondent Tuesday 20 October 2009
HARARE - United Nations (UN) special rapporteur on torture Manfred Nowak
will next week visit Zimbabwe to gather "first-hand information about
torture" in the African country where police are often accused of torturing
political opponents of President Robert Mugabe.
Nowak's visit from October 28 to November 4 is at the invitation of Zimbabwe's
new coalition government, the first time that Harare has extended such an
invitation to the UN torture rapporteur.
"This mission is a positive sign of the government of Zimbabwe's willingness
to engage with the UN Human Rights system and permit open and unfettered
access to places of detention," he said.
During his visit, Nowak is expected to meet with government officials, human
rights and civic society groups.
He will present a report on Zimbabwe to the UN Human Rights Council with
recommendations on how the council could help entrench a culture of human
rights in a country that has witnessed violent elections accompanied by
gross human rights abuses including torture over the past decade.
Prominent Zimbabwean human rights defender Jestina Mukoko and several other
activists accused by the state of plotting to overthrow Mugabe say they were
severely tortured by state security agents in a bid to force them to admit
to the treason charges.
Zimbabwe's Supreme Court has since ordered the state not to prosecute Mukoko
on the treason charge because her rights were grossly violated when she was
illegally abducted by police agents last year and later tortured. -
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
The visiting German Mayor of Munich Clr Hep Monatzeder has pledged to assist
Harare City revamp its waste collection, health, water reticulation and
information technology systems.
Speaking to the media at Harare International Airport yesterday, Clr
Monatzeder said funding for the city activities would be channelled through
German non-governmental organisations operating in Zimbabwe.
He said while his city had not set a specific budget to assist Harare,
funding was available on an ad-hoc basis depending on Harare's requirements.
Last year Munich donated drugs worth Euro 500 000 to the city which
sustained its health operations for nine months.
The visit follows a similar visit to Munich last October by a delegation led
by Deputy Mayor Clr Emmanuel Chiroto.
He said residents and companies doing business in Munich paid their taxes
direct to the city - funds which are then used to provide services to the
Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda, town clerk Dr Tendai Mahachi, councillors and
senior city officials met him at the airport.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who was at the airport on his way to the
DRC, briefly met the delegation and wished them a pleasant stay.
Mr Masunda explained the city's pressing needs and implored the Germans to
direct their assistance to water, health and infrastructure development.
The delegation will today hold a meeting at Town House where Clr Monatzeder
is expected to address councillors.
Written by Munosvikepi Chakonera
Monday, 19 October 2009 13:24
HARARE - The Zimbabwe government has short listed two investors out of
the six who were vying to acquire the embattled Zimbabwe Iron & Steel
Company, as part of the inclusive government's efforts to revive
underperforming parastatals. (Pictured: Joel Gabuza, Parastatal and State
Among the investors interested in taking over Zisco were Arcelor
Mittal (South Africa), Murray and Roberts (South Africa), Steel Makers
Zimbabwe) Reclamation (South Africa) and Gateway (Zimbabwe) in association
with an Indian firm.
Joel Gabuza, Parastatal and State Enterprise Minister, said that the
short listed investors were presently before an inter-ministerial committee
for further evaluation of their history, capacity and suitability.
"This is a process. For instance if there were 10 bidders, the
government had to come up with say two from which the eventual winner would
be recommended to the President and the Prime Minister."
Once approved the investors would be referred to the inter-ministerial
committee, which together with parent ministries would choose the final
winner. Welshman Ncube, industry and commerce minister, recently said that
the government would consider a sound debt management plan for Zisco as one
of the major factors in arriving at the eventual winner.
October 20, 2009
By John Gambanga
THERE was jubilation and celebration as scores of relatives, friends and
former Daily News employees converged on a Greendale, Harare, residence last
week to welcome Geoffrey Nyarota, the Zimbabwe Times Managing Editor and
founding Editor-in-Chief of the now banned Daily News back home on a brief
Nyarota was in Harare for first time in almost seven years to attend a
meeting organised for Zimbabwean editors by the local office of UNESCO in a
bid to bridge the gap between journalists working for government-owned and
privately-owned media organisations and address the issue of polarisation in
the Zimbabwean media.
Nyarota is a laureate of the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize
in 2002. Soon after his sudden departure from Zimbabwe in January 2003
Nyarota, the doyen of Zimbabwean journalism, was invited to become a fellow
of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University in the United
Since then he has remained in Massachusetts, from there he publishes the
thezimbabwetimes.com, an online newspaper that covers mostly political
events in Zimbabwe.
Those, like me, who once worked with him were quick to note that Nyarota has
not lost his humour and in between hugs and hand shakes with family,
colleagues and friends he cracked a joke or two to the amusement of those
Well-wishers included Constitutional Affairs Minister, Eric Matinenga,
Jameson Timba, the deputy Minister of Media, Information and Publicity,
Zimbabwe's renowned eye specialist Dr Solomon Guramatunhu and Davison
Maruziva, the editor of The Standard who was Nyarota's deputy on The
Chronicle and The Daily News.
Nyarota did not conceal his delight at being back home.
"Zimbabwe is my country," he said. "Zimbabwe's exiled journalists cannot
remain in the Diaspora forever. Since President Mugabe is not likely to open
his arms to officially welcome them back it is entirely up to us the
journalists to create the necessary space for ourselves, in terms of
provisions to that effect in the Global Political Agreement.
"We anxiously await the announcement of the new Zimbabwe Media Commission. I
am very reliably informed that President Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai, whom I met in Johannesburg on my way to Harare, have already
agreed on the composition of the commission. Former Sunday Mail editor Henry
Muradzikwa and former Financial Gazette editor Nqobile Nyathi will be the
chairman and deputy of the commission, respectively.
"Unless Muradzikwa and Nyathi have undergone some professional
transformation over the years their appointment augurs well for the future
well-being of Zimbabwe's media landscape."
The atmosphere of anxiously awaited change in the media, culminating in the
anticipated registration of new newspaper titles, was indeed an appropriate
scene for the homecoming of the man who, as editor of The Chronicle
newspaper in Bulawayo blazed the trail of investigative journalism in
Zimbabwe back in the late 1980s.
The newspaper investigated and published the sensational details of the
Willowvale Motor Industries Scandal. The expose that came to be known as the
Willowgate Scandal and led to the appointment of the Wilson Sandura
Commission by President Mugabe in 1989 has been likened to the Watergate
Scandal, which forced United States President Richard Nixon out of the White
House in Washington in 1974.
