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Harare appeals for help as water crisis deepens

06/10/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporters

HARARE city council has appealed to government for help as its creaking
water infrastructure fails to cope with demand and with constant pipe bursts
leaving residents without supplies for days on end amid fears another
cholera outbreak.

Residents from the city’s western and southern suburbs recently went for a
week without running water following the latest major pipe burst at the city’s
Morton Jaffray Water Treatment plant.

Angry residents demanded that the council move to address the problem
warning the city could be hit with another outbreak of waterborne diseases
such as cholera and typhoid.

“They should have a back-up plan like having water bowsers at least, like
what UNICEF used to do so that we can have safe drinking water. Now people
are fetching water from unprotected wells this is a health hazard,” said
Boniface Mareva of Glen View 7.

Another resident, Priscilla Nhara, added: “All the boreholes in this area
are broken down due to lack of maintenance. The city council should drill
more boreholes and maintain the existing ones, right now we are forced to
fetch water from Mukuvisi River which actually stinks.”

Initially designed for 300,000 people, Harare’s water supply system is now
struggling to cope with a population estimated at more than 2.5 million.

With little rehabilitation work carried out over the last decade or so due
to the lack of funds, much of the infrastructure is simply too old to cope
with the increased demand resulting in constant breakdowns.

Town clerk, Tendai Mahaci, appealed for government assistance, conceding
that the city council did not have the resources to address the problem.

"We have failed dismally and are now appealing to the government to bail us
out," Mahachi admitted on state television adding about US$250 million was
needed to rehabilitate the city’s water treatment works and delivery

But Prosper Dube of Glen View 3 said the local authority was wasting scarce
funds on luxury vehicles for officials instead addressing the many problems
the city faces.

“These people are busy sleeping on duty instead of doing their work. Each
time they come up with silly excuses to justify their incompetence,” Dube

“We see water gushing out of burst pipes all over the city whilst council
officials are busy buying themselves luxury cars.
“Where is all that money we are made to pay as rates going if they can’t
ensure we have water? These people should just resign.”

Harare Residents Association Director, Precious Shumba, added: “We need to
sit down with the authorities and the city’s water department to address
this problem. All the money coming through from water rates must go towards
investing in water management infrastructure.

“What is more disturbing and ironic is the fact that Harare water is the
most expensive and yet it’s seldom available. Residents are resorting to
drinking un-treated water.”

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Mudenge declared a national hero

on October 6, 2012 at 6:03 am

Higher Education Minister Isaak Stanislaus Gorerazvo Mudenge, who died on
Thursday, has been declared a national hero. His hero status was announced
last night following consultations among Zanu PF Politburo members.

The minister collapsed and died in his room at a Masvingo hotel on Thursday
afternoon. He was 71 and leaves behind a 22 year old wife, Mildred Kada and
three children and two grandchildren. His two previous wives all passed

“Cde Mudenge has been declared a national hero and will probably be buried
on Monday. Ministry of Home Affairs has been tasked to make all the
necessary arrangements for burial,” Zanu-PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo said last

In his condolence message yesterday, President Robert Mugabe said Mudenge
will go down in the country’s history as part of the founding crop of
bureaucrats who took over the running of Government in ministries at
independence in 1980.

“In his case, he had to build a whole Ministry of Foreign Affairs from
scratch, given that Rhodesians never ran such an open, professional

“Before long, Dr Mudenge would be sent on various sensitive missions abroad,
culminating in his deployment to the United Nations in New York, as our
Permanent Representative to that world body.

“He bore the brunt of those heady days, always standing steadfast for his
people’s rights and interests, which he fully grasped and understood as a
historian. Today that powerful and evocative voice is gone, silenced by this
untimely death.

“Under his watchful eye, many universities offering diverse disciplines were
formed in almost all our provinces. Today our country runs the whole gamut
by way of focus, all of them forward looking, but never in a way that
ignores or undermines our cultural rootedness.

“His broad works stand poignant and must give pride and solace to his
bereaved wife, children, as well as to the wider Mudenge family by whose
side the whole nation presently stands in this hour of great pain and loss.

“To them, on behalf of the inclusive Government, our party Zanu-PF of my
wife and on my own behalf, send deepest condolences and words of comfort,”
Mugabe said.

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Declare corruption a national disaster—Makoni

The government should declare corruption a national disaster,
Mavambo-Kusile-Dawn President, Simba Makoni said on Thursday.

by Thabani Dube

He was speaking at a discussion forum on public accountability and
corruption at the Quill Club in Harare that was organised by the
newly-formed Coalition against Corruption, a non-governmental organisation.

The MKD President described corruption in Zimbabwe as endemic, saying it
pervaded political, economic, social and religious spheres and also affected
the private sector.

The former Finance Minister, who was also a senior Zanu (PF) member before
breaking away to form MKD in early 2008, said corrupt tendencies started
manifesting themselves immediately after independence.

He cited the Willowgate scandal in which government officials in the 1990s
resold the cars they had received at inflated prices.

He expressed concern at the manner in which President Robert Mugabe then
reacted to the scandal, saying that he dismissed it as a small issue.

