Harare, October 27, 2012 - Paul Mangwana, ZANU-PF's Constitutional Select
Committee (Copac) co-chairperson has opened up that he feared for his life
after supporters of President Robert Mugabe labelled him a sell-out on
national television accusing him of working against the 88 year old leader's
party, an accusation he declines.
"If someone labels you a sell-out, munouraisa munhu (you can cause someone
to get killed)," Mangwana told the state television after he launched a $1
million dollar defamation lawsuit against the sole broadcaster which is
controlled by the Ministry of Information which is run by Mugabe's top
"I was supposed to have got the right to respond to the serious allegations
that were directed at me. I never sold out, I represented my party well at
Copac and the politburo knows that. It is not allowed by the law of this
country that someone can tarnish the image of someone without facts."
He did not explain how he fears for his life or if there are people who have
threatened his life.
Mangwana was reacting to a TV programme screened by the national
broadcaster, ZBC where panelists accused him of selling out, describing him
as worse than those who massacred Zimbabweans at Chimoio and Nyadzonia
during the liberation struggle in the 1970s.
The panelists claimed Mangwana was worse than Morris Nyathi, the alleged
traitor who guided Rhodesian forces in the brutal pre-independence massacres
at Nyadzonia in Mozambique in 1976.
The panelists further claimed that Mangwana supported homosexuality and was
paid by imperialists to sell out on Zimbabwe’s interests.
However, the Chivi Central MP said he believes that the new draft
constitution is a great improvement from the Lancaster House constitution
which has been amended 19 times since the country's independence in 1980.
He said the recent holding of peaceful second all stakeholders conference
shows that Zimbabweans are mature enough as no violence occurred unlike in
the first stakeholders meeting where militants of ZANU-PF disrupted
Saturday, 27 October 2012 11:53
HARARE - After suffering a humiliating defeat at the hands of its coalition
government partners over plans to overhaul the draft Constitution this week,
President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF is reportedly planning a comeback by using
his status as a global political agreement (GPA) principal to reinstate its
With delegates at the second Harare All Stakeholders Conference rejecting
the “damaging and unjustified” 200-plus amendments being championed by the
ex-majority party, Zanu PF was thwarted at the conference’s session after
moving a motion for the support of widespread changes to the draft — only to
hit a brickwall on the matter, which would have also undermined the basic
principles behind the constitutional process.
After the head-on collision, Mugabe and company resorted to demands of
ceding control of the parliamentary process to the executive, in a move that
has drawn the ire of several political and civic society players.
Under the envisaged plan, the octogenarian leader, Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai and his deputy Arthur Mutambara — signatories to the GPA — are
then expected to effect changes for the draft “to conform” with their agenda
before a referendum.
But Welshman Ncube, leader of the smaller MDC, is among those leading the
claims that Zanu PF is bent on effecting its new demands through the back
door or principals’ forum.
And in demanding that Parliament backs off, Mugabe was not only trashing the
notion of separation of powers, but was also making a blatant mistake
smacking of “entrenched dictatorship”.
Several legislators are opposing the executive’s planned Constitution-making
process takeover — that was not in the coalition agreement.
One Zanu PF MP, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it will be
regrettable if the party failed to allow members to debate issues openly,
adding, people would leave, compounding its already flagging support.
Successive speakers in 18 thematic committee meetings at the conference tore
into Zanu PF’s approach — under which responsibility for finalising the
draft would pass to the three GPA signatories.
In the envisaged plan, the principals could end up playing a far bigger role
than the people’s contribution.
The biggest defeat for Zanu PF was the dramatic failure to force the tabling
of the national report at the conference despite spirited attempts by the
liberation party, including a last minute High Court application by Zanu PF
delegate Danny Masukuma.
Days after the conference, the Constitution Parliamentary Committee (Copac)
now says it is geared towards compiling a national report on the
constitution-making process that will capture the comments and
recommendations from the just-ended Second All Stakeholders’ conference.
The report and the Copac draft are meant to be tabled to Parliament for
debate but Mugabe is insisting that he must have the Copac draft submitted
to him and other principals.
