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Chinese take over several prisons

September 10, 2012 in News

A Chinese company plans to buy several prison complexes located close to
central business districts in cities and towns in Zimbabwe and convert them
into China City malls, as the Far Eastern nation continues to entrench its
domination in the country, highly placed sources have said.

Senior officials in the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs and at
Zimbabwe Prison Services (ZPS) last week said negotiations for the
acquisition of the Harare Central and Remand Prisons and staff houses close
to Newlands were at an advanced stage, while talks for the takeover of other
properties were still to begin.

An official said the Chinese wanted to raze the prison complex and staff
houses and develop China City with several shops, a hotel, wholesale shops,
a market and restaurants, in a deal said to be worth millions of dollars.

“We have been told to prepare to relocate to Chikurubi Prison Farm, where
the Chinese will build and complete a new prison within six months of
signing the agreement,” said a ZPS source.

Under the proposed deal, the remand prison will be relocated to Chikurubi
Prison, while the Central prison will be moved to a new site in Marondera,
70km away, the ZPS official said.

A ministry of Justice official said although the Chinese said they would
build China City at the Harare Central Prison site, initial indications were
that the company wanted to set up a factory to manufacture military

Permanent Secretary for Justice, David Mangota, confirmed to The Standard in
Kadoma on Friday that indeed a Chinese company had approached the government
through the Ministry of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development with a
proposal to buy Harare Central Prison.

“They approached us wanting to develop that area as it is close to the CBD,
which goes hand in hand with the nature of business they want to go into,”
he said.

“Our response was that we cannot refuse with that land, but we have given
them conditions which they have to meet first,” he said.

Mangota said the ministry wanted the Chinese to first build a new prison in
Marondera, incorporating a Women’s open prison, accommodation for staff and
a workshop.

He said the model would be copied in other cities, where prisons are located
in the CBD.

Mangota could not name the Chinese company involved in the deal or reveal
exactly what they really wanted to do with the land.

ZPS sources said it was suspected that the Chiadzwa-based diamond mining
company, Anjin, was behind the deal.

But Anjin company secretary, Charles Tarumbwa, professed total ignorance of
the deal.

“Maybe it’s another Chinese company and not Anjin,” he said.

“The only development we are doing in Harare is the hotel project in
Belvedere, close to the National Sports Stadium.”

ZPS spokesperson, Elizabeth Banda, said there was no official position yet,
as the matter needed the input of both the ministry of Public Works and that
of Local Government.

“Nothing has exchanged hands yet as there is need for input from other
relevant departments,” she said.

“Modernisation of our prisons has always been our dream. We always look
forward to the improvement of our prisons and staff accommodation. This
motivates us, as we will be working in a safe and healthy environment.”

Banda said although the current prison population was 14 000 against a
capacity of 17 000, the condition of the correctional facilities needed a
major revamp.

The Harare Central Prison complex stretches from Enterprise Road and borders
KG6 Barracks, and ZRP’s Tomilson’s and Morris Depots.

It houses more than 4 000 inmates and over 2 000 families.

Chinese investments raising eyebrows

Chinese investments throughout the country continue to be a cause of raised
eyebrows, amid suspicions they could be mostly financed from proceeds from
the mining of diamonds in Marange.

The Chinese provided loans for the construction of the National Defence
College and are involved in a number of other infrastructure development
projects which are said to be funded from diamond proceeds.

Minister of Local Government, Urban and Rural Development, Ignatius Chombo,
could not be reached for comment.

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Mugabe invites Ncube to Principals meeting, then postpones it

By Tichaona Sibanda
11 September 2012

MDC leader Welshman Ncube was on Tuesday invited to attend his first ever
Principals meeting, which was however postponed as Robert Mugabe spent much
time meeting his negotiating team.

Ncube confirmed to SW Radio Africa that he had been invited to attend the
indaba, which was due to begin immediately after the Tuesday cabinet
meeting. Tsvangirai was also due to attend the meeting.

‘We were put on standby and after waiting for a while the President told us
he was unable to meet us today as he wanted to meet Emmerson Mnangagwa,
Patrick Chinamasa and Nicholas Goche.

‘So the meeting that only took place was the ZANU PF internal one involving
its negotiators and Mugabe. We would be advised in due course when it has
been rescheduled to,’ Ncube said.

