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Shamu appointees tainted by murder & political violence

By Tichaona Sibanda
5 October 2009

A recent appointee to the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings board, retired
Brigadier Benjamin Mabenge, two years ago shot and killed an MDC activist on
his farm in cold-blood.
Described as a 'blood thirsty monster' Mabenge in November 2007, fatally
shot Clement Takaendesa at close range, using a powerful FN rifle. In the
same incident he also shot and seriously wounded Taurai Chigede, for
allegedly fishing on a stretch of river that runs through his farm. He was
briefly arrested but was released just days after the fatal shooting. He is
still to stand trial for the murder of the MDC activist.
The MDC leadership in KweKwe maintains Mabenge gets protection from Defence
Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa. The ZANU PF strongman was a former legislator
in the Midlands town, before his defeat in the 2000 parliamentary elections
to MDC's Blessing Chebundo.
Two other members of the ZBH and Transmedia boards, appointed by Information
Minister Webster Shamu, were part of military elite that directed and
executed political violence during last year's presidential elections.
Retired Major-General Gibson Mashingaidze and retired army doctor Paul
Chimedza were part of an elaborate plan by the security chiefs credited with
keeping Robert Mugabe in power. The security forces, led by the Joint
Operations Command (JOC), waged a ruthless campaign of violence to force
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai from a second round presidential poll. The
JOC is made up of the heads of the intelligence service, police, prisons and
each of the armed services, and is chaired by the toughest of the hawks,
Defence Forces Commander General Constantine Chiwenga.
This is the group that appointed Mashingaidze to be the second-in-command to
Major-General Engelbert Rugeje, to direct the violent political purges in
Masvingo province. Mashingaidze was last week appointed to sit on the ZBH
board by Shamu and Dr Paul Chimedza is the new chairman of the Transmedia
board. He is notorious for leading political violence against MDC activists
in Gutu South.

Due to his involvement in political violence, the former medical
superintendent for Harare Hospital had his lucrative consultancy contract
with the European Union terminated.

Chimedza, whose checkered past saw him being removed from the top post at
Harare Hospital following routine conflicts with other consultants, is no
stranger to controversy. His intended move to assume the post of deputy
secretary in the Ministry of Health in 1994 was also blocked following
objections from doctors citing his dictatorial tendencies. Since then he has
been in private practice.

In March last year he failed in his bid to represent ZANU PF in the
parliamentary elections after the seat he was eyeing in Gutu South
constituency was reserved for a woman. The eventual ZANU PF candidate,
Shuvai Mahofa, lost the election to Professor Elphas Mukonoweshuro of the

Chimedza's involvement in the political violence last year broke the notion
that only war veterans and militias perpetrated violence in the rural areas.

Other professionals, notably the gun-totting former Health Minister David
Parirenyatwa, were heavily involved in the torture and killing of opponents
in Murehwa, Mashonaland East province.

While Parirenyatwa is on the United States and EU targeted sanctions list,
Chimedza was the first known health professional to have his work contract
terminated by an international body, because of his involvement in political
Other hawks, like retired general Mashingaidze, have for years been part of
a military cabal that has in the last decade had a significant role in
running the country. In the weeks before the second round presidential poll,
the military deployed across the country, with two senior officers in each
of hundreds of local government districts, overseeing a web of
paramilitaries and security officials. This has been Mugabe's modus operandi
since he suffered the referendum defeat in February 2000. After this
unexpected defeat, Mugabe always turns to the military to shield himself
from attacks and to mobilise support around him.
When it came to organising the crucial 2002 presidential elections, Mugabe
again heavily relied on military personnel who were appointed to a number of
key positions. Lawyer and former colonel and head of military intelligence,
Sobusa Gula-Ndebele, was appointed chair of the Electoral Supervisory
Commission, while Brigadier Douglas Nyikayaramba was appointed chief
elections officer.

Through his patronage system, Mugabe has managed to keep the army leadership
close to him by rewarding them with privileges, including generous payouts
and lucrative mining contracts in the DRC and the Chiadzwa diamond fields.

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ZANU PF shows its hard-line attitude to the future of the media

By Alex Bell
05 October 2009

ZANU PF has revealed its carefully played hand on the future of the media in
Zimbabwe, with the return of the country's most notorious media 'hangmen'
into the government.

The party's clarification that it remains committed to keeping the media in
a hard-line stranglehold was laid out for all to see last week, with the
announced return of Tafataona Mahoso and Jonathan Moyo. Mahoso, the former
head of the now-defunct Media and Information Commission, which saw the
forced closure of independent newspapers such as the Daily News, was
announced last week as the new head of the Broadcasting Authority. The
appointment by Information Minister Webster Shamu, who has also appointed
eight former senior military officials to six boards, has been slammed by
media rights organisations and the MDC as a threat to any hope of media
freedom in the country.

A further threat is the return of Moyo, who was readmitted to ZANU PF by the
party Politburo last Thursday. The former information minister was
responsible for crafting some of ZANU PF regime's most repressive media
laws, including the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act
(AIPPA), which saw several newspapers being banned, as well as the arrest
and exile of many journalists. He was also responsible for the forced
closure of Zimbabwe's first independent radio station, Capital Radio.

Moyo was unceremoniously kicked out of ZANU PF after he was fingered as the
architect of the so-called 'Tsholotsho Declaration' in November 2004, which
sought to plot ZANU PF leadership changes.

But his return to ZANU PF has long been speculated and it was revealed last
month that he had approached the party about his re-admittance as a member.
Last week Ephraim Masawi, the party deputy spokesman, told reporters that
the Politburo had unanimously endorsed Moyo's readmission.

"The Politburo considered the application by Professor Jonathan Moyo to
rejoin ZANU PF which was unanimously endorsed," Masawi said.

While it is not yet known what kind of role Moyo will play in the
government, his past actions within ZANU PF have left media groups and
journalists worried. The pairing of Moyo and Mahoso will be a lethal
combination for the country's media, which had hoped that critically needed
reform under the unity government, was on its way. But the bluff by ZANU PF
that it was committed to media freedom is now clearly evident, as is the
party's unilateral control in the coalition formation with the MDC.

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Former head of ZBC expected to chair Zimbabwe Media Council

By Violet Gonda
5 October 2009

Former Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings chief executive, and former ZIANA
editor-in-chief Henry Muradzikwa, is believed to be the incoming chairman of
the much awaited Zimbabwe Media Commission.

Muradzikwa was among a list of 12 candidates endorsed in August by the
Parliamentary Standing Rules and Orders Committee, to sit on the media
regulatory body. But the creation of the commission has had to wait for
Robert Mugabe.

Sources close to government said the President and Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai met in Harare Monday and finally agreed on the nine
commissioners, although it is not known when Mugabe will make the actual
announcement. He is expected to open the Second Session of the Seventh
Parliament on Tuesday, and there is a possibility the announcement could be
made then.

Although he was fired from both ZIANA and the ZBC, the rise and fall of
Muradzikwa's career over the years has largely depended on ZANU PF.  The
veteran journalist has close, long-term links to the regime, and is always
in a 'love hate relationship' with ZANU PF. Critics say his appointment is
proof that ZANU PF is still very much in charge, as a 'compromise' candidate
could have been chosen.

An MDC official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that in theory
this, yet to be announced list, should be the final one. But he warned that
Press Secretary George Charamba is capable of 'fiddling' with the final
Although not official, SW Radio understands the new commissioners are:
(Chairman) Henry Muradzikwa
Chris Mhike - Lawyer and journalist,
Ambassador Christopher Mutsvangwa (it is alleged this Zanu-PF activist and
former ambassador to China, has been included, despite not having been on
the original list of successful candidates),
Mathew Takaona - Outgoing Zimbabwe Union of Journalists President,
Nqobile Nyathi - Former News Editor of the Financial Gazette,
Godfrey Majonga - Danhiko Project Deputy Director,
Dr Millicent Mombeshora - Reserve Bank Division Chief (she is also the new
chair of the Kingstons board,)
Miriam Madziwa-Sibanda - Freelance journalist,
Reverend Useni Sibanda - Christian Alliance National Director .

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Mutsekwa condemns police after shooting

October 5, 2009

By Our Correspondent

HARARE - Giles Mutsekwa, the co-minister of Home Affairs, has said he is
concerned that police are refusing to reform after three striking Shabanie
Mine workers were shot by members of the force recently.

