Saturday, 03 October 2009 20:45
PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is still staying at his modest
Strathaven home seven months after his appointment because President Robert
Mugabe has refused him permission to move to a state-owned residence.
The issue of the Prime Minister's residence is said to be the tip of
the iceberg as several former Zanu PF ministers are allegedly refusing to
vacate government houses in Borrowdale and Gunhill to make way for new MDC
As a result government has been incurring hotel bills running into
thousands of US dollars as it struggles to secure accommodation for new
ministers from outside Harare, documents at hand show.
Tsvangirai is entitled to stay at Zimbabwe House that was
traditionally the home of prime ministers. The house was also Mugabe's
official residence after independence in 1980.
MDC sources said Mugabe told Tsvangirai that he cannot move to the
state property because he keeps his things there, while others said the
Prime Minister was told that the drainage system was not working.
"He (Mugabe) does not want Tsvangirai as his neighbour," said a
source. State House is across the road and is traditionally the home of
Zimbabwe's head of state, although Mugabe now only uses it for ceremonial
MDC-T spokesperson, Nelson Chamisa said Tsvangirai was still staying
at his Strathaven home "contrary to our understanding of the inclusive
arrangement where the prime minister is supposed to have an official
Tsvangirai is not the only new member of the inclusive government
affected by an accommodation crisis.
It emerged last week that State Enterprises Minister Joel Gabbuza who
comes from Binga, Deputy Youth Minister Thamsanqa Mahlangu and co-Home
Affairs Minister Giles Mutsekwa had incurred a debt of US$39 895 at the
Crowne Plazza hotel because they cannot get alternative accommodation.
The ministers incurred the bills between February and July 29 but
government reportedly said it would only pay for their stay until April 7.
"The government said it would pay the hotel bills from the time they
checked into the hotel to April 7 and after that the ministers were going to
pay for themselves. We asked their ministries to pay the debt but they are
refusing," said an official at the hotel.
Government paid US$4 525 for Mutsekwa, US$2 135 for Gabbuza and US$634
"We have already engaged debt collectors in this case because we want
our money," he said.
Last week, the minister said there was no way they would pay the bills
because they were on government business.
Gabbuza said it was not their responsibility to find accommodation and
said some former ministers and senior civil servants were occupying houses
where they were not supposed to stay.
"I don't stay in Harare, and there was no way I was going to stay in
the streets. We all know that we were being paid US$100 a month and houses
in Harare cost more than $500," he said.
"We need to know what the government is doing about those houses. We
were kept in the hotel because they said they were looking for our
A source in the Prime Minister's Officer said the issue of
accommodation for the new ministers was a hot potato and there were fears
some officials were taking advantage of the new dispensation to abuse state
"There were houses that were built for the Commonwealth Heads of
Government Meeting (Chogm) in 1991 and are being used by ministers coming
from out of Harare," said the source.
"But there is a lot of resistance from Zanu PF people who are refusing
to make way for deserving people."
Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo referred questions to
National Housing and Social Amenities Minister Fidelis Mhashu whose mobile
phone was unreachable yesterday.
But a Zanu PF minister said: "It does not mean every minister can go
and stay in those houses.
"I have been a minister for a long time but I have never stayed in any
"What we can only do for those ministers who stay out of Harare is to
give them stands."
BY SANDRA MANDIZVIDZA
Saturday, 03 October 2009 20:30
NATHAN Shamuyarira, the Zanu PF secretary for information and
publicity, fiercely opposed the re-admission of his former deputy Jonathan
Moyo into the party, contrary to reports that it was a unanimous decision.
The former Information minister and independent Tsholotsho North MP's
comeback was endorsed by the Zanu PF politburo on Thursday.
Sources said although Moyo's return was not opposed by politburo
members from Matabeleland as initially feared, Shamuyarira did not hide his
misgivings about the man who poses a threat to his job.
However, President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF kingpins Didymus Mutasa
and Emerson Mnangagwa had already spoken glowingly about Moyo leaving
Shamuyarira's case against the professor weak, sources said.
Zanu PF chairman John Nkomo who had said Moyo must first face a
disciplinary hearing for his role in the so-called Tsholotsho Declaration of
2005 did not attend the politburo meeting.
Moyo sued Nkomo for saying he was behind the Tsholotsho meeting that
was meant to plot the reconfiguration of the Zanu PF presidium. The High
Court is yet to deliver its judgement on the matter.
"There was nothing Shamuyarira could do because some senior members
weighed in for Moyo while the rest remained quiet," said one of the sources.
"Had Nkomo been present it could have been a different story."
Shamuyarira and Moyo had several run-ins during the latter's brief
stint in Zanu PF and government.
The two once clashed after Shamuyarira gave British news channel Sky
TV permission to do a documentary on the situation in Zimbabwe and interview
Moyo, who as Minister of Information oversaw the deportation of
foreign correspondents from Zimbabwe and led an onslaught against the
private media, tried to block the interview but failed.
Announcing the politburo's decision on Friday, Zanu PF deputy
information secretary Ephraim Masawi said Moyo had not been given any
But he is expected to work with Shamuyarira in the information
department and there is even speculation he would be appointed to government
Shamuyarira could not be reached for comment last week. Mutasa refused
to comment referring questions to Nkomo.
"I don't speak with The Standard and if Nkomo is not around wait for
him or just say I refused to comment," he said.
Mugabe fired Moyo from government after the Tsholotsho debacle and the
controversial former university lecturer left Zanu PF after he was barred
from representing the party in parliamentary elections.
As Minister of Information, Moyo was responsible for crafting
draconian laws including, the Access to Information and Protection of
Privacy Act, which caused closure of newspapers and tarnished the country's
Saturday, 03 October 2009 20:22
MEDIA minister Webster Shamu has been accused of breaking the law by
his deputy after he unilaterally appointed Zanu PF apologists to the
Zimpapers and the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) boards. Shamu
appointed Tafataona Mahoso, the disgraced former chairman of the defunct
Media and Information Commission (MIC) to chair the BAZ board without
consulting his deputy, Jameson Timba.
The MDC-T has charged that the appointments showed that the minister
was pursuing a "shameful and sinister agenda".
This followed Wednesday's appointment of boards for six parastatals
that fall under his ministry, packed with retired army officers and Zanu PF
Timba Saturday said as far as he was concerned some of the
appointments were "a joke whilst others are unlawful".
"The appointment of the Zimpapers board is in my view unlawful," he
said. "The board can only be elected by an annual general meeting of the
shareholders of Zimpapers of which the Zimbabwe government is not one."
Zimpapers is a publicly listed company where Old Mutual and the Mass
Media Trust are the major shareholders.
He said in respect to the BAZ there were "legal and procedural issues
that need to be attended to for the appointment of that board to be valid at
Timba said the Broadcasting Services Act read with Amendment Number 19
of the constitution required that President Robert Mugabe must consult Prime
Minister Tsvangirai before making some of the appointments.
Mugabe was also supposed to consult parliament's Select Committee on
Standing Rules and Orders Committee (SROC).
"I took an oath to uphold the laws of this country and that which is
unlawful must not be accepted by anyone who respects the rule of law and the
rights and aspirations of the citizens of this country," Timba said.
"Therefore, these matters must be regularised by the government in
order to deliver real change to the people of Zimbabwe.
"I for one cannot be party to lawlessness and thuggery disguised as
Shamu yesterday said he could not comment because he was attending a
meeting presided over by Vice-President Joice Mujuru.
The MDC is furious that Shamu hand-picked Mahoso to head the body that
grants television and radio licences after he failed interviews for the
Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC).
"The biggest threat to democracy is not only the unilateral
appointments but the unilateral decision to recycle a celebrated media
hangman such as Mahoso by making him chairman of BAZ," the MDC said in a
Meanwhile, the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (Jomic) -
the inter party organ charged with the monitoring of the Global Political
Agreement (GPA) - says it has written to the principals in the unity
government urging them to expedite the appointment of the ZMC.
Last month, Mugabe was given a shortlist of 12 by the SROC from where
he would appoint nine commissioners.
In a statement, Jomic said it had also asked Mugabe, Tsvangirai and
Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara to ensure the immediate appointment
of the National Economic Council, review the selection of heroes and asked
for updates from government departments on what they have done to fulfil
requirements of the GPA.
Saturday, 03 October 2009 20:17
CO-HOME AFFAIRS minister Giles Mutsekwa yesterday said he was
concerned that police were refusing to reform as details began to emerge on
how three striking Shabanie Mine workers were shot last month. The Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), which called for the resignation of the
co-Home Affairs ministers Mutsekwa and Kembo Mohadi following the shooting
on September 25 wrote to the Minister of Labour Paurina Mupariwa calling for
an urgent investigation into the case.
