Tuesday, 23 October 2012 10:43
HARARE - The International Crisis Group (ICG), a Brussels-based think-tank
run by retired statesmen, says Sadc has failed Zimbabwe.
The conflict monitoring and resolution group said in its latest bulletin
that Sadc, the guarantor of Zimbabwe’s troubled inclusive administration,
has failed to enforce implementation of the power-sharing global political
agreement (GPA) that it brokered in 2008.
“The Sadc has limited capacity to monitor, evaluate and ensure
implementation of agreements that it helps broker and has no sanction
mechanism for violation of the deal,” said the report, titled Implementing
Peace and Security Architecture (2) Southern Africa.
The ICG says power sharing GPA signatories and the facilitators — Sadc and
especially South Africa, the lead country — must hurriedly move to avert a
fast-approaching, potentially disastrous election season.
It cited a lag in security sector and media reforms; law and order
considerations and risks of political violence.
The ICG said Sadc structures formed to ensure implementation of the GPA have
“The GPA provided for the formation of the Joint Monitoring and
Implementation Committee (Jomic) tasked with overseeing compliance with and
implementation of the agreement,” the ICG report says.
“Due to political polarisation and limited interaction with Sadc, Jomic was
ineffective in ensuring comprehensive monitoring, let alone full
implementation of the GPA.”
In an effort to remedy this situation, Sadc gave ultimatums to the parties
in November 2009 and August 2010, without notable compliance.
“This exposed the regional bloc’s limitation in enforcing the implementation
of a deal it had brokered.
“Others attributed that to the vagueness of the role of “guarantors” to the
agreement, while Zanu PF insisted that the sovereign authority and mandate
of implementation lay with the GPA parties only and not any external
At the Sadc meeting in Livingstone, Zambia, in March 2011, the Sadc troika
organ was requested to dispatch three members to work with Jomic to
strengthen its oversight of the GPA.
“Despite endorsement by the heads of state in Sandton (South Africa) in
June, it was a further year before two officers were sent,” says the report,
referring to David Katye from Tanzania and Colly Muunyu, a Zambian national.
“This followed protracted resistance by Zanu PF, which interpreted this
measure as interference in the domestic affairs of a sovereign member
A communiqué from the Livingstone summit called for the establishment of an
election roadmap, and in early July, the GPA negotiating teams signed off on
a draft document that highlighted some key areas of disagreement.
“Progress with negotiations and mediation slowed visibly over the following
10 months, and it was only at the extraordinary heads of state summit in
Luanda in early June 2012 that Sadc reiterated the imperative of reform
implementation before elections,” the report says.
The ICG noted that despite some progress around the drafting of the
much-delayed constitution, security concerns had been exacerbated by
destabilising political statements from senior defence force members and
widespread impunity for past and current violations.
While South African President Jacob Zuma has adopted a more robust approach
to the mediation, his mediation has been hobbled by preparations for the ANC
congress at Mangaung and battling his own succession woes, leaving little
time to deal with the Zimbabwe mediation.
“After November 2010, Zuma’s next visit to Zimbabwe was on August 15, 2012,
and as of October 2012, he is still faced with resolving the impasse over
the draft constitution that must precede a much-anticipated referendum,” the
ICG report says.
“His protracted period of absence, which has been blamed on domestic and
international commitments, is seen by some as having sustained the election
roadmap gridlock.” - Gift Phiri
by Roman Moyo
AIR Zimbabwe has taken delivery of two Airbus aircraft and is battling to
comply with international safety standards in order to resume regional
flights by the end of the month.
The airline was last month suspended from the International Air Transport
Association (IATA) and must comply with global safety standards by November
30 or risk an indefinite ban from using international airports and air
Chief Executive Innocent Mavhunga told state radio that the airline’s
engineers were working with experts from Trinidad and Tobago adding he was
confident the IATA requirements would be met by the end of October.
Air Zimbabwe is presently offering a limited domestic service, having pulled
out of international routes after creditors seized its aircraft in
Johannesburg and London last December over unpaid debts.
The government, which wholly owns the company, has since agreed to take over
the debts which are estimated at more than US$100 million.
But cabinet has demanded that the airline trim its bloated workforce among a
raft of measures aimed at helping the company return to viability.
Transport Minister Nicholas Goche recently conceded that efforts to find a
technical partner for the airline were had been undermined by its financial
problems and poor international image.
THE Supreme Court on Monday threw out five different appeals by Bishop Nolbert Kunonga’s Church of the Province of Zimbabwe leaving the court to determine the outstanding two decisive matters in his long drawn battle for control of church property with the Anglican Province of Central Africa.
Deputy Chief Justice Luke Malaba sitting with Justices Vernanda Ziyambi and Yunus Omerjee struck the cases for the Province of Zimbabwe’s failure to comply with the rules of the Supreme Court.
The cases that were thrown out include the one in which Bishop Kunonga was contesting an earlier decision by the then Judge President Rita Makarau compelling the two groups to take turns to worship in the church premises.
Another appeal was the one in which Bishop Kunonga was contesting the dismissal of his application for control of the property by High Court judge Justice Charles Hungwe.
The third case involved an appeal by Bishop Elson Madoda Jakazi of the Province of Zimbabwe’s Manicaland Diocese seeking to contest the dismissal of his application for control over assets of the church in Manicaland by Justice Chinembiri Bhunu.
The Kunonga group was also appealing against the decision by Justice Susan Mavangira allowing an application for stay of execution of Justice Ben Hlatshwayo’s order by the Church of the Province of Central Africa.
They also lost another bid to quash the decision by Justice Antonia Guvava allowing the Church of the Province of Central Africa leave to execute Justice Makarau’s judgment.
Notices of appeal filed in the five cases were defective and the matters had different defects that prompted the Supreme Court to strike them off the court roll.
Deputy Chief Justice Malaba reserved judgement on the two outstanding main cases in which the Church of the Province of Central Africa (Bishop Chad Gandiya-faction) is seeking to overturn the High Court’s decision recognising Bishop Kunonga and six others as the trustees of the diocese of Harare.
The two cases are set to determine the legitimate owner of the property and whether or not Kunonga left the Church of the Province of Central Province.
Justice Malaba is also expected to decide whether the defection or the withdrawal by Bishop Kunonga entitles him to the church property.
During the hearing, Advocate Adrian De Bourbon and Adv Thabani Mpofu appeared for the Church of the Province of Central Africa while Tawanda Kanengoni and Charles Nyika represented Bishop Kunonga and the Diocesan Trustees of the Diocese of Harare.
Adv De Bourbon argued that the Province of Zimbabwe’s actions amounted to schism and that they were not entitled to any property.
He argued that the property belonged to the Church of the Province of Central Africa and that Kunonga and his faction should just leave the property to the parent church.