He said the meeting was about the deadlock in the draft constitutional
process, but he said they would not be opening up negotiations.

‘We have made our position public, so were merely going to officially and in
person tell him that we’ve endorsed the draft and we are not going to open
up any negotiations,’ Ncube added.

The MDC formations accuse ZANU PF of stalling progress on the new charter
that was released by COPAC two months. Mugabe’s party has insisted it wants
sweeping amendments to the final draft.

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Harare gripped with fear as soldiers embark on revenge attacks

By Tichaona Sibanda
11 September 2012

The Zimbabwe National Army on Tuesday deployed its military police to
restore order and peace at the Charge Office commuter omnibus rank in

This was after some of its members embarked on revenge attacks on touts and
rank marshals, who on Thursday last week assaulted two uniformed members of
the army in broad daylight.

On Monday evening a group of 20 soldiers went on the loose and
indiscriminately attacked touts and rank marshals at the Charge Office rank.
They also beat up innocent bystanders, including women.

This was followed by another mop up operation which involved soldiers in
civilian clothes stationing themselves at strategic points at the rank on
Tuesday morning.

Our Harare correspondent Simon Muchemwa told us the soldiers carried out
surveillance on touts, who were demanding protection fees from rank marshals
and drivers. The touts recently increased the fees they demand for a single
trip from US$2 to US$3.

‘As soon as money exchanged hands, the soldiers pounced on the touts, rank
marshals and drivers whom they beat up. The soldiers accused the touts for
extorting money from the drivers while the drivers and rank marshals were
not spared for giving in to the touts’ demands.

‘Essentially what the soldiers were saying was that they wanted to get rid
of all the extortion business as it had brought anarchy to the streets of
Harare,’ Muchemwa said.

Surprisingly, all the disturbances took place right at the door step of the
Harare central police station, which is merely 10 metres from the rank. But
Muchemwa said no police details intervened, much to the consternation of the
public who were caught up in the cross-fire.

He said the soldiers had vowed to continue with the assaults until the touts
who beat up their colleagues owned up. After the morning disturbances there
was relative calm until about lunch time when the soldiers returned
promising to beat up people again.

‘This time the military police quickly intervened and stopped the violence
escalating. There is still tension in the area no really knows when they
will pounce again on unsuspecting innocent victims who have been caught up
in the kombi wars,’ Muchemwa said.

It is alleged some of the soldiers threatened to come back armed, and shoot
dead the touts if they dared extort money from the Kombi drivers and rank
marshals. It is also widely believed the gang that assaulted people at the
Charge Office bus terminus last week, the ‘mandimbandimba’s are an off-shoot
of the notorious Mbare based outfit, Chipangano.

The gang already controls most flea markets, council owned flats and other
bus ranks across Harare. The gang is also synonymous with violence and
intimidation in Harare and for years has led attacks against perceived
supporters of anyone opposed to ZANU PF.

During their reign of havoc last week they assaulted drivers who refused to
hand over their three dollar fee. Some were strangled and slapped and others
were forced to kneel on the ground and beg for forgiveness.

The gang members reportedly arrived at the bus terminus in top-of-the range
cars, including black BMW X5s, Range Rovers and Mercedes Benz MLs. They were
also seen wearing designer suits and black tops inscribed with the words

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Judge reserves Tsvangirai/Locadia judgement to Wednesday

By Tichaona Sibanda
11 September 2012

High Court Judge Antonia Guvava on Tuesday reserved Judgement on an urgent
application filed by Locardia Karimatsenga Tembo last week, seeking an
interdict to stop Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s wedding this
weekend.The Premier is due to wed Elizabeth Macheka in Harare on Saturday.

The emergency chamber application was heard in Harare for nearly three

Following lengthy deliberations between Karimatsenga’s lawyer, Jonathan
Samukange, and Innocent Chagonda representing Tsvangirai, the Judge ruled
that she would deliver her judgement at 3pm Wednesday.

Whilst Tsvangirai spent the morning in cabinet and then at his new home in
Highlands, Karimatsenga was seen by journalists holed up at Tanganyika
building, that houses the offices of her lawyer, Samkange.

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Teachers moot crippling strike

Tuesday, 11 September 2012 13:19
HARARE - As schools open for the third term today, students sitting for end
of year public examinations face an uncertain future.