Mupariwa was not immediately available for comment.
However, Mutsekwa said he was concerned about the conduct of the
"I would like to express my sympathies and also reiterate that I
understand ZCTU's reaction", Mutsekwa said. "I have been to the mine to
assess the situation and I even visited the injured persons at hospital
where they are admitted.
"I have also talked to the police and the management at the mine
regarding the issue which we as a ministry have decided to make a cabinet
He said the ministry was disappointed that senior officials at
Shabanie tried to cover-up for the police.
"We have repeatedly told the police that they should always refrain
from using firearms against defenseless people", he said." In this
particular case, we have not yet received a convincing explanation on how
the police got involved."
"This conduct does not belong to the modern Zimbabwe we are now living
ZCTU said the three were shot as they fled from teargas thrown by the
police to disperse more than 2 000 workers at the SMM Holdings owned mine.
The union said the workers had convened a meeting where management was
supposed to address them on salaries that had not been paid since February.
"When one of the workers Alluwis Zhou (32) asked about the whereabouts
of members of the management who were supposed to address the meeting, he
was beaten with a gun and shot on his left hand and shot again on the left
leg," the ZCTU said in the letter seen by The Standard.
"Tear gas canisters were thrown to the sitting workers.
"The other two Leonard Simbarashe Chinhadada (30) and Taurai Zhou (50)
were shot on their right legs while running away from the police officers.
"They were shot by an AK47 gun No. 2221 registered with the Bukwa Mine
The injured workers are admitted at a Harare hospital. The ZCTU said
state agents were still hounding the workers at the mine forcing them to
return to work.
Some suspected to have links with the MDC have reportedly been fired
for engaging in an illegal strike while those from Zanu PF were assured of
BY OUR STAFF
Saturday, 03 October 2009 19:25
A storm is brewing in Kadoma after senior council employees allegedly
awarded themselves a hefty salary increment without council approval.
Councillors are livid that after they approved proposals to pay management
allowances of between US$150 and US$200 a month in March, a new pay
structure was introduced without their knowledge.
According to documents at hand, management decided to pay council
workers allowances ranging from US$400 and US$1 500 depending on grade.
The anomaly came to light last week when the works council chairman,
Erasmus Jochore, complained to the mayor, Peter Matambo.
"With these allegations we therefore need a report through you, the
mayor," Jochore said in the memorandum dated September 28.
"Previously I understand you were given a list of other allegations of
which the investigation became fruitless.
"Workers are now calling for industrial action if there is no response
from your office."
The councillors are also unhappy that travel and subsistence
allowances for management had also been increased without their knowledge.
According to council minutes of June 22, the municipality spent US$19
865 on local trips for management compared to US$1 704 the previous month.
Councillors argue that besides the fact that the adjustments were
"illegal", the council's financial position is still too weak to sustain
such "high" salaries.
Jochore also raised concern about alleged corruption citing a case of
a director he said owns "multiple houses registered in his names and
But Kadoma acting town clerk, Joel Madzivanyika, said all the salary
adjustments were done above board.
He claimed that the works council members had broken into council
offices and stole accounting records which they were basing their
The works council says it was also concerned about the misuse of
council vehicles, equipment and fuel.
Matambo could not be reached for comment.
BY OUR STAFF
Saturday, 03 October 2009 17:48
A former permanent secretary has said the majority of beneficiaries in
President Robert Mugabe's controversial land reform programme are not
productive. Speaking at a World Bank conference last week, Simon
Pazvakavambwa said land audits carried out by the Ministry of Lands, Land
Reform and Resettlement indicated that the percentage of land utilisation in
the fast track resettlement areas was low.
"Three land audits have been done all showing a similar trend of
between 20% and 70% utilization," he said. "These audits have not been
published or placed in the public domain."
Pazvakavambwa was presenting a paper at the agriculture stakeholders
conference that was bankrolled by the Zimbabwe Multi-Donor Trust Fund - a
World Bank-created fund meant to come up with a recovery strategy for the
He said populist policies, poor planning, corruption and poor
beneficiary targeting in the distribution of inputs since 2000 had destroyed
After the chaotic land reform programme government introduced the
Government Input Scheme, the Productive Sector Facility (PSF), the
Agriculture Sector Productivity Enhancement Facility (Aspef), Operation
Maguta, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe's farm mechanisation programme, and the
Champion Farmer Programme.
All these programmes failed spectacularly.
"Despite its efforts over the last eight years, government has not
been able to achieve food security due to several reasons," Pazvakavambwa
"Simple but effective solutions are required where government should
embrace development partners, NGOs, civil society and other groups to tackle
what has become a chronic problem."
Pazvakavambwa, who now works as a consultant, had several clashes with
government officials over policy matters during his stint with the ministry.
He was dismissed from his post in November 2006, after a fallout that
occurred following the importation of inferior fertiliser by the RBZ from
BY JENNIFER DUBE
Saturday, 03 October 2009 17:45
BULAWAYO - Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo was openly
criticised for meddling in the city's affairs at the installation of the
mayor on Friday.
Chombo officially installed ceremonial mayor Thaba Moyo and his deputy
Amen Mpofu, more than a year after they were elected.
The ceremony was reportedly delayed because Chombo insisted that he
must oversee it.
While the mayor was diplomatic in his speech, the deputy mayor did not
mince his words criticising the minister in public.
Mpofu said he could not understand why Chombo could delay their
installation which was purely a council event.
Mpofu said Chombo had even attempted to stop Bulawayo councillors
from assuming their duties following their election last year.
"It took four months to bring sanity to the council. This was after we
used the court route," he said.
The deputy mayor said Chombo's ministry had caused further problems
for the council. He said it took more than six months for it to approve
council's budget, making it impossible for the local authority to provide
services to residents.
The deputy mayor said the council had been given several excuses for
the delays, which he said had to do with politics.
"Those that are privileged to be custodians of state power must
realise they hold it in trust and nothing else," said Mpofu.
"The legitimate owners of that power are the residents.
"Unprofessional political meddling in council affairs is not good for
the council and the residents."
Chombo only promised to "look at the issues raised by the deputy
mayor" in his brief response to the attacks.
BY OUR STAFF
Saturday, 03 October 2009 17:37
ELIZABETH Mubaiwa is disappointed that the Harare City Council has
been forced to reverse its plans to close down the chaotic Mupedzanhamo
informal market. Her anger may be surprising because the 45-year-old mother
of eight goes to the market daily to sell wares for her family's upkeep.
"They should have closed the market", she says. "Their plan was very
good as it would have benefited some of us who are struggling."
Mubaiwa moves between stalls and also along the perimeter wall
surrounding the market looking for customers for the clothes she sells.
"We are forced to stand along the wall because there is no space for
us here", she says. "The rich barons took up all the space."
Council wanted to close down the market to allow for an audit it said
would expose Zanu PF heavyweights who have grabbed multiple stands meant for
Already the council audit has revealed that former members of the
commission appointed by Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo to run the
city's affairs, government and high ranking council officials have multiple
Investigations last week revealed that the market "barons" were
conducting brisk business, subletting one stall to as many as 10 tenants
who pay as much as $100 per month.
The barons only pay $15 a month to council.
"It is a big racket", Harare mayor Muchadei Masunda said.
"These people just sit and do nothing but make money out of it and
that is the evil we want to root out so that we can offer the facility to
genuine and deserving traders who are largely the vulnerable members of
society. These include widows and single mothers."
Chombo himself has sought to protect some of the stall holders.
The minister, who has been accused of meddling in council affairs
following the controversy over Mupedzanhamo, on March 17 ordered council's
director of housing, Justin Chivavaya, to ensure 12 stall holders believed
to have links with Zanu PF were protected.
Last week, he went further to form a committee to probe the operations
at Mupedzanhamo and other city council markets. That way he blocked attempts
by council to close the market.
Chombo's move, though seen as designed to protect Zanu PF bigwigs,
appeared to have gone down well with some of the traders at Mupedzanhamo.
Jessica Sawara (39) is one of those traders who are happy that council
did not shut the market.
"We would have died of hunger", she said. "Closing this market even
for three days is suicidal as I will not have anywhere else to go and fend
for my five children and their unemployed father."
But there was general consensus among the traders that there was need
for the re-organisation of the market.
"A lot of people are operating illegally", Tawanda Basira said. "But
the re-arrangement should not lead to a closure of the market even for a
day. Let them do the weeding out of bad apples while business is ongoing."
The mayor said council had not given up on the matter but had seen it
prudent to work in conjunction with the police and Chombo's committee.
"We considered the humane side of things, therefore you will not be
seeing any closure of the market," said Masunda.
