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Zimbabwe Finance Minister Barricaded Into
Oct 3, 11:58 AM EDT
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) -- Zimbabwe's finance
minister says militants from the
president's party tried to invade his
office demanding his resignation after
they didn't receive an increase in
their salaries and pension claims.
Finance Minister Tendai Biti insists
he can't pay them until diamond mining
earnings controlled by loyalists to
President Robert Mugabe are fully paid
into state coffers. Austerity
measures in Zimbabwe's troubled economy have
triggered death threats against
Biti, including live ammunition sent in the
mail and one gasoline bomb
attack at his home.
He said Wednesday that hundreds of militant veterans
of the bush war that
led to independence in 1980 barricaded his downtown
offices late Tuesday.
Biti, who is a close aide of former opposition
leader Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai, says he will not bow to demands for
him to quit.
Minister Defies Vets' Calls to Resign
October 03, 2012
Zimbabwe's Finance Minister Tendai
Biti is defying calls by veterans of the
country's independence war to step
down after refusing to review their
monthly pension payouts.
veterans, who are loyalists to President Robert Mugabe, have been
the minister from reaching his offices.
About 200 veterans blocked access
finance ministry facilities, protesting
the minister's alleged incompetence
and refusal to increase their monthly
payments, and call for his
A visibly subdued Biti, blocked from entering his offices
beginning of the week, addressed reporters at his MDC party
Wednesday, saying he would not give in to the veterans'
“I hope the president and the prime minister can deal this
matter with the
urgency it deserves," he said, explaining that veterans'
welfare is a
government concern, but that treasury does not have the money
to meet their
demands. "But if your question is ‘Will we resign?’ — that
will not happen.
We will not bow down to predatoriness. So they are
knocking on the wrong door.”
Biti has repeatedly
said that revenue from Zimbabwe's diamond fields, which
are controlled by
the military, does not reach the treasury, leaving a big
hole in the
Individual veterans currently receive just over $100
monthly, while the
lowest-paid civil servants get about $200.
the formation of a coalition government between the MDC and President
Mugabe's ZANU-PF party in 2009, Biti has defied calls to increase wages of
civil servants. Last year an explosive device hit the security wall of the
finance minister's home in an attempted bombing.
“The attacks on the
ministry of finance are political — intended to
emasculate not just the
ministry of finance, but they are also personal
attacks on the person of the
minister of finance in his personal right," he
said, referencing last year's
failed bombing. "We are not afraid of anyone,
so you can send your bombs as
you have done to some of our houses. We are
not afraid of you, we are not
afraid of you, we will continue to do our jobs
as we have been asked to do
so until the life of this inclusive government."
The unity government was
formed after Zimbabwe's violent and disputed 2008
elections. The government
has stabilized Zimbabwe's economy over the past
three years despite chronic
tension between the two main parties. However,
fears of renewed violence
ahead of new elections has scared away investors
and slowed economic growth.
blasts ZPF ‘looters’ after war vet threats on Biti
03 October 2012
The MDC-T has unleashed a tirade of
criticism against ZANU PF officials who
they say are looting the country’s
resources, after a group posing as war
vets blocked access to Finance
Minister Tendai Biti’s office.
A statement from the party said they
condemn the “barbaric behavior”
displayed by the war vets on Tuesday
afternoon, when they locked the access
doors to the Minister’s government
It is not clear what the so-called war vets were after, but the
dismissed them as “hired thugs who have been made to hold a mock
demonstration at the minister’s offices in order to divert attention from
the real looters of the country’s resources.”
“Instead of marching to
Minister Biti’s offices, these self-styled war
veterans should have
demonstrated at the offices of Obert Mpofu, the
Minister of Mines and Mining
Development,” the MDC-T said.
They also named Indigenization Minister
Saviour Kasukuwere and Local
Government Minister Ignatius Chombo, saying
they are among the “corrupt
politicians who are buying helicopters,
airplanes, boats and mansions
outside the country from the diamond
The MDC-T said: “The behaviour is totally uncalled for as it
the Finance Minister is frantically trying to source revenue to
government projects, including the salaries for thousands of
including their bonuses.”
This is not the first time
that ZANU PF supporters claiming to be war vets
have demonstrated at Biti’s
offices, accusing him of holding back funds that
are due to them and
blocking wage increases for civil servants.
Biti has insisted there are
no funds in the treasury for wage increases. He
says the government has a
budget deficit of over $400 million, which the
minister attributes to senior
ZANU PF officials who are not remitting funds
from the sale of Chiadzwa
meet but still no date for constitution conference
03 October 2012
The principals in the coalition
government met on Tuesday to discuss several
critical issues, including the
2nd All Stakeholders Conference that is due
to be held by the end of
Robert Mugabe is reported to have agreed to ‘move’ on some key
have been pending, and to set a date for the official opening
of the next
session of Parliament. Government business has been at a
standstill due to
Mugabe’s delay in closing the last session, which ended
According to the Daily News newspaper, the principals meeting
Mugabe himself, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and both the
Minister Arthur Mutambara and Professor Welshman
The Minister for Parliamentary and Constitutional Affairs, Eric
joined the principals for a briefing and discussions on the
all-Stakeholders’ Conference. He told SW Radio Africa on
Wednesday that no
specific date or venue was agreed on, but Harare would
host the event the
third week of October.
“It was decided there were
no funds to hold the Conference in Bulawayo or
outside Harare. We were able
to get a venue for around the 22nd of October.
At the earliest it will be
the 17th of October,” Matinenga explained.
The Minister also said that
other political parties, which are not part of
the GPA, will be allowed to
participate in the Conference. And any
organization recognized as an NGO
will also be eligible.
Regarding funds for the Conference, which had
reportedly been an issue,
Matinenga said COPAC would be meeting with their
development partners on
Thursday. He added that he was “sure they will make
According to the Daily News, the Prime
Minister’s spokesperson Luke
Tamborinyoka said Mugabe had agreed to swear-in
Morgen Komichi as deputy
minister of Transport and Infrastructure
Development. Komichi was picked to
fill the spot by Tsvangirai, following
the death of Tichaona Mudzingwa in
Mugabe has delayed the
swearing-in, along with other government business
that has been pending.
Several Bills that were already passed by parliament
are also waiting to be
signed and gazetted by Mugabe.
As always, no information was released by
the principals regarding their
Tuesday meeting. The news blackout has been
characteristic of the coalition
government’s negotiations towards a roadmap
for credible elections.
over ‘unjust’ eviction of Chegutu farmer
By Alex Bell
There is growing anger over the court ordered eviction of a farming
in Chegutu, with criticism being aimed at the courts for the unjust
that forced the family to leave their home.
Dirk and Heidi
Visagie are said to be in a state of shock after packing up
belongings and leaving their Wantage Farm over the weekend,
complying with a
court order to leave.
Dirk was found guilty by a Chegutu magistrate in
August, ending a decade
long fight to remain on his farm that he bought from
a Government parastatal
back in 2001. Back then, he received a ‘certificate
of no interest’ from the
Lands Ministry because the property was considered
‘peri-urban’ and not one
Gazetted under the Lands Act for seizure under the
land grab campaign.
But about a month later a local official called
Timothy Madavanhu, the
chairman of the rural district council, arrived to
claim Visagie’s property
as part of the land grab. This was despite the fact
that the offer letter
Madavanhu received from the Land’s Ministry was not
for Wantage farm.
Madavanhu insisted the Visagie property was the one he
wanted and he soon
initiated a campaign of harassment and intimidation that
hired thugs onto the property, breaking into the Visagie
family home and
lighting raging veld fires.
In 2007 Visagie was
criminally charged for illegally occupying his home but
the charges were
eventually withdrawn after he pleaded not guilty. The
over the following years and in January 2011 Visagie
was again criminally
charged for illegally occupying State land “without
Visagie was found guilty, along with farmer Andrew
Ferreira, a former
Zimbabwe Tobacco Association president. The pair are the
last of 15 farmers
in the district who were meant to be protected by a
landmark ruling in the
regional human rights Tribunal in 2008. The SADC
court ruled that the land
grab campaign was unlawful and ordered the then
ZANU PF government to
protect the remaining farmers. This never happened.