“I asked Mugabe what he was going to do about the Willowgate scandal and he
just answered: ‘What is this fuss all about? They are only selling cars’. As
the saying goes, a fish rots from its head and there is no political will to
fight corruption” he said.

He described the Anti-Corruption Commission as ineffective, saying it was
meant to window-dress as it was not allocated adequate funds to perform its

Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana, another panelist, said many people were afraid of
the ACC. He headed the commission at its formation.

“People are so afraid of the commission, and that includes those that
created it. They are not sure what kind of animal it is and what it will do
to them,” said Mangwana.

Willias Madzimure, an MDC-T MP and Chairperson of African Parliamentarians
against Corruption, said most politicians were reluctant to declare their
assets because they acquired them corruptly.

Madzimure is among a few MDC-T members who have declared their assets at
party level.

He claimed that he turned down a RBZ shady offer of cars because “we cannot
accept a free lunch in a sea of poverty” during the central bank’s
quasi-fiscal era.

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Mangwana Says Zimbabweans Have The Same DNA of Corruption

Harare, October 06, 2012 - Former Minister of State Enterprises and
Parastatals and Zanu (PF) Member of Parliament for Chivi South, Munyaradzi
Paul Mangwana caused a stir at the Quil club when he told journalists that
corruption in the country will be difficult to eradicate because Zimbabweans
had the same DNA of wanting to get rich quickly.
Mangwana said this at a public meeting that was organised by the Coalition
Against Corruption (CAC) and was discussing on identifying why public office
bearers where reluctant to disclose their assets publicly.

“The reason why corruption in Zimbabwe is failing to come to an end is that
Zimbabweans behave the same .Corruption is not a Zanu (PF) or an MDC issue
since it involves everyone. It will not end soon because Zimbabweans carry
that same DNA of wanting to benefit over nothing. There is not a single
country in the world that doesn’t have corruption,” said Mangwana.

Mangwana also added that Zanu (PF) had done everything it can to fight
corruption since coming into power and accused the MDC of being corrupt.

“Zanu (PF) has been fighting corruption and the funny part is that
corruption is rife within the MDC. Most councils being run by MDC have
corrupt councilors that have been fired for indulging in corrupt activities’.

However, CAC director Terry Mutsvanga dismissed the assumptions by Mangwana
saying that it wasn’t an issue of DNA amongst Zimbabweans but there was need
for greater political will.

“The fight against corruption is something that requires greater political
will. It is not that Zimbabweans share the same DNA, but there is need for
serious political will that pushes for stiffer legislation against
offenders. In other countries, corruption levels are very low as a result of
strict punitive laws that are enforced upon offenders and this discourages
corruption, “said Mutsvangwa.

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ZIFA Clears 11 Players Linked to Asia Match Fixing Scam

Michael Kariati

The Zimbabwe Football Association’s Ethics Committee has pardoned 11 more
players who were suspected to be involved in the so-called Asiagate scandal.

This brings the number of cleared players to 44 out of 80 that were
suspended by ZIFA following allegations that they were involved in fixing
matches played by the national team in Asia a few years ago.

Six of the players who have been cleared Kingstone Nkhata, Edward Sadomba,
Energy Murambadoro, Lincoln Zvasiya, Ephraim Mazarura and Cuthbert Malajila
have immediately been drafted into the Warriors squad that will play Angola’s
black Antelopes on October 14.

Former Warriors player Justice Majabvi is one of the cleared players who has
not been recalled for national duty. The other cleared players include
Mthulisi Maphosa, Costa Nhamoinesu, Hardlife Svirekwi and Cliff Sekete.

Dynamos supporter Shepherd Nyamota said the Asiagate investigation has
become a big farce.

Nyamota said the players have been pardoned because ZIFA wants the Warriors
to beat Angola.

However, ZIFA president Cuthbert Dube said the national football controlling
body does not have a hand in this exercise.

Renowned football critic and former class one referee Sam Hamandawana said
he is happy that the players have been pardoned.

Motor Action supporter Tichaona Andrew Tarwirei said the players drafted
into the national team will add depth to coach Rahman Gumbo’s squad.

But former Ziscosteel and Chrome Stars midfielder Emmanuel Kurebwaseka said
ZIFA have shifted from their initial Asiagate goal of cleansing the game and
are now interested in results on the football field.

Dube dismissed him saying the ethics committee is an independent body which
is making its own decisions.

The players who have just been cleared and recalled will Monday join the
Warriors camp along with the other 24 that have been called for the
make-or-break tie against the Angolans.

Zimbabwe carry a 3-1 lead from the first leg in Harare and only need a draw
or a narrow 1-0 or 2-1 loss to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations finals
to be held in South Africa in January.

At least 55 players and 16 officials have not yet been cleared by the
committee headed retired Supreme Court Judge Justice Ahmed Ebrahim.

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Apex Council threatens crippling strike

By Ndakaziva Majaka, Staff Writer
Saturday, 06 October 2012 14:00
HARARE - Apex Council, the civil servants representative body, is scheduled
to meet with teachers’ unions and Public Service minister on Monday to
discuss the plight of Zimbabwean teachers, an Apex official has said.

Speaking at International Teachers’ Day celebrations in the capital
yesterday, David Dzatsunga, newly appointed president of the Apex Council
said the Public Service minister Lucia Matibenga has misled the public by
claiming the civil servants’ body is fragmented and has jumbled priorities.