Underpaid teachers say they are planning a crippling strike, most likely in
October when examinations are due.

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) president Takavafira Zhou said
government should “do something” to improve teacher morale to avoid a strike
action that could disturb exam classes.

“Teachers’ minimum expectations are salaries that are in line with the
poverty datum line currently above $550 as well as their traditional bonuses
or the government ought to brace for an industrial action before the
commencement of Grade 7, Ordinary level and Advanced level national public
examinations,” said Zhou.

Civil servants are earning an average of $300 and they have constantly
lobbied government to review their salaries upwards. Government says it is
too broke to afford such salaries.

Zhou said the recently completed national census had already short-changed
students hence the need for government to compensate for lost time.

“The mid-year 2012 local examinations were hurriedly administered and marked
by teachers due to the panic approach that characterised the just ended
national census,” he said.

“It would be callous and unfair for this government not to act in a manner
that will help to avoid any more time wastage to children’s learning,” he

Schools closed early last term and many schools failed to conduct their
traditional holiday lessons as teachers were tied up with the census

PTUZ secretary-general Raymond Majongwe said the school term would start
normally as teachers wait for government and umbrella civil servants union,
the Apex Council, to come up with a solution.

“We are consulting our members and a more pronounced position will be out on
the World Teacher’s Day on October 5. There are so many other players in the
business now, Zimta, the Apex Council, which we have to resonate with,” said

“But it is obvious that striking is inevitable, with no increment for civil
servants while on the other hand parliamentarians have agreed to share $8
million. So we can only be fools if we keep quiet,” he said.

Parents who spoke to the Daily News yesterday said though school fees had
remained largely unchanged, they were struggling to raise the required
amounts ahead of the commencement of the term.

“Students always have a one month school holiday. I have only those 31 days
to raise $1 000 in school fees for my three children plus around $500 for
groceries, pocket money, transport and stationery,” said a parent Shepherd

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SA's arms sales to Zim 'above board'

GRAEME HOSKEN | 11 September, 2012 00:14

The sale of military equipment to Zimbabwe has sparked outrage and calls for
the government to explain its actions.

The discovery of the sale of hardware worth more than R2-billion was
revealed in answers to parliamentary questions by DA MP David Maynier

Maynier was questioning the chairman of the National Conventional Arms
Control Committee, Justice Minister Jeff Radebe, about the export of
military hardware.

In its quarterly report for April to June, the committee revealed it had
sold more than R2.7-billion worth of equipment, with R18.1-billion in arms
sale contracts still pending.

The report showed South Africa had exported millions of rands worth of
category C equipment to Zimbabwe and more than R500 000 worth of category A
equipment to Rwanda.

Category A equipment includes artillery, ammunition and mortar bombs.
Category C includes armoured vehicles other than combat vehicles, military
radios and unmanned vehicles.

While Maynier said he would demand answers over the sale of military
equipment to Zimbabwe, a defence analyst said the alarm cannot be raised

Analyst Helmoed Heitman said while the European Union and the US had arms
embargoes on Zimbabwe, the United Nations did not, so there was nothing
stopping South Africa from exporting weapons to Zimbabwe.

"The equipment we have sold is minute and is non-combative. While some would
question the sale of military equipment to Zimbabwe, serious questions need
to be asked over the sale of weapons to Rwanda, especially as it includes
ammunition," he said.

In June, the UN highlighted Rwanda's links to the M23 rebel group's
operations in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where a bloody
conflict is being waged between that country's government and various

Heitman said although Rwanda's involvement could not be proved, it was not
in doubt.

He said it had to be understood that because South Africa and Zimbabwe were
part of the Southern African Development Community and the SADC stand-by
brigade, both countries had to contribute to the military peace force.

'This means that should both countries be deployed together on a
peacekeeping mission, they would have to operate together.

"To operate together means they have to have the same or very similar
equipment, which is what these sales - especially of radios and other
communication equipment - is about."

Heitman said South Africa's sale of weapons was not unusual.

"We currently sell more than R1-billion worth of mine-protected and
mine-detection vehicles to the US military for its operations in
Afghanistan. We also sell equipment for fighter aircraft and submarines to
different nations."