Instead the court was
suspended by SADC leaders almost two years ago in what
was widely regarded
as a clear sign of loyalty to Robert
Family friend and former Chegutu farmer Ben Freeth has blasted
of the Visagie family as “racist” and a “terrible injustice.”
Freeth told SW
Radio Africa that the Visagie’s only crime was remaining in
“They are in a state of trauma over it all, mainly because of
of it and because it is just accepted as normal in Zimbabwe,”
He added: “Everyone just allows it to happen and we are so
used to this
injustice that it is considered normal.”
eviction of the Viasgie family comes as a group of farmers in
Central have also been ordered to vacate their properties, to
make way for
the holders of ‘offer letters’. The Commercial Farmers Union
has warned that
this renewed campaign to remove white commercial is
happening country wide.
A White Farmer'S Crime In Zimbabwe
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SADC Tribunal Rights
2 October 2012
white farmer’s crime in Zimbabwe
I spent the night in the familiar chaos of a
Zimbabwean family in the process of packing up. There were just two nights to
go before the September 30 deadline. Everywhere were boxes and piles of things
ready to go into boxes. Outside, their once lush lawn was dry. The pump had
I was present in
August when the magistrate had pronounced Dirk Visagie, a commercial farmer,
guilty. Dirk had stood in the dock with his head bowed, accepting the
magistrate’s words in silence.
I shall always
remember the magistrate’s expression as he pronounced a verdict of guilty. It
was both vindictive and malevolent.
Dirk was treated
as a common criminal for living in a house he bought in 2001 from a government
parastatal, with the Minister of Lands having issued a “certificate of no
interest”. It was on a peri-urban plot bordering the small Mashonaland West
town of Chegutu.
It was his only
home and his only property. At 42 hectares it was small, but he had invested
everything he had in it, and had made it a financial success.
The property was
earmarked for eventual urban expansion in the Chegutu town master plan so the
Visagies knew it would never be required for agricultural resettlement and could
later be subdivided when the time was right.
But, two months
after the deed had been paid for and transferred, Timothy ‘Shoko’ Mudavanhu
He had been
chairman of the Rural District Council when I was working for the Commercial
Farmers’ Union in the late 1990s and we knew each other.
We had worked
together to make the rural council as efficient as possible, to make sure that
the mobile clinics were properly staffed and equipped, and to ensure that the
rural road network was well maintained.
armed with an offer letter. He had already taken another property near Selous
belonging to farmer I also knew, Piet Martin.
He now owned a
supermarket and a relatively large, comfortable house in Chegutu.
The fact that the
offer letter Mudavanhu brandished at the Visagie’s plot was not actually for
their plot appeared not to matter. He wanted their house and harassed them
constantly to force them out.
2005, he ensured that the property was gazetted and that a new offer
letter was issued.
After years of
continuous harassment, Dirk appeared in the dock for the first time in 2007,
charged with the criminal act of living in his own home and producing crops for
the nation, which was by now reliant on international food
After getting numerous High
Court orders and an international judgment in his favour, the charges against
Dirk were finally dropped.
drawn-out and expensive trial began again at the beginning of 2011 and Dirk was
finally pronounced guilty last month.
The Visagies have
appealed against the verdict – but know that to still be on the farm after the
deadline might result in spending time in one of Zimbabwe’s filthy jails. So
they have locked up, given the keys to their lawyers, and moving off their
In a country that
is begging the international community to feed another 1.7 million people this
year - and which has an unemployment rate of more than 80 percent, the Visagies
are no longer allowed to farm or produce crops.
will now become derelict and unused like the vast majority of commercial
farmland in Zimbabwe.
The Visagies have
ventured into a new and uncertain business unrelated to farming to try to
This move means
that only a handful of people will be employed and that the prospect of their
ever farming again is unlikely. Valuable resources earmarked to develop their
farm have been sidelined to renovate a house in town.
Dirk, a South
African national, was blocked from farming last year. If a farmer cannot farm,
how can he provide for himself and his family while at the same time paying for
a long and expensive trial?
How can he fix up
a house to make it habitable for his wife and children and look after the needs
of the few employees he hopes to retain?
I can imagine the
questions going through Dirk’s mind at this point: What in reality was his
crime? Why was he stopped from farming? Why had he been forced out of his
What was wrong
with buying a peri-urban plot from a Zimbabwe Government parastatal? Why was
Heidi, his wife, stopped from helping people who were sick or wounded and who
came to her gate needing medical attention?
What was criminal
about growing much-needed crops in a country that is
According to ZANU
PF, Dirk and Heidi’s crime is that they are “white” people. The crime of their
black employees is that they work for “white” people.
This scenario has
been repeated again and again across the length and breadth of Zimbabwe since
the state-sponsored farm invasions began in 2000.
ZANU PF’s “land
reform” programme has been judged racist in an international court but the
racism is supported by President Mugabe and his most powerful politicians, who
have benefitted significantly from the land grab.
Racism has been
embedded in Section 4.29 of our draft constitution and, after protracted and
turbulent negotiations, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement
for Democratic Change party, has agreed to support the latest
ZANU PF does not respect the
country’s high court orders, nor the rulings of an international court. It does
not respect the SADC Treaty nor the bilateral investment protection agreements
(BIPPAs) signed with foreign countries investing in Zimbabwe. This includes
deplorable actions, which are flout both SADC and international treaties and
norms, ZANU PF is guilty of criminal behavior and of continued ethnic cleansing
Submitted by / For further
SADC Tribunal Rights
Cell: +263 773 929
motorcade in 4th accident
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s motorcade was involved in an
accident on Wednesday
morning, police confirmed.
A police outrider
was feared dead after his motorbike collided with a truck
near Sam Levy’s
Village in Harare.
The accident is the fourth involving Mugabe’s
motorcade in as many months.
Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba, the
national police spokeswoman,
said: “I can confirm an accident involving the
presidential motorcade at
around 10AM today. Investigations are still in
progress to establish the
cause of the accident and the number of
Witnesses said the police motorbike rammed into a truck and
“The police biker just lay on the tarmac not
moving. An ambulance came and
took him away but he appeared dead,” said a
man who witnessed the crash.
President Robert Mugabe’s official Mercedes
limousine drove past shortly
after the incident.
In June this year,
Mugabe’s motorcade had three accidents in which two
people were killed and
more than a dozen injured.
In the first, a homeless man was knocked down by a
police motorbike in
Harare as Mugabe was being driven to his rural home in
Zvimba. The police
outrider and the victim were both hospitalised.
the convoy left Kutama on the return journey, an open-top army Land
carrying members of the presidential guard burst a tyre and
killing Private Jeoffrey Mukotekwa and injuring several others.
third incident, the presidential motorcade was making a brisk return
Harare from Zvimba ahead of Mugabe’s flight to Brazil for a UN conference
when a police lead vehicle sent to clear traffic rammed into a commuter
minibus carrying 22 passengers.
A male passenger in the minibus,
known locally as a kombi, died on impact
with the police Mercedes while 15
others – including two police officers –
the accidents on drivers who showed a “total disregard for
The Transport Ministry pushed through regulations in 2002 which
“the driver of every vehicle on the road on which a state
travelling... shall halt his vehicle”.
is thought to be one of the longest in Africa, averaging a
dozen vehicles at
a time including an ambulance.
as prison officers block PM’s wife visiting Chikurubi
3 October 2012
There was drama outside the Chikurubi maximum
security prison complex on
Wednesday when prison authorities barred
Elizabeth Tsvangirai from visiting
MDC cadres held inside the
The Prime Minister’s wife was in motorcade that had co-Home
Theresa Makone and deputy ministers Obert Gutu and Murisi
Zvidzai. While the
trio were cleared to enter the complex, the Premeir’s
wife was blocked.
