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

Gaddafi praised as "an African hero" by Mugabe's party

Gaddafi is praised by Mugabe's party, but other Zimbabweans celebrate his

Andrew MeldrumOctober 20, 2011 14:04

Not everyone is celebrating the death of Muammar Gaddafi.

Gaddafi remains a hero in the eyes of President Robert Mugabe’s ruling
Zanu-PF party.

“This is a sad day for the people of Africa. This is the beginning of a new
recolonization of Africa,” said retired Major Cairo Mhandu, a Zanu-PF member
of parliament.

“Through the forces of NATO and the West, we have lost one of our brothers,”
said Mandhu to GlobalPost. “Muammar Gaddafi won elections and was a true
leader. It is foreigners who toppled him, not Libyans. Gaddafi died
fighting. He is a true African hero.”

Mandhu said that there are no lessons for other African leaders from the
fall of Gaddafi.

“North Africa is different from southern Africa,” said Mhandu. “In southern
Africa, we won power through a liberation struggle. In North Africa
governments came to power through coup d’etats. In southern Africa we have
constitutions and we follow elections. The lesson is we follow our
constitution and hold free and fair elections.

Other Zimbabweans, however, disagree with Mhandu.

“Gaddafi was a tyrant and a big ally of Mugabe. Gaddafi’s death means one
less comrade less for Mugabe,” said Iden Wetherell, an editor of the
Zimbabwe Independent.

“Mugabe will be more isolated. Gaddafi helped prop up Mugabe, through oil
and finances,” said Wetherell.

“Mugabe must be worried about the images from Sirte. He will feel a twinge
of nervousness to see Gaddafi’s body and Libyans celebrating,” said
Wetherell. “But I am sure Mugabe will stick out his jaw and declare ‘To hell
with them’ when he sees the festive mob. But he must feel more isolated.”

The differences of opinion over Gaddafi strike at the core of Zimbabwe’s own
clash over the rule of Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party.

“Everyone I have met, from shopkeepers to political analysts, say Gaddafi's
death is a lesson well learned,” said another Zimbabwean journalist.

“Zimbabweans feel particularly close to the events in Libya not only because
Gaddafi was a close Mugabe friend, at one time, but also because they live
in a dictatorship hence the excitement here at seeing a dictator fall,” he

Many other Zimbabweans are celebrating Gaddafi’s downfall.

"It encourages, motivates us that it is possible to oust a strongman who has
all the cash and weapons at his disposal. But I also feel an element of
jealousy. The Libyans are done with their dictator yet we still have ours,"
said Harare taxi driver identifying himself as Amos Gapara.

Many Zimbabweans called in to the radio show “Studio 7,” which is broadcast
by Voice of America into Zimbabwe, to express their happiness at Gaddafi’s
"I am glad this murderer is dead. Dictators have NO place in the world
scene,” said one caller. “I don't care if he provided a bit more stability
or money to the people than other dictators. He is still a murdering
dictator. Now the Libyan people can have an even better future without the
fear of a secret police destroying his life for saying something wrong to a

Zimbabwean journalist Sandra Nyaira, who works for “Studio 7,” said her own
opinion is that Gaddafi was responsible for his bloody end.
“Gaddafi was the sole architect of his own downfall and his death and
dethronement should serve as a notice to all African dictators that one day
there will be a day of reckoning,” said Nyaira.

“Gaddafi had time to leave if he wanted, right in the beginning, but he
thought the revolution was going to be defeated. But where is he now? Who
would have thought that Africa's strongman Gaddafi would go out this way?
I'm sure not even he himself ever imagined that his lifeless body would one
day be dragged and spat at with people celebrating over it,” said Nyaira.
“If only Africa’s leadership would learn from the North African experience
on the need to uphold democracy and the rule of law, holding free and fair
elections and agreeing to pass on the baton stick.”

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

More CIO offices and torture centres exposed: Part 2

By Lance Guma
20 October 2011

CIO list of offices 2008

SW Radio Africa continues exposing more offices and torture centres used by the notorious Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) countrywide.

Last week we published a 2008 list on our website containing addresses of over 76 offices and buildings, including some 759 telephone and extension numbers.

The justification for the exposure is that some of the buildings have been used to interrogate and torture abducted opposition activists. Hundreds of perceived ZANU PF opponents have been and continue to be abducted by CIO agents and taken to these offices to be tortured. Some have been killed.

This week we look at an addresses in Highlands and Avondale, Harare where SW Radio Africa listeners report hearing what they suspected to be torture sessions. We have been alerted to a house in Natal Road, in Avondale where there is a large square white double story house at the corner with Second Street extension.

In 2008 neighbours reported hearing ‘blood curdling screams’ coming from the house during one evening. On another night they reported smelling burning flesh. Another house said to be used by the CIO is along Enterprise Road, next door to the Highlands Presbyterian Church. Again the building is a large white double story house with heavily burglar barred windows.

In Masvingo the CIO has an office at 10153 Lundi Star Drive in the city’s Rhodene suburb. Deployed there is a notorious middle ranking CIO officer known as Nick Maunze. Last year he threatened journalist Godfrey Mutimba with unspecified action over a story he wrote for a local paper. Maunze even bragged that he once forced former MDC MP Job Sikhala to drink urine during a torture session in 2003.

Referring to Sikhala, Maunze said: “I am the one who forced Sikhala to drink urine when he was arrested and it is not hard for me at all to deal with an even smaller fish and useless reporters like you. What will you do to me?” Maunze, who is reported to run a supermarket at Yeukai Business Centre, was also implicated in the murder of an MDC-T activist in Chivi.

