Mon, 22 Oct 2012 14:22 GMT
* Leaders call for peace during while reviewing constitution
* New charter an important step before election
* Mugabe, in power for 32 years, presses for election in March
By Nelson Banya
HARARE, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Rivals President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai made a joint appeal on Monday for tolerance in reviewing a
draft constitution whose adoption will lead to Zimbabwe's next election,
expected next year.
Mugabe and Tsvangirai, who formed a coalition government four years ago
after violent and disputed elections in 2008, were addressing a conference
of parties and civic society groups reviewing the proposed new constitution
Mugabe's ZANU-PF wants to overhaul some provisions limiting presidential
powers while strengthening those of parliament. Tsvangirai's Movement for
Democratic Change accuses ZANU-PF of retaining power through vote rigging
and political violence.
The final charter is likely to be compromise as neither party commands the
two-thirds majority required to railroad it through parliament. The first
conference on the constitution, three years ago, was disrupted by political
"We must live up to the expectations of the people of Zimbabwe. Let us be
peaceful in our conduct. Surely, settling things through fisticuffs instead
of through dialogue and discussion is primitive," said 88-year-old Mugabe,
who is seeking to extend his 32-year-rule.
"Our intellectual levels should lift us to that upper level where argument,
dialogue, debate, discussion, deliberation should be used as a way of
reaching agreement or disagreement."
Mugabe said the next poll would be in March although his opponents are still
pressing for more political reforms to the avoid disputes that have marred
Even jointly addressing delegates drawn from political parties, churches and
pressure groups, the two men's positions remained poles apart on some
Tsvangirai also called for calm, but contradicted Mugabe's suggestions that
the two would have the final say on the draft - a position also at odds with
that taken by the inter-party parliament committee driving the
Mugabe said: "There are some who are saying why are the principals (Mugabe
and Tsvangirai) saying they should review the process? Because we are the
ones who caused everything. Sometimes people fail to see where power is
But Tsvangirai played up parliament's role in the process.
"For the record, this process is being done in accordance with Article 6 of
the GPA (global political agreement, which set up the coalition) which makes
it clear that this is a parliament-driven process in which the principals
and the executive must play a minimum part," Tsvangirai said.
"We have no intention whatsoever, at least on my part, to tamper or meddle
with the people's views."
While Mugabe struck a conciliatory tone, describing his coalition with
Tsvangirai and a smaller party as "an unholy trinity that has done some holy
things", the prime minister took aim at some Mugabe allies who have been
quoted as suggesting the army would not accept a Tsvangirai poll victory.
"This exercise underpins our belief in constitutionalism and the rule of
law. We cannot therefore be in contradiction with ourselves by preaching a
coup or a military subversion of the people's will," Tsvangirai said.
Mugabe noted the reforms had taken a long time to complete, but expressed
the desire to replace the independence charter, which has been amended 19
times since 1980.
"There were so many amendments made to the (independence) constitution, it's
now like a pair of trousers ... heavily patched up. We want a new one. This
is the new one which we agreed to have," he said.
By Tererai Karimakwenda
22 October 2012
The 2nd All Stakeholders Conference got off to a dramatic and chaotic start
in Harare on Monday, with the MDC-N leader Welshman Ncube walking out of the
event, to protest the presence of Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara.
At the heart of his protest is the fact SADC leaders resolved at the last
summit in Maputo that Ncube would be the third principal allowed to
participate in GPA negotiations. But ZANU PF went against SADC and insisted
Mutambara would remain the third principal to participate in government
But according to the Crisis Coalition, SADC later persuaded the MDC-N to
participate in the Conference and submit a complaint afterwards. Crisis said
the MDC-N took SADC’s advice and took part in the thematic sessions.
The delegates were addressed by the principals, Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai and Robert Mugabe in the morning. Both focused on the elections
due next year and called for peace and tolerance from party supporters.
Mugabe once again insisted that presidential elections will be held in March
2013, which the MDC formations have not agreed on and civic groups have said
is impossible, since key reforms are still pending. Mugabe also surprised
delegates by saying the Principals would have the final word on the draft
In his speech Tsvangirai addressed recent comments by ZANU PF and military
officials, who made it clear they would not accept a victory by the MDC-T
leader in next year’s elections. The PM said: “We cannot therefore be in
contradiction with ourselves by preaching a coup or a military subversion of
the people’s will.”
The Conference opening was also marred with logistical problems and ongoing
bickering by the political parties, regarding how to proceed and what the
purpose of the Conference really was.
Machinda Marongwe, deputy director of the National Association of
Non-governmental Organizations (NANGO), confirmed reports that there had
been some logistical problems with the printing of materials, which was done
Marongwe also confirmed that delegates from outside Harare had problems
sorting out accommodation. But reportedly all was well by Monday morning
when the Conference started.
However, the civic groups were not satisfied with their representation at
the event. According to Marongwe, only 150 out of the 571 civic delegates
had been chosen without input from the political parties. The rest were
handpicked by the COPAC co-chairs, who belong to the three political parties
running the process.
Marongwe told SW Radio Africa that the civic groups were more concerned with
what will happen after the Conference, regarding who gets the final word.
“The significance of the All Stakeholders Conference is beyond tomorrow and
whether the Principals will be able to stick to Article 6 of the GPA or
whether they will circumvent the will of the people through further
manipulation and tampering with the draft,” Marongwe explained.
He added that there were rumours at the Conference that the Principals were
planning to have the last word by determining what changes are to be made to
the COPAC draft.
This had also been suggested last week by the Minister for Constitutional
Affairs, Eric Matinenga, who told SW Radio Africa that the Principals had
summoned him to a meeting and suggested he take over the management of
COPAC. This was so they could have the final word. Matinenga said he refused
and advised them not to interfere.
By Tichaona Sibanda
22 October 2012
Indications from thematic committee deliberations at the second all
stakeholders conference show that all parties to the GPA are backing the
proposed draft constitution, without major amendments.
Our correspondent in Harare, Simon Muchemwa, said day one of the conference
was peaceful and predicted that the draft would be approved. The draft is
however a compromise document criticized by many independent analysts.
However others believe there are many clauses in the draft that make it
better than the current Lancaster House constitution.
Muchemwa said before the conference ZANU PF had indicated it wanted to make
several changes to the draft but after going through the national
statistical report, which they demanded be released before the conference,
the party made a u-turn and accepted the draft as it was.
The conference concludes on Tuesday and our correspondent said the smooth
passage of the draft, which many had doubted could happen, would be a
victory for all Zimbabweans.
‘I think to a large extent it is really a case whereby not only can the ‘yes
campaigners’ claim victory, but Zimbabweans as a whole can celebrate a
victory of common sense and a political maturity,’ he said.
‘This was a test case because there was a lot of resistance to this draft
and there were fears there would be violence. The first day so far has
passed by peacefully and from the deliberations from the thematic committees
it would appear they’re agreeing with the contents of the draft.’
Muchemwa said the peace surrounding the conference was also due to the tight
The new charter is one of the key provisions of the power-sharing deal
struck in 2008 between the three parties to the GPA.
The proposed constitution provides for an overhaul of some aspects of the
executive, legislature and judiciary, together with a measure of devolution
to the regions.
The country will still be ruled by an executive president, but he or she
will be constrained by some checks and balances and parliament will vet key
appointments that had previously been made unilaterally by the president.
President and parliament will have fixed terms, with elections every five
The Second All-Stakeholders Conference which started on Monday has been
infiltrated by members of the Central Intelligence Organisation who are
numbering more than the COPAC workforce, The Zimbabwean can exclusively
by Tavada Mafa
“Members of the CIO numbering over 50 were accredited under COPAC staff.
This was done as a disguise. In fact, it was an order from the top to
accredit them as COPAC staff and we could not resist. What this means is
that the budget has to be increased to accommodate the ballooning number of
delegates who are still coming to our offices despite the closure of the
accreditation process on Friday,” a source in the COPAC secretariat told The
Zimbabwean on Monday.
COPAC has also increased the number of delegates from NGOs from 571 to 721.
That was after civic society petitioned SADC and threatened to boycott the
NGOs were frustrated by COPAC’s decision for its members to be accredited
under political parties.
“As we are speaking right now I want to tell you that MDC-T’s Douglas
Mwonzora is now pushing for the inclusion of officials from the Prime
Minister’s office after realising that the over 50 CIOs I have mentioned
were coming from the President’s office .Mwonzora is saying the same should
apply to the PM’s office,” the source added.
MDC-T COPAC Co-chairperson, Douglas Mwonzora could neither deny nor confirm.
by Paradzai Brian Paradza
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe told MPs Monday “to know where power resides” as he
insisted that coalition government principals would have the final say on
the country’s new constitution.
The Zanu PF leader was addressing some 1,300 delegates from all political
parties and civic groups attending the two-day conference on the country’s
new constitution, a key step towards elections to replace the country’s
deeply divided coalition government.