Maynier said it was not known what military equipment had been sold to

"We do not know what this equipment includes or the quantity. They say it is
one thing, but it could be something completely different."

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Scepticism over US$100m South Africa loan

11/09/2012 00:00:00
by Business Day

SOUTH Africa’s Treasury confirmed on Monday that Zimbabwean Finance Minister
Tendai Biti would meet his counterpart Pravin Gordhan later this month after
the cash-strapped country asked for support from South Africa.

The department in Pretoria confirmed in a statement that a meeting was
planned this month but, like Biti, did not give details.
Biti said he was seeking $150m from South Africa and Angola as part of a
general appeal to the 15-nation Southern African Development Community

"Gordhan is scheduled to meet his Zimbabwean counterpart, Tendai Biti, this
month to discuss Zimbabwe’s request for further financial assistance. The
request will thereafter be discussed by the South African Cabinet," the
statement said.

Intense pressure on Zimbabwe’s public finances is compounding the rising
political tensions between Zanu (PF) and the Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) over the draft constitution and the prospect of fresh elections next

Biti is fighting to plug a $400m deficit in this year’s national budget.
The $3.4bn budget suffered a setback after diamond mining companies
operating in Marange failed to provide a $600m contribution to the budget,
which had been set at $4bn.

Biti was then forced to slash the country’s gross domestic product growth
forecast in July, from 9.4% to 5.6%, due to low diamond revenue streams, a
poor harvest and slow donor funding.

Botswana last week approved a $70m loan to Zimbabwe, fulfilling its promise
in 2009 to help the country rebuild its economy.
Analysts in Harare were sceptical about Biti’s chances of success. Economics
professor Tony Hawkins, of the University of Zimbabwe, said Biti made a
tactical error by saying he would spend the loan he would seek from South
Africa on extra payments to public servants.

"I now expect a hardened stance from South Africa, as it doesn’t make sense
to borrow to pay public servants. Perhaps Sadc would have been more
forthcoming had he asked for money for either the referendum or elections,"
Hawkins said.

Political analyst Charles Mangongera said: "The begging bowl will come back
empty. Countries in the Sadc region are also confronted by their own
economic problems.

"Moreover, they are not convinced that it is prudent to pour resources into
this fragile coalition government. I think they will wait until the
political impasse is resolved and a legitimate government is in place."

Prof Hawkins said he doubted President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu (PF) would
concede more political reforms in order to secure loans from Sadc states.

"The economic problems in the country dent the MDC’s image — as it is in
charge of the Treasury — more than they do Zanu (PF). They have more to gain
if Mr Biti fails to get anything from Sadc," he said.

Economist Eric Bloch said that some Sadc governments with the resources to
help Zimbabwe would prefer to wait until a stable post-election government
was in place.

"I foresee Sadc being divided in its approach — some countries will be
willing to assist with funds, while others will take a more cautious
approach," Mr Bloch said.

South Africa has helped Zimbabwe financially before. The department’s
statement said it had paid R300m from its African Renaissance Fund to a Sadc
agricultural programme — some of which was spent on seeds, fertiliser and
fuel for Zimbabwe — under an agreement in 2008.

It also gave R300m as a budget support grant to rehabilitate municipal
infrastructure covering water reticulation, health services and education.

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Firestorm over Mugabe's comments

BY ALICIA DUNKLEY-WILLIS Observer senior reporter
Tuesday, September 11, 2012

JAMAICA House was last night yet to comment formally on unflattering
comments attributed to President of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe about Jamaican
culture at a recent regional three-day Expo in Harare, Zimbabwe, which is
causing a firestorm in diplomatic circles.
On Sunday, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Senator AJ
Nicholson said Jamaica was seeking to verify the authenticity of the remarks
attributed to the president of Zimbabwe, after which, Prime Minister Portia
Simpson Miller would respond. Yesterday, however, a ministry official said
they were yet to verify whether the statements attributed to Mugabe were in
fact made but said Senator Nicholson was expected to say more on the matter
shortly. Senator Nicholson, the Jamaica Observer was told, was unable to
respond to queries as he was locked in a Cabinet meeting.