Adv De Bourbon said Bishop Kunonga, through a letter dated September 21, 2010, resigned from the church and the Church of the Province of Central Afric accepted the resignation through another letter of November 16.
He said Bishop Kunonga and his followers created a rival province called the Church of the Province of Zimbabwe that ran parallel with the Church of the Province of Central Africa.
Adv De Bourbon said Justice Hlatshwayo’s order was wrong and that it should be dismissed with costs.
Arguing for the Bishop Kunonga group, Mr Kanengoni made a U-turn and claimed his faction was still part of the Church of the Province of Central Africa.
Kanengoni said the only dispute was determining who should be declared the church’s bishop for the province of Harare.
He said the letters by Archbishop Kunonga and the other one by Bishop Albert Chama accepting the purported resignation were null and void.
He said the resignation was not provided for in the constitution and cannons of the church.
Such a nullity, according to Kanengoni, should result in the parties reverting to the original position in which Bishop Kunonga was the leader of the Diocese of Harare under the Church of the Province of Central Africa.
By Alex Bell
23 October 2012
There are growing fears that Zimbabwe is heading towards another flawed
election process, with analysts warning there are no signs of real reforms
before ZANU PF’s chosen poll date.
Robert Mugabe has insisted that fresh elections will be held next March,
leaving just over five months for key changes dictated by the Global
Political Agreement (GPA). Those changes, including security sector and
media reform, were listed in the GPA as critical for the holding of free and
fair, democratic elections.
But more than four years since that agreement was signed by all parties in
the unity government, there is still no indication that these reforms will
take place. Instead, incidents of politically motivated violence, media
repression and intimidation have been growing, in what many fear is a sign
of things to come.
Diaspora based commentator Wilbert Mukori told SW Radio Africa on Tuesday
that so much attention has been focused on the “disappointing”
constitutional reform process, that the key changes needed for democratic
elections have been ‘ignored’.
Commenting on the constitution process, Mukori said that the process itself
has been a well played ‘game’ by ZANU PF, to force people to accept a draft
that does not guarantee a truly democratic election. He said the current
draft already favours ZANU PF’s demands, “with only incremental political
gains” in the favour of the MDC’s in government.
“The bare minimum of the constitution should have been free and fair
elections. It is the red line that should have been drawn in the GPA. But
now we have violence, we have no reforms, and if we don’t stop it then how
can the election process be anything but flawed?” Mukori asked.
Analyst Luke Zunga from the Global Zimbabwe Forum meanwhile agreed that a
flawed election was likely, mainly because there is no external ‘watchdog’
to ensure the conditions on the ground are right for a free and fair poll.
“South Africa, as the mediators in Zimbabwe, should be taking a keen
interest in the everyday happenings in Zimbabwe. But, Zimbabwe is no longer
a priority for the South African government,” Zunga said.
He warned that South Africa’s government is dealing with serious issues of
its own, a situation ZANU PF is capitalising on.
“Whatever happens regarding elections, they won’t be free or fair because
South Africa is not involved in what is happening day-to-day. The only way
this could change is if South Africa was propelled by the MDC, who should
already have started lobbying South Africa about violence. The onus really
is on the MDC now,” Zunga said.
As election talk gains momentum, more Zanu-PF officials have issued threats
of unrest if the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai wins the next presidential election.
Joining the fray last week was Major-General Douglas Nyikayaramba, who
reportedly told soldiers gathered for an army event, that Zimbabwe’s
national security is under threat owing to western ideologies being peddled
by some political parties.
Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa and Zanu-PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo said
in separate interviews recently with the BBC and E-News Chanel Africa that
Mr. Tsvangirai would be asking for trouble if he undertakes to reverse the
gains of the liberation struggle.
The two warned that Zanu-PF hardliners and the military will find it
difficult to hand over power to him if he wins the presidential poll.
Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister, Jameson Timba, told
VOA the statements are “coming from a few mad people in Zanu-PF and the
Timba further said the southern African region will not allow a coup in
“It’s madness of the highest order. The people of Zimbabwe are currently
attending the Second All Stakeholders Conference to receive a draft
constitution which was done by the three parties.
“This step that was taken on Monday is a commitment by all Zimbabweans to
constitutionalism rather than militarism,” added Timba.
Interview Jameson Timba
But London-based political analyst George Shire said there is need to
investigate what provoked the extreme comments from Chinamasa and his
“The little I know of those individuals who made those statements is that
they are not people who simply make those kind of statements at random.
“They are people who would have been extremely provoked,” said Shire, adding
that “they are not dangerous if you understand the context”.
He said individuals within the army are expressing their point of view that
they will not salute a foreign-installed regime of representation.
Shire said the challenge is for the MDC-T to prove that the party is not an
extension of foreign interests.
Interview George Shire
In his latest Nathaniel Manheru column this weekend, reportedly written by
presidential spokesman George Charamba, the columnist said there is a lot
happening in the MDC-T to excite the military ahead of elections.
Manheru claims there is every indication that the forthcoming elections are
being viewed by Rhodesians as another opportunity to stake their claim on
“Similarly, we have just read news from Australia indicating an ambassador
from the MDC-T who stands for this country in Australia, yet attends a
function at which ex-Rhodesia soldiers are part of a grand parade. The MDC-T
is already giving militancy to its anti-land stance, is it not? She did
more, worse. She followed them to a follow-up function and regaled them, the
same way they regaled her.
“An ambassador of Zimbabwe hobnobbing with Rhodesians who use her presence
to make existential statements about this nation! And you expect that kind
of politics to be embraced, all in the name of democracy, free and fair
elections?” Manheru wrote.
President Robert Mugabe has put nine crucial pieces of legislation under his
office without consulting his unity government partners as per some
provisions of the Global Political Agreement, a move some critics view as an
attempt to consolidate his grip on power ahead of next year’s general
In a statutory instrument gazetted last Friday, the president
single-handedly allocated himself the Commission of Inquiry Act, Emergency
Powers Act, Honors and Awards Act, Interception of Communication Act,
Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act, Procurement Act, Radiation
Protection Act, Research Act and the Zimbabwe National Security Council Act.
The notice read in part: “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.”
Tendai Biti, secretary general of the MDC formation of Prime Minister
Tsvangirai, told the independent Standard newspaper that his party will meet
soon to discuss the matter and take appropriate decisions.
But University of Zimbabwe law lecturer Lovemore Madhuku said there is
nothing wrong with the president’s move because no minister exercises
executive powers without the approval of the president.
President Mugabe allocated himself strategic ministries just after the
formation of the unity government in 2009 in an attempt to have a tight grip
He has used some of the ministries like Home Affairs and Defence to
terrorize his ruling partners.
on October 23, 2012 at 5:27 am
By Never Kadungure |Chief Political Reporter|
A new rule compelling candidates for all national elections to submit
authorisation letters from their parties to file nomination papers is
expected to help the MDC-T win back several seats it lost in the Midlands
Province in 2008.