Early this month it was revealed that Mugabe, along with top rival and Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai as well as deputy premier Arthur Mutambara,
planned to take over the constitutional reform process from Copac and
determine between themselves final changes to the new charter.
And on Monday Mugabe told legislators, who make up Copac, to “know where
power resides” and reminded them that the reform process had been initiated
by coalition principals when they inked the Global Political Agreement
Said Mugabe: “Ndisu takanyora chiya chamunoti GPA, tikachiendesa
kuParliament tikati maMP vhoterai chinhu ichi. Vose vakachivhotera vachitya
kudzingwa. Zvino ndodemocracy here iyoyo?
“We started this process pasina democracy. Sometime Parliament thinks it’s
so sovereign that it controls the Principals. Ah kwete; we are the ones who
“Mwonzora naMangwana wako manga mavakuvhaira. Sometimes people fail to know
where power is derived from and we the principals are the ones who caused
this process and we are going to be involved throughout,” said Mugabe.
But Mugabe’s remarks contrasted sharply with Tsvangirai who had earlier said
the Principals would only play “guidance role” adding that “We have no
intention to tamper with the process. It is a Parliament process.”
The Zanu PF leader however urged delegates to carefully examine carefully
the draft and make objective contributions and appealed for peace and
tolerance throughout the deliberations.
He said: “Let us be peaceful in our conduct, let us shame our detractors who
think Zimbabweans cannot solve their problems without violence. The
improvements you wish to make must be done in a manner which is objective,
truthful and in a manner which takes into account what the people said.
“Everywhere we are praised as an enlightened people because our own literacy
rates which is 92% and if we are on that level, that intellectual level,
settling things through (violence) instead of dialogue and discussion is
“If we are to go back to violence then zvinokoromoka zvese and we, we at the
top, we are responsible to give direction to those at the bottom,” said
Mugabe said the successful completion of the process would lead to new
elections in March next year.
“Isu hatinyangiri vanhu. Even as we go to elections our campaign must be
clear kana usingade kundivhotera haundide haundide varipowo vanondidawo
zvinovamwe vanobva vati wandirambirei,” said Mugabe.
Meanwhile, MDC leader Welshman Ncube boycotted the official opening ceremony
querying the involvement of Mutambara. The pair is locked in a court battle
over the leadership of the party.
Posted: 22 Oct 2012 @ 17:29
by Pat Ashworth
FINAL judgment is awaited from the Supreme Court in Harare, which sat on
Monday to deal with all the outstanding issues concerning the Anglican
Church in Zimbabwe.
The seven cases were scheduled to take a week but the business was concluded
by 1 p.m., and, for the first time in the bitter, five-year battle for
justice, the Church's lawyers were satisfied that the matters had been dealt
The lawyers had done a "fantastic job", said the Bishop of Harare, the Rt
Revd Chad Gandiya, on Monday afternoon. Judgment has already been given in
the case concerning Manicaland, where the three judges upheld an earlier
decision in favour of the Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA)
and threw out the appeal of the excommunicated bishop, Elson Jacazi.
"The people there can all return to their churches," said Bishop Gandiya. "I
am still pinching myself. I have always told people that I'm prepared to be
surprised, and I am surprised." The remaining cases all stem from the main
matter to be ruled upon, i.e. who is the legitimate Bishop of Harare and
chairman of the Board of Trustees. Bishop Gandiya declared himself satisfied
at how the matter had been dealt with.
"We are happy that no favouritism at all took place," he said. "Deputy Chief
Justice Malaba dealt with the law. In the end, it was very clear what the
issues were." The Bishop is clearly optimistic about the outcome, but
continues to be cautious, adopting a "so far, so good" approach and is
urging continuing prayer and vigilance.
Since the three judges were all political appointees, Bishop Gandiya had
said on Sunday that, "Anything could happen."
Nolbert Kunonga, the excommunicated former Bishop of Harare, and Mr Jacazi,
the excommunicated former Bishop of Manicaland, both claim to be the
legitimate bishops - and Kunonga to be archbishop of the illegal "Province
of Zimbabwe" he created when he and Mr Jacazi withdrew their dioceses from
the Province of Central Africa in 2007, on the pretext of its "support for
Since 2007, Kunonga - who had 39 serious charges against him as Bishop of
Harare, and walked free from an aborted ecclesiastic trial in 2005 - has
subjected Anglicans to what the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams,
described as "a grave litany of abuses" when he met President Robert Mugabe
in October last year.
Dr Williams promised then: "We will continue to fight for the restitution of
all our properties in the courts wherever and whenever their ownership is
challenged." And he urged the President Mugabe, whose favourite Kunonga was,
to ensure that court rulings were "respected rather than ignored".
The Anglican Province's legal battle has suffered from political influence
by President Mugabe himself. Early judgments ruled that Kunonga should share
premises with the CPCA until the "dispute" over assets and funds had been
A farcical judgment by Hon Justice Hlatshwayo in July 2009 recognised
Kunonga as the incumbent Bishop of Harare (CPCA), and his supporters as the
legitimate Board of Trustees, on the grounds that he had conceded to "turn
back the clock" and renounce his schismatic actions as though they had never
happened. The CPCA lodged an immediate appeal in the Supreme Court, which
ensured suspension of the decision, and enabled Bishop Chad Gandiya to be
consecrated that month.
Violence and persecution intensified as Kunonga won police support for the
implementation of the Hlatshwayo judgment. In March 2010, Justice Chinembiri
Bhunu ruled the CPCA's appeal valid, a ruling totally ignored by Kunonga and
his followers, despite the dismissal of an appeal by his Board of Trustees.
Things got worse from May 2010, when Hlatshwayo summarily called both
parties to his court chambers, claimed he had dealt with the main dispute
over properties and declared there was no need for a trial.
The CPCA appealed to the Supreme Court against Hlatshwayos's interpretation
of the main case, arguing that his refusal to hear it was a denial of their
constitutional right to justice. Bishop Albert Chama, now Archbishop of
CPCA, demanded that year: "How can such a process meet with the approval of
a judge where justice, farirness, impartiality and the protection of
fundamental rights, are supposed to be ingrained as guaranteed tenets of an
independent judiciary, without fear, favour or prejudice?"
By Alex Bell
22 October 2012
16 people who were standing trial in Chiweshe have been acquitted, in the
ongoing case of a protest against the dismissal of the chief doctor at the
Salvation Army run Howard Hospital.
The 16 were part of a group of 20 Chiweshe residents, including eight nurses
at the Howard mission, who were being charged in connection with the protest
in August. The demonstration, organised to display the public outrage over
the forced removal of Dr. Paul Thistle, turned violent and saw police units
being called in to fire tear gas and make arrests. 12 people were arrested
on the spot, while the eight nurses were later brought in for questioning
for allegedly ‘inciting’ the violence.
Four of the group of 20 now remain on remand in the ongoing trial, after 16
of the accused were acquitted on Friday. A source who has been attending the
proceedings at the local magistrate’s court told SW Radio Africa that the
charges were dropped against the 16 because of lack of evidence.
In the meantime, there is still hope that Dr. Thistle will be reinstated at
the hospital where local residents have explained medical services have not
returned to their usual standards since he was forced to leave. A resident
told SW Radio Africa on Monday that most patients are being transferred to
other facilities, because there has been no replacement for Dr. Thistle yet.
“The situation remains tense. Almost everyone wants the doctor to come back,
but we don’t know what is happening. I can say that the number of people
going to the hospital has decreased by 80%,” the resident said.
The Canadian born doctor meanwhile is meant to be back in Canada after he
was ‘reassigned’ by the Church. He has refused to leave the country while
his colleagues were on trial, but it is not yet clear when and if he intends
to leave Zimbabwe any time soon. His Zimbabwean born wife Pedrina, a nurse
at the Howard mission, has not returned to the hospital either.
Dr. Thistle’s forced removal in August followed the concerns he had raised
of financial mismanagement at the Salvation Army in Zimbabwe, with funds
meant for the Howard mission not being channelled into the facility. An
international Salvation Army delegation has since been to Zimbabwe to
The Zimbabwe Salvation Army chief has also been reassigned in the ongoing
saga. Vinece Chigariro will assume her new duties in Kenya from January
Monday, 22 October 2012 12:06
HARARE - Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) has kicked out of the country an
American tourism buyer Selina Marasigan on grounds of misunderstanding on
ZTA chief executive Karikoga Kaseke confirmed the development.
Marasigan was in the country for the just-ended Sanganai/Hlanganani Travel
and Tourism Expo.
“We are just screening our buyers and even if you escape the screening and
you arrive in this country and we discover that you are here by mistake we
will send you back,” Kaseke said.
“We have done that. We have sent one American buyer back because she was not
adding value to what we expected.