"The relevant committee of the city council is now going to work
closely with the committee that was put together by Chombo and also the
police who have expressed an interest in being involved.
"We feel that it is to our advantage as council to work with all of
them as they will ensure that there is the restoration of order in the
Masunda said council's Health, Housing Community Services and
Licensing committee had already generated a "voluminous" document with the
names of people who were allocated the stalls.
"They are already going through it and so far it has emerged that two
special interest councillors are among the beneficiaries and this is wrong
as both are gainfully employed", he said.
Special interest councillors are appointed by Chombo while the rest
are elected into office.
Committee chairperson Julius Musevenzi on Friday said he was still
"perusing" the document to establish if there were any other unscrupulous
"We want the committee to go through that document with a fine tooth
comb and identify those people with market tables allocated to them for
reasons outside those set by council," Masunda said.
"If it becomes clear that there are people who are beneficiaries who
do not fit the criteria, it is those people whose leases will be terminated
He said he was aware that some of the barons were even approaching
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai seeking protection.
However, the Combined Harare Residents Association said there was need
for the council to forge ahead with its audit.
BY JENNIFER DUBE
Saturday, 03 October 2009 16:52
THE MDC-T could be headed for political oblivion if it pulls out of
the shaky unity government, analysts said last week. The warning comes at a
time when MDC-T has started consulting its structures on whether it must
pull out or remain in the inclusive government.
The MDC-T accuses President Robert Mugabe of dragging his feet in
implementing the Global Political Agreement (GPA) that led to the formation
of the unity government in February.
Among other things, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's party is
unhappy that Mugabe is unwilling to reverse the unilateral appointments of
Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono and Attorney General Johannes Tomana.
An appeal to the Sadc leaders to have the matters resolved has not
succeeded, leaving many in MDC-T contemplating a pull out from the inclusive
But analysts say the MDC-T will be ill-advised to do so.
They said Zimbabweans who have tasted a better life following the
formation of the unity government would not be impressed by such a move,
which could throw them back to the days when the Zanu PF government was free
to pursue disastrous policies.
The analysts said the GPA was reached after Zanu PF and the two MDC
formations realised they could no longer work without each other.
Speaking at a public forum organised by the Mass Public Opinion
Institute (MPOI) to review progress on the anniversary of the GPA on
Thursday, University of Zimbabwe political scientist Simon Badza said
neither Zanu PF nor the two MDC formations could pull out of the arrangement
without suffering serious ramifications.
"The first political party to declare divorce of the GPA would be
ignored by the people and it would mark the beginning of its end," said
He said the parties should remember that they formed the unity
government because none of them could go it alone.
"As for the MDC, they must realise that they joined in the first place
because they found it easier to fight from inside than outside," said Badza.
"I wonder if the MDC is serious about the issue of pulling out."
Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) Zimbabwe director Takura
Zhangazha said it was too late for the MDC-T to pull out because there are
not many alternatives to pursue.
"If the MDC decides to pull out, does it mean that they are pulling
out of the agreement, or out of parliament and the question that arises
after that is then what next?
"The MDC has not proffered an alternative to the inclusive government
which is where the issue really is now," he said.
Zhangazha said given the support the recent Sadc summit in the
Democratic Republic of the Congo gave to the GNU, the MDC-T might not find
much support from countries in the region.
He added that the pullout would worsen the plight of Zimbabweans,
especially in light of improvements already made in sectors such as health,
education and the economy.
"In health, education, the economy the MDC themselves are projecting
more positives than negatives so in light of these developments it may not
be advisable to pull out."
But Zhangazha warned that while food and drugs were now available,
basic commodities remained beyond the reach of the ordinary people.
"They say there is food and drugs but visibility is not
accessibility," he said. "You go to a hospital . agreed the drugs are there
but they are expensive."
Schools have been opened but teachers are not teaching while thousands
of students failed to register for their "O" Level final examinations
because they could not afford the required fees.
MDC-M secretary for external affairs Frank Chamunorwa said the
inclusive government has made tremendous success in its first year into
He said food and drugs were now readily available countrywide while
the provision of clean water as well as road maintenance had improved.
Civil servants are now paid in foreign currency after government
dumped the inflation- ravaged Zimbabwe dollar.
Chamunorwa, who is also a member of the Joint Monitoring and
Implementation Committee (Jomic) - which monitors compliance with the GPA -
said the agreement brought peace and stability in the country following a
violent election last year.
The MDC-T says over 200 of its activists and supporters were killed by
State security agents and Zanu PF militia in last year's elections.
"The inclusive government was God-sent and any attempts to reverse
this will meet the stiffest resistance," he said.
Bulawayo East MP, Thabitha Khumalo (MDC-T), agreed with Chamunorwa
that the GNU was a compromise that sought to give a reprieve to ordinary
Zimbabweans who had suffered for too long.
"We went in there with our eyes wide open and no one ever said it was
going to be easy. It was a huge compromise," said Khumalo.
"We must realise that this is only a transitional arrangement."
BY CAIPHAS CHIMHETE AND BERTHA SHOKO
Saturday, 03 October 2009 16:47
TWO of the country's main teachers' unions have accused the Salary
Services Bureau (SSB) of conniving with a rival group linked to President
Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF to get monthly subscriptions from their members
through the back door. In separate interviews last week both the Zimbabwe
Teachers' Association (Zimta) and the Progressive Teachers' Union of
Zimbabwe (PTUZ) said they suspected that SSB officials were working in
cahoots with the Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe (TUZ) to deduct money from
their members without their consent.
TUZ, which has links with self-proclaimed war veterans' leader Joseph
Chinotimba, was formed a few years ago allegedly to counter the growing
influence of the PTUZ which is aligned to the MDC formation led by Morgan
PTUZ and Zimta officials said the "clandestine" deductions were meant
to boost TUZ's weak financial standing.
Zimta acting chief executive officer Sifiso Ndlovu said they were
investigating what could be a major scam involving officials from the SSB
and their sister union, TUZ.
"There is a massive scandal," Ndlovu said. "We are still investigating
but we suspect that some people in that department are playing with figures
to give financial benefits to TUZ."
Ndlovu said Zimta has raised the matter with both the SSB and TUZ but
has not received a satisfactory answer yet.
"Complaints are still coming but the matter is so confusing because
all of a sudden we have TUZ in the picture and we have this problem," he
He said one-fifth of their 42 000 members have so far been affected.
PTUZ national coordinator Oswald Madziva said an estimated 5 000
teachers who belonged to his union had US$2,50 deducted from their salaries
for the past two months.
Teachers earn an average of US$150 per month.
Madziva said the PTUZ realised that they were being swindled of huge
sums of money after teachers complained that their pay slips were indicating
that their membership fees were being forwarded to TUZ.
He said the complaints were more prevalent in Mashonanaland East,
West, and Manicaland as well as parts of Midlands.
"It's an abuse of a State organ in the name of SSB," said Madziva.
"We suspect that there is someone within the SSB who is working with
TUZ because there is no way TUZ was going to get our members' EC (employment
Madziva said the SSB can only deduct the money after the unions sent
teachers' joining forms and their EC numbers.
SSB paymaster Daniel Chifamba was said to be out of the office last
His secretary referred all questions to SSB head of stop-orders, a Mr
Makuvatsine who was also not available to give a comment.
TUZ has denied the allegations saying it was only getting money from
teachers who joined the union willingly.
TUZ chief executive officer Manuel Nyawo said teachers were "flocking"
to join TUZ because the union was sourcing housing stands for its members.
"It's a known fact that teachers are flocking to TUZ," said Nyawo.
"Ask (Raymond) Majongwe (PTUZ secretary general), he was surprised to see
his members when he visited my office."
He however added it was a common occurrence for teachers'
contributions to be wrongly accredited to another union, noting this should
not raise alarm.
In some cases, Nyawo said, monthly fees for teachers affiliated to his
union were being accredited to PTUZ and Zimta.
"I can confirm that my wife never joined Zimta but at one time her pay
slip indicated that Zimta had deducted money from her salary.
"It's very common and should be addressed accordingly," said Nyau who
refused to divulge the total number of teachers affiliated to his union.
Several teachers last week confirmed that they had money deducted from
their salaries and accredited to TUZ account without their consent.
Robert Changamire of Marirangwe North Primary School in Manyame
Constituency said several teachers in the district had been affected.
"The problem with most of the affected teachers is that they don't
have resources and time to go to Harare to have the problem rectified.
"But this has been going on for the past two months," said Changamire.
He said at least four more teachers at his school were affected.
Another teacher at Crowhill Primary School in Domboshava said he has
already written to the SSB and even went to TUZ offices to make his
"I did not get much help at SSB because officials at the information
desk instructed me to write a note explaining the circumstances and put it
in a box and that was all," said the teacher who requested anonymity.