Another Zanu PF MP, who sat in on Copac proceedings in the HICC, said: “This
conference has forced a big climb-down for mukuru (Mugabe), and the
conference delegates have made it clear that the draft captures what the
people said and must be put to a referendum after it comes to Parliament.
“Our colleagues have shown that they don’t want their party to get dragged
down by the damage the changes are trying to do to the Copac draft.
“The big test now is for mukuru, and it will be for him to persuade the
Prime Minister to make fundamental changes to the draft and reorganise the
But Tsvangirai has said this is a parliament-led process and says he has “no
intention whatsoever, at least on my part, to tamper or meddle with the
The ongoing constitution-making process is seen as a key test for democracy
and one that could reshape the politics of one of southern Africa’s
awakening economic giants.
The constitutional changes are seen as important to avoid a repeat of the
post-election bloodshed in 2008 that killed over 200 people and took the
country of about 12,5 million people to the brink of anarchy.
The draft that Copac had produced addressed the corruption, gender equality,
political patronage, land grabbing, devolution and tribalism which has
plagued Zimbabwe since it won independence in 1980.
The changes allow for greater checks on presidential powers, more devolution
to grassroots administrations and an increase in civil liberties.
Critics say Mugabe wants to replace the independence charter, which has been
amended 19 times since 1980, with another Lancaster House Constitution.
Phillan Zamchiya, regional coordinator for Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition,
said the constitution-making process is minimalist, and the focus should be
on incremental gains.
“However, we reiterate that the incremental gains made by Zimbabweans and
the southern Africa region risk reversal if President Mugabe’s authoritarian
wish to subvert Article 6 of the GPA and allow Principals to have the final
say on the constitution is granted,” Zamchiya said.
“We urge Zimbabweans to collectively launch a “Save the Constitution
Campaign” as a way to stop the President’s unpopular overtures.”
Brian Raftopoulos, an associate professor of Development Studies at the
University of Zimbabwe said it is now clear that Sadc is once again faced
with a severe test of its standing as a mediation body.
He said Zanu PF was hell-bent on “foiling a process that has the potential
to unravel its political hegemony in the country.”
“The Zanu PF draft effectively dismisses the major reforms included in the
draft and proposes a return to the kind of executive powers and party or
state rule that Zanu PF has crafted since 1980,” Raftopolous said. - Gift
By Richard Chidza, Staff Writer
Saturday, 27 October 2012 11:53
HARARE - President Robert Mugabe holds the key to violence and peace in
Zimbabwe, MDC deputy treasurer-general Elton Mangoma has said.
Mangoma was addressing families of 31 Glen View activists who are in remand
prison for the murder of a policeman in May last year.
The families early this week gathered at the MDC headquarters to receive
food hampers from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s wife Elizabeth. “Mugabe
holds the key to violence and peace,” Mangoma, who is also Energy and Power
Development minister, told the families.
“If he tells his people to stop violence they will obey.
“This was evidenced by the peace that prevailed at the just ended Copac
second All-Stakeholders’ Conference that his word is law.
“There was no violence because Mugabe ordered them to peace. If he lets
loose then you all know it will be mayhem.”
Mangoma claimed there was selective application of the law that is why the
activists were being denied bail.
“Mugabe is cruel and shows this by incessant arrests and beatings under the
pretext of maintaining order and applying the rule of law.
“But what kind of law separates these people accused of Petros Mutedza’s
murder; while on the other hand a policeman accused of killing a gold panner
in Shamva is out on bail?
“We have a colleague who was murdered in Mutoko but the killers are walking
“Mugabe’s message is simple, he is saying everybody else stay away from
politics except on a Zanu PF ticket,” said Mangoma.
“Two weeks ago I was once again arrested; I told Mugabe that my father was a
liberation fighter who was jailed together with him (Mugabe) by Ian Smith’s
Rhodesian regime, and my mother suffered a lot.
“Now Mugabe is arresting me and my mother is suffering again under a black
government. But we will continue to ask for Mugabe’s departure until this
country is free,” he said.