SW Radio Africa’s Harare correspondent Simon Muchemwa
reported that apart
from being blocked, Mrs. Tsvnagirai was also asked to
chauffer-driven vehicle and walk to a different security check
argue her case.
“The prison officers vehemently declared her
name had not been cleared to
visit the complex. They contended that the
other three, Makone, Gutu and
Zvidzai had been cleared by the Zimbabwe
Prison Services in the morning,”
He added: “Even in
the presence of Gutu, their boss, the prison officers
would not move an
inch, forcing the deputy minister of Justice to seek
senior prison officers.”
Gutu, according to Muchemwa was able to summon
the officer-in-charge of
Chikurubi who eventually cleared the Prime
Minister’s wife to enter, after
almost one and half hours of
“Zvidzai thinks it was a well planned plot to embarras the
person of the
Prime Minister and the image of his wife. He thinks it had all
of wanting to embarrass her,” Muchemwa said.
marriage to Tsvangirai last month, Elizabeth has taken a more
in supporting her husband’s government and party roles.
This past weekend,
she attended the MDC’s 13th anniversary in Bulawayo, and
her husband when he visited his supporters who were injured
in a ZANU PF
attack on their way to the anniversary rally.
Last month, she was also at
the High Court to attend the trial of the MDC-T
29 activists charged with
the murder of the police inspector Petros Mutedzi
in Glen View last year.
electoral commission seeks $104m for referendum
Sapa-AFP | 03 October, 2012
Cash-strapped Zimbabwe's electoral commission on
Tuesday said it needs $104
million to organise a referendum on a new
constitution that would pave way
for a vote on a successor to the country's
shaky coalition government.
No referendum date has been set
yet, but longtime President Robert Mugabe
said he wants to hold it next
month. However, the election body said it
needs six weeks to make
arrangements for the vote.
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chief Joyce
Kazembe said it was ready to hold
a referendum if funds are made
In a court filing last week, Mugabe set out plans for the
popular votes to
be held in the next six months, listing a "referendum,
expected to take
place during the first week of November."
is expected to hold new elections some time next year, the first
presidential run-off election in 2008 marred by violence.
aftermath of the election forced Mugabe and long-time rival Morgan
Tsvangirai to form a power-sharing government in 2009 to avoid a tip into a
In the pact which gave birth to the compromise
government, the parties
agreed to a raft of reforms and crafting a new
charter before new elections.
A draft constitution negotiated by Mugabe's
ZANU-PF party, Tsvangirai's MDC
party and a smaller MDC splinter group was
finished in August.
The process was plagued by delays and violence at
society alert PM on water crisis
Wednesday, 03 October 2012 11:13
Bulawayo’s deepening water crisis has seen more than a million
without the precious liquid and only getting supplies three times a
devastating an already reeling local economy facing massive
For Zimbabwe’s nongovernmental organisations
(NGOs), figuring out how best
to help in such circumstances is a daunting
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has a suggestion: first, help get
responsive, exclusive Zimbabwe government into office at the next
Tsvangirai asked NGOs to help expand the Zimbabwean government’s
respond to the challenge at a private conference with members of
society in Bulawayo.
The meeting came just a week after the
local authority asked residents to
participate in a “big flush” concurrently
at 7:30pm every Saturday evening
so that human waste does not solidify in
the city’s aging sewerage pipes.
It comes as the local authority races
its connection to Mtshabezi Dam so as
to avert the intensifying water
Phillan Zamchiya, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition regional
Tsvangirai met and briefed civil society at a meeting
organised by the
Christian Alliance and Bulawayo Agenda in the second city
on the sidelines
of the 13th MDC anniversary last weekend.
society leaders reportedly drew the PM’s attention to the water
considered a critical disaster problem which needs urgent
Civil society’s call to aid the ailing Bulawayo Province,
are getting water for only 72 hours a week, reflected the
concerns among aid workers who have proposed sinking more
getting more water bowsers to the people as a long-term
solution is being
“The Prime Minister responded to a number
of quotidian concerns raised by
civil society around water shortages, decay
of NRZ (National Railways of
Zimbabwe), dilapidated state of public roads
and maternal health care,”
“In short, the Prime
Minister promised to make a follow-up with relevant
ministries in order to
seek lasting solutions to the problems raised. As
civil society we continue
to urge the government to implement democratic and
economic reforms to
establish a salubrious environment for a competitive,
free and fair election
that will result in the instalment of a people’s
government that can deal
decisively and effectively with Zimbabwe’s crisis.”
The meeting provided
a further indication that civil society is rethinking
development assistance should be deployed.
The Prime Minister told civil
society leaders that the inclusive government
was now winding up its
business in preparation for the general election.
He said civil society
will be able to make comments and recommendations to
All-Stakeholders Conference but amendments to the Copac draft can
effected by Parliament.
Tsvangirai told civil society leaders that the
referendum will be held in
November, which resonates with the position put
forward by President Mugabe
in his recent court application to have
The Copac draft, Tsvangirai said was a
“progressive document that should be
supported by democrats.”
told NGO leaders that government has not agreed on the specific date
general elections, although he prefers to have general elections in June
2013 in order to allow ample time to operationalise the “new
constitution.” - Gift Phiri
shortages lead to war
Health Advisor to the Office of the President and
Cabinet, Timothy Stamps,
said the lack of water could lead to war if not
Stamps was speaking to journalists ahead of the Second
Medical and Health Expo to be held at Harare International
from the 26th to the 28th of this month.
at the expo include manufacturers and distributors of medical
devices, pharmaceutical companies and health insurance
others. Over 35 exhibitors are expected, excluding medical
“Top on the agenda during the expo will be the issue of
water the lack of
which is a crisis in Zimbabwe at the present moment,”
Stamps said. “The lack
of water is the major source of war in Somalia and
North Eastern Kenya and I
hope we are not heading towards that.”
said there was need to educate people on the proper use of water. “Water
life. We will all die if we don’t get safe water. Educating people on
issues of hygiene like hand-washing and brushing teeth will save the
government money spent on dealing with outbreak,” added the former health
for Harare suburbs till weekend
Wednesday, 03 October 2012
HARARE’S western and parts of
southern suburbs will have no water until
weekend owing to a major pipe
burst within the Morton Jaffray Water
Treatment Plant. Water shortages pose
a great health risk high-density
suburbs. Each time the suburbs run dry,
residents resort to fetching water
unavailability of water means residents would not be able to use toilets
while schools, clinics and shopping centres without borehole water might be
forced to close.
Harare water director Eng Christopher Zvobgo
announced the water crisis
“We suffered a major pipe
burst on the water mains that feeds the western
“The burst has
caused the flooding of the pump house,” he said.
City engineers spent the
greater part of yesterday draining water from the
flooding damaged electrical pumps.
He said the whole treatment plant
temporarily lost power due to flooding.
“All the areas fed through
Marimba and Lochinvar Reservoirs would be without
water until the weekend,”
Eng Zvobgo said each time such a mishap happens, pumps are taken for
He said in the interim, the city would be
using smaller pumps to supply the
affected suburbs, which include Budi-riro,
Kuwadzana, Mufakose, Glen Norah,
Glen View, Kambuzuma and Rugare.
urged residents to use the available water sparingly.
have not had adequate water in the past few weeks owing to
breakdowns at Morton Jaffray, huge leaks on the reticulation
system and a
high demand caused by the rising temperatures.
In his report to the
environmental management committee, Eng Zvobgo
attributed the water
shortages to rising temperatures and constant
He said the city was throttling supplies in all areas that
directly from the water mains and would continue with the
He said the city had introduced rotational
But due to difficulties in the water distribution system,
the water could
not be rationed equitably.
He said the furthest and
highest areas would continue to receive less water
Highlands, Borrowdale, Dzivaresekwa and Msasa Park the
Sewer System Pollutes Zimbabwe, Threatens Health
Global Press Institute -
Tuesday 2nd October, 2012
Sibusiso Nyathi, 43, says she was thrilled when she moved
seven-room house she had built in Mahatshula, a medium-density
Bulawayo, Zimbabwes second-largest city.