The Minister of Education, Sport and Culture David Coltart said he was
not aware of the scam but called for an immediate investigation.
BY CAIPHAS CHIMHETE
Saturday, 03 October 2009 15:52
CHIRUMHANZU - At Saint Theresa Mission Hospital, a Roman Catholic run
health centre in the Midlands, a dedicated laboratory scientist is forced to
burn the midnight oil twice a week. Since the hospital owns the only CD4
Count machine in the whole district, Christopher Ziracha attends to patients
from hospitals as far as Mvuma and Muonde.
A CD4 Count machine checks the strength of one's Immune System and
determines whether a person needs anti-retroviral therapy.
The high statistics of people living with HIV in the country -
estimated at more than one million - means Ziracha has to work overtime to
ensure all blood samples brought to the hospital are tested within the
"All blood samples taken have a lifespan of 24 hours.
"After this the blood would have gone bad and the results cannot be
accurate," Ziracha told journalists during a recent media tour organised by
the National Aids Council.
"This is why I have to work at night.
"People travel long distances here in the rural areas to come to the
hospital and if we had to ask them to go back to bring fresh samples this
would be really cruel."
At Mvuma District Hospital about 70 kilometres from St Theresa, staff
running the Opportunistic Infections and Antiretroviral Drugs Therapy
programme (OI/ART) face a dilemma of their own.
Although Mvuma Hospital has put at least 378 people on ARVs so far
through support from the Global Fund to fight Tuberculosis, Aids and Malaria
and the Expanded Support Programme, there is no funding for support services
for the OI/ART programme.
As a result, the institution has to scrounge for fuel to take CD4 cell
blood samples to St Theresa at least twice a week for tests.
"Sometimes we use our own money to buy fuel for the vehicle that was
provided by the Global Fund," said Jotam Chinyama, the district nursing
"When we have no money ourselves we look for vehicles belonging to
other Aids service organisations going near St Theresa to take our samples.
"When these two options fail as in most cases the hospital is forced
to use the limited funds available to support the OI/ART programme."
At Muonde Mission Hospital, about 40 kilometres from St Theresa,
Sister Marcelline Chireshe's has to make a difficult decision of either
turning away patients without money or allowing the hospital to collapse by
offering free treatment.
She said many people who test HIV positive cannot afford to foot the
bill for all medical investigations required before they are put on ARVs.
These tests include CD4 cell count, X-rays, liver function and full
blood count tests.
Chireshe said the baseline investigations can cost a patient about
$10, an amount beyond the reach of many people in rural areas.
"Although we would never turn any patient away for not having money,
the hospital risks going under by giving people free treatment.
"But this is what we are doing.
"The hospital has only managed to survive by the grace of God,"
"Our only plea to government and donors is that we want to be
supported so that all HIV related services are free.
"The ARVs are free but this is not enough.
"Here in the rural areas people struggle to raise just $1 for
consultation what more $10? It's quite a lot of money."
The experiences at these three hospitals are some of the many
struggles that rural hospitals in Zimbabwe are going through as they
struggle to offer HIV and Aids treatment.
Through support from the Global Fund and Expanded Support Programme (a
basket fund for five donors) about 24 027 people in the Midlands province
now have access to the life prolonging ARVs.
About 767 people are on ART at Muonde Mission Hospital alone.
Expenses for running the OI/ART are the biggest challenge as donors
have concentrated on offering free ART.
Being the only hospital with a CD4 Count machine has brought several
challenges to St Theresa besides over stretching its staff.
"Our biggest challenge is to get enough reagents and other laboratory
chemicals that are enough for ourselves and then for the Muonde and Mvuma
hospitals," Ziracha added.
Mvuma Hospital clinical director Lazarus Chihoyi said the OI/ART
programme strained the institution's budget.
"Running the OI/ART programme has been very expensive for us because
we have no budget in place for it.
"Our patients are surviving on sadza and beans, they do not know the
smell of meat anymore but these are the sacrifices we have to make," he
But staff at the three hospitals want the programmes to continue even
with the limited resources.
"We have become so attached to this programme so much that we don't
want to see it fail.
"We have seen people come here very ill and unable to walk and then
after being put on treatment their health changes.
"This gives us great satisfaction," said Chinyama.
"Can you imagine if we had to tell someone you can't start ARVs
because we have no fuel to take your blood for a CD4 count?
"It would break their heart and ours too because this is a matter of
life and death.
"This is why we do our best to make the programme work."
According to recent figures released by the Ministry of Health and
Child Welfare, Zimbabwe's HIV prevalence rate now stands at 13, 7 percent
down from 14,1 percent in 2008.
Health and Child Welfare Minister, Henry Madzorera attributed the
decline to "a combination of an increase in adult mortality and a decline in
HIV incidence, resulting from adoption of safer sexual behaviours".
BY BERTHA SHOKO
Saturday, 03 October 2009 16:30
THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) will later this month review
Zimbabwe's overdue debt as it emerged that the country is failing to
cooperate on payments to the global lender. Zimbabwe owes the IMF SDR 89
million (about US$139 million) from the Poverty Reduction and Growth
Facility - Exogenous Shock Facility (PRGF-ESF) Trust.
The country was recently allocated US$510 million by the IMF as part
of a bail out package for all the institution's members in response to the
global financial crisis.
But Finance Minister Tendai Biti and Reserve Bank governor, Gideon
Gono have differed on how the money should be deployed. Biti says if used
recklessly the money would worsen Zimbabwe's foreign debt.
According to a recent IMF paper - Review of the Fund's Strategy on
Overdue Financial Obligations - three countries namely Zimbabwe, Somalia and
Sudan remained in protracted arrears to the fund as at the end of June 2009.
Protracted arrears are those that have been outstanding for six months
Two members, Somalia and Sudan, have accumulated arrears dating back
to the mid-1980s and account for 18% and 75% of total arrears to the fund
Zimbabwe, which has been in arrears to the PRGF-ESF Trust since
February 2001, accounts for the remaining 7 %.
In May, IMF decided to lift the suspension of the fund's technical
assistance in targeted areas following Zimbabwe's improvement on economic
The latest review is significant as it shows Zimbabwe had "abused" IMF
trust when it lifted the suspension on technical assistance, observers said.
This was meant to "address Zimbabwe's arrears problems and the severe
capacity constraints in the fund's core areas of expertise that represent a
major risk to the implementation of the government's macroeconomic
"The Executive Board subsequently extended the next review of Zimbabwe's
overdue financial obligations to the PRGF-ESF Trust to no later than October
21, 2009," the global lender said.
"Zimbabwe's cooperation with the Fund on economic policies has
improved significantly, but cooperation on payments to the fund has remained
IMF's executive board last reviewed Zimbabwe's overdue financial
obligations to the PRGF-ESF Trust in January.
But since the last review, Zimbabwe has made two payments to the fund
amounting to SDR 44 million (about US$680 000).
IMF said notwithstanding Zimbabwe's commitment to make quarterly
payments of US$100 000 starting in July "no such payments have been received
The global lender said Zimbabwe's arrears to the Trust Fund have
reduced the amount of resources that would have accrued to the Reserve
Account of the PRGF-ESF Trust for the benefit of the fund's low-income
"Zimbabwe's arrears to the PRGF-ESF Trust have also reduced the
balances available in the Reserve Account, as SDR 74.5 million has been
drawn from the Reserve Account to repay PRGF-ESF Trust lenders," the IMF
Zimbabwe has an external debt of US$5.7 billion which analysts say it
will not be able to settle.
Some quarters in the inclusive government are pushing for debt relief
under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative (HIPC) but analysts say
without a proper planning on loan contraction even with debt forgiveness,
the country can still find itself hamstrung by debt.
Observers say Zimbabwe has been a blend country of International Bank
for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development
Association (IDA) for a number of years.
Had Zimbabwe not been in arrears it would have had access to both the
World Bank's long-term interest-free loans and grants through its IDA
lending window, as well as through the bank's IBRD lending window, which
charges interest on loans.
A precondition for HIPC debt relief is that the country should be
classified as an IDA-only country.
For Zimbabwe, this means it must be reclassified as a low-income
country and therefore also as an IDA-only country before it is eligible for
debt relief under the HIPC initiative.
Given Zimbabwe's re-engagement with the international community, and
with the necessary political support from the IMF and World Bank boards, a
technical case could be made to make it eligible for HIPC debt relief,
BY NDAMU SANDU
Saturday, 03 October 2009 16:28
ECONET Wireless' US$115 million investment into network expansion
resulted in Zimbabwe's mobile market penetration rate increasing to 21% as
at August 31. According to Econet board chairman Tawanda Nyambirai this
represented a seven percentage increase from February figures.