The late Patrick Kombayi sponsored parallel candidates in a number of
In the 2008 harmonised elections Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s party
lost a number of seats in the province after the late senator Patrick
Kombayi sponsored parallel candidates in a number of constituencies.
A new Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) rule will now help stamp out the
fielding of several candidates for a political party in a constituency.
This would also bring normalcy in the administration of national elections
According to the amended Electoral Act all aspiring parliamentarians seeking
to be elected into office on a party ticket are required to bring a
certificate of authorisation from secretaries general of their parties.
Independent candidates are not required to meet this requirement.
Although Zanu PF riven by factionalism will also benefit from the new rule
it is the Midlands Province equation that will be more significant for the
MDC-T given that Kombayi sponsored close to 19 rebel candidates.
MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said the new regulations were a solution
to double candidates in constituencies.
“Some people lose during primaries and proceed to stand either as
independents or claiming to represent the same party. There is no way the
Secretary General can allow two candidates to stand for one seat,” he said.
“There will be order in the process this time. The people should know that
once you subject yourself to a democratic process, you must be prepared to
accept the results,” Mwonzora added.
Kurauone Chihwayi a spokesman for the smaller MDC formation said “the law
that governs elections in Zimbabwe was agreed upon by the three political
parties in the inclusive Government.”
“We do not have problems with ZEC if they operate within the confines of the
Electoral Act. We are willing to certify all our candidates and those
without our endorsement should be turned away,” Chihwayi said.
by Phyllis Mbanje
MEMBERS of Parliament have chided the government for stripping the House of
Assembly of its powers and reducing it to a “rubber stamping” institution.
Moving a motion criticising the government for clipping the wings of the
House of Assembly, Silobela legislator Arnold Sululu said parliament has now
been reduced to a talk show because recommendations are not being
implemented by the executive.
"It’s an insult to spend tax payers' money on talk show institutions,” the
MP said on Monday.
The legislators are pushing for a committee to monitor and oversee
implementation of resolutions that the House would have made.
To be known as the Committee on Government Assurances, it would also be
responsible for scrutinising the resolutions of the House including
committee reports, petitions and undertakings given by the government.
The committee would also be tasked with ensuring that the executive arm of
the state is accountable to the legislature.
Bulawayo MP Eddie Cross said it was vital that the House agrees to the
proposal of setting up the committee.
Mbizo legislator Settlement Chikwinya said delays by President Robert Mugabe
in opening the fifth and final session of parliament was a sign that the
government did not take the institution seriously.
"We are supposed to be in the middle of the fifth session but we are sitting
on an ad hoc basis,” he said.
Bulawayo East MP Thabitha Khumalo added: “We have been reduced to domestic
workers who keep this house in order.”
The MPs were also not happy that ministers deliberately avoided the question
and answer segment every Wednesday.
It was revealed earlier this year that dozens of MPs were missing up to 95
percent of parliamentary sittings.
Tsholotsho North MP Jonathan Moyo, said to have attended just one of 32
sittings, explained his boycott by stating that parliament was “an idle body
where MPs pick up allowances while debating non-binding motions”.
Moyo, first elected to parliament in 2005 as an independent and again in
2008 before rejoining Zanu PF, said the seventh parliament was “the worst
since Independence” because it lacked authority.
He said some parliamentary committees had scored decent successes in probing
public officials, but insisted the vast majority of MPs were incapacitated
by the Global Political Agreement which concentrated power in leaders of the
country’s three main political parties.
Tuesday, 23 October 2012 09:46
HARARE - President Robert Mugabe yesterday shamed hardliners in his Zanu PF
party who have taken every opportunity to ridicule Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai by conceding that the two rivals share executive power.
In a speech pregnant with peace messages, Mugabe told the
constitution-making process’ Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference opening
ceremony that the principals to the power sharing Global Political Agreement
(GPA) are the ultimate authority on the governance charter.
“The three of us wrote that thing you call the GPA. It is us also who said
to our parliamentarians ‘you are all forced to vote for the GPA, is that
democracy?’ It was an agreement that we forced them in unanimity, they voted
in fear,” said the octogenarian Zimbabwean strongman.
“I am saying this because Parliament thinks that it is so sovereign, that it
should control the actions of Principals, it’s not it. There are
limitations, of course we cannot do everything, but we are the executive and
we are the ones who caused the GPA and this process.
“We are the ones (including Mutambara) who rejected the Kariba Draft. Some
have been questioning why we are interested in the constitution making
process; because we are the ones who caused it. Mwonzora naMangwana wako
mangamaakuvhaira and Mangwana you were getting carried away) sometimes
people fail to see where power has been derived from,” said Mugabe.
Addressing the same gathering earlier, Tsvangirai said in as much as the
Principals would exercise executive power over the constitution making
process, Parliament would have the final say.
“We have agreed as Principals that this is a Parliament and people driven
process in which we will exercise executive guidance. However, Parliament
will have the final say. We have no intention, at least on my part, to
temper with the views of the people. After all, the people will reserve
their right to speak at the referendum,” said Tsvangirai.
Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, who spoke first, said constitutions
are made on the assumption that the governed do not trust the governors.
“The governed must never trust the rulers. That is a fundamental assumption
in crafting of a constitution and we must put in this document safeguards to
protect the people from leaders,” Mutambara said to rapturous applause.
Often accused of brutal repression during his 32-year-rule, Mugabe yesterday
sounded a reconciliatory tone, calling for peace and describing violence as
Mugabe was addressing the opening plenary session of the second
All-Stakeholders conference in Harare at which he referred to his arch-foe
Tsvangirai as a “Zanu PF neighbour”.
“We sat down the three of us, some may call us an unholy trinity but
sometimes we do also holy things. Did you ever think I would work with
Tsvangirai? Or did he ever think he would work with me and that boy
(Mutambara) used to abuse and throw stones at me during his days at the
University of Zimbabwe.
“Now he is mature and honai gede-gede taatose matombo torohwa tiritose zvino
(Now we are in it together and we are chastised together). Those are things
that happen,” said Mugabe.
“As we embark on this very important process please exercise restraint,
tolerance and work in harmony. Zimbabweans are praised the world over for
our education and enlightenment in all disciplines. But all this comes
crushing down when we think of violence.
Mugabe went biblical as he tried to reinforce his peace message telling the
gathering: “Love thy neighbour.”
“If we are that learned, then surely violence is primitive and here I would
like to speak to Zanu PF; Tsvangirai is your neighbour and to the MDC;
Mugabe is your neighbour,” the 88-yeard-old Zanu PF leader said.