She saved for 13 years to afford the
house, which cost $25,000 in a country
where the per capita gross national
income is just $460 per year, according
to UNICEF. Her sister, who works in
South Africa, also gave her money to
build the home.
But five years
later, Nyathi says that a dilapidated sewage pipe nearby is
dream home. The pipe has been spewing its ghastly effluent into
for more than four years.
I am under siege, Nyathi says. Pungent smell has
engulfed this area for
years now. No amount of air fresheners can overpower
this smell. Although I
keep all windows closed, I cannot keep the smell
Nyathi, a mother of three boys and one girl, says the situation is
worse during the rainy season, when the area is flooded. She says the
becomes impassable, and the roads are awash with sewage.
used to spend hours in the streets, playing soccer with their
Nyathi says. Now, they cannot step outside without confronting this
disaster. They now stay confined in the house, and they are all
Nyathi says she has notified the local council officials but hasnt
a favorable response.
Fellow residents have also made reports,
but nothing has happened, she says
dejectedly. I can no longer afford to
waste my resources to visit the city
council officers as they evidently do
not have any interest in dealing with
Nyathi says that the
sewer nightmare is ruining Bulawayos reputation.
This city can no longer be
called a City of Kings because kings do not live
in sewage, she says
angrily. The city council officials have let everyone in
this city down. I
Residents of Zimbabwes major cities say that dilapidated
sewer systems are
filling their streets with waste, contaminating their
water supply and
harming their health. City council officials say that the
aware of the problem but cant afford to overhaul the outdated
infrastructure, which is further hampered by an acute water shortage.
Residents associations are fostering a dialogue between citizens and public
service providers as they continue to pressure the
Hyperinflation from 2006 to 2008 led to an increase in poverty
Zimbabwe and a decrease in the public sectors capacity to respond
effectively to service delivery needs in the struggling economy, according
to a 2010 joint report by the Zimbabwe government and the United Nations.
Meanwhile, the service needs have been growing.
Population pressure in
the urban areas has overburdened sewage and water
creating serious environmental health problems such as
the much publicised
(sic) cholera outbreak in 2009, according to the report.
The once functional
household waste management system has deteriorated,
resulting in huge mounds
of uncollected waste.
Across the street from Nyathis house is a plush
eight-room home belonging to
Marko Ncube. Ncube, 65, says he built his house
I did not realize that there were some old sewer lines close to this
he says. These sewer lines are from older suburbs, such as Khumalo,
were established more than 50 years ago. The sewer system has not
any major attention. The whole system needs to be
Ncube, a retired civil servant, says he had planned to retire in
suburb away from
the hustle and bustle of Bulawayos high-density
Mahatshula was the most favorable place to be, he says. There are no
manufacturing industries close by, so there is no noise. The stands
were relatively big, and I thought I had found my little haven to
after years of serving my country.
Ncube says that if he had known
of this problem, he would have settled in a
different residential area. Now,
he can no longer afford to buy another
house elsewhere, as the costs have
Like Nyathi, Ncube says that he has also visited the city
council to report
the sewage problems. But no help has
Zibusiso Dube, 26, the information manager for the Bulawayo
Residents Association, says residents have grown tired of
reporting cases of
burst or blocked sewer pipes.
There are other areas
such as Luveve where leaking sewage has formed some
streams, Dube says.
These sewage streams are feeding into rivers that supply
water to Bulawayo
metropolitan city. This is very deplorable.
And the pollution is not just
limited to Bulawayo and its suburbs.
The sprawling metropolitan city of
Harare, Zimbabwes capital, lies 450
kilometers northeast of Bulawayo. A huge
banner boldly emblazoned with the
message, Welcome to the Sunshine City,
greets visitors on the drive from the
airport to the capital.
Banda, 54, one of the capitals 1 million residents, says the sun
set on Harare.
This town used to be always sparkling with beautiful flowers
roadsides, says Banda, who lives in the high-density suburb of
There was an air of freshness everywhere, but the air is now
Everywhere you look, there is sewage flowing along the streets,
is piling everywhere because the council is failing to collect
it on time.
The town is a health hazard and a death trap to us.
says she fears for her safety every day and worries about the health
three young grandchildren, who spend their time playing in the
Pretty Chabuda, advocacy officer for Harare Residents Trust, a local
residents association, says there are many areas in Harare that face
perennial sewage problems, listing various suburbs.
There is an area
between Westlea suburb and Cold Comfort that has now been
given the name
Pamasewage because sewage is always flowing on that area, she
says, using a
term that means sewage area.
Chabuda says that the pollution is contaminating
local water sources.
Despite the overflow of sewage in the suburb of
Crowborough, she says that
residents in the area have been forced to dig
shallow wells to get water for
domestic consumption because of the acute
water problems facing the city.
These unsafe sources of water that have been
dug near sewage overflows are a
key factor that is linked to the February
2012 typhoid outbreaks, where
2,900 cases were recorded, Chabuda
Dr. Godfrey Nerupfunde, a general practitioner in the Ministry of
Child Welfare, says raw sewage is harmful to humans, animals and
Diseases such as typhoid, cholera and diarrhea become
prevalent if there is
a poor sewage disposal mechanism, he says. Sewage is
also harmful to the
environment because when it is decomposing, raw sewage
reduces the amount of
oxygen in rivers, and this depletes aquatic
Chabuda calls the poor management of the sewer system an affront to the
residents of Harare and a violation of their rights to a clean
of the Environment Management Act of 2005
guarantees everyone the right to a
clean environment that is not harmful to
their health. Section 57 (1) of the
same act sets fines and/or imprisonment
for discharging or permitting the
discharge of any poison or toxic, noxious
or obstructing matter, radioactive
waste or other pollutants into the
aquatic environment or contravening water
Bulawayo City Council is responsible for managing the citys sewer
Nesisa Mpofu, the senior public relations officer for Bulawayo City
says the city council is aware of the problems of the dilapidated
infrastructure and its potential consequences to residents.
aware of the problem, Mpofu says. Old suburbs in Bulawayo such as
Park are the most severely affected. The extent of the damage
complete overhaul of the whole sewerage system, and this requires
a lot of
money, which the council does not have.
Mpofu says that at the moment, donors
fund most of the city council
projects, such as those regarding water supply
and sewer management. She
adds that the council can carry out repairs and
renovations only when donors
agree to fund such projects.
She says that
the city council is aware of the potential health disaster
caused by leaking
sewer pipes. But she repeats that there is nothing that it
can do because of
financial shortages to carry out such massive projects.
Mpofu says that acute
water shortages in the supply dams have forced the
city council to impose 72
hours of water shedding per week on residents.
This has exacerbated the
She says that the council asks all households to participate
in a flushing
exercise to prevent blockages.
Every household is requested
to flush their toilets systematically at 7:30
p.m. the very day after the 72
hours of water shedding, she says. This is
done to prevent any sewer
blockages as we anticipate longer periods without
water in the reticulation
Meanwhile, residents associations in both Harare and Bulawayo are
contribute to a solution.
Chabuda says that Harare Residents
Trust advocates for productive engagement
and has held focus group
discussions and community forums for public service
providers and residents
to interact in order to deliberate how best to
manage waste and emerging
dump sites within communities.