“We are going to meet on Monday to clarify to the minister and let her know
that she should release
appropriate information to the public,” Dzatsunga said.

“We as the representative board have the same purpose, the minister needs to
come out clean and say the reason she is not addressing us is there is no

Dzatsunga, who is also president of College Lecturers Association, said
Matibenga was using Apex disunity as a scapegoat to avoid the real issue at
hand, which is the plea by the teachers for improved working conditions and
“capitalising on non-existent divisions”.

The plight of the teachers has been aggravated by the spilt in the Apex
Council, which is now divided into two factions one headed by Dzatsunga, and
the other by Cecilia Alexander.

Alexander leads the Public Service Association represents most government
workers not in the education sector.

Matibenga has been quoted in the press saying that there will be no salary
negotiations with them as government is not prepared to deal with a
fragmented body.

Negotiations for bonuses and salary increments for civil servants have been
stopped after government ordered the worker representative unions Apex
Council to first resolve leadership squabbles currently rocking the body.

Teachers earn an average salary of about $300, resulting in the trade unions
advocating that School Development Associations (SDAs) should top up
teachers’ salaries.

Their salaries fall below the poverty datum line pegged at $500.

“We have never had power problems in Apex, both parties have failed us as
they are using power to fight us, we need to clarify our position so the
public knows,” he said.

Speaking at the same function, Raymond Majongwe Progressive Teachers Union
of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) secretary general, said GNU parties were using political
expediency at the expense of the suffering teachers.

Munyaradzi Gwisai, an activist, promised a mother of all strikes against the
“united looters club” as he calls the GNU, if their demands were not met.

He said the reason teachers had not organised a successful demonstration or
strike in the recent past is they have been under the illusion that Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was going to do something to address their plight
as he promised in his inauguration speech at the Glamis Stadium.

He urged parents to revoke incentives they are paying through SDAs to
teachers, to ensure the success of the upcoming strike.

Gwisai said government must come out of their comfort zone, saying the
clause in the draft constitution that states civil servants are not to be
politically active is going to be ignored.

“Fundamentally the constitution states civil servants cannot be politically
active. Here is some news to our leaders: You have lost our vote and we are
about to take over the reins,” Gwisai declared.

“Hatidye kuparty, today living wage (The party will not feed us, but our
wages do), so we do not care about their parties, we are concerned about our

To Zanu PF, the teachers said their tactic of awarding increment towards
election time was not going to work as they are fed up of the parties.

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Police evade questions on war vets demo

Saturday, 06 October 2012 14:02
HARARE - Police have refused to explain why they failed to act on war
veterans who besieged the New Government Complex, grounding government
business to a halt in at least four ministries.

The war veterans, who were demonstrating against Finance minister Tendai
Biti, held all civil servants at the complex hostage, barring anyone from
going in and coming out.

Biti said the war veterans — who also threatened Daily News journalists
covering the story — were barking up the wrong tree as he did not have
exclusive power to change the law to increase war veterans’ allowances.

Biti also blamed the police and the army for not taking action, saying they
were selectively applying the law as they were fast to respond to civil
rights protests by groups such as Women of Zimbabwe Arise (Woza) march for
human rights, and yet were lethargic in dealing with the war veterans’

Harare provincial police spokesperson Tedious Chibanda declined to comment
referring the Daily News to the national police spokesperson.

“Those issues are commented on at national level, we do not talk at
provincial level,” he said.

National police spokesperson Charity Charamba said she was off duty while
her deputy Oliver Mandipaka told the Daily News to call after an hour. He
was not picking up his phone after that.

Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association leader Jabulani
Sibanda has disowned the war veterans who picketed the government complex
saying the demonstrators were a group of people who were after “cheap

Government business in the ministries of Justice and Legal Affairs, Higher
and Tertiary Education, Economic Planning and Investment Promotion and
Finance ground to a halt, with the State losing thousands of dollars.

The Attorney General’s office, housed in the New Government Complex, was
also adversely affected by the war veterans’ disruptive behaviour.

The Daily News could not quantify how much the war veterans’ two-day strike
that sealed off the offices cost government in lost revenue and downtime. -
Bridget Mananavire

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Zimbabwe delivers fuel to repay Malawi loan

06/10/2012 00:00:00
by Gilbert Nyambabvu

ZIMBABWE has delivered two million litres of fuel to Malawi in part payment
of a US$24 million loan Harare owes Lilongwe for maize supplies.

National Oil Company of Malawi chief executive, Robert Mdeza, confirmed the
development Saturday saying: “All the 17 tankers are already in the country
and the rest will come in next week.”

Mdeza said the delivery comprised diesel only and added that there was
another 10 to 15 million litres still outstanding to pay up the loan.

“We can’t know for sure what is remaining because prices of fuel change
every day,” he added.
The late Malawian leader, Bingu wa Mutharika, supplied maize to help
Zimbabwe address biting shortages of the staple in 2007 and did not press
his close friend, President Robert Mugabe, for payment.