“Kana usisandide varipo vanondidawo (If you do not love me, no problem,
there are some who love me), but there are those that will say why are you
voting against this or that party. We do not want that. Let us shame our
detractors who think Zimbabweans cannot resolve their differences without
resorting to violence,” said Mugabe.
Tsvangirai also urged tolerance and peace in the run-up and during the
elections next year.
“Be tolerant of each other’s views and after three and half years those who
doubted and were sceptical of our resilience as a people; those that wished
Armageddon on this country should stand ashamed,” he said.
“Today we are on the threshold of history as we mark an important milestone
in the constitution making process and this importance should not be lost in
the needless pursuit of narrow petty party interests,” he said.
The second All-Stakeholders conference meanwhile was marred after the MDC
led by Industry minister Welshman Ncube staged a mini-boycott arguing his
party would not share a podium with rival Mutambara.
At a hastily arranged press conference, Ncube said Mugabe was trying to
“foist Mutambara on his party” in a desperate bid to collapse the
constitution making process and the GPA.
“The MDC has lodged a formal complaint with the Sadc facilitator (South
African President Jacob Zuma) and Sadc troika chairperson Jakaya Kikwete
(Tanzanian leader) and we will be writing formal letters to them.
“However, we have resolved to participate in the thematic committees but not
in any forum where Mutambara is a participant,” said Ncube.
By Tichaona Sibanda
23 October 2012
There were sighs of relief on Tuesday after a potentially explosive COPAC
second all-stakeholders conference ended peacefully in Harare.
The two day conference that brought to the capital over a thousand
delegates, passed off without incident though near fist fights were reported
at some of the thematic committees that met on Monday.
The three COPAC co-chairmen addressed a media conference Tuesday afternoon
where they declared that the conference had ended on a high note.
Paul Mangwana (ZANU PF) Douglas Mwonzora (MDC-T) and Edward Mkhosi (MDC)
told journalists COPAC will need a week to review the recommendations from
the 18 thematic committees.
Our correspondent Simon Muchemwa said after the review process COPAC will
take the draft to Parliament before it is put to a referendum, perhaps
before the end of this year.
‘They said it would take a week to review all the recommendations and make
changes if issues highlighted are unconstitutional.
‘The COPAC co-chairmen believe some of the delegates dwelt on issues that
were not relevant like grammar and spelling mistakes,’ Muchemwa said.
While it took less than three hours for most of the thematic committees to
go through their respective chapters, there were heated arguments from those
that were dealing with citizenship, security services, judiciary and the
executive. SW Radio Africa is reliably informed ZANU PF refused to sign on
the section to do with devolution of power. MDC-T and MDC-N signed the
‘Where the delegates had issues or disagreements they were noted down but
generally the delegates were asked to make recommendations and not alter the
Muchemwa went on to say that the people who will have the final say will be
the Principals. This is because during the opening of the conference Mugabe
made it absolutely clear that this would be the case.
The Youth Forum in Zimbabwe wrote: “The former Chief Justice of South
Africa, Justice Ismail Mohammed, once observed that “the constitution of a
nation is not simply a statute which mechanically defines the structures of
Government and the relations between the government and the governed, it is
a ‘mirror of the national soul’, the identification of the ideals and
aspirations of the values binding its people and disciplining its
The sad fact is that most Zimbabweans have no idea what is in this
constitution or what it could mean for them.
By Tichaona Sibanda
23 October 2012
Douglas Muzanenhamo, an AIDS activist who was arrested Monday for
distributing constitutional material at COPAC’s second All Stakeholders
conference, was released on Tuesday.
Muzanenhamo’s lawyer, Tawanda Zhuwarara, told SW Radio Africa that his
client was charged with criminal nuisance and fined $10 before he was set
‘I can confirm Douglas was released at 5pm but we are going to challenge the
fine and charge as he was merely distributing material at the conference.
Initially police charged him with inciting violence but we don’t have such a
charge in our statute, hence they changed it criminal nuisance,’ Zhuwarara
Muzanenhamo was picked up from the venue of the COPAC conference when some
delegates asked him for copies of the ‘Working Peoples Red Amendments’ to
the draft constitution. These amendments had been prepared by trade unions,
women’s organisations, students and HIV/AIDS activists.
Last month Muzanenhamo had filed a landmark case in the Supreme Court
challenging the denial of anti-retroviral drugs to suspects in police cells.
This case will now be heard on 15th November, according to Zhuwarara.
He took up this case after he was denied his HIV medication when he was
arrested in February 2011 and falsely charged with treason, together with 45
other human rights activists including University of Zimbabwe lecturer and
ISO leader Munyaradzi Gwisai.
‘During the period he was incarcerated, Douglas’ CD4 count dropped from 800
to 500 and put his life in danger. Now he is challenging the law that
prevents the prison officers from blocking HIV sufferers from receiving
their medications whilst in custody,’ the lawyer added.
By Tererai Karimakwenda
23 October 2012
There has been strong criticism of Robert Mugabe’s presence at the World
Energy Forum taking place in Dubai this week, with Zimbabweans and some
observers pointing to his government’s failure to provide adequate
electricity for his own country.
Mugabe arrived in Dubai Tuesday for this gathering of world leaders and
private institutions with links to the United Nations. The leaders are due
to discuss crucial issues affecting the energy industry worldwide and plot
the way forward in sustainable economic and social development.
The Energy Minister, Elton Mangoma of the MDC-T, was not part of the
delegation. According to the state run ZTV news site, Mugabe was accompanied
by his wife Grace and Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi.
The First Ladies will participate in their own “summit” for sustainable
development, which runs at the same time as the Energy Forum.
In addition to criticism for his government’s failure to produce enough
power, Mugabe is one of the government officials who were earlier this year
exposed as defaulting on their power bills. Mugabe and his wife were listed
as owing over US$300,000 to the utility company as of December 2011.
This visit to Dubai is just another one of Mugabe’s extremely expensive
overseas trips. In June he took a delegation of 92 cronies to Brazil for a
conference on sustainable development, costing the country more than $7
Sustainable development involves the practical use of scarce resources,
which Mugabe and ZANU PF have been accused of ignoring through their
so-called land reform and indigenization policies. Conservancies have been
invaded by war vets and hunting licenses are being issued to people with no
knowledge of wildlife preservation. Precious hardwood timbers are being cut
down for firewood.
Zimbabweans have come to regard Mugabe’s travels as “shopping trips”, and
Finance Minister Tendai Biti has warned of the extravagant amounts spent on
travel by senior officials. Last year $45.5 million was blown on foreign
trips by officials, averaging about $4 million per month.
Tuesday, 23 October 2012 09:55
HARARE - Patrick Chinamasa, the Justice and Legal Affairs minister has
earned the ire of Zanu PF attack dogs after he made comments that they say
opens Zimbabwe to a potential military invasion.