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) claimed the three were shot as
they fled from teargas thrown by the police to disperse more than 2 000
workers at the mine late September.

The ZCTU said the workers had convened a meeting where management was
supposed to address them on salaries that had not been paid since February.

The three were shot after trouble started at the meeting.

Mutsekwa said: "We have repeatedly told the police that they should always
refrain from using firearms against defenceless people", he said." In this
particular case, we have not yet received a convincing explanation on how
the police got involved."

The ZCTU, which has called for the resignation of the co-ministers, Mutsekwa
and Kembo Mohadi, said workers at the meeting had noticed the absence of
senior managers at the meeting.

"When one of the workers Alluwis Zhou (32) asked about the whereabouts of
members of the management who were supposed to address the meeting, he was
beaten with a gun and shot on his left hand and shot again on the left leg,"
said the ZCTU

"Tear gas canisters were thrown to the sitting workers.

"The other two Leonard Simbarashe Chinhadada (30) and Taurai Zhou (50) were
shot on their right legs while running away from the police officers.

"They were shot by an AK47 gun No. 2221 registered with the Bukwa Mine

The workers who were injured were admitted at a Harare hospital.

The ZCTU said the co-ministers of home affairs should resign on account of
the conduct of the police force. The union also wrote Paurina Mupariwa, the
Minister of Labour, demanding an urgent investigation into the case.

The Zimbabwean Republic Police has a history of heavy-handed action against
protesters. In the past, the police have shot and killed demonstrators
during the food riots. In March 2007, the police beat up MDC leader Morgan
Tsvangirai and other activists after arresting him for taking part in a
prayer meeting which they said was illegal. A man was reportedly shot dead.

Mutsekwa, nominated by the MDC to co-run the Home Affairs ministry with
Zanu-PF's Mohadi, said he was disappointed about the reaction of the police
at the mine.

Mutsekwa said: "I would like to express my sympathies and also reiterate
that I understand ZCTU's reaction."

"I have been to the mine to assess the situation and I even visited the
injured persons at hospital where they are admitted.

"I have also talked to the police and the management at the mine regarding
the issue which we as a ministry have decided to make a cabinet issue."
Mutsekwa said he not received an explanation for the shooting. Augustine
Chihuri, the head of the police, is a keen Zanu-PF supporter.

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Prepare for fair polls in 2 years - Tsvangirai

October 5, 2009

By Our Correspondent

BULAWAYO - MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has urged Zimbabweans to prepare
themselves for free and fair elections which he said will be held in the
next two years.

Tsvangirai told his supporters that the fresh elections would change the
lives of people.

Addressing thousands of people at four 10th MDC Anniversary rallies in
Matebeleland North over the weekend, Tsvangirai said the constitution-making
process would bring in a free and democratic Zimbabwe.

"The new people-driven constitution will do away with repressive laws such
as the AIPPA (Access to Information and Public Protection Act) and POSA
(Public Order and Security Act)," he said.

Tsvangirai held rallies at Manjolo Business Centre, Tinde Business Centre in
Binga on Saturday, Sipepa Business Centre and Tsholotsho Growth Point on

Thousands of people attended all the four marathon rallies that marked the
celebration of MDC's 10 years since its formation.

Tsvangirai also said he was happy that the people of Zimbabwe had realised
that it was only the MDC that could bring real change to the country.

"I am grateful that the people of Zimbabwe have realised that the MDC is the
party that can bring real change.

"Ten years after the formation of the party, we have moved from being an
opposition to the majority party. We have moved from being leaders of the
opposition to leaders of government," he said.

He also dispelled reports that the MDC had been swallowed since it formed
the inclusive government with the Zanu-PF.

"The MDC is not going to be swallowed by Zanu-PF because there is no way
that a majority party can be swallowed by a minority party," he said.

The MDC enjoys a slight majority in parliament after it defeated Zanu-PF in
the March 2008 harmonised elections.

However, Tsvangirai expressed concern that Zanu-PF was reluctant to reform.

"Zanu-PF does not want to see progress and this is shown by the continued
disregard of the rule of law and the refusal to resolve outstanding issues,"
he said.

"However, despite these challenges, the past seven months have seen
incremental progress. There is stabilisation of the economy. Schools and
hospitals have reopened. It is our hope to increase liquidity on the

He said the government would see to it that all farmers had access to
agricultural inputs in order to increase food production.

"This is only a transitional arrangement but it will give food security to
the country. However, this programme will enable you to be self sustainable
and bring the country to its former state as the breadbasket of southern
Africa ," he said.

Tsvangirai was accompanied by several senior MDC officials, who included,
the party's deputy national organising secretary, Senator Morgen Komichi,
national youth chairman, Thamsanqa Mahlangu, Samuel Sipepa Nkomo and
Minister Gorden Moyo.

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Nkomo nominated for vice president's post

by Clifford Nyathi Monday 05 October 2009

BULAWAYO - Senior leaders of President Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF party in
Bulawayo province on Sunday nominated chairman John Nkomo to takeover as
vice president of the party and Zimbabwe, a key stepping stone to the top
job when and if Mugabe retires.

Mugabe has two deputies in the party and in government but one of the vice
presidents' slots has been vacant since the August death of former vice
president a liberation struggle hero Joseph Msika.

Joice Mujuru is the other vice president.

Members of the ZANU PF central committee and politburo from Bulawayo
province who met in the country's second largest city to discuss party
affairs meeting said it was proper that Msika's post be filled up by a
member of the former ZAPU that merged with Mugabe's party in 1987.

As ZANU PF national chairman, Nkomo is the most senior of the former members
of ZAPU. But a scandal involving a man who has alleged he was sodomised by
Nkomo had appeared to sully his image with speculation he might be
overlooked for the vice presidency's job because of the damaging allegations
that have however not been proved in court.

ZANU PF politburo member Sikhanyiso Ndlovu told reporters after the Sunday
meeting: "We have resolved that John Nkomo takes over the vice presidency.
It was decided that we get a person who had a national outlook as ZAPU was
not a party for the people of Matabeleland only."

Ndlovu said that the province would forward Nkomo's name to the ZANU PF
national leadership within the next two weeks. He said Nkomo's proposed
elevation would result in his current post of national chairman becoming
vacant and it was expected that a former ZAPU cadre would be appointed

"The leadership in Matabeleland will consult other provinces on a suitable
candidate to fill the post that would have been created by the departure to
assume a higher office by Nkomo," he said.

While elevation to the vice-president's post would place Nkomo closer to
Mugabe's job, analysts see him really as a dark horse in the race to replace
the 85-year-old President who has not indicated when or whether he intends
leaving power.

Analysts see Mujuru and powerful Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa as the
lead contenders for Mugabe's job. - ZimOnline

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Mugabe to open Parly tomorrow

by Own Correspondent Monday 05 October 2009

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe will on Tuesday officially open the second
session of the 7th Parliament of Zimbabwe, where he is expected to highlight
the performance of the inclusive government.

The official opening of the House of Assembly comes a week later than
initially scheduled because Mugabe was not in the country last week, as he
was attending a summit of African and South American heads of state in

Last year's opening was marred by unprecedented jeering and heckling of
Mugabe by Movement for Democratic Change legislators while he was reading
his speech.

Critics said the heckling by the MDC parliamentarians, drowning large parts
of Mugabe's speech to the new Parliament showed the extent of loathing
between Zimbabwe's two biggest political parties following controversial
elections last year.

Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai formed a power-sharing
government in February and pledged to work together to revive the economy
that had been in decline for the past decade.

Tsvangirai is expected to attend the opening of Parliament, according to his
spokesman James Maridadi.

During tomorrow's speech, Mugabe is expected to address the issue of the
performance of the inclusive government and also highlight its challenges.

He is also expected to dwell on the issue of the state of preparedness for
the forthcoming agricultural season.