But Mutharika’s successor Joyce Banda dispatched her energy minister to
Harare to push for payment as Malawi reeled from an economic crisis
characterised by acute foreign currency shortages that led to fuel

The crisis was triggered by a fall-out with Western donors who either
suspended or cut-back support to protest what they described as
deteriorating economic and political conditions under Mutharika.

Banda has since moved to repair relations with key donors and, although the
United Kingdom, the IMF and the World Bank have since resumed support, the
country’s foreign currency situation is still to normalise.

Meanwhile, it remains unclear how Zimbabwe, which faces its own financial
constraints with donors holding onto their purse-strings, is managing to
repay the loan.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti recently said the government was string at a
US$400 million budget black hole with the money required for various key
expenditures before year-end.

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PM, Ncube deny alleged polls deal

Saturday, 06 October 2012 13:52

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe’s coalition partners have rejected the Zanu
PF leader’s March 2013 poll plan, with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
remonstrating against reports he has entered into a poll deal with the
veteran leader.

Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube, leader of the smaller MDC party, yesterday
said in as much as elections were overdue, Mugabe could not announce poll
dates in an affidavit as it is unconstitutional.

Luke Tamborinyoka, Tsvangirai’s spokesperson told the Daily News the next
elections’ date is process-driven, and there must be consensus from all
parties in the troubled coalition after agreed reforms are implemented.

“Mugabe cannot announce an election date in an affidavit, in as much as he
was the respondent to the court case, the date for the next election will be
determined after consulting other principals in government,” said

“The people of Zimbabwe cannot be told the date of an election in a court
process, this is serious mischief that would have happened.

“As far as the Prime Minister is concerned, President Robert Mugabe and
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai will sit down and agree on an election date
not this thing being claimed in some media,” added Tamborinyoka.

This week George Charamba, Mugabe’s spokesperson, claimed all principals in
the inclusive government had agreed to the March election timetable.

But Tamborinyoka says Charamba was “off mark and lying” when he included his
boss in the poll deal.

The state media also claimed the principals have resolved to take over the
management of the constitutional-making process, a development which would
make the Copac management committee useless.

However, Tamborinyoka claimed his boss will not be part to such an agreement
as he believes in “honouring people’s views” and will not participate in a
process that seeks to rewrite the Global Political Agreement.

Also joining Tamborinyoka in dismissing Charamba’s claims was Ncube, who
said the court order sought by Mugabe was not about the poll date but a day
for the proclamation of elections.

“We were not involved on the March dates but we were only consulted when we
were asked whether it makes sense to hold by-elections,” said Ncube.

He further said Mugabe’s wish to have elections in March was impossible.

“It is impossible to have elections by March because there is a lot of work
that needs to be done.

“All parties must work in good faith to ensure that we come up with an
election roadmap and implement it,” said Ncube.

According to Mugabe in his urgent court application filed last week, he said
he planned to call for elections in March next year. The court duly granted
his wish.

The court application was meant to delay by-elections for three Matabeleland
constituencies, but Mugabe said he wanted to have harmonised elections.

His argument was based on claims that government is broke and could not
afford to hold elections this year. - Xolisani Ncube

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Mugabe still to open fifth Parliament

By Chengetayi Zvauya, Parliamentary Editor
Saturday, 06 October 2012 13:45

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on
Monday agreed the veteran leader would open the next Parliamentary session

But by yesterday Parliament had still not been notified of a date and there
has been no gazetting of the presidential proclamation, the formal legal
instrument required to end the present session and start the next one.

Mugabe is still to set the date for the ceremonial opening of fifth and last
parliamentary session.

Despite having agreed with other Principals in the inclusive government that
he was going to officially open the fifth session soon, he is yet to inform
the legislature when he will officially open it.

Both Houses stand adjourned until Tuesday October 9 from last month when the
Parliament sat.

Speaker of the House of Assembly Lovemore Moyo says Parliament is now
sitting on an ad hoc basis as the fourth session ended its business in July.

Moyo told the Daily News yesterday that parliament was now waiting for a
confirmation from President Robert Mugabe on the date he will be officially
opening the fifth session of the seventh Parliament.

Moyo said there is not much to be expected from the current parliamentary
sittings because work outlined in the fourth session has been finished.

“I know that we had planned that our parliament business was going to finish
in July and at the end of July we were expecting Mugabe to open the
parliament and this is still to happen.

“The parliament session that will happen next Tuesday is an ad hoc sitting.
There are no serious issues that are outstanding for debate,” said Moyo.

He said Parliament had communicated with Mugabe’s office and was waiting for
a report when he will officially open the fifth session.

Moyo said there were no new motions to be introduced in Parliament during
the current fourth session.

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Zanu PF looters face jail: PM

Saturday, 06 October 2012 13:43

Prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai
MASVINGO - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has warned Zanu PF members
against politicising and looting government food aid, warning they face jail
for stealing.

Responding to pleas from villagers who complained bitterly to him that Zanu
PF officials were looting from the government’s grain loan scheme,
Tsvangirai called on villagers to report the culprits as it was a criminal

He was speaking to villagers at Bhasera Business Centre’s Chin’ombe Rural
Hospital during a tour of a Constituency Development Fund-bankrolled project
in Gutu Central.

“Those who are looting the government food aid should be arrested,” he said.