In an interview published last week, Chinamasa told the BBC that security
organisations would only back political leaders who fought in the 1970s
liberation war against white rule.
Tafataona Mahoso, a rabid Zanu PF spin doctor and chief executive of the
Zimbabwe Media Commission, slammed Chinamasa’s comments as “damaging”.
The feud exposes escalating fears in Zanu PF that Nato may try to target the
regime if it attempts to subvert the will of the people in the forthcoming
Mahoso, who was writing in his weekly newspaper column, said Chinamasa’s
interview provided a perfect alibi for a military intervention.
Chinamasa’s statements echoed threats by some military generals that the
army would not respect the election outcome if Mugabe lost.
Several military generals, including the army chief-of-staff, have declared
that they will only support a leader who fought in the 1970s liberation
struggle against white minority rule.
This would exclude 60-year-old Morgan Tsvangirai, who at the time of
Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980 was a young leader of a textile workers’
Said Mahoso: “That interview seems intended to assist the Pentagon, Nato,
the EU, the Rhodesians and the MDC formations in their pursuit of “lawfare”
against the next elections,” Mahoso stated.
“Minister Chinamasa avoided all the hot issues falling under his job and
decided to speak for the Zimbabwe Defence Forces in order to create grounds
for the imperialist and Rhodesian condemnation of the next elections long
before they are held,” he said.
Mahoso alleged Chinamasa was being sinister against the Constitution and
interests of Zimbabwe, and was bent on “tarnishing the ZDF and the next
“The purpose for BBC was to scandalise and demonise the Zimbabwe Defence
Forces and the liberation movement — so fundamentally that no matter how
clean and convincing the entire population of Zimbabwe may want the next
elections to be, these elections will have been framed permanently and in
advance as fraudulent and inviting a foreign intervention as described in
Operation Shumba,” Mahoso said, referring to an alleged US strategy in which
he claimed Anglo-Saxon powers would employ the MDC formations and one part
of a split Zanu PF in order to destroy the legitimacy of the African
liberation movement in government led by Mugabe. - Gift Phiri
Tuesday, 23 October 2012 09:02
Fidelis Munyoro Assistant News Editor
A Beatrice farmer is resisting eviction from State land claiming that he was
re-allocated the piece of land under the land reform programme. This has
prompted A2 farmer Mr Aaron Madziva to approach the High Court seeking to
evict Mr Gerald Douglas Davidson from Xekene Farm on the strength of an
offer letter in his possession.
Through his lawyer, Mr Nelson Mashizha of Takundwa and Company, Mr Madziva
cited Lands and Rural Resettlement Minister Herbert Murerwa as a respondent
in the matter.
Mr Madziva was given the offer letter to occupy the farm in December 2008.
He is seeking an order evicting the farmer and instead declare him the
rightful owner of the farm.
Mr Madziva said from the time he received his offer letter, he had explored
all diplomatic ways of seeking a lawful handover of the property from Mr
“It has now dawned on me that all my sound efforts to do everything in
accordance with the law have been grossly abused by the indifferent attitude
to the law by the first respondent (Davidson),” said Mr Madziva in his court
papers. He said Mr Davidson’s open defiance of the law left him with no
option, but to seek legal recourse.
Mr Davidson is opposing the eviction.
“The matter was dealt with by a competent court of law,” he said.
In a judgment already registered with Administrative Court, Mr Davidson said
it was agreed that the State would acquire a piece of land commonly known as
Lisbon Extension while he kept Xekene Extension.
“It is improper, therefore, for the applicant to approach the court seeking
a declaratory order in a matter that has already been dealt with by the
Administrative Court, by the consent of the parties,” he said.
Two years ago, Mr Madziva sought the eviction of Mr Davidson through
criminal prosecution under section 3(2) of the Gazetted Lands
(Consequential Provisions) Act.
The Act criminalises the continued occupation by the owners or occupiers of
land acquired in terms of the Constitution of Zimbabwe beyond the
The defence raised an exception on grounds that the matter was res judicata
(dealt with by a competent court of law).
It also argues that dealing with the matter now would be tantamount to
reviewing the order of a superior court.
The case is coming to court two years after the full bench of the Supreme
Court made an explicit ruling on the land issue.
The judiciary’s apex court reiterated and confirmed that farmers and
occupants whose land had been acquired in terms of the Constitution of
Zimbabwe cannot challenge the legality of such acquisition in a court of
Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku delivered the landmark ruling in November
A Harare company is proposing to introduce insurance cover to protect
property against political violence, war and terrorism – a move that has
been dismissed as wishful thinking by insurance experts who say it is
Champions Insurance Company’s development manager, Immaculate Musonza, is
quoted in the state-controlled Herald newspaper as saying the scheme is also
expected to cover property affected by riots, civil disobedience and
Musonza, who was not available for comment, claimed that they have partnered
with some international insurance companies to kick start the scheme – the
first of its kind in Zimbabwe usually facing serious cases of political
Premiums for the scheme have not yet been announced as critics said it is an
unsustainable venture in a politically high risk nation like Zimbabwe.
Insurance broker Clemency Sibanda of Old Mutual Limited told VOA Studio 7
companies under this insurance cover are expected to pay high premiums due
to the prevalence of violence in the country.
"This will only succeed if a large number of firms are prepared to be part
of this scheme," said Sibanda.
Most insurance companies do not have insurance schemes for protecting
buildings, goods and related property against war, political violence,
terrorism and civil disobedience.
More than 200 supporters of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai were killed in
the 2008 general elections and property worth millions of dollars was
South Africa’s imported milk products to Zimbabwe have disappeared from the
country’s supermarket stores, amid reports that the First Family ordered a
ban on the imports with the aim to dominate the market through its Mazowe
by Jeffrey Moyo
A survey conducted by The Zimbabwean this week across supermarkets in the
capital showed that a number of supermarkets were stocking dairy products
from Grace Mugabe’s farm in Mazowe – a brazen challenge to Swiss food
conglomerate, Nestle, which bowed to political pressure to stop buying milk
from Gushungo Dairy Estate.
The country’s biggest supermarket chain, OK, was this week selling pints of
fresh milk and sour milk under Mugabe's Alpha Omega brand.
Also being processed at the First Family’s farm is powdered milk, ice cream
and various other products, which impeccable sources said will soon enter a
market dominated by Nestle.
Zimbabwean blogger, Cynic Harare, observed that the packaging was “pretty
dull”, but added: “It tastes like milk, which means it’s better than some
stuff around. It’s a bit cheaper too.”
In a recent interview with the public media, President Robert Mugabe’s wife
boasted that her dairy farm had 2,000 cows and was the second biggest in
In 2009, after coming under pressure from rights activists who threatened to
campaign for a boycott of Nestle products, Nestle announced it would stop
buying milk from Gushungo Dairy Estate – built on a farm which was seized
from a former commercial farmer.
