October 27th, 2009
We've just received information that MDC employee Pascal Gwezere was
abducted today by armed men driving an Isuzu twin-cab in the Mufakose area
of Harare at 6.45 pm tonight. We have confirmed that this is true, but apart
from those details this is all the information we have at this point.
Earlier today the MDC issued a press release describing how their security
administrator, Edith Mashayire, was almost abducted by four armed men, also
driving an Isuzu twin-cab. They had guns and claimed she was 'under arrest'.
It is unknown at this time whether the same men were involved in Gwazere's
abduction or not.
A house belonging to the MDC was raided earlier this week by armed men who
claimed they were looking for hidden weapons. They did not have a warrant to
search the property.
Towards the end of last year state agents abducted several human rights and
civic activists, including Jestina Mukoko from the Zimbabwe Peace Project.
Mukoko was recently granted a permanent stay of prosecution of the crimes
she was accused of committing, due to the violation of several of her
fundamental rights by state agents. One of the violations of her rights
included the fact she was unlawfully 'arrested'. Others who were also
abducted at this time are still facing charges of sabotage based on the
bombing of police stations and railway lines in 2008.
The MDC expressed concern earlier this week that the recent raid on their
house may have been a pretext to plant weapons in order to fabricate
evidence and justify trumped-up cases against members in their party.
Today's abduction and attempted abduction are worrying reminders of Zanu PF's
illegal and violent tactics used against civilians to achieve political
We'll post an update on Pascal Gwezere's abduction as soon as we have one.
By Violet Gonda
A group of armed men attempted to kidnap the MDC's security administrator,
Edith Mashayire, in broad daylight in Harare on Tuesday morning. Mashayire
told SW Radio Africa she was attacked around 8am near XIMEX mall, on her way
to Harvest House, the MDC headquarters where she works.
She said four armed men, in plainclothes, pounced on her while she was
walking and ordered her to get into their Isuzu twin cab, saying she was
under arrest. They did not give a reason for the 'arrest'. Mashayire said
they tried to push her into their vehicle but she resisted and started
screaming for help. The MDC official claims that is when she was assaulted
all over her body with an AK47 rifle.
She called out for help saying she was an MDC official and state security
agents were trying to kidnap her and the men jumped into their vehicle when
a crowd started gathering. The MDC's security administrator believes it was
a politically motivated attack in response to the MDC's disengagement from
This is the second attack on an MDC employee in the past few days and since
the party's boycott. Last Friday 50 armed police officers raided an MDC
house that is used by the party to accommodate its leadership from outside
Harare. The MDC says the officers, who claimed they were looking for
weapons, beat up an MDC employee and his wife.
The MDC is concerned that attacks on it's members will increase as Mugabe
has been making it abundantly clear that he is not prepared to hand over any
real power. But the MDC has said it will not resume ties with ZANU PF until
all outstanding issues in the GPA are resolved.
"As the MDC we are taking these acts of violence very serious. The attempted
abduction is not an empty statement as on Friday, one of the MDC houses was
ransacked, while two officials from the civil society were arrested in
Victoria Falls and in Chiweshe we are receiving cases of violence against
MDC supporters being perpetuated by Zanu PF," said MDC spokesperson Nelson
By ANGUS SHAW (AP) - 6 hours ago
HARARE, Zimbabwe - The party of Zimbabwe's prime minister said one of its
security officials was beaten by the president's militants Tuesday, and said
the attack was part of new violence unleashed because it has stepped back
from the governing coalition.
Movement for Democratic Change spokesman Nelson Chamisa said at a news
conference that the official was stopped on her way to party headquarters
early Tuesday and beaten by four armed men who said they wanted to arrest
her. He said the men were militants from President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF
party. The men fled when a crowd gathered.
The party also has received reports from rural areas of attacks on its
supporters, Chamisa said. He also cited a weekend police raid of a house
used by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's supporters as part of a campaign
of violence and intimidation.
"We expect this to increase and escalate on a national level," Chamisa said
at a news conference. "We take this very seriously. We are possibly on the
brink of another storm of persecution and intimidation."
Ephraim Masawi, a spokesman for Mugabe's party, denied the allegations,
saying they were "cheap propaganda" intended to mask the failure of
Tsvangirai's party to explain his decision to withdraw temporarily from the
coalition on Oct. 16.
Tsvangirai accused Mugabe's ZANU-PF party of human rights violations and
attempting to derail the coalition of longtime rivals that has been troubled
since the day it was formed in February.
Tsvangirai has said he will not attend Cabinet meetings until his concerns
are resolved. Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change has continued to
participate in parliament, where it holds a slim majority.
Tsvangirai and Mugabe met Monday for the first time since the withdrawal.
Chamisa said the four-hour meeting did not unblock their impasse.
The unity government was formed at the urging of Zimbabwe's neighbors after
a series of violence-plagued elections left the country at a political
standstill and in economic ruin. Mugabe has been in power since 1980 and has
long been accused of using violence to entrench his position.
Foreign ministers from three of the southern African nations that pushed for
the coalition - Mozambique, Zambia and Angola - were due in Harare Thursday
for talks with Tsvangirai and Mugabe to try to revive the agreement.
By Alex Bell
27 October 2009
Teachers in rural areas are facing a concerning increase in violence and
intimidation against them, as the political crisis in Zimbabwe intensifies.
According to the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, ZANU PF youth
militia have gone on the offensive in rural areas, in the wake of the MDC's
decision to 'disengage' from Robert Mugabe's party in the unity government.
The Teachers Union has reported a number of separate incidents in Chiweshe,
Mashonaland Central province, Buhera, Manicaland and Murehwa, all since the
MDC's decision last week.
Most recently, in Chiweshe, over 15 teachers from Jingamvura Primary and
Secondary schools were rounded up by suspected ZANU PF supporters last
Tuesday and beaten, apparently for allegedly being MDC supporters. Many of
the teachers from these schools were victims of last year's post election
violence, which resulted in the deaths of at least eight of the teachers.
PTUZ President Takavafira Zhou on Tuesday explained further that youth
training centres have also been set up in Gutu, where students are being
forced to do training drills by ZANU PF militia members. He added that CIO
operatives have also been touring schools, and interrogating a number of
teachers, as a part of what Zhou called 'systematic targeting and
intimidation' of his members
"Almost on a daily basis we have at least three schools reporting threats
and beatings by ZANU PF supporters and youth militia," Zhou explained.
"Teachers are really very afraid that last year's madness of violence is
Photo: South African DFA
Supporters of Prime Minister Morgan
In one incident three armed men accosted MDC security official Edith Mashaire, 32, and tried to force her into a waiting vehicle as she walked towards her office in the capital, Harare, during working hours.
"Two other men, one brandishing an AK-47 rifle and another holding a pistol, approached me and threatened to shoot me. They started assaulting me with their weapons while telling me to get into the truck," Mashaire told IRIN. She screamed to other pedestrians that she was an MDC official and frightened the men off.