“What you need to do is to report their names to your MP’s and councillors
so that they come to us and we press charges against them. It is a criminal
offence to loot and politicise food aid,” Tsvangirai said.

The villagers had pleaded with the Premier to help them deal with looters
whom they accused of grabbing and shamelessly carting away the loot to their
homes at a time hunger and starvation was tightening its grip.

Tsvangirai said government was mobilising food aid for those facing severe

“The government is aware of food shortages in the rural areas and we will
make sure that no one will die of hunger,” Tsvangirai said.

“We will source food for you. The food is meant for everyone regardless of
the political party you support. No one has the right to deny others food
aid because they are from MDC or Zanu PF, the food is for everyone.”

The premier said it boggles his mind when people from some political parties
loot food from government meant for feeding people.

He said it was unfair to deny hungry people their allocations because of the
intended recipient’s political affiliation, adding that government
programmes should be politics-free.

“It boggles my mind when someone says this person from this party should not
get food aid when it is coming from government,” he said.

“The drought is affecting everyone regardless of which party you support,
therefore anyone who loots food that belongs to the people will be arrested
and will go to jail.”

He said people should stop discriminating each other along political lines
because the principals had closed ranks and were not fighting anymore.

“While you are busy fighting and denying each other food here along party
lines, us your leaders will be drinking tea together and we will be sharing
sugar, so this has to come to an end and you should live together
harmoniously,” he said.

Tsvangirai was assessing a CDF project in Gutu central where local Member of
Parliament Oliver Chirume invested the fund in transforming the face of
education facilities and hospitals in the constituency.

Chirume has built teachers’ houses at Mushayavanhu Primary and Secondary
Schools, a female hostel at Mutero Mission High School, painted class room
blocks at Guzha school before buying a generator for Chin’ombe Hospital
where expecting mothers used to give birth under candle light. - Godfrey

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Army summons chiefs

By Richard Chidza, Staff Writer
Saturday, 06 October 2012 14:01
HARARE - Army generals have summoned traditional leaders in Masvingo
ostensibly to celebrate a shadowy holiday called “Chiefs’ Day.”

Traditional leaders have been decreed to attend the meeting at the army
headquarters in Masvingo in a move that has raised eyebrows.

According to reports from Bikita, local chiefs and headmen received a
circular from local district administrator Edgar Seenza advising them to
attend the meeting scheduled for October 12 at 4 Brigade army headquarters
in Masvingo.

A letter from the district administrator’s office dated September 26 reads:
“To all chiefs and headmen — invitation to attend traditional leaders’ day
at the Officers’ Mess at HQ 4 Brigade. You are expected to attend the

Army spokesperson Alphios Makotore said there was nothing sinister about the

“Yes there is a traditional leaders day, if you do not know about it tough
luck,” he said.

“In fact it will not be Masvingo alone.

“The whole country chiefs will be invited to army stations to celebrate this
day. I will be there myself,” Makotore said.

A chief from Bikita told the Daily News the invitation had scant details
about why they had been called.
“I am not really sure because they are just not saying much.

“We were just told we should be at the Officers’ Mess by 9 O’clock on the
12th of October without fail,” said the chief, requesting to remain

While Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo was unreachable for comment
yesterday, his deputy Sessel Zvidzai described the action by the army as

“It is nothing but mischief there is nothing on the local government
calendar that says there shall be a Chief’s Day, even under the Traditional
Leaders Act,” Zvidzai said.

“There is nothing like that. It is a clear demonstration by Zanu PF and the
army to militarise the chiefs as they have done with all other state

“It’s a message to the whole world that they have failed to mobilise
Zimbabweans politically,” Zvidzai said.

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Election Commission Starts Vetting Voter Education Programs

Tatenda Gumbo

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has invited civic organizations
working on voter education campaigns to register with the commission by next
week as the nation prepares for crucial general elections next year expected
to be held in March.

In a notice published in the state-controlled media, ZEC said all
organizations should comply with the nation’s Electoral Act which gives the
commission powers to limit the number of voter education groups.

The piece of legislation also allows the commission to check voter education
material used by various organizations before being distributed nationally.

Interested groups or individuals will be asked to provide the commission
with registration certificates, profiles including board members and general
membership, telephone numbers, constitution and related information.

Election Resource Center director Tawanda Chimhini said he hopes the move
will be positive for Zimbabwe.

"The reservations that organizations will have is that the commission has
not yet built enough credibility around itself so that people do not start
thinking that it will favor and marginalize some groups," said Chimhini.

A number of organizations in the country have already started their voter
education campaigns targeting various Zimbabweans including youths believed
to be skeptical about the forthcoming elections.

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365 days of incarceration: Daylight raping of justice

Press Statement

365 days ago, heavily armed policemen pounced on the Youth Assembly President Solomon ‘Mandela’ Madzore’s residence in Waterfalls-Harare, rounded him and subsequently locked him up. The President joined 28 other party members, leaders, human right activists who had already been toiling under political persecution-tortured and grossly ill-treated.

Solomon Madzore is inside Chikurubi Prison

Solomon Madzore has spent a year inside Chikurubi Prison even though the father and brother of the murdered policeman blame Zanu PF and CIO agents for the murder.