By Ndakaziva Majaka, Staff Writer
Tuesday, 23 October 2012 09:53
HARARE - Immigration officials have slammed the Finance ministry for slowing
down the upgrading of the Beitbridge border post.
Officials are now hoping that Finance minister Tendai Biti will use the 2013
budget to rectify the situation.
Charles Gwede, the assistant immigration manager in charge of Beitbridge
Border Post said infrastructure at the country’s busiest border post is
dilapidated and in need of urgent restoration.
“The infrastructure at Beitbridge Border Post is not compatible with the
volume of traffic that we handle everyday, especially during peak periods,”
he told the parliamentary committee on Budget, Finance and Investment
Promotion during a hearing last week.
“It has taken too long for government to address this problem, therefore we
urge the minister of Finance to look into such issues when coming up with
the 2013 national budget. We also need more funding to address the issue of
staff shortages,” he said.
Gwede implored on Biti to inject funds that would speed the “overdue”
upgrading that has been dragging for the last decade.
Government earlier this year cancelled a $97 million Public-Private
Partnership (PPP) for the upgrading of infrastructure at Beitbridge Border
Post after the contractor failed to meet obligations, as the project has
been on the cards since 2007.
The failure on the side of the contractor is due to cash shortages and other
Gwede said understaffing was the main reason behind the underperformance of
This comes as Investment and Economic Planning deputy minister Samuel
Undenge said Beitbridge town had been selected as an economic zone.
An economic zone refers to a designated area in which companies are taxed
very lightly or not at all in order to encourage economic activity through
favourable customs regulations.
This move is meant to boost exports and stimulate production, which in turn
will generate funds for the upgrading of the dilapidating border post.
According to Undenge, Zimbabwe is adopting the concept, which is common in
other parts of the world like the European Union trade block and China.
African Development Bank vicepresident, Zimbabwean-born Mthuli Ncube, is on
record as saying failure to spruce up the image of the border post and
understaffing cost the country up to $35 million annually.
The volume of traffic at Beitbridge can average more than 12 000 travellers
and 3 500 vehicles a day during the festive season.
Zanu (PF) has resolved to defy police by keeping touts at bus stations for
‘intelligence and security reasons’, The Zimbabwean has learnt.
by Staff Reporter
Last week Zanu (PF) youths deployed as touts at bus stations across the town
convened at the party provincial offices where they were instructed to defy
“We met at the party offices last week and resolved to maintain our presence
at the bus termini for intelligence and security reasons. It was noted that
illegal MDC material and members would arrive in town by bus. To counter and
arrest such activities, Zanu (PF) felt it necessary to maintain the presence
of party youths at such strategic transit points,” said a senior party youth
who declined to be identified.
He said they were addressed at the party offices by top provincial executive
members. Following clashes with police in Harare recently, Zanu (PF) rank
marshals and touts, popularly known as Mandimbandimba, adopted a militant
stance and have been wearing yellow berets bearing the Zanu (PF) symbol.
“Police efforts are futile as we have adopted new operational strategies. We
will split our groups into smaller teams and keep a safe distance from the
stations. Bus crews will have to pay touts a fee at our observation points.
The fee is the equivalent to the fare charged for a single trip. Those who
defy the regulation risk being beaten up and banned from picking up
passengers at the rank,” said another tout who only identified himself as
Recently, some 21 Zanu (PF) touts were rounded up and arrested in a police
operation in Marondera. Some were released after paying admission of guilt
fines while others are still in custody pending an appearance at the
The touts are accused of inconveniencing the travelling public and
Zanu (PF) inside sources said the Mandimbandimba project was started as a
Zanu (PF) fund raising exercise. The project also creates employment for
restless party youths who lack basic skills to be gainfully employed
A policeman who spoke on condition of anonymity described the presence of
the Zanu (PF) touts as “a sensitive matter”.
HeeHoo and I always get a yearning to visit Hwange Game Reserve at
this time of the year. Its a good time to see the birds and animals as
the vegetation is sparse, however we were just not prepared for the
surreal scenes that awaited us.
We arrived at 2.30 on Friday at Main Camp, it was dry yes, very
definitely, but we had seen it dry before year after year at this
time. However something was different this year, something
The twenty kilometers surrounding main camp, en route to Nehimba
Exclusive Photographic Safari Camp, was a frenzy of elephants. There
were hundreds, nay thousands, all excruciatingly thin, all in a
frantic search for water, that most precious of all commodities.
Worse still, there were more dead and dying elephants than I have ever
seen in all my years of game viewing. Almost every natural pan was
dry, and there were giant carcasses everywhere.
The vegetation too, was reminiscent of a lunar landscape. Not a single
tree or shrub had been spared, they were torn up, striped bare of all
bark, not a green leaf to be seen anywhere, just a total, desolate,
I know its Mother Nature's way of keeping down the population, I know
the National Parks and Wildlife folk work tirelessly to keep as many
pumps going as they possibly can, but this was a natural disaster of
vast proportions as far as one could ascertain.
We ventured further afield along the main road towards Robbins and
Sinamatella, and were faced with further ravages to the park, fires
had also taken their toll, and the normal abundant plains game was
just not to be seen. A few desultory herds of zebra, a couple of
giraffe listlessly searching the tops of the Mopani trees for
anything, just anything, to fill their bellies.
Very few impala, not a single wildebeest, a lone Sable as skittish as
the day was long.
But it was the pressure of the vast families of skeletal elephant that
scared us the most. The poor creatures had to walk so far away from
the existing waterholes that they were exhausted and starving, and yet
it was imperative that they returned every twenty-four hours to the
As we neared Nehimba there were even more of the great behemoths,
racing from dry pan to dry pan frantically. Those pans that were
pumping were absolutely clogged with eles and sadly they were fighting
in panic for that most precious commodity on all the earth.
HeeHoo and I are no strangers to elephant behavior, we have undertaken
ten Hwange Game Counts where we have observed these gentle giants for
countless hours. Their behavior in normal years has always been
impeccable. A new group arriving at a waterhole will usually stand
patiently waiting it's turn at the pan, issuing the famous "elephant
rumble" to advise the elephants at the pan that they are waiting so
Courteous, deferential, polite and gracious, as thirsty as they may
be, usually the entire family would wait until the pan had been
vacated by the previous herd, but not today! Running at full tilt, and
believe me an elephant can move pretty fast when he is thirsty, these
poor dehydrated beasts, exhausted from their weary food search over
hundreds of kilometers, would barge their way into the pan, knocking
each other over, shrieking in rage, squealing in frustration and
We had never heard or seen anything like it before. Even the buffalo
were nibbling the new acrid shoots on the trees, where buffalo are not
browsers they are grazers !!