Mangoma said the MDC has no policy of vengeance and would not punish anyone
when it gains power because they abused them under Mugabe.
“Zanu PF is judging the MDC and Tsvangirai on the basis of how they treated
us over the past 12 years.
“They are afraid that we will retaliate but I can tell you Tsvangirai is not
a vindictive person and the MDC has no policy of vengeance,” he said.
Elizabeth Tsvangirai donated food hampers to families of the 31 imprisoned
activists while the MDC this week disbursed $400 to each of the families for
their upkeep and promised them Christmas hampers.
Water Resources Minister Sam Sipepa Nkomo, who is under fire from Bulawayo
residents, was scheduled to hold a special meeting with the locals and civic
society organizations on Friday night to discuss crippling water shortages
in the City of Kings.
Zimbabwe is facing a critical water crisis but Bulawayo is among the hardest
hit areas with the local authority cutting supplies to residents for at
least three days a week, a situation activists say is dangerous in the era
of typhoid and other diseases such as cholera.
Nkomo told VOA: “If residents are getting less than what they are supposed
to get then it’s a problem. I will have to check with the (Bulawayo) mayor
and find out why they are not sticking to the schedules that they have
The minister, who was in Botswana with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to
discuss, among other issues, the possibility of a critical Harare-Gaborone
joint water project to save drought-stricken regions in the two countries,
said the water shortages are a result of low rainfall that has left dams and
boreholes with little water.
He said the government is speeding up the connection of the Mtshabezi Dam to
try and reduce the water shedding hours.
“We are also trying to get the Nyamandlovu Aquifer to boost the water
situation in Bulawayo.”
The minister has come under attack from residents who say he is not doing
enough, but he said: “I have done everything humanly possible and some of
the things have to be done by the city council.”
“All I have done is to make sure that money is available. I have spoken to
government and I have spoken to donors and the money has been made available
and the actor here is the city,” said Sipepa.
He said it will take about three months to rehabilitate the water systems,
repairing broken down boreholes and pipes.
The minister said he had a successful trip to Botswana and he will soon be
holding a meeting with his counterpart from the neighboring nation to
discuss a request by Batswana to extract water from the Zambezi.
Nkomo said: “I pointed out that Zimbabwe will not support Botswana to get
water upstream of the Victoria Falls because if they do that then there will
be less water going through the Falls and it will become an international
problem for us. And they understand that.”
Government is going to buy a new house for President Robert Mugabe’s family
and renovate his Highfield home as a tourist attraction.
by Tavada Mafa
Tourism and Hospitality Minister Walter Mzembi told the opening of 2012
Sanganani/Hlanganani World Travel and Tourism Africa Fair in Harare, that
cabinet had okayed the development.
“We will this weekend be visiting President with tour operators and tourists
to see the house and discuss its history in the liberation of its country.
It is very good response we have got from the industry and we very happy and
puts us under pressure to do what we must do and make sure that these houses
are enshrined,” Zimbabwe Tourism Authority Chief Executive Karikoga Kaseke
told Journalists Friday in Harare.
Kaseke added, “There will be tour operators and Tour guides who will be
giving people the history of the country’s liberation residing there.”
According to ZTA properties belonging to the late Vice President Joshua
Nkomo, former ZANU leader Herbert Chitepo, ZANU founder Enos Nkala and
President Robert Mugabe in Harare’s Highfield suburb are going to be
renovated and converted into tourists attractions.
Over 80 companies that have closed down in Bulawayo will be taken over and
allocated to locals through the Ministry of Youth Development,
Indigenization and Empowerment, a government official has said.
by Ashly Sibanda
Fidelis Fengu, the Deputy Chairperson of the Special Advisory Board in the
ministry, told journalists in Bulawayo that a list of companies that are set
for take-over is almost complete.
“We are identifying all the closed companies in Bulawayo. There is no reason
why these companies should remain closed when youths are jobless.
“We want to take over these companies and indigenize them so that people can
go back to work, so that the youths can be empowered,”
Fengu said during the press conference.