In the meantime, a member of staff of the communications unit in the Office
of the Prime Minister told the Observer that she was not sure when there
would be a response on the issue.
Commenting Sunday night on reports of Mugabe's comments, Senator Nicholson
said "we strongly reject the suggestions contained in the news item. Jamaica
is a nation characterised by adherence to democratic principles and the rule
of law".
"Jamaican men and women from all walks of life have made valuable
contributions to national development and have made their mark on the world
stage, be it in the field of politics, diplomacy, medicine, science and
technology, or sports and culture, among many others," he added.
The foreign minister said the country took "immense pride in the
acknowledged contribution that Jamaica has made to the liberation of
Southern Africa and was gratified that nations such as South Africa and
Zimbabwe enjoy the right to choose their own destiny".
"We need not remind that Jamaicans such as Marcus Garvey, Michael Manley,
Bob Marley and Dudley Thompson have advocated for and inspired generations
of our brothers and sisters both in Africa and in the African diaspora. We
believe that our contribution to the promotion of peace and social justice
is recognised and appreciated by all well-thinking people across the globe".
Zimbabwe's media reported recently that Mugabe who, on Wednesday, opened the
Expo held under the theme, "Research, Innovation and Creativity for
Sustainable Development", told academics, dignitaries, business people, and
government officials from across the country and the region that Jamaica was
"a country of marijuana smokers, where women are now taking charge since men
are always sloshed".
It was reported that Mugabe expressed the wish that Zimbabwe never followed
the footsteps of Jamaicans, whose influence on the country has been all too
Those supposed remarks have drawn the ire of Opposition Spokesperson on
Youth, Sports, Gender Affairs, Entertainment and Culture, Olivia "Babsy"
Grange who yesterday called on the Government to demand an apology from
President Mugabe.
According to the newspaper report, Mugabe said: "In Jamaica, they have
freedom to smoke mbanje, varume vanogara vakadhakwa (men are always drunk)
and universities are full of women. The men want to sing and do not go to
colleges vamwe vanobva vamonwa musoro (some are dreadlocked). Let us not go
Said Grange: "I find Mr Mugabe's statements alarming, to say the least, as
he has been to Jamaica and is very much aware that those views are quite
contrary to the facts in Jamaica. If true, it is startling that someone, who
has himself claimed that his country is a victim of imperceptions fed by the
international media, should be using these misconceptions of Jamaican
society to describe our people at such a forum of students, intellectual and
business and social leaders in his country."
She added that if Mugabe's comments were found to be true, it would be an
affront to the people of Jamaica who have stood in solidarity, both
culturally and politically, with the people of Zimbabwe in their struggle
for liberation.

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Election Support Network: Zimbabweans Politically Traumatized

Jonga Kandemiiri

The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) says 90 percent of people in
Mashonaland Central East and West provinces do not want to publicly identify
themselves with Zimbabwe’s political parties due to fears of being

In its July/August report released Monday, ZESN said many citizens feel
unsafe to wear T-shirts and related material associated with some political

They said Zanu PF supporters are normally free to use their party regalia
because they are not victimized by members of other parties.

The organization further said 80 percent of people in Zimbabwe’s second
largest city, Bulawayo, are free to use political party regalia without any

A recent survey conducted by the Mass Public Opinion Institute had similar
findings though the nation-wide poll indicated that 47 percent of
Zimbabweans do not want to be associated in public with political parties.

ZESN director Rindai Chipfunde-Vava said the only way to deal with this
problem is through conducting public awareness campaigns on the rights of
voters by all political parties and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

Meanwhile, our Midlands correspondent Taurai Shava reports that as the three
political parties in Zimbabwe’s unity government fight over the drafting of
the nation’s new constitution, non-governmental organizations are pressing
ahead with a campaign encouraging youths to register as voters.

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Vic Falls club illegally seized by government

By Tererai Karimakwenda
10 September, 2012

Tour operators in Zimbabwe are concerned about their future after a recent
government takeover of the Victoria Falls Boating Club.

According to Newsday newspaper, government plans to establish their own
boating facility at the Club ahead of the United Nations World Tourism
Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly due in Vic Falls next year.

The Boating Club was last month given a six-month notice to vacate their
premises by the Ministry of Local Government, Urban and Rural Development,
from whom they have leased the land since 1972.

Newsday said the eviction notice followed deadlocked negotiations over rent
increases that had been imposed by the Ministry, which required the Boating
Club to pay increased rentals of $4,629 per year, but backdated to 2008.
This brought the total owed by the Club to over $16,000.