In Zimbabwe five cabinet ministers and a provincial governor were forced to
resign after their role in the scandal was investigated and revealed by The
Chronicle and subsequently confirmed by the Sandura Commission. One of the
ministers, Maurice Nyagumbo, a close confidante of Mugabe, committed
Nyarota said he regretted that, due to a flight delay in Washington, he had
missed the opportunity to listen to George Charamba, the permanent secretary
in the Ministry of Media, Information and Publicity who addressed the
meeting of editors on the first day on Tuesday, October 6. Nyarota was the
only foreign-based editor to attend the meeting. Several other foreign-based
editors reportedly declined the invitation extended by UNESCO to attend.
They cited security concerns.
Charamba did not mince his words when he warned that anyone who dared to
publish a newspaper without a licence ran the risk of arrest.
"What we will do is to go to the police and say there is a foreigner on the
streets, can you get his credentials," Charamba said, to the chagrin of the
editors. "They will come to you and ask you, 'Where is your licence?' If it
is nowhere to be found, naturally the police will take up the matter and ask
the AG to prosecute."
The irony of Zimbabwe's current media situation is that while the Zimbabwe
Media Commission was created late last year through Constitutional Amendment
Number 19, that law has not yet been fully implemented and there is still no
entity empowered to register media organisations or newspapers.
Names of the successful candidates to sit on the nine-member ZMC have been
forwarded to President Mugabe's office which must select the chairperson and
deputy for the commission.
That process appears to be taking longer than it should.
Nyarota is an interested party as he and many other journalists and media
entrepreneurs anxious either to participate fully or invest in the media
continue to be denied the opportunity to do so by needless government
I am sure for him his homecoming gave him some rude awakening to the
realities of the current politics of the mass media in his native country.
A few months after he left the country in 2003 the government banned The
Daily News, dealing a deadly blow to Zimbabwe's press freedom. The Daily
News was the first successful privately owned national daily newspaper to be
launched in independent Zimbabwe. The first attempt, The Daily Gazette
collapsed soon after its launch.
After its launch in 1999 The Daily News was a breath of fresh air as it
provided an alterative voice to the state-run Herald newspaper that has been
published by the Rhodesian Printing and Publishing Company since 1892. The
newspaper was, along with four other titles, taken over by government when
it assumed majority shareholding of the publishing company soon after
independence. The company was renamed Zimbabwe Newspaper (1980) Limited and
administered through the Mass Media Trust of Zimbabwe.
In principle the trust was established to act as a buffer between the
government and the newspapers. In reality, however, the trust became the
conduit through which government initially exercised control of the
publishing company. But when Professor Jonathan Moyo became Minister of
Information in 2000 he dispensed with the niceties of a trust to assume
direct control of the state-run daily newspapers, which lost any semblance
They lost both readers and advertising to The Daily News.
In panic, Moyo introduced a harsh programme of repression of privately-owned
newspapers, which included harassment and arrest of journalists and
introduction of harsh media laws and culminated in the closure of the Daily
News and three other newspapers in 2003.
So far several media organisations have expressed an interest in launching
daily newspapers in what should become a highly competitive media
atmosphere, a welcome development in the media sector of Zimbabwe. The
proposed daily newspapers include The Daily News published by Associated
Newspapers of Zimbabwe, the similarly named News Day from Trevor Ncube's
ZimInd stable and Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono's curiously named Daily
The inclusive government is ultimately expected to create an opportunity for
positive media reforms that should see more players in both the print and
Nyarota has not revealed his plans for the future of his online daily, The
If the economy improves, as it is expected to in an atmosphere of enhanced
political sanity, more jobs will be created for journalists and the
consumers will have at their disposal a wider choice of newspapers to read,
a right which they have not exercised for many years.
It is my fervent hope that Geoffrey Nyarota enjoyed the rest of his brief
visit to his native land and that as he returns to Boston he is seriously
considering relocation to Harare, there to contribute to the media reforms
that are currently hampered by uncertainty and political bickering.
(John Gambanga is the executive director of the Voluntary Media Council of
Written by ZEDD
Monday, 19 October 2009 12:55
HARARE - The literary and visual arts festival of the National
Institute of Allied Arts which began on October 10 at the National Gallery
of Harare has attracted 1,550 poems and essays and 1,768 art works, making
it the largest cultural event in Zimbabwe in terms of artist participation.
(Pictured: Little furry creature. One of the entries at this year's NIAA
literary and visual arts festival.)
The competition is open to writers and artists of all ages. This year's
visual arts festival runs under the theme "All Great and Small". Adjudicator
and internationally acclaimed artist Kate Raath said that the quality of
work this year was "remarkably high.
"Throughout the judging we gave preference to original, creative works
of art - although some of my markers were surprised when I marked down a
beautifully copied bird from a book and similar works," Raath said.
"We gave additional marks to works using recycled junk and natural
items - and fewer marks to cut-outs, particularly when it was apparent that
hands other than the child's had done the cutting."
This is Raath's 11th year as adjudicator and she says that the
standard is still remarkably high, in spite of the difficulties schools are
facing. "We judged work on newsprint done in pencil on creativity and
ability, not on the quality of the materials. Despite the real problems
schools face there are some remarkable art teachers out there."
She was, however, disappointed to see no entries from Chisipite and
only one or two from Arundel and St George's. "The top schools need to show
the rest of us the way forward - although I appreciate that they too have
problems with teachers.
The exhibition, which was opened on Saturday by Jacquie Robertson,
chairperson of the Conference of the Heads of the Independent Schools of
Zimbabwe and headmistress of Chisipite Senior School, in recognition of the
willingness of the Association of Trust Schools to sponsor the National
Institute of Allied Arts, will run for three weeks.
Harare, October 20, 2009 - The newly constituted Broadcasting
Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) Board chaired by Tafataona Mahoso, has issued
out a new set of broadcasting service regulations which includes new
Under the new regulations, an application fee for Free-to-Air National
Radio Broadcasting Services shall cost US$2 500, which will be non
refundable, while the basic licence fee for 10 years has been pegged at US$
18 000. There will also be a levy of 1% of the annual gross turnover for the
licence period, plus US$40 per frequency monthly coupled with a
0.5%contribution of the audited annual gross turnover payable to the
In respect of the Free-to- Air National Television Broadcasting
Service, the application fee has also been set at US$2 500. The basic
licence fee shall be US$20 000 with a charge of 1% annual gross turnover per
annum for the licence period of 10 years. However, the payment plan is a
flexible one which spreads evenly, the balance over the ten year licence
The application fee for Community Broadcasting shall be a non
refundable US$500, while the basic licence fee for 10 years is pegged at
US$1 500. The monthly frequency fee shall be US$60 per month.