Dube says that his organization recognizes
that the city council has been
attending to some blocked sewer pipes, but
the pace is slow. He says that
his organization has trained some city
residents on environmental issues so
that they are more aware of hazards
that may cause disease outbreaks. The
organization seeks to empower Bulawayo
city residents on local governance
issues and collective decision-making
through effective participation in
order to improve service delivery.
residents and residents representing organizations, we have to continue
lobby the city council officials to urgently attend to such potential
disasters, he says.
join looting spree
Touts have resurfaced at commuter omnibus ranks amid
members of the Zimbabwe National Army have joined the
Mandimbandimba, a group of rank marshalls with strong links to
in extorting “ranking fees” from commuter omnibus
Drivers told The Zimbabwean that soldiers were now
getting kickbacks from
rank marshals in return for protection. Many marshals
have become rich
overnight - building mansions and owning fleets of luxury
“The soldiers come to the rank every day in the
company of the
Mandimbandimba, usually between 3 and 4 pm, to collect up to
$5 from each
vehicle,” said one driver. “When there are soldiers at the
rank, the police
do not come close – giving the marshalls ample opportunity
to take money
Some drivers employ dangerous tactics in a
bid to evade paying the “loading
fees”. This newspaper observed soldiers
boarding commuter minibuses to
ensure that the drivers are not harassed by
the police, for which they are
given a “protection fee”
spokesperson, Alfios Makotore, refused to comment, saying “What you are
saying is news to me.” Harare Province Police spokesperson, Insp Tedious
Chibande, urged drivers who were being forced to pay any fees to the
Mandimbandimba or soldiers to report to them and promised to
The army last month led an operation against the touts,
which also involved
the ZRP and the Harare Municipal Police after
Mandimbandimba attacked two
soldiers at the Charge Office rank. A full
council meeting last week noted
that the municipality had been slow in
moving in to the ranks and taking
control of the revenue from the commuter
operators, which runs into millions
of dollars. Finance Committee
Chairperson, Friday Mleya, said municipal
police had been deployed at
commuter omnibus ranks since last Friday.
Almost 500 touts were arrested
by police early last month in a blitz
welcomed by employers and residents.
Zimbabweans Cashing In On Power Shortages
Harare, October 03,
2012 - Some enterprising Zimbabweans are making a
fortune through selling
generators as power shortages in the country
“Business is good.
People are realising that they have no option but to buy
power," said Tongai Chikwanda, a sales person at Power
"Zimbabwe is now like Nigeria, we are now a generator
Chikwanda who sources generators from South Africa.
school drop-out and barbershop owner, Tafadzwa Museta, said lack of
electricity was affecting his only source of livelihood.
in a second hand generator to beat the power shortages but
generator gives him problems too.
For almost 30 minutes Museta could not
figure out what was wrong with the
generator when a Radio VOP correspondent
Meanwhile two clients who were waiting for him to fix the
away in disappointment.
“This is what gives me
headaches in this business," he said. "Once the power
is gone we can only
expect it back after many hours and worse still it goes
during the day when
we are supposed to be doing business,” he added.
Power shortage are
affecting potential investment in Zimbabwe despite a
number of power
projects such as the Zimbabwe-Zambia joint Batoka Power
Project, which have
been on the cards for years.
The Ministry of Energy has also been
endlessly considering power projects
around the country. These include the
expansion of the Hwange and Kariba
Power stations and the construction of a
huge methane gas power station in
Gokwe. But none of these have taken off
Harare based economist, John Robertson, told Radio VOP: “It’s a
egg situation, without power business cannot happen. Even if the
climate improves, without addressing these power shortages it
will be very
difficult to attract investment.”
“The economy can’t
function on generators," he said.
He said only a few companies had
negotiated contracts with the power
utility, Zimbabwe Electricity Authority
(ZESA), to get uninterrupted power
"What this country needs
is real investment in the power sector,” said
According to the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries
(CZI), some companies
complain that they lose significant amounts of stock
which go bad when power
Jack Murehwa, the Chief
Executive Officer of Sable Chemicals, seeking to
built its own power station
to pump its Kwekwe based plant, recently pleaded
with Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai to act on issues of power generation.
“Electricity is our
biggest problem. The ZESA tariffs are too high and we
optimally at the current rate that’s why we are seeking to
build a methane
gas power plant at Munyati,” said Murehwa.
Despite the shortages in
the local market, it still exports to Botswana and
Namibia under some long
standing agreements. Recently Mozambique threatened
to cut off power
supplies to Zimbabwe due to non-payment.
Youths Fail To Register As Voters
Bikita, October 03, 2012 - The
Youth Forum Zimbabwe (YFZ) wants government
to review electoral laws that
require proof of residence to register as
voters as hordes of youths in
Bikita have been turned away.
"The Youth Forum encourages the government to
review its laws to allow all
deserving voters to register with few or no
hustles at all. We encourage the
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to review
such requirements especially for
young people who usually find it difficult
to produce the required proof of
residence," noted a statement by YFZ on
A youth, Munyaradzi Mwenga of Makuvaza village here, told the
YFZ, which has
been running a voter education campaign targeted at youths,
that he had
faced problems getting in touch with the headman to confirm that
in the area.
"The only time I managed to talk to him, none
of us had a pen so he could
not write me the so-called proof. I have tried
visiting his homestead
several times and on all occasions he has not been
Youth Forum Zimbabwe said young people in Bikita were keen to add
names to the voters' roll, following the organisation's campaign;
youths had been thronging the Registrar's Office in Masvingo on a
Dorcas Garande (29) said the YFZ had helped her to see
the link between
voting and the quality of life she leads.
registered as a voter and I am also encouraging other youths to
it is only our vote that can decide our future," she said.
Election Support Network (ZESN) has already highlighted in a
survey it did
countrywide that proof of residence in the form of utility
bills such as
water and electricity was a challenge for most potential
voters living in
The (YFZ) said demanding proof of residence was
discriminatory to the
homeless and displaced people who qualify to vote.
dismissed as ‘hypocrite’ for probing Harare Mayor
03 October 2012
The Minister for Local Government,
Ignatius Chombo, has been dismissed as a
hypocrite after launching an
investigation into dealings by the Harare
Council, especially the Mayor,
Chombo last week set up a probe team that will look
into all council tenders
that were issued in the past 24 months, alleging
there was corruption and a
failure to follow council
Specifically, Chombo wants the team to investigate how Cabs,
a company owned
by Old Mutual, got the tender to construct 3 000 housing
units in the high
density suburb of Budiriro. Chombo has accused the Mayor
of being the Cabs
chairperson, and therefore having a conflict of interest
in awarding the
The Mayor has reportedly denied the
allegations and challenged Chombo to
investigate. According to the Daily
News newspaper, Masunda said: “I welcome
the probe as I have nothing to fear
because I have never been in the
business of keeping any skeletons in the
Regarding the Cabs tender, Masunda is quoted as saying: “By
the way, the
chairperson of Cabs is Leonard Tsumba. I am the chairperson of
Life Assurance of Zimbabwe.”
This was confirmed by Caspar
Takura, Councillor for Tafara/Mabvuku, who
defended the Mayor saying he has
worked hard to instil discipline and ensure
that no corrupt deals are made
by the Council. Mutero blasted Chombo as a
hypocrite who was found to be
corrupt by the Council, then fired those who
ran the probe.
say the sinner always quotes the Bible and that is exactly what
done. He is the corrupt one himself and he is trying to use the
Councils Act to prosecute the Mayor. Those are unjust accusations
from the man who abused that Act himself,” Mutero said.
added that Mayor Masunda has removed himself from several
meetings where he
felt it would have been inappropriate to get involved.
made headlines last year during messy divorce hearings, when
his former wife
revealed the vast amount of properties he owned around the
Questions were raised as to how he had amassed such great wealth on
Investigations by Harare councillors also implicated
the minister in corrupt
land deals. But the police have done nothing with
the files presented to
them by the councillors, and Chombo continues to
throws his hat in the ring to contest Parliamentary seat
03 October 2012
The MDC-T deputy national chairman and non
constituency Senator Morgan
Komichi on Wednesday declared his intention to
contest the Sanyati
parliamentary seat currently held by ZANU PF.
deputy minister of transport designate told SW Radio Africa that issues
unemployment, the economy, the state of the health care system and lack
political freedom will be primary issues in his campaign.
Komichi is also
expected to be appointed the deputy minister of Transport
soon following the
recent death of Tichaona Mudzingwa.
The veteran trade unionist outlined
many of his hopes and visions for a new
Zimbabwe under an MDC led
government. He promised also to transform the
living standards of
constituents under Sanyati if voted to represent them in
the anticipated elections in early 2013.
