The ZIMBABWE Situation
An extensive and up-to-date website containing news, views and links related to ZIMBABWE - a country in crisis
Return to INDEX page
Please note: You need to have 'Active content' enabled in your IE browser in order to see the index of articles on this webpage

Cabinet deadlock linked to fear of prosecution

By Lance Guma
01 October 2008

The fear of prosecution for human rights abuses and looting of state coffers
by ZANU PF officials and security chiefs is at the root of the current
deadlock over allocation of cabinet ministries. According to a senior
official in the MDC, several ZANU PF bigwigs who were responsible for this
year's election violence which claimed the lives of over 131 opposition
activists are reluctant to have their party concede ministries which have a
direct bearing on their prosecution or immunity. In a series of meetings
held before and after Mugabe's trip to the United Nations summit, the ZANU
PF leader has been warned against conceding the Home Affairs, Justice,
Defence and Prison ministries.

Although speculation has often cited other ministries like Foreign Affairs,
Finance, Information and Local Government, ZANU PF's desire to cling on to
portfolios linked to justice and security remains the critical stumbling
block. Other officials implicated in illegal financial, mining and other
scandals have also thrown their spanners into the works trying to stifle the
deal. Newsreel has been told Gideon Gono who heads the Reserve Bank fears a
forensic audit into his tenure as this could expose a lot of irregular
dealings. Speculation that Mugabe wants to appoint Gono as Finance Minister
has added to suspicions of an elaborate cover-up.

'Not only are we battling thieves who stole money from state coffers, there
are those who killed people in the Matabeleland and Midlands provinces in
the eighties. Some of these people were at it again in the run-up to the
March and June elections this year,' the official told Newsreel. 'Should the
MDC take over Home Affairs or even the Justice Ministry, you can see why
they are uncomfortable.' While the MDC are prepared to concede the Defence
ministry this they say should be reciprocated by their control of the Home
Affairs ministry which controls the police. 'In South Africa's first post
apartheid government, bitter ANC rival Mangosuthu Buthelezi was appointed
Home Affairs minister as a sign of goodwill, why can't Mugabe do the same
here?' the official asked.

Meanwhile Newsreel has it on good authority the MDC are insisting on control
of the Information, Local Government, Home Affairs and Finance Ministries as
the pre-requisites for their involvement in any new cabinet. Under their
proposals ZANU PF can retain control of Defence, Foreign Affairs,
Agriculture, Mining and Justice ministries among others.

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

MDC thinking of pulling out of deal

October 1, 2008

By Our Correspondent

HARARE - The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is seriously mulling a
withdrawal from the current negotiations on the formation of a power-sharing
government until Zanu-PF agrees to conditions that ensure a fair sharing of
Cabinet posts in terms of the political agreement signed on September 15.

Following a meeting held by MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai and his six top
advisors there are strong indications that a pull-out from the talks on
establishing a coalition cabinet is under serious consideration until
President Mugabe's party commits itself to sharing power equally in the
proposed new government.

"It is apparent that Zanu-PF is unwilling to honor the agreement in the
first place," said our source, a senior MDC official. "There is an element
of contempt for and reluctance to form a coalition government as the
agreement demands and the people of Zimbabwe expect President Mugabe to do."

Tsvangirai, who will take up the newly created position of Prime Minister,
has accused the president's party of backtracking on commitments regarding
the extent of power-sharing in the new government.

Despite spirited assurances by Mugabe at the airport on Monday that there
was no deadlock over the allocation of cabinet posts, our source insisted
that there was, indeed, a stalemate over two cabinet posts - Home Affairs
and Finance.

A meeting held between negotiators representing Zanu-PF and Tsvangirai's
party late on Monday had failed to resolve the deadlock. The breakaway MDC
faction led by Arthur Mutambara was not represented at the meeting.
Mutambara himself is said to be attending a forum of young leaders in China.

Zanu-PF is said to have offered the Foreign Affairs and Local Government
ministries to the MDC on condition that they retain control of the Home
Affairs and Finance ministries. Our source says Zanu-PF had indicated it
could not shift from this position.

Following a similar meeting of top members of Zanu-PF, legal affairs
secretary Patrick Chinamasa said the president remained committed to
reaching an agreement as soon as possible, and was open to further
negotiation on the division of the Cabinet posts. There are reports of
simmering division within the Zanu-PF camp over the power-sharing deal. A
clique of powerful security chiefs is said to be critical of the
power-sharing agreement. So is the so-called Mnangagwa faction of the party.

Mugabe told supporters, many of whom were force-marched to Harare
International Airport on Monday to welcome him on his arrival from New York,
that he expected talks on the establishment of a new Cabinet to be concluded
by the close of this week. But the MDC official said there were still
monumental obstacles to be overcome before any deal could be reached. Both
MDC secretary general Tendai Biti and information secretary Nelson Chamisa
said separately on Tuesday that any talk of a cabinet comprising Zanu-PF and
MDC ministers being formed by Friday was premature.

There were signs of simmering antagonism between the MDC and Zanu PF, Mugabe
fired a broadside at US ambassador James McGee for "interference in our
domestic affairs," and urged foreign diplomats not to take sides in the
negotiations. He usually accuses Tsvangirai of being a puppet of the British
and United States governments.

The Zimbabwe Times was informed that Tsvangirai had earlier met with
European diplomats. Mugabe also demanded that the MDC immediately call for
the lifting of sanctions. He has accused the party of calling for their
imposition in the first place.

Former South African President Thabo Mbeki, who mediated the power-sharing
agreement between President Mugabe and Tsvangirai, is now said to have taken
a leading role in trying to break the latest impasse. He is said to be
constantly in touch with both Mugabe and Tsvangirai by telephone and to have
demanded position papers to be sent to him.

The current deadlock over the appointment of ministers to the coalition
government has prompted both Zanu-PF and MDC to trade accusations of
unwillingness to compromise on a fair allocation of powerful ministries.

While both sides claim to be still committed to reaching agreement on the
cabinet, the gap between their positions appears to be widening. The whole
episode has raised serious concerns about the prospect of a coalition
government functioning smoothly, given the distrust that persists between
the two sides.

MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa could neither confirm of deny reports that his
party was planning to pull out of the power-sharing agreement.

He merely said, "It's our cake, we must share it equally."

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zanu-PF rejects call for new Mbeki mediation

October 1, 2008

Harare (AFP) - Zimbabwe's ruling party Wednesday rejected an opposition call
for ex-South African president Thabo Mbeki to intervene to salvage a
power-sharing deal after the two sides failed to agree on a cabinet.

Mbeki, whose party last week forced him to resign in a separate power
struggle, mediated the deal between President Robert Mugabe and opposition
leader Morgan Tsvangirai to form a unity government.

The agreement signed on September 15 had been hailed as a breakthrough in
Zimbabwe's political crisis, sparked after Mugabe lost a first round of
elections in March.

Negotiations have bogged down on forming a cabinet, with Tsvangirai's
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) claiming that Mugabe wants to retain
key posts - believed to be the defence, home affairs, state security and
finance ministries.

After Mugabe and Tsvangirai failed to resolve their differences during a
meeting Tuesday, the MDC called on Mbeki and the regional bloc SADC to
resume their mediation to break through the logjam.

But the chief negotiator for Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party denied any
deadlock, saying no outside mediation was needed.

"Anyone who says there is a deadlock is being mischievous. There is
commitment on all of us to make things work," Patrick Chinamasa told AFP.

"If there was a disagreement as is being suggested, I don't think it's one
that would justify calling in the facilitator," Chinamasa said.

"If there are any issues, I believe they can resolve them among themselves,"
he added.

MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa said the party had already contacted the
15-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC), which has appointed
Mbeki as its mediator.

"This is an urgent matter, communication lines to SADC have been activated,"
Chamisa told AFP.

Mbeki's forced resignation as South Africa's president last week raised
concerns about the fragile pact he had brokered to divide powers between
Mugabe as president and Tsvangirai in the new post of prime minister.

Mugabe said Monday that a new government would be formed by the end of the
week, but that now appears a dim prospect.

SADC spokesman Charles Mubita on Wednesday said the group had not been
contacted about the stand-off but said Mbeki was the "only channel" for
handling Zimbabwe's crisis.

"If there is anything that needs to be discussed with Zimbabwe, there are
channels, and the only channel is through the facilitator," he told AFP.

"They will then have to get in touch with the SADC mediator, which is former
president Thabo Mbeki."

Mbeki's spokesman Mukoni Ratshitanga said SADC would have to "formally
pronounce" whether the former president would continue as mediator.

However he added: "President Mbeki will participate in any process that is
aimed at taking the African continent a step forward."

Mugabe, Tsvangirai and MDC splinter group leader Arthur Mutambara agreed on
September 15 to a landmark power-sharing agreement.

The deal brokered by Mbeki was heralded as a historic initiative to resolve
Zimbabwe's political deadlock and economic melt-down.

Once one of Africa's most prosperous countries, Zimbabwe now suffers the
world's highest rate of inflation, last estimated at 11.2 million percent,
leaving 80 percent of the population living in poverty.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

MDC appeal to neighbours to aid power-sharing

Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change today appealed for the
region to help break the deadlock over the country's new power-sharing

By Sebastien Berger, Southern Africa Correspondent
Last Updated: 9:30PM BST 01 Oct 2008

An agreement to create a unity government was signed with Robert Mugabe amid
a huge fanfare last month, but the process has stalled over the allocation
of ministries, despite a growing humanitarian crisis.