"We have received reports of our supporters being beaten up and having their homes set on fire, allegedly by ZANU-PF supporters led by war veterans and members of the army," Tamborinyoka said. President Robert Mugabe is the leader of ZANU-PF, the other wing of the unity government formed in February 2009.
Morgan Tsvangirai, MDC leader and Prime Minister, "disengaged" from the unity government on 16 October in protest over the re-arrest of the party's treasurer and deputy agricultural minister designate, Roy Bennett, which had "brought home the fiction of the credibility and integrity of the transitional government".
Violence has erupted in Mashonaland Central Province, once a ZANU-PF stronghold in the north of the country. "The violence has intensified in rural areas ... Also affected are close to 100 teachers who have fled from the province," Tamborinyoka said.
"Some of the biggest victims in this ongoing cycle of violence are children, because they have nobody to teach them," he told IRIN. ZANU-PF supporters have accused the teaching profession of being allied to the MDC, and teachers have been told that since their party, the MDC, had pulled out of the government, they were now considered enemies of ZANU-PF.
The violence is spreading to
many parts of the country like Mashonaland West and East [provinces], Manicaland
[province in the east] and Masvingo [province in the south] - all former ZANU-PF
strongholds - and even in central Harare
"The violence is spreading to many parts of the country like Mashonaland West and East [provinces], Manicaland [province in the east] and Masvingo [province in the south] - all former ZANU-PF strongholds - and even in central Harare. We believe that ZANU-PF is retaliating after our party disengaged from the government two weeks ago," Tamborinyoka said.
At the weekend, heavily armed police and soldiers raided a house used by MDC officials and accused the group of stealing weapons from army barracks in Harare. Tamborinyoka said recent events showed all the hallmarks of a crackdown on the MDC and its supporters. "Recently, a brigadier-general pointed a gun at one of our members of parliament and threatened to shoot him."
ZANU-PF youth militia deployed in rural areas
A special audit report on ministerial accounts has also revealed that the youth development ministry employed 10,277 ZANU-PF youth militia since May 2008, who were subsequently deployed to rural areas.
The period of recruitment, which began after ZANU-PF lost its majority in parliament for the first time since independence from Britain in 1980, coincided with escalating violence against MDC supporters, including incidents of murder, rape, torture and displacement, during the second round of the presidential ballot in 2008.
Tsvangirai got the majority of votes in the first round of the presidential poll but narrowly missed securing the 50-plus-one votes required for an outright win. He withdrew from the run-off presidential vote in protest against alleged state-sponsored violence. Mugabe thus won unopposed, but international observers dismissed the poll as invalid.
"The appointees [youth militia] were not subjected to a medical examination, as required by the public service regulations, declarations of official secrets were not completed, and there were no staff files opened at either the ministry headquarters or provincial centres," Tamborinyoka said.
Raymond Majongwe, secretary-general of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, said ZANU-PF youth militia, working as "youth or ward officers", were harassing teachers in schools.
"Sometimes they talk about the need to 'teach children the correct history of the country', and are going as far as appointing school prefects," Majongwe told IRIN.
In the past two months "war collaborators" - people who assisted guerrilla fighters during the war of independence in the 1970s and remain staunch ZANU-PF supporters - have been holding meetings across the country, raising fears of an increase in violence. Zimbabwe's defence minister, Emmerson Mnangagwa, recently addressed one of the meetings.
Oct 27, 2009, 15:20 GMT
Harare - Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's party said Tuesday it
was ready to press on with its boycott of President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF
party until fresh elections.
Tsvangirai pulled his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) out of cabinet
meetings 11 days ago, citing Mugabe's failure to carry out terms in the
power-sharing agreement relating to proper power-sharing and full democracy.
Mugabe and Tsvangirai met for three hours on Monday in a bid to settle their
differences, but 'we are still poles apart,' said MDC spokesman Nelson
Chamisa. 'There is no understanding between the political parties.'
He said the MDC was hoping that diplomatic intervention by the Southern
African Development Community (SADC), the 15-nation regional bloc that is
the guarantor of the agreement between Tsvangirai and the 85-year-old
Mugabe, could end the dispute. Leaders of a three- country SADC panel on
security are due to meet with the Zimbabwean leaders in Harare Thursday.
'If that (SADC intervention) fails we have to push for a framework for free
and fair elections,' he said. If Mugabe decided to rule alone and without
the MDC, 'it will not be a government, it will be a Zanu-PF organ,' he said.
Tsvangirai's withdrawal has seen a resurgence in state repression not seen
since the inauguration of the transitional government in February.
An MDC residence was ransacked by heavily armed police at the weekend and
two of the country's top civil society officials were arrested. On Tuesday,
an MDC security official narrowly escaped abduction, the party said.
'We are beginning to see the forming of a storm of violence,' said Chamisa,
drawing comparisons with the presidential run-off in June last year, in
which 100 people were confirmed killed by Zanu-PF loyalists.
Mugabe's unilateral appointment of cronies as central bank governor and
attorney general, a wave of arrests of MDC MPs on what the MDC says are
trumped-up charges, and the ongoing invasion of white-owned farms are among
some of the issues threatening to collapse the government.
Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:24am EDT
* Unity govt partners "poles apart"
* Regional bloc to send ministerial team on Thursday
* Militants allied to Mugabe on intimidation campaign - MDC
By Cris Chinaka
HARARE, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC party
hopes that Zimbabwe's neighbours would this week break a deadlock
threatening its power-sharing deal with President Robert Mugabe, a top party
official said on Tuesday.
Tsvangirai and Mugabe formed a power-sharing government in February to try
to end a decade-long crisis, but are still fighting a low-intensity
political battle ahead of an expected democratic election in about two
Their fragile coalition lurched into a crisis earlier this month when the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said it would stop attending cabinet
meetings in protest against the arrest of one of its senior officials and
Mugabe's refusal fully to implement the power-sharing pact.
MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa said a mediation team from the 15-nation
Southern African Development Community (SADC) visiting Harare on Thursday
had a political obligation to put pressure on Mugabe's ZANU-PF party to
honour all aspects of the agreement.
The crisis deepened on Monday after a stalemate at the first meeting between
Mugabe and Tsvangirai since the MDC started boycotting the unity government
on Oct. 16.
"We are hoping that the troika will, in some way, thaw the impasse. It is
our expectation that we will be helped by our guarantors," Chamisa said at a
"If the meeting fails to break the deadlock, we hope there will be a full
(SADC) summit. If that fails, then the only option will be a free and fair
election under international supervision."
Chamisa said the MDC and ZANU-PF were "poles apart" on the appointment of
some senior government officials, including provincial governors, the
attorney-general and head of the central bank, and on media and
ZANU-PF had no respect for the rule of law, and its supporters were still
invading white-owned commercial farms, he said.
Chamisa said ZANU-PF militants had also embarked on an intimidation campaign
against MDC structures, and one party worker told the conference some armed
men had tried but failed to kidnap her in central Harare on Tuesday.
"In our own forensic audit, we have only implemented a quarter of the global
political agreement...and there is a danger that ZANU-PF may want to reverse
some of progress that we have achieved," he added.
