Wed Oct 7, 2009 7:21pm EDT
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States reacted coolly on Wednesday to
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's overture for better ties, saying he
should end political arrests and media censorship and honor a power-sharing
Mugabe, long a pariah in the West for his authoritarian rule and economic
mismanagement, said on Tuesday he was open to "fresh, friendly and
cooperative relations with all those countries that have been hostile to
"We encourage Mr. Mugabe to show his commitment to positive relations with
the U.S. by fully implementing the global political agreement which he
signed in September 2008," State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said,
referring to a deal Mugabe signed to share power with opposition rival
The State Department spokesman urged Mugabe to end "politicized arrests and
prosecutions and often violent land seizures" as well as to replace what he
described as Zimbabwe's "corrupt attorney general and reserve bank
Kelly also called on Mugabe, who has ruled since Zimbabwe's independence
from Britain in 1980, to repeal "emergency decrees and draconian laws
restricting personal freedoms" and to commit to drafting a new constitution
and to holding elections under international supervision.
"What we would like to see is some real concrete action," Kelly told
Mugabe has accused his Western foes of ruining the economy through sanctions
in retaliation for a policy of seizing white-owned farms for landless
blacks. Those countries say the sanctions only target him and close
After long negotiations, Mugabe formed a unity government with Tsvangirai,
who is now prime minister, in February to try to end a decade-long political
The fragile coalition between Mugabe's ZANU-PF party and Tsvangirai's
Movement for Democratic Change is threatened by policy differences, the slow
pace of reforms and feuding over state jobs.
Foreign aid donors and investors remain reluctant to put money into Zimbabwe
until further progress has been made toward democratic reforms.
By Blessing Zulu
07 October 2009
Responding to comments this week by Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, the
US and European governments have repeated that the unity government in
Harare must implement its 2008 power-sharing agreement in full before
Western sanctions can be lifted.
President Mugabe told Parliament on Tuesday as it reopened that Harare is
ready to re-engage the West, calling for an end to Western travel and
But Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai meanwhile told Britain's Sky News that
some elements of Mr. Mugabe's ZANU-PF party are still blocking the new
government's reform initiatives.
State Department Spokesman Ian Kelly told VOA on Wednesday that Washington
wanted to see concrete action by Mr. Mugabe to demonstrate his commitment to
"We encourage Mr. Mugabe to show his commitment to positive relations with
the U.S. by fully implementing the global political agreement which he
signed in 2008, and take a number of steps to show this commitment," among
them ending politically motivated prosecutions, seizures of white-owned
farms and media censorship as well as replacing the current governor of the
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and attorney general.
Kelly said the U.S. government also urged Mr. Mugabe to publicly commit to
the drafting of a new constitution and new elections under international
supervision and monitoring.
"So, what we would like to see is some real concrete action, and I've just
enumerated some of the steps he could take to show that he is committed to a
new relationship with us" the State Department spokesman said.
President Mugabe said re-engagement with the European Union has gained
momentum in the wake of last month's visit by a delegation of senior EU
But the ambassador in Harare for Sweden, current holder of the EU
presidency, told VOA that little progress has been made. Sten Rylander heads
an EU troika or working group formed to engage Harare, including the Czech
ambassador and EU representative.
Zimbabwe is represented by Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwe, Finance
Minister Tendai Biti, Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa and Industry
Minister Welshman Ncube.
Rylander told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the
government's failure to fully implement the GPA has hampered talks between
Harare and Brussels.
Harare-based political analyst Charles Mangongera said that all partners in
the government must embraced reform as change is not yet visible on the
ground in Harare.
As the BBC prepares to broadcast a day of programmes from Zimbabwe for the
first time since officials lifted a ban on foreign reporters, Zimbabwean
journalist Brian Hungwe argues that he and his colleagues still work under heavy
restrictions. Two months after the formation of Zimbabwe's unity government a privately
owned daily newspaper called NewsDay interviewed and recruited staff, preparing
for its imminent launch. That was six months ago, but the paper has not yet printed its first edition.
Its publishers cannot get to work until they have been licensed by the
government's media watchdog, the Zimbabwe Media Commission. But there is just
one problem - the commission does not yet exist. It is one example of how guarantees of press freedom made by President Robert
Mugabe's officials have long been merely lip service. Over the last nine turbulent years newspapers have been shut down, scores of
journalists have been arrested and some have even been tortured. Eight months after Mr Mugabe entered into a power-sharing government with his
former rival Morgan Tsvangirai, there is a feeling that significant changes to
guarantee freedom of the press have not yet been put in place. Just this week, Mr Mugabe's officials made contentious military appointments
in media bodies. Retired military personnel and former spies were appointed to sit on the
boards of state-controlled newspapers, the country's sole broadcaster ZBC, and
New Ziana, a news agency. The Zimbabwean Union of Journalists says the appointments have made
journalists "very suspicious of government intentions" and created "unnecessary
political tension". "It's a sinister attempt to continue to muzzle the press, and instituting
fear, through the arbitrary appointments of the military into media bodies,"
says the union's Foster Dongozi. "The army belongs to the barracks, and they have no role to play in
newspapers." 'Hangman' returns Political analyst Lovemore Madhuku, from the University of Zimbabwe, agrees.
"Zanu-PF is clearly sending a message that nothing has changed," he says.
"They [the soldiers] have no meaningful role to play in all those
institutions, it's just an arrogant display of power. "Perhaps they want to send a message to their supporters that they are still
in charge." Another move that has irritated Zanu-PF critics is the appointment of
Tafataona Mahoso as chairman of the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe, a body
responsible for granting new players with radio and television licences. He was previously head of the Media and Information Commission, where he was
dubbed "media hangman" by journalists after engineering the shutting down of
privately owned newspapers. The Movement for Democratic Change, now sharing power with former Zanu-PF
foes, expressed its displeasure with the situation in a statement. "The biggest threat to democracy is not only the unilateral appointments but
the decision to recycle celebrated media hangman, Mahoso," it said. 'No alternative view' Two months after parliament handed Mr Mugabe the names of people that should
constitute the Zimbabwe Media Commission, the body is still to be properly
constituted. This is despite European Union warnings that targeted sanctions would remain
in place until all outstanding issues, including key media reforms, have been
resolved. At the headquarters of NewsDay, adjacent to the imposing Zanu-PF
headquarters, a whole room is being cleared for desks and journalists. Barnabas Thondlana, the incoming NewsDay editor, says delays to the paper's
launch can be "frustrating", but he says he remains "very optimistic" that the
paper will get its licence. "People want a variety of views, different platforms to air their anxieties,
their concerns," he said. "They have been starved of an alternative view over the past decade, and we
are coming in to close that gap." Piles of papers and CVs fill his desk, in a tiny office he shares with his
deputy. "The government has clearly stated that they are opening up the media
landscape, that they are bringing in new players," he said. "We shall play a key role in national healing and reconciliation, creating a
platform for debates with business, the ordinary citizen and authorities." But they continue to wait. For now the only voice on the streets every day is the state-controlled media
- the Herald and the Chronicle newspapers. They have churned out propaganda that has kept Mr Mugabe's government alive
over the past 29 years. For more information on the BBC's day of programmes from Zimbabwe, visit
the World Service
New law bars foreign correspondents and orders journalists to seek accreditation
Daily News and the Daily News on Sunday closed down
The Weekly Times closed down
The Tribune closed down
Assets freeze and travel ban on some Mugabe allies, arms-sale ban
Trade ban against 250 Zimbabwean individuals and 17 companies
Canada, Australia and UK among nations to have imposed their own targeted sanctions
As the BBC prepares to broadcast a day of programmes from Zimbabwe for the first time since officials lifted a ban on foreign reporters, Zimbabwean journalist Brian Hungwe argues that he and his colleagues still work under heavy restrictions.