Parliament has 210 members of which Mugabe's ZANU PF party has 99,
Tsvangirai's MDC faction has 100, a smaller faction of the MDC led by Arthur
Mutambara has 10, while there is one independent candidate. - ZimOnline

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ZANU PF interference in eviction ruling of 26 families

By Alex Bell
05 October 2009

At least 26 families living on Foothills farm near Bindura are facing
imminent eviction, after a ruling last Friday that is feared to have been
swayed by ZANU PF interference.
In a highly controversial move, magistrate Chakanyuka on Friday ruled in
favor of the eviction of the families, who are being kicked off the land by
Ruston Ngandu. Ngandu, who has argued that he was given the Foothills farm
land as part of the government's land resettlement scheme. He alleges that
the families are disrupting activities on the farm.  But lawyers
representing the families said in their argument that Foothills farm was not
part of the resettlement scheme and it is meant to be a township with space
for a school, clinic and commercial ground for shops. The defense further
argued that Ngandu did not produce any legal documents in the form of title
deeds or valid offer letter to prove that the area in question was allocated
to him by the government.
Rights groups, Restoration of Human Rights Zimbabwe (ROHR Zimbabwe), on
Monday said the ruling has been met with shock and disapproval, saying in a
statement that "it has been slammed as lacking merit and biased even under
the scrutiny of a layman's eye."
The group explained that an eye witness reported that magistrate Chakanyuka
was seen the night before the court ruling at a local hotel in Bindura, in
the company of officials linked to the planned evictions of other families
in the area. This included the former mayor of Bindura Webster Bepura, who
is reportedly also planning to evict at least 50 families in the area. The
eyewitness reported that Chakanyuka was also in the company of notorious war
veteran Comrade Sato, Mashonaland Central governor advocate Martin Dina and
Acting Area Public Prosecutor Mr. Gini. ROHR said the meeting has raised
fears that the ruling to evict the 26 families was a result of interference
on the bench by supporters of ZANU PF
Commenting on the outcome, ROHR Zimbabwe's secretary general, Tichanzii
Ganganda, said the court ruling was a smack in the face of justice and it
represents the manipulation of the law by those with influence denying a
fair trial to vulnerable citizens. Magistrate Chakanyuka meanwhile is set to
decide on the fate of another 50 families facing eviction from Carse farm,
under similar circumstances.

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Zimbabwe predicts poor harvest, more imports

Mon Oct 5, 2009 5:51pm GMT

By Nelson Banya

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's central bank governor warned on Monday that
the country faces a disastrous agricultural season due to poor preparations
and inadequate funding for inputs, raising prospects of more grain imports.

The southern African country, a former regional food exporter, has struggled
to feed itself since 2000 when President Robert Mugabe embarked on a drive
to seize farms from whites to resettle landless blacks.

A unity government formed by Mugabe and long-term rival, Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai, has managed to stabilise Zimbabwe's economy, which is
expected to grow for the first time in over a decade on the back of
agricultural recovery.

But central bank Governor Gideon Gono has warned that the failure to fund
agriculture threatens the country's food security.

"I called the Minister of Agriculture ... and told him that if he is not
careful, he will lead this country to hunger," Gono told a media briefing.

"There is no meaningful land preparation going on, because there is no money
for fuel and spares. Our appetite for imports is surprising."

The government has projected the next harvest to top 2.5 million tonnes of
the staple maize, more than double last year's output, although farmers'
unions have cast doubt on the forecast, citing input shortages and poor

Gono said a government facility would only provide fertilizer and seed, but
not fuel and cash loans for working capital.

He added that many farmers, mostly those recently resettled, were failing to
get the inputs due to lack of collateral security demanded by banks
financing the scheme.

"We are all witnesses to the disaster of the last winter wheat crop, where
only 10 percent was grown. A repeat of that could be catastrophic," he said.

Gono has suggested that part of a recent $510 million IMF loan be injected
into agriculture.

Gono, a Mugabe ally whose reappointment last year is being contested by
Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party, has been locked in
a battle for control of the country's finances with Finance Minister Tendai
Biti, an MDC official.

Biti and Gono have had a series of clashes, including over the
reintroduction of the Zimbabwe dollar -- dumped earlier this year in favour
of multiple foreign currencies -- and more recently over the use of the IMF

"The current delay in utilising the IMF loan is needlessly delaying the
recovery of the economy. This can constrain further resource mobilisation,"
Gono said.

"It will not do, going around with a begging bowl. We should not substitute
our own direct efforts for reliance on NGOs."

Donor groups say they have raised $74 million for 685,000 households
expected to produce 450,000 tonnes of the staple maize in the 2009/10
season, about a quarter of the country's annual consumption requirements.

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German investors have doubts on Zimbabwe

FOREIGN STAFF  Published: 2009/10/05 06:38:40 AM

A GROUP of German investors who undertook a fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe
last week said on Saturday they were sceptical of the situation in the

"There are questions that remain open. These questions relate to law and
order," German businessman Andreas Wenzel said in Harare.

A decade ago, Zimbabwe was Germany's second-biggest trading partner in the

Wenzel and other members of the group, representing about 24 companies from
various business sectors, said that despite its problems, Zimbabwe offered
potential for investment.

The country's newly formed unity government has set out to restore democracy
and has appealed for foreign investment.

Separately, global food leader Nestlè's Zimbabwean unit has stopped buying
milk from a farm owned by President Robert Mugabe's wife that was seized
under his controversial land reforms.

Nestlè 's decision to pull out of the deal came after international media
coverage of some milk purchases put the company under the spotlight.

Nestlè said its Zimbabwe unit had started buying the milk on a temporary
basis in February from Gushungo Dairy Estate because a local privatised
marketing firm which dominates the milk industry was unable to make
purchases during an economic crisis.

"This helped prevent a further deterioration in food supplies in Zimbabwe at
that time," said the company of its decision to purchase milk from eight
farms, including one owned by Mugabe's wife .

Mugabe's seizure of white commercial farms for blacks has drawn heavy
criticism from western countries, which say aid will not flow to help
Zimbabwe's economic recovery until the land grabs stop . Sapa-DPA, Reuters

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Mugabe keeping his personal belongins at Tsvangirai's offical home

Ministers incur hundreds of thousands of dollars in debts on accommodation
 Monday 5 October 2009 / by Alice Chimora

Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's continued use of his simple
Strathaven home as his official residency seven months after his appointment
has been explained: President Mugabe still keeps his personal belongings at
Zimbabwe House...
Zimbabwe House was traditionally the home of prime ministers when Zimbabwe
was still a British colony and a few years after Independence in 1980.
Mugabe, who became the prime minister in 1980, also used Zimbabwe House as
his official residence.

Sources at Tsvangirai's office say Mugabe has openly told Tsvangirai why he
can not move in. sources claim "Mugabe said he still keeps his personal
belongings at Zimbabwe House as he is still looking for better storage
place. So Tsvangirai can not move in and that's the official explanation..."
Also Tsvangirai was told that the drainage system is not working and
extensive repairs are needed.

However, Mugabe's reasons have been dismissed as being "flimsy" and shows
that he does not want Tsvangirai as his neighbor. However, the issue of the
Prime Minister's residence is said to be just a tip of the iceberg as
several former Zanu PF ministers are refusing to vacate government houses in
leafy Borrowdale and Gunhill suburbs to pave way for new MDC ministers.

This has led to the financial crippled government to accumulate exorbitant
hotel bills as it struggles to secure accommodation for new ministers from
outside the capital, Harare.

Tsvangirai is not the only new member of the inclusive government affected
by an accommodation crisis. Speaker of Parliament and senior member of
Tsvangira's MDC Lovemore Moyo spent a year booking into the elegant
world-famous executive suites of the Meikles Hotel in Harare.

The reason is Parliament said it failed to secure "suitable" accommodation
for him in the capital city. Parliament says it forked out a total of $6 000
a month for the comfort of Moyo, whose own home is in the second city of
Bulawayo-450 kilometers out of Harare.

He only checked out at the beginning of September after Parliament secured a
house for him at a rental of US$1 800 per month, a saving of $4 200 of his
monthly bill at the Meikles.

Several minister such as State Enterprises Minister Joel Gabbuza, Deputy
Youth Minister Thamsanqa Mahlangu and co-Home Affairs Minister Giles
Mutsekwa had incurred a debt of US$39 895 at the Crowne Plazza hotel because
they cannot get alternative accommodation.

The government houses were built for the Commonwealth Heads of Government
Meeting (Chogm) in 1991 and are being used by ministers coming from out of

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Zimbabwean asylum seekers to get special dispensation permit in SA

October 05 2009 , 4:16:00

Deputy Home Affairs Minister, Malusi Gigaba, says plans are at an
advanced stage to issue Zimbabweans, who have entered South Africa to seek
political asylum and employment, with a "special dispensation" permit.