Political analysts say although the coalition has been shaken by the MDC
boycott, a complete collapse still looks unlikely because both parties have
no viable alternative strategies at the moment.
On his part, Mugabe has shrugged off the former opposition's boycott of
Zimbabwe's unity government, saying he has fulfilled the power-sharing
agreement and would not yield to any pressure to make concessions.
The veteran Zimbabwean president, 85 and in power since independence from
Britain in 1980, says the MDC must campaign for the removal of Western
sanctions against his ZANU-PF and for an end to a propaganda campaign by MDC
Hardliners in Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party
are trying to split the country's unity government, says senior official Arthur
Mutambara. Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC party is refusing to co-operate with
Mr Mugabe and talks brokered by Mr Mutambara ended with no deal on Monday. Mr Mutambara, who leads a separate faction of the MDC party, said the leaders
must continue to talk. The MDC and Zanu-PF were bitter enemies before agreeing to govern together.
Analysts say there are factions within both parties who still find it
extremely difficult to work together since the government was formed in February
following disputed elections last year marred by violence. 'Trying to offend' Mr Tsvangirai withdrew co-operation with Mr Mugabe on 16 October angry at a
prosecution being brought against a senior MDC member. He also cited frustration at the perceived failure of Zanu-PF to implement
measures agreed to as a part of the power-sharing deal which was signed in
February. But Mr Mutambara, one of the country's deputy prime ministers, told the BBC's
Network Africa programme he did not believe Mr Tsvangirai had made the right
decision. "There are hardliners in Zanu who are taking the opportunity to offend all of
us in government - offend our colleagues led by Morgan Tsvangirai," he said.
"What they want is the collapse of the government. "What we need to do is to make sure we don't fall into that trap. We have to
be clever, we have to be strategic, we have to out-think them." Mr Mutambara was said to have mediated in a four-hour meeting between Mr
Mugabe and Mr Tsvangirai on Monday. It was the first time the pair had met since Mr Tsvangirai pulled out of the
coalition government. But Nelson Chamisa, a spokesman for Mr Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), said the two men were "worlds apart" on many issues. The MDC, which was in opposition in Zimbabwe for many years, says it is now
looking to a meeting in Harare later in the week of the Southern African
Development Community (Sadc) to try to break the deadlock. "If that fails... a free and fair election under the supervision of the
international community, Sadc and the African Union will be the only option," Mr
Chamisa said. "If they [Mr Mugabe and the Zanu-PF] are facing west we are facing east," he
Hardliners in Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party are trying to split the country's unity government, says senior official Arthur Mutambara.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC party is refusing to co-operate with Mr Mugabe and talks brokered by Mr Mutambara ended with no deal on Monday.
Mr Mutambara, who leads a separate faction of the MDC party, said the leaders must continue to talk.
The MDC and Zanu-PF were bitter enemies before agreeing to govern together.
Analysts say there are factions within both parties who still find it extremely difficult to work together since the government was formed in February following disputed elections last year marred by violence.
'Trying to offend'
Mr Tsvangirai withdrew co-operation with Mr Mugabe on 16 October angry at a prosecution being brought against a senior MDC member.
He also cited frustration at the perceived failure of Zanu-PF to implement measures agreed to as a part of the power-sharing deal which was signed in February.
But Mr Mutambara, one of the country's deputy prime ministers, told the BBC's Network Africa programme he did not believe Mr Tsvangirai had made the right decision.
"There are hardliners in Zanu who are taking the opportunity to offend all of us in government - offend our colleagues led by Morgan Tsvangirai," he said.
"What they want is the collapse of the government.
"What we need to do is to make sure we don't fall into that trap. We have to be clever, we have to be strategic, we have to out-think them."
Mr Mutambara was said to have mediated in a four-hour meeting between Mr Mugabe and Mr Tsvangirai on Monday.
It was the first time the pair had met since Mr Tsvangirai pulled out of the coalition government.
But Nelson Chamisa, a spokesman for Mr Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), said the two men were "worlds apart" on many issues.
The MDC, which was in opposition in Zimbabwe for many years, says it is now looking to a meeting in Harare later in the week of the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) to try to break the deadlock.
"If that fails... a free and fair election under the supervision of the international community, Sadc and the African Union will be the only option," Mr Chamisa said.
"If they [Mr Mugabe and the Zanu-PF] are facing west we are facing east," he added.
Written by Martin
Tuesday, 27 October 2009 10:36
HARARE - The Crisis Coalition has issued a statement expressing its
concern with the state of affairs in the Inclusive Government.
"The Coalition condemns in the strongest of terms the failure by the
three political parties, especially Zanu (PF), to fulfil without any
equivocation the provisions of the GPA especially critical issues that speak
to returning Zimbabwe to democratic legitimacy through free and fair
elections that are not subject to disputations by political contestants and
other stakeholders in civil society."
The Coalition urged the government to implement critical reforms in
the areas of media, security services, transitional justice and the full
democratization of the electoral and political environment, otherwise
Zimbabwe would slide back into anarchy.
"The decision by the MDC to disengage from a union that seeks to
restore Zimbabwe to its past glory is congruent to the wishes and
expectations of democratic forces that expect to see a democratic Zimbabwe
premised on the rule of law. In future, the MDC should desist from its
earlier pronouncements that things were working well in the Inclusive
Government while the speed, spirit and zeal of political reforms based on
the GPA was too slow and when it is clear every day that Zanu (PF) is not
committed to the implementation of the GPA," read a statement from the
The statement further stressed that Zimbabweans from all walks of life
were banking on the success of the inclusive government to bring economic,
political and social stability to the country.
"This can only be achieved by ensuring full implementation of the
Global Political Agreement and ensuring that all outstanding issues are
dealt with expeditiously."
Demands made by the Coalition in their statement were:
. That the swearing in of Deputy Agriculture Minister designate Roy
Bennett takes place as a matter of urgency.
. The immediate cessation of farm invasions and a thorough land
audit to ensure equitable and non-partisan land distribution
. Reversal of illegal appointments of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
(RBZ) governor and Attorney General in violation of the GPA.
. An inclusive, transparent and accountable constitution making
. Observance of the rule of law by all arms of government
especially the police service/state security agents
. Repeal of all repressive laws including AIPPA and POSA
. A vibrant media environment where the media, especially the
State-controlled public media reports in a non-partisan and balanced manner
. Promotion of media diversity and plurality
. A peaceful political environment in Zimbabwe free from violence
and military involvement in political campaigns and processes
. The disbanding of vigilante groups such as the Youth Militias
Allister Sparks Published: 2009/10/27 02:42:57 PM
As the Zimbabwe crisis nosedives once again, it should be noted that the
Zuma Administration bears a particular responsibility for what has gone
wrong with the power-sharing agreement the Zimbabwean political parties
entered into eight months ago. It is therefore under a special obligation to
take action to resolved the crisis.
