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Conservancy land ‘beneficiary’ in poaching claim

By Alex Bell
26 October 2012

One of the ZANU PF ‘beneficiaries’ of conservancy land leases and hunting
licences is reportedly being investigated for poaching, as the future of the
Save Valley Conservancy remains unclear.

Former ZANU PF Minister and ‘war vet’ Shuvai Mahofa, referred to as the
Masvingo ‘Iron Lady’, is reportedly being investigated after a butchery she
allegedly runs in Gutu was raided by police. According to a NewsDay article,
three buffalo carcasses and other game meat was discovered.

Mahofa was one of a group of mainly ZANU PF linked individuals who were
granted a hunting licence by National Parks in August. She and the group of
so-called ‘indigenous farmers’ were given the licences and 25 year land
leases as part of the ZANU PF led indigenisation campaign.

Those who were handed leases at Save Valley include war vets leader Joseph
Chinotimba, Major General Gibson Mashingaidze, Major General Engelbert
Rugeje, Masvingo Governor and Resident Minister Titus Maluleke, ZANU PF
Masvingo provincial chairperson Lovemore Matuke, the late Higher Education
Minister Stan Mudenge, Health Deputy Minister Douglas Mombeshora; ZANU PF
central committee member Enock Porusingazi and ZANU PF MPs Alois Baloyi,
Abraham Sithole, Samson Mukanduri and Noel Mandebvu.

The group last year formed the ‘Masvingo Initiative’ which led a campaign of
intimidation and harassment against various land owners in the province.
During this campaign Mahofa seized the Savuli Ranch and this year evicted
the owners and their employees.

Mahofa has since given permission to some safari operators to hunt on Savuli
Ranch, granting them hunting quotas according to her newly issued licence.
Mahofa’s brother is understood to be a known bush meat trader and sources
have told SW Radio Africa that their butchery business in Gutu has been
thriving ever since Mahofa was given her hunting licence.

Some observers have suggested that targeting Mahofa is a result of ZANU PF
infighting she has now become tangled in. The saga around the Save Valley
has already pitted some members of ZANU PF against each other, with the
Walter Mzembi led Tourism Ministry facing off against Environment Minister
Francis Nhema.

Mzembi has suggested that the licences should be withdrawn until a full
investigation is done. It’s understood his position is one of damage
limitation ahead of the scheduled UN World Tourism Organisation conference
set for Victoria Falls next year. The situation at Save Valley Conservancy
has added to widespread criticism of Zimbabwe acting as the host of the
international meeting.

Nhema meanwhile has previously backed the handing over of the licences as a
progressive move for indigenisation. He has slammed Mzembi in interviews for
trying to change the situation.

Both Ministers were meanwhile part of a committee set up by the ZANU PF
politburo to try and calm tensions around the situation at the conservancy.
The committee was asked to look into the possibility of turning the
conservancy into a national park, which would effectively see the leases
being withdrawn. But, since its appointment, the committee has failed to

Johnny Rodrigues, the chairman of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, told
SW Radio Africa that withdrawal the leases and putting a moratorium on
hunting was the best way to tackle the ongoing problem of poaching and
illegal hunting. He said a proper audit needs to be completed to ensure
hunting is controlled.

He meanwhile said that plans to turn the Conservancy into a national park
are part of efforts by the authorities to “hoodwink” people, into believing
that the situation is under control.

“They are trying to show the world that they are in control, particularly
with the UN meeting happening next year. But the reality is if the situation
is not brought under control, then we won’t have any wildlife left,”
Rodrigues warned.

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Zim Has No Funds For Referendum, Elections: Biti

Bulawayo, October 26, 2012- Zimbabwe's Finance Minister Tendai Biti said
there are no funds for early elections as well as the referendum to chose a
new constitution for the country.
“Clearly as Zimbabwe government we don’t have funds for this election and
the referendum too, therefore our friends the United Nations and other
countries like China, United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark must come to the party
and help us, in the same way they helped us in the past with things such the
education trust and the health trust,” said Biti in a pre-budget
consultative meeting in Bulawayo Thursday.

“Issues around the threat of early elections are affecting business
confidence and production outputs in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe has also never known
peace and stability for 10 successive years,” Biti said.

According to the Global Political Agreement (GPA) signed on September 15,
2008, President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu (PF) and the two Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) factions led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and
Industry Minister Welshman Ncube should be committed to the drafting of a
new constitution that will pave way for a free and fair election.

Before the unity government Zimbabwe's economy had collapsed as a result of
economic mismanagement resulting in an unemployment rate of 94% and
spiralling hyperinflation.

Zimbabwe‘s economy, considered one of Africa’s strongest economies,
collapsed in an atmosphere of political turmoil, capital flight, corruption,
mismanagement and brain drain.

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Biti turns to donors to fund referendum and elections

By Tichaona Sibanda
26 October 2012

The inclusive government is being forced to rely on foreign donors to fund
the referendum on a new constitution and elections next year because of the
deepening financial crisis facing the country.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti revealed this during a 2013 Budget consultative
meeting in Bulawayo. He is expected to deliver his 2013 Fiscal Policy
Statement on 15th November.

Faced with a US$400 million deficit in the 2012 budget and huge debt Biti,
on the advice the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said he will soon take
a begging bowl to Western countries and world bodies for funds to bankroll
the referendum and the elections, as the country had no money.

