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SADC Troika meeting on hold as Zim sets constitution conference date

By Alex Bell
04 October 2012

An anticipated meeting of the regional security Troika has been put on hold,
with Zimbabwe’s unity government reaching an agreement on, and setting a
date for the 2nd All Stakeholders constitution conference.

The conference is now set to take place at the Harare Sheraton from October
21 – 23 following an agreement by the principals in government that the
meeting go ahead. An agreement on funding the conference has also been met
with donors, according to the MDC-T spokesman Douglas Mwonzora.

“Everything is on course. Funding is no longer an issue. We have been
assured that the safety of participants at the conference will also be
guaranteed, but that remains to be seen,” Mwonzora said.

Mwonzora told SW Radio Africa that a SADC Troika meeting on Zimbabwe is now
only likely to happen after the conference, “to deal with whatever impasse
that might arise then.”

“Originally ZANU PF was refusing to go the conference and refusing on a
number of other issues but this seems to have died down. We expect them to
resuscitate these issues after that (the conference),” Mwonzora said.

It was reported last month that the SADC Troika would hold a special meeting
on Zimbabwe on October 8th, because of the deadlock reached on the
constitution. Speaking at the end of a September Troika meeting, Tanzania
President Jakaya Kikwete said a summit would be convened to address this

Lindiwe Zulu, the spokesperson for the South African facilitation team
tasked with bringing an end to Zimbabwe’s political crisis, told SW Radio
Africa that no SADC meeting is on the cards next week. She confirmed however
that her team will be back in Zimbabwe next Monday as part of their ongoing
mediation efforts.

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Tsvangirai, Mugabe plan to sink COPAC

04/10/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai faces a revolt from his MDC-T party over
secret talks he held with President Robert Mugabe and Deputy Prime Minister
Arthur Mutambara at which they plotted to give themselves powers to amend
the draft constitution.

The three men met after Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting and sought the opinions of
Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa and Constitutional Affairs Minister Eric

The plan, say sources, is to strip the parliamentary Constitutional Select
Committee (COPAC) and the management committee made up of the GPA
negotiators of their role in steering the draft constitution and make it a
“government process”.

Under the proposal, Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Mutambara would sit and make
amendments to the draft constitution after the All Stakeholders’ Conference
set for this month.

Matinenga, sources say, rejected the plan and said the Global Political
Agreement was clear that COPAC was in charge of the new constitution. He
also questioned why MDC leader Welshman Ncube had been excluded from the

Chinamasa, who supported the move, insisted that Ncube – who was made to
wait in the foyer – would not matter as long as there was agreement between
Zanu PF and the MDC-T.

A source revealed: “What was being proposed essentially was to renegotiate
the GPA. Mugabe was very angry with Matinenga for refusing to go along with
the plan.”

Chinamasa (Zanu PF) and Matinenga (MDC-T) were later asked to leave the
meeting and Ncube was ushered in but his party says he was not made aware of
the discussion that had gone on in his absence.

MDC secretary general Priscilla Misihairabwi said: “I can confirm that we
received a briefing from our president [Welshman Ncube] that a proposal to
sideline parliament and the MDC was discussed between Mugabe, Tsvangirai and

“It doesn’t surprise us that Mugabe will push for such a thing because that’s
what he and his party have wanted for a long time, but to learn that
Tsvangirai is in on it is a surprise.”

Douglas Mwonzora, who chairs COPAC and is also the spokesman for Tsvangirai’s
MDC-T said if such a plan was put into action “it would be a mistake.”

“This constitution is a parliamentary process, and it is the job of the
parliamentary committee to see it through, ending with the presentation of
both the draft and the National Report over to Parliament. It would be a
mistake and it’s wrong to convert this into an executive process, if they
are to be allowed to amend the constitution,” Mwonzora said on Thursday.

He said no amendments would be made at the All Stakeholders’ Conference but
if there was consensus on changes, these could be effected after the
conference by COPAC.

“Having any other body amending the constitution is actually hijacking the
role of parliament as set out in the GPA. We cannot allow the executive to
amend the constitution and the MDC’s position is clear that this is a
parliamentary process and that the executive must not interfere. We have
also said we will vote ‘YES’ for this draft.”

Publicly, Tsvangirai has backed with his party’s resolutions to frustrate
Zanu PF plans to allow the leaders to make changes to the draft, but senior
officials in his party say he is “indicating left and turning right”.

One said: “There are many reasons why Tsvangirai finds himself in agreement
with Mugabe and Mutambara. The trouble with him is that he has a very
limited concentration span and appreciation of things. He looks for easy
solutions out of difficult problems to just get away from it.

“Secondly, anything he can do that takes [Tendai] Biti out of the equation
he will latch onto it. Biti is a member of the management committee which
superintends over COPAC. Tsvangirai wants to be decision maker, he is easily
seduced by the idea of him and Mugabe being the number one people in the
country and making all decisions even where his party has delegated
ministers and officials.

“Thirdly, Tsvangirai has a pervasive hatred of Welshman Ncube, and in this
he has found allies in Mugabe and Mutambara. Mutambara wants to be seen as a
major political player and for Mugabe it’s more to do with Ncube’s refusal
to budge on devolution of power which Chinamasa would have made him aware

“This cocktail of issues is what unites these three, and they are all ready
to dissolve COPAC and declare that the government – meaning Mugabe
Tsvangirai and Mutambara – are now taking over the process.”

Tsvangirai's spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka had not responded to our e-mailed
questions late last night. His mobile phone was not being answered.

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Soldiers turn Nyanga into a ‘no-go’ area for MDC supporters

By Alex Bell
04 October 2012

Soldiers who have voiced their support for ZANU PF have turned Nyanga into a
‘no-go’ area for supporters of the MDC, as part of a provincial clampdown by
the army in Manicaland.

Described as a ‘Blitzkrieg’, the army invasion in the province has
intensified over several months, with soldiers being dispatched to several
villages. The soldiers have been conducting rallies and meetings,
threatening violence against anyone opposed to ZANU PF. They have also
declared that no MDC meetings are allowed to take place.

According to the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, such incidents have been
reported in Magondo and Mupanguri villages of Makoni South, where an
estimated 400 armed soldiers were reported to have intimidated villagers,
chanting and singing ZANU PF slogans and songs.

Nyanga South is now the latest target of this army campaign and villagers
there are said to be living in fear. Villagers who spoke to the Crisis
Coalition on condition of anonymity said that Headmen and Chiefs from areas
that include Ruwangwe, Fombe and Nyakomba village, were forced to gather
over the weekend. They were then expressly told not to allow the MDC-T
legislator for Nyanga South constituency, Douglas Mwonzora to organise any
meetings in the area

The MDC-T’s spokesperson for Manicaland province, Pishai Muchauraya told SW
Radio Africa that there has been an influx of soldiers in Nyanga, parts of
Makoni and parts of Buhera, and they have admitted operating on orders to
support ZANU PF’s election campaign.

“According to a soldier who spoke to me, but didn’t know I was MDC-T, they
were told to come to Nyanga to defend the ZANU PF agenda. So we are very
concerned,” Muchauraya said.

Muchauraya said that the use of the army is all part of ZANU PF’s tactics
ahead of elections to force people into voting for that party. He said the
presence of the soldiers is evidence enough that some form of peacekeeping
mission will be needed in Zimbabwe in the run up to elections.

“We don’t just need observes. We need peacekeepers, before the election and
during the election. Otherwise, it won’t be fair on our supporters to force
them to vote under these conditions,” Muchauraya said.

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ZANU PF forcing resettled farmers to join party structures

By Tererai Karimakwenda
04 October 2012

Resettled farmers in many districts of Chimanimani are being forced to join
ZANU PF structures, or risk losing the land they were given and being sent
back to their original home.

Local activist, Peter Chogura, reported that the strategy being used by ZANU
PF in resettled areas is working because they won more districts in the last
election. According to Chogura, officials from ZANU PF have been approaching
the local headmen and demanding a list of the farmers who are paying the
traditional tax in that constituency. These are families that were resettled
by government about four years ago, as part of the land redistribution

Chogura said they are offered positions within ZANU PF structures or private
companies owned by ZANU PF. But the offer also comes with a threat, which
basically gives the farmers no choice.

The latest incidents were reported by resettled farmers in ward 13
Chimanimani, in areas of Manatse and Nyaruwa. One farmer in ward 13 was
offered a position as the ‘agricultural price control officer’, which meant
nothing to him.

According Chogura, the farmer’s sisters were told to act as ‘cheerleaders’
at ZANU PF rallies and meetings. They were told that only MDC supporters
would refuse to help the party that gave them land.

The farmer implicated the ZANU PF district chairman for ward 13, Thomas
Chisiku and another known as Tsangamidzi, who works with ZANU PF legislator
for Chimanimani, Samuel Udenge.

According to Chogura, ZANU PF has also managed to convince many of the
resettled farmers that only Robert Mugabe has power to give them land, and
if he is voted out of office the farms will be returned to white farmers.

The activist warned the MDC-T that they will lose many supporters in the
resettled areas if they do not focus on this ZANU PF strategy and find ways
to educate the resettled farmers.

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Zanu-PF's gangs spin out of control

The police and party seem powerless to act against violent youth militias demanding protection money from citizens and businesses.

In searing heat last Friday, traders stood about as the "al-Shabaab" took down their names. The scene was a new market in a township in Kwekwe, a mining town in central Zimbabwe, and the local Zanu-PF militia, which has named itself after the militant Somali group, was deciding who would get a stall.

On a wall near the market a sign warned the market's tenants: "Alshabab youth power – beware."

For a "protection fee", the Zanu-PF youths allow people to take up stalls in the market, which bustles with vegetable vendors and metalworkers.

"We don't know each other," shouted one of the militia members. "We do this so we know each other."

Refusal to pay the fee means being put out of business and the police appear powerless to act. When the group recently beat up traders and shut down stores, the militants were only briefly detained by the police.

According to a local councillor, Terrence Dube, members of the militia are also involved in illegal gold mining. Recently, they dug up the local cemetery, but no arrests were made.

"Al-Shabaab" is only one of many such youth groups aligned to Zanu-PF taking root in urban areas in Zimbabwe and taking over control of poor townships.

Zanu-PF had deployed the youth militias to seize control of rebellious urban centres, but now the party appears to be losing control of the gangs, which fund themselves through extortion.

It began in Harare, where the Chipangano group took over the capital's largest township, Mbare, in the name of Zanu-PF. The outfit quickly dismantled the structures of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in the township and helped to increase the numbers at Zanu-PF rallies by shutting down markets to force people to attend meetings.

For a while it worked for Zanu-PF; the MDC was being pushed out of the areas it won in elections and senior party officials also took a cut from the militia's extortionist activities. But now Chipangano has spun out of Zanu-PF's control and the party is scrambling to try to crush it.