Today, the Youth Assembly, the Party, Human rights activists and the nation at large, bemoan the gross injustices, human rights abuses and heartless torture that the Glen View 29 have gone through for over a year now.

World over, political persecution of opponents has been a renowned characteristic of clueless dictators who would have fast fallen out of favor with the masses- yet history has shown us that those would be the tertiary symptoms of the imminent departure of fascist regimes.

The world icon, Mandela spent 27 years in incarceration in the hands of the brutal apartheid regime, and it fell. Martin Luther Jnr., Mahatma Gandhi, Raila Odinga, Wamba de Wamba among others were all persecuted yet emerged victors over fascisms and dictatorships.

The brutal Zanu PF regime has tortured, maimed and killed innocent civilians and political activists in their now 32 year power retention quest. President Morgan Tsvangirai has been brutalized, prosecuted but the people have continued to rally behind him and clearly spoken out for change.

Nelson Chamisa, Elton Mangoma, Jestina Mukoko, Munyaradzi Gwisai and others, Jennie Williams among other influential activists have suffered regrettable brutality and prosecution in the jaws of the regime.

The incarceration of the Glen View 29 is a clear case of political persecution meant to send chills of trepidation to the sons and daughters of Zimbabwe. It is an apparent case of aggravated efforts by Zanu Pf to destabilize the Youth Assembly, the Party and the broader pro-democracy movement.

The clueless Zanu Pf which has been rejected by the people and has also failed-in fact has no means- to appeal to the peace loving; democracy-thirsty citizens of Zimbabwe has shown its desperation and resorted to violence, terror and persecution to prolong its stay in power.

The Youth Assembly would like to painstakingly affirm that its foundations remain strong and will continue to demand justice. Their rights to fair trial, personal liberty, and human dignity have been trampled upon.

Their freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; freedom of movement and residence; have been curtailed. We cannot afford anymore to watch as the fundamental freedoms and human rights of sons and daughters of Zimbabwe are grossly disregarded.

The MDC Youth Assembly would like to demand the unconditional release of these prisoners of conscience and the restoration of their freedoms and rights. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

Justice Now. Justice delayed is justice denied. FREE THEM NOW.


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A look at judgment in Jestina Mukoko torture case


By Dr Alex T Magaisa

Most readers may have a vague recollection of the notorious case in December 2008 when former newsreader and human rights activist Jestina Mukoko was abducted and held in communicado for a number of weeks.

Alex Magaisa

Dr Alex Magaisa

Eventually she was released but not before spending more time in police custody. She applied for a permanent stay of prosecution – in normal English, an application to stop the prosecution forever.

She argued that her constitutional rights had been violated: she had been kidnapped from her home; tortured and subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment at the hands of the State. The Supreme Court agreed and stopped the prosecution in September 2009. The court said it would give its reasons in due course. The long awaited reasons arrived three years later, in September 2012.

At some point we shall do a critique of this important judgment but we think every Zimbabwean, indeed every person should at least have a chance to read the judgment in the Supreme Court’s own words.

A legal judgment is not the easiest document to read. Indeed it can be too technical, there can be detours and the language may not be altogether amiable to the casual reader. We have assisted by giving you the relevant parts – the narratives and explanations that we think make for easier reading without losing the essence of the judgment.

The judgment itself runs into 40 pages and those wishing to get a copy can contact our ever-reliable friends at Veritas (email: So here we go, in the words of the Deputy Chief Justice Malaba, who delivered the judgment with which all other judges concurred.



Malaba DCJ …

This case is about a permanent stay of a criminal prosecution because of torture and inhuman and degrading treatment to which the applicant [Jestina Mukoko] was subjected by State security agents prior to being brought to Court on a criminal charge.

Zimbabwean human rights activist Jestina Mukoko, right, walks outside the court in Harare, Zimbabwe Monday Sept. 28, 2009.

She was charged with the offence of contravening s 24(a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act [Cap. 9:23] (hereinafter referred to as “the Act”).

It was alleged that in the months of June and July 2008, the applicant and the co-accused persons “recruited or attempted to recruit or assisted in the recruitment of Ricardo Hwasheni to undergo military training in Botswana in order to commit any act of insurgency, banditry, sabotage or terrorism in Zimbabwe”.

The applicant alleged in the Magistrates Court, that she had been abducted from home and subjected to torture and inhuman and degrading treatment by State security agents. She requested the magistrate to refer the question of contravention of her fundamental rights to the Supreme Court (“the Court”).

It was argued that the manner in which she was apprehended by State security agents and treated in detention prior to being brought to court on the charge constituted a violation of the fundamental rights not to be arbitrarily deprived of personal liberty guaranteed under s 13(1) and not to be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment protected by s 15(1) of the Constitution.

The argument was that the uncontested behaviour by State security agents in kidnapping the applicant from her residence and subjecting her to torture, inhuman and degrading treatment whilst she was in their custody rendered the institution of the criminal prosecution an abuse of legal process.

The second ground was that the decisions made by the public prosecutor to charge the applicant with the criminal offence and to bring the prosecution proceedings were based solely on information or evidence of the crime obtained from her by infliction of torture, inhuman and degrading treatment.