The deal was guaranteed by the facilitator, the then South African president
Thabo Mbeki, the regional Southern African Development Community (SADC) and
the African Union.

With Zanu-PF demanding all key ministries, including home affairs - which
brings with it control of the police - and finance, the MDC's spokesman
Nelson Chamisa said it was time to call in the guarantors to re-invigorate
the process.

"This is an urgent matter, communication lines to SADC have been activated,"
he said.

But the chief negotiator for Mr Mugabe's Zanu-PF party, Patrick Chinamasa,
rejected the call. "Anyone who says there is a deadlock is being
mischievous," he said. "There is commitment on all of us to make things

"If there was a disagreement as is being suggested, I don't think it's one
that would justify calling in the facilitator." The situation is a key test
of Mr Mbeki's much-touted concept of 'African solutions for African

Augustine Chihuri, the police commissioner and a key Mugabe ally, was quoted
in the state-owned Herald newspaper saying "We need to work together and
forego our minor political differences," but in the Zanu- PF mindset such a
comment could be interpreted as 'the MDC needs to drop all its demands'.

A source close to the process in Harare said: "Zanu PF is grossly
unreasonable and silly to think they can get away with this.

"If there is no resolution then SADC will intervene and we can then expect
Mbeki will come to Harare. He knows exactly what is going on.

"Tsvangirai is quite right to insist on the outstanding ministries."

But Western diplomats have warned that the guarantees in the power- sharing
agreement were 'paper-thin', and there is little or nothing the regional
groups can do to ensure compliance, even assuming that they want to.

Mr Mbeki's own impact as a facilitator will inevitably be weakened by his
ouster as South Africa's president last week, and he was long criticised for
failing to act to end Zimbabwe's turmoil over many years.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Mbeki resignation hangs over Zimbabwe talks


Wed 1 Oct 2008, 11:14 GMT

By Cris Chinaka

HARARE (Reuters) - Former South African President Thabo Mbeki has not yet
agreed to continue mediating power-sharing talks between Zimbabwe President
Robert Mugabe and the opposition, a South African official said on

Mbeki's role in the process, now deadlocked over cabinet appointments, has
been in doubt since he was ousted earlier this month by his ruling African
National Congress after accusations of meddling in the graft case against
ANC leader Jacob Zuma.

The 15-nation Southern African Development Community, which mandated Mbeki
in 2007 to mediate in Zimbabwe, said the resignation would have no impact on
his role as a mediator. The ANC also indicated support for Mbeki to

"He hasn't made that pronouncement," Thabang Chiloane, a spokesman for
Mbeki's successor, President Kgalema Motlanthe, said when asked if the
deposed leader had agreed to keep mediating in Zimbabwe's political crisis.

Frank Chikane, the director general in the Presidency, was speaking with
Mbeki about carrying on as head of the mediation team, the spokesman said.

It is unclear who would fill Mbeki's shoes if he dropped out.

The former South African ruler helped end conflicts in Ivory Coast and other
parts of the continent.

Mbeki faced criticism for not taking a tougher stand on Mugabe. But he
scored a coup by mediating a power-sharing deal.

"His appointment as the main facilitator in the political situation in
Zimbabwe had nothing to do with his position as President of the Republic of
South Africa," said SADC spokesman Charles Mubita.


The talks between Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF and the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) have reached an impasse over who will control key
ministries in the unity government to be established under the September 15
power-sharing deal

A meeting between Mugabe and MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai on Tuesday failed
to lead to a breakthrough.

"I don't think the whole deal is in danger over this, but Mbeki may need to
get involved again especially if the deadlock continues for another week or
so," said Lovemore Madhuku, chairman of the National Constitutional Assembly
(NCA), a political pressure group.

The opposition won a majority of the seats in the March parliamentary
election, ending ZANU-PF's 28-year control of the assembly. Tsvangirai and
his officials, however, say ZANU-PF is trying to assign the opposition a
junior role in government.

Mugabe's party has taken a more optimistic view of the talks, saying a deal
is imminent and the impasse not serious.

"We need to work together and forego our minor political differences,"
Augustine Chihuri, the police commissioner-general and a close Mugabe ally,
was quoted as saying in the state-run Herald newspaper on Wednesday.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

MDC under intense pressure to pull out of the deal

By Tichaona Sibanda
1 October 2008

Hardliners from the MDC, frustrated by lack of progress in the sharing of
key cabinet portfolios are reportedly urging the party leadership to walk
away from the unity deal if there are no concessions from ZANU PF.

While the majority of the party's big hitters have so far backed Morgan
Tsvangirai for not caving in to Robert Mugabe's demands to control key
ministries in a new government, hawks within the party are becoming
increasingly frustrated by the lack of progress.

A source in Harare told Newsreel the majority of MDC MPs are from urban
constituencies that have borne the brunt of the country's economic crisis.
The MDC controls almost all urban constituencies where supply of electricity
is now down to four hours a day. Water shortages and sewage flowing through
the streets of most towns and cities have become part of daily life. The
living conditions for most Zimbabweans are becoming more and more

Following the collapse of the latest round of talks between Mugabe and
Tsvangirai on Tuesday, reports said the MDC was seriously mulling a
withdrawal from the negotiations. Talks will only resume once Zanu-PF agrees
to conditions that ensure a fair sharing of cabinet posts in terms of the
political agreement signed on September 15.

'There is intense debate among the party leadership on what to do next after
yesterday's (Tuesday) failure by the two leaders to agree on the sharing of
ministries. There are those who want out and whe have those who want to give
the deal a chance, so they're equally split on the next course of action,'
our source said.

Meanwhile Reuters reports that former South African President Thabo Mbeki
has not yet agreed to continue mediating power-sharing talks between Mugabe
and Tsvangirai.

A South African official told the news agency on Wednesday that Mbeki has
not yet made his intensions known since stepping down as president.

"He hasn't made that pronouncement," Thabang Chiloane, a spokesman for Mbeki's
successor, President Kgalema Motlanthe, said when asked if the deposed
leader had agreed to keep mediating in the country's political crisis.
Chiloane said Frank Chikane; the director general in the Presidency has been
speaking with Mbeki about carrying on as head of the mediation team.
Lovemore Madhuku, chairman of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA),
said he believed the whole deal was not in danger over the stalemate. He
said Mbeki may need to get involved again especially if the deadlock
continues for another week or so.

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Security chiefs puts Mugabe under tight corner

Wednesday, 01 October 2008 13:52

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe's loyalists within Zimbabwe's security forces have
threatened to resign en masse if any of their ministries are handed over to
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formations, in what
further threatens the formation of a unity government, CAJ News has learnt.

Mugabe and opposition leaders, Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara, both
of the splintered MDC, on September 15 signed an agreement to share power,
which saw the 84-year-old leader shedding a fraction of his powers to the
opposition for the first time since independence from Britain in 1980.

More than two weeks after that historic deal was signed, the parties are
still haggling over the sharing of cabinet posts, from which Mugabe's ZANU
(PF) is entitled to 15 posts. The bigger MDC formation, led by Prime
Minister-designate Tsvangirai, should get 13 while the remaining three posts
will go to his deputy, Mutambara.

Sources within the country's security forces revealed to CAJ News Wednesday
that their commanders met Mugabe at his State House in Harare early this
week and told him in no uncertain terms that they cannot directly work under
the opposition leaders, especially Tsvangirai, saying that such an
arrangement would render the country ungovernable.

The security commanders, who included Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF)
Commander, General Constantine Chiwenga, Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA)
Commander, Lieutenant General Philip Valerio Sibanda, his Aiforce
counterpart Air Marshal Perence Shiri, Police Commissioner-General Augustine
Chihuri and Prisons Services Commissioner, Paradzayi Zimondi, are said to
have accused the MDC leader of having a clear vendetta against most of them.

All these have previously vowed that they will not salute Tsvangirai even if
he were voted the country's new leader and have been accused by the
opposition of having dovetailed their subordinates into brutalizing its

The military falls under the Ministry of Defence, police under Home Affairs,
while the Prisons Services fall under the Ministry of Justice, all of which
are part of the key ministries that Mugabe wants to keep to himself in the
new government.

"They told the President that they will all leave their jobs if he handed
over their ministries. They complained that, after what happened in the past
eight years, it would be best for them to quit their jobs. They said that
Tsvangirai is itching to try them for the alleged brutalisation of him and
other members of his party during the past few years," said a source within
Mugabe's party.

The MDC has in the past published names of military personnel it says are
responsible for the death and brutalization of its members on the
instigation of Mugabe, and has previously vowed that it would deal with them
when it assumed power.

Tsvangirai still maintains that human rights violators will have to answer
to their actions, while human rights bodies in the country have suggested
that government sets up a truth and reconciliation commission to handle
cases of human rights violations in the country.

Against that background, the commanders fear that Tsvangirai might use the
ministry that he gets to pursue his "hidden agenda", in what they say will
turn the security forces against one another and render the country

Mugabe, who has previously relied on the military to cling onto power, is
said to have promised the security chiefs that he will not "betray" them and
will not hand over their ministries, in what has been attributed to the
current deadlock.

Sources close to the negotiations revealed this week that Mugabe, who is now
under pressure to appoint cabinet, despite the deadlock, might do so with
the smaller part of the MDC, which looks ready to assume power, as
Tsvangirai has vowed not to accept terms put to him.

Nelson Chamisa, spokesman for Tsvangirai's formation, has also rubbished
Mugabe's promise that the new government will be in place before the end of
this week.