Not all abductions result in CIO operatives taking their victims to their offices for interrogation and torture. The agency also has a habit of taking victims to abandoned farms, killing them and dumping their bodies there. In March 2007 freelance cameramen Edward Chikomba, a former employee of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, was found dead in Darwendale outside Harare.

Chikomba was kidnapped from his Glen View home at gunpoint by 4 suspected CIO agents who forced him into a 4×4 vehicle and drove off. According to his wife who witnessed the abduction, Chikomba said he knew he was in danger when he saw the four men arrive at their house and said: ‘I am dead’. It’s alleged that Chikomba’s ‘crime’ was that he provided film footage of a badly beaten Tsvangirai to foreign news media.

In another example Abigail Chiroto, the wife of Emmanuel Chiroto the MDC-T deputy Mayor of Harare, was also abducted from her home in June 2008. A mob of ZANU PF militants, including CIO agents based at the Hatcliffe office, descended on the Chiroto home. On seeing Chiroto was not there they destroyed the house using a petrol bomb then they abducted Abigail and 4 year-old son Ashley.

Fortunately for Ashley the mob decided to dump him outside a police station but his mother was not as lucky as they took her to a nearby farm. Two days later on the 18th June Abigail was found brutally murdered. She was discovered with a gunshot wound to the head and a deep cut on her stomach. A post-mortem report showed she had been savagely assaulted and her limbs broken.

The use of farms as a dumping ground for murdered activists is a trend all too familiar with the CIO.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

MDC-T youths march in solidarity with detained activists

By Tichaona Sibanda
20 October 2011

Hundreds of MDC-T youth activists on Thursday marched through the streets of
Harare to express their dismay at the continued ‘unlawful detention’ of
their leader, Solomon Madzore and others.

The activists marched from the Rotten Row magistrates’ courts to Harvest
house, their party headquarters in central Harare. But a High court Judge on
Thursday denied Madzore’s urgent bail application to be released from
custody. He is being detained at Chikurubi maximum security prison.

The youth leader and 28 other activists are facing charges of murdering a
police inspector back in May. All deny the charge. Clifford Hlatswayo, the
youth assembly spokesman, told SW Radio Africa the arrest and detention of
their colleagues is illegal.

‘This is why we took to the streets today (Thursday) in solidarity with our
colleagues who were unlawfully arrested and detained. These people are not
guilty of anything, what we are seeing is a political party desperate to
cling on to power.

‘ZANU PF is desperate. This is why they are using the uniformed forces to
fight in their corner. We will not keep quiet about this, it’s only the
start to a campaign to remind Zimbabweans of these illegal detentions and
harassment,’ Hlatswayo said.

The march was closely monitored by a heavily armed police response team,
which kept a distance from the protesters. Hlatswayo told us the reason the
march remained peaceful was the manner in which their members conducted

‘We were very peaceful and we noticed at times that the police tried to
provoke us but we kept calm. Our peaceful procession deterred the police to
interfere and disrupt the march,’ he said.

Meanwhile the MDC-T reported that Rebecca Musarurwa, one of the eight MDC
members still in remand prison, collapsed in court on Thursday and was
rushed to hospital.
Her condition is unknown but the party said when she was arrested in May,
she was seriously assaulted by the police while in custody at Harare Central
Police Station. Musarurwa has been in remand prison for over five months

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Lawyers Name And Shame Police Torturers

Harare, October 20, 2011 - Human rights lawyers have named and shamed eight
police officers for masterminding the torture of Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) youth leader, Shakespeare Mukoyi.

Gift Mtisi, a member of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights identified the
police officers from Glen Norah police station as Inspector Kwiyo, Assistant
Inspector Dube, Constable Cherengo, Constable Muponya, Constable Willie,
Constable Marimira, Constable Ncube and Constable Muhonde.

Mukoyi, the youth chairperson for the MDC Harare province was assaulted and
tortured by the police in April after his arrest and detention at Glen Norah
police station.

The MDC youth leader was arrested on 9 April 2011 during a church service
organised to pray for peace that was suppressed when police stormed the
church hall during prayer and swooped on congregants and a clergyman. Mukoyi
was charged with contravening Section 89 of the Criminal Law (Codification
and Reform) Act for allegedly assaulting Emmanuel Jeketera, a police officer
with clenched fists and booted feet all over his body at Chitubu Shopping
Centre in Glen Norah suburb.

As a result of the assault and torture Mukoyi sustained injuries all over
his body and suffered a broken neck that had to be supported by a cervical

Mukoyi is demanding $200 000 from the Ministry of Home Affairs as well as
police commissioner-general Augustine Chihuri and eight of his officers for
unlawful arrest and torture. The litigation follows Mukoyi’s recent
acquittal on the charges.

“Our client was unlawfully assaulted and tortured by Inspector Kwiyo and
other officers whose force numbers are not known by our client on 9 April
2011 being police officers stationed at Glen Norah.

During the suppression of the prayer meeting, the police indiscriminately
fired tear gas canisters at residences and churches surrounding the venue of
the church service while children who were within and outside the parameters
of the church were affected by the tear smoke.

The church service was organised by a coalition of churches under the theme
“Saving Zimbabwe… the unfinished journey”.

The church service was aimed at presenting an opportunity to pray for peace
in Zimbabwe as part of the process of finishing the journey to save the

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Court hearing for MDC youths, chairman today

By Staff Writer
Thursday, 20 October 2011 08:59

HARARE - The case of the Glen View residents who are accused of killing a
police officer in the suburb in March was yesterday postponed to today.