It was argued that the institution of the criminal prosecution was rendered invalid by the use of inadmissible information or evidence.

On 28 September 2009, after reading documents filed of record and hearing argument by counsel for the applicant and for the respondent, the Court made the following order:

The Court unanimously concludes that the State through its agents violated the applicant’s constitutional rights protected under ss 13(1), 15(1) and 18(1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe to the extent entitling the applicant to a permanent stay of criminal prosecution associated with the above violations.

Accordingly it is ordered that the criminal prosecution against the applicant arising from the facts set out in proceedings in the Magistrates Court Harare in the case of the State v Manuel Chinanzvavana & Eight ors case number 8801-5/08 is stayed permanently.

She [the applicant] was made to sit on a chair. When the blindfold was removed she saw the same people who had interrogated her earlier that day. When the interrogation commenced she was ordered to lift both legs and place the feet on the edge of a table. She did as ordered.

Two men struck the soles of her feet repeatedly with severe force using the same objects used to beat her in the morning. She said her feet felt very sore. She could hardly walk the following day.

One of the men brought gravel and put it on the floor to form mounds. She was told to pull up her dress above knee-level and kneel on the gravel. The interrogation began and continued with her in that position.

She said she was injured on the knees and felt severe pain. Each time she tried to move the knees to relieve the pain the interrogators ordered her to move back into position. She remained in that position for one hour.

The interrogators told her to write about the trip she had made to Botswana. She did as told. The next day she was told that there were some things the interrogators wanted deleted from the statement.

She removed from the statement what the interrogators did not want and added what they said was to be added to the statement. She said she wrote the statement in the manner her interrogators wanted before signing it …

Whilst under the custody of her captors she had not been allowed to communicate with members of her family or her lawyer.

The public prosecutor did not adduce evidence challenging what the applicant said happened to her from the time she was kidnapped to the time she appeared before the magistrate.

Section 15(1) of the Constitution enshrines one of the most fundamental values in a democratic society. Chahal v United Kingdom [1996] 23 EHRR 413 para 79. It is an absolute prohibition.

It is because of the importance of the values it protects that the rules by which the prohibition imposes the obligations on the State are peremptory in effect. The most conspicuous consequence of this quality is that the principle at issue cannot be derogated from by the State even in a State of public emergency.

They are also designed to ensure that the prohibition produces a deterrent effect in that it signals in advance to all public officials and private individuals that it is an absolute value from which nobody must derogate. The fact that torture, inhuman and degrading treatment is prohibited by a peremptory provision serves to render null and void any act authorising such conduct.

The prohibition 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.

There cannot be a value in our society over which there is so clear a consensus as the prohibition of torture inhuman and degrading treatment of a person in the custody of a public official.

That such a treatment should never form part of the techniques of investigation of crimes employed by law enforcement agents, is a restatement of the principle that 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.

Applying the principles of the law on what constitutes a contravention of s 15(1) of the Constitution to the facts, the Court finds a violation by the State, through its agents, of the applicant’s fundamental right not to be subjected to torture, or to inhuman or degrading treatment:

The repeated beatings on the soles of the applicant’s feet with a piece of a hosepipe and a metal object using severe force on each of the two occasions she was under interrogation, constitute torture. Repeated beating of the soles of feet with a blunt instrument is a serious form of torture called “falanga”.

Forcing the applicant to kneel for a long time on mounds of gravel whilst being interrogated, falls within the meaning of torture. The treatment to which she was subjected was premeditated. The severe pain and suffering she was forced to endure was intentionally inflicted.

The prolonged periods of solitary confinement incommunicado on the occasions she was not being interrogated constitutes inhuman and degrading treatment. (It is important to note, however, that solitary confinement is not to be deemed to be contrary to the prohibition under s 15(1) of the Constitution.

It must be in conjunction with other conditions, for example, prolongation and imposition on a person who has not yet been convicted of an offence. The severity of the specific measure, its duration, the objectives pursued by it, the cumulative effect of any further conditions imposed as well as the effects on the individual’s physical and mental well-being, are all factors which have to be taken into account in the assessment of the question whether a specific instance of solitary confinement is in violation of s 15(1) of the Constitution.

It was inhuman treatment to keep the applicant blindfolded each time she was out of solitary confinement and not being interrogated. The treatment was intentionally applied and caused the applicant mental suffering. She was also subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment when she was blindfolded and driven at night to an undisclosed destination under threat of unspecified action.

Any recourse to physical force against a person in the custody of a public official which is not rendered strictly necessary by his or her conduct diminishes his or her dignity and implicates a violation of the prohibition.

The second ground on which the validity of the decision to institute the criminal prosecution was challenged was that the prosecution was unlawful because it was based on information or evidence obtained from the applicant by infliction of torture, inhuman and degrading treatment.

The institution of the criminal prosecution had to be shown to have been a direct consequence of the precedent wrongful conduct of the State. In other words it had to be a product of the outrageous conduct of pre-charge ill-treatment of the accused person by law enforcement agents.

According to the applicant the use by the public prosecutor of information obtained from her by infliction of the treatment prohibited by s 15(1) of the Constitution, is evidence of the existence of the requisite direct connection between antecedent violation of the fundamental right and the criminal prosecution. The criminal prosecution was an outgrowth or fruit of the torture, inhuman and degrading treatment to which she was subjected.