Zimbabwe is set to hold elections next year to end the power-sharing
government of Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. The two
formed a coalition in 2009 after the SADC regional leaders nullified a
violent election in which Mugabe claimed victory over Tsvangirai. There is
however a crisis that the treasury does not have adequate resources to fund
the elections.

‘Countries such as the United Kingdom, Norway, and China and the United
Nations have an obligation to fund the elections, in as much as they fund
our education and health sectors. We will soon approach them for assistance,’
he said.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) requires a staggering $300 million
for both the referendum an election. The referendum alone will cost over
$100 million, with the remainder going to the harmonized elections due early
next year.

ZEC’s deputy Chairperson Joyce Kazembe said her organization does not have
money to hold a referendum or elections but agreed once the funds were made
available, the commission would be able to organize both exercises without

Kazembe said ZEC would require a six-week lead time before the referendum to
ensure voter education, staff training and other logistical arrangements
were put in place.
The date for the referendum is yet to be set, but there are expectations it
might be held in January 2013, with an election coming six months later.

Zimbabwe’s diamond fields would of course provide more than enough money, if
the diamonds weren’t being plundered by the ruling elite.

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Civil service bonuses guaranteed - Biti

26/10/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

THE country’s estimated 230,000 state employees will get their 13th cheque
this year, Finance Minister Tendai Biti has confirmed.

Biti last month warned that bonus payments for civil servants were doubtful
this year as he revealed that the government was facing a US$400 million
budget black-hole.

The revelations angered state workers who have been threatening to strike
demanding salary increases to levels in line with the poverty datum line
which is estimated at about US$650.

However, Biti assured health workers in Bulawayo during the 2013 national
budget consultations Thursday that bonuses would be paid but on a staggered

“Payment of bonuses to our civil servants is guaranteed. We will pay them as
usual, but as we did last year, the payment will be staggered.”

“However, you have to understand that it is not easy. Our revenue inflows
are not good and the budget is under­performing, which is why we had to cut
recurrent expenditures from min­istries.”

Biti has since been forced to revise his 2012 growth forecast from 9.4
percent to 5.6 percent as well as cut the budget back to US$3.6 billion from
US$4 billion due to poor revenue performance.

And on Thursday he also revealed that the government was contributing to
problems at most utilities, parastatals as well as in local authorities by
failing to pay service fees.

“The Government is sit­ting on $350 million in arrears to serv­ice providers
such as fertiliser and seed companies who are owed about US$40 million,” he

“We owe US$30 million to Zesa, another US$30 million to mobile providers,
more than US$40 million in unpaid rates to local authorities and US$20
million to Zinwa.

“We have accumulated a budget deficit and we are already eating into the
Meanwhile apart from the civil service bonuses treasury is also under
pressure to raise funding for the new agriculture season as well as the
constitutional referendum and elections which are expected next year.

Biti has since approached oil-rich Angola as well as South Africa to follow
up on pledges for financial support made at a SADC summit back in 2009 as
the regional body helped facilitate formation of the coalition government
after violent but inconclusive elections a year earlier.

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Resumption of Air Zimbabwe Flights Shocks Ministers

Gibbs Dube

Three cabinet ministers say they are surprised that Air Zimbabwe will return
to the skies next month before it gets a strategic partner as recommended by
the government after it grounded the airline last December due to a
crippling debt of $100 million.

The ministers, who declined to be named, estimated the airline will need
capital investment of at least $500 million to resume domestic, regional and
international flights.

The cabinet ministers also said they have not been officially informed by
Transport Minister Nicholas Goche that Air Zimbabwe had acquired two Airbus
planes and is in the process of resuming domestic and regional flights
though it still owes some creditors and workers millions of dollars.

American General Supplies seized one of Air Zimbabwe’s planes last December
at Gatwick International Airport in an attempt to recover a $1.5 million

State Enterprises Minister Gorden Moyo tells Studio 7 that the cabinet is
expected to table discussions on restructuring Air Zimbabwe and other
parastatals next Monday.

"A cabinet committee has so far discussed a report compiled by Ernest and
Young which was subcontracted by government to analyze the challenges and
opportunities surrounding Air Zimbabwe ... We have made our own
recommendations to be presented to cabinet," said Moyo.

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Zimbabwe government land seizures continue

Published: Oct. 25, 2012 at 3:38 PM

HARARE, Zimbabwe, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- Suspected Zanu PF activists invaded CAPS
Holdings owner Frederick Mutanda's farm in Mutorashanga, Zimbabwe.

CAPS is a debt-ridden Zimbabwean pharmaceutical company.

Mutanda on Tuesday accused Zimbabwe Minister of Local Government and
National Housing Ignatius Chombo, who is Zanu PF secretary for lands, of
sending Zanu PF militants to invade his Ravie Farm in Mutorashanga.

Zimbabwean Mashonaland West provincial Chairman John Mafa stated however, "I
have never spoken to anybody about Mutanda's farm but he was told to produce
papers that prove he is the rightful owner by (Mashonaland West governor and
resident minister) Faber Chidarikire.

"Personally, I have nothing against Mutanda or anybody else, so I never sent
people to go and invade his farm. What I remember is that when I sat on the
lands committee, Mutanda was asked to produce documents that proved his
ownership and I'm not sure he has done that yet," Newsday news agency
reported Wednesday.