Other categories of broadcasters and licences whose fees have been
gazetted include; Subscription Satellite Broadcasting, Commercial Satellite
Uplink, Temporary Satellite Uplink, Subscription Cable Broadcasting,
Subscription Narrowcasting Service, Open Narrowcasting Service, Open
Narrowcasting, Data casting, Diffusion, Roadcasting, Railcasting,
Webcasting, Signal Carrier Licensing and Electronic Billboard Advertising.
Zimbabwe is still to call for radio and television applications to
break the current monopoly by the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation.
Email: email@example.com : firstname.lastname@example.org
JAG Hotlines: +263 (011) 610 073, +263 (04) 799410. If you are in
trouble or need advice, please don't hesitate to contact us - we're here
1. Update on Karori farm - Charles Lock
2. Further Update Karori Farm - Charles Lock
1. Update on Karori farm - Charles Lock
Last Wednesday Mujaji, the commissioner General, and the Army Commander
gave their undertakings to the Judge President to honour the High Court
Order. The execution of the order cannot be appealed against and clearly
specifies that crops and equipment belong to Charles Lock. Instead
Mujaji and his soldiers have looted 15 tons of baled tobacco marked with
our growers' number v114564. He has stolen 22 tons of fertiliser
and 48 tons of maize and refuses to release any equipment. There is
photographic evidence and taped recordings. He has broken the law in so
many ways and abused the integrity of the Judge President who clearly
avoided the contempt order to give him time to comply. His soldiers who
have beaten, raped people and looted at will are back on the farm and Sgt
Makoni, the leader of the soldiers, even has a new vehicle from our
The Police have lost all respect in the area. They were even too scared
to investigate the fertiliser theft until I took the matter in my own
hands and forced them to go there and see. Even they refused to go see
the fertilizer room and lock it as it had clearly been broken open. They
are even scared to provide report numbers even though we got assurances
from Senior Ass Com Mutamba that Headlands would deal with it. WE have
pictures of the maize before and after the looting and have even followed
a lorry coming off the farm which went to Discovery Foods in Ruwa. The
driver confirmed on tape it came from the farm and still Mujaji lies and
the Police will not investigate. It is clear there is a military coup.
The messenger of the court and the police will not enforce the court
order. They merely ask permission from the soldiers and comply with
whatever they say. The messenger and police refused to go to the
fertiliser shed or the tobacco shed. In Headlands and Rusape our
fertiliser and maize is currently being sold on the open market and we
have reported all of this yet it still continues.
All we can do is pray that the Judge President will deal with this issue
and up hold the integrity of the legal process.
2. Further Update Karori Farm - Charles Lock
For two weeks Mujaji has ignored the High Court Order from Judge Patel
and instead evicted our staff
Since then we went back to the High Court in front of the Judge President
this time seeking a contempt order against Mujaji and co and the
Commander of the army and the commissioner general. When it became
apparent that the respondents had no case Mujaji said he had no problem
with complying with the order and that it was because he had not been
aware of it. A lie as his wife was in the court room when it was issued.
However, the Judge President then said that if there is no conflict then
the order must be affected and within two weeks we should report back to
On arriving at the farm with the Police and messenger, who both seem to
think the soldiers are above the law as they do not attempt to enforce
the order merely asking the soldiers for permission, we were told quite
clearly that we could only take the tobacco and maize and my personal
things. No equipment and no fertilizer or stock. Uniformed soldiers
with AK's were put at the gate. I was not allowed in my house or to walk
around the yard and we were not allowed to go into any store room to
check things. Only one lorry at a time was allowed to be loaded and the
soldiers delayed this procedure so much that each day we have sent back
I managed to sneak around the yard and photographed my fertilizer room
which had been broken open and about 20 tons stolen. Bags were littered
outside in the bush and the tracks inside the yard had been brushed to
cover wheel marks. The soldiers and the police refused to allow us to go
to the shed formally and check it and close it. In the evening I walked
around the perimeter and found 15 bags of fertilizer hidden. The
soldiers tried to prevent me fetching these bags and the police did not
want to act again, until I threatened them with exposure. They then
accompanied me and we fetched the bags and took them to the police
station. Mrs Mujaji arrived on the farm and told the police that our own
workers were stealing the fertilizer. They had been evicted at gun point
two weeks ago.
WE also discovered 800 bags of maize looted of which we know Mujaji stole
22 tons and tried to deliver it to Ruwa. The maize is still there and no
police have even visited it despite my constant reports. All our
equipment has been stolen and some driven off the farm and still the
police and messenger will not deal with it. I saw a cell phone message
from Mujaji to one of the soldiers which said Lock can take his tobacco
and maize only but no equipment. The soldiers said they would use the
equipment for 10 years then give it back to me. They abused us and
I then tried to get into the tobacco store room but was refused entry,
however I managed to get two senior workers in and they reported back
that at first sight about 100 bales of tobacco and some slat packs had
gone including our tobacco hoist.
While this was happening one of the soldiers, who I cannot name for his
own safety, told me that Mujaji told all the farm workers to leave the
yard and then he brought in an army lorry and they loaded the tobacco
bales. He said Mujaji took two loads of maize and a load of the
fertilizer. It is quite apparent that all these things are gone and we
have photographic evidence of it. Mujaji is just a plain thief, made
worse by the fact that he uses his rank and the state facilities to do
it. This has nothing to do with land and we pray that his criminal
actions will be treated accordingly otherwise we are living under a
military coup. His actions smack in front of the commitment he gave
together with the representatives of the Commissioner General and army
Commander to abide by the Court's decision in front of the Judge
Behind the Headlines Interview broadcast 15 October 2009
Lance Guma: Maswera sei mhuri yeZimbabwe? We welcome you to another special edition of Behind the Headlines. My guest this week is the Professor of History at Lander University in South Carolina in the United States, Professor Ken Mufuka. Now Professor Mufuka is also patron of the Global Zimbabwe Forum and a lot of Zimbabweans will know him as the writer of 'Letter from America' which has been going on for 25 years. Professor Mufuka thank you for joining us.
Ken Mufuka: Thank you, it's my pleasure.
Guma: Now obviously a lot of things have been happening in Zimbabwe and we've just brought you on to the programme to get your insights into what has been happening in Zimbabwe of late. I'll start off with the advent of the unity government, your take on it. Did you think it was a good idea from the start?
Mufuka: It was a good idea but very difficult to implement. We wished them well because of the situation in which we were one year ago, when the Zimbabwe dollar was useless and inflation was out of control so we needed a combined effort to correct those things.