“Her company was sending around 10 000 tourists per annum but not even a
single tourist was coming into Zimbabwe,” said Kaseke, adding that she was
driven more by a political agenda rather than harnessing business
opportunities availed by Zimbabwe’s tourist attractions.
The ZTA chief emphasised that international buyers were encouraged to move
around the country and see the reality on the ground rather than perceptions
based on political machinations.
However, Kaseke said that they are targeting to bring 200 international
quality buyers next year from the 95 registered this year. He added that
they would be targeting various markets with each market bringing in buyers
in line with the size of the market.
Kaseke said China, Japan and South Korea were the primary markets in Asia
with China expected to bring a large number of buyers of high quality.
Other primary markets include United States, Germany, United Kingdom and
“We are looking at those who are already active in selling Africa and those
that are not bringing adequate number of tourists to this sub-Saharan region
we might not want them to come,” he said.
Kaseke emphasised that they were looking at buyers who can sell in excess of
5 000 tourists each per annum to the southern African region and would use
the same criteria in choosing buyers from all over the world.
This year, 95 international buyers and media personnel representing 22
countries from across the globe attended the fair. - Kudzai Chawafambira
By Tichaona Sibanda
22 October 2012
President Robert Mugabe on Monday insisted elections to choose a new
government will be held in March next year, despite fears the country is not
yet ready for another poll.
Addressing delegates to the COPAC, second all-stakeholders conference that
opened in Harare, Mugabe said a peaceful conference that agrees upon a new
constitution will help pave the way for national elections, in March.
He urged participants at the conference to ‘shame our detractors who say
Zimbabweans cannot solve their problems without violence.’
The previous all-stakeholders conference on constitutional reform was
abandoned in 2009 after violent disruptions by ZANU PF militants, led by war
vets leader Joseph Chinotimba.
‘There will certainly be elections in March next year, hatinyangire vanhu
(We will not ambush people). Even when we go for elections our campaigns
must be clean,’ Mugabe.
Tsvangirai, in his address, said the success of the conference will mean the
remaining stages of creating a new constitution will be completed
successfully, starting with the debate in Parliament right through to the
‘In all this, I would like Zimbabweans to be tolerant of each other’s views
and to work towards the good of the nation. We should remember that the
important national process of constitution-making is about the future of our
‘We do not want a repeat of the scenes of the first All Stakeholders
Conference. We have certainly matured politically and I hope that this
maturity will be exhibited during this conference. It is important to see
beyond our differences to build a better Zimbabwe for all,’ he said.
But the country’s Civil Society Organizations pointed out that Zimbabwe won’t
be ready for elections until fundamental democratic reforms are implemented.
Macdonald Lewanika, the director for the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, said
reforms should be instituted first for a free and fair election that allows
for the peaceful transfer of state power to a democratically elected
The last elections held in 2008 were roundly condemned by the international
community after violence claimed the lives of over 500 supporters of Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party. Tens of thousands of people were
tortured and hundreds of thousands were displaced.
‘The country is not ready for elections on the strength of reforms that have
not taken place, on the strength of elements of the GPA that have not been
resolved and on the strength of pervasive negative political culture that
still sweeps across the country.
‘If Mugabe can deal with these things we can say that yes elections can be
held in March, but so far he’s not done anything to demonstrate that there
is a possibility for elections in March,’ Lewanika said.
If anything, he added, Mugabe speech’s on Monday was full of double speak.
He said at one time his speech was indicative of someone summoning people to
While both the MDC formations have agreed to the draft constitution, Mugabe
and his ZANU PF have been dragging their feet over the document.
Nelson Chamisa, the national organizing secretary of the MDC-T, also
recently said the next election cannot be free or fair unless concrete
reforms are undertaken.
‘If conditions prevailing during the date proclaimed by Mugabe give security
of the vote, voter, and freedom after the vote then there is nothing which
can stop elections, but if those things are not put in place, then this will
be another sham election,’ Chamisa said.
by The Standard
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has tightened his grip on power ahead of the
watershed election next year by assigning some crucial Acts directly under
the purview of his office.
He did this without consulting his coalition partners Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai and MDC leader Welshman Ncube.
The country is set to go to the polls next year to bring to an end the shaky
inclusive government that has run its course despite bringing a modicum of
In a Statutory Instrument gazetted on Friday, Mugabe put nine pieces of
legislation under the Office of the President and Cabinet without the
knowledge of coalition partners.
Mugabe's political adversaries said the move was designed to tighten the
88-year-old leader's grip on power.
The Acts now directly under Mugabe are the Commission of Inquiry Act,
Emergency Powers Act, Honours and Awards Act, Interception of Communication
Act, Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act, Procurement Act,
Radiation Protection Act, Research Act and the Zimbabwe National Security
The notice reads: "It is hereby notified that His Excellency and the
President, in terms of section 31D (1) (a) of the Constitution as read with
section 37 (2) of the Interpretation Act has assigned to the Office of
President and Cabinet -- (a) the administration of the Acts set out in the
schedule and (b) the functions conferred or imposed on the Office of the
President and Cabinet, save to the extent that those functions have not been
assigned to some other minister."
The notice said the assignment and functions published in a Statutory
Instrument of 2010 had been repealed.
MDC-T secretary general, Tendai Biti, told The Standard yesterday that the
move was proof that Mugabe was consolidating his grip on Central
Intelligence Organisation (CIO) and furthering his power retention agenda
ahead of elections.
He said placing the Interception of Communication Act in the President's
Office would enable Mugabe to eavesdrop on the activities of his political
foes at will.
"Interception of Communication was never in the Office of President. The
Procurement Act was traditionally under the ministry of finance and this is
a power retention agenda," Biti said.
Biti said the MDC-T would meet tomorrow to discuss on the latest assignment
of functions and make appropriate decisions.
Ncube, told The Standard yesterday that while it was the prerogative of
President Mugabe to assign functions, "If you are working in an inclusive
government, powers are exercised in consultation with others".
He said the existence of these Acts in the Office of the President was
calculated to give Mugabe electoral advantage ahead of next year's
"One can see the intention as we go towards elections that they want to
gather in one office for the purpose of electoral advantage. They want to
misuse the Acts, in particular, the Interception of Communication Act,"
The Zimbabwe National Security Act oversees the National Security Council
(NSC) that is mandated to discuss key security issues.
The NSC is chaired by Mugabe and has never met since May this year amid
revelations that security chiefs are holding meetings behind the back of
premier, Morgan Tsvangirai.
The NSC Act stipulates that the body should meet every month to receive
reports and discuss key security issues.
Mugabe chairs the council that has Tsvangirai and the two vice-presidents --
Joice Mujuru and John Nkomo.
The two deputy premiers, Arthur Mutambara and Thokozani Khupe, ministers
responsible for Finance, Defence and Police, service chiefs and one minister
nominated by each of the three political parties in the inclusive government
are part of the NSC.
Mugabe has in the past used Emergency Powers to his advantage.
In 2008, President Mugabe used the powers to reverse changes made by the
Electoral Laws Amendment Act that would have removed police from polling
The amendments had been agreed by the three parties and signed into law by
The changes that Mugabe made via a Statutory Instrument, allowed the police
access to polling stations to assist the "infirm and illiterate voters".
THE MDC-T has quashed a bid by its top leadership – including Cabinet
ministers and members of the party’s standing committee – to go unchallenged
in the party’s primary elections to be held soon.
Several party bigwigs have been pushing to stand unchallenged in the
forthcoming general elections, but that was ruled out by the party’s
standing committee following a meeting at the party’s headquarters at
Harvest House in Harare last week.
MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora confirmed the development at the
weekend, adding all seats would be contested and that there would be no
sacred cows when the party holds its primary elections.
“No one will go unchallenged. Everyone will be subject to the due processes
and no one will get special treatment,” Mwonzora said.
MDC-T national organising secretary Nelson Chamisa also confirmed the matter
when he officiated at a function to debate the late Mozambican leader Samora
Machel’s legacy at the Quill Club in Harare last Friday.
“There are no two dip-tanks in the party and there won’t be sacred cows. We
will not entertain the Animal Farm kind of thing where some animals are more
equal than others. In the party we are all leaders and comrades,” said
Chamisa confirmed that MDC-T would use an open palm with the face of their
presidential candidate and party leader Morgan Tsvangirai only for election
purposes to differentiate their symbol from that of other MDC formations.
“The symbol will not change. We will put the face of the presidential
candidate, but the symbol will not change.”
On Machel’s legacy, Chamisa said some African leaders had betrayed what the
former Mozambican leader fought for.
“Why should the struggle continue, even beyond paper and flag independence
or any assumed arrival point?
“Precisely because leaders are mortals and it is the habit and character of
mortals to be fallible. Leaders sometimes betray struggles, leaders can
mislead the masses, leaders can hijack revolutions instead of being hijacked
by them and, of course, leaders grow old,” he said.