"We are still far from reaching an agreement and as things stand, we might
not anytime soon. The issue is now in the hands of SADC and the AU," said

However, Zimbabwean political analyst, Professor John Makumbe, who has
previously described the power-sharing deal as "fragile", has decried the
deadlock, saying it is a clear sign that the unity government cannot work on
its own.

"This shows that the government will always need someone to babysit it all
the time and that is not a way to work. No one will have faith in such a
government and investors will not be interested in coming to Zimbabwe," said
the university of Zimbabwe Political Science lecturer

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

ZANU PF denies deadlock in cabinet talks

By Alex Bell
01 October 2008

Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF party on Wednesday denied that the cabinet talks
with the MDC had hit a brick wall, and rejected the MDC's call for former
South African President Thabo Mbeki to intervene to break the impasse.

Earlier on Wednesday, the MDC had announced it was asking Mbeki to resume
his mediation efforts in Zimbabwe's political crisis, after Mugabe and MDC
leader Morgan Tsvangirai failed to come to an agreement over the
distribution of cabinet posts on Tuesday.

ZANU PF's chief negotiator Patrick Chinamasa told media on Wednesday that
"if there was a disagreement as is being suggested, I don't think it's one
that would justify calling in the facilitator". Chinamasa also snubbed the
MDC's announcement of a deadlock, saying: "Anyone who says there is a
deadlock is being mischievous. There is commitment on all of us to make
things work."

Meanwhile, confusion still reigns over Mbeki's future as a major player in
the Southern African Development Community. Not only was the ousted
president the SADC appointed mediator in the Zimbabwe political crisis, but
he also took over as chair of the regional body in August. Mbeki's forced
resignation last week not only placed doubt on the strength of the
Zimbabwean power sharing deal that he brokered, but also raised questions
over whether the former South African leader would remain a key figure in
Zimbabwe's political fight.

SADC officials have said Mbeki's resignation would have no effect on his
role as mediator, while South Africa's ruling ANC party has also indicated
its support for Mbeki to continue in the role. On Wednesday a spokesperson
for the new interim South African President Kgalema Mothlanthe said Mbeki
had not yet "agreed" to continue as mediator, saying Mbeki was in his own
talks with officials in the Presidency about whether he should continue in
the role.

Professor John Makumbe, a political analyst from the University of Zimbabwe
told Newsreel on Wednesday that it is still unclear if the ANC will allow
Mbeki to continue, but argued that Mbeki was appointed as the mediator "in
his personal capacity and not as the South African President". Makumbe
agreed that the confusion over Mbeki's role "makes things very difficult for
Zimbabwe," and said the former leader will not have the same influence over
Mugabe as he once had. "My fear is that Mugabe is unlikely to treat Mbeki
with the same dignity as he used to when Mbeki was still the head of state,"
Makumbe said.


SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Mugabe Unity Claims Ring Hollow

Analysts unconvinced by insistence that there's no deadlock over unity

By Mike Nyoni in Harare (ZCR No. 165, 1-Oct-08)

President Robert Mugabe returned from the United Nations General Assembly
meeting in New York on Monday, September 29, promising an inclusive
government in Zimbabwe, but commentators aren't counting on it.

A number of analysts pointed out too many areas of conflict between Mugabe
and Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, MDC,
for the two to work closely together even after the formation of a unity

Mugabe was expected to announce a long-delayed cabinet this week and denied
there was a deadlock in the negotiations over the key ministries of finance,
home and foreign affairs and defence between his ZANU-PF and Tsvangirai's

The two parties, together with the smaller MDC faction led by Arthur
Mutambara, signed an agreement on September 15 to form a government in which
Mugabe remains president, Tsvangirai is prime minister and Mutambara is one
of his two deputies.

In a speech delivered at Harare International Airport on his return from New
York, Mugabe talked of an inclusive government but also launched a broadside
against the MDC's key policy positions.

He said there would never be a reversal of his disastrous land reform
programme and that no white commercial farmers who had left the country in
the past decade would be allowed to return to farm again.
More fundamentally, he reiterated his government's position that Britain, as
the former colonial power, should pay compensation to white commercial
farmers who had lost their land through expropriations starting in 2000.

In part blaming his partners in the inclusive government, Mugabe said the
opposition should call for the removal of sanctions.

"We want the same noise now from them (the MDC) for the removal [of
sanctions] as there was when they blew trumpets for sanctions to be
 imposed," he said.

Analysts, who were reluctant to be identified considering the delicate state
of the unity talks, said such reckless rhetoric was likely to sour and
strain relations between the coalition partners.

They said although the power-sharing agreement called for the lifting of
targeted sanctions imposed by the United States, Australia, Canada and the
European Union on Mugabe and his close associates, it was in bad taste and
against the spirit of the talks for Mugabe to directly attack those who
wanted pressure exerted on the government at the height of political tension
in the country over violence and other forms of human rights violations.

"Mugabe clearly has not changed his rhetoric and that was very clear in his
speech to his supporters at the airport," said one of the analysts.

"This was clearly a continuation of his attack on the United States and
Britain in his address at the United Nations in which he called for the
lifting of 'illegal sanctions' and said he did not want foreign interference
in Zimbabwe's internal affairs."

The US, Australia and the EU have expressed reservations about the agreement
between ZANU-PF and the two MDC factions, saying that by leaving Mugabe as
president it failed to respect the will of the people as expressed in the
March 29 elections in which Tsvangirai outpolled Mugabe.

Of the agreement, they have said they will need to study it more closely and
observe its implementation before they can decide on any financial
assistance to revive Zimbabwe's stricken economy, where inflation is over 11
million per cent, formal unemployment more than 80 per cent and there are
widespread shortages of basic commodities and fuel.

At the airport, Mugabe denied speculation that there were problems between
himself and Tsvangirai over key ministerial portfolios, "We never said there
was a deadlock, so we will be setting up government before the end of the

There is also talk of Mugabe facing resistance from senior officials and
ministers in his party who say he has conceded Tsvangirai too much power.

The analysts said Mugabe's statement on land also went against the spirit of
the unity agreement, in which the parties determined to carry out a land
audit to stamp out multiple farm ownership. That proposal was a direct
attack on security, military and other senior ZANU-PF officials, most of
whom are rumoured to own up to five farms each.

"It is clear," said one analyst, "that Mugabe will do everything in his
power to protect his cronies. They will also not want to have terms dictated
to them by those they still view with suspicion as agents of the West."

Another analyst also noted as a point of difference Mugabe's and Tsvangirai's
attitude towards the International Monetary Fund, IMF.

While Tsvangirai and the MDC have called for close cooperation with the IMF
and other multilateral lenders to kick-start economic recovery, Mugabe's
focus has been on China and Russia, who recently repaid him by blocking a UN
Security Council resolution by Britain and the US to impose more universal

"That will also cause problems in terms of international relations and how
Zimbabwe goes about seeking reintegration into the international community,"
said the analyst. "That is why the MDC is keen to control the foreign
affairs portfolio - so they can speak the language investors will

"Closer to home, there will be more squabbles between the two over Mugabe's
indigenisation policies which will continue to scare away investors," he
said. "Remember the Empowerment and Indigenisation Act which seeks to
expropriate foreign-owned mines is not dead yet. It is a scary piece of
legislation from the point of view of investor confidence and property
rights in the country.

"Then of course there is the vexed issue of 'national healing', which is not
clearly defined in the agreement."

Tsvangirai is going to have problems here convincing victims of violence
that all is forgiven without a truth and reconciliation commission. This
will certainly be seen as entrenching a culture of impunity, which has
become the hallmark of Mugabe's rule. A blanket amnesty is a hard-sell so
soon after the violence which accompanied Mugabe's sham run-off election on
June 27.

Mike Nyoni is the pseudonym of an IWPR journalist in Zimbabwe

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Comprehensive economic recovery in Zimbabwe: A discussion document - UNDP

September 2008

Download this document
- Acrobat PDF version (3.08KB)

If you do not have the free Acrobat reader on your computer, download it from the Adobe website by clicking here.

Executive summary

This discussion document contains an economic recovery framework for Zimbabwe, based on analytical work conducted by a team of senior Zimbabwean economists. It provides an overview of the post-independence performance of the economy at both macroeconomic as well as sectoral levels, identifying key constraints to past growth, and breaks these down into financial, legal, institutional and policy variables. This methodological approach is carried forward and applied to the last ten years in order to elucidate those factors underlying the economic regression that has taken place. On this basis a package of remedial actions is put forward, the adoption of which it is believed will trigger a sustainable, pro-poor growth dynamic.

One common thread which runs throughout the document is that of the imperative of restoring macroeconomic stability as a pre-condition for recovery. Specific measures that flow from this include profound changes to current patterns of both monetary and fiscal policy management in order to correct widespread distortions which have acted as impediments to savings, investment and production.

At the same time, with a view to sustaining in the longer-term the recovery that would flow from such stabilization, the team has advanced a package of reforms in areas ranging from trade policy, public enterprises, the financial sector, agriculture, manufacturing, mining, tourism, the informal and SME sectors, and the labour market. These are sequenced, prioritized, and broken down into short and medium to long term actions. Key considerations which have informed the analysis underpinning the proposed package include the need to ensure that growth is broad-based, inclusive and sustainable, and that it addresses longstanding problems rooted in the economic dualism inherited at Independence. Particular attention was based to the need to remove existing impediments to the participation of the poor in growth, and the necessary measures required to ensure this transformation takes place are detailed in the document.