Guma: But does it not leave a bitter taste in the mouth because it does seem to be a disease in Africa that losers of elections do not necessarily step down and these sort of compromises seem to be encouraging that trend?
Mufuka: Definitely and the reason is that, this is why we are concerned about Zimbabwe setting an example to the African world, the Zimbabwe political situation, the polity rather – that's the government and the civil service and so on – have been politicised to such an extent that almost every head of department in Zimbabwe today is a ZANU apparatchik, from the ZANU apparatus. Therefore, after 30 years of doing this kind of thing, even if we have a government of national unity, they find it difficult to have their input processed through the normal system. The best example of that is the President's Secretary Mr (George) Charamba, so he is a secretary in the Department of Information and our man from the MDC, Mr Tsimba has been shut out by the system. This was to be expected but we expected that with the government of national unity, those things would begin to be dismantled but they have not been.
Guma: When the MDC went into this arrangement they talked about incremental democratisation, your assessment of the first eight months – have they achieved much?
Mufuka: I don't think so, I don't think so. They have started though in trying to dismantle the system but it is, as I have said, it is very difficult. For example to dismiss a civil servant, it's just not done because you have to go through the whole machinery, that's the way the system is set up, so they have found that difficult. They've tried to, really they've tried to run a parallel system whereby their own people working in the Prime Minister's office are from the MDC but they are not in the normal public service. That's where we need the changes if we are to create a new atmosphere.
Guma: Would you agree to the assessment that the first eight months or so have largely gone on because of mainly the MDC compromising too much? There have been many areas where a lot of people felt or feel the MDC is the one that always ends up compromising to make things work.
Mufuka: Yes because that was of necessity because the MDC did not have any instruments of power. They do not have the police, they do not have the civil service and they tried the Treasury but they are just, as you can see even now, Mr Gono is in charge of the Treasury or what it should be which should not be the normal system of government. The finance minister is trying to wrestle the authority from Mr Gono and this was all set up in the ZANU system, the whole society has been ZANU-ised as it is, so it was of necessity, it was not because they wanted to but they had no choice.
Guma: Now there are several toxic issues as secretary general of the MDC, Tendai Biti called them which have been plaguing the unity government or the coalition arrangement, let me pick some of these issues one by one and just get your take on why you think Mugabe has allowed them to be there. The issue over Roy Bennett, the non-swearing in of Roy Bennett and the terrorism charges or banditry charges whatever they are calling them, why do you think this issue has been kept at the forefront by Mugabe?
Mufuka: Because I fear that Mr Mugabe and his system, they are not sincere in implementing the government of national unity. Roy Bennett is symbolical, he is not by himself important as an individual but he is symbolic because he represents partly, that part of the MDC which is recognisable by the Europeans and the Western world which is the United States, that is why Roy Bennett is so important. But we have Jestina Mukoko and we have many other people who are in the same situation whereby they are kept in prison after a judge has said they are not guilty, so that's why Roy Bennett's case is important.
Guma: So this is a race card basically?
Mufuka: Not in the sense that we, from Mr Mugabe's point of view, I don't know what he thinks it will achieve but definitely we know, or he should know it does serve to provoke the Europeans and the Americans because they can recognise Roy Bennett directly. Now we have tried to publicise Jestina Mukoko, I have spoken in many churches in South Carolina, Methodist churches about Jestina Mukoko but if I say Roy Bennett, he is much easier to recognise than Jestina Mukoko. That's the significance of that matter.
Guma: Let's move on to another outstanding issue the MDC have pointed to, the appointment by Mugabe, the MDC are saying unilateral appointment of Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono and the Attorney General Johannes Tomana, I mean how significant is that in terms of the MDC challenging it, is it really something worth fighting for?
Mufuka: Yes it is, also for symbolical reasons. The governor of the Bank of Zimbabwe is blamed for the high inflation in the country but I don't think he as an individual is that significant but he is a representative of a system which is designed to, not to care for the majority of the people, but for the minority of the ZANU stalwarts and cronies and apparatchiks and so on. That's why the significance is there. Tomana is also a hardliner ZANU. It is not the positions they hold, but the significance that when they were appointed the consultations had not been done rightly.
Guma: And then we have the other issue of course the governors, they had agreed a formula for appointing the (provincial) governors according to who had won in which province, ambassadors still they haven't been appointed and I believe the MDC did compromise on the issue of the permanent secretaries but all these are issues which apparently they had agreed on paper but were never implemented or are not being implemented.
Mufuka: Yes I think the president of Zimbabwe is using delaying tactics. Generally it is assumed the government of national unity will last for only two years and the longer we go on the more the ZANU system remains in place without any major changes. Therefore when they come to the election, the MDC will still be in a disadvantage. That is the reason for these delays, just hold on and hold on and time flies.
Guma: There has been another controversial issue which ZANU PF has thrown of course into the fray because they are saying the MDC is accusing ZANU PF of not meeting its obligations under the coalition agreement, ZANU PF has countered and said the West has not removed sanctions so the MDC have not met their part of the bargain. What do you make of the sanctions debate because there has been a lot of controversy surrounding it with some saying no these are targeted sanctions and some pointing to ZEDERA and saying no these sanctions are hurting the ordinary person? What do you make of this whole debate?
Mufuka: Sanctions in the long run hurt the ordinary person because the powers that be can avoid the sanctions, they have the instruments of government so they can bank outside the country, they can bank in Asia. Now sanctions are definitely in place, we were trying to send a team of students to Zimbabwe, I normally take students to Zimbabwe on safari, the sanctions officially were removed but the write up under the US State Department says Zimbabwe is still a difficult country to travel and there's still possibility of violence and it's not safe so even though they have nominally taken away part of it, the authorities of my university said no you can't take students there, it's not safe. So that is true and at the same time, if the MDC works for the removal of sanctions then the Western powers have no leverage over Zimbabwe. If they're calling for a return back to normal after the sanctions were lifted then Mr Mugabe can dismiss Mr Tsvangirai from government and that will be the end of it and then he can run his dictatorial regime as before.
Guma: So it's a double-edged sword really?
Mufuka: Yes it sure is, oh yes, sanctions bite those who are least intended for it, that is a point.
Guma: Now this whole messy, shaky arrangement has gone on for quite some time, many will say we understand why the MDC are making the compromises but in terms of a cost and benefit analysis, so far do you think what has been achieved has justified them going in?
Mufuka: Yes because they had no option because of the judicial system is also in Mr Mugabe's favour, the police are in Mr Mugabe's favour, to summarise all this we simply say Mr Mugabe is too powerful to be removed by normal process of elections so they had no choice but to try a different route. Now this particular method is not producing the results it was intended for.