The group has engaged in clashes with soldiers and police over control of taxi ranks and markets.

The fights have been a major embarrassment to Zanu-PF, but the party appears clueless about how it can regain control of the militias.

Reign of terror
Zanu-PF's secretary for administration, Didymus Mutasa, recently ordered Amos Midzi, party chairperson for Harare, to end Chipangano's reign of terror, saying its activities were "damaging the image of the party".

Midzi responded that he knew nothing about the group, but Mutasa told him publicly that "if you tell me that you don't know that group, I will tell you that you are lying … I want to know why you are not ending it."

Just days after Mutasa's order, police said members of Chipangano shot at police officers who were trying to shut down illegal businesses run by the outfit in a Harare suburb.

Police questioned Zanu-PF Harare youth leader Jimmy Kunaka, widely believed to be the leader of the group. Like most Zanu-PF officials, he has denied any links to Chipangano.

"I'm a [Zanu-PF] provincial chairman. I operate within the structures of Zanu-PF. These allegations that I lead this group are being made by agents of the MDC who are trying to tarnish my image," he said.

The militia has formed cartels that have taken over taxi ranks, pushing out police and city council officials. They demand a "protection fee" from taxi operators and those that fail to pay up are beaten and driven out of business. The cartel is part of a wider network that controls much of township life, from allocating market stalls to deciding who occupies flats.

Precious Shumba, a community organiser with the Harare Residents' Trust, said: "While these individuals started off being assured of Zanu-PF protection and, by extension, protection from arrest, prosecution and subsequent incarceration for human rights violations, they have transformed from being mere pawns in a political game to becoming masters of their own territories, gaining in financial muscle."

Violence and extortion
Piniel Denga, MDC MP for Mbare, said Zanu-PF did not have the political will to stamp out the militias.

Human rights groups said Chipangano's methods of extortion and violence were being exported to other parts of the country, where Zanu-PF is finding it hard to control militia groups operating in its name.

Other groups have emerged in other parts of the country and all are accused of violence and extortion. New groups have been reported in the Zanu-PF strongholds of Chinhoyi and Marambapfungwe. According to a report by the Zimbabwe Peace Project, comprising human rights activists, the militia bases are being revived in Hurungwe, a district that experienced violence in the 2008 elections.

Nobody knows for sure who leads Chipangano. A recent report in the state-owned Herald only said the group was "believed to be aligned to some party officials".

Kunaka denied that he was head of Chipangano and claimed he had ­protected taxi operators when the MDC-run council wanted to drive them out of business.

Mugabe was a genuine African leader

"The council wanted to replace kombis [minibus taxis] with buses from India. They should be thanking me, not accusing me," he said. "Anybody who claims that I have been violent should come forward. Nobody has ever come forward."

Kunaka said he joined Zanu-PF when he was 13. He vowed he would die to keep Mugabe in power and oppose any attempts to replace him.

Recently he told the Financial Gazette that, unlike former South African president Nelson Mandela, Mugabe was a genuine African leader.

"That story that he [Mandela] was in jail for 27 years is not true. He was not in jail. He was kept in luxury, eating nice food. That's when he sold South Africa," he told the newspaper.

Kunaka claimed that one of his mentors was Tendai Savanhu, a local businessperson and Zanu-PF official, who some people have alleged bankrolls Chipangano. Savanhu has denied any links to the Mbare group.

This week Savanhu, who has failed in several previous attempts to be voted Mbare MP, appeared in the state press donating goods to residents living in Mbare's council-owned flats, which are controlled by Chipangano.

Mugabe shakes a leg in a bid to woo the born-frees' vote

The upcoming election in Zimbabwe must be considered a close contest by Zanu-PF officials – and the youth vote must be the big prize. Why else would President Robert Mugabe, that model of old-school decorum, appear in yet another music video, ­dancing ­awkwardly next to a bunch of young men with mohawks?

Two years after his voice was used in music videos singing his praises, a new video is now on repeat on state television.

The plan is to bridge the huge gap between the 88-year-old leader and the young, urban voter. But with his co-stars leaping enthusiastically around him, Mugabe manages only a few reluctant, wooden moves, his grey designer suit out of place next to the bandanas and mohawks of the Born Free Crew.

Shot in Mugabe's office in the capital Harare, the video shows him standing to attention while the singers salute him. They then surround him, dancing and throwing their arms around his shoulders as if he was one of their own. When they finally coax him into a dance, he carefully, if seemingly reluctantly, kicks one leg and then another, wearing a wide grin.

The Born Free Crew has even named a hairstyle after their hero. It is a mohawk but with the word Gushungo (crocodile) – Mugabe's totem – shaved on one side of the head. According to one member of the crew, DJ Anusa, the group's debut CD, packed with Mugabe praise songs, sold more than 3000 copies at the Zanu-PF conference in Bulawayo in December.

Beyond the groups of youth militia it deploys against its opponents, Zanu-PF struggles to find genuine support among the young. The party's nationalist rhetoric finds

little purchase among the born-frees, people born after independence in 1980.

A new strategy is to dole out start-up money for businesses run by youths. About $1-million is available for each of the country's 10 provinces under Zimbabwe's indigenisation programme.

Zanu-PF's Chris Mutsvangwa, a former director of the country's infamous Central Intelligence Agency, believes the "empowerment" strategy will result in youths turning to Zanu-PF. "Zanu-PF goes for the real thing. Your wealth is the basis of your prosperity. If you control wealth, the future of the youth is assured," he said.

More than 62% of Zimbabwe's population is younger than 24, according to official statistics. However, civic group Youth Forum says only 18% of voters in the 2008 elections were aged between 18 and 30. Young Zimbabweans have mostly stayed away from politics.

"This fact has also been buttressed by a negligible youth turnout at various meetings that were meant to capture people's views on the new constitution during the course of 2011," the forum said.

The Election Resource Centre, a voter-education group, recently launched a campaign called the "First Time Voter Generation" in a bid to encourage youths to get more involved in the upcoming polls.

"Our biggest challenge is to convince the youths that their being unemployed and their failure to get access to clean water and medical services could be a result of their failure to use their opportunity to choose their leaders during elections," said the centre's director, Tawanda Chimhini.

Mugabe has warned that youth unemployment posed "a potential threat to national peace and stability". Desperate for change, urban youths have tended to back the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Zanu-PF's attempts at ­prising that urban youth vote from the MDC have been colourful, if nothing else. They have included placing Mugabe in pop songs, a Gushungo clothing line and even quoting dead United States rapper Tupac in his campaign posters.

But there is little evidence it is working. The elderly Mugabe finds it hard to connect with the young and Zanu-PF's Youth League chairperson, Absolom Sikhosana, is believed to be in his 50s.

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Parties' Wrangle Over Draft Constitution Escalates


The Zimbabwe Parliamentary Constitution Select Committee (COPAC) tasked with
writing the country’s constitution is considering delaying the
All-Stakeholders Conference by four days as parties continue to clash on the
way forward.

Sources said a major confrontation is looming as principals in the
government of national unity have taken over the process. They said there
are still serious clashes on documents to be tabled at the conference.

President Robert Mugabe's former ruling Zanu-PF party and Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangira's Movement for Democratic Change have falied to agree on
various issues resulting in the parties saying they will bring six documents
instead of one for public scrutiny.

The constitution-making process is already three years behind schedule.

COPAC sources told VOA that Zanu-PF has requested that the dates be pushed
forward from 17 to 21 October as the Harare International Conference Centre
has already been booked for a tourism expo which Zanu-PF officials claim
they also want to attend.

Though President Mugabe has indicated that a referendum will be held in
November, COPAC sources said it is only realistic to call for a
constitutional referendum in December.

Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s deputy chairwoman Joyce Kazembe has alreadly
said they need about US$104 million to organize the referendum.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti maintains that the government has no money to
hold the crucial referendum.

Political analyst and Media Centre director Earnest Mudzengi said confusion
in COPAC is not surprising as it is run by politicians.

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Prime Minister’s Wife Struggles to Access Chikurubi Prison

Violet Gonda

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s wife, Elizabeth, was Wednesday
temporarily barred from entering Chikurubi Maximum Prison where she was
visiting 29 Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) activists charged with the
murder of police inspector Petros Mutedza in Harare’s Glen View suburb last

Co-Home Affairs Minister Theresa Makone told VOA prison officers refused to
allow the prime minister’s wife to get inside the building saying she had
not been cleared by prison authorities.

Makone claimed that she was cleared in advance to visit the prison with any
official of the MDC formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

She said Deputy Justice Minister Obert Gutu, who also accompanied the group,
sent a letter to the Commissioner of Prisons Paradzai Zimondi indicating
that they were planning to visit Chikurubi Prison.

Makone noted that there was no response from Zimondi’s office before they
went to the prison Wednesday.

Prison officials were not immediately available for comment.

The minister said it took more than an hour for the officers to allow the
group to visit the prison complex with Mr. Tsvangirai’s wife.

Makone said it was also clear that the prison officials do not respect the
prime minister’s wife “because if it was Amai Mugabe she would have been
escorted with or without having given any notice”.

She said: “I think this is about a show of power - to demonstrate that you
guys might think you are in government with us but you are not there … We do
not even recognize you.”

Deputy Information Minister Murisi Zwizwai was part of the group that
escorted Mr. Tsvangirai’s wife to the prison complex.

Elizabeth has actively participated in social and party events since her
controversial marriage to Mr. Tsvangirai last month.

A week ago, she attended a hearing of the 29 detainees at the High Court a
few days after her wedding.

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Biti says war vets lock him out

03/10/2012 00:00:00
by Brian Paradza

FINANCE Minister Tendai Biti hit out at war veterans Wednesday after they
blockaded his government offices, forcing him to decamp and work from the
MDC-T’s Harvest House headquarters in the capital.

A few hundred veterans of the country’s independence war this week camped at
the Finance Ministry’s New Government Complex offices along Harare’s Samora
Machel Avenue to press for an increase of their US$130 monthly pensions to

But a seething Biti dismissed the stunt as a political gimmick.
“I was supposed to have issued this statement from New Government Complex in
the Treasury room but because of developments taking place I am unable to,”
Biti told reporters as he announced the launch of consultations for the 2013
national budget.

“The fact that we are unable to guarantee the security of our employees let
alone of our own person is a demonstration of the breakdown in the rule of
law, and order; the fact that we had war veterans moving into our offices
and those supposed to restore order failing to restore it is regrettable and
most unfortunate.”

He added: “The last time they visited my office they had a petition which,
among other things raised issues such as the purchase of vehicles for
chiefs, the payment of civil servant salaries, the issue of their allowances
as well as the disbandment of Zanu PF district committees; I cannot deal
with the disbandment of Zanu PF DCC’s because I am not a member of Zanu PF.