What makes the case unusual is that land expropriation was a Zanu PF tactic
primarily utilized against Zimbabwe's white farmer minority, rather than
against black Zimbabwean government officials.

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‘Principals draft’ must be rejected: NCA

26/10/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

THE National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) has said the draft constitution
must be rejected when it is put to a national referendum after President
Robert Mugabe insisted that GPA principals would, between them, determine
the content of the final document.

Mugabe drew fire from constitutional reform activists on Monday when he told
delegates to COPAC’s second all-stakeholders conference that he, along with
co-GPA leaders Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his deputy Arthur
Mutambara, would have the final say on the new constitution.

In a statement Thursday, the NCA, which has, over the last decade or so,
been campaigning for a new democratic constitution dismissed the conference
as a farcical political party event adding Mugabe’s remarks showed that the
COPAC process had been a costly waste of time.

“For COPAC to have had the temerity to even proceed with its political party
meeting after President Mugabe had made it clear that it is the principals
of the GPA that would decide on the final version of the draft is ridiculous
to say the least,” the NCA said.

“It would have been logical for the so called All Stakeholders Conference to
have concluded after the three principals had given their vacuous and
patently deceptive speeches.”

COPAC co-chairs Douglas Mwonzora (MDC-T) and Paul Mangwana (Zanu PF) however
insisted that the GPA leaders had no roll under the process adding that
Parliament would continue to drive the process.

The NCA said it was surprising that delegates to the conference had taken
less than ten hours to deliberate on the draft despite widely reported
differences between the GPA parties over various clauses.

“It is also apparent that COPAC has, three years after it embarked on its
undemocratic constitution making process, failed to even meet its own low
standards,” the statement added.

“It is beyond reason that it sought to discuss the entirety of its political
parties draft constitution in no more than 10 hours after the principals had
departed the Rainbow Towers.

“To claim any serious debate occurred or emerged in what were referred to as
thematic committees is to be thoroughly dishonest to the people of Zimbabwe.

“Any report that will emerge from such a shallow and politically deceptive
process should not be taken seriously by any Zimbabwean with the democratic
interests of the country at heart.”

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights director, Irene Petras also slammed the
conference saying there was no meaningful debate as delegates were simply
repeating their positions of their respective political parties.

“Incidents of coaching of party delegates by all three delegations in a bid
to safeguard their political party aspirations were rampant. Pamphlets
entitled key points to note at the conference were parcelled out to some
delegates who would constantly refer to these notes verbatim during
discussions on thematic issues,” she said.

“The coalition government needs to be reminded that the Constitution is not
written merely for the generation that exists at the time of its being
authored but for unlimited and perpetual posterity and not for rulers who
would be intoxicated with excessive power.”

The NCA said it had since launched a nationwide campaign for the rejection
of the COPAC draft when it is put to a referendum, possibly in January.

“The NCA strongly urges all Zimbabweans to reject the national deception
that is COPAC and Article 6 of the GPA by voting ‘No’ to the Principals
draft constitution when the referendum is held,” the organisation said.

“Once this draft is rejected, it remains the right of Zimbabweans to embark
on a democratic, people driven process that transcends the political
interests of narrow minded political parties and their political leaders.

“The NCA shall continue its outreach and awareness public meetings (whose)
central message will be that of emphasizing the urgent need to bring to
finality the national deception that has been the undemocratic COPAC
constitution making process.”

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Mugabe's Attempts to Take Over Draft Constitution Angers NGOs

Blessing Zulu, Thomas Chiripasi

WASHINGTON/HARARE — Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition has embarked on a
mobilization campaign urging local people to unite against President Robert
Mugabe’s bid to usurp the powers of the select committee writing the country’s
new constitution.

Mr. Mugabe on Monday said unity government principals will have the final
say on the draft charter before it is submitted to parliament.

The select committee was expected to compile a final draft and a national
report following the second all stakeholders’ conference that ended Tuesday.

But in what legal experts are calling a violation of the global political
agreement, which led to the formation of the unity government, the president
is digging in and asking the parliamentary constitution select committee to
handover the process.

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition is urging local people to collectively engage
in what the civic groups have dubbed a ‘Save the Constitution Campaign’ in a
bid to stop the president from taking over the proccess.

The move has been endorsed by another coalition of civic groups comprising
the Zimbabwe Election Support Network and the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human

Mr. Mugabe is allegedly under pressure from some of his own party members,
notably his chief negotiators in the management committee of the
constitution-making process, who want the parliamentary committee to hand
over the charter to parliament and not the principals.

Regional coordinator Phillan Zamchiya of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
tells VOA it is important for Zimbabweans to unite in order to halt Mr.
Mugabe’s overtures.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is reported to have made a u-turn after
agreeing earlier with Mr. Mugabe that the principals will have the final say
on the draft constitution before it goes to parliament.

Mr. Tsvangirai now wants the draft charter to go straight to parliament.

Meanwhile, a coalition of civic society organizations monitoring the
constitution revision process, the Zimbabwe Independent Constitution
Monitoring Project (ZICOMP), says the second all stakeholders' conference
was marred by several irregularities.

They organizations claim that the conference ended without clarity, a
situation the group says has increased tension in the unity government and
opportunities for political manipulation.