“The time has come to write a
new chapter in the history of Zimbabwe because
we are talking about the
future and not the past. I love Sanyati, I love the
Midlands province and
I’m in love with Zimbabwe. I want to put my life in
its service that’s why
I’m announcing my candidacy to challenge the sitting
ZANU PF MP in the
constituency,” Komichi said.
The seat is currently held by Fungai
Chaderopa who gained notoriety in her
constituency in the run up to the June
2008 elections, through her heavily
militarized, systematic perpetration of
Komichi said he had no fears challenging a ZANU PF
held constituency because
his interaction with most of the people showed
that they were “desperate for
He emphasized there was need
for Zimbabwe to become a country that has the
courage to own up to its
mistakes, and fix them together.
“We are not like ZANU PF that denies
killing its own people, a party that
also denies it has messed up the
economy and always wants to blame other
people and nations for their
mistakes. But as MDC we want a country that
reflects our values, that
protects our heritage and culture and respects our
The senator promised to bring positive change in the Sanyati
elected, including fighting political polarisation that he
said has hindered
development in the area.
“I will fight to mobilise
communities whether ZANU PF or MDC to live with
each other in peace. There
are much better things to do in life than beat up
your political opponents,”
He added: “There are a lot of things such as roads and
hospitals that need
to be established. Therefore, I would like to urge
people in Sanyati to
choose representatives, who have vision for this
in State Unions Derail Salary Negotiations
Public Service Minister Lucia Matibenga has
written to the state negotiating
body, the Apex Council, and the Public
Service Association (PSA) informing
them to put their house in order first
before the government and civil
servants table new salary
Matibenga’s office recently received two different lists of
the council and PSA indicating that they would be
servants in the salary negotiations.
has dismissed the two saying it is impossible to negotiate
with both entities purporting to be representing state
PSA boycotted elections that brought into office the current Apex
leadership following disagreements over candidates.
Civil servants in
Zimbabwe are demanding that the lowest paid worker be
given at least $560 a
month in line with the nation's poverty datum line.
The government argues
that it has no money to increase civil servants'
salaries due to tight
Apex Council chairman David Dzatsunga told Studio 7 they
were surprised by
the minister’s letter, adding that the organization is not
aware of any
differences in the council.
But PSA secretary general
Emmanuel Tichareva said they are working towards
Meanwhile, the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) is
to call a strike within the next few days if the current
to yield positive results.
PTUZ general secretary
Raymond Majongwe said their members, currently on a
go slow, will engage in
a nationwide strike if their grievances are not met
by this Friday.
Union Leader Locked Up Over Protests
The Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) has
condemned the arrest and
detention of its secretary general Tryvine Musokeri
saying charges laid
against him are politically-motivated.
who was arrested with six other ZINASU members at the Harare
court where they were supporting 29 Movement for Democratic
arrested in Harare’s Glen View suburb in connection with
the death of a
policeman, appreared before a Gweru magistrate yesterday.
He was remanded
to an indefinite stay at Hwahwa Maximum Remand Prison.
expected to be further detained for contempt of court after
attend a case stemming from the sentencing of University of
lecturer Munyaradzi Gwisai and 40 others who were accused of
overthrow the Zimbabwean government – Egypt-style.
The ZINASU leader was
accused of celebrating the release of the 41 political
a statement, ZINASU said it fears for Musokeri's life "given the fact
Hwahwa like many detention centres around the country have no access to
clean water or ablution facilities which can potentially lead to an outbreak
of such diseases as cholera and typhoid which are fatal in prisons where
basic health care is nonexistent."
Musokeri and other students were
also planning to stage protests over the
government’s failed cadetship
scheme which has left scores of students
nationwide with huge
ZINASU spokesman Zachariah Mushawatu told VOA they are working
lawyers to have Musokeri removed from remand prison.
Diamond Firm Finds 1000 Carats Monthly
03.10.12, 11:12 /
A diamond company jointly owned by a Russian firm and
a Zimbabwean trust is
making significant finds of rough diamonds at a
diamond concession in the
Chimanimani region of Zimbabwe, Rough and Polished
DTZ-OZGEO, a partnership between Russian-owned OZGEO and the
Trust of Zimbabwe, announced that its exploratory activities in
responsible for unearthing 1,000 carats of diamonds every
director Ismail Shillaev notes that the current rate of
production is a
four-fold increase over its rate of production from only
four months ago,
when it was harvesting approximately 250 carats per month.
that at least some of the diamonds have fetched a per-carat
market price of
$120, according to Rough and Polished.
DTZ-OZGEO's concession is thought to contain approximately
80,000 carats in
total, but Shillaev points out that although they are small
and found at
relatively low concentrations, they are of higher quality than
mined in the Marange region.
without a destination
GOROMONZI, 3 October 2012 (IRIN) -
For more than a decade, farm worker Maria Bhamu, 48, and her 10-year-old
grandson have wandered across Zimbabwe's Mashonaland East Province, enduring a
string of evictions in the aftermath of the country’s fast-track land
Many former farm workers
have become IDPs
itinerant life began in 2001, a year after President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF
government began implementing the land reform programme, which saw thousands of
white farmers - who employed an estimated 320,000 to 350,000 farm workers -
displaced to make way for landless black Zimbabweans.
husband was seriously injured when their employer’s farm was taken over; he
later died. Bhamu settled on a nearby farm where she was hired as a labourer,
but several years later, that farm was also taken over.
now lives in a plastic-and-cardboard shelter in rural Goromonzi, about 40km
southeast of the capital Harare. Her grandson begs for food and money nearby.
The police have warned her that they intend to destroy her makeshift
“Since 2001, when our employer was
chased away by the war veterans, I have been moving from one place to another
and, as you can see, this is where I have ended up. Who knows, you might find me
gone if you return tomorrow, but then, I don’t know my next destination,” Bhamu
Her most recent eviction was in
February 2012, when she and 15 other families were forced from a farm about 12km
away after a high-ranking government official claimed ownership from another
it was black people invading white farmers’ land and now it is resettled farmers
against their black comrades|
the beginning of the land reform programme, things have not been stable. First,
it was black people invading white farmers’ land and now it is resettled farmers
against their black comrades, but it is us [farm workers] who suffer the most,”
number of IDPs
Nyoni, spokesperson for Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) - an umbrella
organization of more than 350 NGOs - told IRIN, “Even though we don’t have
specific figures of affected former farm workers, I can vouchsafe that the
numbers are disturbingly high. The land reform programme created a number of
problems for farm workers, problems that still persist.”
Although the government has called for a more
comprehensive nationwide survey of internally displaced persons (IDPs), one has
yet to be conducted, contributing to “the lack of information on the scale of
continuing internal displacement,” said a December 2011 report by the Internal
Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC).
“Whenever ownership disputes arise, the workers are
disregarded,” Nyoni said. “They lose employment and, as if that is not enough,
they lose their right to shelter. What is saddening is that these victims are
suffering in silence as they don’t know who to talk to and hardly anything is
being done by government to address their plight.”
ownership disputes arise, the workers are disregarded|
said a tense political atmosphere is complicating humanitarian interventions,
because the displacements mostly involve high-ranking officials. Aid agencies
and members of civil society fear being labelled political enemies for helping
out farm workers, he said.
2008 report by IDMC noted, “Indeed, so sensitive is the issue of displacement in
Zimbabwe that IDPs… are not even called IDPs but instead have come to be
referred to as ‘mobile and vulnerable populations’”.
her husband died, Bhamu tried to find shelter at her home town, Mutoko, but the
community leadership turned her down. “The headman said he could not give me a
place to build a home because I left the area a long time ago. He also said I
did not have an identity card, which I lost when we moved from one place to
another, but I think he gave me all those excuses just because I am a woman, and
they think I sympathise with whites,” she said.
Bhamu’s grandson does not have a birth certificate; he
has attended school only sporadically.
and children are worst affected by the displacements, Nyoni observed. “Women,
who [are] about 50 percent of the victims, face the burden of adjusting to new
situations through livelihood activities such as fetching firewood, looking for
food and caring for the children, who suffer the shocks that come with
violence-related movements,” he said.