The pending WTO general assembly due in Vic Falls has seen many ZANU PF
chefs scrambling to position themselves to make a lot of money.

This theft of companies and land has been ongoing and Ben Freeth, spokesman
for SADC Tribunal Rights Watch, told SW Radio Africa the chaos all over the
country is a symptom of the breakdown in the rule of law and lack of respect
for property rights.

“It’s no different than in the past where as we head towards an election
people get rewarded and their greed is only satisfied by being able to grab
property,” Freeth explained, adding: “It is very disturbing. I see the next
generation wanting to leave the country and taking their skills elsewhere.”

According to Newsday the Boating Club is run by a board that is “dominated
by white business people”. Asked about this, Freeth said they had hoped
things like racism would change when the coalition government was formed but
this has not happened.

“We see that in the Constitution the MDC has agreed for land to continue to
be taken and people have no right to go to court. The rule of law must be
re-established,” Freeth said.

He added that many foreign investors that attended a conference in South
Africa earlier this year told him they would not risk their money in
Zimbabwe under the current conditions, even though the country has more
potential than its neighbors.

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ZANU PF officials implicated in wildlife bribes scam

By Tererai Karimakwenda
11 September, 2012

A group of ZANU PF officials who were recently given land and granted
hunting licenses in the Save Valley Conservancy have been accused of trying
to sell the licences back to the white owners, whose licenses were

The allegations came from the Conservancy’s Vice Chairman, Wilfried Pabst,
who reportedly said all 25 beneficiaries have been approaching his
“colleagues and business partners”, demanding bribes that ranged from
$10,000 to $100,000 in exchange for their permits.

According to the Daily News newspaper, Pabst said the Conservancy turned the
bribes down because they “could not entertain such mafia style operations”.
He described the bribes as “blackmail” which had nothing to do with

The ZANU PF officials were granted concessions by the National Parks and
Wildlife under the guise of indigenization in July, ignoring warnings about
the destruction their actions would bring to the valuable wildlife in the
Save Conservancy.

There is also concern that the Conservancy-based land grabs could jeopardise
Zimbabwe’s foreign investment opportunities, ahead of the UN World Tourism
Organization General Assembly, due in Victoria Falls next year.

The list of beneficiaries of the hunting licences and land grab include the
Minister of Higher Education Stan Mudenge, Masvingo governor Titus Maluleke
and war vet and former legislator Shuvai Mahofa. A more detailed list
published last week included top military officials and ZANU PF legislators,
as well as war vet leader Joseph Chinotimba.

They are said to be part of a land grab campaign known as the “Masvingo
Initiative”, who plan to takeover conservancies and hunting concessions
using ZANU PF’s so-called land reform and empowerment policies.

Johnny Rodrigues from the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force confirmed said
that greed has taken over and there is a lot of corruption taking place in
the conservancies. “The only people that are benefiting are one-sided party
faithful and these guys are really milking the country,” Rodrigues

He told SW Radio Africa they have been saying for years that ZANU PF would
target the conservancies once they destroyed the ranches, and this is now
happening. It is feared the National Parks, where wildlife is protected, may
be next.

Regarding the beneficiaries, Rodrigues said: “They are not actually
conservationists. All they are interested in is fattening their wallets. The
rural people should be part of the stakeholders so that they become your
anti-poaching corridor. But at the moment they do not benefit at all.”

War vet Shuvai Mahofa, one of those granted a hunting licence, is reported
to have openly admitted she is only concerned with making money. According
to the Daily News, she dismissed allegations that they were destroying the
conservancies as “rubbish” and added “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.”

Asked to answer allegations that she lacked wildlife management and hunting
skills, Mahofa said: “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.

She added: “Business is very good and there is free money to be made out

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New bail application for 29 MDC members

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

A new bail application for the 29 MDC members who are in remand prison on
false charges of murdering a police officer in Glen View, Harare last year
will be heard tomorrow Wednesday at the High Court.

On Monday, Justice Chinembiri Bhunu granted the defence lawyers request to
make a fresh bail application based on changed circumstances. The bail
application has been set down for 2:30PM before the trial judge.

The MDC members have another separate bail application pending at the
Supreme Court.