Mobile penetration rate describes the number of active mobile phone
numbers (usually as a percentage) within a specific population.
Econet is the largest mobile operator with over two million
subscribers and accounts for 70% of the mobile market share.
"The sustained expansion of the network will continue to close the
mobile penetration rate gap between Zimbabwe and other countries in the SADC
region," Nyambirai said in a statement accompanying the group's results for
the half year ended August 31.
In the region, South Africa leads in the mobile penetration rate at
102% followed by Botswana at 97%.
The increase in Zimbabwe's penetration rate is a boon for the
telecommunications sector that endured close to a decade of underfunding as
a result of the country's deteriorating economy.
Since the use of multiple currencies in February, mobile operators
have embarked on network expansion programmes to increase the subscriber
Nyambirai said Econet tariffs were pegged at an average of US$0.20 per
minute against a regional average of US$0.25 per minute.
"Despite the fact that other mobile operators in the Sadc region have
fully capitalised their networks, their mobile tariffs are higher than those
for Zimbabwean mobile operators, who are in need of massive capital
injection," Nyambirai said.
Mascom Botswana charges at US$0.19 per minute and Zain Malawi has the
same tariffs as Econet at US$0.20 per minute.
MTN Swaziland charges an average of US$0.21 while Zain Zambia calls
are charged at US$0.22.
MTN South Africa is more expensive than local operators charging an
average of US$0.33 per minute.
In its half year results for the period ending August 31 Econet
declared a dividend of US$0.08 per share becoming the first company to
declare a dividend since the use of multiple currencies in February.
Shareholders have an option to be paid their dividends in either cash
or in the form of additional shares in the company.
Revenue for the period was US$131 million mainly driven by an increase
BY OUR STAFF
Saturday, 03 October 2009 16:26
BULAWAYO - Hwange Colliery Company Limited says it has repaired its
key machine required for coal mining that stopped operating seven months
ago. HCCL officials said the repair of the dragline financed by a near
US$2.5 million loan will result in an immediate increase in coal production.
Zimasco Holdings, Zimbabwe's sole ferrochrome producer, provided part
of the US$2.5 million loan, in a deal that will see the HCCL provide it with
coal and coke equivalent to its loan.
"Test runs for the dragline have been carried out as preparations to
commission the machine which is principally used in opencast operations
"Once fully operational, there will be a significant increase in coal
production thus being able to meet the needs of both local and foreign
customers," Burzil Dube, the HCCL spokesperson said. Besides Zimasco, the
government also provided some funds to facilitate the repair of the
Dube however could not could not shed light on the contribution by the
HCCL last year failed to repair and service the dragline due to
foreign currency shortages.
The coal miner has been struggling to produce enough coal for the
domestic market, whose appetite for the product has grown due to reduced
power output from the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA).
Lack of foreign currency to purchase new mining equipment among other
problems has been blamed for the company's failure to produce enough coal
for the market.
The company's equipment has outlived its lifespan as seen by the
The availability of coal is seen as key to the resuscitation of local
industries that were forced to scale down operations or shut down altogether
at the height of the country's economic meltdown.
Companies were last year pushed to the brink of closure due to coal
shortages, a critical input in most industries whose reserves in
Matabeleland North in southern Zimbabwe alone are estimated to last 500
Local companies resorted to costly imports from Botswana to mitigate
the effect of domestic supply constraints.
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
Saturday, 03 October 2009 16:16
VICTORIA FALLS - The National Social Authority (NSSA) will soon resume
the construction of a US$12 million hotel in Beitbridge amid doubts the
facility will be ready for the 2010 soccer World Cup. NSSA is constructing
the hotel on behalf of the Rainbow Tourism Group and will own 10% of the
business once the project is complete.
Construction work was suspended last year at the height of the country's
worst ever economic meltdown after workers started refusing payment in the
worthless Zimbabwe dollar.
James Matiza, the NSSA chief executive officer told Standardbusiness
on the sidelines of the recent 27th edition of the Employers Confederation
of Zimbabwe (EMCOZ) congress that the introduction of the multiple
currencies meant that the environment was now conducive for work to resume.
"We started work early in 2008 after we awarded a contract to a
construction company to do the bulk of the work, which included clearing the
ground, clearing the construction site and road construction," he said.
"The contractor did some work but as the year was progressing we
started feeling the strain of cash shortages.
"The contractor said the workers were no longer willing to accept the
Zimbabwe dollar salaries and a lot of them were crossing the border into
South Africa." said Matiza.
He said the contractor gave them the option of paying in fuel coupons
but NSSA could not source them.
Matiza said after the new currency regime, they decided to re-engage
contractors to take the project to the next stage.
"We were now faced with the problem of pricing. They used the
conversion rate from last year and the project costs were too high.
"The estimates from the engineer were that the costs for the projects
will be around US$ 8 million.
"After engagements with the contractor, we have managed to reduce the
costs to as low as US$ 5,6 million."
Matiza said tenders for the construction of the superstructure would
be advertised soon and if a suitable contractor is found before the end of
the year, the hotel might be completed by the end of 2010.
"So this means that the hotel should be operational by 2011," he said.
Zimbabwe is among Southern African countries waiting to tap into the
influx of tourists during the 2010 tournament that kicks off in June but
there are concerns that the country does not have adequate world class
BY NKULULEKO SIBANDA
Saturday, 03 October 2009 16:44
THE reason why the Zanu PF politburo has re-admitted Jonathan Moyo to
its structures is because the disintegrating party desperately needs anyone
who will bring even the slightest number of voters to bolster the shrinking
support base. The embattled former ruling party has severely been weakened
indirectly by policy bankruptcy and more directly by its failure to replace
its ageing leadership.
Zanu PF, which has failed to re-invent itself beyond what Moyo did for
the party when he was the vociferous information minister and politburo
member between 2000 and 2005, desperately needs the services of a
sabre-rattling spin doctor who will do better than what the former DJ
currently running the ministry of information is doing.
From where he stands, Moyo is in a hurry to vacate his lonely corner
as an independent MP who faces the clear and present danger of being
defeated in the next general election in 2011 because of the obvious fact
that the MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai will not repeat the unintelligent
mistake of not fielding a candidate in the Tsholotsho North constituency
which he currently represents.
Everyone, including Moyo himself, knows that he is lucky to be a
legislator today and that the only reason why he is part of the Sixth
Parliament of Zimbabwe is because the MDC naively decided to support him
instead of fielding its own candidate who could have easily won the
Matabeleland North constituency.
But more importantly, after the dramatic but expected collapse of the
1987 Unity Accord and the re-launch of PF Zapu whose powerbase is in the
Matabeleland region, Zanu PF urgently needs new legs to stand on in the
When re-admitted, Moyo, who has a strategic constituency and has no
historical ties with PF Zapu, will be useful in retaining the critical
Ndebele vote that PF Zapu is threatening to take away from Zanu PF.
The re-emergence of PF Zapu under the leadership of former Zanu PF
politburo member Dumiso Dabengwa and the recent defection by former Zanu PF
stalwart Thenjiwe Lesabe, who commands considerable respect in the
Matabeleland region, has shaken the foundations of the former ruling party
to the extent that its leaders are running scared and clutching at straws.
Moyo, who realises that Zanu PF is in panic mode and alarmed by its
apparent loss of grip in Matabeleland has characteristically seized this
opportunity to rejoin Zanu PF with the promise of delivering not only the
Tsholotsho North constituency to Zanu PF but also pledging to resuscitate
the party's propaganda machinery which is currently in comatose.
The former information minister already has crucial supporters within
the Zanu PF politburo in the form of Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa,
politburo members Didymus Mutasa who had already welcomed Moyo describing
him variously as patriotic, hard-working and an important asset, even before
the politburo had made a decision on his application for re-admission.
John Nkomo, the chairman of Zanu PF and head of the party's
disciplinary committee, who does not see eye to eye with Moyo but has a very
dark cloud of sodomy allegations hovering over his head, will find it
difficult to thwart Moyo's come back. More so because he belongs to the
emasculated group of former PF Zapu cadres suspected of harbouring
intentions to defect from Zanu PF.
The other reason why Moyo applied for re-admission into Zanu PF, a
political party he in 2007 described as a dead party full of geriatrics
clinging to power, is because he sees abundant opportunity to grab power as
well as bounce back as the party's chief's spin doctor given that Webster
Shamu, the clueless man chosen by President Mugabe to replace him, has
failed to deliver.