The permit will give them the right to stay in South Africa for six
months, the right to schooling or education, and the right to work and
access basic health care. Gigaba was speaking at the launch of the regional
2009 UN Human Development Report in Johannesburg today, which focuses on
Human Mobility and development.

 The regional 2009 Human Development Report recognises that South
Africa is still a destination of choice for African migrants, especially
those from the sub-Saharan region. The influx of immigrants, especially from
Zimbabwe, has, however, raised concerns about an increase in crime and
higher levels of unemployment in the country.

Gigaba says government has introduced a package of policies and
interventions to assist in managing not only domestic affairs but migration
as well. This also includes the special dispensation for Zimbabwean
nationals, a process which is yet to be finalised. The deputy minister says
the migration patterns between the two countries would never be stopped, and
all authorities need to do is encourage regular movement through the ports
of entry to ensure the safety and security of the travellers.

Biometric data registration of migrants

Other policy interventions also include the biometric data
registration of migrants. The new project will take effect during the 2010
Soccer World Cup and then be rolled out to all areas of Home Affairs. Gigaba
says the process is crucial as it will also assist with the process to
de-mystify concepts around those who are involved in crime.

On the home front government also wants a complete database of all
South Africans. Many do not have birth certificates and this compromises the
Identification Document process. Gigaba says from now on, government wants
all new born babies to be registered shortly after birth. He says the
departments of Home Affairs and Health are co-operating to increase
connectivity at hospitals and clinics.

The UN report states that migration can bring large gains for human
development, as the migrants can boost economic output and generate other
gains at little or no cost to locals. Gigaba says migrants could be very
useful in helping South Africa with its skills shortage. The Human
Development Report, however, points to the fact that many restrictions and
inequalities prevent Africans from moving.

Policies at home, along the way and at destinations all constrain
human mobility and reduce its potential to enhance human development. One of
the presenters of the UNDP report, Dr Tegenewok Gettu, says governments must
simplify and liberalise current policies around migration. Gigaba says
government is consulting on a regular basis with research companies, UN
agencies and international organizations on how best to implement the
envisaged amendments to current policy.

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Banks firm on loans to Zim farms

Oct 4, 2009 11:40 PM | By Moses Mudzwiti

Zimbabwe's banks have resisted pressure to lend recklessly, insisting
instead that farmers requiring loans will have to provide collateral like
everyone else.
President Robert Mugabe and Zanu-PF have been lobbying banks to accept
"offer letters", which "authorise" the holder to forcibly take over a farm,
as collateral.
However, at the weekend the Bankers' Association of Zimbabwe reiterated that
banks require "asset-based security".

Dr John Mangudya, the association's president said: "Offer letters are
acceptable forms of entitlement to the land, but cannot be used as
collateral security."

About 4000 commercial farms have been taken over under Mugabe's land reform
programme. The few remaining white farmers are on the verge of losing their
farms to a new wave of land grabs.

A recent report by the General Agriculture and Plantation Workers Union of
Zimbabwe estimated that 350000 black farm workers had been displaced by the
redistribution of farms since 2000.

The precarious food security situation in Zimbabwe has prompted Mugabe to
order his government to bail out the new farmers.

However, the government has no money and the banks won't bend.

"Loans will be approved on asset-based security; that is, any form of
security the farmers have," Mangudya said.

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Mukoko Gets Passport Back

Harare, October 05, 2009 - Crusading human rights campaigner Jestina
Mukoko has finally regained her passport back following her acquittal on
charges of plotting to unseat President Robert Mugabe's government.

      Mukoko surrendered her passport together with title deeds and
parted with US$600 as part of her bail conditions when she was released from
prison early this year following her abduction by state security agents.

      But the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) executive director got her
passport and title deeds back last week after her lawyer Harrison Nkomo
petitioned the Attorney General (AG)'s Office to release the passport, the
title deeds and the bail money.

      However, court officials did not give Mukoko back her bail
money. Nkomo said the clerk of court at the Harare Magistrates Court where
the bail money was deposited did not give any satisfactory reasons for
holding onto the bail money.

      The Supreme Court last week stopped the prosecution of the
former Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) after ruling that the
abduction and torture she was subjected to violated her constitutional

      Mukoko, whose organization has been documenting rights
violations for the past decade was abducted from her Norton home last
December by state security agents who held her incommunicado for three weeks
together with two ZPP employees.

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Mujuru Leaves Delegates Stranded

Triangle, October 05, 2009 - Vice President Joice Mujuru left more
than 400 delegates stranded for two days in Triangle when they failed to
secure transport to go back to their respective rural homes.

When RadioVOP arrived at Triangle late Sunday, both men and women who
were bused from areas such as Chivi, Mwenezi, Checheche and Zaka to attend a
conference for South Eastern Growers Association (SEGA) in Gibbo Stadium
complained that they were never told that they were not going to be taken
back home.

"We came here on Friday to attend the conference. We were taken by our
Members of Parliament from our respective constituencies who said VP Mujuru
promised to sponsor for our transport to and from the conference venue.

"However, soon after the conference on Saturday evening, there was no
one to help us. I do not know when I will go home but the situation is bad
because we are begging for free transport to well-wishers here," said
Stephen Mangirazi from Rutenga.

MP for Mwenezi East constituency Kudakwashe Bhasikiti said there was
nothing he could have done to assist stranded villagers since he had
'already exhausted all the resources' for the event.

"Look, I am not a magician because I already played my part. I did a
lot of things to assist people both from my area and beyond. They just have
to understand that I have already exhausted all my resources. It is me who
was feeding them from my pocket. I can not continue pumping out money, I am
a politician not a miracle performer," said Bhasikiti.

RadioVOP was informed that some None Governmental Organizations which
had pledged to ferry people and look after their welfare during and after
the conference backtracked after discovering that a conference which was
supposed to be purely for agriculture development had turned to be a
political rally.

"There were organizations which had promised to do everything but soon
after discovering that the organizers had turned the event to become a Zanu
PF rally, they ditched their pledge," said a highly placed source in Zanu

The national coordinator of the SEGA who is Zanu PF politburo member
Dzikamai  Mavhaire denied that some people were stranded preferring to say
they were delayed.

"No one is stranded there. We know the situation, they are just
delayed due to some logistical problems, go there tomorrow and you will find
no one," said Mavhaire.

A two day's conference which was supposed to see farmers exchanging
notes about how to grow different crops in their areas turned to be a purely
Zanu PF rally.

VP Mujuru was elected patron of the organization last year.

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Zim to power Botswana

05 October, 2009
FRANCISTOWN - Botswana will, by June next year, get some of its electricity
supply from Zimbabwe.
This follows a meeting in Francistown on Friday between the Minister of
Minerals, Energy and Water Resources (MEWR), Mr Ponatshego Kedikilwe and his
Zimbabwean counterpart Mr Engineer Mudzuri.

The meeting resolved that short term measures be progressed to restore
optimal generation capacity of Bulawayo power station by June 2010 and to
enhance transmission capacity at the Zimbabwe power grid.

Permanent Secretary in MEWR, Mr Gabaake Gabaake said in an interview that
the inter-governmental Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be signed by
November this year to pave way for the rehabilitation of the Bulawayo power
station through the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) and the Zimbabwe
Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA).

Mr Gabaake said the shortage of power experienced in the country, which he
said will be worse in the next two years, has made them come up with
measures to counter it.

He said next year, South Africa will reduce its power supply to Botswana by
100 megawatts, adding that the electricity supply from outside and Morupule
is able to meet the demand leaving no room for reserve electricity.

He said they have signed an agreement for a 70 megawatts rented power from
Matsiloje as a way of addressing the problem.

The permanent secretary also said they have an agreement with Debswana for
the pump station in Orapa to supply 90 megawatts of power.

However, Mr Gabaake said the two projects are expensive.

He said they had to come up with strategies to mitigate costs while at the
same time giving electricity to Batswana. The rehabilitation of Bulawayo
power station, he said, was cheaper and affordable than the Matsiloje and
Orapa projects.

Mr Gabaake said from the 90 megawatts produced by the power station,
Botswana will get about 40 megawatts for a period of three years, saying
Zimbabwe also has the problem of power shortage.