The document also contains proposals on how the country could best manage international assistance if Zimbabwe’s traditional development partners, including the Bretton Woods Institutions, were willing to reengage with and support its recovery and longer-term development efforts. In addition, the role of the State in supporting recovery is analysed.

The team advances a set of proposals which it believes are necessary in terms of changes to the various ways the State interacts with the economy and society.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

On the brink

Why the talks on a government of national unity are failing

The Zimbabwe power-sharing deal between Zanu-PF and the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) is hanging by a thread today, Wednesday, with the
MDC for the first time considering pulling out of the negotiations

The stumbling block continues to be the allocation of the various Ministries
between the parties. I'm told that so far 27 have been successfully
allocated, but four key ministries remain undecided. They are Finance, Home
Affairs, Foreign Affairs and Local Government.

Mugabe's Zanu-PF want Finance and Home Affairs, leaving the less pivotal
Foreign Affairs and Local Government to the MDC. The MDC want the complete
opposite arrangement. Result - deadlock.

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai met with his advisers today, and it was agreed
that if
Mugabe did not soften his stance the MDC would opt out of any further

Mugabe, now 84, is said to have been under increased pressure this week from
his military commanders. They met with the President on Monday, when they
are believed to have threatened a coup if they were told to work under the
direction of the MDC and Morgan Tsvangirai.

Many expect the familiar figure of Thabo Mbeki, ex-President of South Africa
and the mediator of the original talks, to appear at Harare Airport tomorrow
(Thursday). The MDC's Tendai Biti confirmed that his party has asked Mbeki
to intervene once again, and sources inside the South African government
confirmed that he is on his way.

Mbeki will be armed with the backing of the Southern African Development
Community and the African Union. But his influence may have been weakened by
his recent resignation as South Africa's President.

Don't expect miracles.

Posted on Wednesday, 01 October 2008 at 16:52

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

The country burns

Wednesday, 01 October 2008 05:51

The historic power sharing deal in on the brink of collapse, barely three
weeks after it was signed.

The sincerity of Zanu PF in as far as the fulfillment of the agreed upon
objectives has always been questioned and it seems that the chickens are
coming home to roost. Zanu PF is all about political power and its
associated influence and ceased to stand for the people after it was voted
it into office in 1980.

The fat cats in the party are not yet prepared to cede power and authority
to their sworn enemies, the MDC and were totally against the signing of the
power sharing agreement. The deadlock over the sharing of key cabinet posts
has now been referred to the principals, and talks are only to resume after
Mugabe returns from the UN summit.

I am of the view that the old man had no business being at the summit while
the country is in a state of limbo and there are no benefits for Zimbabwe to
be derived from his attendance as long as the political crisis he left
behind remains unsettled and unconcluded. But Mr. Mugabe's ostrich approach
to dealing with problems in his home country it really comes as no surprise.

As I have said, to him its all about power and authority and wining and
dining amongst the worlds finest gives him that satisfaction. Here is a
leader who was rejected outright by his own people during the March 29
elections and resorted to violence and murder as a tool to prolong his stay
in office, a man so inconsiderate about the suffering of the masses, who
rushes to a summit whose deliberations are of no benefit to the country as
long as the ongoing political stalemate is not addressed.

The country burns as politicians squabble, there is no cash at the banks,
electricity and water in homes, food in the supermarkets, medicine in
hospitals and more than 90% of the populace unemployed. The light of hope
brought about by the signing of the agreement slowly burns itself out as it
slowly and painfully becomes clear that Zanu PF took Zimbabweans and the
whole world for a ride.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Give Zimbabwe peace deal a chance: AU


October 01, 2008, 18:00

Richard Newton, Brussels
According to the President of the African Union (AU) Commission, Jean Ping,
the world should give the stalled Zimbabwe peace deal a chance to succeed
because the alternative will drag the entire region down.

Speaking in Brussels, Ping said that he was optimistic that the AU, South
Africa and Southern African Development Community (SADC) would be able to
facilitate the correct implementation of the deal. Meanwhile, his
counterpart European Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso, called on
the United States to adopt the amended financial bail out plan.

Barroso, Ping and their commissions met in Brussels to strengthen
co-operation between the continents. Uppermost in most people's minds is
still the uncertainty in the global markets. Barroso called on those at the
center of the storm to do the right thing.

Meanwhile, back in the meeting rooms the two continents' commissioners
discussed priority action needed on issues including migration, energy,
human rights and trade.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Mugabe's Death Grip

Still no power-share in Zimbabwe.

By Roger Bate

The heralded power-sharing agreement signed in Zimbabwe two weeks ago
is likely to collapse today as President Mugabe's military backers refuse to
give up any real power. The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC),
claims that President Robert Mugabe has failed to allow them to have any key
cabinet posts - insiders tell me MDC will not get Home Affairs and control
of the police; it was already expected Mugabe's cronies would retain control
of the Army.

Death pervades Zimbabwe. Political prisoners in jails are dying from
starvation as the one small meal a day they receive, a cup of vegetables, is
not sufficient. Hospitals are overflowing, the morgues continue to stack up
bodies - fuel is in such short supply the bodies cannot be moved to be
buried. Aid groups say they are still being harassed by security forces and
are unable to do their jobs, even though the agreement allowed them back
into the country.

Zimbabweans line up at banks for hours at a time day after day, to draw out
as much as they can, but it is only enough to buy a single loaf of bread,
and often no bread is available. Riot police with dogs stand guard over the
bank lines, but do nothing to prevent black-market currency dealers - and
inflation remains rampant.

The humanitarian disaster is the reason that MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai
finally agreed to share power. With no food aid getting into the country he
was desperate to end the suffering of the Zimbabwean people. Former South
African President Thabo Mbeki mediated the negotiations which produced the
power-sharing agreement, and hopes were high at the signing in Harare in
mid-September. But while MDC was supposed to get 16 of the 31 cabinet posts,
it was always uncertain whether Mugabe would give up the ministries with
real power.

After a meeting yesterday between Mugabe and Tsvangirai, MDC spokesman
Nelson Chamisa accused Mugabe of demanding all the key ministries for his
ZANU-PF party in the new unity government. "He wants to grab all the
resource ministries like finance, home affairs, information, justice and
make the MDC a peripheral player," Chamisa said. "We will end up in but out
of government."

Earlier this week, Mugabe claimed a unity government would be formed by the
end of this week and rejected suggestions that the talks were deadlocked
over appointments to cabinet posts.

But deadlock is the result. Chamisa wants action from the African Union as
soon as possible. Some insiders I've spoken with suggest that President
Kharma of Botswana take over mediation from Thabo Mbeki, to ensure that the
signed agreement actually comes to fruition. Ian Kharma has been far more
outspoken in his demands for action by the African Union against Mugabe than
has Mbeki. Nevertheless, the agreement, for all its faults, is a decent
starting point, and it is not Mbeki's fault that Mugabe is backsliding now.
The AU must continue pressure on Mugabe to actually yield power - thousands
of lives are being lost every week as a result of the inertia.

- Roger Bate is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Steps Outlined for Zimbabwe's Recovery

October 1, 2008 7:49 AM

WATERLOO, CANADA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 10/01/08 -- The Centre for
International Governance Innovation (CIGI) released two papers today
outlining steps needed for Zimbabwe and the international community to get
the country back on the road to national recovery and sustainable

Zimbabwe in Crisis: Mugabe's Policies and Failures argues that despite
having become an economic and social trouble zone and a political liability
to the rest of southern Africa, ''Zimbabwe remains among the most hopeful
places on the continent'' given the inevitable future exit of President
Robert Mugabe from political office.

The authors propose five steps needed for the nation's recovery: (1) Rebuild
trust in government, (2) Harness remittance and finance flows for
sustainable development, (3) Resume relations with multilateral
institutions, (4) Develop a land tenure and agriculture system to ensure
food security and (5) Reform economic policies and institutions. The
international community should in turn consider the following: improving the
United Nation's assistance to displaced Zimbabweans, preparing economic
recovery programs, providing adequate funding and encouraging and
facilitating the return of the Zimbabwean diaspora.

Along with implementing and facilitating the above measures, the paper
states that the key to recovery will be the resolution of the long drawn-out
struggle for a successor to President Robert Mugabe's regime.

''The country has one of the best-educated populations on the continent,''
says CIGI Senior Researcher Hany Besada, one of the co-authors of the paper.
''Its well-developed infrastructure is the envy of its neighbours. Also, in
the recent elections Zimbabweans have demonstrated their political courage
and commitment to democracy which promises to pave the way for a post-Mugabe
transition towards a more accountable and responsive government.''

In addition to this working paper, CIGI is releasing a technical paper
entitled Picking Up the Pieces of Zimbabwe's Economy. Both papers are
released as part of CIGI's Fragile States program which is hosting a
workshop on Zimbabwe in Johannesburg, South Africa on October 2-3.

Both publications were written by CIGI Senior Researcher and Program Leader
Hany Besada and Nicky Moyo, Director of Development Enterprise Africa Trust
(DEAT), a Zimbabwean-based policy research organization.