Another reason why Moyo was re-admitted into Zanu PF without any
hassle is because he never resigned from Zanu PF in the first place and has
in fact remained a crucial member of the now influential faction led by
Mnangagwa which recently emerged stronger from the just-ended youth league
conference where its candidate, Edson Chakanyuka, from the Midlands
Province, was elected to the powerful post of deputy secretary of the youth
Moyo's recent attacks of Prime Minister Tsvangirai and MDC ministers
is meant to convince both his sympathisers and detractors in Zanu PF that he
is still part of them by speaking their language and crying louder than the
That is why Moyo is making laughable claims about the MDC forming a
parallel government and compromising national security when in fact it is
President Mugabe who is guilty of the crimes that Moyo is accusing Prime
Minister Tsvangirai of committing.
More than anything else it is Moyo's self serving return to Zanu PF
and his support of President Mugabe's violation of the GPA that should worry
everyone as this represents the clearest threat to the cohesion of the
government of national unity and national stability.
BY JACOB RUKWEZA
Saturday, 03 October 2009 16:40
An old colleague sent me an email on Monday afternoon. "Maionaka Rule
of Law yamunoswero chemera anaMagaisa?" (Do you see the Rule of Law that you
always ask for?).
"Ndiyoka Rule of Law yacho iyi?" (This is the Rule of Law), he
He was of course, referring to the decision pronounced earlier that
day by the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe to grant a permanent stay of
prosecution in favour of Jestina Mukoko.
The story of Mukoko is not new to followers of the Zimbabwe story.
Mukoko, a human rights activist, was abducted, kept in unlawful
custody and subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment at the hands of
state agents. Many other activists (including a toddler and an elderly
gentleman) suffered a similar fate.
In its decision, the Supreme Court confirmed that several of Mukoko's
constitutional rights had been violated.
These included the right to personal liberty (Section 13 of the
constitution), the freedom against inhuman and degrading treatment (Section
15) and the right to the protection of the law (Section 18).
These rights are guaranteed to every individual under the Constitution
of Zimbabwe. Flawed as it may be, the constitution does provide for the
protection of these fundamental rights.
"I'm happy for Jestina," I wrote to my colleague. "I'm happy that this
unnecessary and heavy load has been shifted from her shoulders by the
But I added that the court had no other choice. It was clear from the
start that the manner in which Ms Mukoko had been treated violated every law
and principle - written or unwritten; that indeed, her treatment was a
brutal assault on the nation's conscience.
It did not even require the law to set her free.
"Common sense", I wrote, "required that she be set free". Anything
else would have meant a huge embarrassment for our main court.
As for the Rule of Law, I thought my colleague had been too hasty in
The result of the case has gone some way towards salvaging the
reputation of our judiciary. Nevertheless, there is more to the Rule of Law
than a single positive decision, however monumental it appears. There are
some observations to be made in this regard:
First, it has taken more than nine months to decide a matter that
involved a clear and obvious breach of a citizen's fundamental rights. The
court rightly found that these rights had been violated. If individual
rights are to mean anything in reality, it is important that they be
protected upfront or at the very least without undue delay.
What we have here is a decision which acknowledges that there were
violations of these rights. Yet, from day one the courts were approached by
Ms Mukoko's lawyers.
They tried everything to ensure that there was a cessation of the
violations of Ms Mukoko's rights. Yet, as I wrote at the time, Ms Mukoko and
her lawyers were subjected to what were in effect bungee-jumps in the
justice system - a high speed and chaotic roller-coaster as they moved from
one court to another, to no avail.
The point is: there was a chance to stop these unlawful acts against
Ms Mukoko but those opportunities were not taken when it mattered most.
Constitutionally guaranteed rights can only make sense when they are
actively safeguarded from violation in the first place. What good is a right
when it is violated and the protection of the law is not given when asked
for? Mukoko could well have suffered worse consequences during the period of
her unlawful custody. She could have contracted disease; she could have
disappeared forever, indeed, she could have died.
This case demonstrates how important it is for the courts to play an
active role in the protection of constitutionally guaranteed rights. What
the Supreme Court has found is not new.
In a key but largely unreported judgment, Justice Hungwe of the High
Court had already made similar observations, chiding the state agents for
their conduct. This was known and it could have been stopped ages ago.
Second, if there is to be effective deterrence against similar conduct
in future, surely those who presided over the violation of Ms Mukoko's
rights as found by the highest court in the land, should feel the hand of
There should be a clear message that those who commit such actions
against other citizens should not be beyond the law. The reason why people
act with impunity, as they did to Ms Mukoko and others in her situation, is
that they know that they will escape the legal consequences of their
As it is, whilst there are celebrations in light of the judgment, it
is easy to forget that there is absolutely nothing to stop the same or
similar people from taking the same actions against Ms Mukoko and others now
or in the future.
In other words, she or someone else could well be abducted and
subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment just as it happened in December
One way to deter such conduct is to place legal responsibility upon
the shoulders of the perpetrators of these hideous acts.
This therefore, presents a key challenge to one of the most disputed
offices in Zimbabwe - the Attorney-General's Office.
How will the incumbent, Mr Tomana handle this one? The highest court
in the land has found conclusively that Ms Mukoko's rights were violated.
They were not violated by objects from outer space.
These actions were taken by Zimbabweans who presumably are known.
There is a key witness, Ms Mukoko herself.
Ideally, one would think that this is a case where the Attorney
General, the most senior state lawyer entrusted with powers to prosecute
criminals would have taken swift action to ensure that perpetrators are
brought to book.
Section 76 (4a) of the Constitution empowers the Attorney General to
require the Commissioner-General of Police to commence investigations in
matters where in the Attorney General's opinion relate to any
alleged/suspected criminal offence.
The Commissioner General is peremptorily required to comply with that
instruction. So the powers are there but whether or not they are invoked is
another matter but one that surely tests very severely the commitment of the
prosecuting authorities to the Rule of Law.
Indeed, if the alleged theft of a cell-phone caused the hand of the
law to move so swiftly, one would expect that the serious violation of
constitutional rights as found by the country's biggest court would be
enough to cause that hand of the law to move at twice the speed, if not
There is another issue in relation to a number of other persons who
suffered the same fate as Ms Mukoko.
I am advised that these persons were not co-parties to the application
by Ms Mukoko. This means the decision directly affects Ms Mukoko but not the
others, whose cases remain pending before the High Court. If my
understanding is correct, this means these individual cases must be dealt
with by the Supreme Court before a stay of prosecution can be granted.
I am not sure why the cases were not joined with that of Ms Mukoko but
I suppose there were practical reasons for the approach taken.
In any event, Ms Mukoko's case is now a firm precedent which should
apply to all these cases. Given this scenario, you would think that the
prosecution authorities would see sense and withdraw the charges.
Certainly, the AG's office should be considering this very seriously
if only to avoid further embarrassment.
More importantly, where a Supreme Court has made such an important
decision implicating agents of the state, you would expect normal standards
of professionalism and decency to prevail amongst those in charge of those
Surely, there can be no worse or more serious an indictment against
responsible authorities than a decision by the highest court in the land
which demonstrates impunity on the part of those organs.
In any normal system, heads of those state organs would have been too
embarrassed to remain in office.
They would tender their resignations for failing to keep proper watch
of their charges. In other words, they would take responsibility seriously.
And if they don't have the decency to do so, their superiors would kindly
ask them to resign.
Alex Magaisa is based at, Kent Law School, the University of Kent and
can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, 03 October 2009 16:38
JONATHAN Moyo is back in Zanu PF! The politburo endorsed his return
from the political wilderness on Thursday evening. That Moyo would return
was never in doubt following his application for readmission.
What however remains a subject of conjecture is the role the prodigal
Zanu PF son will play in giving the sagging and rotten edifice of Zanu PF a
Before he left the then ruling party after the Tsholotsho debacle, he
was a propagandist par excellence for Zanu PF.
Earlier there had been suggestions that Moyo would have to return to
cell level, which is the smallest unit of the party. However, according to
The Herald, the politburo did not decide what position Moyo would assume.
What is not surprising though is that there are many in Zanu PF who
believe Moyo deserves a higher and more influential position which would
enable him to launch missiles at Zanu PF's enemies. Patrick Chinamasa has
hinted at a more elevated role.
Neither he nor Didymus Mutasa could hide their excitement when Moyo
applied to rejoin Zanu PF.
It is not difficult to see why they consider him an asset. Moyo has
proved himself in the business of attacking opponents, real or perceived. It's
a skill that is badly lacking in Zanu PF at the moment. He also showed he
could be ruthless in dealing with media organisations that criticise Zanu
The old guard appears to be clueless about how to advance the Zanu PF
agenda following the formation of the inclusive government. It has been on
the defensive since day one.
The truth of the matter is Zanu PF has welcomed back Moyo into their
fold because they think he could be used again to attack the MDC-T and work
out a strategy to rescue Zanu PF from being completely eclipsed. The timing
of Moyo's re-admission is crucial.