Biti, who recently admitted that the government was staring at a US$400
million budget black-hole, said it was just political mischief for the war
veterans to blame treasury for government’s failure to increase their

“I cannot unilaterally increase their allowances as that has to be approved
by cabinet. There is no super minister in cabinet,” he charged.

“Our cabinet works on the principle of collective responsibility; so what we
have here is that the attacks on the Ministry and me are political.

“(In any case) their only issue was the payment of their children’s school
fees and we have since paid a sum of US$6,2 million towards that; in fact we
don’t owe them anything.”

Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association Harare Province
commissar, Rai Gwenyambira, said Biti had failed to address their problems
and should resign.

“We petitioned him three months ago and we thought he would do some­thing as
he promised, but we are still struggling to make ends meet,” she said.

“Enough is enough and the fact that he has failed means he has to leave
office as a matter of urgency.”
But Biti said he would not be intimidated and declared: “We are not afraid
of anyone, you can send your bombs like you did to our houses, we are not
afraid of you. If anyone thinks that by organising vampire attacks on the
ministry we will yield anything, they are mistaken.”

He added that the blockade had also affected several other government
departments including the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs, the
Ministry of Higher Education, the Ministry of Economic Planning and
Investment Promotion as well as the Attorney General’s office which are all
housed at the same complex.

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Zanu ‘buys’ the youth

As the country heads for a watershed election to do away with a shaky
coalition government, Zanu (PF) has embarked on a membership recruitment
drive targeting youths in areas they lost out in during the bloody 2008

by Staff Reporter

The party fared poorly in Manicaland, Masvingo and the southern parts of the
country, in addition to urban constituencies that since 2000 have been
dominated by the MDC.

Investigations reveal that a big chunk of the youth empowerment fund
distributed by the Zimbabwe Youth was awarded to areas in which Zanu (PF)
lost much of its support since 2000.

Documents shown to this newspaper reveal that Harare had a lion’s share of
$395 000, Manicaland ($303 000) with Bulawayo getting $146 000, in an effort
to capacitate the youths and start income generating projects.

Mashonaland West, a province from which the Zanu (PF) leader, Robert Mugabe,
hails from received $198 000.

Zanu (PF) won only one seat in the capital as MDC bagged 28. In Manicaland
MDC took hold of 20 seats and Zanu (PF) only got six. In Bulawayo, the party
failed to win a single seat.

The move has been widely seen as a vote buying campaign ahead of crucial
elections to be held next year.

However, ZYC director, Livingstone Dzikira, rubbished allegations of
distributing the youth fund along party lines to woe young voters.

“The fund is not a Zanu (PF) project because the bank that is helping in
distributing these funds is not owned by the party,” he said. “Such
allegations are emerging from people who are now in an election mood and our
database of the beneficiaries shows that anyone can benefit, regardless of
their political affiliation.”

A local political analyst Jabusile Shumba, Public Policy and Governance
Manager at the Institute for a Democratic Alternative for Zimbabwe said vote
buying remained central to Zanu (PF) tactics.

“In the Zimbabwean context, vote buying is a key feature of Zanu (PF)
patronage politics since 1980, to sustain its political re-generation,”
Shumba said.

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Botswana Loan Entangled in Zimbabwe's Political Woes

Gibbs Dube

Zimbabwe has failed to gurantee a $64 million line of credit signed with
Botswana a month ago as the loan scheme for reviving distressed industries
has been entangled in the country’s political problems.

Some treasury officials told VOA Studio 7 the Ministry of Finance is being
blocked by the Zanu PF arm of the government from writing a credit guarantee
letter to the Botswana government fearing that Gaborone is trying to tie the
loan to democratic reforms.

The officials said it should have taken treasury a few days to write the
letter but indications are that President Robert Mugabe’s party is reneging
on the deal signed by the two governments.

Botswana indicated that it will only release the funds when Zimbabwe
provides credit guarantees.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti and Botswana authorities were not immediately
available for comment.

Walter Mbongolwane, economist and director of business consultancy firm, The
Expert Factor, said Zimbabwe should have written the credit guarantee letter
on the day of signing the loan agreement.

Under the credit facility, 70 percent of teh funds will be utilized for
reviving the manufacturing sector. Other targeted sectors are tourism,
information and communication technology and steel and leather industries.

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Mugabe insult cases continue mushrooming

A 47 year-old man has joined dozens of Zimbabweans facing charges of
insulting President Robert Mugabe.Human rights groups now fear the cases
might escalate as the country heads towards a general election, which the
ZANU PF leader wants to call in March next year.

by The Legal Monitor

Christopher Mandeya, who is employed as a data capture clerk, is accused of
undermining the authority of or insulting Mugabe as defined in Section 33
(1) (a) (b) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act. Charges
against him emanate from an incident in May this year when he was allegedly
drunk at Chipadze Business Centre, where he reportedly said: “Kwavane unity
government, Zanu PF haichatonga pfutseke naMugabe venyu, pfutseke nababa

The State interpreted this to mean: “There is now a unity government, Zanu
PF is no longer in power, forsake your Mugabe, forsake father Chatunga.”According
to State papers, Martin Mavhangira from Chipadze Township heard Mandeya
saying these words on 3 May 2012.

The 59-year-old man says he saw Mandeya being surrounded by a group of
people and moved closer.“The informant (Mavhangira) discovered that it was
the accused person (Mandeya) who was drawing the attention of the people
since he was very drunk and making some political utterances,” says the
State.Mavhangira then made a report to the police resulting in the arrest of
Mandeya, who is now being represented by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
(ZLHR) member lawyer, Denford Halimani of Wintertons Legal Practitioners.

Halimani successfully challenged the validity of a letter of authority to
prosecute obtained by prosecutors from Attorney General Johannes Tomana,
which was defective resulting in the postponement of the matter to 18
October.ZLHR has represented dozens of Zimbabweans in all of the country’s
10 provinces facing charges of contravening Section 33 of the Criminal Law
(Codification and Reform) Act.

Some of the accused persons have since approached the Supreme Court seeking
a determination on the constitutionality of the insult law. They argue that
the law violates their constitutionally guaranteed right to freely express
their views concerning a political foe.They argue that charges of
undermining or insulting the President violate constitutionally guaranteed
rights to freedom of expression and protection of the law.

Police and prosecutors have routinely used this law to hit citizens with
charges of undermining or insulting the authority of the President.Those
challenging the constitutionality of the insult law include Nyanga North MP
Hon. Douglas Mwonzora and Makoni South MP Hon. Pishai Muchauraya.

He was accused of telling supporters in 2006 that Mugabe was too old,
suffering from diarrhoea and dying.In papers filed by his lawyer, Tawanda
Zhuwarara of ZLHR, Hon. Muchauraya says the law is too vague and open to
abuse.“The provision in terms of which I am being charged makes serious
inroads into the freedom of expression to the extent that it allows the
State to gag me in expressing my political sentiments and concerns relating
to a political figure, the President,” argues Hon. Muchauraya.

“The President is a politician who operates in the same political landscape
of his opponents. The current provision gives the President undue protection
that immunises him from legitimate political attacks on his competency to
remain in office.“As a politician I have the freedom to freely express
myself and use such language that may drive my political point home and
resonate with my audience. The provision in question offends such freedom.
Further no such restriction could be reasonably justifiable in society which
has attained our level of democracy,” argues Hon. Muchauraya.

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Mugabe goblin case at Supreme Court

A controversial law that police and prosecutors have relied on to silence
political activists and ordinary Zimbabweans from criticising the President
comes under scrutiny at the Supreme Court this week. Hundreds of
Zimbabweans-from legislators to villagers-are facing charges under Section
33 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act for allegedly
undermining the authority of or insulting President Robert Mugabe.

by The Legal Monitor

They are now pinning their hopes on a case that is before the Supreme Court,
sitting as a Constitutional Court on Thursday.MP for Nyanga North Hon.
Douglas Mwonzora, who is being charged under the insult law for allegedly
likening President Mugabe to a goblin, is challenging the constitutionality
of the law.The Supreme Court Registrar has written to Hon. Mwonzora’s
lawyers and the Attorney General’s Office advising that the case has been
set down for this Thursday.In his application set to be heard on Thursday,
Hon. Mwonzora argues that the insult law is unconstitutional as it infringes
on freedom of expression while giving undue protection to an elected
President who should be subjected to public scrutiny.

In the case leading to the Supreme Court challenge, Hon. Mwonzora is accused
of likening President Mugabe to a goblin at a rally he addressed at Ruwangwe
Growth Point in Nyanga North constituency in March 2009.The State alleges
that Hon. Mwonzora uttered the following words: “President Robert Mugabe
chikwambo uye achamhanya. Ndaona Mugabe achigeza, tauro muchiuno, sipo
muhapwa uye ndebvu hwapepe. Pamberi neMDC, pasi nechihurumende chembavha
chinosunga vanhu vasina mhosva chichitora zvinhu zvavo.

”Police took this to mean: “President Mugabe is a goblin and will run… I saw
Mugabe bathing, towel on his waist, soap under his armpits and big beard…
forward with MDC, down with bad government of thieves which arrest innocent
people and taking away their property (sic).”Hon. Mwonzora argues that the
law used to charge him gives President Mugabe an unfair advantage as a
political opponent.Reads his Supreme Court application:

“Applicant (Hon. Mwonzora) contends that his political rights as read
together with his freedoms of association and assembly are being violated by
subjecting him to criminal prosecution over alleged political utterances
made in relation to a political opponent. In the present matter, Section 33
of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act is being used to gag
Applicant in the exercise of his political rights and freedoms of
association and assembly.

Applicant, being a member of the MDC, in advancing his political interests,
is entitled to utter political statements which best serves his cause. The
President is entitled to an equal. “Applicant contends that in enacting
Section 33 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, the
legislature never intended to suppress such freedoms, which are in any event
non-derogable and Section 33 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform)
Act is not enacted for any of the purposes that would place a limitation on
Applicant’s rights aforementioned.

It is designed to protect a President, in the exercise of his functions as
such. It does not extend to protection of a political functionary of certain
political party. Allowing the protection extended to Section 33 of the
Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act to extend to political
functionaries in their capacity as such tilts the playing field in favour of
one political party.

No citizen will ever be safe in criticising Zanu PF and what it stands for
if such criticisms cannot be extended to the epitome of that political party
simply because he is a president.“It is particularly inappropriate to invoke
Section 33 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act to govern
political issues because then no one would be able to stand for the office
of President for so long as there is a sitting President, because any
criticism of that President will be construed as seeking to undermine his
authority or insult him.