To view or download a copy of these papers, please visit

The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) is an independent,
nonpartisan think tank that addresses international governance challenges.
Led by a group of experienced practitioners and distinguished academics,
CIGI supports research, forms networks, advances policy debate, builds
capacity, and generates ideas for multilateral governance improvements.
Conducting an active agenda of research, events and publications, CIGI's
interdisciplinary work includes collaboration with policy, business and
academic communities around the world. CIGI was founded in 2002 by Jim
Balsillie, co-CEO of RIM (Research In Motion), and collaborates with and
gratefully acknowledges support from a number of strategic partners, in
particular the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario. For more
information, please visit

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe: Making the Most of the Deal

1 October 2008
Posted to the web 1 October 2008

Donald Steinberg and Sydney Masamvu

The people of Zimbabwe have looked desperately for months to the political
negotiations between the ZANU-PF under Robert Mugabe and the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) under Morgan Tsvangirai to restore clarity and
normality to their tortured country.

As welcome as it was, the agreement signed last week will only satisfy this
modest goal if the political and civic leaders of Zimbabwe, supported by the
international community, take bold steps to transform its words into

In some ways, the agreement is painfully vague. Its power-sharing
provisions, for example, seem to create two centers of power, with Mugabe as
president and head of the cabinet, and Tsvangirai as prime minister and head
of a new "council of ministers." While the numbers of ministers for each
grouping was agreed to, key ministries such as defence, home affairs,
finance, information, and foreign affairs are up for grabs.

Further, the hope that Mugabe would see the agreement as a first step toward
national reconciliation vanished even before the ink was dry. His vicious
and paranoid harangue against perceived enemies foreign and domestic at the
signing ceremony itself quashed any hopeful expectation. And in case the
message wasn't clear, he then went on national television to reaffirm that
ZANU-PF remains in the driver's seat and "will not tolerate any nonsense
from our new partners," an overt threat of new violent repression of the
parties that won the March elections.

But Mugabe's authoritarian and divide-and-rule tactics cannot be allowed to
hijack the accord and, more broadly, Zimbabwe's future. As Tsvangirai has
pointed out, the agreement belongs to the people of Zimbabwe. Indeed, the
accord includes much that can be welcomed and built upon, such as
commitments to an inclusive process with civil society to draft a new
constitution, move to new elections, and address dire concerns over the
disastrous humanitarian situation, land distribution, political violence,
and the free-falling economy.

The international community must show solidarity with this process. Even as
the details of the agreement are being hammered out, important steps can
already be taken.

In the first instance, the international community must make clear that
targeted sanctions on ZANU-PF obstructionists and others will remain in
place for the foreseeable future, at least until there are clear actions -
not just signatures on paper or conciliatory words - to shift executive
power to the MDC.

Planning for large-scale development assistance should advance at break-neck
speed, with the World Bank and UNDP playing key roles.  But disbursement
should depend on Tsvangirai getting full control over the economic
ministries, the adoption of  reasonable development strategies, overhauls
the fiscal and replacing Mugabe's crony Gideon Gono as head of the reserve
bank.  In any case, Zimbabwe's economic and physical infrastructure is in
such disorder that its capacity to absorb large immediate inflows of

It will take considerable time and tough measures - including reducing
subsidies and cutting government positions - to squeeze multi-million
percent inflation out of Zimbabwe's economy. Meanwhile, the Zimbabwean
people will be expecting an immediate peace dividend.

To address these expectations, there should be emergency projects to provide
food aid and to help move the literally millions of people affected by
Mugabe's displacement campaigns back to their homes, which will in turn
allow young people to return to school, health programs to take root and
local economies to revitalize. These programs should include assistance to
rebuild houses, establish micro-enterprises and reconstruct basic

At the same time, the international community should help fund immediate
programs to create jobs - paid in hard currency - for the unemployed,
especially young people. While far from a long-term solution, it could prove
to be an essential investment just as it did last year when the UN gave $5
million to Sierra Leone to hire young kids to pick up garbage on the streets
of Freetown in advance of national elections.

Similarly, programs to rebuild civil society groups should be launched
throughout the country. Mugabe's divide-and-rule strategies have polarized
Zimbabwe over the past years and destroyed the nation-wide character of
religious, press, labor, academic, women's and youth groups. Strengthening
civil society will not only help reconcile the country, but would also serve
as an important antidote to the last years monopolization of power in the
hands of the presidency. Similarly, program to assist the resurrection of
the judiciary and legislature would also restore the balance of power lost
by virtue of Mugabe's pernicious abuse of executive power.

The international community cannot afford to stand back and either bemoan
the inadequacies of the current power-sharing agreement or allow Mugabe to
victimize his compatriots in his cynical pursuit of power. If we adopt a
"wait-and-see" attitude, what we are likely to see is a return to the
politics of violence, division and repression that have come to characterize
the last years of Mugabe's rule.

Donald Steinberg, deputy president for policy at International Crisis Group,
served as special assistant for African affairs to President Clinton. Sydney
Musamvu is Crisis Group's senior analyst for South Africa.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Analysts Say Good Harare-Washington Relations Essential to Zimbabwe Recovery - PART 4 of 5


By Darren Taylor
30 September 2008

United States officials have made it clear that Washington won't fund
economic recovery in Zimbabwe unless there's genuine political power
sharing. A recent agreement between President Robert Robert Mugabe and two
factions of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has inspired
hope that Zimbabwe may soon be on the road to recovery. The country's been
wracked with political violence and economic chaos for almost a decade. Mr.
Mugabe has in large part blamed the West, including the United States, for
his people's suffering. President George W. Bush has dismissed Mr. Mugabe's
ZANU-PF government as "illegitimate." Analysts say Harare will have to
repair its damaged relationship with Washington if Zimbabwe's economy is to
improve significantly.

US officials are watching political developments in Zimbabwe with great
interest, but analysts say they're adopting a "wait-and-see" approach.

"Everyone wants to see if Robert Mugabe is truly going to share power with
Morgan Tsvangirai. That's the big question. If there are concrete
indications that some power at least is shifting in Zimbabwe, then I think
we are likely to see more pronouncements from countries such as the US,"
says Professor Pieter Fourie, the head of the University of Johannesburg's
political science department.

As the euphoria has faded following the signing of the pact, Fourie says the
complexity of the situation has revealed itself in the "grim reality" of
negotiating for cabinet posts between the opposing camps.

Many in Zimbabwe and in the international community are skeptical that Mr.
Mugabe will be able to put aside his differences with MDC leader Morgan
Tsvangirai, Zimbabwe's new prime minister under the terms of the
power-sharing accord, whom the president accuses of being a "stooge" of
Britain and the United States.

Fourie says it appears the deal is "unraveling" and that if this is indeed
the case, Zimbabwe will continue to be deprived of Washington's essential
financial support.

Anti-West diatribes

During his speech at a function acknowledging the power-sharing pact, Mr.
Mugabe continued his railing against Western "forces" he says are meddling
in his country and cooperating with Tsvangirai in trying to exploit

"The problem we have had is a problem that has been created by former
colonial powers, who wanted to continue to interfere in our domestic affairs
and continue to have a share of our natural resources," Mr. Mugabe stated.

ZANU-PF bitterness towards the United States increased during the first
round of elections, when Washington's ambassador in Harare, James McGee,
clashed repeatedly with the authorities as a result of political violence in
Zimbabwe. The diplomat accused Mr. Mugabe's forces of brutality and repeated
the charges as ZANU-PF supporters attacked MDC supporters before the June
run-off poll. After Mr. Mugabe had won the run-off unopposed and once again
declared himself president, President Bush made it clear that Washington did
not consider this to be a legitimate expression of the will of the
Zimbabwean people.

"I think the Bush administration has been right to tell it like it is, to be
honest about repression in Zimbabwe," says Michelle Gavin, a member of the
US Council on Foreign Relations and the author of her organization's Special
Report on Zimbabwe.

She is, however, convinced that the US government's constant, direct and
strong "condemnation of Robert Mugabe specifically - in sort of an
individualized attack and letting that be the main message - maybe was a bit
of a mistake."

Gavin says rather than attacking Mr. Mugabe, the US could perhaps have
focused on providing more aid to the people of Zimbabwe and mobilizing
international help for the country's inhabitants.

She says President Mugabe has used the vehement criticism against him by
Washington and others to his advantage. Gavin says he's been "quite good at
spinning out this narrative in which all of the problems in Zimbabwe - which
are really largely the result of gross economic mismanagement and
corruption - are the result of some kind of Western neo-colonial

Gavin says Washington sometimes made it sound as if US policy was just about
condemning Mr. Mugabe, rather than wanting to protect the rights of
Zimbabweans, and this "inadvertently" allowed the president to claim he was
a victim.

Throughout his political campaigning, Mr. Mugabe alleged that the MDC was a
front for the US and Britain. He continued this theme in his speech after
the agreement had been signed, saying, "Why, why, why the hand of the
British? Why, why, why the hand of the Americans here? Let us ask that. Let
us not ignore the truth as we move forward.."

Analysts say Mr. Mugabe's paranoia about the West is clearly evident in the
language used in the power-sharing accord itself. Under an article entitled
"External Interference," the parties commit themselves to "non-interference"
in internal matters and agree that the responsibility for change in Zimbabwe
rests with its people and that "no outsiders have a right to call for or
campaign for regime change in Zimbabwe."

President Mugabe's hand is also seen in a clause that implicates the US and
others in the suffering of Zimbabweans. For example, it takes note of
Washington's enactment of the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act,
"which outlaws Zimbabwe's right to access credit from international
financial institutions in which the United States Government is represented
or has a stake."

The agreement says measures taken by the US have "contributed to Zimbabwe's
economic decline."