Every natural pan we passed was totally dry, or a giant mud seep,
where the carcasses of elephants had died an agonizing death, stuck
firmly in the treacherous mud. The Hwange operators told us tales of
lion attacking weak and debilitated elephant in their dying throes,
phenomena seldom heard of in Hwange.
Their giants skins hanging grey, dull and lifeless, their eyes filled
with white mucous, herd after desperate herd, moms, dads, babies all
trudging, running, frantically seeking their lives' blood.
This happened ten years ago in the early nineties, when yet another
crippling drought ravaged Matabeleland, thousands of animals died an
agonizing death, by dehydration and starvation. And as the pressure of
the elephants descended on the few working waterholes, so the plains
game, the cats and the small mammals are driven away by the frantic
multitudinous mass of elephants.
Fortunately further south east in the park the operators, Friends of
Hwange and National Parks, are furiously putting down boreholes to try
and create water points in areas where there is still a little
grazing, but sadly not enough and not in time.
At the delightful photographic safari camp where we were lucky enough
to be staying, the swimming pool was a focal point as countless
elephant came in their droves, to drink the fresh water from the pool!
A great entertainment for the guests but a tragic indication of the
desperation of these great grey giants.
The Loxodonta Africana, Africa's jewel, so special and yet seriously
under the threat of yet another of Matabeleland's horrendous and
Contact this loyal band of dedicated conservationists if you would
like to help "Friends of Hwange Trust" - visit the Trust's website at
Next week I will tell you about Nehimba, Hwange's best-kept secret, an
exclusive photographic Safari Camp with a great big future.
The newly elected democratic government of Zimbabwe declared the
universality of education in 1980, with the vision to provide equal
educational opportunities to all its citizens. Thus embracing a rights-based
approach in which everyone would acquire relevant education to spearhead
development in the country. Literacy rate was at 50% and the government
stepped in to redress the imbalances caused by the ousted colonial power.
During colonial times, in every 1 000 black children, 250 never went to
school. Of the remaining 750, 337 finished primary school. Of the 337, only
60 entered secondary school, and of those 60 only 3 finished “A” level Pape
(1998). In comparison with this, 100% of the white children completed
secondary school with about 23% going on to “A” level. Such imbalances
produced two social structures, depicting master - sub-servant
relationships. In an attempt to curb the inequalities, the government fought
to make education accessible to all. Many infrastructures mushroomed
throughout the country to accommodate both primary and secondary school
children. More children could have access to formal secondary education, the
disadvantaged included. Primary education was made free and compulsory.
Early Childhood Education became accessible to every child below six years
The government’s coffers could not support all its envisaged goals. There
were no sufficient funds to implement the projects and as a result the
universality of education was abandoned, leaving parents with the option of
funding their children’s education or keeping them at home. The 1980’s were
saddled with the Economic Structural Adjustment Program, which brought
untold suffering to the communities. Retrenchment in firms and factories
took its toll Madebgwe (1993), swelling the number of the unemployed.
Moreover, some companies retrenched thousands of workers. The government
followed suite. Some Ministries had their budgets slashed drastically
Tafirenyika (1991), rendering the operating arms useless. After losing their
jobs, parents failed to pay for their children’s education, fuelling the
dropout rate. The jobless retraced their steps to their rural areas, and
those not so privileged stayed behind, struggling to survive. Graham-Brown
(1996) emphasised that employment opportunities in rural areas were
non-existent and in towns stagnation loomed.
The country was confronted from both sides by a jobless society and a huge
drop out rate. They all competed in the dwindling labour market.
Graham-Brown (1996) concluded that if ever there were employment
opportunities, school-leavers often lacked the needed skills. Their future
prospects about employment became a nightmare. A dark curtain of both
illiteracy and semi-illiteracy had descended on the disadvantaged, robbing
them of the once preached democratic education. The effects of HIV and AIDS
became unbearable as many parents succumbed to diseases, leaving
child-headed families without any resources to sustain their education.
Hence, rhetoric statements like, “School leavers should forget about getting
employed and become job creators,” were often heard. What skills did they
possess to make them job creators, one would ask. Apart from working as
cattle herders for the privileged families there was nothing else to do in
rural areas. An urban drift followed, increasing the street population.
Inflation rate increasingly shot up, devouring the middle class.
Socio-economic problems swept through the country like a hurricane,
destroying possible chances of establishing democratic education. In 2000
inflation reached 62%, adding more problems to those who couldn’t afford
three basic meals a day. The possibility of educating their children drifted
into oblivion. Seeing the nation drifting back into social strata dictated
by socio-economic woes, the government introduced Better Education
Assistance Module (BEAM) in 2000, and for the past 12 years paid tuition for
the under privileged pupils, making it possible for every child to stay in
the system and receive formal education. Since then, many children graduate
from various primary schools with an insatiable hunger to pursue secondary
education. A big applause goes to Better Education Assistance Module (BEAM)
and the donor community, who managed to assist. Retention became a reality,
reducing the drop out rate of primary school graduates from 30% to a
UNICEF managed to support over 400 000 disadvantaged primary school children
for the past three years Coltart (2012). The organisation withdrew its
assistance after many donors failed to support the programme at the
beginning of the year, 2012, leaving the government in limbo. The British
Department for International Development (DFID), which supports sustainable
development stepped in to alleviate the problem, and provided $15 million to
keep the under privileged in school. Crown Agents, a British procurement arm
took over from UNICEF and is now managing and co-ordinating BEAM for primary
schools. Uncertainty hovers over the time frame DFID would fund education of
the vulnerable children. We applaud the government and all donor communities
who have managed to keep the under privileged children in formal education.
However, there was an outcry when UNICEF announced its termination of
assisting BEAM. The same happened when Girl Child Network Zimbabwe became
inconsistent in funding its beneficiaries. The government was left in a
state of shock as well as the recipients because there were no alternatives
put in place to help when such discrepancies disrupted the norm. It is
common knowledge that the government is groaning under heavy sanctions, and
cannot support the full load of funding BEAM.
Just like in the 1980’s when the government embarked on a free compulsory
primary education, it came to a halt due to financial constraints. Now donor
agencies are pulling out because they have pressing economic issues in their
home countries. Recession is a world wide cruel phenomena that has reduced
people of different nationalities to beggars. For example, in Greece, 1 in
every 3 people is living below the poverty datum line (CNN). Bearing all
this in mind, chances of getting foreign funding are oblique. Planning under
such circumstances is impractical and unrealistic. The question is who will
assist us educate our own children. The answer lies within us, Zimbabweans;
to educate our own people or be faced with a street population that will
haunt us the rest of our lives. A young growing population of street kids
has become a common sight and a menace in some neighbourhoods. Teen mothers,
with babies strapped on their backs roam the streets, mirroring failures of
our education and parenting systems. Educationists, parents, legislators,
policy makers, and business people see this time bomb everyday in every town
and city, but pretend not to care. We hide our heads in the sand like
ostriches, thinking the problem will soon vanish. This is not going to
happen now or in the foreseeable future until we take responsibility as a
nation. Educating your own child and leaving your brother’ s for menial
tasks does not make the world a better place for you and the future
Before independence there were no secondary schools in remote areas, except
where churches set up mission boarding schools. The provision of secondary
education was left in the hands of missionaries, and the colonial government
concentrated on primary education, preparing the masses for menial jobs.