10 families that were ejected in April from a farm in Norton, about 50km west of
Harare, have set up camp along a nearby river, joining about 100 other people
living in an informal settlement there.
government should give us land to build our own houses,” Ben Bhauleni, 30, one
of the evictees, told IRIN. “We don’t have money to join housing cooperatives,
and we fail to understand why we should continue to be victims of other people’s
disputes over the farms."
[This report does not
necessarily reflect the views of the United
who got what?
The Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Walter
Mzembi, is one of
the biggest beneficiaries of the shady conservancy
allotment exercise that
has attracted international
by Thabani Dube
Zimbabwean is in possession of a leaked updated document showing the
allocation of wildlife properties as at 15 June 2011. It lists Mzembi as
sharing the 16,975ha Eaglemont property in Chiredzi with one Noel Farai,
lease valid from 2008 to 2033.
Some countries have pointed out that
the looting frenzy is in violation of
bilateral investment and property
protection agreements between, with the EU
suggesting a tightening of
targeted sanctions on individuals involved.
Mzembi has condemned the
grabbing of conservancies by his counterparts in
Zanu (PF), saying it drove
away tourists and tarnished the country’s image.
But Environment and Natural
Resources Management Minister, Francis Nhema,
told The Zimbabwean that
people should desist from “making a storm in a tea
“Before 2000, these conservancies were run by a few individuals and
have been given to the masses. This will not affect tourism at all.
media should rather be advocating against open defecation which has a
bearing on tourist arrivals than concentrating on these
Other Zanu (PF) bigwigs named as beneficiaries of the
conservancies include Defence Minister, Emmerson Mnangagwa
(6,210 ha of
Moreena Farm, a Midlands black rhino conservancy), former
Obert Matshalaga (2,000 ha of South Shangani Farm
Governor Machaya (3,278 ha of Pitscottie Farm) and
Cephas Msipa, a former
governor with 3,043 ha on South Shangani, another
black rhino conservancy.
The list includes 69 properties in Masvingo
leased to more than 250 Zanu
(PF) beneficiaries while the Midlands has 24
and Matabeleland North and
South provinces seven. The leaseholders were
charged an administration fee
of $200 for the properties.
document does not say how the properties were identified or whether the
erstwhile owners will be compensated. Mzembi has recently been under fire
from party colleagues, particularly in Masvingo, who accuse him of selling
out on the party.
The schedule includes a substantial number of
chiefs and people bearing the
same surnames as Zanu (PF) beneficiaries,
indicating the possibility of
nepotism. Common names appearing include the
Malulekes, Baloyis and Hungwes
from Masvingo and Nkomos from
Senior party official July Moyo,
Vice President John Nkomo, Joshua Malinga,
Manicaland party stalwart Enock
Pourisingazi, Attorney General Johannes
Tomana, Army chief of staff, Major
General Engelbert Rugeje, Masvingo.
Provincial Governor and Resident
Minister, Titus Maluleke, former governor
Josiah Hungwe, Shuvai Mahof a and
Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana, the COPAC
co-chairperson, Paul Chimedza, Fortune
Charumbira, leader of Chiefs’
Council. The majority of these beneficiaries
are already on the EU sanctions
list, but if the bloc were to go ahead and
include the rest, it would see a
ballooning of the number of affected Zanu
'Zimbabwe Has Changed For The Worse'
examines the brutality of Zimbabwe’s leader
CHRISTOPHER MAPHOSA is a quiet and
unassuming building manager who has worked for the Chickenshed theatre company
for 12 years.
Last winter whilst talking to fellow
employee and writer Dave Carey, Maphosa recalled his life story of growing up in
Zimbabwe. Now, the bitter-sweet tale of the manager’s turbulent journey from
Rhodesia to the UK has become the subject of Chickenshed’s one-man show, The
Rain That Washes, starring newcomer Ashley Maynard.
Born in 1964, Maphosa was a teenage
freedom fighter who fought against the brutal white supremacist government led
by Ian Smith. By the age of 15 he had escaped the vicious apartheid ruled
Rhodesia to fight for independence and further his studies in
Within a year Zimbabwe was liberated
from white minority rule and the youngster returned home, only to witness what
he describes as the greatest betrayal of all - a new and equally vicious
government led by Robert Mugabe. And according to the activist, the brutality of
the countries’ leader is the only thing that has not changed since
“Zimbabwe has changed for the worse,”
said the 47-year-old. “If ever there was brutality it did not stop with the end
of colonialism, the citizens are still being brutalized. My country has had one
leader who has ruled it for 32 years and the population does not know how they
can change that situation. The government has corrupted the entire system in the
country. As we speak there are people struggling, who must support the ruling
party in order to get rations of food.”
The Zimbabwe African National Union-
Patriotic Front or ZANU PF is the ruling party which has been in power since the
South African country gained independence in 1980.
Before coming to power Mugabe worked
with his political rival and leader of the Zimbabwe African People’s party
Joshua Nkomo’s to fight against Ian Smith’s apartheid government. But after the
civil war ended so did the uneasy alliance between Mugabe and Nkomo. February
1980 saw Zimbabwe’s first elections since liberation, which ZANU PF won by a
At that time Maphosa was still full of
hope for the future, but he would soon find out that independence did not mean a
free and secure country.
“When it was time for the first free
democratic elections we were full of hope that a new dawn had come,” the farmer
recalled. “That a new nation would be made and the people would come together
equally and in harmony.”
“Unfortunately my party ZAPU did not win
the election, it was won by ZANU, and instead of celebrating independence we had
a leader that he did not want to unify the country. He was teaching hate,
telling his supporters to burn people’s houses down because they belong to a
Despite being ruled by a tyrannical
dictator, Maphosa stayed in Zimbabwe, until he was almost killed in 2000
following an argument with ZANU PF supporters.
“Mugabe embarked on a programme to seize
land from the white community using war veterans. There was a group of ZANU
supporters asked a district administrator in my area to authorise their
occupation of some farms, but this administrator said no. They started to beat
her and it was at that point I stepped in and was beaten also. I woke up in
hospital and that is when I found out that anyone who opposes the regime was no
longer safe and I was no longer safe.”
The Rain That Washes will play at the
Leicester Square Theatre, 6 Leicester Place, WC2H until October 6. For more
information visit chickenshed.org.uk.
Re-framing the Wildlife Based Land Reform
Programmes in Zimbabwe
October 3rd, 2012
By Mandivamba Rukuni, a
discussion paper in the Zimbabwe Land Series
In this article I discuss the future options for
wildlife conservancies. I will review the policy that is guiding this sector and
propose a desirable future and how that could be built from the current
situation. I will argue that the wildlife land reform policy itself, although
not perfect, is built on sound principles. It is the implementation or lack of
resolution on the indigenisation options that once again left the issue open for
a frontal political bombardment. I will also argue that in the long-term the
most viable business model is one centred on direct community participation. In
terms of conservation principles I also advocate gradual shift from consumptive
and hunting to non-consumptive and cultural
Although the Wildlife Based Land Reform Programmes
(WLBLRPP) and the Forestry Based Land Reform Programme (FBLRP) were part and
parcel of the Fast Track Land Reform Programme (FTLRP), not much public
attention has been brought to these over the last decade. Not until recently of
course when the Save Valley Conservancy developments made it into the popular
press. Most Zimbabweans, however, are not even aware that there is also the
FBLRP that saw A1 settlers on potions of the Forestry Commission land. But the
forestry-based land reform is unlikely to make it into the news because it lacks
the combustible elements that the wildlife one has, that is: the indigenization
issue; and the potential big business—in this case the lucrative hunting
Conservancies are a unique form of wildlife
conservation, and in Africa these are prominent in South Africa, Namibia and
Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe has a total landmass of 36.9 million hectares with 33 million
reserved for agriculture. 5.5 million hectares or 15% percentage of Zimbabwe’s
total land mass is reserved for wildlife production and 11% fall under the
Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE).