Guma: Well clearly we're running out of time Professor Mufuka, my final question as we are recording this interview, there is a lot of speculation surrounding whether the MDC will remain in this arrangement or not. There's talk that they are considering disengaging from the government, it's not exactly a pull out but they are saying it's disengaging, they will remain in their ministerial portfolios but not interact with ZANU PF. So my question to you, although we are still speculating on this, is there any advantage in the MDC pulling out from this arrangement?
Mufuka: Not at the moment and even disengaging, I think it's not a wise thing to do from my point of view. You are either in or you are out and if you look at the legalities of it, if you are disengaged, are you still allowed to function in the prime minister's office? Are you still allowed to use a telephone, can you still hold meetings with a designation of prime minister? So you see, I think legally if the ZANU people were to raise those issues, you are either in it or you are out of it, so I think that puts the MDC at a disadvantage.
Guma: I just have to slot in this question – is ZANU PF still interested in having the MDC as a partner or, because some are saying they are probably trying to push them out?
Mufuka: No I think that is easy, they want them to be able to be used to remove sanctions from abroad and the reason they want, and one reason why they want sanctions removed is that the high-ups in ZANU had probably investments abroad and they wanted their children to be educated abroad so they want again to travel, to be able to travel, to be able to send their children, and sometimes they use government scholarships to send their children abroad, so they want all these things removed. We know there were children in Australia going to school there and we know there were students in the United States, so on and so on, many there, I would estimate perhaps over 500 students were in the United States under that system so that was a benefit for them. So once those are removed then it just takes a little time for them to push the MDC but not now, they want the MDC in.
Guma: That was Professor of History, Ken Mufuka from Lander University in South Carolina in the United States. He also is the patron of the Global Zimbabwe Forum and the writer behind 'Letter from America' which has been going on for 25 years. Professor Mufuka it has been a pleasure having you on Behind the Headlines.Mufuka: Thank you, it has been my pleasure. We hope to meet at home when we are free. – ZimOnline
While Jonathan Moyo believes his vitriolic attacks on each and every person
who ever found fault with Zanu PF policies have at last demolished all
opposition, his actual achievement has been to demonstrate his and his party's
complete contempt for the citizens of Zimbabwe.
Almost every line of his Sunday Mail piece on October 4 displays his belief
that each and every reader is far too thick to see through his lies and
deceit. The facts that the people do know and understand are that it is
Jonathan Moyo who is guilty of treachery and it is Jonathan Moyo who is
employing every means possible to ensure that the MDC's best efforts to help
restore economic growth will be brought to nothing.
We are all perfectly aware that only the Zanu PF chefs feel threatened by
the possibility of economic recovery. Jonathan Moyo has been drawn back into
the Zanu PF ranks to make sure that the recovery does not happen. Why?
Mainly to prevent the possibility that MDC will be credited for any such
success, but also because the increasing prosperity of the Zimbabwean
population would make it harder for Zanu PF to continue suppressing us.
Jonathan Moyo treachery has now been made manifest at many different levels.
He persuaded the voters in Tsholotsho to elect him as their representative
on the basis of his having completely rejected the Zanu PF's "unprincipled"
policies. Now he insults them by claiming that, having rejoined Zanu PF, he
still represents them. He does not, any more than he represents the
casualties of Gukurahundi whose unmarked graves are still scattered
throughout the constituency.
Jonathan Moyo represents nobody but himself. His objective has been to
re-qualify for a place on the gravy train, whatever the cost. On that issue
of cost, we might argue that it has been at the cost of his integrity, but
that presupposes that he had any in the first place. The evidence suggests
that, in keeping with Zanu PF policies in general, the costs always fall on
the shoulders of their victims, and their victims amount to absolutely
everyone who is not riding in the gravy train.
Does that mean that the lower-ranking Zanu PF members are victims too? You
can bet your life that they are. They might today be offered impunity and a
few crumbs, but they are actively engaged in destroying their own futures.
And Zanu PF has re-engaged clever Jonathan Moyo to help make them feel happy
about it - for now.
But as Zanu PF's major policy objective is to completely prevent the
empowerment of everybody but the very small leadership clique, all others
will in due course find themselves dumped and betrayed. By then, the more
perceptive of them will be keenly aware that, with Jonathan Moyo's help,
they caused their own profound impoverishment.
Jonathan Moyo appears to rely on the fact that very few people have the
patience or stamina to challenge his accusations. He achieves this effect by
filling his lines with so many inaccurate or patently dishonest claims that
rebuttals would be far to tedious to write and even more tedious to read.
But Jonathan Moyo should not believe that the near-absence of objections
means that people have been taken in or, worse, that therefore his
outrageous claims must be true.
When, in his October 4 Sunday Mail article, Jonathan Moyo accuses Minister
Tendai Biti of being on a "misguided journey towards collapsing the Zimbabwe
economy", Jonathan Moyo clearly hopes that his readers will immediately
forget that the economy had already collapsed by the time Minister Biti was
sworn into office and the people who had caused the collapse were the very
ones who Jonathan Moyo so claims to so greatly admire.
But does Jonathan Moyo really admire them? He claims in his October 11
Sunday Mail piece that he "did not give as much time to appreciating and
addressing the moral and political sensibilities" of Zanu PF's senior
leaders as he gave to "trying to get things done out there", but he is
actually appreciating the fact that they alone dish out tickets to ride on
the gravy train. When he was campaigning for his Tsholotsho seat, Jonathan
Moyo's comments on the morals of these same individuals were anything but
Of particular interest is Jonathan Moyo's eagerness to pretend that fables
invented and reproduced by The Herald and its sister papers can be used as
evidence against Minister Biti and the MDC. The broad Zimbabwean population
now instinctively disbelieves the Zanu PF Press, but many have noted, with
wry amusement, how much more unbelievable these newspapers, radio and TV
have become since Jonathan Moyo returned to the nefarious fold.
So the population is not taken in by claims that Minister Biti is "blocking
the use of US$510 million from the IMF" or that he has blocked "lines of
credit from Afreximbank and PTA Bank totalling some US$800 million". Almost
nobody has any difficulty relating to Minister Biti's determination to
remain fully accountable to the electorate, and this first demands that he
prevents these sums from being hijacked by the Zanu PF patronage disbursal
A recurring theme in Jonathan Moyo's psychotic ramblings is his complaints
about "regime change" motives and agendas and his use of words like
treasonous and sinister show that he is now very much against it. That is
another change since his Tsholotsho campaign.