MDC youth chairman, Solomon Madzore and 27 other Glen View residents are
accused of murdering police officer, Petros Mutedza.

Lawyers representing the residents, most of whom are mainstream MDC party
members, are today expected to file an application for refusal of further

Crowds of activists sang and danced outside the courts as the 28 were
appearing before Magistrate Don Ndirowei.

Hordes of riot police officers could be seen milling outside the court
keeping a vigil on MDC supporters who last week staged an impromptu
demonstration following the arrest of Madzore.

The State alleges Mutedza, had gone to Glen View 3 as part of a team that
was assigned to go and disperse a group of alleged MDC supporters who were
braaing and drinking alcohol at a shopping centre in the suburb.

The residents allegedly started shouting at the police officers and began
throwing stones, empty bottles, steel stool frames and other missiles at the

The police were allegedly out-numbered by the group and Mutedza rushed to a
Nissan Hardbody which he mistakenly identified as a police vehicle.

He was hit by a brick on the left side of his head and fell down, the state
said. The group allegedly kicked him and he became unconscious.

Mutedza was rushed to Harare Central Hospital where he died on arrival.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Jailed MDC activist collapses in court

Rebecca Musarurwa, one of the eight MDC members in remand prison today
collapsed in court at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts and had to be rushed to
hospital. The reasons of her collapsing and her current condition are still
by The Zimbabwean Harare

When she was arrested by the police in May, she was seriously assaulted by
the police while in custody at Harare Central Police Station.

Musarurwa who has been in remand prison for over five months, is part of 28
MDC activists who are facing trumped-up charges of murdering a policeman in
Glen View, Harare in May.

The 28 activists were in court for the second day since yesterday for a
ruling after applying for refusal of further remand.

Due to Musarurwa’s health, Magistrate Donald Ndirowei was forced to postpone
the ruling to tomorrow, Friday.

Among those in remand prison is Solomon Madzore, the MDC Youth Assembly
chairperson who was denied bail at a separate ruling at the High Court today
after Justice Hlekani Mwayera ruled that he was a flight risk.

Others in remand prison are; Councillor Tungamirai Madzokere of Ward 32 Glen
View, Rebecca Mafikeni, brothers Lazarus and Stanford Maengahama, Phineas
Nhatarikwa and Stanford Mangwiro.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Undercover cop testifies in Gwisai case

By Tendai Kamhungira, Court Writer
Thursday, 20 October 2011 08:54

HARARE - The trial of Munyaradzi Gwisai and five other social activists
accused of planning Egypt-style protests resumed yesterday, with state
witness Jonathan Shoko, an undercover police officer who claims to have been
part of the planning meeting, giving evidence.

The matter is expected to continue next Monday, with Shoko taking the stand
again to continue giving his evidence.
Shoko told the court yesterday that he attended the meeting that led to the
arrest of Gwisai and five other social activists.

He told the court of how Gwisai and his colleagues allegedly plotted to
spark a revolution.

This is the basis upon which the state has built its case against the six.

“He (Gwisai) said on March 1 scores of people should gather at Africa Unity
Square without police detection and ignite a revolution,” said Shoko.

Shoko is the second state witness. Rinos Chari the first witness, testified
on September 14 when the trial kicked off after the commencement of the
trial had faltered on several occasions.

Chari told the court that he was severely assaulted by police as an
accomplice before he was turned into a key state witness.

Gwisai, 43 is jointly charged with Antonater Choto, 36, Tatenda Mombeyarara,
29, Edson Chakuma, 38, Hopewell Gumbo, 32 and Welcome Zimuto, 25.

Prosecutor Edmore Nyazamba had initially preferred treason charges against
the six but they are now facing charges of conspiracy to commit violence or
alternatively inciting public violence or participating in a gathering with
intent to promote public violence, breaches of peace and bigotry.

Nyazamba told the court that the six convened a meeting at Zimbabwe Labour
Centre in Harare, where they agreed to act in concert to forcibly and
seriously disturb peace, security or order of the public in Zimbabwe on
February 19 this year.

The state further alleges that they agreed to mobilise the people of
Zimbabwe to revolt against the government and demand the resignation of the
president of Zimbabwe after watching video footage of revolutions in Egypt
and Tunisia.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Mujuru death saga deepens

By Nkululeko Sibanda, Senior Writer
Thursday, 20 October 2011 08:44

HARARE - Investigations into the death of retired army commander Solomon
“Rex Nhongo” Mujuru have taken a new twist with police seeking a court
inquest to help determine circumstances that led to Mujuru’s demise.

Mujuru died at his Beatrice farmhouse two months ago and it is not clear
whether he died before the fire or was killed by the inferno.

The family, friends and the public suspect foul play.

Police commissioner-general Augustine Chihuri told the state-run Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) on Tuesday that they had now handed over the
probe to the courts for an inquest.

An inquest is a judicial investigation in common law jurisdictions,
conducted by a judge, or government-appointed official.

Legal experts said yesterday the matter could have been taken to the courts
as part of efforts by the police to avoid being blamed for whatever is the
outcome of their probe.

“The police might refer the matter to the magistrate or the courts so that
the enquiry into the death of an individual is probed at that level without
them being at the centre of implicating any particular person as behind that
death or incident.

“In that case, a magistrate or judge can then order, after listening to the
evidence provided that there was foul play in the particular case or there
is need for further thorough investigations into the matter. Due to the fact
that the Mujuru death is highly political, if for instance the police found
no evidence that he was murdered as what many people would want to believe,
they just decide to run it through the courts so that they are not blamed
for covering up,” explained one senior lawyer.