This responsibility stems from the fact that it was interim President
Kgalema Motlanthe who pressurised the leader of the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), Morgan Tsvangirai, into entering the power-sharing government
with Robert Mugabe even though Mugabe had still not honoured a range of
critical issues in the political agreement he had signed four months
Former President Thabo Mbeki brokered the agreement on behalf of the
Southern African Development Community (SADC) in September 2007. But then
the victorious Zuma faction of the ANC forced Mbeki to step down after
Polokwane and Motlanthe took over as interim President to keep the seat warm
for Zuma. So it fell to him as head of the country then holding the
chairmanship of SADC to play the lead role in ensuring that the agreement
Tsvangirai was reluctant to enter into the power-sharing government because
Mugabe was playing games. First it was discovered that the printed document
presented to Tsvangirai for signing at the ceremony had been surreptitiously
altered in several critical respects from the version to which he, Mugabe
and the leader of a small breakaway faction of the MDC, Arthur Mutambara,
had accepted in the negotiations.
Mugabe had also blatantly violated a range of vital aspects of the agreement
by unilaterally reappointing Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono and Attorney
General Johannes Tomana, both diehard Mugabe loyalists and kingpin figures
in continuing efforts to manipulate the Treasury in ZANU-PF's favour and,
together with the partisan security forces, harass the MDC and its
supporters. Mugabe had also failed to disband the notorious Joint
Operational Command (JOC) of military, police and intelligence chiefs and
place them under civilian control, as the agreement required.
Tsvangirai, realising that the devil was in these details that kept coercive
power in Mugabe's hands, wanted SADC to ensure full compliance before
committing himself to the power-sharing government. But Motlanthe, growing
impatient at the long delay, put pressure on him to quit stalling and join
the power-sharing government -- telling him in effect that he could sort out
the details later when he was in power as Prime Minister and able to build a
working relationship with President Mugabe.
In any case, he reminded Tsvangirai, SADC was the guarantor of the agreement
and there was a joint monitoring committee called JOMIC to oversee the
This was the height of naivety. Anyone who had watched the workings of
Tricky Bob over the years, during which he had rigged at least three
national elections, violated property rights, ignored the rule of law and
committed many human rights atrocities, should have realised he could not be
trusted to honour the letter, never mind the spirit, of a deal such as this.
But Tsvangirai thought the Zuma crowd, represented by Motlanthe at this
point, would be a tougher and more reliable guarantor of the agreement than
the limp-wristed Mbeki had been. After all Zuma's big ally, Cosatu, had been
grievously abused by the Mugabe government when a delegation paying a
fraternal visit to the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions was arrested,
insulted and unceremoniously thrown out of the country in 2004.
Zuma's other ally, the South African Communist Party (SACP), issued a
furious statement at the time. "This act," it said, "is ultimate proof that
the Mugabe regime is essentially a dictatorial and undemocratic regime which
is not willing to engage honestly with opposition forces and other
role-players in SADC."
That must have given Tsvangirai reason to believe he could expect more from
the Motlanthe-Zuma-Cosatu-SACP axis than his dismal experiences with Mbeki.
So he reluctantly agreed and went into the power-sharing government -- the
terms of which Mugabe has continued to violate ever since.
That is why I contend the Zuma administration has a special obligation to
back Tsvangirai in the present dispute and force Mugabe to implement all the
outstanding requirements of the agreement he signed and to stop undermining
it. It is they who pushed Tsvangirai into this deal prematurely and as the
government of the lead member of the guarantors they must honour that
Tsvangirai has put up with ZANU-PF's continuous harassment for eight months.
He has tried to put the best face on an intolerable situation because the
MDC's participation in the government was bringing at least some relief to
the long suffering people of Zimbabwe. But precisely because of that ZANU-PF
has been stepping up its harassment lately, fearing that the MDC was gaining
increasing popular support.
Things reached breaking point last week when the police, acting on
Attorney-General Tamana's orders, rearrested the MDC's designated Deputy
Minister of Agriculture, Roy Bennett -- whom Mugabe has consistently refused
to swear in as a Cabinet member -- on trumped-up charges of terrorism, threw
him in jail and put him in leg-irons. Outraged, Tsvangirai suspended his
party's participation in the unity government and called on the SADC
countries to intervene.
Even as Tsvangirai calls on the guarantors to intervene Mugage is treating
them with contempt, saying he will not yield to any pressure nor give away
any aspects of ZANU-PF's authority. "They (the MDC) can go to any summit,
any part of the world to appeal," he said last Friday. "That will not
To emphasise his disdain for SADC and the unity deal, 50 armed police raided
a house in Harare used by the MDC's out-of-town leaders last on Friday
night, ransacked the premises, seized documents and dug up the garden
ostensibly in a search for weapons of which there were none. There were also
reports of troops carrying out violent raids against MDC supporters in the
rural areas across the country over the weekend.
It seems clear Mugabe doesn't believe the SADC leaders have the political
will to deal firmly with him. He has faced them down before and he reckons
he can again.
The SADC "troika" responsible for monitoring the situation in Zimbabwe,
currently consisting of President Armando Guebuza of Mozambique, President
Rupia Banda of Zambia and King Mswati 111 of Swaziland, are due in Harare
tomorrow for three days of negotiations on the crisis. But ultimately it is
South Africa that has the clout in this region. It is up to Zuma to prove
Mugabe wrong and show that he is prepare to honour his obligations as
guarantor and deal firmly with the errant president.
Doing that is not as difficult as Mbeki's apologists used to imply. No need
for threats of force or sanctions or other such unrealistic posturing. Just
a simple warning that if Mugabe doesn't implement the GPA fully and tries to
rule alone, South Africa will not recognise his government. It will regard
him as the head of an illegitimate regime.
Botswana's President Ian Khama has already done that. If the newest leader
of one of the smallest populations in the region can do it, surely we the
regional superpower can be as brave.
By Violet Gonda
27 October 2009
The two leaders from the National Association of Non-Governmental
Organizations (NANGO), who were arrested on Sunday on allegations of holding
'an illegal political meeting,' were granted bail on Tuesday. NANGO Chief
Executive Officer Cephas Zinhumwe, and board chairperson Dadirai Chikwengo,
were arrested at the airport when they were trying to leave for Harare after
attending a two-day scheduled conference in Victoria Falls.
NANGO spokesperson Fambai Ngirande told SW Radio Africa that the two were
granted bail, pending another hearing in November, after the State failed to
clarify what regulation they had violated under the Public Order and
Security Act. Ngirande said the police claim that as 'conveners of the
meeting the two tolerated political discourse' and should have notified the
police in advance if they were going to have a political gathering.
But the spokesperson refuted these allegations saying it was not a political
gathering but an annual NGO Directors Summer School attended by scores of
directors from civil society and the NGO community. He said: "The fact that
they are unable to clarify their own trumped up charges, demonstrates that
POSA is a bad law."
The spokesperson also said a stakeholders' conference, organised by the
Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs, has been postponed due to a decision
by the civil society not to participate. The conference was aimed at
discussing challenges relating to the justice delivery system.