He said the Bulawayo power station ceased operations last year, saying the
advantage is that it has not lost its employees.

Mr Gabaake hailed the meeting saying the two parties have agreed to assist
each other.

He said the two ministers reaffirmed their commitment to promote integration
in the energy sector in their two countries.

The ministers, according to the permanent secretary, have also agreed to
meet often to evaluate progress made. He said all details will be in the MoU
to be signed by the end of next month.

The ministers meeting was a follow up to their previous meetings in
Mozambique in April at which the ministers directed their two national power
utilities to develop short term intervention measures to address the power
supply and demand mismatch, which if not adequately addressed will stifle
social and economic development in the sister countries.

Subsequent to their meeting, President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama and
Zimbabwean Prime Minister, Mr Morgan Tsvangarai asked the ministers to
expeditiously address the issues relating to power supply between Botswana
and Zimbabwe.

The ministers then directed the two utilities responsible for power supply
in the two countries to work together to restore power generation at the
Bulawayo power station and to address transmission constraints in the
Zimbabwe power grid so as to facilitate increased power transfers through
Zimbabwe. BOPA

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Dutch company flouts EU sanctions

Posted on Monday 5 October 2009 - 13:30

  Charles Rukuni, AfricaNews reporter in Zimbabwe

  A Dutch company, a state-owned bank and development agencies from at least
five European countries have been flouting European Union sanctions if it is
illegal for European companies and organisations to do business with
President Robert Mugabe's lieutenants who are on the EU sanctions list.

  The issue of EU sanctions was brought to the forefront following
revelations that Swiss food giant, Nestle, was buying milk from Gushungo
Dairy Estate, a farm owned by Mugabe and his wife Grace. Nestle said it
would stop buying milk from Mugabe on Sunday.

  A Swedish company, DeLaval, was also put under the spotlight for selling
dairy equipment to Mugabe. A company spokesman regretted that the
transaction had been allowed to go through when it should never have been.

  The European Union imposed targeted sanctions on Mugabe and his
lieutenants in 2002. The United States did the same thing with its sanctions
becoming effective 2003.

  According to Britain's Daily Telegraph "the sanctions forbid direct or
indirect funds or economic resources" being given to persons on the
sanctions list but a Netherlands based company has been assisting several
companies that have listed persons among their directors.

  African Management Services Company (AMSCO) which is registered in the
Netherlands but moved its operational headquarters to Johannesburg has been
assisting River Ranch Diamond Mine where former Zimbabwean army commander
Solomon Mujuru has a stake as well as Innscor Corporation where Ray Kaukonde
is a shareholder and chairman of some subsidiaries.

  Both Mujuru and Kaukonde are on the EU and US sanctions lists.

  AMSCO is a joint venture of the International Finance Corporation, the
commercial arm of the World Bank, and the United Nations Development
  Its shareholders include Agence Francaise de Development, the main
operator for the French Official Development Assistance; Banco BPI, a
Portuguese financial group; FMO, the Netherlands Development Finance
Company; FINNFUND, the Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation; IFU, the
Danish Industrial Fund for Developing Countries; and Norfund, the Norwegian
Investment Fund for Developing Countries.

  AMSCO also says its donors include Denmark, Finland, Ireland, the
Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

  Its bankers are reported to be ABN-AMRO, a Dutch bank in which the state
has a stake. Companies that are assisted by AMSCO pay for its services
through ABN-AMRO in the Netherlands. AMSCO still maintains an office in the
Netherlands where its company secretary is based.

  ABN-AMRO has not responded to several inquiries about its relationship
with AMSCO and whether it was getting any funds from River Ranch or its
sister companies. AMSCO and River Ranch have refused to discuss the
financial aspects of their relationship saying this is confidential.

  AMSCO assisted River Ranch by seconding five managers in November 2004 to
help revive the diamond mining company which had been closed for nearly four
years but it terminated its contract in July 2007 following allegations that
the mine was smuggling diamonds out of the country because it was not
allowed to sell them on the open market because of an ownership dispute.

  It was also assisting Shearwater, a subsidiary of Innscor Corporation, and
Innscor itself and all Innscor subsidiaries outside Zimbabwe.

  It is not clear whether the company is still assisting Innscor as its
website and annual report no longer list companies that it assists.

  AMSCO does not offer any financial assistance but it is instead paid for
its services. However, companies that it assists enjoy tremendous benefits
including tax concessions and duty exemptions which is why even
foreign -funded companies find it attractive.

  Mujuru and his business partner, Saudi Arabian billionaire Adel Aujan who
is the majority shareholder, took over River Ranch through a boardroom coup
in April 2004 almost similar to the way Mugabe grabbed the dairy farm by
kicking out the previous owners, Bubye Minerals, which was owned by a white
couple Michael and Adele Farquhar.

  AMSCO seconded five managers to revive the mine six months later.
  Bubye complained about AMSCO's bailout to the European Union and then
United States secretary of State Condoleezza Rice but never got a response.

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Too poor to take tests

Even the most basic teaching materials such as text books are often beyond reach
HARARE, 5 October 2009 (IRIN) - Despite moves to salvage Zimbabwe's ailing education sector, exorbitant fees are keeping many poor students from writing the examinations that will allow them to gain a school-leaving certificate at the end of 2009.

A recent survey by the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) revealed that up to 75 percent of the 300,000 children who could sit their Ordinary Level and Advanced Level examinations in November had failed to register before the deadline.

PTUZ president Raymond Majongwe said exams had to be written in eight O-Level subjects at a fee of US$10 per subject, and in six A-Level subjects at a fee of US$15 each, which was simply beyond the means of most parents or guardians.

"The situation is terrible. Students learning in rural areas and on farm schools are the worst affected, with those coming from poor suburbs in urban areas accounting for a substantial amount of the victims," Majongwe told IRIN.

The number of students who could not afford to write their examinations this year was "the highest in the history of the country" said a PTUZ statement.

Hyperinflation, widespread food shortages, cholera outbreaks and an almost year-long strike by teachers in 2008 led to the near total collapse of an education system already undermined by the economic and political crises besetting the country. The standard of learning has declined dramatically.

"We seem to be going back to the pre-colonial era, when education was a privilege of the rich elite - the poor are slowly being edged out, even though the goal should be to provide universal education," Majongwe said.

No extension

''The poor are slowly being edged out, even though the goal should be to provide universal education''
The minister of education and sport, David Coltart, said there would be no extension of the 25 September deadline for registering to write the exams because it would delay the existing timetable and affect the printing of question papers.

"I am deeply concerned because children have been denied the chance to sit for their final examinations after working hard for probably four or five years," Coltart was quoted as saying by The Herald, an official newspaper.

Majongwe urged the government to allow all students to sit the examinations, "and then give them time to pay up, failure of which [would mean] their results should be withheld".

A sign of deeper trouble

Public servants, including teachers, have been paid in foreign currency as a hedge against hyperinflation since the formation of the unity government in February 2009, which has brought back some stability to schooling, but there are still mountainous problems to be overcome.

"Zimbabwe's education sector, once a model in Africa, continues to be riddled with challenges. Public financing of the sector declined significantly over the last decade, leaving most schools with no funds to purchase even the most basic teaching materials such as text books and stationery," said a recent statement by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).

It is not uncommon for 10 pupils to share a text book, and despite the government's move to drastically slash school fees in February 2009, deepening poverty has meant that even the reduced cost of attending government schools in some areas had put education beyond the reach of thousands of children.

More and more have been dropping out: "Almost 50 percent of Zimbabwe's children graduating from primary school were not proceeding to secondary school," the UNICEF statement noted.

A school principal in Chitungwiza, a town about 30km south of Harare, the capital, told IRIN that 80 percent of the more than 1,000 students at his school had not paid fees since January.

"Of the hundred or so students who have paid to write their O-Level examinations, only 16 have registered for five subjects and above. Worse still, I don't have any reason to believe that things will change for the better next year if the economy does not improve dramatically."

Majongwe said although it was unlikely, he still hoped that part of the US$70 million Education Transition Fund unveiled by the government, UNICEF and the international donor community in mid-September would be used to rescue the stranded students.


[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

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Rights body condemns Shamu's media boards

5th Oct 2009 17:50 GMT

By a Correspondent

ROHR Zimbabwe wishes to express its disappointment towards the hurried
fraudulent imposition of incapacitated media boards to run the state
controlled media bodies and corporations.