He said the court can direct the matter to the attorney general if they feel
that there is a case to answer or direct the police to investigate further.

“If the courts feel there is no foul play, they just dismiss it,” said the
legal expert.

One such inquest was launched after Joanna Mafuyana, wife to the late
veteran nationalist, vice president, and father Zimbabwe, Joshua Nkomo died
in July 2003.

It was suspected there had been foul play in her death and an inquest was

Police spokesperson assistant commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena recently said
the police investigations into the Mujuru matter had been completed.

Acting senior police spokesperson Oliver Mandipaka also confirmed to the
Daily News yesterday the matter was now in the hands of the courts.

“What the police commissioner-general (Chihuri) said when responding to ZBC
questions is adequate.

“There is and there shall be nothing to the contrary. The
commissioner-general was very clear and whatever he said is the position.
The matter is now with the courts,” said Mandipaka.

Family members and sources close to the family said recently they were
convinced the police investigations would draw blanks given the lack of
capacity in the country’s police force.

It is feared the investigations into Mujuru’s report were hampered by lack
of requisite infrastructure and equipment that could facilitate the
production of proper results into what could have happened to the late
retired general.

The late army commander died in what is suspected to have been an inferno
that gutted the family farmhouse in Beatrice.

However, police details are said to have arrived at the scene of the
incident late when some of the people who were first to arrive at the scene
of the incident had apparently tampered with the scene of the incident.

This effectively means that some of the vital information that could have
helped the police to get to a conclusion on the matter had already been
removed when the police arrived.

The scene was also not cordoned off to stop people from tampering with the
scene and evidence.

According to informed sources, the police investigations’ outcome was at
serious variance with the one produced by an independent investigator who
was hired by the Mujuru family to get to the bottom of the matter.

Vice President Mujuru has since the death of her husband been clamouring for
“the true facts” of what happened.

She once told a delegation of the Mighty Warriors that went to comfort her
at her Chisipite home that what had been given as an account of the
circumstances of her husband’s death was not convincing.

“We have not been told what happened between 8pm when he arrived at home
until the next morning when the fire was discovered. We are just
told that he was killed by a fire and that is it. There is nothing else that
is said,” said the Vice President.

Moreover, Mujuru said it was not clear how Mujuru could fail to escape the
fire through the windows when they were not even secured by burglar bars.

“Our two grandsons used to come into our bedroom when we were sleeping using
those windows. They could simply come through into the room. Now one wonders
why a man with military training… a military man could fail to escape
through those windows,” she said.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Police push for inquest into Mujuru’s death

By Tichaona Sibanda
20 October 2011

Police in Harare have requested an inquest into the death of retired army
general Solomon Mujuru, in a clear indication they’ve been unable to
establish the facts relating to his suspicious death in a farm house fire
two months ago.

The 67 year Mujuru, regarded by many as a political power broker in ZANU PF,
died at one of his commercial farms in Beatrice, 35 km south of Harare,
after his house caught fire at night and the roof collapsed on him. His body
was found burnt beyond recognition.

Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri this week told the state media
they had handed over the probe to the courts for an inquest. An inquest is a
legal inquiry into a death and it is held in public, in cases where the
death was violent, sudden or unnatural.

General Mujuru’s widow Vice President Joice Mujuru, plus close family
friends, have been demanding answers over his death. A legal expert told SW
Radio Africa that an inquest would allow relatives and other people to ask
questions and to be represented by lawyers, if they wish.

He said the inquest would also try to establish whether Mujuru died before
the inferno at his house or if he was killed by the fire.

‘People must be aware however that an inquest does not set out to apportion
blame as a trial does. If during the inquest it becomes apparent that his
death could be due to murder, the presiding court officer will send his
findings to the attorney-general’s office to see if they can press charges
against anyone responsible for his death,’ the lawyer said.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Commercial radio shortlisting slammed for favouring ZANU PF

By Alex Bell
20 October 2011

The process of shortlisting four possible candidates to receive commercial
radio licences is being slammed as favouring ZANU PF linked groups, amid
speculation that the final decision has already been made.

The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) this week started chairing the
public hearings of the four shortlisted candidates, who include KISS FM, the
Zimpapers Talk Radio project, AB Communications and Radio VOP (Voice of the
People). At least 11 other applicants were not accepted, but BAZ has not
explained why.

The Chairman of the media watchdog group MISA-Zimbabwe, Njabulo Ncube, told
SW Radio Africa on Thursday that the shortlisting process has been
completely non transparent, and so far there has been no explanation for the
reason why the four were shortlisted and the others were not. He said that
these are the very serious questions that need answering.

“We need to know what criteria the other groups did not meet. We need to
know how the BAZ came to this decision. All this needs to be put on the
table,” Ncube said.

He added: “We expected more diversity than what we have. If BAZ was genuine
about the merits of this exercise and of having free, non partisan
information, then they would have licensed community radio stations first.”

He also slammed the inclusion of Zimpapers in the list of shortlisted
applicants, arguing that: “Zimpapers already has a dominance in the print
media. This is a sign that the ZANU PF side of government wants to
perpetuate its monopoly in the broadcasting sector too.”

The MISA-Zimbabwe Chairman also accused the other shortlisted candidates of
having questionable links to ZANU PF. KISS FM is partnering with ZBC to
provide news broadcasts, while AB Communications is led by Supa
Mandiwanzira, who until recently was the President of the ZANU PF
Affirmative Action Group (AAG). That leaves Radio VOP, which Ncube said has
been shortlisted only as an attempt to give the process credibility.