Urban areas didn’t have secondary schools either, with the exception of a
few community schools. Many secondary schools mushroomed country wide. The
government advocated for scientific education and practical subjects were
introduced. Teachers encountered problems in teaching practical subjects
like Home Economics in rural areas. Electrification of rural areas became a
priority in a bid to democratise education. This meant equal opportunities
for teachers and children in both rural and urban areas. It was also a way
of retaining trained staff in the country side. Some communities managed to
provide furniture as well as computers for their schools resulting in
disparities dictated by socio-economic inequalities. However, not all
schools have been electrified due to financial constraints. Some schools
lack basic facilities like furniture, textbooks, chalk, manila paper and
magic markers Goto (2004). Credit goes to UNICEF for providing textbooks to
all primary schools this year, 2012.
Because of increase in enrolment, the Ministry of Education had to higher
many temporary teachers to teach in both primary and secondary schools.
Primary enrolment rose from 819,586 in 1979 to 2,147,899 in 1984, Dzvimbo
(1988). In 2008 the enrolment shot to 2 445 520 National Report (2008).
Secondary schools went up from 177 to 1502 and enrolment increased by 950%,
Graham-Brown (1996). In 2008 enrolment increased by 1155.77% National Report
(2008). To date, a total of nine public universities and five polytechnic
colleges operate in the country. Primary Teacher Education Institutes
increased in number to 11 and had a total output of 44 276 graduates between
2005-2007. Secondary Teacher Education Institutes stand at 3, and a total of
11 027 students graduated between 2005-2007 National Report (2008). After
churning out so many college graduates one would think temporary teaching is
a thing of the past, but in reality they still man some schools. The reason
being that many trained teachers became demoralised because of the low
remunerations and poor living conditions and moved to other SADC countries
and beyond. The exodus is still going on. The country is struggling under
illegal sanctions and unspeakable inflation, making people fail to make ends
meet. In so doing, the country has remained a training ground, pushing
further away the realities of democratic education. Tertiary Institutes
groan under the same burden of brain drain. Lecturers, administrative and
support staff leave in big numbers for greener pastures.
The road to democratic education has been challenged by many obstacles as
discussed above since independence. From tertiary institutes to schools,
socio-economic huddles pose threateningly. Lack of instructional and
learning material compromise the standard of education. Low remunerations
are a cause of concern among teachers, they need incentives to keep them
happy and motivated to teach. Maintenance and upkeep of facilities is
failing in public institutes as government funding froze. World economies
that used to sustain developing countries in the name of donor agencies are
failing, but the need to keep vulnerable children in the main stream is
still immensurable. Government alone sways under the hideous weight, and who
can tell the end result. To achieve democratic education, which leads to
meaningful development of the country, all stakeholders are required to
positively and meaningfully contribute to fund the education system. We
should learn to desist from the donor syndrome, come together as a nation
and think seriously about our situation and devise ideas and practical ways
to get out of the mess. Coming up with a sustainable economy, governed by
attractive democratic laws lures investors, who would create enumerable jobs
for graduates. With a decent salary, it’s easier to sustain oneself and
those around you. Moreover, a viable economy, free from corruption is the
only way forward in establishing and achieving democratic education that is
relevant to our socio-economic needs.
By: Molly Goto Nyatanga (Ph.D Educational Sciences)
October 23, 2012, 2:36 p.m. ET
The past four years have shown that it is possible to have a Zimbabwean
government that serves the people.
By MORGAN TSVANGIRAI
Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change recently commemorated its 13th
anniversary at a ceremony in the city of Bulawayo. Contrary to popular
belief, my political party had much to celebrate.
Four years ago, Zimbabwe was nearly a failed state. Hyperinflation had
reached a historic peak. Freedoms were stifled at every turn. Starvation ran
rampant and cholera had spread to a near-epidemic level. Schools were
closed, many for an entire year. The ratio of students to textbooks was 15
to 1. Political institutions were in large part—if not totally—to blame for
a lack of both vision and accountability.
We can point to the past, and the international community often does so.
We've been told that the atrocities of 2008 continue to justify economic
sanctions hindering our forward trajectory.
But in the past four years, we have taught our colleagues at home and around
the world that it is possible to have a Zimbabwean government that serves
the people. In that time, we have grown dynamically. Bolder, lasting reforms
are on the way.
We realize that Zimbabwe as a global actor is often seen as being
irrevocably divided. Our political process, including the steps ahead of
finalizing our national constitution, has been scrutinized for focusing on
reparation rather than reconciliation.
But it is important to recognize that Zimbabwe is undergoing a sensitive
process of political, economic and societal revival. We are bringing about a
new culture of governance. We have curbed hyperinflation while enhancing our
economic infrastructure. We are rehabilitating our education sector—the
ratio of students to textbooks is now 1 to 1. We are providing food security
and fortifying a skill-intensive labor market.
In a time of unprecedented mineral wealth, we are seeking to improve
extraction oversight, audit the distribution channels for domestic revenue
growth, and encourage social responsibility from the private and public
sectors. We understand the need for technological innovation to compete in
the global sphere, and know that expanding telecommunication investment will
have a unifying, progressive effect on our nation.
Obviously, there are still clear and present challenges to such
modernizations. Targeted smear campaigns and censorship imposed by our
political opposition have created a incessant assault on our brand. Though
marginal achievements have been made in the bureaucratic realm, ZANU-PF
remains devoted to destructive tactics when elections loom. Working with
ZANU-PF and President Robert Mugabe in cabinet has not been easy.
We recognize, however, that diversity and dissent are healthy signs of
growth. Though the "Zimbabwe situation" is often used to evoke frustration,
let us redefine it as an everlasting confidence in the future, a confidence
inherent to our culture. We have been the breadbasket of Africa and have
proven ourselves ready to participate again at the global forefront.
Five years ago, I was a battered prisoner locked away in a police cell.
Today, I serve as president of the Movement for Democratic Change and prime
minister of a nation on the upswing. We encourage the Zimbabwean diaspora,
our partners in the Southern African Development Community, and the
international community to take a closer look at Zimbabwe. They might be
surprised at what they find.
Mr. Tsvangirai is Zimbabwe's prime minister.