With the MDC-T weakening Zanu PF from inside the government, some in
the party think Moyo, a political science professor, might come to their
While working outside the party, Moyo has already proved that he, and
nobody else in Zanu PF, has the ability to make effective attacks on the
Just recently he alleged the MDC-T was running a parallel government
structure where civil servants were paid super salaries, thanks to the World
Moyo's accusations caught the MDC-T flat footed and the party is yet
to properly rebut his claims, although frankly most people would probably
agree with the policy of keeping money out of Zanu PF's hands.
Moyo appears to be relishing the prospect of a fight with the MDC-T,
which ironically granted him a reprieve in Tsholotsho when he was allowed to
While he is right in arguing that it is his democratic right to rejoin
Zanu PF, this right is almost certain to impinge on the rights of others.
For journalists and human rights defenders Moyo's return could be an ominous
sign of what is to follow. The era of vitriolic attacks against the media
may be back!
And worryingly, it's not just Moyo who is returning. Tafataona Mahoso,
who helped Moyo in silencing the media, is also back.
The former MIC boss has landed another job as BAZ chair.
The two form a lethal combination for the media which had hoped for
reform and growth after encouraging signs from the inclusive government. A
number of newspaper projects await licensing while the minister twiddles his
These latest moves confirm that the government is not serious about
media reform and will resort to opportunists like these to cling to power.
There is only one consolation in all this.
Despite their menaces and blandishments, Zimbabwean voters have
unambiguously rejected their insistent claims over the past 10 years. They
are essentially failures and nothing is going to change that now.
|Saturday, 03 October 2009 15:45|
Sheila Jarvis, a Legal Practitioner, responds to Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa’s full page adverts defending his decision to pull Zimbabwe out of the SADC Tribunal. Despite using government’s coat of arms, Patrick Chinamasa had no authority to say Sadc Tribunal and the 2001 Treaty Amendment were illegally in operation. Both claims departed from established government positions.
It is inherently improbable all the Sadc leaders plus advisors would have overlooked requirements Chinamasa [PC hereafter] claims to have belatedly noticed. It is insulting to claim they did so.
Ten Tribunal members, including Zimbabwe’s nominee, were appointed by 2005’s Summit and sworn in.
The Zimbabwean Justice Guvava is on the Tribunal reserve bench but is the only female appointed, making it highly regrettable that PC now demands she withdraw.
She sits on it not as a Government delegate but as an independent judge of an independent regional Tribunal. Article 17.2 in the Sadc Treaty states that Tribunal members “shall not seek or receive any instructions from any Member States”.
His late and novel arguments are incomplete and insincere; and, unless his Principal or the Inclusive Government is ready to pull out of 2001’s new Institutions and send MDC economic ministers to Sadc’s Council of Ministers, instead of ZANU’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, they fall down at their first hurdle.
Written by NEVER CHANDA
Friday, 02 October 2009 15:01
Prime Minister Tsvangirai - Hungry villagers forced to denounce his
MDC party before they can get food.
HARARE - Hundreds of hungry Zimbabwean villagers are being denied food
handouts and forced to denounce their own parties in return for assistance
as marauding Zanu (PF) militants continue to wage war of attrition against
perceived political enemies, a new report by the Zimbabwe Peace Project
(ZPP) revealed last week.
ZPP said of the 1 335 incidents of political violations recorded
during the month of July, about 493 cases or 37 percent were of people who
were harassed, intimidated or physically assaulted while trying to access
"Incidents of harassment, discrimination, and violence continue to
haunt the distribution of humanitarian and food assistance," read part of
the ZPP report.
About 44 percent of the cases involved discriminations in areas
relating to food relief, government subsidised food, tillage support, input
distribution and medical treatment while 42 percent were harassments
involving incidents in which people were forced to chant slogans, denounce
their parties, attend political meetings and produce party cards.
Another 14 percent of the cases involved the use of violence in the
form of physical attacks, malicious damage to property and sexual abuse.
The worst affected provinces were Mashonaland West and Midlands where
135 incidents were recorded apiece, followed by Mashonaland East with 96
cases and Manicaland with 64 incidents.
Harassments and denials to food and humanitarian assistance sourced
from non-governmental organisations were prevalent in the Midlands.
The harassments involved cases in which people were forced to denounce
their own parties and forced to produce party cards or attend political
In Mashonaland West, humanitarian and food relief interventions were
generally viewed with suspicion and closely monitored by war veterans and
Zanu (PF) officials.
ZPP said a cumulative total of 10 328 political violations were
recorded between January and July 2009, of which 5 308 were harassments, 2
323 assaults, 500 displacements and 225 malicious damage to property.
"Harassment and discrimination remain disturbingly on the high side, a
pointer to low tolerance to people expressing their views on national issues
such as the constitution making process, the national healing process,
outstanding issues and the inclusive government in general," the
It urged the three parties to the inclusive government to have "a
pressing mandate to sell the zero-tolerance to human rights abuses message
to their structures at both the macro and micro levels of society".
ZPP noted that the three peace days declared by President Robert
Mugabe in July to promote national healing should herald the unfolding of
national programmes encompassing truth, forgiveness, justice and
compensation that are more robust.
"For justice to be seen working, ZPP recommends that those who
committed murder should be arrested while those who had their property and
livestock should be compensated," it said.
Some of the alleged murderers have been recruited as teachers at
schools in areas where they terrorised villagers during last year's disputed
ZPP called on the local leadership and the church to be actively
involved in the enforcement of the healing process, noting that "simply
asking people to forgive is merely postponing problems as they are poised to
Talks ongoing between African Consolidated Resources and Harare over site
where 200 may have died
Ian Evans in Cape Town
The Observer, Sunday 4 October 2009
THE British owners of a Zimbabwean mine at the centre of "blood diamond"
allegations say they are still in tentative negotiations with Robert
Mugabe's government about re-taking ownership of the field.
Aim-listed African Consolidated Resources bought mining rights to the
Marange diamond fields in February 2006 but was evicted eight months later.
That prompted illegal public mining of the site, followed by a violent and
bloody backlash by the Zimbabwean military in which it is alleged 200 people
After it was evicted, ACR launched a legal battle to challenge the decision
and regain control of the 100,000-acre field. Last week, it won its case in
the Zimbabwe high court when Justice Charles Hungwe told the state-owned
Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation, now in possession of the site, to
stop mining the fields, and ordered the power-sharing government to restore
ownership to the firm.
The court decision represents a significant victory for ACR, which says it
wants to set up a joint venture with the government. But the administration
has signalled that it may appeal; it had drawn up a shortlist of two unnamed
foreign mining firms which it wants to run the mines instead. ACR finance
director Roy Tucker said: "It's a sensitive issue and we have to be careful
what is said about this. There have been talks with officials and we hope
there will be a resolution in weeks, not months."
Following ACR's departure from the site in 2006, thousands of amateur
prospectors descended on Chiadzwa in the Marange district. Men and women
armed with spades and sieves dug wherever they wanted, overseen by local
police taking bribes. However, concerned that the government was not getting
a cut, President Mugabe sent in army, police and security agents to re-take
The crackdown saw widespread arrests, beatings and killings of anyone
suspected of involvement in unsanctioned diamond mining or smuggling.
Soldiers threw up a massive cordon around the diamond fields as the military
were given free rein in return for wealth and, some say, continued support
for the Mugabe regime.
On 26 June, the New York-based pressure group Human Rights Watch cited
accounts from more than 100 witnesses, miners, police officers, soldiers and
children alleging human rights abuses by troops. It said its researchers had
gathered evidence of mass graves and accounts of an incident in which
military helicopters fired on miners while armed soldiers on the ground
chased villagers away.
The military are now accused of press-ganging local people to mine for them
in return for a pittance. Villages and towns deemed too close to the diamond
fields were demolished and their residents forced to move away.
At the height of the mini-boom and before the military crackdown, the nearby
city of Mutare, 60 miles north, was seen as a "wild west" town with
cash-rich miners flaunting their wealth in new goods, cars and US dollars.
The diamonds would be smuggled out through the nearby Mozambique border
where dealers from Lebanon, Belgium, Iraq, Mauritania and the Balkans were
waiting to buy in cash.
Monitors from the Kimberley Process, an international watchdog on diamond
mining, visited the area in the summer to investigate the "blood diamond"
claims. The term usually refers to diamonds mined in conflict areas, the
profits from which are used to finance war, insurgency or violence.