He said the Youth Ministry was also crafting an insurance policy that would
force banks to finance the take-over of the companies and youth projects
across the country.
Fengu accused banks of resisting finding youths projects.
“The youth have always been said to be a risky investment area. Banks do not
want to bankroll our projects. We have tabled a proposal to the ministry to
create an insurance policy that will save as collateral to the banks so that
we manage risks associated with giving loans to the youth,” he added.
Over 80 companies have closed shop in Bulawayo in recent years, rendering
more than 20 000 workers jobs.
Other companies have either downsized operations or relocated to Harare
citing unfavorable business conditions in the city.
By Chengetayi Zvauya, Parliamentary Editor
Saturday, 27 October 2012 11:58
HARARE - Ex-Zanu PF legislator Great Makaya has won a right to run a
telecommunications venture, which means Zimbabwe can have a sixth data and
This comes as the 65 year-old businessman had approached the High Court to
restore his Information Media Investments (Private) Limited (IMI) licence
annulled by the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of
Zimbabwe (Potraz) 10 years ago.
In a ruling yesterday, High court Judge Francis Bere reinstated the licence,
in a development which may see the entry of another telecoms player in the
In his application, Makaya had mainly argued that his company had been
granted a 25-year licence by Chenhamho Chimutengwende’s then Information
ministry in 1998 and he had even entered discussions with France’s Alcatel
to roll out a network through its Global Star division.
However, the project failed to take off after the European technology giant
withdrew its technical and financial support when the European Union (EU)
imposed a travel and asset freeze on President Robert Mugabe’s inner circle.
Makaya says he had searched for partners for a decade without joy, as there
were no individuals or companies willing to partner him due to the embargo.
“From 1999 until early 2009, the applicant searched far and wide on every
continent for a financial and technical partner to provide capital and
“The prospective partners which applicant courted all declined on the basis
of the imposed economic sanctions," said Makaya.
He said he only secured a Korean company as a partner in 2009 to fund the
The Asian business company indicated that it was willing to invest but was
not willing to do so unless it received a confirmation of the validity of
his telecommunications licence.
Potraz informed Makaya that his licence had expired after he failed to
regularise it within the stipulated deadline of April 2002, when all
telecommunications licence holders had been called upon to do so by the
Makaya said he had made several failed appeals to Communications minister
Nicholas Goche to review Potraz’s decision to cancel the licence.
The project, he said, had the potential of generating over 1 000 jobs,
according to the businessman’s papers.
Makaya is seeking that his telecommunication licence he was issued in
December 1998 be regarded valid.
Makaya’s lawyer Terence Mazhindu of Mugomeza and Mutezo law firm welcomed
the ruling saying it was a “reasonable judgment and my client will now
proceed with his telecommunication roll out programme.”
Potraz lawyer James Muzagazi said he can only comment after reading the full
Saturday, 27 October 2012 00:00
Zesa appears to be spending around US$6,1 million on free light bulbs for
consumers, most of whom do not pay their inflated bills, while it slows down
on the spread of pre-paid meters. It all seems very odd. Of course energy
saving fluorescent bulbs will save a lot of energy. Zesa reckons it could
save 200MW as darkness falls, enough to keep Bulawayo lit up. But the saving
will not be so great, unfortunately, simply because many households already
use these bulbs and so much of the expected savings have already been made.
Consumers are not stupid. They can see the savings almost immediately.
What may have made a little bit of sense a few years ago, now makes no sense
at all. The energy-saving bulbs are hardly new technology. A variety of
makes are readily available on all supermarket shelves and cost around twice
as much as equivalent tungsten filament bulbs. People have been buying them.
Some other utilities did give out free bulbs years ago, but just one to a
household to prove that the new bulbs did produce decent light and were
quite safe. Most countries did what Zimbabwe should have already done and
which it can do right now: they banned the manufacture and import of
filament bulbs and stocks on shelves soon ran out, leaving just the
fluorescent bulbs and now the first LED bulbs that are likely to become the
standard within a few years.
Some countries, with factories pouring out the old filament bulbs, had to
tread carefully as they brought in the bans, giving enough notice to
industrialists so factories could be converted.