But members of civil society and law based organisations advised the
Ministry they would not participate in the conference because of the arrests
of the NANGO officials and because of the very serious breakdown of the
justice delivery system and the lack of any rule of law in Zimbabwe.
The organisations that withdrew from the three day Conference are:
Law Society of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, Zimbabwe Women
Lawyers' Association; Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum; Legal Resources
Foundation; Justice for Children Trust; National Association of
Non-Governmental Organisations and Zimbabwe Human Rights Association.
A statement issued by the groups said: "Stakeholders from the civil society
are committed to contributing to the restoration of the Rule of Law and
ensuring access to justice for all in Zimbabwe. However, the selective
targeting and harassment of non-governmental organisations and the arbitrary
arrests and detention of human rights defenders continues unabated. So too
does the unwillingness or inability by the state and its agents to adhere to
the Constitution and the laws of Zimbabwe."
Written by The Zimbabwean
Monday, 26 October 2009 17:39
HARARE -Armed military police have mounted roadblocks along the
country's highways reportedly as part of a nationwide hunt for weapons that
were stolen from army barracks in Harare last week.
Twelve soldiers were reportedly arrested last week in connection with
the disappearance of 19 AK-47 rifles, pistols and ammunition from Pomona
Barracks in Borrowdale. ?
In a bid to track the missing weapons, armed military police have been
deployed at roadblocks along major highways to try and intercept whoever
stole the weapons from moving there around the country.
Journalists from The Zimbabwean on Tuesday who travelled to Harare
from Bulawayo last Saturday witnessed nine such roadblocks where travellers
were ordered to disembark from buses, cars and lorries and had their bags
and vehicles thoroughly searched. ?
"This is plain harassment and intimidation. How can they even search
handbags.they do not even have search warrants and they don't even tell us
why we are being searched like criminals," said Dzingai?Nyatanga, who
described the process as a 'nuisance.'
A bus driver working for a luxury coach plying the Harare-Bulawayo
route said: "We tell our passengers to follow orders because if they don't,
we can be detained here for hours."
Army spokesperson Colonel Overson Mugwisi could not be reached for
Written by The Zimbabwean
Monday, 26 October 2009 17:55
BULAWAYO -- A senior army officer last week told a magistrate's court
here that he stole an AK47 rifle from his work place because he wanted to
sell the firearm to raise money for food.
Lieutenant James Kambarume, who is based at Mbalabala barracks,
appeared before magistrate Thobelike Matimbe last Friday charged under the
Criminal Law Codification Reform Act.
According to the state outline sometime last month, Kambarume
approached a civilian, Tarugarira Mudadi , and told him he was selling an
AK47 rifle. Mudadi offered to buy the rifle for US$25 .
The following week police arrested Mudadi at his Mpopoma home after
receiving a tip-off from his neighbours that he had an unlicensed gun.
When asked by the magistrate why he stole the rifle, Kambarume said
he was hungry and wanted to sell it to get some money.
Zimbabwe soldiers are the lowest paid in the region. Last year dozens
of troops ran amok in Harare .
Written by The Zimbabwean
Monday, 26 October 2009 17:57
MBERENGWA---Riot police assaulted villagers in Mberengwa last week
for demanding money they are owed by the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) depot
here for maize delivered as long ago as July.
The incident took place at Mataga growth point where villagers were
protesting the failure of the parastatal to pay them for their produce.
Riot police were called in to disperse the angry protesters who were
threatening to break into the depot to confront GMB officials. GMB
officials who spoke to The Zimbabwean on Tuesday at Mataga on condition of
anonymity since they were not authorized to speak to the press said the
parastatal has no money to pay the farmers.
"We understand the plight of the rural farmers but the fact is that
GMB is broke and has no money to pay them at the moment for their maize
deliveries. We will only do so after the government releases funds to the
parastatal," he said.
But irate villagers blasted the GMB for being dishonest, saying that
the parastatal should have told them it was broke before taking their maize.
"I have been waiting for my payment for the past three months and
every time I come to enquire I am told the accountant is away. We worked for
this and they should respect us by giving us our money," said Fabion Hove
one of the affected communal farmers .
Another protester ,Duncan Zhou said: "We want our money; I am
surprised that these GMB officials are behaving like this. They are
refusing to pay us but they know very well, that's the same money we use to
buy inputs for the coming farming season"
by Own Correspondent Tuesday 27 October 2009
HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) party will know by October 31 whether its supporters want it to
remain in a fragile coalition government with President Robert Mugabe, a
senior official said at the weekend.
MDC secretary-general Tendai Biti told representatives of civic
society groups that his party had not left the coalition government contrary
to assertions made in the state media.
The MDC announced two weeks ago that it was suspending cooperation
with Mugabe's ZANU PF party over the latter's refusal to abide by
commitments it made in a power-sharing agreement signed in September 2008.
The state media has harped on the MDC decision to suspend cooperation
with ZANU PF by misleading the public into believing that Tsvangirai's party
had in fact withdrawn from the fragile government it helped form in
But Biti said a nationwide exercise to consult the party's members on
its future participation in the eight-month-old coalition government would
end next Saturday, after which a decision would be made on whether to remain
in the power-sharing regime or not.
"We have an on-going process of consultation. Therefore, it will be
premature to make a fundamental decision outside the confines and dictates
of the ongoing people's forums," said Biti who is also Zimbabwe's finance
The unity government has been rocked by sharp differences with Mugabe's
ZANU PF over policy and political reforms.
The two parties remain deadlocked over key appointments while the MDC
also accuses ZANU PF of engaging in a campaign to persecute its supporters.
At least 17 MDC legislators have been arrested since the beginning of
the year on charges ranging from theft and public violence to rape and
playing music that denigrates Mugabe.
ZANU PF, in turn, accuses the MDC of reneging on a promise to push for
the removal of travel bans and an asset freeze slapped by the West on its
Tsvangirai embarked on a diplomatic offensive last week to garner
support among members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC)
who are the guarantors of Zimbabwe's power-sharing pact.
He met Mozambican President and chairperson of the SADC Organ on
Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, Armando Guebuza as well as South
Africa's President Jacob Zuma and the Democratic Republic of Congo leader
Kabila holds the rotating SADC chair until the next summit of the
regional bloc scheduled for August or September 2010.
A SADC Troika meeting is scheduled for Harare next Thursday to discuss
Zimbabwe's crisis. - ZimOnline
by Clifford Naythi Tuesday 27 October 2009
BULAWAYO - President Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF party has started compiling
nominations at provincial level for the party's top leadership, with
Bulawayo province re-affirming its support for chairman John Nkomo for the
vice president's post ahead of its national congress in December.
The party's top leadership - the presidium - consists of the first secretary
and president, two second secretaries and vice-presidents, and national
Mugabe's two deputies in the party also deputise him in government but one
of the vice presidents' slots has been vacant since the August death of
former vice president and liberation struggle hero Joseph Msika.
According to a circular sent out to the provinces by ZANU PF secretary for
administration Didymus Mutasa, the country's 10 provinces were tasked to
submit nominations for the posts in the presidium by 14 November.