However the working party that visited Marange at the start of July has so
far failed to make a public recommendation on whether Zimbabwe should be
suspended from its certification process. Bernhard Esau, chairman of the
Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, said last month: "The team provided
the KPCS and Zimbabwe with an interim update in July but is yet to produce
its final report. No final decision has yet been taken. The chairman has not
made any unilateral decision on Zimbabwe and there was no attempt to
pre-empt KPCS procedures."
After the July visit, Zimbabwe's official Herald newspaper said troops would
withdraw from the area, but there have been no reports that this has taken
ACR's Tucker said: "We want to get back on site, which will need improved
security and transparency of operations. That means no illegal business or
"There's been a lot of coverage on what's happened in Marange and the
Kimberley Process but we want to manage it in a proper way. At one stage
there were 15,000 people mining there with picks and shovels, digging holes
to get at the diamonds."
ACR gained property rights to the area after De Beers let its licence
expire. Tucker said that diamonds at the mine were "frosted", giving the
impression that they were less valuable industrial-grade diamonds.
He added: "We think others missed a trick - we knew their real worth, but
we've never been able to mine there. We're still waiting on the full
judgment from the court, but we hope we can resolve the issue with the
government. We'll have to fulfil some spending obligations at the mine, but
we think that can be sorted."
Written by The Zimbabwean
Friday, 02 October 2009 17:30
HARARE - The is government is appealing against a ruling by the Harare
High Court more than a week confirming UK-based mining firm African
Consolidated Resources Plc (ACR)'s right of title to claims on the notorious
Marange diamond field, according to Mines Minister Obert Mpofu (Pictured).
"We have appealed against that judgment, that is what the AG (Attorney
General) has been working on. That is the government position," Mpofu told a
Zimbabwean news website last Thursday.
Mpofu, a stalwart of President Robert Mugabe's Zanu (PF) party that is
in a power-sharing government with the former opposition MDC parties, would
not say when exactly the appeal was lodged with the Supreme Court that is
Zimbabwe's highest court of law.
He referred questions on the matter to AG Johannes Tomana, who was not
immediately available for comment.
In a statement following its court victory more than a week ago, ACR
said it was committed to "dialogue with the Zimbabwe government", in what
the market saw as an olive branch suggesting the UK firm's could be willing
to partner the government in extracting the Marange deposits.
The Harare government seized the Marange diamond field from ACR in
October 2006 and allocated the claim to the state-owned Zimbabwe Mining
The government moved into the controversial diamond field after
thousands of illegal miners descended on Marange, which ACR had held for
some time but apparently without any production.
A team from the Kimberley Process Certification System (KPCS) that
visited Zimbabwe last June called for a temporary ban on trade in diamonds
from Marange after unearthing gross human rights violations and other
illegal activities at the diamond field allegedly committed by the army.
Mugabe sent the army to Marange in 2008 to flush out illegal miners
and dealers from the diamond field. But human rights groups have accused
security forces of using brutal force to take control of the diamond field
and later forcing villagers to illegally mine the diamonds for resale on the
black market for precious minerals.
However the army and police have refused to leave Marange while Harare
denies allegations of human rights abuses and says calls to ban diamonds
from the controversial diamond field were unjustified because Zimbabwe was
not involved in a war or armed conflict.
Written by NEVER CHANDA
Friday, 02 October 2009 17:08
HARARE - Zanu (PF) hawks are baying for the blood of Speaker of
Parliament Lovemore Moyo under an elaborate plan to discredit the former
opposition Movement for Democratic Change and reduce its control of the
House of Assembly, The Zimbabwean On Sunday learnt last week. (Pictured:
Speaker of Parliament Lovemore Moyo)
Intelligence sources said Moyo was the next target of the Zanu (PF)
plan that had already seen more than 10 legislators from the MDC led by
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai being arrested for various crimes ranging
from petty thefts and rape to inciting public violence and playing protest
The sources said the latest stage of the plan would target and tarnish
the MDC heavyweights, starting with Moyo before moving to the party's vice
president Thokozani Khupe, secretary general and finally Tsvangirai.
"Officers have been assigned to monitor the activities of the MDC top
four. The ultimate goal is to ensure that targets are destroyed as a
credible force," said a Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operative
who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Moyo got a taste of the well-oiled Zanu (PF) scheme - which also
includes a partisan state media - when details of his 12-month stay in a
five-star Harare hotel were splashed in the press last week.
It is alleged that Moyo had been staying at the luxury Meikles Hotel
for US$6 000 a month since he took over as Speaker of the House at the end
of August last year and only checked out at the beginning of September this
year after Parliament secured a house to rent for him at US$1 800 per month.
The state media also alleges that before Moyo moved out of the plush
hotel, the ministry of finance bought the Speaker furniture worth US$30 000
for his house.
The CIO source said more dirty details would soon emerge about Moyo,
with the ultimate goal of ejecting him from his position as Speaker of
Parliament and installing someone acceptable to Zanu (PF).
Zanu (PF), with the assistance of independent Member of Parliament
Jonathan Moyo, has been pushing for the nullification of Lovemore Moyo's
election as Speaker on the grounds that the poll was flawed because the
secret ballot papers were revealed to other legislators.
The MDC chairman beat former parliamentarian Paul Themba-Nyathi, whose
candidacy for the Speaker's post was sponsored by his party, the breakaway
faction of the MDC led by Mutambara. He enjoyed the full backing of
President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF.
The legal challenge means the MDC's control of Parliament stands
doubtful in the face of the constitutional court challenge against the
election of its national chairman which the applicants claim was in
contravention of Article 6 of the Parliamentary Standing Orders.
Moyo was elected Speaker by a surprising 110 votes to the 98 clinched
by Themba-Nyathi, following a surprise change in allegiance on the part of
the 10 MPs representing the breakaway faction of the MDC as parliamentarians
cast their ballot.
The High Court has indefinitely reserved judgement in the case.
With elections expected in two years, the Zanu (PF) machinery is
working at full throttle to position the former ruling party for a comeback
after the sensational defeat at the hands of the MDC in last year's
"The plot goes beyond digging unpleasant personal details of key MDC
figures but also dragging them into one crisis after another on the economic
front so that they lose all credibility among their supporters and backers,"
the CIO source said.
The revelations of the Zanu (PF) plot came a few weeks after the
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe told our sister paper, The Zimbabwean
On Tuesday, that CIO operatives and militias linked to the former ruling
party were forcing its members to join a strike organised by the rival
Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA).
The industrial action was later called off last month after ZIMTA
reached an agreement with the government.
Written by The Editor
Friday, 02 October 2009 10:57
Nothing demonstrates the increasingly delinquent behavior of the unity
government than its decision last week to hold yet another conference to
discuss a national task that requires urgent action and real solutions not
more slogans and cheap talk.
The government, with support from the World Bank, held last Wednesday
and Thursday the so-called National Agriculture Conference to "review the
status of the agricultural sector and map out a strategy for agricultural
recovery in the short to medium term". What rank madness?
What agricultural recovery is there to talk about when hired thugs
masquerading as war veterans are allowed to roam the countryside looting
commercial farms and evicting some of the country's most capable food
growers under the pretext of land reform?
Does it not follow that recovery of agriculture and food production
can only happen in conditions of peace, law and order. The urgent task of
the day is for the government to arrest and jail the paid hoodlums
disrupting planting operations across the country so that farmers can grow
food in peace.
Sitting all day in air-conditioned conference rooms, drinking endless
cups of tea and pontificating about agriculture while Zanu (PF) thugs are
busy invading farms is gross incompetence bordering on the criminal.
Elsewhere in the world, no government would last another day in office
with this sort of dereliction of duty that we are seeing from the
administration of Messrs Robert Mugabe, Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur
And when you consider the fact that national army soldiers have been
deployed on farms - as is the case at Charles Lock's Karori Farm in
Headlands - with the sole order to stop farming operations, then it is hard
to avoid the conclusion that the unity government is headed for dismal
failure on all the important fronts.
The government cannot resuscitate agriculture under prevailing
conditions and therefore it cannot revive the economy.
Forget all talk about the government having been able to stabilise the
economy or last week's projections by the International Monetary Fund that
Zimbabwe's economy would grow by 3.7 percent this year. It is unsustainable
when anarchy reigns supreme in the agricultural sector, the bedrock of
As with agriculture and the economy the government also looks destined
to fail on constitutional reforms that are probably the most important of
all the tasks that this administration must fulfill.
It is clear from all the dithering and quarrelling among the parties
that the reforms are either going to flop completely or produce a compromise
document authored by the three main political parties that will have little
to do with furthering the rights of Zimbabweans or improving the way the
country is governed. Both are undesirable outcomes.
Yet this government - the first in many years to enjoy the support of
nearly all Zimbabweans - could achieve so much if only they could get out of
the conference rooms and begin to do some work like all of us are trying to