“A struggle is a project for all, by all and to all. It is for the led and
not the leader.”
on October 22, 2012 at 4:27 am
By Lance Guma
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has reacted to Zanu PF threats of a coup if
he wins the next election saying “our colleagues have already conceded
defeat and are mulling unconstitutional methods of averting that defeat.”
Robert Mugabe with Morgan Tsvangirai
Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa and Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo both
hinted in separate media interviews that military generals in the country
would be forced to intervene if the MDC-T leader won presidential elections.
But Tsvangirai who was addressing a public lecture on prospects for a
democratic breakthrough said “we have patriots within the rank and file of
our security forces. They will not join the so-called coup. I can assure you
the soldiers, most of whom I talk to every day, will not take part in it.”
Tsvangirai used the ‘New Zimbabwe Lecture Series’ to bemoan the lack of key
reforms ahead of the next elections. The power sharing deal had put in place
benchmarks for political, media, electoral and security sector reforms but
Mugabe’s regime had ensured there is no movement he said.
Tsvangirai visited Zaka a fortnight ago to see victims of Zanu PF violence.
After a visit to St. Anthony’s Musiso Mission Hospital to see an old man
petrol-bombed by Zanu PF thugs, the PM said he was told the matron and
hospital staff received anonymous calls threatening them for allowing the
The MDC-T leader said “despite these impediments” in the next 9 to 12 months
they had to ensure the successful implementation of agreed positions which
they “have failed to do in four years.” He said the inclusive government
had no choice if “we are to have a clean election in line with SADC
By Alex Bell
22 October 2012
Zimbabweans over the weekend gathered to stage the 10th round of the ‘Free
Zimbabwe Global Protests’, vowing to carry on with the monthly
demonstrations until there are real reforms back home.
The global protests have been taking place every month since January this
year and are now being organised under the banner of ‘Operation Take Back
Zimbabwe’. The movement was organised by the international structures of the
MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai, to highlight the ongoing political crisis in
Zimbabwe and to demand free and fair elections.
Organisers have targeted different locations each month, depending on the
issues that they believed should be highlighted each time. The last round
focused on the visit by Robert Mugabe to the United Nations in New York.
In round 10 on Saturday, organisers protested at Zim Embassies in several
countries, including in the UK, South Africa and the US.
Tonderai Samanyanga, the chair of the MDC-T in the UK, told SW Radio Africa
on Monday that the protest continues to draw attention and grow, with more
protests being organised every month across the world.
“We now have protests in New Zealand, in Australia and in the Scandinavian
countries. Our efforts have been praised because the Zimbabwe issue remains
on the agenda through the protests. And that is key,” Samanyanga said.
He meanwhile explained that the movement will not die down until there is
real commitment made towards free and fair elections, including key reforms
ahead of a poll.
“We want the leadership in Zimbabwe to realise with these protests that
people have a voice and they will use this voice to demand a fair and
violence free election,” Samanyanga said.
Hebrews 13 vs. 3: “Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow
prisoners and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering”.
The MDC Youth Assembly is disturbed by the squalid, murky and appalling
state of Zimbabwe’s prisons. Those who have been in prison for different
reasons either on remand or as serving inmates will testify that the prisons
are uninhabitable and are in desperate need of compulsory wholesale
refurbishment. Holding cells around the country such as the one at Harare
Central Police station have been fervently and widely condemned by the
public including human rights groups as derelict and not fit for human
The majority of inmates are young people aged between 17 and 35. Many of MDC
leaders and activists around the country have been imprisoned at some point
including our President Morgan Tsvangirai. Amongst those still incarcerated
are the Youth Assembly President Solomon Madzore and 28 others.
The prison menu mainly comprises of brownish sadza and poorly cooked beans,
sometimes sadza with cabbages with little or no cooking oil. For breakfast,
the inmates are treated to a blackish porridge with neither sugar nor salt.
As if that was not bad enough, visitors who visit the sentenced inmates at
two week intervals are not even allowed to bring them food from outside.
The inmates are in constant starvation. The rations are not nearly enough,
the inmates are too many and as a result a condition called Pellagra has
become endemic. This is as a direct result of persistent, consistent and
prolonged exposure to a systematic poor diet, continuous hunger and
inadequate portions of food. It has come to light that in 2008 prison
inmates died in their hundreds from this illness and some of them were
buried in the prison cemetery. Pellagra causes the spinal cord to be
dysfunctional which in turn affects the body’s movement and cause the senses
to react very slowly. This is usually mistaken for someone being mentally
The situation is dire and is escalated by the fact that the responsible
authorities are not taking any meaningful measures to address these
challenges. It is tantamount to negligence on the part of the state whose
duty it is to take care of its citizens. Chikurubi Maximum Prison, for
example, houses about 1800 inmates who are faced with this predicament day
in day out and there is no hope that the situation can/will be improved in
the near future.
As the MDC Youth Assembly, we are deeply concerned about the basic human
rights of health and dignity of every single person in Zimbabwe regardless
of where they are domicile at any particular moment.
The MDC led government shall make prisons correctional and rehabilitation
facilities and not camps for systematically, directly or indirectly killing
Since the inception of the GNU, the Prime Minister of this Republic has
tried a number of times to visit the prisons and holding cells to assess the
situation but has been blocked by the security forces under unclear
circumstances. Many had hoped that after Dr Tsvangirai’s assessment he was
going to recommend and action a robust program to refurbish all prisons and
holding cells and more importantly make sure that adequate food and good
health amenities is available for all inmates.
For and on behalf of the people of Zimbabwe
MDC Youth Assembly Information and Publicity
Our era is NOW: Let’s Do it Now to shape our own destiny!!!
MDC YOUTH ASSEMBLY
Monday, 22 October 2012 12:03
HARARE - Government should have protected Epworth residents whose homes were
demolished by a state-owned property developer, Local Government deputy
minister Sessel Zvidzai has said.
Close to 200 Epworth families were left homeless after police razed down
their homes at the instigation of Sunway City (Pvt) Ltd, a subsidiary of the
Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe.
Last week’s demolitions were a violation of human rights as well as
unconstitutional, Zvidzai told the Daily News.
“What happened in Epworth should not be tolerated. We should not allow
another Murambatsvina to take place in this country, whether at mini-level
or full-scale operation,” he said.
“People’s homes should not be demolished without providing for an
alternative. Those people who demolished the houses should have engaged the
local authority and assisted the residents get accommodation,” said Zvidzai.
When the Daily News visited the area, affected residents appeared shocked by
the police action, especially since the illegal settlement had the blessings
of the local Zanu PF leadership which parcelled out the land.
“The police came last week, I think on Friday and told us we had to vacate
since the owners of the land, Sunway City, wanted to use their land,” said
one woman holding a crying baby.
“We were given time to take out our property but we have nowhere to go,” she
Sunway City (Pvt) Ltd is a government agency mandated with developing
world-class integrated residential, commercial, industrial, institutional
and recreational parks.
Zvidzai said he has since engaged the local board to assist the affected
residents with alternative accommodation.
“The Epworth local board has since started assisting the residents with
accommodation and I hope the ministry of National Housing will attend to the
matter as well.
“This is wet season and we should not expose our people to rain which could
end up causing more problems for this country. These people have rights. It
should be government priority to offer accommodation to these people before
a demolition is done,” he said.
Some of the affected residents told the Daily News that the timing of the
demolitions was “bad” because of the rains. - Xolisani Ncube
The European Union Delegation issues the following statement in agreement
with the EU Heads of Mission in Zimbabwe.
by The Zimbabwean
The EU Delegation welcomes the entering into force of the Human Rights
Commission Act allowing this important Commission, appointed in March 2010,
to become fully operational. This is an encouraging step by the Government
to improve the respect for Human Rights in Zimbabwe.
The establishment of an effective Human Rights Commission is also an
important step in the implementation of the Global Political Agreement and
of the agreed roadmap for peaceful and credible elections. It should play a
significant role in monitoring the situation during the elections period, as
mandated in the recently gazetted Amendment to the Electoral Act.
The EU looks forward to the Commission beginning to deal independently and
transparently with the pressing human rights issues facing the country.
Guided by international standards, the Commission is expected to investigate
human rights complaints, to advice on human-rights-friendly legislation, and
to promote and protect human rights in general.
The EU expresses its readiness to cooperate with the Human Rights
Commission, with the firm belief that the promotion and protection of human
rights is critical for a peaceful and prosperous Zimbabwe.
The Embassies of Norway and Australia associate themselves with this
MISA-Zimbabwe notes with grave concern the upsurge in the number of cases
involving the arrests of journalists for criminal defamation at the
instigation of public officials.
The resort to criminal defamation charges by public officials undermines and
curbs the media’s watchdog role over the three arms of the state. It also
erodes citizens’ right to freedom of expression and access to information.