“The general consensus is that the two successful applicants might already
have been handpicked to suit the purpose of a particular party. This is just
a choreographed process,” Ncube said.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

We Will Not Be Biased, Says ZimPapers Talk Radio

By Nkosana Dlamini, Harare, October 20, 2011 – The ZimPapers Talk Radio
(ZTR), one of the four prospective radio licence holders, says if granted a
licence, it will break away from the patent bias towards President Robert
Mugabe's Zanu (PF), something that has now been associated with its papers.

The ZTR is one of the four prospective broadcasters short listed for ongoing
public hearings by the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ).

Zimpapers board of directors member Tapuwa Mandimutsira told the Tafataona
Mahoso chaired BAZ on Thursday they will be an autonomous entity that will
“bring a distinct product to the market”.

“The board of directors acknowledges the responsibility of journalists,
artists and photographers to report, comment on affairs of city, state,
nation and the world fairly and accurately regardless of any commercial,
personal or political interests including those of any share holder,
director, manager, editor or staff member,” said Mandimutsira.

But in a later interview with Radio Vop, Media Institute of Southern Africa
(MISA)-Zimbabwe Chapter director Nhlanhla Ngwenya, who witnessed the
two-hour-long hearing at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC),
dismissed the statements.

“This is the rhetoric that we have been hearing from some quarters in
government particularly those that support Zanu (PF)...they try to suffocate
the reality on the ground on the pretext that there is a positive story on
Zimbabwe,” said Ngwenya.

“The propaganda empire is going to be expanded should they get a licence.”

Zimpapers owns eight papers among them the The Herald, weekly Sunday Mail,
Sunday News, Chronicle, Manica Post, tabloid H-Metro, vernacular newspapers
Kwayedza and Umthunya which are all perceived to be biased towards Zanu

Meanwhile, in his main presentation, Mandimutsira said the radio station
would be funded from the ZimPapers coffers and has put its budget at US$612

He said the station would start broadcasting in a period of 12-15 months if
granted a licence.

According to Mandimutsira, the radio station would air news, current
affairs, music among other programmes, on a 24 hour basis and would be
manned by a staff of 37 led by a general manager.

He said the station will broadcast primarily in English, Shona and Ndebele
and would reserve slots for minority languages such as Tonga and Karanga.

Zimpapers board chair Dr Paul Chimedza said the prospective radio station
will join by the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Cooperation’s television and radio
stations in relaying its signals through the Transmedia, a private company
in which government has shares.

Chimedza, who is ZimPapers board chair, is also board chairman of

Asked how he would double being chairman of both entities, Dr Chimedza was
at pains to convince the BAZ board saying he would instead recuse himself in
cases of conflict of interest.

“Where we feel there would be conflict of interest or perceived conflict of
interest the chairman will recuse himself,” he said.

Further probed on how he would make up for areas where the Transmedia
transmitters cannot service, Chimedza said they will buy transmitters to man
towers that have no transmitters in these areas.

According to MISA-Zimbabwe, the Transmedia transmitters cover not more than
60 percent of the country, leaving the rest of the population exposed to
stations from neighbouring countries.

The other three applicants are Kiss FM, Radio VOP and Supa Mandiwanzira's AB
Communications. Radio VOP and AB Communications will have their public
hearings before the end of the month.

Two successful applicants would be issued with licenses to operate radio
stations for a period of 10 years each.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Electoral Amendment hearings suspended due to ZPF violence

By Tererai Karimakwenda
20 October, 2011

Intimidation and vocal disruptions by ZANU PF elements during public
hearings on the Electoral Amendment Bill have forced the parliamentary
committee to call for written submissions only, in order to protect

It is not clear whether hearings will proceed in some areas, but a decision
to cancel public hearings in at least three districts was reached after ZANU
PF thugs caused chaos that made it impossible for people to make
contributions freely.

The latest incident was reported in Masvingo, where on Wednesday a group
made up mostly of ZANU PF women repeatedly broke into song whenever
suspected MDC supporters were expressing their views on the electoral
process in Zimbabwe.

On Monday in Marondera, hearings taking place at Nehanda Hall were cancelled
after ZANU PF supporters prevented anyone suspected to be MDC from
contributing to the debate, again by chanting slogans and singing songs.
People were also verbally threatened.

Makoni South MP Pishai Muchauraya, who is also a portfolio committee member
conducting the hearings, told SW Radio Africa they moved the Marondera
hearings miles away to Headlands Community Hall. This excluded many
residents who wanted to contribute their views.

The Marondera hearings marked the beginning of nationwide public
consultations on the Electoral Amendment Bill, which was scheduled to end in
Harare on the 24th October.

Seiso Moyo, the MDC-T secretary for elections, told SW Radio Africa that he
believes the parliamentary committee will try to proceed with public
hearings in the remaining areas. But all areas affected by disruptions would
revert to written submissions only.

“This is rather unfortunate because these hearings are part of the
parliamentary process of involving ordinary people in making laws for their
country,” Moyo explained, adding: “The committee is composed of members from
all three parties in the unity government and it would be very unfortunate
if ZANU PF is behind the disruptions.”

Pressed on the issue of ZANU PF violence Moyo said he had not yet received a
final report from the portfolio committee on constitutional affairs, but he
was aware the perpetrators had been singing ZANU PF songs and chanting party
slogans. Others claimed to be war vets.

Professor Ken Mufuka from the Global Zimbabwe Forum said postal submissions
would cut off the majority of the population. Many would not be able to
afford paper and postage and some would need assistance to write their ideas
out clearly.