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COPAC sets aside $2million for publicity

COPAC has set aside a staggering $2 million dollars to be used for publicity
and civic education regarding the draft document, MDC-T Co-chairperson of
the parliamentary committee, Douglas Mwonzora, has said.

by Regerai Tututuku

Addressing a report back meeting in Masvingo on Thursday, Mwonzora said the
draft document would be availed in several languages, adding that it would
also be written in simplified English for people to understand it.

“We have set aside $2 million for publicity and civic education”, said
Mwonzora. “We are going to write the draft in several languages spoken in
the country to ensure that everyone understands it.”

Mwonzora said COPAC would soon meet to consider submissions made by
different thematic committees during the Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference
that ended on Tuesday. He said the phase to consider conference feedback
would be completed soon.

“I have briefly gone through the submissions made at the Second
All-Stakeholders’ Conference and I have discovered that we are not going to
take much time on this stage,” Mwonzora

Zanu (PF) COPAC Co- chairperson, Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana, said the select
committee would the hold constitutional referendum before 15 January next

COPAC is currently holding report back meetings following the holding of the
stakeholders’ conference.

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Zimbabwe PM to remember Chiweshe Massacre

October 26, 2012 at 4:31 pm

By Lance Guma

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai will this Saturday revisit the scene of a
gruesome massacre committed by Zanu PF militants aided by rogue army units
in the Chaona area of Chiweshe in the Mashonaland Central province.

Early this month Tsvangirai and wife Elizabeth visited victims of Zanu PF
political violence in Zaka. Zanu PF members in army uniforms petrol bombed
MDC-T offices at Jerera Growth Point killing two party activists Crison
Mbano and Washington Nyangwa.
Three days after Mugabe’s regime finally released the official results of
the March 2008 presidential election, in which Tsvangirai beat Mugabe, over
200 Zanu PF militias rampaged through the village killing 14 MDC-T

Tsvangirai will join hundreds of MDC-T members and families at a memorial
rally to be held at Chaona Business Centre to remember those who were
killed. The Zanu PF mob was led by Major Cairo Mhandu and Major Maravadza.

Women were stripped and beaten so viciously that whole sections of flesh
fell away from their buttocks. The militias also resorted to genital
mutilation in their attacks. One post-mortem listed, ‘crushed genitals’ as
one of the causes of death.

Killed in the attacks were: Gibbs Tayengwa Chironga, Joel Ngowani, Joel
Lewis Musiiwa, Chironga Hama, Dofo Fushirayi, Godfrey Jemedze, Remember
Kanyemba, David Mapuranga Tachiwa and Doreen Marufu.

Also killed were Arthur Matombo, Partson Madzuramhende, Rumbidzai Samhu,
Runyararo Mugauri, Runyararo Musoni and Fungisai Ziome. The 14 are part of
nearly 500 opposition supporters killed by the regime in 2008.

In 2009 the MDC-T compiled a list of the perpetrators and handed it over to
the Attorney General Johannes Tomana and Police Commissioner General,
Augustine Chihuri but no arrests or prosecutions were made.

Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) agent Elias Kanengoni is also
accused of leading the Chiweshe Massacres. In the 1990 elections Kanengoni
shot then opposition candidate Patrick Kombayi before getting a presidential

Meanwhile the memorial in Chiweshe by Tsvangirai follows a similar memorial
rally held in Zaka this month when the PM was accompanied by his new wife
Elizabeth Macheka.

Both listened to victims narrating their harrowing stories of how Zanu PF
members in army uniforms petrol bombed MDC-T offices at Jerera Growth Point
killing two party activists Crison Mbano and Washington Nyangwa.

Those who survived the attack like Edson Gwenhure, Kudakwashe Tsumele and
Isaac Mbanje met the PM and his wife and narrated their horror stories.

A truckload of Zanu PF thugs besieged the offices at midnight and first shot
the victims before bombing their offices. Also housed in the building were
some victims of political violence in the area who had sought refuge there.

Soon after the attack the charred remains of 2 bodies lay on the floor in
the burnt out MDC-T office and all had bullet wounds.

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Lawyer blasts delays in latest Glen View murder case

By Tererai Karimakwenda
26 October 2012

The lawyer representing two youth leaders from the MDC-T, accused of
murdering officer Petros Mutedza last year, has alleged that the state is
delaying their case in the same manner they have delayed the other 29
accused activists.

Gift Mtisi from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), said Jackson
Mabota and Tarisai Kusotera were remanded in custody until November 23rd
when they appeared at the magistrates’ court on Friday. This was because the
state claimed they were not ready to proceed.

The lawyer was also frustrated at the High Court last week. He had lodged a
bail application last Thursday and a hearing was scheduled for Friday. But
this was also delayed by the state.

“The state allocated the case to an officer who was off duty, sick. They
gave the file to someone who is sick so I think this was a dilatory tactic.
The bail hearing is now set for Monday, October 29th,” Mtisi explained.

The lawyer was referring to state prosecutor EdmoreNyazamba, who last week
told the court he was not well and needed to see a doctor. He sent a
representative from his office the next day, claiming the doctor had ordered
a 5-day bed rest.

Mabota and Kusotera were arrested last Tuesday, more than a year after Glen
View cop Petros Mutedza was murdered at a local pub. A total of 29 other
MDC-T officials and activists are already on trial for the same murder.