There is no reasonable justification for retaining this globally discredited
law. The retention of these criminal defamation laws can only be for
purposes of shielding public officials from robust media scrutiny by
instilling fear among journalists through threats of imprisonment for those
who dare expose transgressions of those who hold public office.
In essence, this archaic and undemocratic law is simply there to limit
citizens’ rights and ability to hold public officials accountable through
the media, which is inimical to good, transparent and accountable democracy.
While the retention and increased application of criminal defamation
legislation is emblematic of the authorities’ intolerance of free
expression, it also lays bare government’s complete disregard of its
democratic obligations as enunciated in regional and international
conventions on freedom of expression.
Zimbabwe is a state party to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 9 of African
Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and Banjul Declaration on the
Principles of Freedom of Expression in Africa, which guarantee and protect
freedom of expression.
Recent cases involve the arrest of community news activist Kudakwashe Matura
who was arrested in Kariba on 8 September 2012, Daily News editor Stanley
Gama, and his deputy Chris Goko, who were also arrested on the same day in
Another journalist, Nhau Mangirazi was on 17 October 2012 summoned to appear
at Karoi police station in a suspected criminal defamation case following
the publication of story in the Weekly Mirror of 21 September 2012 titled:
chief terrorises headman. The editor of the Weekly Mirror, Dennis Kagonye,
was also questioned in connection with the same story by police in Karoi on
16 October 2012.
These cases are in addition to nine other cases of criminal defamation that
MISA-Zimbabwe has recorded since 2011 to date, some of which are still
pending before the courts.
Criminal defamation has thus become the weapon of choice against media
freedom and freedom of expression. This runs counter to spirited calls by
the African Commission on Human Peoples’ Rights’ Special Rapporteur on
Freedom of Expression and Access to Information, Advocate Pansy Tlakula, for
member states to repeal all criminal defamation laws and provisions.
It is MISA-Zimbabwe’s firm conviction that criminal defamation laws have no
place in modern democracies and should thus be scrapped. In modern and
civilized democracies complaints against the media are amicably handled by
alternative adjudication bodies like Zimbabwe’s own Voluntary Media Council
of Zimbabwe or through civil action laws, as opposed to criminalising free
expression, which is key to the exercise and enjoyment of fundamental human
MISA Zimbabwe therefore unreservedly calls for the urgent repeal of
provisions on criminal defamation as enshrined in the Criminal Law
(Codification and Reform) Act as this impinges on the fundamental right to
access, receive, impart and share information on issues of public interest.
by Sunday Mail
DIAMOND production at Zvishavane-based Murowa Diamonds, which is majority
owned by Rio Tinto International, jumped 64 percent to 92 000 carats in the
three months to September from a quarter earlier, the international mining
The 92 000 carats are diamonds attributable to Rio Tinto’s 77,8 percent
stake in the mine.
The latest figures hint to a recovery in production, especially after drop
in production to 66 000 carats that was realised in the second quarter.
Statistics from Rio Tinto International’s third quarter 2012 operations
review published last week show that Murowa’s production in the first nine
months of the year rose by 8,5 percent to 215 000 carats from 198 000 carats
in the same period a year ago.
Also, ore processed in the quarter under review increased 18,3 percent to
142 000 tonnes from 120 000 tonnes a quarter earlier, while ore processed in
the nine months to
September rose to 388 000 tonnes from 339 000 tonnes recorded in the same
period in 2011, representing a 14,5 percent increase.
However, diamonds recovered in the third quarter from the mine climbed 63
percent from 73 000 carats in the second quarter to 119 000 carats. In the
period from January to September, recoveries grew 9 percent from last year
to 277 000 carats.
The fate of Murowa Diamonds is not clear. Its parent, Rio Tinto
International, which became the world’s second largest miner last week with
a market capitalisation of $98,7 billion, hinted earlier in the year that it
might be forced to realign its ownership structure particularly for its
“We regularly review our businesses in order to ensure that they remain
aligned with Rio Tinto’s strategy of operating large, long-life expandable
“The diamonds market outlook is very positive, with demand growing strongly
and lack of new discoveries limiting supply.
“We have a valuable, high quality diamonds business, but given its scale we
are reviewing whether we can create more value through a different ownership
structure,” said the company’s chief executive for Diamonds and Minerals,
Harry Kenyon-Slaney, in March this year.
Government is also pushing for locals to assume the majority shareholding in
mining companies in order to address the historic imbalance where natives
were sidelined from mainstream economic activity.
The Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act, which was signed into law
on March 9 2008, stipulates that previously disadvantaged blacks should
assume 51 percent equity in foreign businesses.
Murowa Diamonds started operations in 2004 after feasibility studies and
mine planning conducted between 1998 and 2000. The miner now employs about
Oct 22 2012 15:09 Malcom Sharara, Fin24’s correspondent in Zimbabwe
Harare - Zimbabwe’s mineral production generated US$1.36bn in the nine
months to September. The revenue figure, however, does not include diamond
revenues and the September figures for coal and chrome.
According to figures obtained from the Chamber of Mines, the country
generated $2.013bn from its minerals in the full year to December 31 2012.
The gold sub-sector remained the country’s top mineral contributor,
accounting for almost half of the country’s mineral production.
Gold output in the nine months to September grew 31% over the same period
last year in value terms to $585.007m from $447.18m.
A total 11 139.5 kg of gold were produced in the period, against 12 992.52
kg produced in the full year to December 31 2011.
Gold production is forecast to close the year at 15 000 kg. Some of the
country’s major gold producers include Blanket Mine, Falgold Mines, Metallon
Gold Zimbabwe, RioZim, ZMDC’s Jeba and Sabi mines and Pan African Mining.
Platinum production in the period amounted to 7 433.80 kg worth $325.043m.
Zimbabwe has grown production of the mineral by 121% since 2006.
The country has about 2.8 billion tonnes of platinum-bearing resources, of
those total 4E PGM (platinum group metals platinum, palladium, rhodium and
gold) resources are 400 million ounces. Output is expected to grow 3% to 365
000 oz this year and is forecast to reach 393 000 oz in 2013.
Palladium production generated $105.25m from 5 732.01 kg. Palladium demand
is intensifying globally as a result of the substitution of palladium for
platinum in gasoline and diesel catalytic converters, expanding automotive
The white metal can now be substituted for platinum on a one-for-one,
ounce-for-ounce basis, which has strengthened the market for palladium in
gasoline catalytic converters.
Analysts say palladium is facing a substantial supply deficit going forward
that will likely be met by a combination of price-driven demand destruction
and shifting back to platinum or using rhodium.
It is estimated that the mining industry requires $5-7bn to recover and grow
over the next five years. The breakdown of the amounts required are as
follows: platinum 40%, gold 33%, diamonds 11%, coal 8%, chrome 4% and nickel
If this amount is invested the volume of production for the major minerals
will grow in the next five years to: gold 50 000 kg per year, platinum 21
000 kg per year, nickel 25 000 t per year, hydrochlorofluorocarbons 262 000
t per year and coal 7 million t per year.
Monday 22 October 2012
The current draft constitution is a product of two processes, the outreach
process and the negotiations spearheaded by the management committee to
resolve the parked issues. The agenda of this all stakeholders’ conference
is well set out generally in article 6 of the Global Political Agreement.
That is to say to table the draft constitution to the representatives of the
people across the political divide.
For that reason to ensure a smooth conduct of business of this All
Stakeholders’ Conference the Select Committee came up with the terms of
reference for the committee. These are:
a) To allow the Select Committee to give a report to the conference on the
constitution making process. In other words the Select Committee must
provide a narrative of how we have got to where we are. It is a matter of
public record that the journey so far has not been easy. We, however take
comfort in the fact that all good things do not come easy. Our story is an
intriguing tale of how people rose above narrow sectional interests to
b) To table the constitution before this conference. This provides an
opportunity for the Select Committee to take the delegates through the draft
constitution. It is hoped that the truth about what this constitution
provides will be reviewed. Sadly many untrue accusations about this
constitution have been made sometime in one sided fora where the Select
Committee had no right of reply. This constitution does not provide for some
of the things that some people say it provides for. Today we analyze this
constitution more objectively above the political sparring that has
characterized our nation.
c) To allow delegates divided into working groups to make comments and
recommendations on the draft. This is meant to allow delegates to provide an
evaluation of the draft constitution. These comments and recommendations
will help inform on areas that need attention on this draft. This is not to
provide an opportunity for political sparring. We cannot allow anything that
will make debate dysfunctional at the conference. To that end, delegates are
urged to make their comments and recommendations that will be recorded by a
team of rapportuers rather than provide a critique of each other’s
recommendations and comments.
d) To compile a detailed report of the conference by Copac after the
conference for further processes to come.
All necessary material to be used in the groups has been availed.
My Voice is in. My vote is YES!!!