Analysts said the incumbents - President Robert Mugabe, Vice-President Joice
Mujuru would retain the posts and tipped Nkomo fro promotion to vice
The nominations by the provinces are part of preparations for the party's
national congress due in December in Harare. ZANU PF holds congresses after
every five years, where it selects the party's top leadership.
The ZANU PF Bulawayo provincial coordinating committee (PCC) met at Davies
Hall on Sunday to begin nominations for the presidium.
Although politburo member Sikhanyiso Ndlovu could not release the names of
the presidium nominations, he told ZimOnline that the province re-affirmed
its endorsement of Nkomo as vice president.
"We met earlier this month and nominated Nkomo as our candidate for the vice
president's post but we want to reassure that he is still the right man for
the post. We advise other provinces to support our candidate," said Ndlovu.
"However, we have started nominating other members of the presidium as
tasked by the secretary for administration, Mutasa."
He said there were candidates for the VP's post from other provinces who
were canvassing for support from Bulawayo province.
Former ZIPRA chief of staff Retired Brigadier General Ambrose Mutinhiri has
written to Matabeleland provinces, seeking support and nomination as the
Vice President of the Republic of Zimbabwe.
Ndlovu fired a broadside at senior ZANU PF members who were hosting
clandestine meetings in lavish hotels to buy support.
"Any secret meeting without the PCC or the provincial chairman Isaac
Dakamela is illegal. We should all follow party procedure as said by the
chairman (Nkomo)," he said.
"If the senior politicians want to use money, then people should just take
their money and enjoy it but don't give them support."
There has been jostling for the vice president's post in the past month with
a number of candidates showing their interest. Among the contenders are
Senate Deputy President Naison Khutshwekhaya Ndlovu, Bulawayo Resident
Minister Cain Mathema and Mutinhiri.
The Politburo will meet this week to deliberate on the vice president's
issue after the Matabeleland provinces failed to come up with one candidate.
Politburo and central committee members including deputy secretary for women
affairs Eunice Sandi-Moyo, Matabeleland South Resident Minister Angelina
Masuku, Bulawayo Resident Minister Mathema and Bulawayo Provincial chairman
Dakamela attended Sunday's PCC meeting. - ZimOnline
Written by STAFF REPORTER
Monday, 26 October 2009 15:42
HARARE - Zimbabwe is forecast to record a poor harvest during the
2009/10 farming season as the US-funded Famine Early Warning System Network
(FEWSNET) warns of a lurking moderate El Nino conditions across the Pacific
Ocean which are associated with dry conditions across southern Africa.
FEWSNET said in its latest publication titled Executive Brief: El Nino
and Food Security in Southern Africa that southern half of the region,
particularly Botswana, Namibia, southern and central Mozambique, Zimbabwe,
Swaziland, and South Africa would face below-normal harvest this season.
"With a moderate El Nino expected this year, it is more likely that
some areas will face drier?than?usual conditions beginning in January 2010,"
Forecasts indicate that the current El Nino is likely to be of weak to
moderate strength through the remainder of 2009.
El Nino conditions are associated with the warming up of temperatures
over the Pacific Ocean which often results in significant changes in
rainfall patterns in eastern and southern Africa.
In southern Africa, there is sometimes an increase in precipitation
very early on, during October - December.
However, this slightly elevated moisture drops off as the season
progresses often leading to drought.
FEWSNET noted that the dry conditions would most likely affect the
important maize?growing areas in the southern African region.
"Should this happen, food availability will be very tight across much
of the sub?region, and many of the chronically vulnerable households will
easily tip into food insecure conditions, which will quickly deteriorate as
the consumption year progresses," said the US-based organisation.
The threat of the El Nino conditions would worsen Zimbabwe's food
security situation at a time the country is trying to improve crop
Aid agencies have predicted that up to 1.6 million Zimbabweans would
be in need of food assistance during the lean season between January and
Written by STAFF REPORTER
Monday, 26 October 2009 15:47
Harare -- Newsletters have become a common feature in the capital as
publishers lose patience over delays by the unity government to set up a new
Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) that is expected to open up media space by
granting publishing licences to more newspapers.
Publishers of most newsletters flooding the streets of Harare said
they were disappointed by the prolonged process to create the ZMC that is
part of several new commissions that the power-sharing government must
establish as part of efforts to democratise and re-shape Zimbabwe's
A spokesman for the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR),
publishers of the Legal Monitor newsletter, said the lawyers group opted to
produce its own news publication because of concerns over distortions and
other inaccuracies in reports about human rights issues carried by
The ZLHR spokesman said: "We found it beneficial to the public that
they get real news about justice, crime and human rights from us as the
state media twists facts we would have presented to them for publication.
"We are happy that the public are now getting actual news direct from
us. We had some problems with state security agents but we have since
improvised other means of distributing our newsletter."
An official in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's office said the
launch of the Prime Minister's Newsletter was the result of disappointment
with coverage of the Premier by the state media.
"The Prime Minister's office wants to set the record straight for
Zimbabweans on the successes, failures and activities of the inclusive
government, as opposed to the continued onslaught against Prime Minister
by the state controlled media."
The Zimbabwe Doctors for Human Rights has also launched a newsletter,
which focuses on health issues.
During the just ended Sanganai\Hlanganani World Travel and Tourism
Africa Fair in Harare, The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) ran a daily
Newsletter, which was distributed to exhibitors and buyers. ZTA has now
come up with a monthly newsletter.
Commenting on the mushrooming of newsletters, the president of the
Zimbabwe Union of Journalists, Matthew Takaona, said that such publications
were filling a void.
"In any environment where there is repression there is bound to be an
emergence of protest media, some people are now producing cassettes CDs and
DVDs, it's a serious indication that there is repression, people should
welcome them as alternative sources of news," he said.
October 27, 2009
Diamond miners at Chiadzwa
By Ntando Ncube
Partnership Africa Canada (PAC) a Canada-based group fighting for the eradication of “blood diamonds” around the world on Monday says diamonds from Zimbabwe were being illegally smuggled into Canada and accused the Kimberley Process (KP) of turning a blind eye to the illegal activities happening in Zimbabwe. In a report titled “Other Facets”, the international pressure group said in a report that diamonds from Zimbabwe’s Chiadzwa fields were being smuggled as far afield as Sierra Leone and Guyana.
In its report, the group accused the industry watchdog of manufacturing “polite fiction” to cover up for shortcomings by Zimbabwean authorities. It said that Zimbabwe exhibited a wide variety of serious problems ranging from smuggling and illegal seizure of diamond leases to outright denial of easily verifiable murder and human rights abuse in its diamond fields.
“In 2009, Zimbabwean industrial diamonds, easily identified by their size and colour, showed up as far afield as Guyana and Sierra Leone,”, the agency said in the report. It accused the Kimberley Process (KP) of turning a blind eye to the illegal activities taking place in Zimbabwe and other diamond-producing or importing countries.
“If low-value diamonds like these travel that far and that easily in search of a laundry, it is clear than high value goods have even greater range and speed,” the group observed.