More concerning is the inclusion of eight ex military officials with no
traceable media credentials and Tafataona Mahoso, responsible for the
shutting down of independent media under Media Information Commission (MIC).

It raises high suspicions of a sinister plot by the minister responsible for
media to field stooges that are loyal to Zanu PF regardless of other
fundamental issues to be taken into consideration for the establishment of
vibrant independent media with full consultation of media stakeholders.

One Tafataona Mahoso is credited for shutting down The Daily News, Daily
News on Sunday, The Tribune, Capital Radio under the auspices of Jonathan
Moyo in attempts to silence critics against Zanu PF and Mugabe His
appointment as chairman of the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe  (BAZ) is
not only an affront to the people's right to freedom of expression but it
sends wrong signals to the international community at a time when efforts
are being made to ensure Zimbabwe is restored back to the family of foreign
allies for the benefit of the people.

Mohoso stands for an era of oppressive media legislation like POSA and
AIPPA, hate language, vitriol propaganda that seeks to vilify voices deemed
critical to the powers that be, something contrary to the desired reforms
that are detrimental in transforming the state media into embracing plural
voices and promoting diversity and independence from the era of
totalitarianism and misgovernance that characterized the previous decades.

It is shocking that whilst efforts are being made to transform the nation
into a democratic society that respects the will of the people, we still
have self centered people in government that are bent on pulling the country
back into a one party state where they make unilateral decisions to appease
non but their narrow partisan ego.

Unfortunate as it may be, that minister Shamu is still delusional about how
events have shifted since March 29 when the majority of Zimbabweans voiced
that they no longer have confidence in entrusting Zanu PF and its
octogenarian leader to govern.

The unprocedural appointment of a militarized media board by Webster Shamu
is a sign that ZANU Pf is not serious about reforming the state institutions
to match acceptable regional and International standards that govern a
democratic society as guided by the Windhoek Declaration of 1991, African
Charter on Broadcasting and the Banjul Declaration of Principles on Freedom
of Expression in Africa.

ZANU Pf should respect the people of Zimbabwe and desist from using state
institutions as ground for rewarding their loyal subjects in their party,
worse still when those appointed on patronage are not competent enough and
lack the relevant expertise to hold the respective public offices.
Appointments to state institutions should strictly follow transparent
procedures based on merit not party patronage.

It is the nation's prerogative through collective active responses to
denounce any advances aimed at politics of patronage at the expense of the
nation as a body. For too long Zimbabweans have tolerated abuse of state
offices by individuals who forget that both in their personal and
representative capacity they are appointed to serve the people.

More so, the MDC as partners in the coalition government will be damned to
perpetuity if they stand in the sidelines and watch their counterparts from
the Zanu PF party smothering efforts of transforming the country into a
democratic society.

 For Peace, Justice and Freedom

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Mukoko's treatment inconsistent with democratic order

by Mutumwa Mawere Monday 05 October 2009

OPINION: On Monday, September 28 2009, the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe
confirmed what many with the exception of a few in Zimbabwe have come to
accept - that the state has been transformed into an instrument of injustice
and intimidation.

The court ordered a permanent stay in Jestina Mukoko's prosecution. This no
doubt brought to a partial end her ordeal that began on December 3 2008 when
her freedom was temporarily taken away by the state without any involvement
of the courts on allegations of terrorism.

Only a few believed she was so dangerous to the state warranting the kind of
action that was taken. She was taken at daybreak by armed state actors who
held her in secret locations where she was tortured in an attempt to force
her to confirm that she was a danger to society.

Her persecutors knew as they have done before that the framing of her
alleged misdeeds had to fit into what they believe their principal,
President Robert Mugabe, needs or needed to hear.

All that is and was required is to frame one as an economic or political
saboteur to justify the renting of the state machinery to deprive one of
freedom or rights enshrined in the constitution.

As expected, Mukoko was accused of being involved in a plot to topple Mugabe
and such an allegation need not be investigated in contemporary Zimbabwe
before the accused is arrested.

More importantly, such allegations need not be tested before an independent
tribunal as required under the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

She is one in many who have faced similar accusations. In fact, Deputy
Agriculture Minister (designate) Roy Bennett faces similar allegations and
notwithstanding the ruling of the Supreme Court, it is unlikely that the
state, albeit in the framework of an inclusive government, will be persuaded
to change its way of doing business.

When, for example, James Makamba was accused of externalisation, the laws
were changed to deal with his unique circumstances where the state rushed to
arrest him before even completing investigations.

Under the new law passed using state of emergency powers, popularly known as
Makamba law, the state could detain suspects for extended periods without
charging them before a court of law.

Makamba, Muderedi, Kuruneri and others were kept on remand for more than 48
hours as is normal in democratic societies.

In order justify the temporary deprivation of freedom, in the case of
Makamba, the state had to reconstruct normal exchange control violations
into serious economic crimes.

This was evidently necessary to convince not only Mugabe that Zimbabwe's
crisis was a direct consequence of the indiscipline and alleged corruption
in the private sector.

As a result, all that was required was to point a finger at a suspect and
then the state machinery could be used to demonstrate that draconian and
unorthodox measures were what the country needed to lift itself up.

The Prevention of Corruption Act was accordingly amended to achieve that
which was not intended by the constitution.

The state could and can use this instrument to deprive temporarily and even
permanently the rights, title, and interest of citizens to property let
alone freedom.

Once a person has been identified by the state with no assistance of the
judiciary as culpable, the state has given its actors powers that can only
be valid and enforced in an undemocratic constitutional order.

Mukoko like many before her had to endure at a high emotional, physical and
financial cost until the highest court in the land had to pronounce its
opinion on a case that never was.

The mere fact that the executive branch of the state felt confident that
their actions were justified must be a cause for concern.

No lower court could see through this abuse let alone the Attorney General's
office. To the extent that state actors enthusiastically prosecuted Mukoko
using illegal methods to extract confessions, one can safely conclude that
the system has been sufficiently compromised to accept and condone state
abuse of citizens in the name of protecting misplaced sense of sovereignty.

The lower courts could not come to the assistance of Mukoko as they have
failed to do so in other cases of human rights abuses.

What does this say about the health of Zimbabwe's constitutional democracy?

It would be naïve for one to conclude that the end is near just because of
the ruling. Nothing can be done to restore Mukoko to the position that she
was in on the morning of December 3 2008.

To the extent that her freedom was temporarily taken away as a consequence
of an act of state, who should make good on the injury to Mukoko?

One would have expected the President to take action to restore the
confidence of citizens in the state. Appointing a commission of inquiry to
look at all cases of state abuses could be a good starting point. I do not
believe that the judiciary is sufficiently equipped to handle these kinds of
cases that clearly involve political meddling.

The complicity of the lower courts in giving life to the kind of abuse that
has become customary in contemporary Zimbabwe should also be an area that
needs investigations because it should not be acceptable for one to be
exposed to the treatment that Mukoko and others have been subjected to in
the name of protecting national interest and sovereignty.

Makamba like Kuruneri languished in remand prison until the courts acquitted
them. The journey to freedom was long and tortuous. Bennett is in the same
journey as are many.

At least Mukoko's journey has been completed but the scars will remain
forever and no doubt legitimate questions would need to be answered for her
to get some closure to this. Who was behind this? How far up the state
ladder was this action conceived and prosecuted?

It may very well be the case that Mugabe is not fully in control of the
state suggesting that there may be a few in the system who know what their
boss wants to hear.

After 29 years in power, Mugabe is yet to be convinced that he has acted
improperly let alone that the state has failed its citizens. He has as would
be expected after that length of stay in office been transformed into a

There is no doubt that Mugabe was told that the MDC was up to mischief and
the temporary stay by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai after the elections
in Botswana was aimed at consolidating a regime change strategy and plan.

Notwithstanding the inclusive government, Mugabe has been convinced that
Zimbabwe is just too important to the West hence the media coverage and the
regime change allegations is just too real.

Informed by this mindset, the reality of such an agenda can only be
confirmed by arresting human rights activists just like specifying John
Moxon and his companies is meant to prove that Zimbabwe's economic crisis is
a result of greed and actions of unpatriotic citizens.