“It is also difficult for any citizen, and in this case Applicant, to hold
any thought or opinion about the President (freedom of conscience) and
express that thought (freedom of expression) about or concerning the
President as any such thoughts and expressions may be deemed to be insulting
or undermining the authority of the President.“It is submitted that the
import of Section 33 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act is
too broad, wide and vague so as to make the law uncertain.

It imposes an undue limitation on Applicant’s protection of the law as it is
not possible for Applicant to regulate his political conduct in so far as it
relates to the First Secretary of Zanu PF for so long as he also wears the
jacket of the President of Zimbabwe. This law must therefore be struck down
as being unconstitutional. “It is submitted that Section 33 of the Criminal
Law (Codification and Reform) Act is not reasonably necessary in any
democratic society. This is because of the undue limitations it places on a
cross section of related rights and freedoms enshrined in the Constitution
of Zimbabwe and also guaranteed in other international human rights

The Supreme Court is on Thursday expected to determine the following:

• Whether or not Hon.Mwonzora’s freedom of expression, as guaranteed by
Section 20 (1) of the Constitution has been violated

• Whether or not Hon.Mwonzora’s freedom of thought as guaranteed by Section
19 of the Constitution has been violated

• Whether or not Hon.Mwonzora’s political rights enshrined in the
Declaration of Rights has been violated

• Whether or not Section 33 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform)
Act is too wide, broad and vague so as to render the law uncertain and
thereby infringing on Hon.Mwonzora’s protection of the law as set out in
Section 18 of the Constitution and whether or not the Section should be
struck down for want of constitutionality.

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Mozambique resumes Harare flights

By Alex Bell
04 October 2012

Mozambique’s national airline has announced it will resume flying to Harare
as of the end of October, apparently in response to increased demand for the

In a statement, Mozambique Airlines (LAM) said it would fly to Harare twice
a week, on Wednesdays and Sundays, starting on October 31.

“The flights, both to and from Harare, will also stop at Beira (Mozambique’s
second largest city) to offer more connections with all LAM destinations,
and to increase e opportunities for passengers to travel easily and with
greater frequency and rapidity to Harare,” the company said.

LAM had suspended flights to Zimbabwe at the height of the country’s
economic meltdown. But Mozambique has now joined of host of other nations
who have resumed their Zim services, in what many analysts are saying is a
positive sign for the country’s still wilted economy.

Ironically, the renewed interest in flying to Zimbabwe comes as the national
flag carrier has been grounded, because of serious debt and other concerns.
In March this year Air Zimbabwe was disbanded, following crippling strikes
by their staff and massive unpaid debts, which led to the seizure of an
aircraft in London.

Air Zim was also recently suspended from the International Air Transport
Association (IATA) after failing to comply with global safety standards. The
suspension was confirmed by the Transport and Communications Minister
Nicholas Goche, who said Air Zimhad been given until November 31 to comply
with IATA’s international standards.

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Moyo sues Daily News over Mugabe ouster story

on October 4, 2012 at 1:52 am

The case in which Zanu-PF Politburo member Professor Jonathan Moyo is suing
Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe over two articles published in the Daily
News based on WikiLeaks reports has been referred to trial.

Chief Wiki-Leaker Jonathan Moyo (centre) seen here with Robert Mugabe at a
Zanu PF Politburo meeting
Prof Moyo is claiming US$100 000 in damages for both articles. High Court
judge Justice Samuel Kudya referred the matter in which the editor of the
Daily News, Stanley Gama, the writer Thelma Chikwanha and the ANZ are cited
as respondents, to trial after both parties failed to settle the matter
during a pre-trial conference.

The Daily News published an article on the front page of its edition of
September 6 last year, headlined “Moyo’s plans to oust Mugabe”. In the
article Prof Moyo was alleged to have advised former American ambassador to
Zimbabwe Mr Christopher Dell on how to penetrate and oust President Mugabe
from power.

The tips, according to the article, included information on how the US could
achieve President Mugabe’s ouster through tapping into some of his
reform-minded allies. On September 7, 2011, the same newspaper published
another article “Moyo advised US on Zanu-PF sanctions list”.

The article was on the daily paper’s second page. It described Prof Moyo as
a “serial flip-flopper” who was vocal on the sanctions issue but on the
other end was seeking placement of some key Zanu-PF individuals on the
sanctions list.

The report labelled Prof Moyo a “useful messenger” to the US officials and
someone who sought US assistance for the removal of President Mugabe from
power. The two stories, Prof Moyo argues, were unlawful, scandalous,
contrived, fabricated, false, absurd and highly defamatory.

Prof Moyo argues that the claims that he compiled and supplied a list of
Zanu-PF members who he wanted placed on the sanctions list were false.

He wants US$50 000 on each article as defamation damages. A pre-trial
meeting was held recently and the case was referred to trial. The judge to
be allocated the matter will determine whether Prof Moyo was injured in his
good name and reputation by the paper’s articles.

He will also decide whether the articles were an accurate reflection of the
interview that Prof Moyo gave the US ambassador or they were a deliberate
contrivance and fabrication of the Daily News.

The issue on whether the WikiLeaks document can be said to be in the public
domain and whether the public have an interest in Prof Moyo’s interview with
then US ambassador will also be dealt with. The court will also decide on
whether Prof Moyo is entitled to the damages he is claiming or not.

The High Court is yet to set the trial date.

ANZ is opposing the claim and wants the court to reject it for lack of

Through its lawyers, Gill, Godlonton and Gerrans, ANZ argues that the
WikiLeaks document was in the public domain and members of the public had
access to it. The company also argues that it merely produced a document
that was already being circulated in public.ANZ further argues that Prof
Moyo is a public figure and what he does is a matter of public interest.

The articles purport to be premised on an interview given by Prof Moyo to
the then US Ambassador to Zimbabwe on March 30, 2007. Mr Joseph Mandizha of
Mandizha and Company is acting for Prof Moyo. The Herald

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ZANU-PF firms in red

Wednesday, 03 October 2012 19:53

Clemence Manyukwe, Political Editor

THE liquidity crunch rattling the country’s financial markets has worsened
an already desperate situation at ZANU-PF-run companies, some of which are
tottering on the brink of collapse after failing to pay their statutory
obligations such as taxes, The Financial Gazette can exclusively reveal.
Workers at some of the struggling companies warned this week that they may
end up filing for liquidation after going for several months without being
paid in what would essentially put the last nail in their coffin.
ZANU-PF has since independence in 1980 invested in real estate, listed and
non-listed stocks in order to sustain its operations from rental income and
Contrary to expectations, the majority of the investments have failed to
declare dividends and are, instead, crying out for recapitalisation at a
time the party cannot sustain itself from subscriptions raised from its
membership as well as funding received through the Political Parties Finance
Act, which prohibits local parties from being recipients of foreign funding.
The party narrowly survived eviction by the Catering Industry Pension Fund
from its Gweru offices in June this year over unpaid utility bills and
rentals amounting to about US$6 000, underlining the depth of its financial
Out of ZANU-PF’s swathe of companies, the only outlier that has not
disappointed its shareholders has been its investment in a Zimbabwe Stock
Exchange-listed banking group.
The diversified financial institution also owns another bellwether stock
trading on the local bourse involved in the manufacture and supply of
asbestos-cement roofing products.
The party also operates a string of companies, among them Zidco Holdings,
Treger Holdings, Cater-craft, Jongwe Printers, Zidlee and Fibrolite which
are reportedly trading below the red ink and desperately in need of fresh
capital to reinvigorate them.
The bulk of these companies have been beset by mismanagement, resulting in
some of their workers failing to get their salaries on time.
Since dollarisation in February 2009, the party’s companies have continued
to sing the blues with efforts to turn them around failing to bring tangible
Some of these companies are said to be heavily indebted to various service
providers such as ZESA Holdings and the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority.
Last month, workers at Jongwe Printers, which prints the party’s propaganda
mouthpiece — The Voice — were up in arms against their management over
unpaid salaries. This week, workers at Catercraft, which runs catering
services at all the country’s airports, said they had not been paid for the
past six months despite the fact that the company operates lucrative
contracts with airlines such as Ethiopian Airlines and South African
Airways. Catercraft also provides services to the national airline, Air
Zimbabwe as well as to a number of chartered airlines.
On Tuesday, the chairperson of Catercraft’s workers’ committee, Marshall
Muyambo, said the employees had met the chairperson of ZANU-PF’s business
development unit, Sithembiso Nyoni and the party’s secretary for labour and
production, Dzikamai Mavhaire as well as Catercraft chairperson, Khamal
Khalfan but their problems remained unresolved.
Nyoni is also the Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises and Coo-perative
Development while Kha-lfan is the Oman’s honorary consul to Zimbabwe as well
as patron of the Zimbabwe National Army charities.
“It is actually unfair to the worker who wakes up every morning, bathes,
goes to work and goes home with nothing at the end of the day,” said
Muyambo. “The outcome of the meeting with Mrs Nyoni is that she said she
will call the chairperson and give us feedback, but the chairperson
(Khalfan) is not around at the moment.”
Nyoni referred all questions to Khalfan who was not immediately reachable
after being contacted for comment this week. She, however, denied claims
that the majority of ZANU-PF companies were struggling, but could not give
further details.
Mavhaire blew his top when contacted for comment. He said: “I am saying if
you write that story what will it serve? I want people with intellectual
capacity. That village way of asking questions I don’t like. If it is about
selling your paper, write whatever you want, bye.”
Before the formation of the inclusive government in 2009, ZANU-PF instituted
at least two audits into the affairs of its companies, but the findings were
never made public.
One of the audits caused a storm in 2005 after party hawks took advantage of
its damning findings to settle political scores with those they thought were
in the running to succeed President Robert Mugabe who, at that time, had
encouraged members to debate his succession openly.
In the intervening years, the veteran nationalist was forced to disband a
succession committee that had been established to lead discussion on the
issue after the party became divided over internecine fights to succeed him.
The audit had opened a can of worms into how ZANU-PF companies were being
A report of the Committee on Party Investments, debated by the party’s
supreme decision-making body in between congresses — the Politburo in 2005,
revealed that the companies were riddled with managerial corruption and
incompetence, which could have prejudiced the ruling party of billions of
Zimbabwe dollars and assets at the time.
The report noted that some of the companies had virtually collapsed, while
others had not been audited for years and their financial accounts were a
complete mess.
The liquidity crisis has not only affected ZANU-PF companies: The revived
ZAPU now depends on the generosity of its well-heeled members.
Movement for Democratic Change secretary general and Finance Minister,
Tendai Biti also revealed recently that his party only had US$50,000 to fund
its 2008 election campaign.

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Elephants and rhinos die as fuel runs out

Published on Thursday 4 October 2012 00:49

At LEAST 19 elephants and two rhinos have died of thirst as temperatures
soar in Zimbabwe’s largest national park.