Explaining the police delay in arresting his clients, Mtisi said: “From
state papers they are alleging that about 50 MDC-T members participated in
the murder of the officer. They are alleging that these two have been on the
run since the commission of the crime, going in and out of the country
avoiding arrest.”

The frustrated lawyer said he agrees with his clients and the MDC-T that the
delays in both cases have been deliberate and meant to prolong their stay in
jail. The MDC-T activists have been denied bail as flight risks on several

The MDC-T insist officer Mutedza was killed by unknown revellers at the Glen
View pub.

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Zimbabwe Urged to Craft Law For Curbing Cellphone Banking Fraud

Violet Gonda, Irwin Chifera

Consultations ahead of Zimbabwe’s 2013 national budget continued Thursday
with the Deposit Protection Corporation calling for legislation to control
mobile phone companies that have ventured into banking operations to
safeguard ordinary people from losing their hard-earned cash.

The corporation’s acting chief executive, Vusa Vuma, told a budget
consultation meeting in Harare that banking operations by mobile phone
companies are not regulated.

Vuma said: “Most of these operations have come into the banking system and
yet there is no legislative framework for supervising mobile banking. We may
in the long run face serious fraud issues if this situation continues.”

Vuma told the Parliamentary Budget, Finance and Investment Promotion
Committee which hosted the meeting that at least $4 billion is circulating
in the informal sector because people have lost confidence in the banking

David Govere of the Business Council of Zimbabwe said the treasury should
ensure that money realized from the sale of Marange diamonds benefits the

He suggested that $30 million should be set aside for small and medium

“Imagine what it will mean when we go to a Kimberley Process meeting and say
$30 million of the diamond revenue has assisted a person in Dotito, Plumtree
and Dulibadzimu,” Govere said.

Other organizations that made submissions to the committee were the Zimbabwe
National Chamber of Commerce and Buy Zimbabwe.

The two said the budgetary process must include a mandatory local
procurement policy.

Others organizations called for the lowering of interest rates and
protection of the local industry from cheap imports that have flooded the
local market.

Parliamentary budget committee chairman Paddy Zhanda said the submissions
would be useful in the drafting of the 2013 budget.

Prosper Chitambara, an economist with the Labor and Economic Development
Research Institute of Zimbabwe, said these consultations are a positive
development as they promote stakeholders’ interest in budgeting processes.

Chitambara said: “There is need to make sure that the budget is pro-poor and
inclusive by allocating more resources to social sectors.”

The public meetings are designed to provide Finance Minister Tendai Biti
with many options of formulating the national budget.

Such consultations have been done in the past but some critics say they have
not benefited taxpayers.

Biti is scheduled to present the 2013 budget in parliament on November 15.

In a related development, Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Minister
Eric Matinenga is quoted in the Herald newspaper as saying the controversial
Constituency Development Fund (CDF), allegedly abused by some legislators,
would not be accessible to lawmakers even if the money is contained in the
2013 national budget.

Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Secretary Virginia Mabhiza is
quoted as saying: “For accountability purposes, we would rather advise to
wait for the elections and start on a fresh slate. Some people may get away
with murder if they are to receive CDF funds now and lose the next

Zhanda, who is also a Zanu PF’s Goromonzi legislator, believes that this is
a bad move. “The CDF represented the fairest way of distributing capital
throughout the country.”

He said only a tiny fraction of the 210 parliamentarians abused the funds
and that there is a system that exposes such issues.

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WUA expansion dogged by funding problems

Construction of the Women's University in Africa main campus in Marondera
has been halted due to serious financial constraints, it has emerged.

by Tarisai Jangara

Speaking at WUA's eighth graduation ceremony in Harare on Friday, the
university's Vice Chancellor, Hope Sadza, said progress towards the
construction of the main campus had been slowed down due to lack of funding.

"We are a private university and we rely mainly on student's tuition fees
and charges. The money collected is not enough for both operational and
capital expenditure," she said.

She added that the university was in need of more land to expand the Harare
campus which was currently accommodating 2 795 non-resident students.

"We need to build the Harare campus which will constitute 40 percent of our
students when the main campus in Marondera finally becomes operational. We
will continue pushing the government for the allocation of land," she said.

The institution's Chairperson of Council, Lynn Mukonoweshuro, said there was
need to accelerate efforts aimed at constructing the main campus so as to
bring down rentals costs.

Despite the challenges faced by the university, Sadza said WUA had made
great strides in academically empowering women, regardless of age and
cultural backgrounds.

"It is never too late to learn. We will continue to educate mature women who
have been sidelined from tertiary education by social and cultural

"Women who have graduated today should go out there and transform the
country by claiming influential positions in various organisations," said

More than 500 graduates from the WUA were conferred with degrees drawn from
the faculties of Agriculture, Management and Entrepreneurial Development
Studies, Information Technology, Psychology, Social Sciences and Gender

Among those receiving degrees was popular gospel artist, Fungisai
Zvakavapano-Mashavave who attained a degree in Sociology and Gender
Development Studies.

Sadza said the university had transformed over the past years by linking and
collaborating with international university.

"We managed to collaborate with international universities and have already
signed a Memoranda of Understanding with the South Korea and Indonesia
Universities. This shows that our presence is being felt throughout the
continent," she said.