Sanctions, economy and human rights

Mr. Mugabe constantly blames sanctions, especially those imposed by the
United States and the European Union, for Zimbabwe's economic implosion, but
Gavin says the president is "totally wrong" in this.

"Those sanctions really have nothing to do with the economic crisis in
Zimbabwe. They are quite narrowly targeted to address travel restrictions
and the assets of a very small group of elites in Zimbabwe. I do think that
they were entirely appropriate. It makes sense to isolate and try to put
pressure on actors who are repressing their own people and sending Zimbabwe
into this downward spiral."

The power-sharing agreement nevertheless calls for the lifting of all
sanctions - something the US says it will not do unless it's convinced that
real democratic reform is underway.

Washington denies that its policies and sanctions have hurt Zimbabweans and
points out that it remains a leading donor of humanitarian aid to the
southern African nation.

Gavin acknowledges that the US sanctions against President Mugabe and
leading members of his administration have had "limited effect. They're
probably most powerful as a clear expression of condemnation more than
anything else."

She's sure, though, that Washington will continue to press for certain key
reforms in Zimbabwe, no matter which direction the talks on the form and
shape of a new cabinet take.

"Basic respect for human rights, and civil and political rights. No more
rounding up and beating people for their political views. Accountability,
when incidents like this do occur so that the perpetrators of these crimes
are held responsible in a court of law. Freedom of the press. An end to the
manipulation of humanitarian aid where one has to declare loyalty to ZANU-PF
in order to access assistance, while others are denied."

Gavin says as far as the US is concerned, "sweeping economic reform" has to
be one of Zimbabwe's top priorities.

"The economy has to be wrested from the grip of the Joint Operations
Command, this group of ruling party security elites who are essentially
running the country. There will have to be transparent, sound governance of
the economy for the international community to be interested in providing
the support necessary to stabilize this catastrophic economic situation,"
she explains.

US relations with Tsvangirai

Gavin says Mr. Mugabe has made a lot of Tsvangirai's perceived friendly
relationship with the West, and especially Washington. But she's adamant
that "US policy isn't to be backing Morgan Tsvangirai because he's Morgan
Tsvangirai. There's certainly a desire to see the will of the Zimbabwean
people as expressed in the March election, respected, but then these basic
governance issues have to be addressed, no matter who is in power."

She says the US will support Tsvangirai in the event of "real reform" in
Zimbabwe, not because the MDC leader is a "darling" of the West.

"It's really about governance issues rather than the specific individual
ruling the country," Gavin maintains. She says if Zimbabwe begins to change
for the better, Washington will be willing to provide "significant financial
and technical assistance" for a recovery plan.

"That plan would have to be multifaceted, it would have to multilateral. No
one country is going to help Zimbabwe get back on its feet. It's going to
take an international effort," she insists.

But Gavin says the US would be a "robust player" in this international
effort, "with resources.technical assistance and political backing to
address a range of problems, like the stabilization of the currency, the
need for better economic governance.and the critical issue of land reform."

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Security Analyst Warns of Rise of Organized Crime in Zimbabwe PART 5 of 5


By Darren Taylor
01 October 2008

Zimbabwe's recent power-sharing agreement identifies fighting crime as one
of the country's top priorities in the near future. President Robert Mugabe
and the leaders of two factions of the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) apparently agree that Zimbabweans are in danger from a growing
criminal class. Analysts say crime has increased in the southern African
nation as economic degradation has intensified. Zimbabwe has the highest
inflation rate in the world, and millions of people are unemployed. In the
midst of this depression, a leading crime researcher is warning of the rise
of "mafia-like" syndicates in southern Africa as a result of the economic
and political crisis in Zimbabwe.
"There's an increased likelihood of criminals, be they individuals,
syndicates or networks, using the country as a safe haven, probably
launching their activities into the region, using Zimbabwe as a platform,"
says Jackson Madzima, organized crime researcher at South Africa's Institute
for Security Studies (ISS).

He's convinced that Zimbabwe has become "very attractive" to criminals in
southern Africa - precisely because of the social, political and economic
instability that reigns there.

"Criminals exploit chaotic situations," Madzima, who's originally from
Botswana, states. "They know that there is a lesser risk of being arrested
or being prosecuted so it becomes attractive that they base themselves in a
place like Zimbabwe."

He describes the present situation in Zimbabwe as a "cocktail of
circumstances" that's likely to fuel a "surge in organized criminal

Madzima says Zimbabwe's security forces, which should have been safeguarding
the country from crime, have in recent years been "sidetracked" into
supporting President Mugabe politically.

"Instead of fighting crime, the police especially have been used to crush
(ruling party) ZANU-PF's opponents," he says.

Ingredients for rampant criminality

The researcher says "desperation" is the fertile ground from which a new
criminal class is growing in Zimbabwe.

"A lot of people in Zimbabwe are desperate. They don't even know how they
are going to get out of that desperation, so criminal activity presents
itself as an opportunity for those who are desperate to make a living."

Madzima says the violent conflict that has been evident in Zimbabwe in
recent years has created the "impetus" for future criminal behavior in the
country and in the wider region.

"What has happened in Zimbabwe is that resources have been diverted towards
resolution of political conflict. Resources may also have been used to
sustain the conflict by those who benefit from it. But the bottom line is
that such resources have become scarce for law enforcement. This allows
criminals to thrive."

He says the "vacuum" of crime fighting resources in Zimbabwe is just one of
many factors that could allow for a massive expansion in crime.

The "high circulation" of illegal firearms in Zimbabwe, according to
Madzima, is also a source of great concern, as is the fact that many young
men and women have been trained by government forces to use such weapons for
political reasons and have been "ordered to kill their opponents."

In recent years, says Madzima, these young people were "repeatedly
instructed" that they were "entitled to exterminate those who hold different
views as enemies. They have been trained to expect in a way to reap where
they did not sow."

In this regard, Madzima warns of rising discontent and disaffection among
various pro-Mugabe groups, such as youth militia and war veterans.

He draws parallels with the situation in post-apartheid South Africa, where
many people who'd previously been part of various violent anti-government
resistance groups suddenly found themselves "purposeless" in a rapidly
transforming society and were thus encouraged to join criminal networks.

"Over a period of time, those people who participate in violent activities,
whether they are political or otherwise, will in future be inclined to use
such skills in criminal activities," Madzima explains.

In a recent report for the ISS, the researcher writes: "South Africa's
violent past set the tone for current criminal behavioral patterns. The
blurring of political and criminal behavior during apartheid entrenched a
culture of invincibility on the one hand and impunity on the other. It is
clear that the disruption of family units through forced removals and
political violence during South Africa's past provides one explanation for
the high incidence of violent crime. It is argued that the distrust for
authority and a lack of respect for the rule of law during apartheid fed
into the culture of violence."

Madzima says a "similar scenario" is emerging in Zimbabwe, where the rule of
law is being ignored because people essentially don't respect the police.

"The political meltdown has resulted in state resources being diverted to
ensuring the survival of the incumbent government. The widespread conditions
of poverty and unemployment characterizing Zimbabwe now create a breeding
ground for criminal behavior."

He says "probably the most daunting challenge" facing the country at the
moment is the "rehabilitation of an entire generation that has suffered the
impact of economic implosion and political violence (and brutalization) by
security forces."

From a criminological perspective, adds Madzima, "the challenge will involve
a concerted effort to change the mindsets of a people who have lost all hope
and trust in government and in its law enforcement and security

Black market

These days in Zimbabwe, Madzima argues, almost everyone's a criminal "by

"It is becoming increasingly impossible for people to make a living on their
salaries. To that extent, almost everybody is participating in dealing in
the black market to make a living. People begin to trade more (in) illegal
activities, or illegitimate trade."

Madzima says even if there's sweeping reform in Zimbabwe in the near future,
it's going to be "very difficult" to wean people off the "habit of
criminality" and to persuade them to conduct their day-to-day dealings

"Quite a number of Zimbabweans have learned to hustle over the years and
such hustling is either criminal or borders on criminality," Madzima
comments. "A large number of civil servants and ordinary citizens have had
to learn to survive on resources that are beyond their meager salaries, by
demanding bribes and being active in the cut-throat parallel market. This
situation inevitably sets the stage for future criminal behavior."

Madzima's research in Zimbabwe has revealed that big business there has
developed strategies that are "blatantly criminal" in order to survive the
country's economic crisis.

"I refer to the manufacturing industry, for example, businesses that supply
goods in Zimbabwe that are consumed by ordinary people. The economic
situation, with the very high inflation rate, does not permit businesses to
profit by trading legitimately. So they supply a black market."

Many goods in Zimbabwe, says Madzima, are available "underground."

"Such goods are not being channeled to the formal market, because it's
unprofitable. So to that extent, business is participating in or at least
sustaining the black market."

He says smuggling goods in and out of Zimbabwe has become an "accepted way
of life."

"There is little business sense in trading ethically and exclusively in the
formal market because as it stands, profit is only possible when dealing
with contraband. Once the situation reverts to normal, it is unlikely that
individuals and businesses that have been hustling for a decade will
suddenly begin to do things properly. It is conceivable that the smuggling
networks that are growing now will evolve with the advent of a new
dispensation," Madzima says.

'Mafia' threat

He says the security of the entire southern African region could be
threatened by the emergence of "mafia-like figures" as a direct result of
the instability in Zimbabwe.