Conservationists yesterday warned more could die after president Robert
Mugabe’s side of the government said it did not have the money to fix or buy
fuel for the pumps needed to bring water to the surface in Hwange National
Park, 8,000 square miles of wilderness in the west of the country close to
the Kalahari desert.

Caroline Washaya-Moyo, for the state-run parks and wildlife management
authority, said it was facing “serious financial challenges” and blamed
accelerated evaporation rates for the water shortages.

But Johnny Rodrigues, of the independent Zimbabwe Conservation Taskforce,
said: “It’s a man-made disaster. You can’t blame the animals and you can’t
blame drought. It’s poor management and lack of foresight. We can expect a
lot of deaths.”

Elephants regularly cross into Hwange from Botswana at this time of year to
look for water. More than 100 died of thirst in the park in October and
November last year. However, this is the first time rhino deaths have also
been reported. The park is home to both black and white rhinos. It was not
known which type had died.

Zimbabwe’s rhino population is already under threat from poachers who kill
one or two a month. There are now only around 400 black and 280 white rhinos
left in Zimbabwe, compared to 20,000 in neighbouring South Africa. The horn
is shipped to Asia where it is used in traditional medicine.

Mr Rodrigues said the authorities “should have been pumping water from
April” and warned that elephants would break down trees in the driest areas
as they tried to find moisture.

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Zanu (PF) controls the diamonds: analyst

Zanu (PF) bigwigs are manipulating the operations of the Zimbabwe Minerals
Marketing Corporation and the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation,
economic analyst, John Robertson, has said.

by Brenna Matendere

According to him, the government is losing millions of dollars in diamond
revenue from the Marange fields because the two corporations tasked with
channeling revenue generated from diamond sales have been taken over by Zanu

“The mining of diamonds has been taken over by the party. It is very
different from what the government wants people to believe. The government
is not in charge, the party is in charge and has divided the shares among
its members in the CIO, police and the army,” said Robertson.

“Now that we are using foreign currency, exchange control systems are
slightly different, but still we want to know if the money is coming back to
Zimbabwe. We are supposed to continue doing that. We are exporting minerals
and MMCZ has a responsibility to explain how much is being paid for the
minerals,” he said.

The minerals marketing unit was established under the MMCZ Act of June 1982.
It began its operations in March 1983 as the exclusive agent for the selling
and marketing of all minerals produced in the country except silver and

The company was also tasked with acquiring, purchasing and disposing of
minerals for its own accord. It is supposed to be advising the Minister of
Mines and Mining Development on all matters regarding the mining and
distribution of the country’s minerals.

However, the company has failed to coordinate marketing intelligence from
the Marange fields. Finance Minister Tendai Biti has on many occasions
complained about the opaque manner in which the selling of the Marange
diamonds has been conducted.

He was forced to revise his national budget downwards after he failed to
raise the projected $600 million from the sale of the precious stones.

Fears have been raised that the money from the proceeds of the diamonds
could be used to finance another bloody Zanu (PF) political campaign ahead
of the 2013 general elections.

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MDC-T 29 activists accuse courts of prejudice

By Tichaona Sibanda
04 October 2012

29 MDC-T activists, who are facing murder charges after the death of a Glen
View policeman last May, believe their rights to a speedy trial are being

This is according to Chikomo Senator Morgan Femai, who was part of a
delegation from the MDC-T that on Wednesday visited the activists who are
detained at Chikurubi and Harare central remand prisons. Femai told SW Radio
Africa that the activists are adamant they’re being punished for something
they did not do.

The delegation included the Prime Minister’s new wife, Elizabeth Tsvangirai,
co-Home affairs Minister, Theresa Makone and deputy ministers Obert Gutu and
Murisi Zwizwai.

“They are in high spirits, but they miss their families. The only thing they
complained about was being incarcerated for something they didn’t do,” Femai

Thursday marks one year since one of the 29 MDC-T activists, youth leader
Solomon Madzore, was arrested as part of the murder case. Others among the
29 have been in remand longer than Madzore and all are facing charges of
murdering police inspector, Petros Mutedza in Glen View last year.

“I spoke to almost everyone and they were happy to see us. They told us they
were not happy with the slow pace of the trial and that their rights to a
speedy trial have been violated. They accused the courts of being so
lethargic in pursuing their case, which they argue, has made an absolute
mockery of their fundamental rights,” Femai added.

The Senator accused the government of dragging its feet, pointing to
numerous periods of apparent inactivity by the prosecutors in processing the
case. Femai complained that dozens of days of delays have gone by without
any reasonable explanation from the prosecution team.

The MDC released a statement on Thursday reiterating their position that the
continued detention of their members is illegal and demanded their immediate

The party said it eagerly and patiently awaits the outcome of the High Court
bail ruling that is expected on Monday next week. The ongoing trial against
the 29 meanwhile was postponed this week, and it is expected to resume next

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Mugabe motorcade in 3rd fatal crash since June

Thu Oct 4, 2012 10:04am GMT

HARARE Oct 4 (Reuters) - A police motorcyclist in Zimbabwean President
Robert Mugabe's motorcade burned to death after crashing into a lorry in the
third fatal accident since June involving the 15-vehicle convoy, notorious
for sweeping through the streets at high speeds.

The motorcyclist was clearing the way for Mugabe's motorcade on Wednesday
when he rammed into a moving lorry and his bike caught fire, police said on

In June, domestic media in the southern African nation reported that
motorcyclists in Mugabe's motorcade had killed two people and injured 15
others in two separate accidents.

Mugabe, 88, has been in power since independence from Britain in 1980 and
seeks re-election in polls expected in 2013.

His convoys have become a source of resentment for many ordinary
Zimbabweans, who are required by law to get out of his way.

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Civil society rallies behind MDC-T

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions President, George Nkiwane, said his
organisation was fully behind MDC-T and its programmes.

by Zwanai Sithole

He made the statement at last week’s 13th anniversary celebrations held in
the White City Stadium.

“The workers are suffering but as long as the politics of this country are
not addressed, things will remain like this. We support the MDC programmes,
including its position on the current draft constitution,” said Nkiwane.

Nkiwane said his organization initially had serious reservations with the
constitution making process but after consulting its members it now fully
supported the Copac draft.

“The ZCTU national assembly met last month and decided to support the COPAC
draft during the forthcoming referendum. We scrutinized it and discovered
that it is a better document, though not perfect. During the referendum we
will definitely go for a yes vote,” said Nkiwane.

Munyaradzi Gwisai, the Coordinator of the International Socialist
Organisation Zimbabwe, thanked the party for supporting him and his
colleagues when they were detained on treason charges.

“I would like to thank the party for rendering us support when we were
arrested for watching a television. We should continue fighting against
dictatorship and oppression in this country,” said Gwasai.

Gwisai urged the party not to forget the Glenview MDC activists who were
languishing in remand prison on allegations of murdering a police officer.

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CHRA seek’s government`s intervention on Harare probe

The Combined Harare Resident’s Association (CHRA) has written to the Prime
Minister of the republic of Zimbabwe and Cabinet seeking an injunction on
the probe team that has been set by the Minister of Local Government rural
and Urban Development, I. Chombo.


The probe team has been set to look into the issue and distribution of
residential stands in Budiriro. The request of an interdict, is premised on
the fact that cabinet knew all along that there was a housing project that
was set to benefit residents of Budiriro and nothing was ever said about
Mayor Muchadei Masunda’s conflict of interest considering that he chair’s
the Old Mutual board.

To that end, CHRA believes that the Minister has got a fish to fry with the
Mayor judging by his infamous history of suspending elected councilors and
Mayors. Our fears have been worsened by the Minister’s sentiments that he
might also fire 30 Councilors as well. We are well aware as an Association
that ordinary people will stand to lose as BIG MEN like Chombo interfere
with projects meant to benefit them.

In January 2011, we requested the Mayor of Harare to act on the issue of the
housing challenges that the City is facing considering that then, the City
of Harare’s housing backlog was pregnant with more than 500 000 people
waiting to be allocated a stand each. This was inspired by the government’s
failure to deal with the aftermath of operation Murambatsvina which saw
thousands of people being displaced.

To that end, many urban dwellers are of no fixed aboard because of the
housing crisis that is facing the City and the unavailability of land for
which the City can develop. The Bill and Melinda gates foundation and the
CABS deal brought hope to the homeless majority in the City which meant that
in Budiriro alone; at least 3000 residents were set to benefit from this
arrangement. Predictably, last week the Minister put to a halt the
construction of those 3000 households in Budiriro which meant more suffering
for the homeless in

Budiriro. In his argument, the Minister advised that the City should develop
its own stands and not other external stakeholders. Surprisingly, he is the
same Minister who is on record of saying that the City does not have enough
capacity to deal with a plethora of service issues, a point which he has
always used to justify his placing of special interest councilors.

CHRA would like to urge the Minister of Local government Rural and Urban
development to first deal with his image in terms of transparency and
accountability. To date, the Minister has not gone public either to declare
his asserts and how he got them. We remain concerned by the allegations
raised against him in the land audit report released in 2010 by the Warship
Dumba led committee on all land deals in Harare which heavily implicated him
and the well known property magnet Phillip Chiyangwa.

As residents we are not convinced that the Minister’s actions have anything
to do with the interests of residents hence we have written to the Prime
Minister of Zimbabwe, Dr Morgan Richard Tsvangirai and the Cabinet to
intervene. We are in full support of our Mayor since he has done a lot in
the best of his ability to improve social service delivery in Harare.

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UNWTO summit: Can Zim pull it off?

Wednesday, 03 October 2012 19:45
Staff Reporter
ZIMBABWE’S path to hosting the United Nations World Tourism Organisation
(UNWTO) summit scheduled to take place in Victoria Falls in less than a year
has been no easy task. In fact, the controversies surrounding the country’s
preparedness have only fuelled up against the backdrop of lies, counter
statements and threats that have accompanied the preparations since news
broke out that Zimbabwe had won the bid to host the event.