Monday 22 October 2012
His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Hon. R. G. Mugabe
Deputy Presidents Amai Mujuru and Hon. John Landa Nkomo
Deputy Prime Ministers Hon. Thokozani Khupe and Prof. Arthur Mutambara
The President of the MDC, Prof. Welshman Ncube
The Speaker of Parliament Hon. Lovemore Moyo
The President of the Senate Amai Edna Madzongwe
Cabinet Ministers here present
Senators and Members of Parliament
Members of the Diplomatic corps
Invited Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen
Ladies and gentlemen, it is a great honour for me to join you at this
Today, we are on the threshold of history as we mark an important step
towards the making of our own Constitution. The importance of today’s
occasion must not be lost in the needles pursuit of petty party interests at
the expense of what is good for this country and future generations.
Today we mark a giant leap forward towards fulfilling and implementing one
of the key reforms that we agreed under Article 6 of the GPA, which is now
part of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
Today we meet again as stakeholders; as political parties and as civic
society, to participate in this national discourse that is set to make a
positive impact on our society. The Constitution-making process is an
exercise that started way back when we sought the views of the people. It
started when we collectively traversed the urban townships, the rural
villages, the farming areas, the mining towns and even the diaspora as we
sought to hear and input the people’s views in this national charter.
As a country we have invested so much in this process, in both financial and
material terms. We have spent years engaged in a seemingly endless debate on
the Constitution and we have an opportunity to put this process on the
home-stretch to a referendum.
The guarantors of this transitional arrangement, SADC, have urged us at
almost every summit to ensure the successful completion of this important
process and the Second All-Stakeholders conference we hold today must ensure
that the process moves forward.
The last two SADC summits in Luanda and Maputo urged us to complete this
process as an important condition ahead of the next election, which must be
free, fair and credible. The guarantors, and us as the Principals, want this
process expedited and done in a peaceful manner.
The Constitution-making process is greater than the MDC, Zanu PF or Mavambo.
It is a national exercise for posterity; far much greater than the
personalities and individual interests of Morgan Tsvangirai, Robert Mugabe,
Welshman Ncube or Arthur Mutambara.
We are not doing this for ourselves, but we are trying to create a people’s
charter; a people’s contract with their Government; a Constitution which
knows no political party but which ensures that the democracy and the
freedoms that so many fought and died for are realised. Isn’t it shameful
that 32 years after independence, we are still using a ceasefire document as
a Constitution, albeit with 19 amendments?
As a nation, this exercise underpins our belief in Constitutionalism and the
rule of law. It is evidence that we wish to set guidelines on how people
should be governed. It reflects our wish for legitimate governments that
work in accordance with the rule of law. We cannot therefore be in
contradiction with ourselves by preaching a coup or a military subversion of
the people’s will.
This process shows that as a nation we have chosen Constitutionalism and not
militarism; and therefore our deportment, our utterances, our demeanour must
exhibit the higher values of chastity and democracy that we aspire for our
I and the party I represent are fully committed to the Constitution-making
process and its successful and peaceful conclusion.
We have discussed this as Principals and we have all agreed that this is a
people’s process. For the record, this process is being done in accordance
with Article 6 of the GPA, which makes it clear that this is a
Parliament-driven process in which the Principals and the Executive must
play a minimum part. We have no intention whatsoever, at least on my part,
to tamper or meddle with the people’s views.
So we must be peaceful and allow this process to be come to a peaceful and
logical conclusion. After all, the people will reserve their right to speak
for themselves in a referendum.
Mr Chairman, the role played by the stakeholders in the process so far
cannot be overemphasized.
The people were consulted on what they wanted included in the new
constitution and their views play a pivotal role in the process of coming up
with a new Constitution. Zimbabweans from across the social, political and
cultural divide were given an opportunity to participate in the crafting of
the supreme law of the land.
As one of the Principals in the Government and a leader of a political party
in Parliament, I would like to commend the Parliamentary Select Committee
for the hard work that has gone into the process of drafting a new
constitution. While a lot of work has already been covered, they still need
the support of the nation at large to successfully complete the process.
We need to stand united and with a common purpose to ensure that the process
is carried through to its logical conclusion. The success of this conference
will mean that the remaining stages will then be completed successfully as
well, starting with the debate in Parliament right through to the
In all this, I would like Zimbabweans to be tolerant of each other’s views
and to work towards the good of the nation.
We should remember that the important national process of
constitution-making is about the future of our country. It transcends party
political considerations, and therefore your deliberations must be national
in character, tolerant of other people’s views and above all, you must do
your business in peace and harmony.
We do not want a repeat of the scenes of the first All Stakeholders
Conference. We have certainly matured politically and I hope that this
maturity will be exhibited during this conference. It is important to see
beyond our differences to build a better Zimbabwe for all.
Zimbabweans have put their trust in the Parliamentary Constitution Select
Committee and we should give this Committee all the support it needs to
ensure the success of the constitution-making process.
I wish to conclude that peace is an important ingredient. Your deliberations
must show maturity and must exhibit our true Zimbabwean culture.
We are a peace-loving people and our behaviour at this conference must
showcase our high standards as a nation and as a people.
I wish to conclude by wishing you all a successful and a peaceful
I Thank You
BY RICHARD LEE | 22 OCTOBER 2012
While all eyes in Zimbabwe are focussed on the last few steps of the
constitution-drafting process and particularly the 2nd All Stakeholders
constitutional conference in Harare, the reality is that the country is
still heading for a flawed transition four years after the Global Political
Agreement (GPA) was signed.
Writing in Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition’s first Zimbabwe Transition
Barometer, the group’s Director, Mcdonald Lewanika, argues that – with
elections looming in 2013 – the country is heading for a ‘transition that is
hinged on window dressing reforms…and a fallacy of electoralism’. And he
lays the blame largely at the feet of President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU PF
party, which, he says, wants to ‘manipulate both the process and the content
of the reforms to its advantage so that Zimbabwe can have a flawed election
that keeps it in power’.
The barometer, which can be downloaded below, points to a rise in political
violence and intimidation – mainly related to militia groups connected to
ZANU-PF leaders – as well as growing violations of democratic tenets by the
security sector and other political party members.
The report also highlights other concerns including continuing delays in the
creation of a new and accurate voters’ roll; the lack of guidelines for the
conduct of the security sector and political parties before, during and
after elections; and the fact that SADC officials have still not begun to
work on the ground with the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee
(JOMIC), even though SADC agreed to deploy its officials way back in June
While there have been improvements in the country’s economic performance,
the barometer highlights a number of key economic reforms that have not been
implemented as well as other problems, including bickering in the IG over
the composition and operationalisation of the National Economic Council and
intra-government discord over the economic empowerment and indigenisation
policy. Critically, Lewanika also refers to the murky flow of diamond
revenues, very little of which seems to have ended up in the government’s
The barometer also highlights another major concern in relation to the
transition process – the lack of genuine media pluralism, the controversial
appointment of members of the board of the Broadcasting Authority of
Zimbabwe, the unreformed nature of the state media and the continued use by
ZANU-PF of state media to carry partisan messages and demonise other
While the constitution-drafting process and subsequent referendum could
provide a much-needed boost to the transition process, Lewanika’s overall
view is pessimistic. “The overall rating of democratisation remains low,
mainly due to the failure to implement key clauses of the GPA. This has been
exacerbated by the lack of an independent GPA oversight body as well as SADC’s
lack of capacity to enforce compliance to the agreement.”
But this is not a call to give up and start expecting – and planning – for
the worst. Zimbabwe could still enjoy a peaceful transition to a more
democratic and open society but only if all players interested in ensuring a
successful transition act now.
Indeed, Lewanika concludes that the reason for this hard-hitting report is
to act as ‘an early warning sign that provides an opportunity for civil
society, the region and international actors to intensify efforts to
leverage democratic transition in Zimbabwe’.
BY RAY NDLOVU, OCTOBER 22 2012, 08:34
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s push for elections to be held in Zimbabwe soon —
with March next year as a possible election date — must worry not only the
country’s largest opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC), but South Africa as well.
The MDC’s concerns about early elections are straightforward: key political
reforms have not been completed, the referendum agreed to at power-sharing
talks has missed several deadlines, violence has erupted in recent weeks and
the voters’ roll — traditionally a key instrument of Zanu (PF)’s victory —
is yet to be cleaned up.
But a shrewd Mr Mugabe knows his biggest opponent to the elections plan is
South Africa, which the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) has
mandated to mediate in the country’s political crisis. Caught up with labour
unrest at mines and fighting for his own political survival at the coming
African National Congress’ Mangaung conference, South Africa’s President
Jacob Zuma’s eyes are off Zimbabwe.
Political observers say this has helped Mr Mugabe’s early election plan. The
effect of early polls on South Africa is unclear, but analysts warn it could
turn out badly.