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ZZZICOMP's Preliminary Observations On The Copac Second All Stakeholders Conference


HARARE, 25 October 2012-After observing the proceedings in the run-up to,
and during, the just ended Constitution Select Committee COPAC) Second All
Stakeholders’ Conference of 22-23 October 2012, the Zimbabwe Peace Project
(ZPP), Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) and Zimbabwe Lawyers for
Human Rights (ZLHR) Independent Constitution Monitoring Project (ZZZICOMP)
considers it appropriate to express its preliminary observations on this
national process.

ZZZICOMP notes that accreditation of delegates was decentralised to the
provinces, and this assisted in speeding up the process of registering
participants. Whilst there did not seem to be challenges with the
accreditation of political party delegates from the parties to the Global
Political Agreement (GPA), inclusivity of other political parties was
questionable. In addition, a high level of political interference from all
three political parties to the GPA was observed in the accreditation of
civil society participants. Although this was eventually (although not
fairly) resolved, this adversely affected the ability of the civil society
to adequately and independently prepare for and participate in the
Conference in a non-politicised and non-partisan manner. It is necessary for
both the political parties and the broad civil society to disentangle
themselves and understand their roles as this constitution-making process
continues, failing which they will continue to do a disservice to the
broader population who have issues which may be peripheral to the objectives
and priorities of the three political parties in government.

The accreditation of observers was centralised to Harare, however. Whilst
international observers experienced no challenges with accreditation, local
observation groups experienced considerable challenges, including a
restriction on numbers of observers and an atmosphere of distrust and lack
of cooperation by COPAC staff which was only resolved after the intervention
of the three COPAC co-chairpersons. Whilst ZZZICOMP had 420 observers
registered during previous stages of the constitution-making process, this
was reduced to 2 initially, and after negotiations was raised to a mere 10
observers. This proved to be a challenge for detailed observation of each
thematic breakaway session and the general rollout of the Second
All-Stakeholders’ Conference.

The Second All Stakeholders’ Conference was held in a generally peaceful
environment and ZZZICOMP commends COPAC and delegates for generally
conducting themselves in a courteous manner that was free from the violence
which characterised the First All Stakeholders Conference held in 2009 in
which some delegates and observers were assaulted resulting in a premature
adjournment of proceedings.

However, ZZZICOMP still recorded incidences where some delegates resorted to
intimidation, harassment, heckling and issuing verbal threats against other
delegates as they squabbled during the thematic breakaway sessions and for
expressing dissenting views. Such an environment is hardly conducive to the
expression of citizens’ voices and choices since it involuntarily induces
fear. Whether real or perceived, fear muzzles freedom of expression.

ZZZICOMP acknowledges the role played by the Principals to the GPA, who
through their remarks denounced violence and emphasised tolerance during the
process. This attitude could have had a bearing in exorcising the demons of
violence out of some delegates. ZZZICOMP regrets the initial boycott of the
proceedings by Professor Welshman Ncube’s party, as a critical constituency
of this national process, but commends the SADC facilitation team for its
interventions to ensure their participation in the thematic breakaway
sessions. We urge all political players to put aside personal differences
for the good of the nation as we proceed to the final stages of the
constitution-making process.

ZZZICOMP observers and those from other civil society organisations were
subjected to some form of discriminatory screening by security teams manning
the entrances before they could access the main Harare International
Conference Centre (HICC) auditorium despite presenting their accreditation
tags to COPAC personnel. In addition our observers also noted that the
venues where the breakaway sessions were held were not easily accessible, as
physically challenged persons could not access the first floor of the HICC
to participate in the thematic deliberations.

Language barriers were noted as all the material used during the conference
deliberations were in English and no provision was made for -local
languages. Administrative and logistical hitches were recorded as some
electronic equipment was not availed on time during thematic deliberations
leading to some protests by some delegates who insisted on such tools being
made available. In addition, some groups experienced delays in commencing
their work as the materials were not readily available.

Incidents of coaching of party delegates by all three political parties in a
bid to safeguard their political party aspirations were rampant. For
example, pamphlets entitled “Keypoints to note at the conference” were
parceled out to some delegates and they constantly referred to or read from
these notes verbatim during discussions on thematic issues. Worryingly, our
observers noted racial intolerance after some ZANU PF delegates, who were
evaluating the Agricultural Land thematic chapter ejected a diplomat from
one of the local embassies, who had been accredited to observe the process.
Disputes tended to follow the lines of previously publicised amendments for
which ZANU PF has been advocating.

It is our view that President Robert Mugabe’s comments dismissing COPAC’s
consideration of qualitative data at the expense of quantitative data and
slamming the constitutional reform body’s co-chairs for allegedly wielding
excessive power and declaring that the Principals to the GPA will have the
ultimate authority on the outcome of the governance charter is likely to
skew the process’ outcome. This scenario, which breaches the principle of
constitutionalism, is of utmost concern as party interests usually have a
short-term perspective rather than the inter-generational and non-partisan
focus expected in a constitution-making process. Such utterances reinforce
the already existing high risk of producing a constitution that panders to
the short-term interests of political parties and individuals. The coalition
government needs to be reminded that the Constitution is not written merely
for the generation that exists at the time of its being authored but for
unlimited and perpetual posterity and not for rulers who would be
intoxicated with excessive power.