The country beat other contenders Russia, Jordan, Qatar and Turkey in a
victory hailed as certain to seal Zimbabwe’s comeback onto the international
stage, after a decade of isolation and Western-imposed sanctions. But less
than 11 months away from the UNWTO general assembly set for August 2012,
which will bring in nearly 5 000 delegates from 150 countries, the
persistent question on everyone’s lips is; can Zimbabwe successfully host
the UNWTO assembly? Several schools of thought have focused on the budget
needed to stage a world class event, with the bill for staging the UNWTO
general assembly ballooning to almost US$1 billion.
By that standard, Zimbabwe falls short, with media reports suggesting that
Treasury had only set aside US$10 million for the hosting of the event —
certain to give sleepless nights and headaches to the general assembly
As a result, an overt war has been raging in media circles with organisers
of the UNWTO event trying to put on a brave face and put out the raging
fires of speculation over the preparations for the general assembly.
Walter Mzembi, the Tourism and Hospitality Minister has insisted that all
was on course and said, “The UNWTO executive which sits twice in a year, the
next time being next month in Mexico will authoritatively pass a resolution
on our state of preparedness as it did in the 93rd session in Madrid, Spain
in June this year. There, the UNWTO judged our preparedness and
collaboration with Zambia as excellent...For us in government, it is time
for action”.
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive officer, Karikoga Kaseke weighed
in saying, “The preparations for the UNWTO general assembly scheduled for
next year in Victoria Falls are on course and everything is underway. Never
mind what anyone else says, we are on track”.
Assurances such as these, political observers say, were expected so as to
avoid causing “panic” in the fragile sector that has showed signs of a
turnaround under the three-year-old unity government.
But while the financing of the event is on everyone’s lips, a school of
thought has also emerged given that the memories of South Africa
successfully hosting the 2010 World Cup are still fresh.
Zimbabwe is keen to match the precedent set by South Africa. By all purposes
and intents, South Africa’s World Cup Organising Committee put together a
world class event in hosting the international football showcase.
“Whether Zimbabwe will meet the same standard or fail to deliver is a
question that persistently hangs on organisers’ minds more than they are
willing to admit”, said Dumisani Nkomo, a political analyst.
Trevor Maisiri, a senior analyst from the International Crisis Group had
this to say: “South Africa raised the bar very high, but remember it did so
in a background of vast financial resources. The same is not true for
Zimbabwe. The country is operating under a strict economic environment and
it is now trying to match that same high standard”.
Hard-hit by Western-imposed sanctions in the past decade, Zimbabwe has been
off the international stage and as a result is only just now acclimatising
to the global village — after years of being left out in the cold.
During its absence from the international stage, Zimbabwe was unable to host
any major international event ever since the turn of the new millennium.
The country, in the early 1990s, hosted the Commonwealth Heads of State and
Government Meeting and a World Solar Summit.
This stark reality of being ‘unschooled’ in the handling of events of an
international nature, economist Eric Bloch noted, had seen “nervousness”
sink in, as the country tries to roll out a successful UNWTO event—upon
which it would be judged on for many years to come.
Meanwhile, the Matabeleland provinces are set to shake off their moniker of
underdevelopment and marginalisation as they host the UNWTO event.
Sithokozile Mathuthu, the Matabeleland North Governor, said there was
excitement in the province about the general assembly coming to Victoria
“People are excited about that as it is going to be a landmark event not
only for Matabeleland North alone as a province , but also for the whole
country,” she said

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Reject Zanu (PF)’s senseless amendments

The Zanu (PF) Politburo would like to amend Clause 3(1), which states,
“Zimbabwe is founded on respect for the following values and principles-” to

by John Makumbe

“Zimbabwe, born out of a protracted war of liberation, is founded on respect
for the following values and principles-”.

This is ridiculous since there is more than just the liberation struggle
that defines today’s Zimbabwe. For example, there is also a period of 32
years of challenges and experiences that this nation has faced that will
also need to be recognised. The Zanu (PF) amendment must therefore be

The former ruling party demonstrates its reluctance to accept change by
replacing, “a multi-party system of democratic government,” in Clause 3(2)
with “a multi-party political system.” They deleted the words “democratic
government” most likely because they assumed that such words would tend to
favour their political opponents, the Movement for Democratic Change. The
people of Zimbabwe should reject this senseless amendment since we are all
committed to the creation of a democratic government in this country.

In Clause 5(1), the Politburo replaced the term “devolution” with
“decentralisation,” clearly demonstrating their aversion to the dilution of
political power at the centre. Little regard was given to the fact that
during the outreach meetings, the majority of the respondents demanded
devolution. There is ample evidence that if the Copac draft does not mention
devolution it will definitely be rejected by the people. We have to insist
on what the people said and ignore what the Zanu (PF) politburo wants.

Further, the Politburo added a new and strange clause that reads, “The State
must ensure that all institutions and agencies of government at all levels
promote and defend the values and ideals of the liberation struggle.” This
is totally objectionable since the so-called “values and ideals” of the
liberation struggle are not defined. The people of this country are aware of
some of the pain and suffering that they have encountered at the hands of
the so-called war veterans. Should the new Constitution contain provisions
that encourage such atrocious “values and ideals?” Surely not.

Section 2.6 of the Copac draft, which deals with development and
empowerment, is amended to ensure that empowerment is strongly emphasised
since it is that party’s core campaign strategy. Further amendments seek to
indicate that the past imbalances that need to be redressed are those of the
nation’s colonial past. In other words the Politburo assumes that there have
not been any other inequalities and imbalances post the colonial period.
This is far from the truth.

There are numerous imbalances and inequalities that arose from various
post-independence policies and practices. These will also need to be
addressed. In relation to the youth, the Zanu (PF) draft makes a new
provision requiring all youth between the ages of 15 and 35 to undergo
“national youth service training.” This is, obviously, in line with that
party’s own policy on youth but must be rejected by the majority of the
people of this country. After all, Zanu (PF) is now a minority political

It is clear from these laughable Zanu (PF) amendments that the Second All
Stakeholders’ Conference is likely to degenerate into a tug of war between
progressive and regressive forces. The truth of the matter is that the
outgoing ruling party does not wish to go for the next elections under a new
Constitution. That party is aware that any levelling of the political
playing field is going to result in its demise. Nevertheless, the people of
this country must stand resolute and insist that a democratic Zimbabwe is
inevitable. -

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Act on corruption at RG’s office

A new report by the Research and Advocacy Unit, “Identity, Citizenship and
the Registrar General”, makes such sad reading that it should surely jolt
the relevant authorities into action.

by Editor

The RAU report exposes corruption as a major constraint to the access by
millions of Zimbabweans to identity documentation – which is their right.
According to the study, people trying to get these documents are being
forced to pay bribes by touts, traditional leaders and officials from the
Registrar General’s office.

Single mothers, in particular, are vulnerable to pressure from the
bribe-takers because they are often asked to bring the father along – which
is obviously impossible in many cases. But officials are taking advantage of
the ignorance of the applicants, because the law is now very explicit on
that, and permits single mothers to get the documents on their own.

Local laws and international conventions on the rights of peoples expressly
demand that every person be accorded the right to acquire birth registration
and other documents pertaining to identity.

It is therefore criminal, in additional to being unethical, for anyone to
deliberately place obstacles in the way of people getting ID documents for
themselves or their children. At the end of the day, applicants are denied
the chance to obtain the all-important documents because they are too poor
to afford the money being demanded as bribes.

What is disturbing is that corruption at the Registrar General’s office has
been going on for a long time, with no evidence of the relevant authorities
doing anything about it. Despite almost daily complaints from applicants, we
hardly hear of any investigations being made – let alone arrests.

This kind of corruption is happening in a very overt manner. Officials from
the RG’s office directly demand bribes while the touts openly solicit for

This betrays indifference on the part of the RG, senior officials from his
office, the Anti-corruption Commission and the police. Worse still, it
indicates high levels of collusion by these departments and individuals.

The police, instead of flooding the highways with officers, should deploy
plain-clothed details to the registration offices. Barring the possibility
of these officers conniving with the culprits, it should be possible to
arrest hundreds of bribe-takers on a daily basis, considering the extent of
the corruption taking place.

The arrests would act as a deterrent and, we are confident, this malaise
would soon be a thing of the past. We do not require a rocket scientist to
solve the growing problem of corruption at the RG’s office - the solutions
are simple and are readily available. On the other hand, it is vital that
the public plays a more active role.

We urge this country’s citizens to assume the role of civilian policemen and
women. They ought to blow the whistle whenever they get information relating
to corrupt tendencies. That is the only way we are going to stamp out this
curse that is crippling our society and our economy.

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Rebuilding Zimbabwean self-esteem

Vince Musewe
04 October 2012

Vince Musewe says Zanu PF uses the same tools that the colonialists once did

When you have a low self esteem, anyone can manipulate who you become.

In my last article, I briefly spoke about the concept of mental models, and
how they control how we relate to the world. Our mental models determine our
relationships, our economics, our politics and virtually our very existence,
especially how we relate to and interact with the universe. Our history,
experience or exposure, plays a decisive part in that. In Zimbabwe, our past
and especially our post independent political experience, has played an
essential role in shaping what we have become as a society, particularly
what we value.

Centuries of slavery, colonialism, racism, and economic bondage in Africa
led to black Africans truly believing that they are indeed, an inferior race
and thus, were not entitled to the same social and economic benefits which
the colonialists were entitled to. This is the most treacherous thing that
happened in the past that, even to this day, it still affects how as blacks,
we relate to whites, the world and to each other.

Thank goodness we had individuals such as Herbert Chitepo, Joshua Nkomo,
Josiah Tongogara, Josiah Chinamano, Leopold Takawira, Ndabaningi Sithole,
Jason Moyo and many others, who refused to accept that they were lesser
individuals, and personally did something to challenge the status quo and
change their circumstances. We must continue to honor them for that and also
continually recapture that spirit of personal dignity, courage and pride.

Followed by colonialism, was political independence where, we as black
Zimbabweans truly believed that finally, we were free. However, as we all
know, we have ended up somewhat worse off than we anticipated. The sole
reason for this is because ZANU (PF) used exactly the same mentality and
laws that the colonialists used to keep our aspirations subject to their
control. Those who now purport to be champions of our political freedom have
continued to do their best to injure our self esteem lest, we become too
confident to remove them from power.

They have used the media to influence our mental models on what is possible,
intelligence officers to intimidate us, laws to prevent us from evening
getting together to discuss our circumstances and every means imaginable, to
prevent us on challenging the status quo. They have successfully suppressed
the power of individual self confidence - the same qualities that led our
fallen heroes and heroines, to challenge the colonial status quo. The
medicine used to enslave us in the past, has become their key to continue to
dominate us. The sad reality is that, we have even consented to be
continually told that we are nothing but "povo" and they are the "chefs".

Years of oppression by our own, have resulted in a majority of us accepting
low standards of living as a normal circumstance. Accepting erratic power
and water has become normal, even when we are charged for what we have not
consumed. Some of us even truly believe that, no other Zimbabwean can lead
this country or be president except Mugabe. We have even begun to accept
that you have to have participated in the armed struggle to rule or to be
anybody who matters.

This pattern of thinking has led to degenerating conditions of life for
most. We do not challenge the police when they demean or abuse us in public.
Instead we all watch and do nothing about it. We are okay living next to
rubbish dumps, of having pot holes in the roads, robots that do not work.
The number young single girls who have babies but can hardly feed or look
after amazes me. For me, that is the low self esteem I am talking about,
it's everywhere.