It has become customary to blame Mugabe for all that has gone wrong in
Zimbabwe in as much as he has adopted a worldview that says Zimbabwe is a
genuine target for regime change.

One can only imagine the kind of life Mugabe is subjected to. He is and has
been guarded 7/24 for the last 29 years and can only see and hear what his
handlers want him to see and hear.

He may very well not know who is Mukoko in as much as he may be ignorant of
the precise facts of the KMAL saga. More importantly, with enemies of the
state like Mukoko, for example, he would have to answer to his supporters
whether Zimbabwe would be safe is he were to step down.

Clearly with the mushrooming number of enemies of the state that the system
has been able to manufacture and generate, the prospect of Mugabe
considering retiring is remote explaining why Jonathan Moyo may be back in
control of the expected election campaign by Mugabe.

For the country to move forward, everyone needs a reality check. Mukoko
provides a convenient departure point for people to reflect on the kind of
society that they want to see. Surely, a society that treats people in the
same manner Mukoko has been treated is not only unacceptable but is
inconsistent with a post-colonial democratic constitutional order.

We already know that state actors violated Mukoko's constitutional rights
and the buck must surely stop somewhere. Who should be ultimately be held
responsible for this absurdity?

There is no doubt that the perpetrators of this abuse will maintain that
they were acting under instructions from above and in any event were acting
in the interests of the Republic.

What was the President told about Mukoko? Is it not time for the Prime
Minister to chip in at the Council of Ministers level and ask the awkward
and inconvenient questions? Is it also not appropriate for the President to
take responsibility by appointing a commission of inquiry to establish what
is going on in the state system?

One would have expected the state to respond to the Supreme Court judgment
with positive actions. The corrosive effect of non-response on the integrity
of the state cannot be understated. If Mukoko and others can be subjected to
abuse by the state, then who is safe?

There are many who have similar stories to tell about the state and its
toxic impact on Zimbabwe's progress.

A transparent and credible tribunal must urgently be set up as the three
Ministers appointed to deal with national reconciliation and healing appear
to be missing in action.

One would have expected them to be at the forefront of the
Mukoko/Bennett/Moxon and other cases that are still pending before the
courts when it is common cause that such cases would not exist in a

Should all citizens now turn to the Supreme Court as a court of first
instance? Clearly the lower courts have consistently not been able to tell
the executive to obey the law and act accordingly.

The inclusive government appears to have fallen into the trap that Mugabe
has been condemned to of believing that the state can do no wrong. -

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Land and livelihoods in Zimbabwe

Ian Scoones

The Global Political Agreement one year on

One year on from the signing of the Global Political Agreement, which forms the basis of Zimbabwe's cross-party inclusive government formed in February this year, the country's slow rehabilitation continues. It has not been easy or straightforward. But many signs are good: hyperinflation has been eliminated by the introduction of the US dollar and the South African rand, and the economy is starting to function again. On the political front, wrangles within the inclusive government continue, but progressive factions on all sides realise that the only option is to make the current settlement work, despite the compromises it entails. (See 'Zimbabwe on the Move', a commentary on Zimbabwe's progress.) A key issue remains the question of land, and the challenge of revitalising agriculture and securing rural livelihoods.

Land reform 'success' and 'viability' in Zimbabwe

Over the last four years, IDS researchers have been collaborating with partners in Zimbabwe to examine the experiences of land reform across three countries - Zimbabwe, South Africa and Namibia - and exploring contrasting notions of 'success' and 'viability' in land reform efforts.

The research programme, Livelihoods After Land Reform asks the very basic question: what happens to people's livelihoods when they get new land? The answers are varied and complex.

The research team recently met in Masvingo, Zimbabwe to review the results and to debate their implications for the politics of land in southern Africa. The debate explored the likelihood of land reform in the future and highlighted lessons from Zimbabwe's experience for Namibia and South Africa.

Listen to the debate.

Myths and realities in Zimbabwe's land reform

The findings of the Zimbabwe research challenge a number of myths about land reform. These myths are repeated regularly in the international media and are reflected in much academic commentary. While no-one denies the problems resulting from the post 2000 land reform - and there are many, particularly in the highly capitalised farming areas of the Highveld near Harare - the more positive stories are often not told.

The Zimbabwe research provides a counter to the dominant storyline. Detailed studies across 16 sites in Masvingo province show, with significant variations across location and households, how those getting new land have successfully established new farms, invested in them and are now producing; sometimes in significant amounts.

As part of the Masvingo workshop, participants visited a number of farmers who are part of the study sample and were amazed to find granaries full and cases of farmers selling over 20 tonnes of maize in the past season (see photos of farming in the new resettlements of Masvingo). While this pattern is of course not universal, it begins to dispel the myth that Zimbabwe's land reform has been a total disaster. Indeed, with good rainfall, the prospects look good. In a series of interviews, members of the Zimbabwe research team, also beneficiaries of land reform in different parts of Masvingo province, explain their experiences, and hopes for the future (see the Audio section further down this web page).

Adding to the evidence base

To complement the Masvingo studies, IDS, together with the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies, the African Institute for Agrarian Studies, Ruziwo Trust and the Centre for Applied Social Sciences Trust, has recently commissioned a series of short studies from across the country. The Livelihoods after Land Reform Small Grants Award was open to any Zimbabwean who had done recent research for a post-graduate degree on land reform processes. An amazing 76 applicants sent in high quality proposals, and 15 were given awards. These studies, to be published in early 2010, will add to the fast growing evidence base for drawing lessons and charting the way forward.

Policy dialogue: charting the way forward

In terms of defining new policy directions for the post land reform era, there is much to be done, and the team has spent time engaging with policy efforts. For example, a commentary by the team on a major World Bank-supported land policy study highlighted important questions about how policies for 'revitalising' agriculture need to look beyond narrow concerns of economic 'viability' centred on assumptions from large-scale commercial farming. In addition, a short note was prepared on land tenure issues also as a way of generating debate on this topic, highlighting the importance of looking beyond a narrow focus on freehold tenure as the route to solving problems of land insecurity. A well-attended meeting of donors, hosted by the Netherlands Embassy and the multi-donor trust fund, was convened in November 2008 to discuss the controversial 'myths' paper. More recently, the team spent time with Masvingo province's Head of Agricultural Extension, discussing the implications of the project findings for extension support and delivery following land reform.

Solid, research-based evidence must be central in the policymaking process in Zimbabwe. For too long debates have been influenced more by ideological posturing and statements made on the basis of conjecture and assumption than solid, research-based evidence. Increasingly, there is a great opportunity to change this if government, donors, NGOs, consultants and others all draw on the growing body of research on livelihoods after land reform.

The Livelihoods after Land Reform research programme is jointly funded through the the UK's Economic Social Research Council and is co-ordinated by the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa.

The work builds on a decade of IDS research in collaboration with Zimbabwean partners to document the effects the post 2000 land reforms have had on people's livelihoods.

Ian Scoones is Professorial Fellow and joint convenor of the IDS-hosted Future Agricultures Consortium.

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Bill Watch 33 of 4th October 2009 [New Session ofParliament Opens on Tuesday]

BILL WATCH 33/2009

[3rd October 2009]

The ceremonial opening of the Second Session of the Seventh Parliament by the President will take place at 12 noon on Tuesday the 6th October [apology: in the last Bill Watch the date given as the 5th was an error]

The President will deliver a speech outlining the Government’s legislative agenda for the new session to a joint sitting of the House of Assembly and the Senate.  Both Houses are then expected to adjourn for a week.

Update on Independent Constitutional Commissions

Electoral Commission [ZEC]:  Following interviews on 28th September, Parliament has forwarded 12 names to the President out of which he will select 8 members of ZEC.  There was unanimity among members of the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders [CSRO] over the selection – there is no official list available from Parliament, only “leaked” press reports which may not be accurate.  In addition to the 8 members a chairperson will be appointed by the President “after consultation with” the Judicial Service Commission [JSC] and the CSRO.  This does not mean that the President, the JSC and CSRO must agree on the chairperson; but the President must notify the JSC and CSRO of whom he has in mind and must consider the views of both bodies before reaching his decision.  The chairperson must be a judge, former judge or a legal practitioner of at least 7 years’ standing.  The chairperson could, but not necessarily, come from the 12 nominees already submitted to the President. 