Two months after the formation of Zimbabwe's unity government a privately owned daily newspaper called NewsDay interviewed and recruited staff, preparing for its imminent launch.
That was six months ago, but the paper has not yet printed its first edition.
Its publishers cannot get to work until they have been licensed by the government's media watchdog, the Zimbabwe Media Commission. But there is just one problem - the commission does not yet exist.
It is one example of how guarantees of press freedom made by President Robert Mugabe's officials have long been merely lip service.
Over the last nine turbulent years newspapers have been shut down, scores of journalists have been arrested and some have even been tortured.
Eight months after Mr Mugabe entered into a power-sharing government with his former rival Morgan Tsvangirai, there is a feeling that significant changes to guarantee freedom of the press have not yet been put in place.
Just this week, Mr Mugabe's officials made contentious military appointments in media bodies.
Retired military personnel and former spies were appointed to sit on the boards of state-controlled newspapers, the country's sole broadcaster ZBC, and New Ziana, a news agency.
The Zimbabwean Union of Journalists says the appointments have made journalists "very suspicious of government intentions" and created "unnecessary political tension".
"It's a sinister attempt to continue to muzzle the press, and instituting fear, through the arbitrary appointments of the military into media bodies," says the union's Foster Dongozi.
"The army belongs to the barracks, and they have no role to play in newspapers."
Political analyst Lovemore Madhuku, from the University of Zimbabwe, agrees.
"Zanu-PF is clearly sending a message that nothing has changed," he says.
"They [the soldiers] have no meaningful role to play in all those institutions, it's just an arrogant display of power.
"Perhaps they want to send a message to their supporters that they are still in charge."
Another move that has irritated Zanu-PF critics is the appointment of Tafataona Mahoso as chairman of the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe, a body responsible for granting new players with radio and television licences.
He was previously head of the Media and Information Commission, where he was dubbed "media hangman" by journalists after engineering the shutting down of privately owned newspapers.
The Movement for Democratic Change, now sharing power with former Zanu-PF foes, expressed its displeasure with the situation in a statement.
"The biggest threat to democracy is not only the unilateral appointments but the decision to recycle celebrated media hangman, Mahoso," it said.
'No alternative view'
Two months after parliament handed Mr Mugabe the names of people that should constitute the Zimbabwe Media Commission, the body is still to be properly constituted.
This is despite European Union warnings that targeted sanctions would remain in place until all outstanding issues, including key media reforms, have been resolved.
At the headquarters of NewsDay, adjacent to the imposing Zanu-PF headquarters, a whole room is being cleared for desks and journalists.
Barnabas Thondlana, the incoming NewsDay editor, says delays to the paper's launch can be "frustrating", but he says he remains "very optimistic" that the paper will get its licence.
"People want a variety of views, different platforms to air their anxieties, their concerns," he said.
"They have been starved of an alternative view over the past decade, and we are coming in to close that gap."
Piles of papers and CVs fill his desk, in a tiny office he shares with his deputy.
"The government has clearly stated that they are opening up the media landscape, that they are bringing in new players," he said.
"We shall play a key role in national healing and reconciliation, creating a platform for debates with business, the ordinary citizen and authorities."
But they continue to wait.
For now the only voice on the streets every day is the state-controlled media - the Herald and the Chronicle newspapers.
They have churned out propaganda that has kept Mr Mugabe's government alive over the past 29 years.
For more information on the BBC's day of programmes from Zimbabwe, visit the World Service Africa homepage.
Written by BY GIFT PHIRI
Wednesday, 07 October 2009 13:13
HARARE - President Robert Mugabe† is undoing a series of positive
developments for the country's media and tightening screws on the fourth
estate ahead of elections in 2011.
Mugabe's Media, Information and Publicity minister, Webster Shamu, and
the ministry permanent secretary, George Charamba, have unilaterally
appointed nine members from the military into the boards of
government-controlled media establishments. The boards of the Broadcasting
Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ), Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings (ZBH), Zimbabwe
Newspapers Group, New Ziana, Transmedia and Kingstons, have been stuffed
with military officials hardly two weeks after the Commander of the Zimbabwe
National Army Lieutenant-General Phillip Sibanda alleged that Zimbabwe's
detractors were employing "asymmetric warfare" using some NGOs and 'pirate'
radio stations. Charamba and Shamu have also appointed the former principal
secretary to the President and Cabinet chairman of the board of Zimpapers,
and appointed media hangman, Tafataona Mahoso chairman of the Broadcasting
Authority of Zimbabwe.
Silencing the opposition
Critics have said that the move was aimed at silencing shrill calls
for media plurality and strengthening control on State media as the
President suffers plummeting popularity ratings. A recent opinion poll
revealed that the President's support base had dropped to a lowly 10 per
cent. Probably more ominous was last week's readmission of Information Czar
Jonathan Moyo to President Mugabe's Zanu (PF) party to rejuvenate the
reeling party's defunct propaganda campaign. Moyo, a hardliner media tyrant,
banned four local newspapers and the BBC and CNN after June 2000
parliamentary elections , alleging biased reporting.
The seven month-old inclusive government lifted the ban on BBC and CNN
three months ago. The government also notified lawyers for banned newspaper
title, The Daily News that their application for a license to publish had
been approved after years of legal wrangling. Among the positive
developments has been the Finance Minister Tendai Biti's edict in August
scrapping the punitive "luxury import tax" that had severely crippled The
Zimbabwean and The Zimbabwean on Sunday newspapers.nterviews to create the
new monitoring body, the Zimbabwe Media Commission, have taken place but hit
a snag amid reports that they were biased toward Zanu (PF) supporters.
Mugabe has sat on names sent to him by Parliament for appointment into the
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who agreed to join Mugabe in
government last February to try to end a political crisis triggered by
inconclusive elections last year, has specifically accused Charamba, of
"behaving as a commisar of an anti-reform group." Tsvangirai said he had
told Mugabe that he could not allow his own spokesman to exhibit such
behaviour if he was genuinely interested in making the government work.
Tsvangirai has become target of bitter attacks in the State's vast
broadcasting and newspaper media, tightly controlled by Shamu and Charamba.
Shamu goes too far
Recently the ministry expanded its State-funded newspaper empire to
the distinct disadvantage of other media players awaiting licensing, by
launching the third State-run daily newspaper, H-Metro. H-Metro was allowed
to publish without a licence ahead of other publishing companies such as the
Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ), Zimind Publishers and Financial
Gazette, who have been instructed by the ministry to await establishment of
the ZMC for them to be permitted to publish their own dailies. Prime
Minister Tsvangirai's MDC party said Shamu had gone a tad too far now
through the unilateral appointments into the media establishments, with the
MDC describing the action as a threat to the inclusive government and the
global political agreement, GPA. The director of the Zimbabwe chapter of the
Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA-Zimbabwe), Takura Zhangazha
described the unilateral appointments as "arbitrary, more political than
professional, undemocratic and unnecessary."
Luke Tamborinyoka, spokesman for the MDC and former news editor for
The Daily News said: "Zimbabweans do not deserve the recycling of old
characters with a perforated past and a chequered history such as Tafataona
Mahoso. They want hope, democracy, prosperity, freedom, dignity, security."
Deputy Media, Information and Publicity minister Jameson Timba said:
"Shamu's unilateral appointments are a threat to the inclusive government."
††††††by Own Correspondent Thursday 08 October 2009
HARARE - Zimbabwe Information Minister Webster Shamu on Wednesday said he
acted within the law when he appointed new boards to oversee the government's
media empire, adding the law did not require him to consult Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai who has said the appointments were irregular and should be
Shamu, who has clashed with Tsvangirai before over his handling of the
media, said the only board he had no authority to appoint was the
Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) that is expected to spearhead the
opening up of airwaves by licencing new broadcasters to rival the government's
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings (ZBH), presently the country's sole radio and
"It is us (Ministry of Information) who administer the Acts for (the media
companies). We are doing everything in our power to follow the due process.
As the minister I am following the laws governing the parastatals," said
Shamu, who last week announced new boards for companies that run the
government's vast newspaper and broadcasting empire.
Shamu stacked the new boards with former military men and allies of
President Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF party, raising fears they would work to
undermine media reforms proposed under a power-sharing agreement signed by
the Zimbabwean leader and Tsvangirai that gave birth to the country's unity
Tsvangirai told journalists in Harare on Tuesday that the appointments
announced by Shamu, especially the BAZ, were irregular and must be revised.
"That issue is being revisited and appointments of board members of BAZ is
the business of the President and the Prime Minister," said Tsvangirai, who
is locked up in another dispute with Mugabe over appointments after the
latter unilaterally named two of his top allies to head the central bank and
the Attorney General (AG)'s office.
Mugabe - who insiders say gave Shamu permission to announce the
controversial media boards - has adamantly refused to reverse the
appointments of Gideon Gono as Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor and
Johannes Tomana as AG.
Shamu insisted yesterday that as Information Minister he had the right to
appoint boards to parastatals falling under his portfolio, signalling what
could be the beginning of a new feud within Zimbabwe's fragile coalition
government over appointments to senior and strategic public posts.
The Information Minister said: "These (media companies) are parastatals and
their boards are appointed by the minister in terms of the law just like the
boards of other parastatals like the National Railways of Zimbabwe, Air
Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority and others."
Shamu conceded he was wrong to appoint a new BAZ. But he was quick to point
out that the law requires him to recommend to Mugabe names of people for
appointment to the broadcasting authority, adding he was not required to
consult anyone else other than the President - apparently implying his
department was under no obligation to consult Tsvangirai.
The BAZ Act requires Shamu to submit nine names to Mugabe for appointment to
the authority. The President will also receive six names from Parliament's
standing rules and orders committee from among which he will choose three
that will together with Shamu's nominees constitute a 12-member BAZ.
"We have to make sure we send the names to the President and the President
will make the appointments in consultation with the minister and the
(parliamentary) committee. We are in the process of regularising that,"
Shamu said. He added: "I do not see anywhere in the Act where I am supposed
to consult any other authority."
Media and political analysts have said ZANU PF loyalists appointed to the
new boards announced by Shamu could seriously undermine all effort to turn
government-owned media into a truly public media.
There are also fears that Shamu could recommend to Mugabe appointment of
former chairperson of the government's defunct Media and Information
Commission (MIC), Tafataona Mahoso, as head of the BAZ.
The minister had named Mahoso as chairman of the BAZ that he had erroneously
appointed last week.
Media groups and pro-democracy activists say Mahoso is the wrong man for the
BAZ job after his role at the old MIC where he became known as the "media
hangman" after ordering the closure of four independent newspapers,
including the Daily News, that were critical of Mugabe and ZANU PF.
There are also fears that Shamu will use the government's majority stake in
Zimpapers to stake the newspaper company with former army officers and ZANU
Zimpapers is majority owned by the government and the company owns the
country's biggest newspaper empire.
Shamu had attempted to appoint a new board to Zimpapers but withdrew it
after being advised he had no powers to do so because the government, like
all other shareholders, can only recommend names for appointment to the
board at the company's annual general meeting next March.
Zimbabwe's unity government supposed to implement a raft of media and
political reforms to open up democratic space and re-shape the country's
politics before holding new elections by end of 2010 or early 2011.
But the unity government that has achieved commendable progress on economic
reforms has struggled on the political and media front where reforms have
moved at a snail's pace, amid quarreling by coalition partners over the
extent and form of reform. - ZimOnline
October 8, 2009
By Our Correspondent
HARARE - Media, Information and Publicity minister Webster Shamu has been
forced to backtrack on the recent appointments to the board of Zimpapers,
publishers of The Herald.
The move came after protests from the MDC, including Shamu's own deputy,
Jameson Timba who said Shamu's appointments were illegal.
Timba argued the appointments had to be made by the Zimpapers board, and not
the ministry. This week, the ministry issued a statement
stating that the appointments had in fact been by the Zimpapers board.
Shamu's office claimed the announcement was made in error.
Part of the statement read: "On September 15, 2009 the Zimbabwe Newspapers
(1980) Limited board met and appointed nine directors to fill vacancies that
had been created by some resignations and those retired from the board as
per the company's Articles of Association."
Zimpapers acting chairman Dr Paul Chimedza said the new directors were
Alexander Kanengoni, Dr Munyaradzi Kereke, Dr Charles Utete, Chakanyuka
Karase, Retired Brigadier-General Epmarcus Walter Kanhanga, Rungano Jekeso
Mbire, Joseph Steve Mandizha, Delma Lupepe and Nyasha Madzingira.
"These new members will be ratified by our shareholders at our next annual
general meeting in May 2010 according to Article 57 of the Zimpapers
Articles of Association," Chimedza said.
Chimedza said that the names were sent to the minister's office for his
Explaining the "error", Secretary for Media, Information and Publicity,
George Charamba, said: "At the time the Honourable Minister received board
appointments for Zimpapers for his information, the ministry was also
processing for release several board appointments for different parastatals.
"My officers included the list from Zimpapers in error. It was a mistake
which we regret making," he said.
Article 55 of Zimpapers' Articles of Association says: "The number of
directors shall not be less than four nor more than 11 until otherwise from
time to time determined by the company in general meeting."
Articles 56 and 57 go on to say: "If the number of directors falls below the
minimum stipulated in Article 55 here of, the remaining directors may act
only for the purpose of filling vacancies or calling general meetings of
"The directors shall have power at any time and from time to time to appoint
any eligible person as a director either to fill a casual vacancy or as an
addition to their number, but so that the total number of directors shall
not at any time exceed the maximum number fixed, but any director so
appointed shall hold office until the next following annual general meeting
of the company and shall then be eligible for re-election."
Shamu announced appointments to several boards under his ministry, including
the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ). He appointed former Media and
Information Commission chairman Tataona Mahoso to head BAZ, touching off
protests by the MDC.
"Mahoso failed dismally during the interviews to select members of the
Zimbabwe Media Commission," the MDC statement said.
"Zanu-PF's penchant to reward failure is well recorded, but this time they
have chosen to beat their own record. Mahoso's legacy at the MIC makes a
loud statement that he is unfit to head a strategic national institution in
the new dispensation of inclusivity and tolerance.
"Yesterday's enemies of press freedom cannot be today's allies of a plural
and diverse media which Zimbabweans want. Sunset characters cannot be part
of the new dawn of democracy and media freedom.
"Zimbabweans want real change. They do not deserve the recycling of old
characters with a perforated past and a chequered history such as Tafataona
Mahoso. They want hope, democracy, prosperity, freedom, dignity, security."
Shamu appointed nine members from the military into six statutory bodies
under his ministry. They include Brigadier-General Epmarcus Kanhanga
(Zimpapers), Brig-Gen Elasto Madzingira (BAZ), Brig-Gen Benjamin Mabenge,
Major-General Gibson Mashingaidze (both ZBH), Brig-Gen Livingstone Chineka
(Transmedia) Brig-Gen Collin Moyo (Kingstons) and Col Claudius Makova (New
The MDC said this militarisation of civilian institutions sent wrong and
dangerous signals nationally, regionally and in the broader international
However, Shamu's statement this week suggests that the appointments of the
military officers were recommended by the Zimpapers board itself.
While it is described in the government-controlled media, including in the
company's flagship, The Herald, as a parastatal, Zimbabwe Newspapers (1980)
Ltd is in a fact a private company, listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.
But the government has a controlling shareholding of 51.09 percent in the
company through a trust set up for the purpose.
The MDC said: "Soldiers are square pegs in a round hole when they are
appointed into civilian bodies such as the Broadcasting Authority of
Zimbabwe or the board of directors of Kingstons. The best place for our
gallant sons and daughters who save as soldiers is in military barracks, not
the boardroom of a civic national body."
October 8, 2009
By Our Correspondent
HARARE – The United States (US) government says it has never used the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZIDERA) to block trade with Zimbabwe.
James Garry, the new US second secretary in Zimbabwe, also told journalists in Harare this week that sanctions targeted at President Robert
Mugabe and his cronies had had little effect on Zimbabwe’s battered economy.
He said trade between Zimbabwe and the US had, in fact, doubled.
Since the decline of his political fortunes, President Mugabe has been blaming all of Zimbabwe’s problems on sanctions he says were imposed by the US and the West.
The strategy, according to analysts, is also meant to extend to the blame to political rival the MDC, which Mugabe accuses of inviting the sanctions on Zimbabwe.
Mugabe’s Zanu-PF has demanded that the MDC should call for the lifting of the sanctions.
The MDC has, in turn, said the onus was on Zanu-PF to reform in order to have the sanctions lifted.
Garry said trade between the two countries had, in fact, doubled since the sanctions were introduced.
“American companies are doing business in Zimbabwe every day,” he said. He said the only condition was that US companies were not allowed to trade with Zimbabwean citizens, or companies, on the sanctions list.
Garry said that, contrary to Mugabe’s claims, the US has never used ZIDERA to block trade with Zimbabwe.
ZIDERA was passed by the US Congress in December 2001 as the George W. Bush administration’s response tohuman and property rights violations by the government of Mugabe.
The Act, which compels US citizens with voting rights on the board of multilateral lenders to vote against Zimbabwe’s attempts to access loans, had not been implemented, said Garry.
He said Zimbabwe had already been disqualified from getting more IMF loans – because it was in arrears with its loan repayments to the institution – when the Act was drafted.
Mugabe has denied allegations of poor governance often cited as the real cause of the country’s economic problems; instead he blames
Zimbabwe’s economic collapse on what he describes as “illegal” sanctions imposed by the US and West.
He also claims sanctions are the greatest threat to the unity government.
Garry insisted that targeted sanctions affect only Mugabe and his close allies, who have been accused of gross human rights violations.
by Charles Tembo Thursday 08 October 2009
HARARE - Germany has protested to Zimbabwe's government after a German
national lost US$1.5 million worth of investment in a farm invaded by a top
army officer in violation of a bilateral investment protection agreement
between the two countries.
In a letter to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and copied to several
ministers, the German embassy in Harare said the invasion of the Headlands
farm - Karori - by army Brigadier General Justin Itayi Mujaji was unlawful
and jeopardised the investment made by the German investor into the farm.
The farm, belonging to a Zimbabwean white commercial farmer Charles Lock,
has been occupied by soldiers acting on behalf of Mujaji for weeks now in a
bid to force the farmer to abandon the land, crops, farm equipment,
livestock, household property and other personal effects.
"Reference is made to unlawful attacks by a Zimbabwean citizen on an
investment covered by the Germany-Zimbabwean Bilateral Investment Protection
Agreement (BIPA)," the German embassy said.
"As of late, assets belonging to (name withheld) have been unlawfully
acquired by Brigadier Mujaji, a senior member of the Zimbabwean armed
forces. The brigadier is currently occupying Karori Farm, property of Mr
Charles Lock, and considerably indebted to the above-mentioned German
It added: "The embassy wishes to express its dismay, and strongly protests
against the criminal behaviour of Brigadier Mujaji. It expects the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs and all authorities concerned to take immediate action to
restore law and order at Mr Lock's premises, and to ensure full compliance
with the Republic of Zimbabwe's obligations under international law."
In addition to other valuable property, Lock has about 150 tonnes of tobacco
on the farm, which was grown under contract and financed by international
investors. There is also about 500 tonnes of maize that is ready for
delivery to buyers such as the government's Grain Marketing Board.
"The value of his (Lock's) belongings exceeds US$1,5 million," said the
German embassy, adding that it had received information that Mujaji had
stolen over 300 tonnes of maize, over 100 tonnes of tobacco and all the farm
Top security commanders and senior members of President Robert Mugabe's ZANU
PF party have stepped up farm seizures since the February formation of a
unity government by the veteran leader and his former foe and now Prime
The coalition government has promised to carry out a land audit to establish
who owns which farm in the country followed by an orderly programme to
allocate land to those who may need it.
But the administration is yet to undertake the land audit, with Lands
Minister and Mugabe ally Herbert Murerwa suggesting recently that the audit
may never take place because of a shortage of funds to pay for the exercise.
In the meantime hardliner security commanders and ZANU PF politicians most
of who own several farms each seized from whites continue to grab more land,
disregarding court orders not to do so. - ZimOnline
By Ntungamili Nkomo & Patience Rusere
07 October 2009
The Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee set up by Zimbabwe's unity
government to assess fulfillment of the 2008 power-sharing agreement by all
parties to it, said this week that there has been a disturbing resurgence of
hate speech and abusive language published or broadcast by some private as
well as state-controlled media.
The Global Political Agreement underpinning the unity government stipulates
that "the public and private media shall refrain from using abusive language
that may incite hostility, political intolerance and ethnic hatred or that
unfairly undermines political parties and other organizations." It engages
Harare to take "appropriate" steps toward this.
The monitoring committee, known as JOMIC, said the media is harming national
cohesion by using inflammatory language. It said in a statement that it has
written to the three principals in the unity government urging them to
appoint the members of the new Zimbabwe Media Commission which replaces the
unpopular Media and Information Commission.
Outgoing committee co-chairman Elton Mangoma of the Movement of Democratic
Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai told VOA the committee
is deeply concerned at the hate speech emanating from state-run media,
particularly the Herald newspaper.
The MDC has complained that the Herald denigrates Mr. Tsvangirai and the MDC
while giving news space and overwhelmingly favorable coverage to ZANU-PF
viewpoints. But Mangoma told VOA that the statement was endorsed by all
JOMIC members, including ZANU-PF.
The non-governmental Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe says certain
private media outlets have also stepped up their use of abusive language.
Media Monitoring Project Senior Researcher Edson Madondo told reporter
Ntungamili Nkomo of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that if it such excessive
language continues to circulate in the media this will threaten the
longevity of the power-sharing government.
Elsewhere, a civil society group monitoring compliance with the Global
Political Agreement has cited numerous violations of the power-sharing pact,
in particular new farm invasions.
The Civil Society Monitoring Mechanism established by a number of leading
civic groups early this year says such invasions are on the rise while no
land audit is taking place.
The group also noted the continued stalemate over the 2008 appointments to
the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and Office of the Attorney General by President
Mugabe, who has refused to replace Gideon Gono and Johannes Tomana,
The report cites human rights violations including the shooting of three
mineworkers in Zvishavane, Masvingo province, and police demands to question
Tsvangirai MDC Security Director Chris Dhlamini over political violence
charges lodged with the attorney general.
Civil Society Monitoring Mechanism Spokesman Dzimbabwe Chimbga told reporter
Patience Rusere that the new government is far from adhering to its own
Written by Zwanai Sithole
Wednesday, 07 October 2009 17:28
HARARE - The cash strapped Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has with
immediate effect banned senior police officers from receiving fuel
allocations while on leave.
Before the ban, police officers with ranks from inspector to the
commissioner were entitled to their normal fuel allocations while on
official leave. But according to a circular distributed to all police
stations countrywide recently, senior police officers will no longer be
allowed to draw fuel from any government institution while off duty.
"Please note that due to challenges facing the force, fuel allocations
for senior officers on sabbatical leave has been suspended until such a time
when the situation improves. Any inconvenience caused by the suspension of
the facility is regrettable," reads part of the circular.
Police sources said senior police officers on leave were taken by
surprise by the scrapping of the facility.
One Midlands based senior police officer (name supplied) is said to
have caused a scene at Mvuma police station last week when he was denied
"The officer apparently was not aware of the latest directive. When he
learnt of the directive he started insulting and blaming Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai and the inclusive government for cutting the officers'
benefits," said a police source at the station, who refused to be named for
fear of victimisation.
Sources said the ban has also been extended to other government
departments but the information could not be verified at the time of going
to the press.
Written by Gift Phiri
Wednesday, 07 October 2009 17:35
HARARE - A regional anti-corruption watchdog has said commissioners
who served in the previous discredited Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, ZEC,
should not be allowed service in the new independent commission until a full
enquiry into ZEC's electoral fraud is conducted.
Norman Tjombe, chairperson of the Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern
Africa has written to President Mugabe warning that previous members of ZEC
should not be allowed to be part of the Independent Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission, IZEC, that is being formed by the inclusive government.
The letter was copied to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Kembo
Mohadi, minister of Home Affairs, Lovemore Moyo the Speaker and Justice
George Chiweshe - the previous chairperson of ZEC.
"In view of the above, members of ZEC, commissioners or staff, should
not be allowed to be part of the IZEC until an independent commission of
enquiry is carried out," said Tjombe's letter to Mugabe.
Former ZEC deputy chairperson Joyce Kazembe and Theophilus Gambe, a
previous member of ZEC, were last week handpicked by a multi-party
parliamentary committee to be part of a list of 12 names forwarded to Mugabe
for final selection of the new IZEC, to be mandated with running future
ZEC's partisan support for Zanu (PF) sparked a heated argument at
interviews held by the Standing Rules and Orders Committee to select
candidates for the IZEC last week.
As first reported by The Zimbabwean **********, ZEC tabled a patently
false report in Parliament in May, claiming the March 29 and June 27
elections were "efficient, transparent, free and fair."
Despite lying to Parliament, which constitutes a serious offence under
the Parliamentary Privileges, Immunities and Powers of Parliament Act, no
action has been taken against ZEC, except last week Tuesday's attempt by
Matinenga to quiz Kazembe about the false report.
The glossy ZEC report conveniently left out information on how
election marshals led voters to polling stations and bands of government
supporters harassed people in the streets, especially during the sham June
It even claims the March vote was run "efficiently". Yet the partisan
electoral body withheld election results for five weeks as it tinkered with
ballots to fit the matrix of a presidential run-off vote. The win by the MDC
in the March vote sparked unprecedented state-sponsored violence that left
200 dead and over 30,000 internally displaced, according to the
"Other effects of the bungling by the ZEC is that the state was left
paralysed and with no government in place from March 2008 until February
2009," said the letter to Mugabe.
"If an enquiry is made, we recommend that the findings of such an
enquiry should be made public and its recommendations fully implemented,
and; investigate fully and prosecute all those responsible for the
abductions and killings of political activists, human rights defenders and
electoral officials such as Mr. Ignatius Mushangwe, a ZEC official who was
abducted and killed in June 2008," the letter says.
No comment could be obtained from the president's press secretary,
Written by STAFF REPORTER
Wednesday, 07 October 2009 17:41
HARARE - Zanu (PF) officials, for long used to free agricultural
implements and inputs from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe after taking over
large-scale commercial farms, could be facing a gloomy year.
Not only is the government prioritising small-scale farmers this time
around, but banks have resisted pressure to accept 'offer letters' and
99-year leases as collateral for loans.
President Robert Mugabe and Zanu (PF) have been lobbying banks to
accept as collateral the 'offer letters', which purportedly authorise the
holder to forcibly take over a farm.
However, at the weekend, the Bankers' Association of Zimbabwe
reiterated that banks required "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
Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe said it would not force banks
to extend agriculture support loans to farmers, because that responsibility
now lay with the ministries of agriculture, mechanisation and irrigation,
development and finance.
That the bank's governor, Gideon Gono, agreed to this position was
seen as proof that he had finally accepted Finance Minister Tendai Biti's
advice not to engage in quasi-fiscal activities.
Gono also revealed that the RBZ would not be able to offer direct
financial support to farmers following a policy shift by the government,
which now requires the bank to concentrate on its core business.
The RBZ announcement came as a major blow to many farmers who had been
inundating the central bank with inquiries about its farmer support schemes
for this year's summer cropping season, which has already started.
Previously, farmers were used to getting thousands of litres of fuel
from Gono, subsidies to such a level that the amount they paid would not
have actually bought a single litre.
Gono said the central bank would, outside performing its advisory role
to government, concentrate on its core functions, such as bank licensing,
controlling monetary aggregates, exchange control and prevention of money
laundering About 4,000 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 350,000 black farm workers had been
displaced by the redistribution of farms since 2000. Zanu (PF) officials and
senior military, police, intelligence and prison services officers,
including President Robert Mugabe, have grabbed more than one farm each,
with Mugabe and his family owning 12 farms.
Harare, October 08, 2009 - Zimbabwean police this week interrogated
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) director of security Kisimusi Dhlamini
over a dossier he compiled and submitted to the Attorney General (AG)'s
Office detailing the mass murder of his party's supporters.
Human rights lawyer Andrew Makoni told Radio VOP that Dhlamini, a
victim of state sponsored abductions, visited the dreaded Criminal
Investigation Department (CID)'s Law and Order Section at the Harare Central
Police Station on Tuesday after being summoned by the police.
Makoni, who is also the chairman of rights group, Zimbabwe Lawyers for
Human Rights (ZLHR)said police detectives had during the past two weeks left
several written messages at Dhlamini's residence and at his offices at
Harvest House, the MDC's party headquarters summoning him to the police
The human rights lawyer who accompanied Dhlamini said his client was
interrogated for six hours by six detectives over the circulation of the
dossier which was submitted to the AG and to Prime Minister Morgan
"He (Dhlamini) was interviewed extensively on the document. They asked
him how the document had been circulated on the internet and we were very
clear that he didn't circulate the document," said Makoni.
The MDC through Dhlamini recently submitted a record with details of
the alleged murders of MDC supporters and officials in military led pre and
post 2008 election violence and requested the AG to take action on the basis
on the information.
The MDC alleges that more than 100 of its supporters were killed and
thousands more displaced between April and December 2008 when soldiers and
militia loyal to ZANU PF waged a violent presidential election campaign in
support of President Robert Mugabe's candidature after he lost the first
round of presidential elections to MDC leader and now Prime Minister Morgan
Mugabe went on to declare himself the winner of the June 27
presidential election after Tsvangirai boycotted the run-off election to
protest against widespread violence that claimed the scalps of several of
October 8, 2009
By Our Correspondent
HARARE - Didymus Mutasa, the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, was
this week issued with a warrant of arrest by a Chinhoyi magistrate for
failing to testify in a case involving a Mhangura commercial farmer.
The farmer is accused of refusing to vacate State land after it was acquired
for resettlement purposes under the Gazetted Lands (Consequential
Magistrate Ngoni Nduna issued the warrant after Mutasa failed to appear in
court to testify as a defence witness in the trial of the farmer, Robert
Mutasa had been a subpoenaed to give evidence in defence of Mckersie on
Tuesday. Instead, he sent his lawyer, Itai Ndudzo of Mutamangira and
Associates, to inform the court that he could not attend.
Advocate Thabani Mpofu, the defence lawyer, then applied for the minister to
be issued with a warrant of arrest.
Mpofu insisted Mutasa he had no plausible reason to miss the hearing as he
had been properly served with the subpoena. He argued that Mutasa was simply
Mutasa is one of the staunchest supporters of President Robert Mugabe
Herald Matura, the prosecutor, argued that Ndudzo should be heard on behalf
of the minister.
But the court ruled that Ndudzo had no right to be heard in the proceedings.
Magistrate Ndduna issued the warrant of arrest,
Ndudzo tried to have the warrant cancelled but failed.
Mpofu, due to open his defence case, insisted Mutasa was relevant to his
Mckersie, who occupied Chipungu A Farm in Mhangura, is accused of refusing
to vacate the property to pave way for a newly-resettled farmer under the
land reform programme.
On September 14, the government 2005 acquired the farm and Mckersie was
served with a notice to vacate by February 4, 2007.
The State alleges that Mckersie was given an additional four months to
harvest his crops and was, thus, expected to leave the farm by June 30 in
the same year.
A crop and animal assessment was done at the farm and the new beneficiary
was introduced to the farm manager who was only identified as Mr Landsberg.
Mckersie did not leave the farm despite the expiry of the deadline and grace
period. The state alleges the farmer acted unlawfully by continuing to
occupy the gazetted land.
|Written by MXOLISI NCUBE ††|
|Wednesday, 07 October 2009 14:10|
|JOHANNESBURG - Two Johannesburg-based civic organisations say
that President Robert Mugabe and other senior officials of his Zanu (PF) party
should stop pestering the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) to campaign for
the removal of targeted sanctions imposed on them, as it is the actions of
Mugabe’s elite club that caused them in the first place. |
Africa Heritage Human Rights Forum (AHHRF) and the MDC Veteran Activists Association (VAA) said that instead of accusing the MDC of failing to remove the travel restrictions and targeted measures, Mugabe and his allies should concentrate their efforts on things they can control – such as returning the country to the rule of law and respecting human rights.
The two organisations held a march recently aimed at galvanizing the international community to step up pressure on Mugabe to stop his ongoing human rights abuses in Zimbabwe .
“Mugabe imposed the sanctions on himself by continuously trampling on both human rights and the rule of law,” said MDC VAA chairman, Solomon Chikohwero, in an address to about 300 people who converged for the march.
“The MDC, just like all other ordinary Zimbabweans, was at the mercy of Zanu (PF)’s brutality and Mugabe should therefore not pester them to remove the so-called sanctions. It is disheartening to see that instead of ensuring the return of the rule of law, as required by the GPA, Mugabe chooses to pester the MDC to call for the removal of sanctions so that he can continue to brutalise the Zimbabwean people.” Chikohwero said Mugabe’s refusal to adhere to the requirements of the GPA, together with the obstinacy of some senior Zanu (PF) officials, including the generals, would only lead to further targeted sanctions. “The international community has set some conditions for the removal of sanctions and have stated that they will not come to Zimbabwe’s aid without these conditions being met,” he said.
“Despite the formation of an all-inclusive government in Zimbabwe, Mugabe, who lost the elections is still in charge of all arms of state and has shown no readiness to respect human rights, which he is still violating today. “Millions of Zimbabweans are still living as refugees in other countries because their safety is not guaranteed at home and cannot return. Those are the issues that Mugabe should be fighting to address, things that he can control and then say to the rest of the world – ‘I have done this, why not remove the sanctions on me now?’ than attack the MDC at every turn.” Edith Tsamba, founder and director of the AHHRF, said Mugabe’s concentration on the removal of the “so-called” showed that the geriatric ruler was only in the government of national unity for personal and not national gain.
“It shows that he only entered the GNU to have the sanctions lifted so that he can continue to access his money to further brutalise Zimbabweans,” said Tsamba.† “The ongoing violation of property rights through farm seizures and company expropriations, coupled with lack of media freedom and freedom of association shows that there is still no repentance on Zanu (PF)’s part.”
Written by STAFF REPORTER
Wednesday, 07 October 2009 17:55
BULAWAYO - Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi† and Police Commissioner
Augustine Chihuri have been taken to court by a police officer who was fired
from the force after he left his post at Chiadzwa diamond fields.
Sergeant Lament Mafuta, based at Fairbridge Support Unit in Bulawayo,
lost his job in July. He had spent 14 days in prison and suffered 56 strokes
for leaving his guard post.
In papers filed in the High Court last week, and seen by ****The
Zimbabwean****, Mafuta cited Mohadi, Chihuri and a Superintendent Rigomeka
Mafuta said he had only left his post to search for food in nearby
villages, following the Reserve Bank's failure to provide them with enough
"We had gone for three days without a proper meal and with a colleague
we went out to look for a goat, which we wanted to exchange for mealie-meal.
We were working under RBZ-sponsored operation Hakudzokwi phase two and the
bank had failed to supply enough food. We started experiencing problems with
our food as we did not have relish and we had to liaise with the locals, who
would supply us with the relish," said Mafuta.
Mafuta said they learnt that there was a visit by one of their bosses,
Assistant Commissioner Mathuthu, during their absence and the diamond field
had been flooded with illegal panners.
"On the same day we were taken to Mutare for a disciplinary trial. The
trial began at 12.30pm at Murahwa Building, which houses the Manicaland
provincial police headquarters. All of us were found guilty as charged and
were sentenced to 14 days' imprisonment at Chikurubi detention barracks. I
indicated that I wanted to appeal against the sentence and I was told that I
would appeal while at Chikurubi and I gave up," said Mafuta.
In July, a board of inquiry into his suitability to remain in the
force was convened and he was fired from the force. Mafuta said "The
inclusion of Superintendent Mutandwa in the board of inquiry made him an
interested party, as he was in Chiadzwa during their time; therefore he
could not make a proper recommendation."
A new wave of farm invasions is under way in Zimbabwe as Robert Mugabe's loyalists try and force the remaining white farmers from the land.
In the past eight months, 80 have been evicted by force, and scores more have been threatened.
"If I don't get out they say they'll sjambok me, they'll violently remove me," Kevin Du Boil said, pointing out the boundaries of his 400-hectare farm.
The farmer is still living on his property, but the land has been seized by a Zanu-PF official who has installed his livestock in the outbuildings and ordered in a gang of men to work in the fields.
Despite a court order granting Mr Du Boil the right to stay on the farm, he is also facing eviction from his home.†
"I have called the police, but they say they can't do anything because it's a land issue," he said.
Zimbabwe's Commercial Farmers' Union says white-owned farms are under attack every day.†
Some 172 incidents of violence were recorded in August alone.
The scale of the assaults is reminiscent of the violence at the start of the decade when Mr Mugabe's disastrous land reform programme began.
The President's opponents claim he is orchestrating the attacks because he fears losing the support of his allies under the power-sharing deal.
"He needs to keep the military onside," said Roy Bennett, the country's most famous former white farmer.†
Mr Bennett was selected as the opposition's choice for Deputy Agriculture Minister in the Government of National Unity.
But Mr Mugabe, who has accused him of treason and terrorism, is refusing to swear him in.†
"It's a last-ditch attempt for him to hold on to power by using the land as patronage," Mr Bennett said, describing the President as an "out-and-out racist".
But white farmers are not the only victims of the new campaign.†
We found scores of farm workers and their families living rough by the roadside in one farming district.
The white-owned farm where they worked had been seized by an army general a few days earlier.†
"They beat all of us," one man said. "They had uniforms and guns."
Sixty thousand farm workers, seen as supporters of the opposition in Zimbabwe, have been evicted from their homes and jobs since the start of the year.
Mr Bennett says the seized farms are being handed to military chiefs, judges and other important allies of Mr Mugabe .†
"There is no rule of law," he said.
Written by Privilege Musvanhiri
Wednesday, 07 October 2009 17:39
HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai† says education and health
are at the top of the agenda for government, which is determined to reform
and restore services devastated by 10 years of the economic mismanagement.
Tsvangirai was on a tour of Harare Central hospital to assess progress
made to revive the biggest referral hospital in the country.
He said he was happy with significant improvements in infrastructure
and service delivery.
"When I visited last March, it was like a ghost hospital. It goes to
demonstrate that it is not just a question of money but also of commitment
and a little resource will go a long way in achieving functionality,"
"The situation at Harare hospital was almost a duplicate of Mpilo
hospital facing the same problems and almost all the hospitals in the
country. I'm hoping that if we increase resources to these hospitals we
should be able to restore their functionality so that we have a proper
health delivery system," he said.
He said hospital infrastructure should be upgraded to ensure a
delivery system that could help when there were outbreaks.
Harare hospital shut down last year and failed to cope with the
Hospital management told Tsvangirai that staff at the hospital were
"Accommodation for staff is needed urgently as this directly assists
in staff retention. At least 300 staff need institutional accommodation to
stabilise the critical areas. The new mortuary needs to be completed. This
has been work in progress since 2001," said Jealous Nderere, Harare hospital
"The hospital still has no hot water supply due to broken down
clarifiers. The air conditioning system in the theatres, main hospital and
maternity [ward] needs to be replaced, as it is now dysfunctional," said
Nderere said the neo-natal unit was still in need of incubators and
equipment was needed in the intensive care unit.
A senior paediatrician at the hospital, Dr Robert-Grey Choto, said his
unit urgently required a heating system, and that they were operating far
below capacity due to a shortage of nurses.
Around $43,000 worth of equipment has been ordered but is yet to be
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister received 155 wheelchairs, donated by
Wish Kids International, to be shared between Harare Central, Chitungwiza
and Parirenyatwa hospitals.
Published Date: 08 October 2009
By JANE FIELDS
ZIMBABWE'S prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai has stopped short of calling for
the removal of international sanctions against president Robert Mugabe and
his allies, in a move likely to inflame tensions within the already fragile
He called instead for "a process of dialogue" and suggested Mr Mugabe's
Zanu-PF party was blocking progress on the country's coalition deal.
Mr Mugabe, 85, claims Mr Tsvangirai has reneged on the nine-month old
power-sharing agreement by failing t
o get European Union and United States sanctions lifted.
But Mr Tsvangirai said:
"I think my party, the MDC, have fulfilled our part of the bargain. It's the
others, Zanu-PF, who are still reluctant to go all the way.
"One can understand the fear of losing control, losing the monopoly of
power, and sometimes I think that influences their decisions."
The EU imposed travel bans and asset freezes on Mr Mugabe and dozens of
officials linked to his regime in 2002, nearly two years after the former
guerrilla leader sent bands of war veterans on to white-owned farms. The US
imposed its own targeted sanctions in 2003. Mr Mugabe blames those sanctions
for Zimbabwe's economic crisis, that saw inflation soar to 230 million per
cent last year.
An EU delegation that visited Harare last month said it wanted to see more
progress on sticking points in the power-sharing agreement before
reconsidering the sanctions.
Life for many Zimbabweans has improved since the coalition government was
formed in February. Bread, eggs, milk and meat can be bought in
supermarkets, and fuel is available - such commodities were in short supply
for much of the past decade. Banks now dispense battered US dollar bills
rather than trillions of Zimbabwean bearer cheques.
Police officers renowned for their brutal repression of the MDC are being
trained in human rights, according to reports .
But change hasn't come to everything. Low salaries - teachers are paid less
than £100 - mean many cannot afford goods on sale. Shoppers can't get
change: a shortage of coins means they have to take their money in sweets,
pens or bubble gum. Parents are withdrawing children from O- and A-level
classes as they can't afford the exam fees.
However, in an apparent gesture of conciliation, Mr Tsvangirai has agreed to
have a portrait of Mr Mugabe - who ordered the then opposition leader to be
brutally beaten at a prayer rally in 2007 - in his office.
"I would not have stayed with him if I thought he was there to cheat and
undermine the progress we're making," he said.
"I hope we can remove the fear, intimidation and the violence that have
characterised our elections for the past ten years."
by Chenai Maramba Thursday 08 October 2009
KAROI - Prison officer granted bail
KAROI - A magistrate's court here on Wednesday granted bail to a prison
officer who was facing charges of unlawful possession of ammunition and
violating the Wildlife Act by allegedly supplying bullets to a poacher.
Magistrate Archibald Dingane agreed to free Tobias Chitswanda (27) on bail
after the state altered charges against the prison officer to only supplying
ammunition to poachers and not involvement in poaching.
''Accused has been granted bail in the sum of US$20.00 and will report once
a week to the police. The state has altered the charges and therefore
accused can be granted bail by the court,'' said Dingane, who remanded
Chitswanda to October 15.
The state alleges that Chitswanda supplied live bullets to a
Kazangarare-based poacher, Langton Madzviti, on September 8 this year with
the intention to unlawfully kill elephants for their tusks.
Madzviti, who had his gun at his rural home, was arrested selling game meat
in Karoi and implicated Chitswanda of supplying the bullets. Police
recovered one FN bullet at Chitswanda's house in Chikangwe suburb in Karoi
Defence lawyer Samuel Muyemeki had asked the court to have the charges
altered, saying his client is accused of supplying bullets but not poaching.
There have also been widespread reports of illegal and uncontrolled trophy
hunting on former white-owned conservancies now controlled by powerful
government and ruling ZANU PF party politicians who seized the properties
under President Robert Mugabe's land reform programme.
Several endangered animal species such as the black rhino have been found
dead in sanctuaries in the past few years amid reports that senior army and
police officials were behind the illegal hunting activities.
Conservationists say hundreds of elephants have been forced to migrate
across strife-torn Zimbabwe's borders, fleeing poachers and human
encroachment into wildlife areas. - ZimOnline
Email: email@example.com : firstname.lastname@example.org
JAG Hotlines: +263 (011) 610 073, +263 (04) 799410.† If you are in
trouble or need advice, please don't hesitate to contact us - we're here
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1. KARORI Farm update
2.† KARORI FARM - GAPWUZ
1. KARORI Farm update - Charles Lock
It has been over a week since the soldiers of the ZNA evicted the farm
workers, beating many in the process and raping two women.† No one has
been allowed on to the farm , however we have been getting reports from
people who we cannot disclose to protect their identities, that
the army have broken into Mr Lock's house and looted his provisions.
They have also taken maize and fertiliser and still commandeer all the
equipment using it at their will, even to visit beer halls with the
tractors as transport. The police still refuse to assist or abide by the
court orders. We have requested countless times for them to assist with
getting our cattle, and things but we are told the normal excuses of no
transport or must have a direct order from their superiors.† We have
offered transport but it is refused. The names of the soldiers on the
farm who have committed the atrocities under Brid Mujaji are
Sgt Mukoni,† Sgt Mutami,† Corp Kuuya,† Tevera,† Choukani,† Mushonga,
Murambiwa,† Chubvunje,† Tatenda,† Mutamba,† and Sithole
2.† KARORI FARM - GAPWUZ
The General Agriculture and Plantation Workers Union of Zimbabwe is
investigating serious cases of sexual harassment of women - among
other human rights abuses- at the recently occupied Karori Farm where 95
farm worker families have been evicted.
Three women at the farm spoke to GAPWUZ officials last Friday and accused
members of the army manning the farm of sexually harassing them and
looting their belongings.
Last week Brigadier Justin Mujaji reportedly sent soldiers to seize the
farm in defiance of a High Court order barring Mujaji from holding on to
the crop harvested by the previous owner, Charles Lock.
The soldiers are reported to have chased the farm workers out of the farm
before going on a rampage, looting the stored tobacco and wheat crops.
But GAPWUZ today reports that the soldiers are not only looting the
farmer's crop, but are also sexually harassing the women.
"When the women reported to the police, not action was taken
against the soldiers and this has since raised questions as to the extent
of the harassment and as union we are going to make sure we follow up on
this case using the relevant offices and we have since sought legal
assistance from our human rights partners," said Gertrude Hambira,
General Secretary of the union.
GAPWUZ has reported that there are over 66 000 farm workers who have been
displaced since February this year.
The union, which has been at loggerheads with government over the alleged
human rights abuses during the controversial land reform, has also
written a letter to the Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's office
demanding that action be taken to stop the harassment of farm workers
Written by John Makumbe
Tuesday, 06 October 2009 09:36
'SADC has amply demonstrated its impotence when it comes to the
Zimbabweans in the Diaspora are anxious to know many things about the
state of affairs back home in Zimbabwe. For example, they would like to know
whether it is now safe to risk their life's savings by investing in this
country or not. They are concerned about the viability and sustainability of
the inclusive government given the numerous "outstanding issues" that are
taking so long to resolve.
Indeed, the fact that Robert Mugabe is still at the helm of the nation
gives them the creeps regarding risking their resources by investing in
Zimbabwe at this stage. They are, however, aware that the international
investors are closely watching the situation in this country with the
intention to pounce on lucrative investment areas as soon as the political
stability of the nation is assured. Is it therefore wise to invest at home
now, or is it better to wait until the current squabbles are over?
Frankly, these are all very difficult questions to answer, and not
even the key players in the inclusive government can venture to advise
potential Diaspora investors one way or another. Then there is also the fear
that the writing of a new and democratic constitution may be thwarted by
Zanu (PF), which seems to be set on imposing the ludicrous Kariba Draft on
It is obvious that Zimbabweans will reject the Kariba Draft out of
hand when a referendum is conducted. This will force the nation to remain
where it is today, stuck with the much amended Lancaster House Constitution,
complete with the draconian legislation that contributed to the devastation
of the national economy in the first place. Diasporans who will have sunk
their finances into the economy will therefore run the risk of losing
The Mugabe regime has demonstrated in the past that the only
investment that is sacred is that which belongs to their own number. Once
upon a time, Mutumwa Mawere thought that his investment was safe in
Zimbabwe. Well, the Mugabe regime surprised him, and now they have
completely failed to run the SMM Company that they snatched from him.
Zimbabweans in the Diaspora are between the rock and the hard place.
The majority of them desire to eventually comeback home. They need to invest
in their own country, and yet they are fully aware that the situation in
Zimbabwe is currently fragile and unpredictable. They read news about the
resumption of war bases by the notorious Zanu (PF) militia and insecurity
forces in various parts of the country.
They have seen very little demonstration of the capacity of the MDC to
effectively take over the running of the country and the economy from the
outgoing and expired liberation movement called Zanu (PF). They are,
however, committed to this country and would do everything in their power to
end the problems that this country is facing.
They need to be advised that one of the key investments they can make
is to actively support those forces in this country that are progressive,
whether they are civic groups or political parties. This will definitely
help to speed up the demise of Zanu (PF) and allow this country to get back
to the democratic path to development. Without them participating in the
resolution of the current crisis their ambitions of investing in this
country will be delayed.
In the next few weeks Zimbabwe is going to know whether there is going
to be a resolution of the current stalemate or not. The SADC has amply
demonstrated its impotence when it comes to the Zimbabwe question. What new
ideas or measures will come from the MDC and what effect will they have on
the direction in which this nation will move in 2010?