We have over time, developed such a low self esteem or self image of
ourselves that, we now accept poverty as normal despite our resources and
despite how educated we Zimbabweans are. We have, over a protracted period
of time, actively disempowered ourselves.

Our response has been to do the same to others, especially those that are
dependent on us. Bosses disrespect employees and they don't even pay them on
time and its okay, they still pitch for work anyway We abuse women and
disrespectfully treat the elderly including our pensioners whom we pay a
mere USD50 a month after 30 years of employment. In the mean time, our
government spends millions on travel and luxury cars using our taxes, while
public transport is atrocious.

Our typical response is that, because we have such a low self esteem, we
have transferred our self image into material or external things. My
observations are that Zimbabweans seem very fulfilled and important when
they are driving very expensive large vehicles which have actually become
part of their personality. This therefore means that, any person who can
stop us from having these or any person who can give us these things
controls who we become. Money has become a god, talent and virtue a handicap
and corruption a vice. That is truly laughable.

You see, when you have a low self esteem, you use material things, position
or power as justification of abusing others. Because of this, anyone can
manipulate who you are and you act and live according to what they want you
to be, and not who God made you to be. Those who have been in abusive
relationships will know this. You even begin to justify why you should be
treated with disrespect.

Now, our challenge is to reverse this defeatist thinking, and create a
society where Zimbabweans truly believe in themselves, and are able to live
up to their full potential. Where Zimbabweans demand good political
leadership or they vote them out. Where Zimbabweans refuse to board kombis
that squeeze in 20 people like sardines, because it puts their lives at
risk. Where we refuse to pay for public services not rendered, and where we
refuse to pay for shoddy customer service and overpriced products or
services by our companies. Where we refuse to be abused or controlled by any
individual whether in our personal relationships, in business or politics.

I truly suppose that, it is only then, that we can truly say that we are a
free people. Our next government must keep their word to us and develop our
communities and deliver better social services. They must account on how
they use our taxes and more important, if we are not happy, we must be able
to dismiss them. Our new leadership must live within the means of the
country and must get their priorities right. That is the democracy we must

It is my opinion that, creating such an environment means that we must first
change our mental models and take responsibility for creating the life
conditions that we desire. We must rebuild Zimbabweans' pride. It may tarry
but we shall get there. In my opinion, that is what ZANU (PF) fears most
because, the future is no longer what it used to be. You see my fellow
Zimbabweans; low self esteem uses fear, intimidation and violence to get its

As Zimbabweans, from today, we must refuse to be treated like a nobody by
anyone. That twinkle in your eye or that passion you once had about your
future and your potential must come back as we rebuild a new Zimbabwe. You
are responsible for that.

I truly wish you the best and I hope that you shall live up to your full
potential in this lifetime.

Vince Musewe is an independent economist. You may contact him on

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Bill Watch 45/2012 of 3rd October [Electoral Amendment Act Gazetted]

BILL WATCH 45/2012

[3rd October 2012]

Both Houses stand adjourned until Tuesday 9th October

No Date Yet for Ceremonial Opening of Next Parliamentary Session

It has been reported that during his meeting with the Prime Minister on Monday 1st October, the President agreed that he would open the next Parliamentary session soon. Parliament has still not been notified of a date and a Presidential proclamation, the formal legal instrument required to end the present session and start the next one, has not been gazetted.

Electoral Amendment Act Gazetted

The Electoral Amendment Act was gazetted on Friday 28th September as Act No 3/2012, following its signature by the President on the 14th September [available from].

Commencement All but one of the Act’s 44 sections came into force with effect from 28th September. The exception is section 42, which provides for polling station voters rolls; this section will only come into force after the coming general elections. [After the coming general elections, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission [ZEC] will have to gazette a notice fixing the date for section 42 to come into force – but only once it is satisfied that voters rolls for all polling station areas have been prepared in accordance with the new provisions set out in section 42.]

No polling station voters rolls for coming general elections Because section 42 of the Act will not come into force until later, voters in the forthcoming general elections will still be able to vote at any of the polling stations in the ward in which they are registered.

Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Act Still Awaiting Gazetting

Only one of the five 2012 Bills already passed by Parliament still has to be gazetted as an Act – the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Act. It will be Act No 2/2012.

Other 2012 Acts Now Available

[All available from]

The three 2012 Acts gazetted on Monday 17th September are:

· Older Persons Act – No 1/2012 [not yet in force – date of commencement to be fixed by the President by statutory instrument in due course]

· Finance Act – No 4/2012 [into force 17th September]

· Appropriation (2012) Amendment Act – No 5/2012 [into force 17th September]

By- Elections

Justice Chiweshe yesterday afternoon granted the President a second extension of the deadline set by the Supreme Court for the calling of the three overdue Matabeleland by-elections, allowing him up to the 31st March 2013 to comply. The granting of the extension will obviously be interpreted to mean that the other 23 outstanding Parliamentary by-elections – and the many local authority councils vacancies – will be left in abeyance. And by the 31st March no doubt it will be argued that the proximity of the general elections makes by-elections pointless.

Vacant Non-Constituency Seats

The other vacant seats in Parliament could be readily filled:

There are two appointed seats vacant – one provincial governor’s seat to be filled by appointment by the President and one MDC-T non-constituency seat to be filled by an MDC-T nominee formally appointed by the President.

The two vacant chief’s seats have to be elected through provincial assemblies of Manicaland and Matabeleland South chiefs sitting as electoral colleges. These elections, organised by government and presided over by a ZEC official, would be quick and inexpensive to run.

JOMIC: SADC Representatives Still Not in Place

The two SADC representatives due to be attached to JOMIC have still not assumed their positions. They were to have done so at a JOMIC meeting scheduled for Friday 28th September, but, as has happened before, the meeting did not take place because a JOMIC member – this time ZANU-PF’s Nicholas Goche – could not attend. As a result the representative from Tanzania had a wasted trip to Harare. This hold-up illustrates once again the inevitable difficulties caused by JOMIC members having too many other commitments – most are busy Cabinet Ministers who also double as GPA negotiators and COPAC Management Committee members. [Cabinet level JOMIC members are not essential – article 22 of the GPA says merely that JOMIC must be composed of “senior members” from each of the three GPA parties.]

The attachment of the SADC representatives has taken far too long. It has been pending since March 2011, when the Livingstone Summit of the Troika of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation decided the attachments should be made. The Troika’s decision was endorsed by the Extraordinary SADC Summit in Sandton in June 2011 and subsequent Summits have repeated calls for its implementation.

SADC Organ Troika Meeting Called Off

Troika chairperson Tanzanian President Kikwete announced at the SADC Organ Troika meeting last month that Zimbabwe would be on the agenda for the next meeting of the Organ Troika scheduled for 7th and 8th October. This meeting has not been confirmed.

Cabinet-level GPA Implementation Mechanism not Formed

The August SADC Summit in Maputo endorsed a Troika call urging the GPA parties to establish a “mechanism in Cabinet” to ensure that Ministries implement those parts of the GPA, the Implementation Matrix and the Roadmap to Elections that fall within their mandate. But this “mechanism” has not been set up.

Status of Bills as at 1st October 2012

[Bills available from unless otherwise stated]

Passed Bill awaiting Presidential assent and gazetting as Act

Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Bill [resubmitted for assent 17th September]

The Constitution requires the President to grant or withhold his assent within 21 days of a Bill being presented to him.

Bills gazetted and awaiting presentation in Parliament

Microfinance Bill [gazetted on 31st August] [not yet available]

Securities Amendment Bill [gazetted on 10th August 2012] The Minister of Finance has given notice of his intention to present this Bill when the House next sits.

Bills being printed None.

Bill in the pipeline The Minister of Finance is expected to send the new Income Tax Bill to Parliament this week for printing. He has previously said he wants this Bill passed by the end of the year.

Government Gazette

Acts Electoral Amendment Act [No. 3/2012] [see above]

Bills No Bills were gazetted

Statutory Instruments [copies not available]

Kariba Dam Wall toll fees SI 145A/2012, effective 25th September, clarifies the tariff of toll fees for use of the roadway across the dam wall, replacing SI 72/2012.

Social workers code of ethics SI 146/2012 enacts a code of ethics for social workers formulated by the Council of Social Workers in terms of the Social Workers Act.

Agricultural marketing SI 147/2012 contains a short set of regulations requiring all companies that intend to be “in the business of buying and contracting agricultural products” to register with the Agricultural Marketing Authority [AMA], to submit periodic returns to the AMA on products bought or processed, and to keep records of products bought available for inspection by AMA inspectors. SI 148/2012 re-states the functions of the AMA re seed cotton and seed cotton products.

Collective bargaining agreement SI 152/2012 amends section 32 of the main collective bargaining agreement for the commercial sectors of Zimbabwe.

Customs duty SIs 150 and 151/2012 provide for 3-year suspensions for the benefit of named mining companies.

VAT – fiscalised registers SI 149/2012 is the sixth amendment to the VAT (Fiscalised Recording of Taxable Transactions) regulations published in SI 210/2012.

Engineering profession SI 153/2012 contains the Engineering Council of Zimbabwe (General) By-laws, made by the Council under the Engineering Council Act. The by-laws cover such matters as application forms to be used by engineers, technicians and firms seeking registration or practising certificates under the Act; the related fees; scales and rates for professional fees; and a model code of ethics.

General Notices

Environmental protection – Harare Wetlands GN 453/2012 notifies the intention of the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Management to declare 26 areas in Harare to be wetlands. Objectors must lodge any objections to the proposed declaration with the Director General of the Environmental Management Agency before 1st November. The GN also repeals the defective Harare wetlands declaration published earlier this year in GN 313/2012.

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COURT WATCH 17/2012 of 4th October [Supreme Court Produces Mukoko Judgment]


[4th October 2012]

Supreme Court Produces Judgment in 2009 Jestina Mukoko Case

It is hoped that a reminder of this case and the universal abhorrence it aroused [both inside and outside Zimbabwe] will now prompt the Minister of Justice to fulfil his promise, made to the UN Human Rights Council earlier this year, that Zimbabwe would sign the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

Jestina Mukoko v Attorney-General

On 20th September the Supreme Court at last handed down its judgment explaining the reasons for its order of 28th September 2009 stopping the prosecution of Jestina Mukoko [copy of full judgment available from]. It is regrettable that Mrs Mukoko, her co-accused and the country have had to wait so long, a few days short of three years. Reasons for judgement should have been expedited in such a landmark case, as:

· Mrs Mukoko’s civil case claiming compensation has not been heard and the judgment would be relevant.

· There are other applications for permanent stays of prosecution awaiting the clarification provided by the judgment. [Mrs Mukoko’s fellow abductees and former co-accused – who were indicted for trial in the High Court on similar charges – have all had similar requests for stays of prosecution referred to the Supreme Court. Progress in hearing those cases will now be expected.]