But his determination to persuade all of us that hopes for regime change
amount to treason might be the biggest insult of all. Clearly, he believes
that we should all feel honoured to be abused by Zanu PF and should be
pleased to see the extension of further rewards and privileges to those who
have destroyed our economy. Jonathan Moyo appears to believe that these
leaders have the divine right to retain their authority, even though they
brought development to a halt and placed the maintenance of our existing
infrastructure beyond our reach.
According to Jonathan Moyo, we should be delighted to have the people who
made us dependent on food aid carry on in office and we should show nothing
but respect and admiration to those people who destroyed hundreds of
thousands of jobs and forced all those who wanted to work to move to foreign
countries. And of course, we should all share his deep satisfaction that
very nearly all the land reclaimed for the people is now lying fallow and
the country's principal crops are now thatching grass and firewood.
With such achievements to support their claimed absolute right to rule the
country forever, they believe that we, the electorate, have the clear
obligation to serve them faithfully, to believe everything they tell us and,
most important of all, to automatically define any and every reference to
regime change is blasphemy.
If that set of absurd claims were not insulting enough, Jonathan Moyo goes
on to claim that every sign of resentment, opposition or dissatisfaction
displayed by any of us must have been sponsored and funded from abroad. In
other words, we are all far too stupid to have had such ideas on our own, or
to organise ourselves, put alternative policies on paper or get eager
support from people who are desperate for change.
Zanu PF seems to start with the assumption that the MDC can safely be
accused of each and every one of the long list of schemes, scams and
strategies that Zanu PF has adopted over the years. A useful start would be
the countries that funded, trained and supplied the separate divisions of
what became Zanu PF. The Soviet Union and China were of course the main
sponsors, but we should not forget about Yugoslavia, North Korea and Cuba,
nor should we overlook Zambia, Tanzania, Mozambique and Ethiopia.
Of course, the Zanu PF hierarchy would claim that seeking help from abroad
was entirely justified as the regime change then being promoted was designed
to overthrow a severely oppressive regime. No argument there. But where is
the difference now? Zanu PF has turned out to be many orders of magnitude
more oppressive than any colonial administration.
In the Rhodesian days we saw it as our National duty to oppose and displace
a government that had no respect for the overwhelming majority of the
population, so our regime change objective was entirely acceptable. Today we
are a traumatised nation living in fear, subject to harassment from police,
military and youth militia, all of whose personnel have presidential
protection and are free to act with impunity.
Many of us now depend on food handouts and the little our relatives can send
us from abroad. We have suffered the loss of not only most of our jobs, but
the loss of training prospects as well and many have been either badly
educated at school or have lost their school places completely. We have
watched government helping itself to our savings and bank balances, and as
corruption became institutionalised we have all seen how schemes to legalise
theft have enriched the few at the direct expense of the rest of us.
Once again it has become our National duty to oppose a repressive regime,
but this time it is one that has absolute contempt for the entire
population. We would far prefer a peaceful transition, which would be well
within our grasp if Zanu PF would start working with the Government of
National Unity, instead of against it. We would also have a better chance of
fixing our problems if Zanu PF was not trying to further insult our
intelligence by getting Jonathan Moyo to try making all the faults appear to
lie elsewhere, as far from their Zanu PF origins as possible.
This entry was posted by Sokwanele on Tuesday, October 20th, 2009 at 11:08
Tuesday, 20 October 2009 07:56
Harare - We have called this press briefing to discuss the current
crisis in our country. As you are aware, our colleagues in the coalition
Government, MDC-T, have called for a boycott of Cabinet and Council of
Ministers with the incarceration of Roy Bennett as a specific concern, and
the outstanding Global Political Agreement matters as general grievances.
(Pictured: DPM Arthur Mutambara)
Let me start by saying that after the establishment of the Inclusive
Government on the 11th of February 2009, we have made tremendous progress in
the country. We have established political stability in the country by
having the three major political parties represented in Parliament working
together. We have economic stability in the country after dollarizing, and
pursuing an economic recovery plan. Our current efforts are now targeting
economic development and growth. Yes, we are still grappling with industrial
capacity utilization, and disposable incomes but availability of basic goods
and services has dramatically improved. So, on balance we are on our way to
the Promised Land.
We have to understand that this progress has only been possible
because the three major political parties, ZANU-PF, MDC-T and MDC-M having
been working together. These strides will not be possible without any one of
the three. It is a three-way and three-some arrangement. It is important
that we maintain that framework. In the absence of that arrangement, there
will be no progress. In fact there will be a total collapse. I want to
emphasise that the GPA and the resultant Inclusive Government created a lot
of hope in the country. Our people were excited, and expectant. They want to
see an end to their suffering. We must also understand the reason why we got
together in an Inclusive Government, in the first. The motivation was to
salvage the Zimbabwean economy, politics and society and provide a future
for our citizens. We did not do it for ourselves as individuals or parties.
We did it for our people and our country. If working together in the
Inclusive Government could save a single life, then it was worth pursuing as
an initiative. We were driven by the national interest, not partisan or
personal ambitions. We must not forget that genesis. The collective national
aspirations and concerns of our Citizens; what is good for the country, is
what led us to compromise, and adopt a political settlement leading to a new
dispensation of inclusive governance in the country.
It is important that as we attend to our challenges and conflicts that
we keep the history and achievements of this government into perspective.
Despite the progress we have made, which I have just discussed, there
are still issues that are problematic and pulling us backwards. There are
unresolved and unimplemented matters in the GPA. Media reforms have been
slow, in particular, the Zimbabwe Media Commission has not been set up
without any plausible rationale. In fact there has been retrogression in the
State Media, its transformation into proper non-partisan Public Media has
not happened. The ZBC and Herald are being used as instruments of propaganda
by ZANU (PF) against their colleagues in the Inclusive Government. There is
selective application of the law in our courts. There is chaos on our farms.
Fresh farm invasions are taking place in our country. There are invasions
taking place on conservancies, undermining both tourism and agro-industries.
These are problems we are facing.
On the GPA itself, there are unresolved matters, issues that have not
been implemented. Let me emphasize this one because there has been a fiction
pedalled by ZANU (PF) saying "the so called outstanding GPA issues are not
part of the GPA." These matters include the appointment of the Reserve Bank
Governor, the Attorney General, and the Provincial Governors. ZANU (PF)
argues that these issues are not included in the GPA signed on the 15th of
September. This is indeed a fiction and I will illustrate why this is the
case. It must not go unchallenged. The GPA was signed on the 15th of
September 2008, but the Government was not formed the following day or week.