It said that the KP in particular was not doing anything to stem a thriving illegal diamond market that has emerged in Mozambique’s town of Manica which is supplied with the precious mineral smuggled out of Zimbabwe by army and government officials. Manica just across the border from Mutare is a market town in western Mozambique, lying west of Chimoio in the province of Manica.
Guyana is a signatory to the Kimberley Process, a regulatory system backed by the United Nations which seeks to track the international production and movement of diamonds. The Process stipulates that freshly mined diamonds should be sealed in registered containers that certify their country of origin and that diamond exporters do not accept unregistered gems that might profit insurgents or criminals.
The Kimberley Process evolved out of international concern over the role that diamonds have played in sustaining guerilla and terrorist operations in various parts of the world, notably in conflict ridden regions of Liberia, the Congo, Angola and Sierra Leone. Since its implementation the Kimberley Process has been chaired by some of the world’s leading diamond producers including South Africa, Canada and Russia.
The process was initiated in May 2001 when diamond-producing countries in Southern Africa met in Kimberley, South Africa to discuss ways of stopping the trade in “conflict diamonds” and ensuring that diamond purchases were not funding violence.
By Alex Bell
27 October 2009
The life of late former student leader and MDC politician, Learnmore Jongwe,
was officially commemorated on the seventh anniversary of his death last
Friday, with the launch of a new Trust in his name.
The Learnmore Jongwe Trust was established to continue his legacy, mainly by
aiding youths and students in the country and furthering their education.
The Trust seeks to provide a central and effective facility for all youth
and student organisations, which will be a resource base for research,
debate and formulation of relevant policies and laws. The Trust's work is
set to benefit not only Jongwe's surviving dependents, but also Zimbabwean
youths and students in general, including student and youth organisations.
Prior to his death in remand prison on 24th October 2002, Jongwe had served
as a student leader with the University of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe
National Students Union, and also later as the national Youth Chairperson
and Spokesperson of the MDC. He was also an elected member of Parliament for
the Kuwadzana constituency.
However, Jongwe's promising career came to an abrupt and violent end after
he murdered his own wife Rutendo, in a domestic dispute. The incident led to
his eventual death in remand prison, under unclear circumstances, after he
was allegedly poisoned in custody. There is also much speculation that
suggests that Jongwe may have taken his own life. Before his death, Jongwe
had said he regretted the tragic events of the last few weeks of his life
and apologised unconditionally for his wife's murder.
But the MDC believes Jongwe, the party's former spokesperson, was murdered
while behind bars. Speaking at the launch of the Trust last week, party
Secretary General Tendai Biti said Jongwe was assassinated.
"The state has tried to propagate the theory that Jongwe committed suicide
but it is impossible to smuggle anything into prison," Biti said, speaking
of the poison that was found in Jongwe's system after an independent
autopsy. "It's not possible, so if anything is smuggled in there, they would
have allowed you to smuggle it," Biti continued.
27 October 2009
Eddie Cross writes on the fraught situation in Zimbabwe
It is a month since I last wrote one of these weekly letters and I do
apologise for the gap but we have been flat out here and a lot of what is
going on is very sensitive. But despite all the nonsense being talked about
in the State controlled press, I think we have made progress.
I think people have short memories and it is important to keep recent events
in perspective when trying to interpret what is going on. In February 2007
the South African Cabinet met in Cape Town to consider the decision by Mr.
Mugabe to shift the March 2008 elections to June 2010. They decided two
things - firstly, that the new election date was unacceptable and, secondly,
that the March elections should be held on a basis where no one could
dispute the outcome.
As a consequence, the President of South Africa (Mr. Mbeki) met with Mr.
Mugabe on the 6th March in Ghana and secured agreement to reverse the
decision to defer the election and obtained his agreement to start
negotiations with the MDC on the conditions under which the March 2008
elections would be held.
The rest is history - the talks started in June, struggled on to the end of
the year when Mr. Mugabe stopped the process saying they had done enough.
The elections were held and although they were by no means free and fair,
the MDC won convincingly and after 5 weeks of trying to reverse the loss,
Zanu simply falsified the results of the Presidential election and Mr. Mbeki
approved a run off between the two leaders.
The subsequent election campaign was so violent and one sided and so
manipulated that no SADC or African country was prepared to say that the
election of Mr. Mugabe with 85 per cent of the vote was legitimate. That
gave rise to a further round of negotiations and the imposition by the
region of an inclusive government to manage the country while a new
constitution was drafted and fresh elections held. The path towards the
instillation of the new Transitional Government was not easy or straight
forward. Zanu had lost the election but was not prepared to relinquish power
and control. SADC wanted a government that included the three parties but
was not prepared to enforce power sharing on the basis of the outcome of the
Eventually when it became apparent that Zanu PF was not prepared to concede
more to MDC, the region persuaded MDC leadership to go into government and
promised that they would ensure the signed agreements and the amendments to
the constitution were respected and enforced. They also agreed to review
this arrangement after six months.
MDC went into the new government with its eyes wide open and fully
understanding the nature of the organisation we were dealing with. However,
out of respect for the region, the MDC leadership lent over backwards and
tried to make the government work. Despite this Zanu PF has steadfastly
refused to cooperate in those areas that affect the conduct of future
elections or in any way inhibit the residual power and influence of the hard
liners in the JOC.
The list of violations of the signed agreements between the three parties
grows by the day, but there are several hundred at this stage and as a
result the process of economic stabilisation and recovery is being retarded
and the restoration of constitutional and written law is completely stymied.
No progress has been made in the restoration of basic freedoms and in
violation of the agreements all senior appointments to government have been
made unilaterally and in the majority of cases been used to entrench the
power and influence of Zanu PF in the State.
Calls for the MDC to withdraw became more and more strident and eventually
the Party called for a period of national consultation with its grass root
structures on the issue. As this consultation nears its conclusion the
results are overwhelming - from Beitbridge to Binga, people have said stay
in the government to protect the gains made but fight on for the full
implementation of the GPA and the holding of new elections as soon as
conditions exist for a free and fair contest.
When the State moved to imprison Roy Bennett ten days ago and then put him
in shackles it was a move too far for the leadership. The President of the
MDC called for talks with the other principals to the agreement but was
refused by Zanu PF. He then decided to disengage from Zanu PF in the
inclusive government, virtually paralysing the State in the process.
During all this, the guarantors of the deal, SADC remained silent and
disengaged. The originators of the whole process, South Africa was also
silent. SADC failed to hold the planned review of Ministerial portfolio
allocations as promised and instead requested the Troika on politics and
security to handle the problems in the Zimbabwe government. When the most
recent crisis in the State arose, Mr. Tsvangirai decided the time had come
to take the case to regional decision makers.
He did that last week and today meets with the other two Party leaders in
the GPA while we wait for the Troika to come to Harare on the 29th to hold
joint consultations with the leadership of the Parties to the agreement on
the way forward. I do not think the agreement is threatened but there is no
doubt in my mind that the region should insist on all parties to the deal
meeting their obligations.