Therefore, of the land reserved for wildlife production, 93% is state controlled
through the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority with 7% held in private
control including land held by Rural District Councils, Agricultural and Rural
Development Authority (ARDA), local and foreign investors. Conservancies
constitute 2% of Zimbabwe’s total landmass that is held in private, communal,
local and foreign hands (See figure below). In addition to Save Valley
Conservancy, the other conservancies include Bubi and Bubiana in Matabeleland
South, Gwayi in Matabeleland North and Sebakwe in Midlands.
Based Land Reform Policy
Although the popular dialogue today is on the
controversial developments centred on the indigenization of the conservancies, I
would like to explore the policies on one hand and the implementation of the
policies on the other, and then explore the future possibilities. The wildlife
and forest based land reform policies were crafted and approved by Cabinet
almost a decade ago. Wildlife-Based Land Reform is an integral part of the
Government’s overall land reform policy with focus on land with limited
agricultural potential. The objectives of the WLBLRP policy are stated as: a) to
achieve greater equity in the ownership and management of conservancies and
wildlife ranches; b) to maintain business viability and investor confidence in
The key elements of the policy are also stated as, and
- All wildlife will
nullius. However, usage rights,
including trading rights are to be allocated to conservancies by an appropriate
- All land except
that covered by Bilateral Investment Protection Agreements (BIPAs) be will
acquired and illegal settlers removed;
- The economic
interests of local communities surrounding each conservancy or ranch shall be
managed through a Trust linked to that conservancy;
- The Trust will
operate under the auspices of the relevant RDC. However the beneficiaries for
each Trust must be defined based on who shares the costs, (not just benefits) in
- Existing farmers
will be encouraged to remain in operation subject to their acceptance of
indigenisation options; and
- Farmers will be
compensated for infrastructure with compensation paid by Government, creating
equity for new participants in conservancies.
Options: In general, the Corporate Model is touted as the
foundation, with business and conservation principles guiding operations. In the
policy statement, the ‘share transfer’ is considered the most appropriate
vehicle for delivering these principles. The following three options are
proffered to existing owners and prospective new
- Current farmers
team up with Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (P&WMA) and
Communities, with all three contributing some form of capital/assets and also
- Current farmers
team up with Communities: The partnership is between only the existing operators
and their Communal Area neighbours; P&WMA are not a commercial participant
in the venture but revert to their regulatory and advisory role.
- Current farmers
team up with Communities and Private Indigenous Investors.
The policy document further states that– In all the
options outlined above, assets will be evaluated with current operators required
to dispose their majority shareholding to co-operating partners including
communities; and with all actors forming a joint management structure consistent
with sound business practice.
Selection criteria for indigenous partners as stated in
the policy include the following: a) Demonstrable interest and experience in
wildlife conservation; b) Demonstrable capacity for business development and
management; and c) Ability to contribute to the asset base.
in Policy and Implementation
As I have already alluded to, the policy and the
indigenisation options are a basis for sound business models as well as
sustainable conservation approaches. The proposed selection criteria for the new
indigenous partners are also sound enough for bargaining purposes as far as I am
concerned. So what went wrong?
According to the plan for implementation of this
policy, the following procedure was provided for, and I quote:
- All conservancies
were to be acquired and become state land except BIPA properties
- A due diligence was
then to follow on each acquired property
- Invitations for
expression of interest from consortia and interested parties were to follow;
- Consortia were to
be selected based on the selection criteria for each conservancy, and then the
selected would be allocated Offer Letters.
None of the above was actually
The fact that it took almost a decade before the recent
developments on Save Valley Conservancy unfolded says to me that both Government
and current conservancy property holders were unable, for some reason or
reasons, to act upon and take advantage of the positive elements of the policy.
Either party could have focused on any of their preferred option out of the
three. Moreover, effort was needed to go into identifying, promoting and
encouraging black investors. Both parties could have invested time and effort in
identifying appropriate black investors who met the stated criteria. Moreover,
it would have made even more sense for both entities to explore the
indigenisation options that emphasise community participation. That did not
happen either to a scalable level over the entire 10-year period. In the end it
was left to the predictable competition and contestation between current
powerful BIPA protected foreign white investors and local white owners on one
hand, and the politically powerful provincial black elite. The final outcome of
this contestation is still to been seen. However, the long-term solution lies in
broadening the scope of the conservancies through expanding community
Participation is the future
Zimbabwe has 3 decades of experience with the Communal
Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE) programme. From
that experience the model can be improved further into establishing more
self-reliant Community Trusts with sufficient autonomy from the Rural District
Councils (RDCs) who, in my opinion, should play a facilitating and regulatory
role rather than as a business player. Conservation strategists have proved
that the Save Valley Conservancy, as an example, can expand in physical size by
crafting community held land and resources into the conservancy. It is then
conceivable that the conservancy would eventually ‘merge’ with Gonarezhou
National Park in the south, which in turn is conceivably linked to the
inter-country transfrontier conservation areas. Going beyond Save, the southern
and south-western parts of Zimbabwe can eventually share transfrontier
boundaries with such prospects as the Greater Limpopo, Kazaand Mapungubwe
Transfrontier Conservation Areas. The scope for tourism and related business for
Zimbabwe and Southern Africa are enormous. I, however, do not see how this
potential can be harnessed to the optimum through large-scale commercial
interests alone (be they foreign, indigenous, or a combination) without
significant community engagement and participation.
According to reasonably reliable press and other
reports, the recent developments at Save Valley Conservancy have had a mixed
reaction in Cabinet and there is a talk of ‘nationalising’ the conservancy into
a national park. This may well be a practical political solution on the one
hand, yet not an optimal economic solution on the other. In terms of business
options, the nationalization solution sounds like a lose-lose solution for the
contesting parties who up to now have failed to negotiate a win-win
Going back to my proposed long-term solution, I would
say that community participation also requires comprehensive planning and
investment in terms of capacity. There is need to refine and regularise the
relationships between Rural District Councils and Community Trusts moving
forward. There is need for the RDCs and Community Trusts to enter into a
Memoranda of Understanding with respective conservancies so as to formalize
roles and responsibilities around the commercial undertakings they enter into
with these conservancies. There is need to build the capacity of communities to
establish viable Community Trusts with capabilities in both social and business
entrepreneurship. The Community Trust should be established on the basis of a
much broader community vision and plan for development, and not restricted to
business participation and share ownership. The Community Trust assumes all
fiduciary responsibilities for the rural community it represents. Community
Trusts need to enter effective management agreement with their business
The Wildlife Based Land Reform Policy is still in
force, as far as I know, and has not been repealed by Cabinet. I believe
therefore that there is room to revisit the policy and its implementation
strategy with the view to sharpen the indigenization options so that the three
potential participating groups can find legitimate expression. The 3 groups are:
the existing white property holders; prospective new black investors (or
consortia) who meet the criteria; and surrounding communities who can invest in
land and local resources. It is prudent in my opinion that the former two find
ways of establishing business partnerships that in turn invest time and effort
into establishing broad-based business and social partnerships with neighbouring
communities. After all, community participation offers more potential benefits.
The prospects for both economic and social impact are greater. These communities
historically had strong relationships with the wildlife anyway. It was part of
African culture and heritage to have a symbiotic relationship with wildlife. In
folklore, mythology and traditional religions, wildlife is the most significant
inherited form of relationship with nature that defines family, clan and
ancestral identity. The traditional beliefs in the sacredness of wildlife should
be re-invented by once again formalising the relationship between communities
and wildlife. This is a more effective and least-cost means of conservation
because enforcement against poaching does not require a plethora of laws,
regulations and game wardens. Rather the people’s beliefs and conscience is a
far better policeman and deterrent. By expanding conservancies through the
incorporation of neighbouring communities, the potential of expanding options
beyond consumptive tourism towards more cultural, photographic and other
non-consumptive forms of tourism are greater. The prospects for more effective
integration with transfrontier conservation efforts are also greater. These, in
my opinion, are the principles that should guide Zimbabwe’s strategic vision for
conservatives moving forward.