It was only formed four months later on the 11th of February 2009. Why? What
happened between 15th September 2008 and 11th February 2009? It means that
after we signed that agreement on the 15th of September, there were still
some disagreements, and we went back into negotiations. It took us another
four months before we could settle and form a government. Agreement was
achieved through a document that ZANU (PF) is choosing not to talk so much
about, that is, the SADC communiqué of 27th January, 2009. That document was
effectively an addendum, a variation, and thus an addition to the GPA of
15th September, 2008. So, when we talk of GPA in Zimbabwe, we should please
refer to both the GPA of 15th September and the SADC communiqué of 27th
January, 2009. That communiqué was the one that enabled us to form the
Without the SADC Communiqué of 27th January 2009 there would be no
Inclusive Government in Zimbabwe. What are the contents of that document?
That communiqué contains some of the issues that are outstanding in the GPA
implementation, such as the appointments of the Reserve Bank Governor, the
Attorney General, and the Provincial Governors. As Zimbabweans, we should be
clear in our minds that the Inclusive Government was only possible, because
of both the GPA document of 15th September and the SADC Communiqué of 27th
January, 2009. If we neglect one of these documents, then we do not have an
agreement in the country. This is why it is important that those matters
that we say are outstanding are addressed, because they were agreed upon at
the SADC Summit that produced that January 27th communiqué. By not
implementing those issues, we are reneging on our agreements as per that
communiqué. ZANU (PF) and President Robert Mugabe must understand this. SADC
and the AU as the custodians of our GPA must make sure that the SADC
communiqué is implemented without variation or equivocation.
Another subtle point that needs to be flagged is that no one won their
leadership position or role in this Government during the Elections of 2008.
The President, the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Ministers, and the
Ministers owe their positions to the GPA. We are all creatures of the GPA.
We are all creatures of negotiations. Without the GPA, and without the
Inclusive Government, Robert Mugabe is not the President of Zimbabwe.
Without the GPA and without the inclusive government, ZANU (PF) cannot run
this country on its own. I hope and trust that ZANU (PF) and Robert Mugabe
understand this in no uncertain terms. That is why they waited from the 27th
of June 2008 until February 11th 2009, before they could be part of any type
of government. They could not form their own government because they had no
legitimacy to do so from the election of June 27th 2008. In fact from both
the March and June 2008 elections none of the three political parties could
form a legitimate and legal regime on their own. This fact and reality are
conveniently forgotten by ZANU (PF) and their leader. I stand by my position
that the June 27th 2008 elections were a nullity and a farce, and that of
March 29th 2008 were fraudulent. I am not here to please or amuse anyone. I
am doing my part in speaking truth to power. We should all remember that we
are here as a result of inconclusive fraudulent and farcical elections. We
need to fix the electoral playing field so we can have free and fair
elections that will be conclusive and winners will be able to form a
legitimate government. The starting point is to ensure that the outstanding
GPA issues and the political hygiene matters are addressed, in the interest
of the Zimbabwean citizenry. The spirit and letter of the GPA must be
followed. Thereafter we must effectively work on national healing, media
reforms, political and electoral reforms, a new people driven democratic
constitution, and economic recovery. This will create a basis for a free and
What has exacerbated and ignited the differences in our country is
what happened last week with the Roy Bennett situation. What transpired with
Roy Bennett is really a travesty of justice in our country. We could have
avoided this unnecessary and disruptive drama. At law, when someone is
indicted, the Attorney General has the discretion to vary bail conditions,
make them harsher, and still keep the accused out of jail. It was not
necessary to incarcerate Roy Bennett last week on Wednesday. It was nothing
to do with the law. It was about vindictiveness. It was pure and sheer
malice. The whole situation last week was avoidable. This is our gripe with
ZANU (PF). Why are they not being politically sensitive in order to nurture
and protect this GPA? Why risk the collapse of the entire nation over such a
frivolous matter. What we saw last week was the absence of both political
sensitivity and political will. The whole case against Roy Bennett is
politically motivated and not based on law. Moreover, given the new
dispensation we must not pursue such accusations. If there was any merit in
such endeavour, one would like to see accused ZANU (PF) functionaries
indicted as well. We cannot tolerate selective application of the law in
Zimbabwe. There are a lot of ZANU (PF) supporters who committed acts of
political violence, including murders, yet they are not being prosecuted.
Furthermore, Bennett's would be co-accused have already been acquitted on
the same charges that are now being brought against him. If there was no
sufficient evidence to proceed with the prosecution of co-accused such as
Hutchinson, then where is the evidence against Bennett coming from. The only
logical explanation for this case is political vindictiveness and outright
malice. Additionally, why has it taken eight months for the case to be
brought forward. Remember, justice delayed is justice denied. Lastly but not
least, why, in the interest of moving forward, are we not burying the
hatchet. Why are we not forgiving each other in the interest of promoting
national healing, and enabling the new dispensation? If Mandela and the ANC
could forgive DeKlerk and the White South Africans for the things they did
to black people in SA, why can we not pardon Bennett for the things that we
claim he did, since we have already pardoned our own political activists,
anyway. Where is the national interest in the pursuit of the Bennett matter?
Why has Roy Bennett not been appointed Deputy Minister of Agriculture?
The argument that you cannot appoint someone to a Ministerial position
because they have a case in the courts of law is both ludicrous and
disingenuous. The position that Roy Bennett cannot be appointed because he
has a pending case is totally without basis, precedence and rationale in
Zimbabwe. When Chinamasa had charges against him, he was prosecuted and
convicted, but he was never fired from his position. I was appointed Deputy
Prime Minister, but I still had a case in the Supreme Court. In fact I am
still being charged in the courts of this country, up to now. Minister of
Finance Tendai Biti was still being prosecuted for treason when he was
appointed to that Ministerial position. The same situation applies to
Minister Matinenga. Hence Roy is being victimised and unfairly treated by
ZANU (PF) and Robert Mugabe.
In dealing with the threats to the Inclusive Government, let me
emphasize that, we are very aware that there are hardliners in ZANU (PF) who
do not want to see this Inclusive Government succeed. They are keen on
offending all of us so that we can give up and the Inclusive Government will
fail. This would serve their selfish interests at the expense of the county
and nation of Zimbabwe. We should not fall into their traps. In fact this
cynical group is of the view that the success of the Inclusive Government
spells its demise, and hence they are bent on undermining it. Collapse of
the inclusive political arrangement is the ultimate price. We have to be
clever and out-think these misguided hardliners. That is our charge as
leaders because the GPA is the only practical solution for Zimbabwe and its
As we play our national role as a political party in Zimbabwe, we are
neither an appendage of ZANU (PF) nor a surrogate of MDC-T. We are a
separate political entity with its own organisational structure and
institutional decision making processes. However, we completely understand
the position taken by our colleagues from MDC-T. We are completely
empathetic to the views that they expressed last week. We understand why
they are angry and upset because we are also disenchanted. The challenges
that I have described here are not Tsvangirai issues, they are GPA issues.