"A flawed elections in Zimbabwe will have serious ramifications for South
Africa," says political analyst Charles Mangongera. "Besides the blight it
will put on Mr Zuma and Sadc mediation efforts, it will result in a major
influx of economic refugees into South Africa. For a country that is
battling increasing levels of unemployment, facing labour unrest
particularly in the mining sector, such an influx will have disastrous
All indications are that Zanu (PF) has abandoned any pretense of resolving
any outstanding political issues and fulfilling the SADC -sponsored election
The MDC remains equivocal about participating in a previously discredited
process, while complaining that the country’s political landscape remains
strongly in favour of Mr Mugabe and his Zanu (PF) party. Perhaps the
memories of the violent 2008 election have faded or that the protagonists
are fed up with the futile, three-year-old union and want an end to it at
The MDC has started its election machinery, officially launching its
campaign last month with the theme "The Last Mile: Towards Real
Zanu (PF) appears to be biding its time as polls show it may do well in
March. According to a survey by US-based Freedom House published in August,
support for the MDC had plummeted from 38% in 2010 to 19%. Over the same
period, Zanu (PF)’s support grew from 17% to 31%.
"Although Zanu (PF) is leading the charge towards calling for elections in
March 2013, the party does not seem to be taking its usual preparatory steps
for elections," says political analyst Allen Hungwe.
"There seems to be a certain sedentary approach. Could it also be that the
party is more focused on other means of taking the elections rather than of
canvassing for votes?
"Could it be a case of preserving energy only to unleash it within a few
weeks from the supposed elections?"
Patrick Chinamasa, the Zanu (PF)-linked justice, legal and parliamentary
affairs minister, made it clear there would be no tolerance of an MDC
victory. "Mr Tsvangirai cannot win.
"He has been campaigning and mobilising against the interests of Zimbabweans
on many issues, whether talking about land, seeking to reverse the gains of
the liberation struggle … and this is where the military comes in," Mr
Chinamasa said. "The military is not going to allow anyone who speaks like
that to win."
His message should sound alarm bells that all progress made under the unity
government could be undone during and after the election.
South Africa may find itself once more again with the unpleasant
responsibility of having to right the wrongs committed by its northern
October 22nd, 2012
Via Solidarity Peace Trust, by Brian Raftopoulos
Four years after the signing of the SADC facilitated Global Political Agreement in Zimbabwe, the outcome of the process remains fiercely contested and in the balance. The Agreement, which set out to prepare the political process for a generally acceptable election after the debacle of 2008, has been marked by severe ebbs and flows, all too characteristic of the battle for the state that has constituted the politics of the GPA. At almost every stage of the mediation from 2007 and the implementation of the GPA from February 2009, intense conflicts over the interpretation of the accord have left their debris on the political terrain, at the heart of which has been the struggle over the meaning of ‘sovereignty’. Around this notion Zanu PF in particular has woven dense layers of political discourse combined with the coercive force of the state that it continues to control. The major aim of this strategy has been to manipulate and stall the reform provisions in the GPA, and to regroup and reconfigure its political resources after plunging to the nadir of its legitimacy in the 2008 electoral defeat.
The Constitutional Process.
Between 2009 and the present an important area of contestation between the Zimbabwean parties has been the struggle for constitutional reform. Article VI of the GPA set out the ‘fundamental right and duty of the Zimbabwean people to make a constitution for themselves’, also stipulating that the process would be carried out by a Select Committee of Parliament composed of the parties to the agreement. Constitutionalism and constitutional reform is often a contradictory and highly contested process with different parties bringing different political agendas and competing imaginaries to the process. Zimbabwe is no exception to this trend, and the major political parties have since the late 1990’s often fought out their competing conceptions of change and democratization on this terrain.
For the nationalists coming out of the liberation movement constitutionalism and the law have had a complicated history. On the one hand these discourses were constitutive of their demands against the colonial state and in conceptualizing their own legality and legitimacy, and have thus played an important role in both locating their demands and in imagining the possible forms of a future state (Alexander, 2011). On the other hand for this generation of leaders the liberation struggle was also viewed as an alternative to constitutionalism with the war for liberation conceived as leading to the destruction of the colonial state and the establishment of ‘people’s power’ however nebulously defined. (Mandaza, 1991: 72). The constitutional compromises agreed to at Lancaster House in 1979 were the result of a convergence of national, regional and international pressures that inaugurated the politics of the post-colonial state. Once in power Zanu PF, as in the case of other post-colonial political parties, instrumentalised the use of the constitution to concentrate power in the presidency and used constitutionalism to reconstruct the power relations of the state to deal with political opposition.
During the period from 1998-2000, in the face of a mass democratic movement and emergent political opposition calling for constitutional reform, Zanu PF attempted to control this process from above through the government controlled Constitutional Review Process, by curbing the demands for popular sovereignty and once again seeking to secure centralised Presidential powers. When this strategy was defeated in the 2000 referendum, constitutional reform went on the back burner.
With the SADC mediation the issue of the constitution became one of the central concerns of the political facilitation. In June 2007 the parties agreed to ‘negotiate a draft constitution, after which a select committee of parliament would take the draft constitution through a public consultation exercise culminating in the enactment of that constitution before the 2008 election.’ Moreover the parties negotiated the amendments to the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill No. 18, ‘on the express understanding by the Zanu PF negotiating team that they would not renege on the enactment of the agreed draft constitution before the 2008 election.’ Leaders of both MDCs ‘sought and obtained guarantees’ from then President Mbeki that Zanu PF ‘would not be allowed to renege on the agreement to implement a new constitution before the next election.’ By December 2007 it was clear that Zanu PF had decided to renege on this agreement as Mugabe unilaterally declared that the elections would take place in March 2008 without a new constitution. Thus the contested 2008 elections took place under the existing constitution.
On the signing of the GPA constitutional reform drew the parties into a protracted political battle. After three years of delays, obstructions, logistical and financial squabbles, and a problematic outreach programme, a draft constitution was produced through the Parliamentary Select Committee process, COPAC, in July 2012. While the COPAC draft is clearly a compromise document it contains some important changes such as controls on executive power, accountability of the security and judicial services, a more independent national prosecuting authority, devolution of power and citizenship rights. Importantly, in terms of process, all the parties to the agreement were signatories to the draft, leading to the logical assumption that at all times the Principals of the parties and their respective leaderships were fully informed of the discussions of the COPAC team.
However in a move that replicated previous interventions to block constitutional reform and eschew its commitment to the GPA, Zanu PF once again initiated a strategy intended to foil a process that has the potential to unravel its political hegemony in the country. In August 2012 President Mugabe presented the leaders of the MDC formations with a Zanu PF re-draft of the COPAC draft, on the grounds that the latter was drafted in opposition to the ‘views of the people’ gathered during the outreach process. This re-draft, described by Zanu PF as ‘non-negotiable’ attempted to undo the COPAC process, undermine the GPA, and once again force the Zimbabwean citizenry into a national election without a new constitution. Moreover the re-draft effectively dismissed the major reforms included in the draft and proposed a return to the kind of executive powers and party/state rule that Zanu PF has crafted since 1980. Both MDC formations objected strongly to the Zanu PF position. After weeks of political haggling the parties, under pressure from the SADC facilitation team, agreed to take the Copac draft to an All Stakeholders Conference to be held from 21-23rd October.
SADC and the Constitutional Impasse.
The threat of an impasse in the process allowed for the invocation of a SADC resolution passed at the Heads of State and Government Summit in Maputo in August 2012, which stated that, in the event of any difficulties ‘regarding the Constitution and implementation of agreements,’ the Facilitator should be called upon to ‘engage the parties and assist them resolve such issues, bearing in mind the timeframes and the necessity to hold free and fair elections.’
Since the inception of the mediation in 2007 SADC and South Africa in particular have invested a good deal of diplomatic capital in the Zimbabwe facilitation. Moreover since the time of the SADC summit in Livingstone, Zambia in March 2011, the SADC leadership has consistently restated its commitment to the full implementation of the GPA, fully aware of the points of blockage in the Zimbabwe equation. This remains the position of the regional body even if it has been slow in following up on the implementation of its resolutions. Thus for example it was only in September this year that a resolution passed at the Livingstone summit in 2011, stating that a SADC team would be attached to work with the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC), was finally put into place. Ambassador Katye from Tanzania and Colly Muunya a diplomat from Zambia, have been assigned the task.
SADC’s commitment to ensuring that the regional body remain in control of the Zimbabwe facilitation was set out very clearly from the beginning of the process, with Thabo Mbeki stating that the role of international players would be to ‘support’ and not ‘direct’ the process. This aspiration has not always been translated into smooth relations between the EU, US and SADC, with the ongoing debate over the efficacy of sanctions continuing to aggravate the facilitation process. However notwithstanding such tensions and the difficulties they have created for SADC, the latter’s credibility is heavily at stake in this process. With Mugabe and his party attempting to draw a line in the sand over the constitutional draft and in the process openly flouting the modality set out in the GPA, it is clear that SADC is once again faced with a severe test of its standing as a mediation body.