ZZZICOMP notes that the Conference ended without clarity as to the immediate
next steps that will be taken to finalise the draft. It is critical for
COPAC to provide clarity in this regard so as to reduce tensions and
opportunities for political manipulation. Mindful of the provision in
Article VI of the GPA, that the constitution-making process is not a
political process but a process for citizens of Zimbabwe, ZZZICOMP appeals
to COPAC to increase confidence-building measures in the process and
publicly outline the roadmap that should finally lead to a referendum. We
also urge the Executive to refrain from interfering in the process and
ensure that they strictly comply with provisions of Article VI. Given the
issues noted by ZZZICOMP, it is now up to Zimbabweans to decide on the
acceptability of a governance charter that emanates from this process
through the referendum held in a conducive environment.

In conclusion, we urge COPAC to move swiftly to conclude the process as
continued delays have the effect of taking attention and energy away from
other key institutional and legislative reform processes which are necessary
to proceed to an election which is free, fair and whose outcome will not be
disputed. SADC should also continue to remain invested in its oversight of
the processes to ensure that it is not further manipulated. ENDS//


The Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP), Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN)
and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) Independent Constitution
Monitoring Project (ZZZICOMP) has been shadowing the COPAC process in order
to adjudge how democratic and transparent the constitution-making process
is, and if it accurately reflects the input of broad and diverse popular
participation. ZZZICOMP is a non-partisan, independent and professional
partnership whose main functions are to promote peace, democratic elections
and to foster a culture of human rights and constitutionalism in Zimbabwe.

For further information and comments please contact ZZZICOMP on Email: / /

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The Great Betrayal

We cannot allow ZANU (PF) to continue the lie, that they only are the
rightful custodians and protectors of the ideals and objectives of the
liberation struggle.

by Vince Musewe

I have a brilliant idea! I am going to make a movie titled; “The Great
Betrayal”. In this movie, an oppressed people decide to go to war with the
oppressor. Many people take the risk of leaving the country to go and get
trained to fight the oppressor. During the terrible war that follows,
thousands go into the battle field, into direct combat with the enemy and
suffer great loss. Others administer the war effort from afar while some of
them go and become educated overseas. Those that do not join the war remain
behind at home, but do all they can and risk their lives to assist those
executing the war in the battle field. Many die during that war, others get
maimed for life while some, through sheer providence, survive.

In this movie, at the end of the war, those that were being educated during
the war return become the new rulers, while those that actually fought in
the war, are mostly sidelined and left broken to fend for themselves. The
families that remained behind and assisted in the execution of the war are
all but forgotten.

The new rulers then insist that, they are the only ones entitled to
political power and effectively take over the land and the assets of the
country. They also persist that only “they” are the heroes of the war, and
will not respect (or salute) anyone else who did not “participate” in the
war against the oppressor. They plunder the resources of the country;
millions leave in disgust while most tolerate the whims of their new rulers.
However, at the end of my movie, the people rise up but only after thirty
three years of lies and oppression by the war “heroes” and democracy is
restored. The millions, who had the country return, apply their experience
and the country becomes the most advanced economies in Africa.

A happy ending I guess, but sadly, this is not a movie nor is it fiction.
This is the state of affairs in a country called Zimbabwe, my motherland. A
country that the likes of the late Herbert Chitepo sacrificed for and gave
up all they had going, in order to help create. He truly believed, as Bob
Markey sang, that every man has got the right to decide his own destiny.
Unfortunately he paid the ultimate price for this belief. A country where
the late Josiah Tongogara and many others dreamt that one day, they would
return to, and would see little black boys and little white boys playing
together., without the color of their skin having anything to do with whom
and what they may become They imagined a country where all would have equal
opportunity to pursue their dreams. They must have seen in their
imagination, a new society where only talent and hard work would become the
only decisive factors in how far all of its citizens can go. They saw a
country full of potential, whose vast land is so fertile and pregnant with
mineral resources; a country, whose fruits are shared fairly amongst all who
labor in it, black and white.

Unfortunately this grand dream has been betrayed. It has been betrayed by
ZANU (PF) whose greed and selfishness have resulted in the suppression of
all potentials and the stifling of public debate and progressive voices of
reason. Their actions have effectively rubbished the sacrifice of blood and
sweat of many Zimbabweans who fought in the war. They have claimed the
unchallengeable right to power and the benefits thereof at the expense of
the ideals and aspirations of our true heroes.

You see, if by any chance Zimbabwe and its resources were being managed
efficiently and in the interest of all, in line with the objectives of the
founders of the liberation struggle, it would be unnecessary to amplify some
of these truths because; it would be pointless and unprofitable to do so.
But the mere fact that the incumbents have failed to execute this
responsibility, compels us to closely re-examine our history.

My conclusion is that, unfortunately, the realization of this grand vision
of a new Zimbabwe will not be possible if we continue on the path that we
are now. This country will not lift itself out of the difficulties that it
has, as long a small group of men and women hold onto power and continue to
usurp a responsibility which they have clearly failed to fulfill. It is time
for a change.

We cannot endorse entitlement to power, nor can we allow a unitary state
with centralized power that only acts in the economic interests of the few
to continue. If we have learnt our lesson from the recent past, we cannot
afford to give too much political power and discretion to one man or a few,
who could then use it to dictate to us what we can and cannot become.