"These sorts of figures like chaotic situations, or conflict, because they
are assured that law enforcement is not as vigilant as in other more stable
societies. They use corruption to infiltrate markets," Madzima explains.
"Mafia guys, or at least big criminals, will find friendship with people who
are highly placed within government so that their activities are not
targeted, or if they are, then they have a reasonable way out. The
authorities turn a blind eye to their activities, in return for bribes."

He points out that there are precedents of this throughout history,
including in the United States, where the mafia rose to notoriety in the
wake of the Great Depression in the 1930s.

"With the international isolation of Zimbabwe, the government has had no
option but to look at alternative sources of funds in order to ensure its
survival. Association with shadowy figures and other rogue governments
become the only viable option. Mafia figures thrive in these conditions
where they can sponsor a government so that its eyes are turned away from
their activities. The notorious Chinese and Russian mafia are known to like
using this strategy to establish new markets or consolidate existing ones.
Therefore, it is hardly alarmist to suggest that the region should expect to
contend with a surge in organized crime centered on Zimbabwe."

Madzima insists though that authorities in southern Africa can take action
to ensure that the situation isn't as dire as he's forecasting.

"Regional organizations and civic organizations should collaborate to design
solutions. What is fundamental is that the quick economic recovery of
Zimbabwe would be a good base for any other interventions. In terms of law
enforcement, resources must be pumped into law enforcement infrastructure so
that rule of law is emphasized."

He says it's "absolutely essential" that the Zimbabwean government halts "as
soon as possible" its use of the police as a "political tool.. The police
must be used primarily as an instrument to fight crime. That's the only way
to fight organized crime networks."

Madzima advises southern African police chiefs to meet as a matter of
urgency to recognize the threat the region's facing as a result of the chaos
in Zimbabwe and to come up with strategies to prevent the rise of a
Zimbabwe-based mafia. Otherwise, he warns, it'll be too late, and organized
crime will have established a grip in Zimbabwe that will be difficult to pry
loose, with harmful consequences for the whole region.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe's Christian students want election thugs brought to justice

By Ecumenical News International
1 Oct 2008
Christian students in Zimbabwe have urged the country's new government
expected to be forged out of a power-sharing agreement to ensure that
perpetrators of violence that marred a presidential runoff election in June
face the law.

"Following a period of violence, hate speech and polarisation of the
Zimbabwean community, the country badly needs a healing process and to this
extent the new government arrangement is a welcome development," the Student
Christian Movement of Zimbabwe said in a statement.

It added that the new government should "face the issue of transitional
justice, and the rule of law should be allowed to take its course on those
who were behind the violence".

Zimbabwe's presidential, parliamentary and local elections in March were
generally seen as free from the violence that had characterised previous
votes, but violence broke out in the lead-up to a presidential runoff
election in June.

Robert Mugabe, who has led Zimbabwe since its independence from Britain in
1980, was the sole candidate in the runoff after Morgan Tsvangirai of the
Movement for Democratic Change party withdrew, citing violence against his

The MDC claimed at least 100 of its supporters were killed, thousands
injured and tens of thousands displaced in a campaign of violence. Mugabe's
Zanu-PF party in turn accused MDC activists of torching houses belonging to
its supporters.

The students' group said it deplored "the post-March 29 violence instigated,
organized and sponsored by the state against its opponents".

Talks mediated by the South African leader Thabo Mbeki, following Mugabe's
re-election in the disputed runoff vote, led to a power-sharing agreement on
25 September between Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara, leader of a
smaller MDC faction.

Under the agreement, Mugabe is immune from prosecution for political crimes
during his nearly three-decade rule, although members of Zanu-PF could face
the law for such offences.

[With acknowledgements to ENI. Ecumenical News International is jointly
sponsored by the World Council of Churches, the Lutheran World Federation,
the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, and the Conference of European

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe dollar slips to new low

Wednesday, 01 Oct 2008 16:34
Zimbabwe's frail currency plunged to record lows on Wednesday, a day after
Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai failed to break a deadlock over the
allocation of ministries.

The Zimbabwe dollar depreciated by over 50 per cent as the political
stalemate took its toll on the comatose economy, driving the cost of basic
goods and services beyond reach of inflation weary Zimbabweans.

Traders on Wednesday were quoting the Zimbabwe dollar at between Z$700,000
to Z$800,000 against the US dollar under the bank transfer rate from Tuesday
of Z$500,000.

On the streets, $1 was trading at Z$3,000, up from Tuesday's figure of

Analysts said the weakening of the local dollar is driven by inflation
expectations, speculation and uncertainty over the power-sharing deal that
is teetering on the brink of collapse because of a stalemate over the
sharing of cabinet portfolios.

"The weakening of the currency will continue to be driven by speculation and
uncertainty since the market continues to wander in the wilderness in the
absence of a government to formulate economic policies to reign in
inflation," said John Robertson, an economic analyst.

A stalemate between president Mr Mugabe and prime minister designate Mr
Tsvangirai over the allocation of cabinet portfolios has been referred back
to former South African President Thabo Mbeki, the mediator of the
power-sharing deal.

The deal, signed by Mr Mugabe, Mr Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara, a faction
leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party, is seen
as the first real step in ending a decade long economic and political crisis
of the Southern African country.

Zimbabwe battles a decade long economic recession of unprecedented
proportions outside a war situation.

The crisis is characterised by high inflation that is running at over 11
million per cent, grinding poverty because of shortages of cash, food, basic
goods, electricity among other basic necessities and high unemployment.

Critics blame Mr Mugabe, in power since 1980, for running down the once
breadbasket of Africa with ruinous policies, a charge the 84-year-old leader

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Two MDC abducted activists' whereabouts still unknown

Wednesday, 01 October 2008 11:47
Mystery still surrounds the whereabouts of two well known MDC
activist's in Marondera Central Constituency who were abducted towards the
27 June presidential one man run off. The two are Kainos Botera {29}then the
MDC District Youth Chairman , and Portiphar Bakaimani {40}then main wing
District Chairman, the Zimbabwean heard.

The abduction's were carried out broad daylight and the witnesses
distinctively identified a central intelligence operative identified as
Sydney Shonai who was accompanied by five unknown others.Shonai is believed
to have been leading the team as he is said to have gave instructions.The
operative team was using a Nissan Hardbody twin cab.With  the recently
discovered 18 bodies in Wenimbi dam ,just about 10km outside Marondera , the
witnesses are widely believing that the two could have been killed and
dumped into the dam.

Resident's in Marondera , MDC supporter's and activists feel the
police should have made an open approach to the discovery of these bodies to
put to rest public speculation as to what had been discovered and where the
bodies were taken to..Although the bodies could have been decomposed there
is a growing feeling that although expensive, DNA tests would have been the
last option to enable close relatives to give their beloved ones a decent
burial if once DNA identified.It is a taboo to bury a human being in our
Zimbabwean traditional culture without the involvement of close family

Sydney Shonai , the centrai intelligence operative has since been
transferred from Marondera to conceal his clandestine operations and
whereabouts.Efforts by TheZimbabwean to establish his new base are currently
futile sa it has been kept a close guarded internal transfer.Under the new
political pact settlement between ZANU PF and the two MDC formations , the
state security ministry has been disbanded .Most of the remnants from this
notorious ministry are widely believed to being rewardedly and laterally
being transferred to other line ministries to suit the new government
intended outlook .Shonai can resurface in any of the line ministries.

In the MDC circles, Marondera is well known of its politically
motivated abductions.It is the provincial town of well known Mugabe's
undisputable and loyal henchmen come from, Dr sydney Sekeramayi, then
sometime Minister of State Securityand currently the illegal incumbent
cabinet minister of Defence, Army General Constatine Chiwenga and Air
Marshall Perence Shiri both grabbed farms.

Still fresh in the minds of MDC activists and supporters is the
bduction and subsequent brutal murder of Jabulani Chiyoka {25} abducted in
2006 in the Wenimbi resettlement area. Chiyoka was an opposition MDC ward
activist and the abduction of another ward activist in the same area same
day with Chiyoka was one only identified as Tafirenyika {30] who still
nurses permanent life injuries.

THe unaccountable abductions and subsequent discovery of the 18 bodies
in Wenimbi dam has sent shocking chilling waves in the MDC rank and file
.The MDC rank and file believe it is very difficult to trust ZANU PF under
the new political settlement deal . They believe ZANU PF will remain glued
to its culture tf exterminating its opponents for the purpose of political
Addressing traditional chiefs in Bulawayo before the signing off
ceremony , Mugabe hinted that ZANU PF and the MDC were like water and fire
which would never mix. THe guerilla leader has not condemned violence which
still hangs gripping the nation.PUt to blame also is the RBZ chief Gono who
has been printing money and bankrolling most of ZANU PF and government's
major projects on high prioratisation level

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Chombo threatens Mutare mayor and councillors with dismissal

By Violet Gonda
1 October 2008

There is no new 'government' at present due to the stalemate between the
main political parties, and it seems nothing has changed as far as ZANU PF
officials are concerned. Admire Mukovera, the deputy mayor of Mutare told SW
Radio Africa that Ignatius Chombo the MP for Zvimba North, threatened Mutare
mayor Brian James and his MDC councillors with dismissal if they did not
install some losing ZANU PF members in the new council.

Councils can appoint unelected people to represent special groups like the
disabled group but the deputy mayor said Chombo turned down a list of
selected people that had been nominated by the Residents Association. Chombo
is said to have instead appointed three ZANU PF bigwigs; Esau Mupfumi,
Hlanganiso Matangaidze and Misheck Mugadza.