“The writing process is not as easy as it appears and many people would need
help. This cuts a large majority of the people and only party operatives
would submit their ideas,” Mufuka told SW Radio Africa on Thursday.

The same strategy of intimidation and disruptions marred the constitutional
amendment hearings that were held around the country, severely delaying the

Mufuka pointed to this ongoing intimidation as proof that the environment in
the country is still far from being conducive to holding peaceful elections.
“It is clear that ZANU PF is resisting electoral changes that would level
the playing field and regional leaders must adopt a tougher stance against
Mugabe and his party,” the Professor explained.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zec in dark over by-elections

By Staff Writer
Thursday, 20 October 2011 09:01

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) says it is yet to be
furnished with a High Court order issued last week by a Bulawayo judge
ordering President Robert Mugabe to hold by-elections in three Matabeleland
constituencies in two weeks.

The three constituencies fell vacant after the MDC party, led by Professor
Welshman Ncube, fired its legislators for allegedly bringing the name of the
party into disrepute.

Abednico Bhebhe, Njabuliso Mguni, and Norman Mpofu, all former Members of
Parliament for Nkayi South, Lupane East, and Bulilima East constituencies,
respectively left the party after falling out with the party leadership.

The High Court, last week, ordered that by-elections be held in the three
constituencies to fill in the vacant seats left by the trio, in 14 days.

Bulawayo High Court judge, Justice Nicholas Mathonsi handed down the
landmark judgment.

“I hereby order President Robert Mugabe and Zimbabwe Electoral Commissions
(Zec) to announce elections dates in Lupane East, Nkayi South and Bulilima
East in a period within 14 days,” read Justice Mathonsi’s judgment.

But Joyce Kazembe, the deputy chairperson of Zec said the judgment was still
yet to reach the commission and they can’t organise for any election until
the judgment is formally lodged with the commission.

“We have not yet seen that judgment,” she said.

“We shall comment on that issue as and when we are in possession of the

Asked whether the commission was in a position to hold the elections as
ordered by the judgment and Mugabe proceeds to call for elections, Kazembe
said they would make due consideration after they receive the judgment by

“As things stand right now, we are not in a position to comment on whether
we are ready or not.

“All I can say is that once we have the judgment, like I said, it would be
easy to then discuss these matters. For now, it’s not as easy as people
might think,” Kazembe added.

Currently there are 19 seats to be filled in Parliament according to papers
filed by Abednico Bhebhe, Njabuliso Mguni and Norman Mpofu at the Bulawayo
High Court when they argued their case.

The three argued that the government was in violation of the constitution
which requires the president to call for by election whenever a
Parliamentary seat falls vacant.

The Attorney General which acts as government advisor on such matters has
not yet filed an appeal or raised an intention to do so.

Parties in the inclusive government have been reluctant to commit themselves
to by elections citing among other things a debilitating financial burden
and fears that another round of elections might destabilise the country due
to the volatile political environment that still exists in the country.

No by-elections have been held since the unity government was formed in 2009
though seats have been vacated by deaths and political parties’ infighting.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe to Reopen Marange Tender By Year-End, Chimanikire Says

October 20, 2011, 10:39 AM EDT

By Godfrey Marawanyika

Oct. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Zimbabwe will reopen a contract for an aerial
assessment of the geology of the Marange diamond fields by the end of the
year, Deputy Mines Minister Gift Chimanikire said.

The tender was suspended last year because of “administrative problems,”
Chimanikire said today in an interview in the capital, Harare.

The Marange diamond fields are in the east of Zimbabwe, about 90 kilometers
(56 miles) south-west Mutare. Human Rights Watch has accused Zimbabwean
authorities of killing local villagers and illegal miners at the site. In
2008, more than 200 people were killed when security forces seized the
Marange fields, according to the New York-based group. Zimbabwe’s government
has rejected the accusations.

Anjin Investments Ltd., a Chinese company, is the top producer of diamonds
in Zimbabwe, Chimanikire said.

Anjin, a unit of China’s state-owned Anhui Foreign Economic Construction
Group Ltd., produces about 234,750 carats of diamonds a month from the
Marange field, Chimanikire said. Mbada Mining Ltd. produces about 164,490
carats a month, followed by Marange Mineral Resources Ltd. with about
104,710 carats, he said. A carat is a fifth of a gram.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Biti on state of roads

The government is in a quandary over how to effectively deal with its
deplorable road network amid revelations that about $2.5 billion is needed
to rehabilitate it.
by Paul Ndlovu

Speaking in Bulawayo during a budget consultative meeting, Finance Minister
Tendai Biti said the country’s road network was terrible and needed urgent
attention. The minister said Zimbabwe ‘has become the pothole capital of the

“Our road network covers 90 000 km, but only 17 percent of it is paved,”
Biti said.

He added that it was regrettable that countries like Malawi now had better
roads than Zimbabwe.

“Malawi has a road network of about 15 000 km and about 40 percent of it has
been paved,” he said, adding that it was more worrying was that of the
country’s 17 percent paved roads, most of them were in a disastrous state.

“We need about $2,5 billion to deal with our major road networks,” said

The government lacks the capacity to re-develop the road network and Biti
called on private partners to invest. The upcoming plans to expand the
country’s busiest roads from the Plumtree and Beitbridge border posts will
begin soon, according to the minister.

“Thankfully the government has found a private partner for the expansion of
the Plumtree-Mutare road and we hope work will begin soon,” he said.