But those, like Zimbabwe, which never made the old-fashioned bulbs simply
announced an import ban and watched as consumers quickly converted as the
short-life tungsten bulbs expired. The utilities achieved their desired
conversion without spending a cent.
Zesa and its parent energy ministry could do exactly the same. Zimbabwe has
laws that allow the Government to either ban specific imports or to impose
such high duties that the undesired item becomes too expensive.
Why has Zesa not pushed for such an import ban? The case is good so it would
not need much more than a Minister phoning another Minister.
The money saved from an ill-considered policy to give some households a
free-gift could be put towards some of the programmes Zesa keeps telling us
it desperately needs. Not all households will benefit; those that have
already switched will get nothing except the contempt of Zesa staff, a
strange reward for taking Zesa advice.
Zesa has already paid US$2 million for 1,8 million bulbs that are not in
short supply and plans to spend another US$4,11 million on the rest of what
seem a huge order.
That US$6 million could have been spent on a lot of other things that would
reduce consumption, like the pre-paid meters just about every consumer wants
desperately, so desperately that there are rumours, probably untrue, that
Zesa staff are taking hefty bribes to let a consumer jump the queue.
But the rumour-mongering is a sign of frustration over delays and a sign
that people really want Zesa to move faster on the meters.
But with warehouses bulging with the new bulbs and more no doubt on order,
what is Zesa to do?
They can quickly do something right. They can get the law used to ban
imports of filament bulbs, so achieving the desirable end of seeing these
phased out and they can sell their fluorescent bulbs to wholesalers and
shops at a little more than cost price and get their money back.
They can then use that money to buy stuff they are short of. They do not
need to compound a silly and expensive mistake by insisting on repeating it.
Dear Family and Friends,
Tension had been building for weeks, everyone was expecting trouble,
propaganda and rumour had reached ridiculous proportions and no one
thought there was a chance of a peaceful final meeting on the draft
new constitution. For three and a half years every step of our new
constitution making process has been littered with bickering,
accusations, intimidation and threats. We’ve had rowdy youths
barging their way into meetings and breaking them up; meetings
cancelled or abandoned; delegates assaulted; rapporteurs threatened,
recording equipment seized and MP’s fleeing venues to get away from
violent elements. To be honest many people didn’t think we would
even get to the closing All Stakeholders Conference while others had
already given up on the whole process saying it had been politically
hijacked long ago.
No one expected that the final conference would go smoothly and we sat
on the edge of our seats waiting for trouble, but it never came. Or it
never came in the crude, big -stick way, which has become the
trademark of decision making in Zimbabwe. Unbelievably over a thousand
men and women met in Harare for two days and only one incident made
front page headlines when a Zanu PF delegate, Temba Mliswa, grabbed a
camera being used to record proceedings and took it away. Other
incidents were going on that didn’t make news headlines but were
highlighted in a press statement by a quartet of NGO’s known as
ZZZICOMP. The group recorded delegates who intimidated, harassed,
heckled and issued verbal threats to other delegates. They said there
was widespread coaching of delegates by all three political parties
which left them parroting party opinions.
So far most people haven’t seen the new draft but those that have
are far from happy about clauses which are clearly the result of
political negotiation rather than the opinions of ordinary people.
It’s not really clear what happened to the pages of amendments Zanu
PF were insisting on or what happened to resolve any of the most
contentious issues such as dual citizenship, diaspora voting;
presidential running mates, land rights, a prosecuting authority or
the devolution of power.
I know that my rights as a Zimbabwean are not protected in the draft
new constitution. I also know that it is extremely unlikely that the
multiple thousands of born and resident Zimbabweans struck off the
voters roll in the last ten years will even be allowed to vote in the
referendum on this draft new constitution. Don’t get so upset about
it, people say, it’s just another step in the process. But which
process: the Zanu PF process, the MDC process or a process for our
children and future generations of Zimbabweans regardless of which
political party they choose to support. Until next time, thanks for
reading, love cathy. 27th October 2012. Copyright � Cathy Buckle.