They are Zimbabwean issues. As a political party, we are disturbed with the
way the GPA issues, in general, and the Roy Bennett case, in particular have
been handled. As a political party we have our own mechanisms of making
decisions and we will deploy these expeditiously. We also hold the balance
of power in Parliament and Government and we intend to use this power and
influence judiciously. We are in the middle of ZANU (PF) and MDC-T. We will
use this position to make sure that we encourage dialogue between these two
major political parties in the country. We will use this position to push
for the national interest and for mitigating differences.
As far as the current situation is concerned we have a standing
National Council decision of our party which said "Go and negotiate, go and
play a role in building an agreement in the country, and in doing so, please
play the balancing act by building bridges and consensus." After the
agreement, the National Council mandated us to go and be part of the
government, but they said, "In that Government, go and be the voice of
reason, mitigate the differences between the two major parties and to push
for the national interest, and do not be part to obstructive grandstanding."
We intend to continue to undertake this role as prescribed by our Party,
until there is an official variation of the same. We have to be mediators,
facilitators, and consensus builders.
For example, after this press briefing, my next task is to organise a
meeting of the three Political Principals, who have not met since the crisis
blew up. I will have a meeting with President Mugabe at 4:15 pm today, to
discuss the national crisis and how we can save Zimbabwe from this current
impasse; which is tantamount to a political and constitutional crisis. We
cannot proceed as if it is business as usual because we are faced with a
crisis. I have already met and spoken with the Prime Minister several times
since last week, including today. After my meeting with the President I will
then liaise with PM, to facilitate dialogue between the two. There is none
of us who can run this country on our own. We need to find each other. The
people of Zimbabwe understand that. I hope that we, as political parties
will also realize that and move away from ill-advised political grand
Our National Council, the supreme organ of our Party has not met since
the crisis. Before it does meet to review the current crisis, we will be
bound by their decision to go and participate fully in the Inclusive
Government. As sheer Ministers we cannot make a unilateral decision to pull
out of the Inclusive Government or disengage from any of its activities,
without the mandate of our National Council. Consequently, we will be
attending the Cabinet meeting tomorrow. We also intend to use this forum to
robustly register our concerns and disquiet about the current problems we
are confronting as a country. We are going to state in no uncertain terms,
our condemnation and disgust with the way the Bennett issue was handled. It
is important to note that Cabinet does not proceed by quorum. Hence, it will
proceed with or without the Ministers of the two MDC formations. There is
the real danger that ZANU (PF) can use our collective absence to push for
unsound, retrogressive and unwise decisions which will be binding on all of
us. Hence we are going to Cabinet in order to stop ZANU (PF) from making
outrageous decisions. Cabinet positions are adopted and made by consensus;
hence our four Ministers will be able to block any misguided shenanigans. We
will go there and stop ZANU (PF) from using Cabinet to implement its
unilateral ambitions. We will go to Cabinet to tell Mugabe in his face about
his transgressions, and stop in him in his tracks.
More importantly, as we go forward, our role will be to ensure that
the three parties sit down together to move this country forward. We will be
engaging both ZANU (PF) and MDC-T and their Principals. This is why I am
going to do a bilateral with President Mugabe after this press conference.
Thereafter, I am going to facilitate a bilateral between Mugabe and
Tsvangirai. After that, the three of us will then meet Tuesday afternoon, or
latest on Wednesday. The second stage is SADC. SADC should be seized with
this issue, and we will agitate for their active involvement.
This Inclusive Government is the best arrangement that this country
can have for the moment. It is the best way we can move forward to creating
conditions for free and fair elections. If we were to pull out now without a
new constitution, without political reforms, without media reforms, then we
cannot have free and fair elections and we will be back to square one. The
main issue we face is not when are we going to have the next elections, but
rather what is the calibre and quality of the next elections we are going to
have? We need to use the inclusive government to create conditions of free
and fair elections.
In my concluding remarks, let me speak directly to my two fellow
Principals. To Mugabe, I say directly, "You are President of Zimbabwe
because of the GPA and because of the Inclusive Government. If this
Inclusive Government collapses, you will not be President of Zimbabwe and
you will become an illegitimate and rebel leader with no one in SADC, Africa
and the International Community accepting or recognising you. In fact your
Party ZANU (PF) will not be able to run this country alone. So, shape up or
ship out." To Tsvangirai, I say "You have limited options. Let us find a way
to all work together, as a short-term measure. Let us find a way to
collectively resolve the genuine issues you have raised. A fresh election
after a pullout will be clearly unfree and unfair, and we all know what that
Fellow citizens, let us all work together to move our country forward.
We cannot continue with this business of one step forward and two steps
backwards. I am appealing to the Zimbabwean in Mugabe. I am appealing to the
Zimbabwean in Tsvangirai, I am appealing to the Zimbabwean in Mutambara, and
I am appealing to the Zimbabwean in all of us so that we can find and stick
to that which is in the best interest of Zimbabwe. We should pursue that in
the short run and in the penultimate so that we can salvage our country.
These are times for us to think about the national interest. These are times
for us to think about how we can work together. Let us amplify our
agreements and attenuate our differences. We are going to sink or swim
together. The choice is ours.
Thank you very much for this opportunity to discuss and fellowship
with you at this critical juncture in the history of our country.
20 October 2009
South Africa will host Zimbabwe for two One-Day Internationals shortly
before they take on England in November.
Zimbabwe, who have just beaten Kenya 4-1 in a five-match series and are
shortly due to depart for Bangladesh for another five-match ODI series, will
play in Benoni on 8th November and at Centurion Park on 10th November.
The two sides last met in an ODI in August 2007, Zimbabwe last playing an
ODI in South Africa in September 2006, when they were hammered for 418 runs
in Potchefstroom on their way to a heavy defeat to a South African side that
rested a number of regulars.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) CEO Gerald Majola said: "Zimbabwe have a much
stronger side than the last one to visit us. This was born out by their
recent 4-1 victory over Kenya and the Proteas can expect some tough
"Part of our commitment to the International Cricket Council (ICC) is to
promote and advance cricket throughout the African continent."
England arrive for a tour that includes five ODIs and four Tests but begins
with two Twenty20 Internationals on 13th and 15th November.