This month the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA) singed a $206 million
loan agreement with Zimbabwe for road infrastructural development.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Council workers back on strike

Thursday, 20 October 2011 00:00

Felex Share Herald Reporter

HARARE City Council workers yesterday went back on strike demanding better
salaries. Council workers' representatives  yesterday accused management of
lacking commitment in negotiations. The unions said the workers will only
resume work when they are given a written undertaking and reasonable payment
plan on the money they are owed.

The workers got an arbitral award of a 16 percent salary increment effective
January this year. However, council reportedly gave each worker a top-up of
Harare Municipal Workers' Union chairperson Mr Cosmas Bungu yesterday said
council wanted to award increments on a sliding scale against a Labour Court
"There is a court order that they want to vary on a sliding scale, which is
impossible. In the past days we have negotiated, they are failing to come up
with a written payment plan," he said. Council spokesman Mr Leslie Gwindi
said council had done everything it could, but there was no consensus.
"We still believe negotiating is the best way forward. They have tabled
their demands and we have given them our side, but they are refusing," he

The strike comes as acute water shortages hit western suburbs and satellite
towns following a big pipe burst at Morton Jaffray Water Treatment Plant.
The water woes are likely to persist due to the strike. This is the second
time the workers have downed tools in as many weeks.
Chitungwiza has been without water since last Saturday.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

2 000 Zimbabweans Deported Monthly

By Garikai Chaunza, Harare, October 20, 2011 - At least 2 000 Zimbabweans
are deported every month from neighbouring countries with Botswana topping
the list with 500 deportees, the International Organisation of Migration
(IOM) has said.

“Two thousand Zimbabweans are deported every month from neighbouring
countries with Botswana recording the highest number of Zimbabweans being
deported. We have assisted 530 people who were deported since 7 October.
This phenomenon is not new as it has been going on since 2006, with the
reasons being the same - that of documentation," IOM Chief of Missions
Vincent Houver told Radio VOP in Harare Thursday.

"The assistance which we offer ranges from counselling to medical treatment.
The other worrying thing which we have realised is that HIV prevalence is
high among the deportees and as such we have clinics in the country’s

It is estimated that over three million Zimbabweans are in the Diaspora and
other African countries for economic and political reasons.

Most of these people who are seeking economic refugee neighbouring countries
went without proper documentation during the country’s economic turmoil over
the past decade.

Of the 1,5 million Zimbabweans estimated to be staying  in South African as
political and economic refugees, only under 300 000 applications were
processed under the Zimbabwe Documentation Project. The rest now face
deportation to Zimbabwe.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zims fear SA census enumerators

Conductors of the ongoing census in South Africa have said foreign
nationals, mainly Zimbabweans, are giving false information regarding their
countries of origin.
by Chris Ncube

Statistics South Africa officials said some of these nationals were not
comfortable among enumerators fearing information they would expose
themselves to deportation.

Officials urged Zimbabweans to cooperate as the exercise was not a
witch-hunt to detect illegal Zimbabweans.

“Government wants to know the number of people who are in South Africa. As
such, the population census aims to count the number of everyone living
within these borders. We have had problems, mainly with Zimbabwean
nationals, who do not cooperate with the enumerators. They fear the
information the give could be used to easily trace and deport them. It is
not true that such information would be used against them,” said an
official, Stanley Molefe, said during a workshop in Johannesburg.

South Africa, which has resumed deportations of undocumented Zimbabweans in
the country following the lifting of a Special Dispensation previously
accorded to Zimbabwean nationals, is conducting its third population census
since 1994.

The 2011 census forms part of the 2011 round of African censuses, which aim
to provide comprehensive data on the continent, for improved planning and to
aid development.

Estimates earlier this year put the country’s population at 50,6 million.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Feared Mnangagwa Did Not Play Significant Role During The War: Mhanda

Harare, October 20, 2011 - Zimbabwe's most feared Zanu (PF) official and
Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa did not play any defining or important
role in the liberation struggle, although he seems to suggest to have played
a bigger role, a senior commander during the war of liberation has said.

Wilfred Mhanda whose war name is Dzinashe Machingura, a former Zimbabwe
African National Liberation Army (ZANLA) said Mnangagwa did not play a
prominent role in the liberation of the country. The former war fighter made
the revelations at a symposium in Harare in a discussion to remember and
honour Mozambique's late President Samora Machel.

Mhanda wrote his book titled "Dzino--Memories of a freedom fighter" which
gives accounts of the liberation struggle. Responding to questions from
journalists why Mnangagwa's name was never mentioned in his book, Mhanda
said: "If his (Mnangagwa's) name is left out that means he did not play a
prominent part during the liberation struggle," Mhanda said.

Mnangagwa was President Robert Mugabe's personal body-guard and secretary
during the liberation war. He was appointed Minister of State security at
independence and blamed for the Matebeleland Gukurahundi massacres which saw
more than 20 000 civilians being killed after disturbances in the early 80s.

Mnangagwa joined the war of liberation in the mid-1960s and was arrested for
bombing a train in Masvingo and sentenced to death but he survived the
hangman's noose and was sentenced to 10 years in jail.

He commands a faction in Zanu (PF) which was rival to the one that was led
by the late army General Solomon Mujuru who was killed in a mysterious fire
at his farm in Beatrice. His family has demanded that police investigate
what led to Zimbabwe's first army General's death.

Meanwhile, Mhanda said commanders during the war made a mistake by
convincing Machel that Mugabe be regarded as their leader. He said Mugabe
had not been properly nominated at a congress to lead Zanu (PF).

"We ourselves as ZIPA (Zimbabwe People's Army) commanders had made an error
by convincing President Samora Machel to accept Robert Mugabe as our leader.
We later regretted it," Mhanda said.