This past weekend has seen a flurry of activity driven by the JOC - dozens
of homes torched in rural areas, people beaten and injured - some very
severely and leadership of MDC and civil society arrested and imprisoned on
flimsy grounds. A guest house owned by MDC in Harare was raided on Saturday
night by 50 armed men and trashed in the process. Road blocks searching for
'arms' were thrown up throughout the country - I was in Lupane 172
kilometres from Bulawayo on Saturday and went through 5 road blocks on the
While all this was going on Mr. Mugabe was outside the country and when he
came back he made a clear statement saying that they were not going to move
on any of the issues raised by the MDC. He made the tired and puerile claim
that MDC has not delivered on the lifting of 'sanctions' and the banning of
'illegal' radio stations and therefore Zanu was not obliged to adhere to the
The fact is we have no influence over who is subjected to a travel ban by
certain countries or restrictions on certain companies that are considered
to be part of the problem of the rogue elements in the State in Zimbabwe.
These restrictions have no influence over the economy and do not affect the
great majority of our people. As for the argument on 'illegal' radio
stations - that is a laugh. For a start they are not illegal, they are also
the most popular media in Zimbabwe and are the main source of information
for the majority. That is precisely why Zanu wants them banned.
Eddie Cross is MP for Bulawayo South and the MDC's Policy Coordinator. This
article first appeared on his website www.eddiecross.africanherd.com
|Written by The Zimbabwean|
|Monday, 26 October 2009 16:03|
J. Moyo: “It is now a well known fact in Zimbabwean politics that when the Americans and Europeans who run, fund and control the MDC T find themselves cornered, they engineer political tension and political violence in our country which they blame on Zanu (PF) using elements of the international media that they control.”
The Reality: The Americans and Europeans do not run, fund and control the MDC-T, and do not find themselves ‘cornered’. And it is ZanuPF that is entirely responsible for the appalling political violence in Zimbabwe.
The Lie: The harsh media laws (AIPPA) he authored are “good for Zimbabwe”, according to Jonathan Moyo.
The Reality: AIPPA is only good for Zanu (PF). It gags free speech, allows news censorship, keeps community radio banned and ensures that the mass media stays firmly under the control of the nationalist nazis in Zanu (PF).
The Lies: Robert Mugabe justifies the seizing of white farms without paying. He says the land was stolen from blacks in the first place, and denies his land reforms ruined agriculture. Instead he blames poor weather and Western sanctions that he says crippled the economy’s capacity to produce fertilizer and other agricultural inputs.
The Reality: Most commercial farms operating today were purchased after independence in 1980, with a certificate of ‘no interest’ from government. - Some of the best harvests on record were grown during ‘drought’ years by white farmers. (What’s the matter with the new ‘cellphone’ farmers?)
-Western sanctions have not stopped us from producing fertiliser. Sable Chemicals in Kwe Kwe used to supply the whole of Zimbabwe with fertilisers, and exported some too. Zanu-PF’s economic bungling crippled the company. Targeted sanctions have not caused a shortage. Republic of South Africa gladly supplies any fertiliser or agricultural inputs that Zimbabwe can pay for.
The Lie: J. Moyo: “I also respect my party’s leadership”
The Reality: He has recently called Mugabe’s leadership “self-indulgent” and described him as “very tired, visionless and beleaguered.” He has accused Mugabe of playing “dirty games” and said Zimbabwe is doomed if he remains in office. We could go on. That’s a pretty warped view of respect… or just that Chameleon speaking.
The Lie: Didymus Mutasa – “I don’t have a case to answer in the trial of farmer Rober McKersie.”
The Reality: Actually, yes Minister, you do. And you are not above the law. A subpoena against you is valid.
The Lie: Deputy Media, Information and Publicity minister Jameson Timba:
“Zimbabwe is not a police state. It is not the policy of this government that its employees go around threatening citizens with arrest for imagined crimes.”
The Reality: Good grief, are you blind as well as dim, Mr. Timba? Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri must be laughing his head off. Let’s hope he doesn’t arrest YOU on trumped up charges this week.
The Lie: Patrick Chinamasa: “The problem is that most people including MPs and you journalists have not read the (Kariba draft) constitution. People should not concentrate on process but content of the constitution.”
The Reality: Yes we have read it, and we do not like what we see regarding the entrenched and all-encompassing powers of the Executive President.
Lie-O-Meter rating this week: 9 out of 10
Written by The Editor
Monday, 26 October 2009 17:28
Will the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), which is
notorious for its impotence and complicity with the wrong side on the
Zimbabwean question, react any differently to the latest crisis?
We refer here to the decision by the Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) to disengage from Cabinet in protest against the unceasing, brazen and
delinquent violations of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) by President
Robert Mugabe's wing of the coalition government.
The latest of these illogical and shameless acts includes the renewed
persecution and prosecution of Roy Bennett, whom Mugabe has also refused to
swear in as Deputy Minister of Agriculture, on trumped up charges.
Zimbabweans know that the country is doomed if the unity government
collapses and Zanu (PF, which has been rejected by the electorate, imposes
itself on the suffering masses as the sole ruling party once more. The
consequences are too ghastly to contemplate. And yet this is exactly what
Zanu(PF) is angling for.
In a most un-statesman-like manner upon his return from an African
Union Summit in Uganda on Friday, Mugabe practically gloated over the MDC's
decision, saying, as reported in The Saturday Herald of October 24 : "...
you will always get people in any arrangement who are guided by little
emotional thoughts and act in accordance with them and who would want things
to go their way, and not the national way and not the agreed way."
This is vintage disdainful and intransigent Mugabe who has tyrannised
the nation over the years by labelling any opponents and critics of his
oppressive rule sell-outs, puppets of the West or his latest obsession,
"regime change" agenda agents. It is clear to everyone else except SADC that
all that matters to him and his party in going to these perverse and
destructive lengths is to cling to power regardless of everything else,
including the will and aspirations of the people he governs.
He confirmed this on Friday when he said the MDC should not expect
"...that we should now voluntarily, from our side, you see, give away
aspects of our authority, we will not do that. They can go to any summit,
any part of the world to appeal - that will not happen."
The question any reasonable person would ask and which SADC should put
to Mugabe is what Zanu (PF) bases its supposedly unshakeable authority on
when it lost the last elections and did not get a mandate from the people to
remain in power? As Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara has pointed out,
Mugabe was not elected to his current presidential term of office but was
accommodated under the GPA through negotiations.
How long will SADC slap Zimbabwean voters in the face by continuing
to collude with election losers at the expense of a party that they risked
life and limb to vote for in the hope of bringing about change and
liberating themselves from the bondage of Zanu (PF) tyranny and oppression?
There are no legitimate grounds for SADC to continue burying its head
in the sand in order to appease Mugabe and his violent party. It is time to
bell the cat by reminding him of some unpalatable truths, such as that it is
the losing Zanu (PF) that was accommodated under the government of national
unity and not the winning MDC that it now seeks to beat down into surrender
as it has tried to do the populace.