· The judgment will provide guidance to courts, the Attorney-General’s Office and the legal profession, the police and the State’s intelligence operatives, and the public generally, on:

o what the constitutional prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment entails – what constitutes torture, what differentiates it from inhuman or degrading treatment, and the absolute nature of the prohibition

o when a prosecution is ruled out by torture or inhuman or degrading treatment and when it is not ruled out.

Justice Malaba, writing with the concurrence of the Chief Justice and Justices Sandura, Ziyambi and Garwe, said the case gave the Supreme Court the opportunity “to clarify the law on the fundamental right of a person accused of a crime not to have information or evidence obtained from him or her by torture, or inhuman or degrading treatment, admitted or used against him or her in any legal proceedings”.

The court made no order as to costs – which means that although it was found that State agents had illegally abducted, detained and tortured Mrs Mukoko and then wrongly prosecuted her, the State will not have to pay Mrs Mukoko’s legal costs in these proceedings.

Summary of Judgment

That the evidence established that Mrs Mukoko had been forcibly taken from her home on 3rd December 2008 and transported to an unknown place where, when not under interrogation by her captors, she was kept totally incommunicado in solitary confinement for nearly three weeks. During interrogation she was severely beaten on the soles of her feet and made to kneel on gravel for a prolonged period. She was questioned about a man she was said to have helped to leave the country for training in future insurgent and terrorist activities in Zimbabwe. Eventually, after threats of further violence she wrote out a statement saying what her interrogators told her to say and leaving out what they told her not to say. Later she was video-recorded making another statement, again saying what her interrogators wanted her to say. On 22nd December, after nearly three weeks as a “disappeared” person, she was handed over to police and the next day she was charged with contravening section 24(a) of the Criminal Law Code [recruiting for insurgency/terrorism training] and was taken to the magistrates court to be remanded on that charge.

That the prosecutor instituted the criminal proceedings against her solely on the strength of the facts extracted from her by the above means at different times during her unlawful detention.

The court reaffirmed that section 15(1) of the Constitution prohibits torture and inhuman or degrading treatment in absolute terms. It explained that the provision “protects the dignity and physical integrity of every person regardless of his or her conduct. No exceptional circumstance such as the seriousness of the crime the person is suspected of having committed, or the danger he or she is believed to pose to national security, can justify infliction of torture, or inhuman or degrading treatment.”

Torture and inhuman or degrading treatment “should never form part of the techniques of investigation of crimes employed by law enforcement agents ... the law which it is their duty to enforce requires that only fair and humane treatment ought to be applied to a person under criminal investigation”.

Definition of torture The court did not come up with its own definition of torture, but it did refer with approval to the definition in the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel or Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which refers to “severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession ...”. It also described the distinction between torture and inhuman or degrading treatment as lying in the intensity of physical or mental pain and suffering inflicted. “Torture is an aggravated and deliberate form of inhuman or degrading treatment. What constitutes torture or inhuman or degrading treatment depends on the circumstances of each case”.

Mrs Mukoko’s treatment by State agents constituted torture [beating on the soles of the feet, being made to kneel on gravel] and inhuman and degrading treatment [solitary confinement, being held incommunicado, and being blindfolded whenever not in solitary confinement or under interrogation].

Information obtained by torture must not be used by State The State may not in any circumstances admit or use in any legal proceedings, information or evidence obtained from an accused person or defendant or any third party by torture or inhuman or degrading treatment”. This rule applies at all stages in legal proceedings – not only to the police but also to prosecutors, magistrates and judges. It follows that if the police or other State agents do in a particular case resort to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment to extract information for the purposes of criminal proceedings, the duty not to use the information falls in turn on the prosecutor, and, if the prosecutor fails in his or her duty, on the judiciary, from the magistrates court all the way up to the Supreme Court.

When the court will not stop a prosecution, even after infliction of torture The judgment concluded that proof of torture, or inhuman or degrading treatment, by police or State security authorities before a decision to prosecute is made, is not in itself enough to justify the stopping of a prosecution by a court. To justify stopping a prosecution there must also be proof that the evidence necessary for the decision to prosecute was obtained by the torture or inhuman or degrading treatment. But if a prosecutor reaches a proper decision to prosecute, on the strength of independent evidence, untainted by the torture or inhuman or degrading treatment – even if it is proved that torture inhuman or degrading treatment has also taken place, the prosecution can nevertheless go ahead.

Comment: It is on this aspect of the case that the judgment does not go as far as some human rights defenders had hoped. It was hoped that the Supreme Court would decide that in principle any whiff of torture or inhuman or degrading punishment would get a case thrown out as an abuse of court process and an affront to the integrity of the administration of justice. The court refused to go that far, saying that to grant immunity from prosecution even to persons properly suspected of having committed offences would be disproportionate and contrary to the interests of the public and victims of crime. Denying a stay of prosecution in such cases would not deprive victims of torture or inhuman or degrading treatment other constitutional remedies, such as compensation.

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Constitution Watch [Content] of 4th October [How will the New Constitution Impact on the Coming Elections? - PartI]


[4th October 2012]


How will the New Constitution Impact on the Coming Elections?

Part I

The prospect of a general election is drawing nearer and there is concern about whether institutional safeguards will be in place to ensure that the election is free and fair. In this Constitution Watch and the following one we shall examine whether the new constitution itself will put in place any of the necessary safeguards and what additional safeguards will be needed to permit free, fair and peaceful elections to be held.

When we refer to the new constitution we mean the draft prepared by COPAC, but we shall also note any differences that would be made if the provisions in the proposed ZANU-PF amended draft are incorporated.

Most Provisions of the New Constitution Will Only Come into Force After the Coming Elections

When the new constitution has been adopted, it is the provisions governing the coming elections [see below] that will come into force. It is only after the coming elections that most of the other provisions in the new constitution will come into operation. It must be stressed that there are no mechanisms in the new constitution for ensuring free and fair elections. Although the new constitution lays down the principles that elections must be free and fair, and that members of the civil service and security forces must be non-partisan, it does not establish any mechanisms for ensuring that they are. [The ZANU-PF amended draft does not require members of the security forces to act in a non-partisan manner]

Provisions in New Constitution Affecting Coming Elections

The provisions of the new constitution relating to the election of the first President and Parliament, as well as elections to provincial councils and local authorities, will come into force as soon as the new constitution is promulgated as an Act of Parliament. Those provisions are as follows:

Harmonised Elections

Presidential, parliamentary, provincial and local authority elections will be held concurrently, as they are under the present constitution. [Under the ZANU-PF amended draft, there will be no provincial elections]

Who can Vote

In order to vote, citizens will have to be registered on a voters’ roll. Citizens who are currently registered as voters will remain so, but a further registration exercise will be conducted for at least 60 days to allow further voters to be registered. The qualifications for registration will be the same as at present, except that:

· New citizenship provisions will apply, so people who were citizens by birth, but lost their citizenship because of the prohibition against dual citizenship will once again be Zimbabwean citizens and entitled to registration as voters. [This is also so under the ZANU-PF draft.]

· All prisoners will be qualified to vote [at present prisoners serving sentences of six months or more are disqualified].

· It is not clear if citizens living outside Zimbabwe will be entitled to vote, because the new constitution allows the Electoral Act to lay down residence qualifications for voters. The Electoral Act currently requires voters, with very few exceptions, to reside in Zimbabwe in order to be registered on a voters’ roll, so unless the Act is amended members of the Zimbabwean Diaspora will not be allowed to vote.

Delimitation of constituencies

Elections and the delimitation of constituencies will be conducted by an Electoral Commission, as at present, and the members and staff of the current Commission will continue in office under the new constitution. There will be 210 constituencies for National Assembly elections, the same number as the House of Assembly constituencies under the present constitution. Hence a fresh delimitation of constituencies will not be necessary before the coming elections, though it may be desirable.

Electoral law

Until it is replaced, the current Electoral Act will continue to govern elections under the new constitution, though it will need extensive amendment, over and above the amendments made by the just gazetted Electoral Amendment Act, as will be outlined in Part II of this Constitution Watch. One provision of the new constitution that is worth mentioning is clause 17.3, which prohibits the President or Parliament from altering the electoral law once an election has been called.

Election of President

The President will be directly elected by voters, as at present. Although the new constitution does not say so expressly, if none of the candidates gets an absolute majority [50% + 1] of the votes cast in a presidential election, a run-off election will be held between the two candidates who received the highest number of votes, as provided for in the current Electoral Act, unless this provision is amended.

Running Mates

Under the COPAC draft constitution, presidential candidates will each have to nominate two running-mates who, if the presidential candidate is elected, will become first and second Vice-Presidents. Voters will not vote directly for a presidential candidate’s running mates, but they will be regarded as having been elected as Vice-Presidents if their candidate is elected President. [The ZANU-PF draft has no provision for running mates: the Vice-Presidents will simply be appointed by the President after the election.]

Two Houses of Parliament

There will be two Houses of Parliament, as at present, but some members of Parliament will be elected on a system of proportional representation, others on the present first-past-the-post system. There will be no appointed members.

National Assembly

The number of National Assembly constituencies will be the same [210] as those of the present House of Assembly. However, there will be an extra sixty women members elected on a system of proportional representation based on the votes cast for the constituency members.


Sixty senators will be elected on a closed party-list system of proportional representation based on the votes cast in each province for constituency members of the National Assembly. In addition there will be two senators elected to represent persons living with disabilities; the manner of their election is left to the Electoral Act. There will be further senators who will not be elected by voters: 16 chiefs elected by provincial councils of chiefs; the president and vice-president of the national council of chiefs; and eight provincial governors.

Provincial government

The new constitution will establish provincial councils for every province except Bulawayo and Harare, and each council will have ten members elected on a closed party-list system of proportional representation based on the votes cast in the province concerned for constituency members of the National Assembly. [In the ZANU-PF draft none of the members of the provincial councils will be elected.]

Local Government

The draft constitution declares that there must be urban and rural local councils, whose members must be elected by voters in their areas. General elections of local authority councillors must be held simultaneously with presidential and parliamentary elections, as mentioned earlier.

Legislative and Administrative Framework Needed Before Coming Elections

None of the constitutional provisions outlined above will affect the conduct of elections by preventing electoral violence or malpractice. Even if the new constitution is enacted, a great deal will have to be done to put a legislative and administrative framework in place to ensure that the coming general election is free, fair and peaceful — and this framework must be put in place quickly. The President has indicated that he would like to hve an election in March next year, and — as we shall elaborate in Part II of this Constitution Watch — under the present constitution the current Parliament can only last until 29th June and the very latest that general elections can be held is 29th October 2013.

In Part II we shall deal with the legislative and administrative measures that will have to be taken before the next general election can be held.

Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied

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