Section 15(1) of the Constitution contains the rule by which it imposes on the State, through its agents, the obligation not to 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.

A proper interpretation of s 15(1) of the Constitution which takes into account the purpose and broadness of the language underlying the importance of the fundamental value protected, compels the Court to conclude that the obligation on the State not to admit or use information or evidence obtained from an accused person or any third party by infliction of torture, or inhuman or degrading treatment in any legal proceedings attaches to the prohibition of such treatment by s 15(1) of the Constitution.

The primary duty is on the law enforcement agents not to abuse executive authority in the investigation of crime by torturing or treating suspects in an inhuman or degrading manner to extract information or confessions to be used against them in legal proceedings anticipated to follow the ill-treatment.

If the duty fails to achieve its intended purpose at this stage, the law imposes the duty on public prosecutors not to admit or use information or evidence obtained from an accused person suspected of having committed a criminal offence or any third party by torture, inhuman or degrading treatment when making prosecutorial decisions.

If the duty fails at this stage the law imposes the duty on judicial officers. Eventually it lies with the Court to intervene through the exercise of its original jurisdiction to enforce or secure the enforcement of fundamental rights.

.. the public prosecutor relied solely on information on the commission of the alleged criminal acts obtained from her and a third party by torture, inhuman and degrading treatment. There was an inextricable link between the ill-treatment and the criminal prosecution. No evidence was placed before the Court by the respondent to show that the decisions by the public prosecutor were based on independent evidence of the crime which was lawfully obtained.

… the effect of the finding that the public prosecutor relied on information or evidence of the commission of the alleged criminal acts obtained from the applicant by torture, inhuman and degrading treatment in deciding to charge her with and prosecute her for the criminal offence, is that there was a breach of ss 15(1) and 13(1) of the Constitution.


That Jestina Mukoko came out of all this and continues to champion human rights not anywhere else but in Zimbabwe is an incredible feat and a mark of bravery. Respect.

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Bizarre, sad and strange but true

Dear Family and Friends,
Infected by the searing October heat, we’ve had a fortnight of
bizarre, sad, and strange-but- true incidents. It started in hot, dry
Matabeleland. In a notice in the Chronicle newspaper, residents of
Bulawayo city were advised to flush their toilets at exactly the same
time every third day. 7.30 pm is the designated synchronized flushing
time that the two million residents have been asked to observe every
72 hours. Apparently prolonged water shortages have left less and less
water in the city’s reticulation system which prompted the Council
to call for simultaneous flushing in order to prevent blockages and
burst pipes. The Council said the simultaneous flushing doesn’t
apply to people with their own septic tanks and that people who have
water should also flush their toilets at other times. While the 72
hour synchronized flushing might be one of the most bizarre requests
we’ve heard for some time, Zimbabweans have perfected the art of
taking things in their stride and then of joining in the laughter at
the predictable tidal wave (!) of jokes and skits that follow.

The second bizarre thing to happen came with a notice in the national
newspapers inserted by the Minister of Finance. It wasn’t the normal
sort of notice you’d expect from a Finance Minister containing
information on taxes, duties, levies or interest rates. This notice
was to advise people that Ministry of Finance staff had been sent home
because they were being physically prevented from getting into their
offices by war veterans. It was with a very distinct sense of déjà
vu that we heard this news. The press notice said the operations of
the Finance Ministry were being disrupted by demonstrating war
veterans who were demanding, among other things, an increase in their
monthly pensions from US$160 to $620 a month. This demand for more is
in addition to the bulk payments they each received in 1998 , the free
school fees they receive for their children and free farms they got in
the land seizures of the last twelve years. The Ministry of Finance
crisis had started a few days earlier when two hundred war veterans
barricaded the government complex, demanding the 400% increases. The
press statement said that other government Ministries housed in the
same complex had also been affected by the war veterans’ barricade
including the Ministries of Justice and Legal Affairs, Higher
Education, Economic Planning and the Attorney General’s Office. If
it had been anyone else barricading government offices and demanding a
400% increase there is no doubt they would have been bundled off in
police trucks but that didn’t happen. Ministry workers went home
while the country shook its head in disbelief.

The third thing to happen wasn’t bizarre but tragic. The lead
motorcycle rider in the Presidential motorcade was burnt to death
after he hit a truck while clearing the route for the cavalcade near
Borrowdale village in Harare. All Zimbabweans have encountered the
Presidential motorcade and it’s a frightening thing at the best of
times. Everyone’s learnt that you get off the road and stop and you
do it right now, regardless of where you are, where other traffic is
or who’s behind or in front of you. This latest incident is the
fourth involving the motorcade this year. One man was killed and
fifteen injured a few months ago when the police vehicle clearing
traffic ahead of the convoy rammed into a commuter minibus. In another
incident a vagrant walking in the road was knocked down and killed by
a police escort bike in the motorcade and on another occasion the
convoy vehicle carrying members of the Presidential guard burst a tyre
leaving one man dead and others wounded.

Only in Zimbabwe. Until next time, thanks for reading, love cathy. 6th
October 2012. Copyright � Cathy Buckle.

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