Mhanda said Zimbabweans must not wait for war veterans or Zanu (PF)
officials to solve the country's problems but everybody must be involved in
defining the destiny of the country.

"The struggle to liberate Zimbabwe was not to liberate the war veterans or
the Zanu (PF) leadership, it was to liberate everybody. It is everybody's
responsibility to participate in shaping the course of development of their
country. It is everybody's responsibility in shaping the course of
development of their country; we cannot abdicate that responsibility to Zanu
(PF). Zanu (PF) or Robert Mugabe do not have title deeds over Zimbabwe, we
all Zimbabweans it is our responsibility," Mhanda said.

"Books must be reviewed by people, who give their honest opinions and not
necessarily those who support even those who oppose. That is the basis of
subsequent editions of the book."

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Midlands Governor Compensates Family Of MDC Slain Activist

Harare, October 20, 2011 - The Midlands Governor Jason Machaya has agreed to
pay US 15000 and 20 herd of cattle to the family of the Movement of
Democratic Change (MDC) activist slain by among others his son, Farai in

Moses Chokuda was murdered by the Governor's son and three others, Abel
Maposa and brothers Edmore and Bothwel Gana. Chokuda's body had been lying
in a mortuary for the past four years as the family refused to bury him
demanding justice. Following the compensation the family will now bury their
son at Chipere village in Gokwe on Saturday, according to an MDC-T

The courts found the four men accused of murdering Chokuda guilty and
sentenced them 18 years each in jail.

“The burial of Chokuda also follows compensation of 20 herd of cattle and
US$15 000 by Jason Machaya to the Chokuda family.  The Machaya family
requested Chief Njelele to be their negotiator,” the MDC confirmed in a

After the High Court conviction, the Chokuda family claims that the police
attempted to force them to bury their son but to no avail. The family
insisted that they wanted compensation first before they buried the late MDC
youth member.

Chokuda was 25 at the time of his death.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

New Zealand beat Zimbabwe in first one-dayer

By Andrew Muchineripi (AFP) – 7 hours ago

HARARE — Rob Nicol hit a century on his one-day international debut as New
Zealand romped to a nine-wicket win Thursday in the first match against
Zimbabwe at Harare Sports Club.

Nicol, 28, made 108 not out as New Zealand chased down a modest target of
232, winning with 39 balls to spare.

Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor admitted it was a disappointing outcome
after he made an unbeaten 128 to enable his side to post 231-6 after
suffering a disastrous start in which the home side crashed to 21 for four
off 11 overs after winning the toss.

Taylor and Forster Mutizwa (69) put on 156 for the fifth wicket.

"To rebuild from where we were this morning was quite tough," said the
Zimbabwe captain. "Forster and I did a decent job that way, but 230 was
never good enough. We're a better side than this."

Opening bowler Doug Bracewell, another debutant for the Black Caps, put
Zimbabwe under early pressure, taking the first three wickets to fall.

But Taylor and Mutizwa stopped the rot with a brave stand that took the
total to 177 before the latter was caught by wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum
off the bowling of James Franklin.

Taylor, a 25-year-old right-hander with a highest ODI score of 145 not out
in South Africa last year, continued to sparkle in sunny, slightly cloudy
conditions and slammed three sixes in a penultimate over that yielded 21

Mutizwa hit three fours and one six off 98 balls.

Zimbabwe's bowlers were again unable to exert pressure on an in-form New
Zealand top-order.

Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill put on century opening-stands in both
Twenty20 internationals which preceded the three-match 50-overs series - and
once again the total soared into three figures before a wicket fell.

In the shortest game, Guptill was partnered by Brendon McCullum, but New
Zealand captain Ross Taylor decided to move Nicol up the order to bat with
Guptill in the first ODI.

Nicol, who played in three Twenty20 internationals before making his bow in
the slightly longer form of the game, put on 153 in 29.3 overs with Guptill,
who made 69.

He became only the seventh player to score a hundred on his one-day
international debut.

The only New Zealander to achieve the feat previously was Guptill, who made
122 not out against the West Indies in Auckland.

Nicol made his runs off 131 balls and hit 11 fours.

Partnered by the in-form McCullum, Nicol added an undefeated 79 for the
second wicket. McCullum made 39 not out.

Ross Taylor said his bowlers had put New Zealand in a strong position.

"On a flat wicket you need to bend the ball sideways and that they did. Full
credit to Rob Nicol, who before this game was batting at number seven."

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Get South Africa more involved in changing Zimbabwe

October 20, 2011 2:45 am

From Geoffrey Van Orden MEP.

Sir, Before the Archbishop of Canterbury went to Zimbabwe I wrote to him
warning that Robert Mugabe’s one aim would be to get him to support lifting
the European Union’s restrictive measures on the regime’s close circle of

Now Alec Russell suggests (“How to take tea with Mugabe and turn the tables”,
Comment, October 18) that the Archbishop should indeed have lent his moral
authority to President Mugabe’s ambition. That’s rather like the judge
telling the burglar he can keep his swag just to see the smile on his face.

Of course, South Africa has always held the key to change in Zimbabwe, and
the efforts of all decent governments should focus on encouraging South
Africa and other countries in the Southern African Development Community to
do more. In particular, a date should be set for elections in Zimbabwe
enabling full international supervision, including of the voter registration

Perhaps the people of Zimbabwe will then, at last, have the opportunity to
reap some of the prosperity with which their country, properly managed, is
richly endowed.

Geoffrey Van Orden, Conservative Defence and Security Spokesman, European

Back to the Top
Back to Index