The lead player in the SADC facilitation, South Africa, is currently in the midst of its own major challenges, with the ruling ANC facing many questions over its leadership and authority in the face of the Marikana mine killings. The moral and political authority of the ANC has been severely bruised and this has not been lost on Mugabe and his party. Against the background of a problematic history of relations between Zanu PF and the ANC, the former has, at critical points in the SADC facilitation, questioned the authority of President Zuma and his team. Yet South Africa remains the lead player in the mediation process and SADC retains the primary guarantor of the process. Moreover this factor has been the major obstacle to Zanu PF’s repeated attempts to scuttle the GPA and move towards an early election under conditions favourable to the Mugabe regime.
In the light of Mugabe’s continuing hostility to the West and his growing reliance on a ‘Look East’ policy for strategic economic, military and diplomatic support, the diplomatic influence of the West remains confined to the ‘sanctions question’, humanitarian assistance and the difficult discussions with the international financial institutions. In this context the most fruitful form of diplomatic intervention for the West on the Zimbabwe question remains a strong support for the SADC mediation, and preparation for a fuller engagement with what could well be another reconfigured inclusive government after the next election.
Alexander, Jocelyn, 2011. “Nationalism, Self-Government in Rhodesian Detention: Gonakudzingwa, 1964-1974.” Journal of Southern African Studies, 37 (2), September: 551-569.
Mandaza, Ibbo, 1991. “Movements for National Liberation and Constitutionalism in Southern Africa.” In Issa Shivji, ed. State and Constitutionalism, An African Debate. Harare: SAPES Books, pp. 71-90.
Raftopoulos, Brian, (forthcoming 2013). “An Overview of the Politics of the Global Political Agreement: National Conflict, Regional Agony, International Dilemma.” In Brian Raftopoulos, (Ed) The Hard Road to Reform: The Global Political Agreement in Zimbabwe. Harare: Weaver Press.
This is a slightly revised version of a Brief published by the Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre (NOREF), and can be accessed on www.peacebuilding.no
BILL WATCH 49/2012
[22nd October 2012]
The Official Opening of the Next Parliamentary Session will be on Tuesday 30th October
Neither House is sitting this week
President to Open Fifth and Final Session of Seventh Parliament
The Government Gazette of 19th October contained the President’s proclamation proroguing [ending] the current Parliamentary session on 29th October and fixing the following day, Tuesday 30th October, as the first day of the next session.
The President will perform the official opening at 12 noon on 30th October in the chamber of the House of Assembly. There will be all the pomp and circumstance customary on this annual occasion. After the President’s speech outlining the Government’s programme for the session, both Houses will adjourn to a later date still to be notified. The adjournment after an official opening is usually for at least two weeks, but it may be for a shorter period this time, given the long delayed opening of this next session and the amount of work that needs to be done by Parliament before the end of the year. [More details of the opening will be available nearer the date.]
All pending Parliamentary business lapses Neither House will sit again, unless summoned, before the end of the present session on 29th October. At that point all uncompleted business will lapse, as laid down in Parliamentary Standing Orders. On the 30th October both Houses will start the new session with a clean slate. It is, however, possible in the next session for either House to pass resolutions restoring lapsed items to the Order Paper.
Last session of Seventh Parliament The new session will be the fifth and last annual session of the present Parliament – Parliament’s five-year life-span will expire at the end of June 2013. The constitutional Referendum is due during the session. So if, after a Yes vote at the Referendum, Parliament adopts a new constitution, this session may also be the final Parliamentary session under the Lancaster House constitution.
President’s Office Takes Over Radiation Protection Act from Minister of Health
The President has removed responsibility for the administration of the Radiation Protection Act from the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare and assigned it to “the Office of the President and Cabinet”. Contrary to a sensationally headlined article in one of the Sunday papers, this is the only change to the pre-existing situation made by two statutory instruments in the Government Gazette of 19th October:
· SI 162/2012 – a list of Acts assigned to the Office of the President and Cabinet [replacing and repeating SI 49/2010 with the addition of the Radiation Protection Act]
· SI 161/2012 – a list of Acts assigned to the Minister of Health and Child Welfare [replacing SI 66/2010 and omitting the Radiation Protection Act].
The Radiation Protection Act, which dates from 2004, establishes the Radiation Protection Authority and contains provisions designed to protect the public and workers from dangers resulting from the use or abuse of equipment or materials capable of producing ionizing radiation.
All the other Acts on the latest President’s Office list [see below] have been assigned to the President’s Office since at least 2010 These include the Interception of Communications Act, the National Security Council Act and the Procurement Act incorrectly highlighted in the weekend press as Acts newly assigned to the President’s Office in a sinister new concentration of power in the President’s hands.
MDC-T is also complaining that the President acted without consultation with the other GPA parties. In fact the only new complaint on this score can be directed towards the assignment of the Radiation Protection Act. They complained about the unilateral assignment of the other Acts when the President’s allocations of all Acts was gazetted in March 2010 [see Bill Watch 8/2010 of 6th March 2010. But this complaint was apparently never followed through.
Assignment of Administration of Acts to the President’s Office
[SI 162/2012 and SI 49/2010 available from firstname.lastname@example.org]
This is the full list of Acts assigned to the Office of the President and Cabinet in SI 162/2012:
The only new item on the list – see previous paragraph]
· Radiation Protection Act
Repetition of list of Acts allocated by SI 49/2010
· Commissions of Inquiry Act
· Emergency Powers Act
· Honours and Awards Act
· Interception of Communications Act
· Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act
· Procurement Act
· Research Act
· Zimbabwe National Security Council Act
A Fundamental Legal Point Needing Clarification
As Bill Watch pointed out in 2010 when the Acts were originally assigned – there could be a legal objection to the assignment of responsibility for administering Acts of Parliament to the “Office of the President and Cabinet”. Under section 31D(1)(a) of the Constitution the President may appoint Ministers and assign functions to them, including the administration of any Act of Parliament; section 31C(2) allows him to assign similar functions to the Vice-Presidents. Both these sections envisage assignments to people — Ministers and Vice-Presidents — rather than to an amorphous organisation such as the Office of the President and Cabinet, which does not even have corporate personality in law. A Minister or a Vice-President is an identifiable person who is responsible to the President and answerable to Parliament for the proper administration of legislation that has been assigned to him or her, and who can be sued if he or she acts illegally. But if an Act is assigned to an organisation that is not even a corporate body, who can be held responsible?
Some of the Acts that have been assigned to the Office of the President and Cabinet contain references to “the Minister” and confer decision-making functions on that “Minister”. In those Acts, quite obviously, the Legislature envisaged a ““Minister” making the decisions, not an anonymous functionary in an amorphous office – the “Office of the President and Cabinet”.
Hence the legality of the “assignment” of these Acts is doubtful and could probably be challenged in court.
Undesirability of Assigning Acts to Unaccountable Bodies
Apart from the legal aspect, assigning an Act to an “Office” is undesirable. One of the assigned Acts is the Interception of Communications Act, which allows government agencies to tap phones and intercept communications if they are authorised to do so under a warrant issued by “the Minister” [originally the Minister of Transport and Communications]. Now, it seems, warrants are to be issued by a nameless bureaucrat or securocrat in the “Office of the President and Cabinet”. Ministers are identifiable and answerable to Parliament. Bureaucrats and securocrats are not. This has grave implications for protection of privacy of communications and freedom of expression.
Status of Bills as at 22nd October 2012
Private Member’s Bills held up pending Supreme Court decision
Public Order and Security Amendment Bill
Criminal Procedure and Evidence Amendment Bill
Urban Councils Amendment Bill
[See Bill Watch 20 and 21 of 15th May 2012]
Bill awaiting Second Reading
National Incomes and Pricing Commission Amendment Bill
Bill being considered by Parliamentary Legal Committee
Securities Amendment Bill [referred to PLC after its first reading on 9th October]
Bills gazetted and ready for presentation in Parliament
Microfinance Bill [gazetted on 31st August] [not yet available]
Government Gazette of 19th October
[copies not available unless stated as available]
Prorogation of Parliament and Start of New Session SI 166/2012 [Proclamation 4/2012] [see note at beginning of bulletin]
Administration of Acts SIs 161 and 162/2012 [see note above] [copies available]
Magistrates Courts Civil Jurisdiction SI 163/2012 is a set of rules made by the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs increasing the monetary jurisdictional limits of the magistrates courts in civil cases. The limits set by SI 21/2009 are replaced.
Collective bargaining agreements SIs 164 and 165/2012 spell out wages and allowances for the years 2010 and 2011.
Government financial statements GN 481/2012 announces the publication as separate supplements to the Gazette of the consolidated statements of financial performance for July and August 2012, as required by the Public Finance Management Act.
Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied