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Tsvangirai Launches "Yes" Campaign for Draft Constitution , Insists Will Not Budge

Harare, September 09, 2012 - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai last Saturday
officially launched his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) party’s Yes
campaign for the new draft constitution where he insisted the controversial
Copac document signed by all the three co-governing parties was final.
Tsvangirai told hundreds of party loyalists who comprised the party’s
structures in Harare that he will not be party to any deliberations aimed at
revising the controversial document during the principals meeting on Monday.

Tsvangirai said the negotiation process of the draft document was well
represented at all stages insisting the proposed principals meeting to
discuss Zanu PF amendments to the document was merely of academic

He said the three principals did not have any power to overhaul what the
people expressed in the draft constitution.

“Three people! Three people to determine the destiny of this country?! Vanhu
vatatu! Inini handipo. Ini ipapo ndinenge ndisipo because vanhu vane final
say panezvavakataura, are the people of Zimbabwe (I will not be party to it
because those who have the final say are the people of Zimbabwe),”
Tsvangirai said to loud applause from party loyalists who packed a hall in
the Harare Show Grounds, venue for the launch.

The MDC-T leader challenged Zanu PF to campaign for a “No Vote" for the
draft document during the referendum insisting his party will prevail.

Tsvangirai accused President Mugabe and his Zanu PF of attempts to return
the country to the condemned Lancaster House Constitution through amending
the Copac document which his party says is the best opportunity for the
country to restore democracy.

The MDC-T leader, who had just arrived from his visit to the United States
of America where he had attended President Barack Obama’s Democratic Party’s
Convention, said he would not wish to become President one day and start
using the Lancaster House document which he said is full of all the
instruments of oppression.

“Change without transformation, change without laying the basis of how we
are going to be governed is meaningless. Change chete yekungoti bvisai
vaMugabe muise vaTsvangirai. Ini ndotora ma instruments iwawo
kukudvinyirirai (Change just to remove Mugabe and replace him with
Tsvangirai is not enough because I will use the same instruments Mugabe is
using to oppress you). That is not change,” he said.

Tsvangirai’s decision to launch the yes campaign for the draft constitution
is the most tangible expression he will not go back on the controversial
document, which President Mugabe’s party has overhauled.

But the MDC decision to go start its Yes campaign is sure to be strongly
resisted by Zanu PF which is demanding a revisit to some of the clauses in
the draft.

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MDC-T ‘Yes’ campaign futile: Zanu PF

09/09/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

ZANU PF has dismissed as “scandalous” and “futile” Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai’s weekend launch of a ‘vote yes’ campaign for the draft
constitution, insisting the document cannot be put to a referendum without
the endorsement of all the three GPA parties.

Addressing MDC-T supporters at the campaign launch in Harare, Tsvangirai
ruled out further negotiations on the Copac draft. He said the
constitutional reform process must be taken forward to a referendum leading
to new elections.

But Zanu PF officials said the MDC-T campaign was futile as long as there
was no agreement between the GPA parties.
Said Politburo member, Jonathan Moyo,: “In the first place, this just shows
that these guys have taken time-wasting to new heights because you cannot
call on Zimbabweans to say ‘yes’ to nothing.

“The only draft that can be taken to a referendum should be agreed upon by
the three parties to the GPA. Anything else is nothing and for Tsvangirai to
say ‘yes’ to nothing is scandalous.

“Maybe this is a way of practising his wedding vows. If he wants to say ‘yes’
to (new love) Elizabeth (Macheka), he should not bother the rest of us.”

Zanu PF spokesman, Rugare Gumbo, added: “The MDC-T has an agenda to disrupt
the constitu­tion-making process.
“They are fully aware that they cannot go it alone and hold a referendum.
Only the Presi­dent has the legal mandate to call for a refer­endum. Theirs
is a futile exer­cise and it will plunge them into the deep.”

The MDC formations have since endorsed the draft and are pressing for the
document put to a national referendum.

But Zanu PF wants its proposed amendments discussed by Mugabe, Tsvangirai
and MDC leader Welshman Ncube.

Tsvangirai, though, ruled out any further discussions.

“I am surprised by people who are saying the three principals are going to
meet to dis­cuss the draft con­stitution,” he said.
“I will not be part of that . . . I am saying let’s move forward because we
are done with the draft. The Speaker (of the House of Assembly) should
organ­ise the Second All-Stakeholders.”

Ncube also said his party was already campaigning for a ‘yes vote’.

“We are holding our own rallies to support the draft,” he said.
“We accept that the process is not yet com­plete but we are also
acknowledging that this draft was accepted by the select committee and the
management commit­tee where all the three parties signed for the draft so we
cannot ignore that process.”

Still, National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) chair­person, Lovemore Madhuku
the MDC campaigns were premature.
He said: “How do you call for a Yes Vote when the Second All Stakeholders’
Conference has not yet been carried out and the process of taking the draft
to Parliament has not yet been done

“It means that the MDC-T is not recog­nising these two important stages and
is dis­missing them outright.
“It confirms that the draft which they are supporting does not have the
views of the people but it is their own constitution which they are
campaigning for.”

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Call referendum, PM challenges Mugabe

Backing draft ... MDC-T deputy leader Thokozani Khupe with Morgan Tsvangirai
at the launch
08/09/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

MDC-T leader and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai plans to challenge
President Robert Mugabe Monday to take the stalled draft constitution to a
referendum, insisting Zanu PF can campaign for a ‘No’ vote if it has
reservations over the document.

Launching his party’s campaign for a ‘Yes Vote’ in the planned referendum on
the draft new constitution in Harare Saturday, Tsvangirai said he would use
Monday's routine meeting of the GPA principals to press Mugabe to call a
referendum on the contested document.

The constitutional reform process is effectively stalled after the MDC
parties rejected Zanu PF’s amendments to the Copac draft which was released
in July.

The MDCs want the regional SADC grouping to intervene and help break the
deadlock but Zanu PF says GPA principals, Mugabe, Tsvangirai and MDC leader
Welshman Ncube should meet and come to a compromise over its amendments.

But Tsvangirai told MDC-T supporters gathered for the launch at the Harare
Show Grounds that three individuals could not, between them, be allowed to
determine the future of the whole country.

“For three people to determine what is best for this country is improper and
I will not be part of that. The way forward is that on Monday, I will meet
Robert Mugabe and I have a few words,” he said.

“I am done with the Constitution-making process, let’s go forward. Let the
Speaker of the House of Parliament (Lovemore Moyo) organise an All
Stakeholder Conference and the Referendum leading to the holding of free and
fair elections.”

The MDC-T leader accused Zanu PF of going back on agreements reached between
the parties during negotiations over the Copac draft.

“This is not an MDC-T document, Zanu PF negotiators (Patrick Chinamasa and
Nicholas Goche) were there; even Mugabe was also there but now there want to
change everything saying Tsvangirai, Mugabe and Ncube will discuss the
issue,” the MDC-T leader.

“So we are meeting on Monday and I will only have one word for Mugabe, 'Uko
takatopfuura uko handei mberi. Ini ipapo handipo. Ini handiko (We are
through with negotiations; I will not be part of any new talks. let’s take
the process forward)'.
“If Zanu PF feels there are issues they are not comfortable with they should
campaign for a ‘No Vote’ and we will campaign for a ‘Yes Vote’ and see who
wins. We should move on to the next phase which involves the parliament, the
second all stakeholders’ conference, a referendum and then free and fair

The MDC parties have since endorsed the Copac draft but Zanu PF is demanding
amendments which the party says align the document with views expressed by
members of the public.

Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete has already indicated the regional SADC
grouping’s Troika, which deals with peace and security issues, would discuss
the stalemate at its next meeting in October.

The regional block helped facilitate the formation of the coalition
government after violent but inconclusive elections in 2008 and has been
helping the GPA parties negotiate a so-called roadmap to new polls that are
now expected next year.

The new constitution is part of a raft of political reforms the MDC parties
have been hoping would help ensure free and fair elections.

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Don't give loan to Zim, DA tells SA govt

South Africa’s main opposition, the Democratic Alliance (DA), urged the
country’s Finance Minister not to offer budgetary support to Zimbabwe until
Zanu (PF) adhered to the country’s political roadmap.

by Chris Ncube

Ian Davidson, DA Shadow Minister of International Relations and
Co-operation, wrote a letter to the Minister Pravin Gordhan, warning if the
loan was given under the prevailing conditions in Zimbabwe, the money may be
used to fund Zanu (PF)’s terror campaign ahead of the elections the former
ruling party wants held early next year.

“I have written to the Finance Minister urging him to ensure that any loan
funding granted to Zimbabwe is strictly conditional on adherence to the
roadmap for peaceful political transition outlined in the Global Political
Agreement. In particular, we cannot provide funding to Zimbabwe if agreement
is not reached on a new Zimbabwean constitution or if an election before the
new constitution has been finalised and agreed by all relevant parties,”
Davidson said in a statement on Sunday.

His sentiments follow reports Zimbabwe’s finance minister, Tendai Biti, will
meet the South African government in the next two weeks to secure budgetary
support to the tune of $100 million (R827 million at the current exchange

Davidson recommended that the funding be given for specific projects and not
as a ‘blank cheque for Mugabe.’

He said project-based funding will allow for more effective monitoring –
making it possible to ensure that real benefits accrue to the people of

“Rumours abound that Zanu PF leader Robert Mugabe plans to call an early
election later this year and that a recurrence of the violence and
intimidation that characterised the 2008 elections is likely. Without the
appropriate conditions attached to a loan, funding from South Africa could
go to Mugabe’s war chest. The money is then more likely to be used for
political campaigning and bulking up Mugabe’s militia than for any tangible
benefit to the Zimbabwean people. It will be unconscionable for this to be
allowed to happen,” Davidson added added.

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Zanu PF threatens to expel party rebels

Staff Reporter 2 hours 10 minutes ago

The embattled Zanu PF National Chairman, Simon Khaya Moyo has called for the
expulsion of members of his party who belong to factions.
Moyo was addressing scores of Zanu PF members at the annual environmental
fair which was held at Tongogara High School in Shurugwi.
The Zanu PF National Chairman said his party’s constitution has no provision
for factions.
He said those who belong to factions are way out of line and should leave
the party.

The environmental fair was organised by the Legislator for Shurugwi North
who is also Minister for Environment and Natural Resources Management,
Francis Nhema.

The fair is aimed at educating communities on sustainable ways of using the

Khaya Moyo also took a swipe at some senior party members whom he said were
using money to sway views in the party.
He said his party will decisively deal wit such corrupt senior leaders.

Prior to his key note address, Simon Khaya Moyo toured various company
stands that were exhibiting at the environmental fair.

The fair was graced by the Senator for Shurugwi who is also Minister of
Foreign Affairs, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, the former Governor and Resident
Minister for the Midlands Province, Cephas Msipa, the Legislator for
Shurugwi South, Annastancia Ndlovu, Amai Sekeramayi, the Minister of
Environment and Natural Resources Management, Francis Nhema and other senior
government and Zanu PF officials.
Meanwhile, Zanu PF loyalists have condemned the MDC-T party for trying to
hoodwink Zimbabweans into accepting a compromised draft constitution which
deliberately omitted crucial views and includes foreign agendas.
The condemnation follows the launching of MDC-T’s campaign for a ‘Yes’ vote
for the current draft constitution in the capital.
During the launch MDC-T leader, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said his
party endorsed the draft constitution in its state, and added that his party
sees no problems with issues such as devolution, citizenship and that they
needed former white commercial farmers to return into the country.
Following the launch, President Mugabe's supporters condemned the campaign
with Goodwills Masimirembwa labeling the campaign an act of desperation from
the party which panders to the whims of its western paymasters.
Murewa South legislator, Joel Biggie Matiza, lashed out at the MDC-T
campaign saying, Zimbabweans never voted for the inclusion of gay rights in
the party, and will never accept a constitution which leaves out their
aspirations while it is premised on foreign agendas.
The document which the MDC-T party is attempting to impose on the electorate
is one which has been condemned by several legal experts who say that the
three political parties must first agree on it whilst the greatest respect
must be given to the views of the people as they spoke during the outreach
programme of the constitution-making process.

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We will pay civil servants' bonuses: Biti

By Richard Chidza, Staff Writer
Sunday, 09 September 2012 13:31

HARARE - Finance minister Tendai Biti yesterday flew out of the country
heading for Australia as he battles to raise money for budgetary support
and the emotive issue of civil servants bonuses.

In an interview with the Daily News on Sunday yesterday, Biti declared that
failure to pay bonuses to government employees was not an option.

“We have three priorities before the end of the year. The first is to
finance civil servants’ bonuses and we are going to do that,” he said.

“I am not a pseudo-masochist. I am looking forward to a happy ending to this
year. If we keep inflation figures down and the economic stability is
maintained I will be a happy man and I have no intention of making myself
unhappy by failing to pay bonuses, finance agriculture and the referendum,”
Biti said.

In his state of the economy address earlier this week, Biti said government
would need to work extra hard to raise cash to support the payment of

“Government is under serious strain and as I said, we have adopted a
three-pronged approach to raise funds. The first is local domestic revenues
mobilisation, including diamond revenues. I have meetings scheduled with the
President, the Prime Minister and minister of Mines.

“There have been exports of diamonds amounting to about $450 million. That
means on the face of it, we are owed in excess of $250 million by diamond
companies and we are going to demand our pound of flesh,” he said.

“We are also going to intensify our regional and international mobilisation
of funds that is why you saw us sign that line of credit with Botswana.

“On the 21st of September I will be leading a high-powered delegation to
South Africa where we are going to make a request of $100 million and as we
speak I am on my way to Australia to seek funds for budget support,” said

Biti added he would be visiting Angola as Zimbabwe’s begging bowl
transverses the region and beyond in search of the $400 million before

He said there was need for political willingness for government to harness
and benefit from diamond revenues. In a thinly veiled challenge to Mines
minister Obert Mpofu to put the interest of the
country before his party, Biti said Zimbabwe needed mature political

“We need political maturity and every political leader in Zimbabwe must know
that the country’s resources need to benefit all citizens,” he said.

The issue of diamond revenues has threatened to collapse Zimbabwe’s
coalition government with reports that money raised through diamond sales is
not finding its way into the Consolidated Revenue Fund amid claims of
military involvement in the murky diamond industry.

Biti has had to revise his $4 billion budget after projected $600 million
inflows from the trade of the precious stones failed to bear fruit.

Mpofu argues he cannot disclose how much the country is earning from the
sale of diamonds because it is a national security issue and tied to
circumventing “sanctions” against the country’s political leadership

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‘Mineral proceeds used in running parallel govt’

By Jeffrey Muvundusi, Own Correspondent
Sunday, 09 September 2012 13:22
BULAWAYO - President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party is running a parallel
government using proceeds from Zimbabwe’s rich mineral deposits, a Cabinet
minister has alleged.

Gorden Moyo, the minister of Parastatals and State Enterprises in the shaky
coalition government, told journalists in Bulawayo that money from diamond
mining ventures in Marange was difficult to account for.

Moyo is also chairperson of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party in
Bulawayo province.

He said national development was suffering as a result.

“There are no resources in this government and some of the resources that we
have are used in parallel government because Zanu PF runs one,” said Moyo,
who acted as Finance minister last month.

“Zanu PF runs a parallel government in the sense that the funds that are
coming from Chiadzwa in Marange and other various platinum mineral sources
in the country are not going to treasury,” he said.

He was briefing journalists after a closed-door meeting at MDC offices on
Friday with the minister of Water Resources and Management Samuel Sipepa
Nkomo and the Bulawayo City Council deputy mayor Amen Mpofu on challenges
faced by residents.

“If those funds were coming to government, surely we would resolve issues of
development. Zanu PF runs a parallel government where they have a parallel
Finance minister who is holding on to all these funds from the mining
sector,” the minister claimed.

Moyo said the coalition government was not helping “in any way”.

“We have policy inconsistencies. There are a number of policies that have
been crafted and have not been implemented. This government is not helping,”
he said.

It was not possible to get a comment from Zanu PF officials.

But the party has in the past accused Tsvangirai’s MDC of running a parallel
government using donor funds sourced from the West.

Mines minister Obert Mpofu, a senior Zanu PF member, has also repeatedly
refuted allegations by Finance minister Tendai Biti that some firms mining
in Chiadzwa are not remitting taxes to government and that they are closely
linked to Zanu PF.

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Zanu PF officials in wildlife bribes scam

Sunday, 09 September 2012 13:18
HARARE - Willy Pabst, the Germany industrialist and hunting enthusiast who
has been leading a campaign to save wildlife sanctuary, the Save Valley
Conservancy, from occupation by Zanu PF officials has made sensational
claims that party stalwarts have been asking for bribes from owners of the
targeted conservancies.

Pabst has been leading a public campaign through a series of newspaper
adverts to save the conservancies that he himself invested in way back in

He told the Daily News on Sunday that a clique of “greedy” Zanu PF officials
have openly approached owners of wildlife ranches demanding bribes ranging
from $10 000 to $100 000 in exchange for permits issued to them by the
National Parks and Wildlife.

“There were 25 people who were given hunting permits each for about $5 500.
They have been coming to us asking for money in exchange for the permits,”
said Pabst in a telephone interview from his Cape Town base.

“They have been asking for money from my colleagues and business partners.”

The country’s wildlife authority says the move to parcel out wildlife
ranches to Zanu PF officials is necessary to empower blacks in this
multi-million dollar sector.

The takeover of the conservancies has set Zanu PF cabinet ministers against
each other.

Tourism minister Walter Mzembi is fighting in the conservationists’ corner
while minister of Environment Francis Nhema is pushing for the accommodation
of black people in the sector.

Mzembi argues the takeovers are tarnishing Zimbabwe’s image ahead of the
United Nations World Tourism Organisation general assembly to be co-hosted
with Zambia next year.

Nhema, on the other hand, says the indigenisation of the white dominated
wildlife sector takes precedence over the tourism indaba.

According to Pabst, indigenisation is being used as a front for looting by
President Robert Mugabe’s cronies.

“This is not indigenisation. This is a group of 25 people who are determined
to enrich themselves by destroying wildlife at the expense of the
communities that are benefitting from Save Valley projects,” said Pabst.

He claimed the Zanu PF officials who were recently issued with leases and
hunting quotas openly declared that they are not interested in the wildlife
business and are willing to step aside if a bribe with the right figures
comes their way.

Asked how the businessmen responded to the alleged requests for bribes,
Pabst said, “We could not entertain such mafia style operations. It is
blackmail and we cannot run businesses based on blackmail. This has nothing
to do with indigenisation.”

Pabst claims in his newspaper adverts that thousands of livelihoods are
threatened in the 2 600 square kilometre nature reserve and surrounding

“When humans behave like animals, we destroy not only each other but
generations to come,” the adverts read, adding that politicians “want to
destroy agreements and policies that have made Save the world leader in
conservation management.”

One of the alleged bribe seekers, former deputy minister and Zanu PF top
notch Shuvai Mahofa, described the accusations as “rubbish”. “That is
rubbish. It is stupid and ndezvavo izvozvo izvo (they can go to hell),” she
said when approached for comment by the Daily News on Sunday.

“I entered into a contract with Terry and we agreed that we are going to
work together and we have been working together very well for a year now but
this Pabst then came and influenced Terry not to work with me and that is
when the problem started,” said Mahofa.

“We agreed to put money into the business and that is why I have taken these
whites to court. I am suing them for breach of contract. Hunting costs me
$84 000 and that is the money that I want Terry to contribute. “I do not
care what they say because I am now in business and making money. We have
freed Zimbabwe from these Germans and Italians,” said Mahofa.

Save Valley Conservancy is a habitat for elephant, zebra, giraffe, as well
as the nation’s second largest surviving population of endangered black

The area also supports an array of African antelope and most species of
birds and small animals.

Several nearby communities also benefit in the form of employment and
conservation efforts.

The German government recently gave $30 million to the Kavango-Zambezi
Transfrontier Conservation Area to help regional countries boost wildlife
conservation efforts and curb poaching but Zimbabwe was excluded from the
fund because of its failure to protect wildlife.

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Mzembi playing politics while I am making dollars — Mahofa

Sunday, 09 September 2012 13:16
MASVINGO - Former Gutu South MP Shuvai Mahofa, one of the 25 Zanu PF
officials accused of forcing their way into the lucrative Save Valley
Conservancy, has accused fellow party member and Tourism minister Walter
Mzembi of playing politics with the issue. Mahofa described Mzembi as a
“small boy”.

She described the Tourism minister as a loser using the issue to fight back
those who failed to vote for him for the post of provincial chairperson. “He
is playing politics. Why is he doing this when he also has a conservancy? If
he failed to get a good one (conservancy) that is his own fault. He should
let us do our business in hunting and make a lot of money and stop being
used by white people,” said Mahofa.

“He is doing this because we refused to vote for him for the position of
Zanu PF provincial chairperson. He lost to Lovemore Matuke so he is bitter
and wants to use this as a way of getting back at us.”

Asked to answer allegations that she lacks requisite wildlife management and
hunting skills, Mahofa laughed loudly saying, “We cannot let the whites
enjoy riches in our country. We also want blacks in this sector. It is
unacceptable that these few whites are allowed to harvest the money there.

In fact I am realising that farming is a waste of time, there is a lot of
money to be made in hunting.

I am in there and I now know that. I am very happy with my hunting business
and I have made hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

In addition she said, “Business is very good and there is free money to be
made out there and Mzembi must leave me to make money and get old and die

“You just sit and wait for whites to come and pay for hunting and make
money,” Mahofa added. Mahofa said she has a lease, a licence and a hunting
quarter which allows her to do the business of hunting lawfully.

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Zanu PF boycotts Diaspora meeting

By Chengetayi Zvauya, Parliamentary Editor
Sunday, 09 September 2012 13:23
HARARE - Zanu PF has boycotted a public meeting on the stalled draft
constitution scheduled for South Africa today, with a top official claiming
that debate on the new governance charter has turned into a “boxing ring”.

Paul Mangwana, who led the Zanu PF team in the Constitution Select Committee
(Copac), a parliamentary body charged with crafting the draft constitution,
was supposed to represent Zanu PF at the public meeting.

He told the Daily News on Sunday he was boycotting the event to spare
himself possible embarrassment.

Representatives of the MDC formations who were part of Copac and civil
society are expected to headline the Johannesburg meeting.

Mangwana said his party was not prepared to participate in the event because
President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Industry
minister Welshman Ncube, the coalition government principals, were still
seized with the matter.

“I am not going to South Africa for this public meeting. We handed over the
draft constitution to the principals and it is better to wait for the
principals to discuss it before we can start any debate.
“This is the position that Zanu PF has decided to take,” said Mangwana.

Tsvangirai and Ncube have already declared a deadlock on the draft
constitution talks after Zanu PF refused to accept the Copac draft and
instead authored its own document.

“The two say regional Sadc leaders, who are the power-sharing accord
mediators and guarantors, should intervene to break the deadlock hence there
is no need for the principals to open fresh negotiations.

Mangwana revealed the other reason why he is not too keen on attending the

“These meetings have become sparring boxing matches between Zanu PF and MDC
to the amusement of the spectators. It is not necessary to do so at this
stage. MDC declared a deadlock on the constitution, so let the principals
unlock it before we start these meetings."

“As far as Zanu PF is concerned, this is a civil society meeting with MDC,
their partner and it is not a Copac meeting,” said Mangwana.

Thoko Matshe of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition will chair the meeting.

Speakers include law professor Lovemore Madhuku of the National
Constitutional Assembly, Douglas Mwonzora (MDC and Copac co-chairperson) and
Qubani Moyo of Ncube’s MDC Mwonzora said Mangwana’s absence was of no

“With or without Mangwana we are going to South Africa. He is afraid of the
backlash he has been getting from his party. This is why he is now appearing
on ZBC television, radio and state media misinforming the nation about the
draft constitution, whilst we the other co-chairpersons are being
systemically shut out.
In South Africa we shall tell the Diaspora people the truth, which they are
entitled to know,” said Mwonzora.

“During the outreach stage I went with Mangwana to South Africa to gather
their views and it is only fair that we keep them informed on developments
on the constitution-making process,” said Mwonzora.

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Census Enumerators up in arms with government over payments

Harare, September 09, 2012 -- Census enumerators who were responsible for
counting Zimbabweans in the past two weeks are up in arms with the
government over the delays in their payments for the work done as well as
lack of contracts for their services.
"We are yet to know the figures we are supposed to get. We were only given
$150 after the completion of the census count. We are worried as you know
the officials are pressing to have us get same wages when others counted a
lot of people while others were working in difficult circumstances in rural
areas walking long distances," one enumerator told Radio Vop on condition of

Zimbabwe held its 2002 census and the population was adjudged to be 11.2
million up by 1.2 million from the 1992 census. Officials had said
population growth rates had been slowing in southern Africa including
Zimbabwe as AIDS pandemic hit hard the region.

Zimbabwe had also had a lot of people fleeing the country over the years on
political reasons as well as economic after the economy collapsed.

The census will cost about $40 million, with donors chipping in $12.6
million, the finance ministry said.

The Finance ministry has said the last census cost the country $40 million
while donors chipped in with $12 million of the amount. President Robert
Mugabe,88, urged Zimbabweans to participate honestly in the census count and
said the 2002 census did not please him as figures showed that so many
people were dying of HIV or AIDS.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said a population census is a 'rich source
of information' that enables the country to plan and strategise. In apparent
reference to the problems caused by the army and police in trying to hijack
the census, Tsvangirai said a population census had always been done by

Several thousands of people have complained that this year's census was not
done properly as they were not counted. MDC deputy legal and parliamentary
affairs minister, Obert Gutu recently wrote on social sites that his
household was not counted. He wrote:"I am told the census is over but my
household in Ward 8, Harare, was not enumerated. What exactly is taking
place here?"

This year's census has not also counted Zimbabweans in the diaspora as the
government has said it does not have the resources.

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Police, Gono ignored Chihuri warning on 'danger' Kereke

Danger to himself and others ... Munyaradzi Kereke

08/09/2012 00:00:00
by Lebo Nkatazo

POLICE Commissioner Augustine Chihuri warned that Munyaradzi Kereke was
“unfit to possess a firearm” THREE YEARS before the former Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe adviser allegedly raped his 13-year-old niece at gunpoint, New can reveal.

Chihuri gave his warning in July 2007 after Kereke drunkenly trashed a hotel
room in Masvingo and discharged two rounds from his CZ pistol during a
jealous-fuelled early morning row with his girlfriend.

The police chief said the former Stanbic Bank employee and founder of the
Rocfoundation Medical Centre was “unfit to be working in the governor’s

Inexplicably, Kereke kept his job as an adviser to Reserve Bank governor
Gideon Gono, and his gun licence was never revoked.
Three years later, on August 22, 2010, Kereke’s niece tearfully told how he
had walked into a bedroom where she was babysitting his child and raped her
at gunpoint – while his wife prepared food for him in the kitchen.

A report was made to Highlands police who transferred the file to Borrowdale
police who have jurisdiction over the Vainona suburb, where the alleged rape
took place.

Police interviewed the alleged victim’s 15-year-old sister – the first
person she told of the assault – and received a supporting medical report
from a Dr E T Chanakira at Parirenyatwa Hospital who examined her on
November 1, 2010, and confirmed her hymen was broken in a manner consistent
with sexual penetration.

The alleged victim’s lawyer, Charles Warara, says police are yet to charge
Kereke and his attempts to obtain answers from Chihuri and Attorney General
Johannes Tomana have come to grief.

Our revelations that the country’s top cop knew Kereke was a “danger to
himself and others” three years before the alleged attack pose uncomfortable
questions for the police and Gono over how he was allowed to keep a gun –
and his job.

In a letter dated July 19, 2007, and seen by our correspondent, Chihuri
wrote to Gono to warn: “Dr Kereke is a man of violent disposition, who is a
heavy drinker as well. It is quite clear that he cannot control his temper
and temperament at all, and this renders him unfit to possess a firearm.

“It is beyond reasonable doubt that if Dr Kereke continues to possess a
firearm, he is a danger to himself and others.
“The reasons for his temper in this case (row with girlfriend) are very
frivolous to warrant such reaction from a man of his status both socially
and professionally.”

Chihuri went on to advise Gono that “I have no reservation in recommending
that such a character is unfit to be working in the governor’s office,
considering the damage such a character may bring to the reputation of the
office in particular, and the Reserve Bank in general.”

It appears Chihuri’s advice was ignored by Gono, who retained Kereke on his
staff until he was sacked in February this year for undisclosed reasons. The
police also did nothing to enforce Chihuri’s warning – although Kereke was
fined for discharging a firearm in public.

The Flamboyant Hotel withdrew its malicious damage to property complaint to
the police after an apparent cover-up attempt by the Reserve Bank which
dispatched its chief of the Financial Intelligence Inspectorate, Evaluation
and Security Department – one M.E. Chiremba – who paid Z$50 million to the

The failure to at least arrest Kereke over the rape allegations – which he
forcefully denies and has already sued two newspapers over – has raised
concerns with the victim’s family and lawyer who suspect a cover up.

A police memorandum also seen by New, prepared after the hotel
incident in 2007, also reveals that Kereke fired his gun on at least one
other occasion outside the Liquids Night Club in Masvingo.

On a separate occasion, he is alleged to have drawn his weapon during a
confrontation with a Central Intelligence Organisation agent only to flee
after the spy reacted faster and pointed his own firearm at him.

Kereke is said to have been overheard boasting that he was “very powerful
and influential such that police could do nothing to him”, says the police

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Zanu-PF to meet over Hargreaves hero status

Zanu-PF will meet soon to determine the hero status of the veterinary expert
Dr Stuart Hargreaves, President Mugabe said yesterday. The Head of State and
Government, and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces was
speaking while consoling the Hargreaves family following the death of the
principal director for Livestock and Veterinary Services.


Dr Hargreaves died last week after a long battle with renal cancer.

Speaking in an interview soon after delivering his message to Dr Hargreaves’
widow, Shirley, at their Borrowdale home, President Mugabe described Dr
Hargreaves as a patriotic Zimbabwean.

“We came here to express our condolences on the passing on of Dr
Hargreaves,” he said.

“Everybody knows the good work he has done. From day one of our independence
we were together. He was on the animal side of our agriculture.”

President Mugabe said Dr Hargreaves represented Zimbabwe at various forums
and proved to be a loyal person.

“We had meetings together and sometimes he went to represent our country in
the region and internationally,” he said.

“We trusted him very much, he was loyal. Where some Europeans thought that
Zimbabwe was no longer safe to stay in, his own judgement was, in fact, that
Zimbabwe was a place to live in, so he stayed. He was a very hardworking
man, a true Zimbabwean and some Europeans did not like that. That is why our
party is going to meet soon to sit and determine his hero status.”

Dr Hargreaves died on August 28 at a private hospital in Harare and was
buried at his farm in Norton.

He served Government for 41 years in the department of livestock and
veterinary services and had an interest in assisting rural and smallholder

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Confessions of bribery

Sunday, 09 September 2012 13:20
HARARE - Just paid a bribe and feeling like making a confession?

Go online and a confession website has been created specifically for
Zimbabweans forced to part with their hard earned dollars by public service

Introducing confessions with a new twist, Zimbabweans can now exchange
experiences of when where and why they paid a bribe and to whom on website:

This is part of an initiative to tackle corruption by harnessing the
collective energy of citizens to show how much corruption is going on
around, according to information on the website.

“It aims to quantify petty corruption by understanding the role of bribery
in public service delivery.

The uniqueness of this anti-corruption movement lies in transforming data
into knowledge to inform the government about gaps in public transactions
and in strengthening citizen engagement to improve the quality of service
delivery,” reads information on the website.

The website has been up since December 2009 but has been seeing more traffic
in recent months, signifying the popularity it is gaining and the growing
rate of corruption in Zimbabwe.

A sample of confessions from the website points to obvious culprits.

Police bribery tops the chart with 34 reports around Zimbabwe while driver’s
licence bribes come second.

Other popular confessions are bribes to municipal services, the passport
office, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) and state power firm Zesa

The website is playing the role of whistle blower, bringing to attention the
location of people asking for bribes and how they do it.

“Man by the name Moyo clamped my vehicle saying my disc, which was valid,
was on the wrong side of the dashboard. He made me pay $25,” reads one

“Zimra officials at Plumtree Border Post are disregarding the invoices we
submit when clearing our ex-Japs and they inflate prices so that we pay
them,” reads another confession.

Goes another one: “I am one of those Zimbos who had never paid bribes for
anything...until my brief visit to South Africa last year (August), paid on
my way back at the border.”

“It was after three failed attempts of trying to get a driver’s licence when
I was finally introduced to a VID Examiner. I passed,” said another.

“I paid $10 to the Zesa guy so that my electricity is not cut off for an
overdue bill,” another person confessed.

With new technology taking root, the days of confessing face-to-face to a
prejudiced human being may be facing extinction.

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Constitutional Draft content victory ‘sweets’ cannot be stolen from our mouths

September 9th, 2012

Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) members express concern the once again the word ‘election’ dominates the political rhetoric and that the Copac draft has once again become hostage to political posturing and egos. WOZA call for the immediate resumption of Constitutional reform processes leading to the second all stakeholders’ conference and the setting of a date for the referendum.

WOZA members provided their leadership with a mandate to begin a vote ‘yes’ campaign if their main requirements were included in the draft. Members also provided a mandate to conduct a boycott campaign for any elections conducted without significant reforms in place.

In June 2012 WOZA members were consultation on political and constitutional developments. Members estimated that they had lost confidence and trust in the MDC. Some members measured their level of trust at 45%. A result confirmed by recent Freedom House and MPOI surveys. Both MDC parties in the government, political analysts and academics must realise that there were no ‘undecided’ people, no people ‘fearful’ of disclosing their support in this sample. The people in the WOZA consultation were ordinary women – brave and blunt and giving the opposition a 45% trust rating.

As the MDCT launch their ‘YES’ campaign, they must be warned that WOZA is watching and listening. WOZA challenge the MDCT and MDC to push for additional reforms on the age limit for presidential candidates and further reduction of presidential powers. Additionally WOZA suggest the removal of the word ‘unitary’ in the preamble which describing the state and insertion of the word ‘devolved’. Zimbabweans were clear that they no longer want a highly centralised unitary state.

Members also warned about the tendency of President Robert Mugabe to back track on agreements and this too has come to pass with ZANU PF refusing to respect their own signatures on the Copac draft and have practically rewritten their own draft. Once again ZANU PF pretends national interest whilst telling blatant lies.

WOZA members see their views in the draft and will not allow ZANU PF to misrepresent our views. WOZA have campaigned tirelessly for reforms and the victory ‘sweets’ cannot be stolen from our mouths.

The ‘victory sweets’ are represented by this content in the Copac draft.

  1. Free education and adult basic education.
  2. Gender equality specified in many sections and the removal of restrictions by traditional culture.
  3. President, cabinet, ministry permanent secretaries and all commissioners limited to two five year terms limit.
  4. A devolved system of government with some forms of elected officials and specified resource control.
  5. A more transparent sharing of power with the presidential running mates system.
  6. We have proportional representation which does bring a more democratically implemented.
  7. We got more democratic electoral systems and a Zimbabwe Electoral Commission with extended powers.
  8. Total abolishment of the Death penalty for women.
  9. Most political leaders in legislature, civic servants, security sector must no longer involve themselves in politics or be impartial.
  10. A National Peace Commission that will deal with transitional justice issues.
  11. A National Prosecuting Authority and reduced power for the Attorney General.
  12. An independent complaints commission so we can hold security sector accountable.
  13. An expanded bill of rights, including social, economic, political and cultural rights.
  14. The right to demonstrate and petition and rights to liberty more clearly defined.
  15. A non-discrimination clause and 16 official languages.
  16. Domestication of international instruments to which Zimbabwe is a signatory.
  17. A Constitutional and Electoral Court.

    WOZA demand the immediate finalisation of second all stakeholders’ conference dates. A transparent and accountable system to call for the second all stakeholders conference participation of all sectors of society and provision for inclusion of stakeholder input.

    Members are also unhappy with the manner in which the Zimbabwe Republic Police continue to disrupt organisation activities and letters of complaint delivered to the police and to the Joint Operating and Monitoring Committee (Jomic) remain ignored. (See letter of complaint –

    We demand that cabinet summon the Police Commissioner and instruct him to allow full and unfettered peaceful meetings and protests as an advance of section 4:24. This section is necessary part of the referendum preparation phase civic awareness work. If he is not prepared to allow citizens this space then we call for his immediate dismissal.

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Marathon Mugabe – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 8th September 2012

On the second last day of the Paralympics, Vigil supporters saw off President Mugabe in the Marathon. He only agreed to take part if he was promised the gold medal and insisted that we give it to him before the race to make sure. He also demanded to start a day before the opposition, given that he is about the oldest contender in the dictator stakes. Furthermore, he insisted on starting at the Embassy which is only a short distance to the finishing line in the nearby Mall.

An earlier agreement drawn up after a vastly expensive international consultation exercise which has gone on since the Beijing Olympics four years ago was rejected by Mugabe at the last minute because it was precipitate and did not reflect his wishes.

With much cajoling we managed to get the decaying despot on his way with posters reading ‘Marathon Mugabe’, ‘Still running after 32 years’ and ‘Plans to run at 89’. (Thanks to Fungayi Mabhunu for playing Marathon Mugabe wearing our all too frightening Mugabe mask.)

On a happier note the Vigil was pleased to see that Tanzanian President Kikwete, the new Chair of the SADC Security Troika, has called a meeting for October 7 and 8 to deal with Zanu PF’s refusal to accept the COPAC draft constitution they signed off on. The Vigil believes that the Troika has no alternative but to call Mugabe’s bluff for disregarding the GPA ( to tackle constitution deadlock: Kikwete).

Other points

· The Vigil noted the remarks by Botswana’s President Khama at a state banquet for visiting President Zuma that ‘nothing less than free and fair elections in Zimbabwe should be acceptable to the international community. SADC, as the guarantor of the GPA, must ensure transparency not only of the elections but also of the process leading to the polls’. Khama also stressed the need for SADC monitors as well as the wider international community to participate in observing the process “before, during and even after the elections.” (SADC tells Mugabe off –

· Vigil supporters are very appreciative of Botswana’s generous loan of $70 million to Zimbabwe. But we would caution them that Zanu PF never pays its debts – from China to Iran, from Malawi to Zambia, Zimbabwe has yet to be recorded as paying up. Mr Biti, in his begging bowl tour of SADC, will no doubt tell you that your only hope of getting these loans repaid is to get Mugabe’s Zanu PF out of power.

· The Vigil was interested to see that last week’s diary featured in the Herald. (see: MDC-T to lose forthcoming election: Zim Vigil Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2011 JoomlaWorks Ltd.. We advise people to compare the Herald article with what we actually said. In particular, the Vigil is not anti-Tsvangirai as suggested. In fact we are taking up a collection to pay for expenses incurred if his former mistress Locadia succeeds in her claim for $15,000 a month maintenance ‘because this is what she will need to maintain the standard of life she enjoyed with Mr Tsvangirai’. So far we have collected £0.07 (see: must take responsibility). PS – we were interested to read: These new-found suits make me sick –

· We were happy to welcome an American academic who had taught in Zimbabwe and wanted to meet Zimbabwean women and talk to them about their experiences as immigrants. We are eager happy to share our experience after 10 years on the street.

· Thanks to Thandiwe Gwarumba for the tasty cakes

· During the week Vigil members attended a meeting at Parliament called to discuss the deteriorating situation in Swaziland. It marked a week of activism coinciding with Swaziland’s Independence Day on 6th September. The co-ordinator of the Swaziland Vigil Thobile Gwebu talked about human rights abuses particularly the gross offences against women (see: for Thobile’s speech). The meeting was attended by MPs, trade union leaders and civil rights activists.The Trades Union Congress (TUC) said it was going to call for the suspension of Swaziland from the Commonwealth – echoing a petition run by the Swaziland Vigil.

FOR THE RECORD: 54 signed the register.


· The Rain that Washes showing at the Lounge, Leicester Square Theatre, from Monday 17th September – Saturday 6th October at 7 pm. Check: or phone the booking line: 08448733433 for specific dates and to book tickets, ‘Instantly plunged into a young man’s compelling story of growing up in turbulent Zimbabwe, we live and breathe his extraordinary journey from innocence to escape, finally returning to his homeland to witness the greatest betrayal of all . . . Inspired by a series of interviews between Zimbabwean Christopher Maphosa and writer Dave Carey, The Rain That Washes is a true story that is poignant, political and most of all, personal’.

· Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 22nd September from 10 am – 1 pm. Venue: Swazi High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB. Please support our Swazi friends. Nearest stations: St James’s Park and Victoria.

· ROHR Bournemouth elections and fundraising. Saturday 22nd September from 2 pm. Venue: to be advised. Good food and entertainment. Founder and President Ephraim Tapa and the UK Executive will be in attendance. Contact: Memory Dzapasi 07585907566, Urther Chagadama 07951269667, Dennis Muringai 07917426201, Nancy M 07404159038.

· ROHR Cambridge Branch Relaunch: Saturday 29th September from 1 – 4 pm. Contact: Memory Simbi 07584759284, Deon Matora 077866674066, Richard Zvinoira 07810592390. Venue: To be advised.

· 10th Anniversary of the Zimbabwe Vigil / Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 13th October from 6.30 – 9.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. Directions: The Strand is the same road as the Vigil. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a big sign high above and a sign for its famous Indian restaurant at street level. It's next to a newsagent. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn. Future special ZAF meeting: Saturday 10th November when our special guest will be Ben Freeth. This meeting will take the place of the regular ZAF meeting in November at 6.30 pm at Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see above.

· Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2011 can be viewed on this link: Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2011 Highlights page.

· The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents the views and opinions of ROHR.

· ZBN News. The Vigil management team wishes to make it clear that the Zimbabwe Vigil is not responsible for Zimbabwe Broadcasting Network News (ZBN News). We are happy that they attend our activities and provide television coverage but we have no control over them. All enquiries about ZBN News should be addressed to ZBN News.

· The Zim Vigil band (Farai Marema and Dumi Tutani) has launched its theme song ‘Vigil Yedu (our Vigil)’ to raise awareness through music. To download this single, visit: and to watch the video check: To watch other Zim Vigil band protest songs, check: and

· Vigil Facebook page:

· Vigil Myspace page:

· To sponsor the Mike Campbell Foundation expedition ‘Sailing across the Makgadikgadi Pans’ which will raise money for the work of the Foundation, go to

· Useful websites: which reports on Zanu PF abuses and where people can report corruption in Zimbabwe.

Vigil co-ordinators

The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe.

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Press Release from the Swaziland Vigil – 9th September 2012

Call to suspend Swaziland from Commonwealth

The British trade union group, the Trades Union Congress, says it is to call on the Commonwealth to suspend Swaziland because of human rights abuses. The call echoes an appeal in a petition to the Commonwealth signed by hundreds of people at a regular vigil held outside the Swaziland High Commission in London (

The co-ordinator of the Swaziland Vigil, Thobile Gwebu, told a committee meeting at the Houses of Parliament (on 5th September) about the oppression by the country’s absolute ruler King Mswati III who, she said, had recently bought an airliner while his people starved. She said women were particularly victimized because they had few rights.

‘Swazis are reduced to eating cow dung so they can fill their bellies as required for the AIDS medicines provided by NGOs’, she said.

Tony Dykes, Director of the NGO Action for Southern Africa, said something must be done before the situation in Swaziland gets even worse. Polly Jones of Unison, Britain’s biggest public sector union, said workers in Swaziland had had no pay rise in years despite annual inflation now reaching 9%.

The Labour Shadow Minister for International Development, Rushanara Ali MP, said Swaziland was not being challenged enough by the outside world about its human rights record.

Zimbabwe Vigil Co-ordinators

The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe.

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Save Conservancy - Article in the Herald and a Response

The Herald, 30th August 2012
Isdore Guvamombe Features Editor
In the past two weeks or so, Save Valley Conservancy in Chiredzi, south of Masvingo, has hogged
the limelight for all the wrong reasons, yet when one follows the hullabaloo with a trained ear, many
people involved seem to miss the real points, facts and context. It is critical to start with general
historical facts about wildlife in Zimbabwe before going into the new era that has caused many
heartaches, confusion and tongue lashing, even among Cabinet ministers.
First, Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) had a wildlife policy that took a turn in 1975, through the National
Parks and Wildlife Act. The 1975 Act took away all the wildlife from the indigenous people and
redistributed it between the State and the white farmers. The white farmers then started having private
wildlife conservancies but were keeping wildlife on behalf of the State, which allocated them hunting
quotas for harvesting.
The Act deprived the majority blacks of wildlife by classifying them as poachers after meat, and
classified whites as conservationists and professional hunters.
This was based on the belief that blacks only needed meat while the whites needed the precious
trophy as in ivory, horns and hides. Blacks protested. Rhodesia then made another proclamation called
the Windfall, which meant that blacks from the communities surrounding the conservancies would
occasionally, get a “windfall” of meat when an elephant was shot and killed during the whiteman’s
professional hunting.
The whites took away the precious ivory and sold it in markets in Europe and Asia for thousands
of dollars while blacks shared the meat. The local chief was given the elephant trunk as a sign of
respect. Compare the pieces of meat given to each family with the US$20 000 hunting price for an
elephant. It should be noted that the majority of Zimbabweans do not generally eat elephant meat but
only taste it when it is available. Elephant meat has never been part of the menu of Africans.
Game meat from buffalo and other large plains game, which has historically been part of the main
relish menu of blacks was turned into biltong for international markets in Europe and Asia and shops
in cities and the blacks were never given that meat.
At independence in 1980 the blacks continued to protest and, in 1982, the new Government of
Zimbabwe tried to solve the issue through the Communal Areas Management Programme for
Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE). While this was a good project that brought real benefits to the
black people in terms of sharing of hunting dividends, construction of schools, clinics roads and real
life benefits, it was restricted mainly to Guruve, Gokwe, Hurungwe and Binga where there was State
land teeming with wildlife. The white farmers or private conservancies were not touched.
The Save Valley Conservancy is situated in the south-eastern Lowveld of Zimbabwe and covers
approximately 342 123 square kilometres and was never part of the Rhodesian wildlife conservancy
matrix. Since colonialism, this area was predominantly used for cattle ranching until 1991 when
intermittent droughts and erratic rainfall patterns forced 21 white property owners to abandon cattle
ranching and form the Save Valley Conservancy that has become a sore of Zimbabwe’s wildlife based
land reform programme.
It should be noted that the massive drought served as a catalyst to change overall land use from
cattle ranching to conservation. Setting aside personal agendas, dividing fences and differences of
opinion individual ranchers worked to create an enormous wildlife reserve. There we must give credit
where it is due. It was quite a good job.
The Government approved the plan and even assisted Save Valley Conservancy access a loan
facility to restock the conservancy with wildlife. But operationally the new conservancy adopted the
Rhodesian mentality, dwelling on the Windfall system with slight modifications.
There are times when villagers from the surrounding communities were made to buy elephant meat
for US$1 per kg from Save Valley Conservancy instead of giving them for free. There are times and
many people can testify, when villagers who did not have cash were asked to batter trade with hardearned
sorghum and rapoko (the drought-resistant grain crops villagers managed to harvest in that
drought prone area).
It is important at this stage to note that out of the 21 properties that today form the Save Valley
Conservancy, only one – Sango Ranch – owned by Wilfried Pabst is protected under BIPPA, through
the German government. To date, this property has not been allocated to any indigenous person yet its
owner is in the forefront of demonising the whole process. This is fact not fiction.
At the dawn of the Land Reform Programme, all land in Zimbabwe ceased to belong to individuals
and reverted to the State. Remember all the wild animals are still State property and National Parks and
Wildlife Management Authority only gives one permission.
After the formation of Save Valley Conservancy, the area became an island surrounded by a sea of
poverty, thus maintaining the Rhodesian scenario. It became isolated, secluded and a no-go area for
blacks to the extent that no one from villagers to journalists and Government officials would easily get
access to it and its happenings.
Several airstrips became dotted where private jets landed and did business without national security
scrutiny. There has always been suspicion of underhand dealings and the latest refusal to allow black
players to partner with the former owners further strengthens this suspicion.
It must be interesting to note that Save Valley Conservancy is not the only one affected by the land
reform programme. There is Bubi and Bubiana in Matabeleland South, there is Gwayi in Matabeleland
North and there is Sebakwe in Midlands, among others yet the noise is coming from Save Valley only.
The reason is simple, being the largest European island in Africa, Save Valley Conservancy was the
capital of the last vestige of hard core Rhodesians and is using the German BIPPA to leverage
What the Save Valley Conservancy has done is to use the hosting of forthcoming United Nations
World Tourism Organisation 2013 General Assembly to hold the nation’s wildlife-based land reform
programme at ransom.
Since the wildlife-based land reform programme was promulgated in 2006 and the 25-year leases
given to the indigenes in 2007, there has been fierce resistance by the former white owners so much that
without resistance from them, this country would be past that phase.
Until two weeks ago, National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority has been withholding,
since 2007, hunting permits, demanding that there be order between the political leadership in
Masvingo, the new farmers and the old farmers. The reason was simple: Parks did not want to be part
of the selection criteria and also the brewing conflicts. If anything the new lease holders have been too
patient to remain on the sidelines with papers in their hands instead of moving in to do business.
When the wildlife-based land reform policy was adopted in 2006 the issue of the hosting of the
UNWTO was nowhere in the picture and when the leases were subsequently allocated in 2007, the
hosting of the UNWTO General Assembly was still not even thought of.
To link the two is therefore political mischief on the part of the former white owners who are not
being evicted but are being told to co-exist with new players.
The adverts being flighted in newspapers about emaciated blacks, whose ribs one can count but
trying to take over Save Valley and destroying wildlife are ironic and racist. They are typical of the
Rhodesian propaganda scare tactics and should be condemned with the contempt they deserve.
Then comes the issue of the beneficiaries. It is fact not fiction that some of the beneficiaries own
land elsewhere and that cannot escape scrutiny. But the selection of beneficiaries was done by the
Chiredzi District land committee and endorsed by the Masvingo provincial land committee. If there
is a problem with the criteria then that is Masvingo’s problem. But on further investigation the 25-year
leases have no guarantee of being extended and therefore one might need another piece of land as a fallback
Early this year National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority refused to renew 10-year-leases
that had expired and those were for some of the most senior service chiefs, among other senior citizens.
So that example means one would need somewhere to fall back on. This is unlike the 99-year leases
for the other land reform component.
By and large, the new beneficiaries have to really invest in cash into conservancies because in order
to harvest the wildlife, one needs to employ a professional hunter, erect hunting camps, drill artificial
water holes and market their quota.
The issue at Save Valley Conservancy is that of the last resistance to indigenisation of the wildlife
sector, forever, the preserve of whites in Rhodesia and the first two decades of Zimbabwe.
When the dust eventually settles, the former white farmers will have to come to terms with the
reality that Save Valley Conservancy cannot remain an island in Zimbabwe, feeding the pockets of one
Response to an article which appeared in The Herald newspaper in Zimbabwe
on 30th July 2012 written by the Features Editor, Isadore Guvamombe
This article is a racial diatribe calculated to foment division between
blacks and whites in Zimbabwe. Guvamombe, whilst claiming to present the
‘historical facts’ relating to wildlife in Zimbabwe, presents a narrative which
is ignorant of the facts, perverts the facts and creates facts which never
existed. The author is a stranger to the truth.
Guvamombe’s rant does, however, throw into stark contrast two totally
different approaches to wildlife in Zimbabwe. These approaches have
nothing to do with race and there are white and black supporters of both
For one group, the cornerstone of Zimbabwe wildlife policy is the simple
principle that by creating Appropriate Authorities in legislation, wildlife will
be managed and protected by the persons who occupy land – be it private
land, communal land or parks. This empowerment creates the incentive to
husband the resource and to use it sustainably as a high-valued land use.
Conservation is not necessarily the driver of the process but it turns out to be
the consequence of this approach.
The other group, epitomised by Guvamombe’s interpretation of wildlife
issues, see wildlife as a resource owned by the State to which access will be
parcelled out by Government. The fact that this is inconsistent with the
provisions of the law escapes them. It opens the door for a political élite to
capture the resource but it does nothing to encourage long term investment in
wildlife or its sustainable use. It is an approach which has failed in every
African country which espouses it.
Guvamombe does not understand the principle of self-determination
which has underpinned Zimbabwean policy and wildlife legislation. His
vision of the world is one where Government (or the Party) is responsible for
all access to wildlife and all the benefits take the form of largesse delivered
under political patronage to a constituency.
1. Bond, I. & Cumming, D. H. M. (2006). Wildlife research and development.Pages 465-496, In:
Rukuni M, P. Tawonezi, C. Eicher, M. Munyuki-Hungwe & P. Matondi, (eds) (2006) Zimbabwe’s
agricultural revolution revisited. University of Zimbabwe Publications, Harare. 728pp.
The history of wildlife in Zimbabwe is one of which every Zimbabwean,
black or white, can be proud. Zimbabwe has led the way in southern Africa
by adopting liberal and far-sighted policies, and giving effect to these policies
through enlightened legislation and innovative institutional reforms that have
enabled all Zimbabweans to benefit from wildlife as a land use without racial
discrimination. It is an insult to those pioneering Ministers such as Victoria
Chitepo and Herbert Murerwa to cast their efforts in such a poor light as
Guvamombe has done.
Once upon a time ... not so long ago ... Zimbabwe enjoyed a respected
status in international treaties such as CITES and the CBD based on its
performance in the realm of wildlife conservation and sustainable
development. As a result of outpourings from a few individuals such as
Guvamombe, that status is now in jeopardy.
But international status is not the key issue. All of Africa is reaching a
tipping point where the available natural resources are unable to support the
human populations attempting to live off them. As a higher valued land use,
wildlife development offers an escape from this poverty trap. Sadly, it is
through articles such as this that the opportunities for improved human
livelihoods will be foreclosed.
Rowan B. Martin (Independent Wildlife Consultant)
1. The author is at the moment preparing a more detailed review of
Guvamombe’s article which should be available in a few days.
2. Bond & Cumming (2006) give an unbiased review of the history of
wildlife development in Zimbabwe.1

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