Media Commission:  There has been no announcement from the President’s Office on the appointment of the chairperson and 8 members of this Commission from the list of 12 nominees submitted by Parliament in mid-August

Human Rights Commission [ZHRC]:  These interviews will be on Monday 12th October.  Some 40 candidates have been short-listed for interview, compared to the 28 short-listed for both ZMC and ZEC – this is because the Constitution calls for a longer list of nominees for this Commission [16] than for ZMC and ZEC [12 nominees each].  The President must appoint the eight members of ZHRC from this list of 16.  The appointment of the chairperson is a separate exercise, involving appointment by the President ‘‘after consultation with” the JSC and the CSRO as in the case of the Electoral Commission.  The person appointed must have been qualified to practise as a legal practitioner for at least 5 years.

Anti-Corruption Commission [ZACC]:  The CSRO has not yet decided how to fulfil its somewhat different role in the appointment of the members of this Commission [which is to be consulted by the President rather than to send him a list of nominees proposed by it].  [Constitution, section 100K(1): “There is a Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission consisting of at least four and not more than nine members appointed by the President in consultation with the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders.”]

SADC Organ Troika and Outstanding GPA Issues

No date has been set for a Troika of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation meeting, although it is nearly a month since the SADC Kinshasa Summit referred to the Troika the outstanding GPA issues formally referred to SADC by Mr Tsvangirai and Mr Mutambara at the end of May.  SADC Executive Secretary Tomaz Salomão said this week that “the parties involved would be consulting in October and have to agree on a date”.  This slow pace holds out little hope of early Troika action on any of the outstanding issues.  The Troika consists of Mozambican President Armando Guebuza [chairperson], Zambian President Rupiah Banda [deputy chairperson]  and King Mswati of Swaziland.  [Protocol establishing the Organ and detailing its  powers outlined in the Windhoek Protocol available on request.].

Update on Parliament

House of Assembly Portfolio Committees and Senate Thematic Committees:  According to Parliamentary Standing Orders, portfolio and thematic committees are automatically dissolved at the end of each Parliamentary session and must be reconstituted by the CSRO at the beginning of the next session.  The new committees will be announced when Parliament reassembles after the week-long adjournment that is expected to follow Tuesday’s ceremonial opening of the new session.  Past practice suggests that the new committees will have more or less the same membership as the committees appointed for the First Session. 

Committee on Standing Rules and Orders:  This committee is constituted for the life of a Parliament, so its present membership will continue unchanged in the new session.

Select Committee on the New Constitution:  there will be a meeting with the new Management Committee next week, to map out roles under the new structure agreed by the three principals on 17th September [see Constitution Watch 10 of 25th September].

Sole Independent MP joins ZANU-PF:  Professor Jonathan Moyo [MP for Tsholotsho North], the only Independent elected to the House of Assembly in the March 2008 elections, has been accepted back into ZANU-PF some four years after his expulsion.  This does not affect his membership of the House [the Constitution makes no provision for the forfeiture of a member’s seat in such a situation].   But it does affect voting strengths in the House of Assembly, which are now as follows:  MDC-T – 97; MDC-M – 8;  ZANU-PF – 96 [these figures take into account vacancies in the House arising from deaths and expulsions and one nominated seat not having been filled by ZANU-PF].  In theory the Legislature of the inclusive government has lost its sole “opposition” member – in practice it will make little difference.

SADC Tribunal Pull-Out Controversy

In the weeks since Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs Patrick Chinamasa announced that the Government no longer regarded the SADC Tribunal as legally constituted controversy has raged.  Various legal opinions challenging the Minister’s stance and the Minister’s response to these have been advertised in the press.  [Electronic versions of  the Minister’s and opposing opinions available on request – see list at end of bulletin.]  The Prime Minister said that as the matter had not been discussed in Cabinet, the Minister’s action was null and void, but after a recent meeting and discussion of the issue in the Council of Ministers, the question is now on the Cabinet agenda. [Electronic version of Prime Minister’s statement available.] 

Specification of Meikles Companies under Corruption Act

GN 132/2009, gazetted in a Government Gazette Extraordinary on 11th September and signed by both co-Ministers of Home Affairs, declared four Meikles companies and a Meikles senior executive to be specified persons under section 6 of the Prevention of Corruption Act and appointed two investigators.  The GN does not state the grounds for the declaration, but it is said to have been prompted by allegations of illegal externalisation of funds [the Act permits specification only when there is reasonable suspicion of misappropriation or loss of property, or corrupt practices in contravention of the Bribery and Corruption provisions of the Criminal Law Code].  Under the Act the investigators must now investigate the specified persons and report to the Ministers whether or not anyone has a claim against the specified persons arising out of the suspected conduct.  In the meantime the specified persons cannot deal with their property, bank accounts, etc. without the approval of the investigators.  They have filed a High Court challenge to the specification, pointing out that according to the public record the Ministers of Home Affairs have not been assigned responsibility for the Prevention of Corruption Act.  The specification has been disowned by the Prime Minister and by MDC-T, and Co-Minister of Home Affairs Giles Mutsekwa has been reported as admitting he made a mistake in signing it. 

High Court Decision on Chiadzwa/Marange Diamond Fields:  

A recent High Court decision restored mining rights over Chiadzwa/Marangwe diamond fields to African Consolidated Resources [ACR] and invalidated Government’s 2006 cancellation of ACR’s rights and expulsion of ACR from the area and the Government’s award of these rights to Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation [ZMDC].  The court also ordered the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe [MMCZ] to account to ACR for diamonds acquired by it from ZMDC.  The Government, ZMDC and MMCZ have appealed, but the High Court order continues in force [Justice Hungwe having ordered that his decision would not be suspended by the noting of an appeal].  A noteworthy aspect of the case is that the Government’s lawyers and official witnesses admitted during the hearing that the cancellation of ACR’s rights had not been done in accordance with the Mines and Minerals Act – evidence of official brushing aside of legal requirements when handling mineral resources.  These breaches of the rule of law have deterred potential investors in the mining sector, but this court decision, if it is upheld, may go some way to restore confidence.

Legislation Update

Finance and Appropriation Acts gazetted at last

The Finance (No. 2) Act (No. 5/2009) and the Appropriation (Supplementary) Act (No. 6/2009)  were gazetted in a Gazette Extraordinary dated 30th September 2009.  Section 17 of the Finance (No. 2) Act makes the British pound, the Euro, the United States dollar, the South African rand and the Botswana pula legal tender for all transactions in Zimbabwe; other sections make tax law changes, including income tax and capital gains tax.  The Appropriation (Supplementary) Act votes additional funds for the carrying on of government until the end of the financial year [31st December]. 

Bill passed by Parliament but not yet gazetted as Act

The Appropriation (Additional) (2008) Bill was passed in early April but has not yet been sent to the President’s Office for the President’s assent.  [See Bill Watch 32 for a note on the Bill.]

Bills gazetted

The Audit Office Bill [HB 10, 2009] was gazetted on 2nd October.  The purpose of the Bill is to establish an independent office of the Comptroller and Auditor-General outside the Public Service, with its own Audit Office Commission to fix conditions of service for the staff of the office and to be responsible for appointing and disciplining that staff.  Also covered are the powers, functions and responsibilities of the Comptroller and Auditor-General, amplifying what is already in the Constitution.  [Electronic version available on request.]  A sister Bill, the Public Finance Management Bill, is due to be gazetted shortly.

The Financial Adjustments Bill [HB 8, 2009] was gazetted on 25th September [it is a short routine Bill providing for condonation of overspending by several Ministries during the 2006 financial year].  [Electronic version available on request.]

The Reserve Bank Amendment Bill was gazetted on 14th August and awaits introduction in Parliament by the Minister of Finance.

Bill being printed

The Public Finance Management Bill is expected to be gazetted on 9th October.

Statutory Instruments

Six statutory instruments [156 to 161/2009] were gazetted on 2nd October under the National Social Security Authority Act – they fix new amounts for workers compensation payouts, and for pensions and grants under the NSSA Pensions and Other Benefits Scheme.

Documents available on SADC Tribunal Pull-Out

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights opinion

Counsel’s opinions provided to Commercial Farmers Union

Response by Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs

Statement by African Bar Associations and Rule of Law Institutions

Statement by Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum

Southern African Litigation Centre Opinion Piece


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

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