Mugadza is the former chairman of the illegal Mutare Council Commission,
Mupfumi is a member of Zanu PF's central committee, while Matangaidze is
said to be a business mogul in Mutare.

The three appointed councillors turned up late Tuesday afternoon when the
council was in chamber. It's reported Brian James refused to 'entertain'
them saying they would need to prove which 'special interests groups' they
represent. The deputy mayor said Mupfumi went and called Chombo from the
mayor's office, "and Chombo intimidated and shouted at our mayor saying that
if you don't want to install those people I will jump in and fire your

The Mutare Mayor refused to swear in the three saying Chombo was imposing
them as special interest councillors when they did not bring in any special
expertise or add value to the elected MDC-dominated council.

However, the Mutare town clerk Obert Muzawazi from Zanu PF is said to have
gone ahead and performed the swearing in ceremony without the MDC mayor and
councillors, who walked out.

The MDC won almost all the council elections in March but Chombo, who was
the Minister of Local Government before the power sharing deal was signed,
has been trying to impose unelected officials in some of the councils won by
the MDC.

Just last month Chombo unilaterally appointed eight non-elected councillors
at a swearing-in ceremony in Makoni district, also in Manicaland province.
Chombo claimed the unelected councillors represented 'special groups' but
the MDC said those appointed in Makoni where ZANU PF supporters like
'Justice Minister' Patrick Chinamasa's wife Monica.

The MDC said in a statement: "By appointing these Zanu PF losing candidates
as special councillors, Chombo, is declaring war on democracy, on the people
of Zimbabwe, on the spirit of togetherness and on the MoU signed by the
three parties. He cannot be allowed to do that."

The party said it controls all urban local authorities and Chombo is making
sure that the day-to-day operations of the MDC councils are disrupted. "Zanu
PF is using a dubious quota system to bring in 'special' councillors,
especially Zanu PF losing candidates, which in several cases have enabled
them to reverse the MDC's majority in the council chambers."

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe's MDC-Led Local Governments Fend Off ZANU-PF Influence


By Jonga Kandemiiri
01 October 2008

Open conflict has broken out between the city council in Mutare, Zimbabwe,
and Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo over his appointment of three
representatives to the council - all of them affiliated with his former
ruling ZANU-PF party whereas all 19 elected members are from the majority
Movement for Democratic Change.

All 19 MDC councilors walked out in protest on Tuesday as Town Clerk Obert
Muzavazi was about to seat the representatives, Mutare political sources

Chombo called Mutare Mayor Brian James earlier this week and ordered him to
seat the so-called special representatives, threatening to remove him if he

Typically such special representatives are drawn from groups like the
handicapped to reflect their concerns, but these appointments, like many
made by the central government these days, are seen as an attempt to
maintain ZANU-PF influence following the MDC sweep of nearly all local
government bodies in the March 29 round of elections.

After the MDC councilors walked out, the clerk confirmed Isau Mupfumi, a
businessman and ZANU-PF central committee member, Misheck Mugadza, former
chairman of the Mutare Commission (which ran the city after the government
dissolved the city council) and ZANU-PF supporter Tapiwa Matangaidze. But
none of the three has a vote.

The MDC has accused Chombo of meddling in local government in a number of
locations. He is said to have reversed a decision by Harare City Council to
reinstate city employees fired by the former Harare Commission headed by
Sekesai Makwavarara.

VOA was unable to reach Chombo for comment despite repeated calls to his

Mutare Deputy Mayor Admire Mukorera told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that the
council will not take up any measures put on the table by the ZANU-PF

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Many Zimbabwean NGOs Overwhelmed By Surging Food Aid Need


By Patience Rusere
01 October 2008

Humanitarian organizations in Zimbabwe are finding it difficult to meet
surging demand for food assistance, says the National Association of
Non-Governmental Organizations, adding that people displaced by April-June
political violence have swollen lines for food aid.

NANGO spokesman Fambai Ngirande said organizations such as the NGO
Consortium for the Southern Africa Food Security Emergency, or C-SAFE, are
gearing up operations. But many NGOs are finding themselves overwhelmed by
the scale of the need, he said.

One problem is that there is simply not enough food in the country. The
Famine Early Warning Systems Network or FEWSNET said in a recent alert that
C-SAFE, the World Food Program and the government had planned to import some
1,164,000 tonnes of food to meet needs through early 2009, but by August 31
had only imported 193,281 tonnes.

Not only are foodstuffs like the staple maize meal in short supply, but
hyperinflation is driving prices many essentials out of reach of ordinary
Zimbabweans. Some commodities are only available on parallel or black
markets, and then only for hard currency.

Ngirande told reporter Patience Rusere that food appeals have not generated
the hoped-for response and rural communities stand in urgent need of seed
and other agricultural inputs over the next six weeks if they are to get
crops in the ground for the 2009 harvest.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

MISA-Zimbabwe statement on proposed ITC Bill

Wednesday, 01 October 2008 11:49
MISA-Zimbabwe notes current efforts by the Attorney-General's Office
to develop an Information Communication Technologies (ICT) Bill through the
circulation of a questionnaire which among other considerations seeks to
identify shortfalls in ICT related legislation in Zimbabwe.

The Posts and Telecommunications Act, Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) and the Broadcasting Services Act (BSA)
are identified as some of the laws that will be taken into consideration
towards the development of a national ICT Bill. The questionnaire therefore
seeks to establish whether the three laws in question have overlapping
functions and whether it is possible to consolidate them into one Act.

It is MISA-Zimbabwe's strong submission that in their present state
the laws in question and BSA and AIPPA in particular, do not even meet the
benchmarks for the enactment of a progressive and democratic national ICT
legislation more so as it relates to the establishment of an independent
converged broadcasting, ICT, cellular and telecommunications regulatory

The long term viability of the broadcasting, telecommunications and
ICT sectors lies in securing the independence of their regulatory
frameworks. The argument for the independence of regulators in the field of
telecoms, broadcasting and technological convergence is guided by several
regional and continental covenants such as the African Charter on
Broadcasting (ACB), African Union (AU) Declaration on Principles of Freedom
of Expression in Africa and the SADC Protocol on Culture, Information and

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) is
hailed as a model independent regulator on the continent. It is
MISA-Zimbabwe's argument that the manner in which the Zimbabwean regulators
namely the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) under the BSA, the Posts
and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe, and Media and
Information Commission under AIPPA, are constituted makes them susceptible
to direct political interference. AIPPA through the MIC imposes statutory
regulation in breach of the Banjul Declaration on the Principles of Freedom
of Expression in Africa while BAZ is hostage to the whims and dictates of
the Executive in violation of the African Charter on Broadcasting.
These bodies need to be replaced by a truly independent communications
regulator that will oversee these sectors. This new regulator's independence
must be guaranteed by the law and must have financial, structural and
functional independence in order to regulate the sector effectively and
impartially for the development of the ICT sector to be guaranteed.

It is MISA-Zimbabwe's submission that regulation should be undertaken
for purposes of promoting freedom of speech and access to information. The
extent to which a country is said to be democratic is the extent to which it
is seen to actively promote free expression and communication between the
people and their leaders through such institutions as the media.

We posit that one of the ways of promoting free expression and
communication is through the creation of an enabling environment for media
freedom through, among other considerations, establishing a truly
independent regulator to regulate the country's communications sector in the
public interest, free of any political, commercial or individual

It is therefore, MISA- Zimbabwe's humble submissions that the Attorney
General Office and the government in general in its quest to come up with a
national ICT Bill should be guided by the following principles that govern
the operations of independent regulatory bodies:

there should be clear separation of powers, with the government being
responsible for policy development, an independent body being responsible
for the implementation of policies and regulating the sector whilst
privately owned media concentrates on service provision.
regulation should be done in the public interest, with the aim of:
creating and maintaining order in the sector, establishing fair competition
and quality service, promoting free speech, access to information as well as
consumer protection.
providing distinct legal mandate of the regulator's duties and
responsibilities, free of ministerial, commercial or private control.
Involving every one, that is, the executive, legislature, civic
society, business and the general public in the appointment process  of the
regulator's board.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

CHRA Convenes National Residents Associations Forum

01 0ctober 2008


The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) convened a National Residents Associations consultative Forum (NRACF) from Friday September the 26th to Sunday the 29th of September at Bulawayo Rainbow Hotel. The conference was attended by representatives from 19 vibrant Residents Associations from different parts of the country, representatives of the Zimbabwe United Residents Associations (ZURA) councilors from Bulawayo, Members of the House of Assembly and partners from the civic society. The conference sought to build a common and coordinated voice amongst Residents Associations on key local Governement issues as well as municipal service delivery. Key issues debated at the conference include;



The conference made the following resolutions on the issues debated;


The Associations reaffirmed their commitment to enhanced civic participation and demanding quality service delivery across the country. The conference agreed on the necessity of regular meetings of this kind and the need to create synergies among Residents Associations and partnerships with other stakeholders across the country as well as the need for the Residents Associations to speak with one voice.


At the end of the conference, the Associations agreed on a national action plan meant to operationalise the agreed resolutions. CHRA remains firmly committed to its mission to enhance citizen participation in local Government processes. The Association stands ready to extend this vision to other Residents Associations and help boost their capacity to implement such programs.   


Farai Barnabas Mangodza

Chief Executive Officer

Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)

145 Robert Mugabe Way

Exploration House, Third Floor


 Landline: 00263- 4- 705114

Contacts: Mobile: 011 563 141, 0913 042 981, 011862012 or email, and



Back to the Top
Back to Index