More important, we cannot allow ZANU (PF) to continue the lie, that they are
the only rightful custodians and protectors of the ideals and objectives of
the liberation struggle when their behavior and actions in the last thirty
two years have shown us otherwise and actually sabotaged the honorable
intentions of the founders of ZANU.

In my opinion, all Zimbabweans contributed to the war effort somehow and
somewhere and they too, must enjoy the honor and the responsibility it
places upon them to work towards fulfillment its ideals. This responsibility
does not belong to one individual or a select group, but to all of us.

I want to believe that we are truly at the cusp of meaningful change, where
we can begin to do those things that will allow us to achieve this dream. I
trust that my happy ending in the “imagined” movie above, will come to pass,
as millions upon millions of us realize that we have been unwilling
accomplices in this great betrayal.

Our country needs to fundamentally shift direction. It needs a new value
system, new thinking and new authentic leaders. We must see the beginning of
a new political dispensation based on the freedoms that our heroes imagined.
A dispensation based on liberty, peace and prosperity for all. Zimbabwe
belongs to all who were born in it, black and white. Only then, can history
judge us and truly say that, this generation of Zimbabweans did the
necessary and did not betray the ideals of those who gave up so much for so

The question is; what are YOU doing to make this dream a reality?

Vince Musewe is an independent economist in Harare and you may contact him

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“On the upswing” or potential dynamite?

October 26, 2012, 1:42 pm

There are so many contradictory stories coming out of the country that it’s
sometimes difficult for people in the diaspora to get an exact picture of
life in Zimbabwe these days. Take Harare for example, the capital once known
as the ‘Sunshine city’. There was a report in The Standard last week that
said Harare was in a ‘terrible mess’ with piles of stinking refuse on street
corners right in the middle of the city. At the same time we are told that
there is a 16% increase in tourist numbers, so either the tourists don’t
mind wading through garbage when they arrive in Harare or some over-eager
journalist is exaggerating the city’s refuse problem!

In Mutare, the capital of the stunningly beautiful Eastern Districts and a
‘must’ for tourists, we read that industries are collapsing. Collapsing
industries mean desperate unemployed workers roaming the streets - not an
attractive prospect for tourists either. Not all tourists stick to big
cities, however, some of them want to see how ordinary people live. Epworth
is a working-class suburb and not so far out of the capital that tourists
can’t find it. The report this week that people in Epworth are living out in
the open after a government-owned company demolished their homes hardly
gives tourists the impression of a compassionate government.

Christmas is coming and for tourists entering Zimbabwe by road their
first sight of the country is the Beit Bridge border post. The number of
people going through the border post can rise to as many as 3.500 a day over
the festive season apparently and the immigration manager is on record this
week calling for an upgrade of the border post. “It is dilapidated and in
urgent need of restoration” he said in an appeal to the Minister of Finance
to make funds available for this vital task. No shortage of funds for the
First Lady, Grace Mugabe, though. Her Gushungo Dairy Estate markets its
products under the brand name Alpha Omega and there are rumours that Dairy
Marketing Board products have disappeared from the shelves to be replaced by
Alpha Omega. With 2000 cows to milk every day, Grace Mugabe claims that her
dairy is the second biggest in Africa. For a country with an avowedly
socialist president, such an obviously capitalist First Lady seems something
of a contradiction.

It could be argued that tourists are not concerned with these adverse
reports about life in Zimbabwe. Their objective is to have a good holiday in
what must be one of the best tourist destinations in Africa. For Zimbabweans
in the diaspora who are thinking perhaps of ending their long exile and
returning home, they are more concerned with the realities of life. No
denying, things have improved, the days of wild inflation are over and the
economy appears to have stabilised. Agriculture may no longer be the
principal earner but minerals, excluding the fabulous diamond wealth, have
generated 1.36 billion dollars; between January and September, gold output
was up 22%. The ‘new’ farmers who have taken over the highly lucrative
tobacco crop have exported over $40 million worth of the crop to China.

Politically too, there has been a period of relative quiet which might
encourage the potential returnees to start packing. All of these apparently
positive developments have led Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai to claim
that Zimbabwe is, to use Tsvangirai’s phrase, “on the upswing” as he said at
his party’s 13th anniversary. After all, the 2nd Stakeholders’ Conference
has just passed off without the violent disruptions we have seen before. On
the surface, everything looks rosy but dig a little deeper and you stumble
against the potential dynamite of the forthcoming election. Zanu PF are
already busy buying people’s votes with people in Goromonzi being offered
building plots on unapproved land – providing they have a Zanu PF party card
and $150. But first, the country must hold a referendum on the constitution;
that will be in January at the earliest we are told. Meanwhile, Robert
Mugabe insists that the ‘leadership’ ie. Mugabe himself, Tsvangirai and
Mutambara will decide on the constitution. “You should know where power
resides” Mugabe told COPAC members. His speech at the opening of the Second
Stakeholders’ Conference made it very clear that parliament is not the
deciding voice in the issue of the constitution. “The three of us wrote that
thing you call the GPA…Parliament thinks it is so sovereign that it should
control the actions of the Principals…it’s not it…we cannot do everything
but we are the executive and we are the ones who caused this process.”
Perhaps I’m missing something but that statement is surely profoundly undemo
[ends here...]

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