The trial was supposed to resume on Monday but was postponed to 24 September
after the State prosecutors said they were busy with other cases.

The accused have been in remand prison since their indictment for trial in
March. Several attempts by their lawyers in the past to apply for bail at
the High Court have failed after Justice Bhunu claimed there were no changed

Some of the MDC members have been in remand prison for nearly 16 months.
Among those in remand are; Solomon Madzore, the MDC National Youth Asembly
chairperson and Last Maengahama, a National Executive member.

Meanwhile, one of the activists Nyamadzawo Gapara who was in the Intensive
Care Unit at a private hospital has been discharged back to remand prison
hospital. He managed to attend court on Monday.

My voice is in. My vote is YES!!!

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Zimbabwe Avails $6 Million For War Vets Children's Fees

Irwin Chifera, Tatenda Gumbo

Finance Minister Tendai Biti says Zimbabwe is expected to disburse $6
million for the payment of third term school fees for children of former
liberation war fighters of the 1970s as thousands of state-sponsored
students are in danger of being barred from classes.

In his state of the economy address, Biti said it is important for the
government to meet its financial obligations by paying the school fees.

He said this is part of the war veterans's benefits for participating in the
nation's liberations struggle.

Some war veterans said the funds are not yet reflecting in their bank
accounts as schools are set to open Tuesday despite promises by the
government last week to pay the fees by Monday.

But Andy Mhlanga, former secretary general of the Zimbabwe National
Liberation War Veterans Association, said funds are disbursed to the
ministry responsible for war veterans before being deposited into individual

The money set aside by the government for paying school fees for war
veterans’ children is $5 million more than the Ministry of Education’s
eight-month budget from January to August this year.

The government stopped paying such fees at the peak of the country’s
economic crisis and resumed the exercise soon after the formation of the
unity government in 2009.

Meanwhile, thousands of students under the government-sponsored cadetship
scheme are in danger of being barred from classes as state universities are
refusing to register students due to non-payment of outstanding tuition

Reports say some 50,000 students expected soon to attend lessons at national
tertiary institutions, have been barred from classes as they owe
universities a combined $100 million.

Higher Education Minister Stan Mudenge said the government has so far
released $1 million for the cadetship program instead of $42 million.

Under the cadetshp scheme, the government pays fees for students who are
then expected to work in Zimbabwe after completing college for an equal
number of years they received state funding.

Students Solidarity Trust president Masimba Nyamanhindi told VOA all
government agenices involved in the cadetship scheme need to work together
in order to ensure the smooth operation of the cadetship scheme.

In Mutare, our correspondent reports that more than 40 motorists who
provided private vehicles for conducting Zimbabwe’s national population
census say they have not yet been paid their allowances - almost two weeks
after the exercise ended.

The disgruntled motorists said the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency
promised to pay them $50 a day but has since reneged on the agreement.

They said they have filed a formal complaint and handed over the matter to
the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Hhuman Rights.

One of the affected motorists, Elton Madzivire, said they used their
vehicles for two weeks to transport enumerators in Manicaland Province and
were dumped by Zimstat soon after the completion of the national population

They were vetted by the state-controlled Central Mechanical and Engineering
Department (CMED) before being hired by Zimstat.

There was no immediate comment from Zimstat and the central mechanical

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WOZA Stages Peaceful Protests Demanding New Constitution

Chris Gande

About 250 members of activist group, Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA), staged
peaceful protests Monday in Bulawayo demanding a draft constitution and
calling for the holding of an all-stakeholders conference that will lead to
a referendum.

None of the protesters, who were in five groups, were arrested as they
marched to the offices of the state-controlled newspaper, Chronicle, where
they dumped posters inscribed with their demands.

The three principals in the government of national unity have declared a
deadlock over the constitution-making process after Zanu PF came up with its
own version of a draft document produced by the parliamentary constitution
committee a few weeks ago.

WOZA co-ordinator Jenny Williams said they want politicians to stop using
the draft constitution as a tool for garnering support at the expense of the
masses who contributed towards drafting it.

The two formations of the Movement for Democratic Change led by Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Industry Minister Welshman Ncube have
approved the draft document.

Zanu PF wants a constitution that gives the president more powers. Among the
provisions of a draft constitution submitted last month by the
government-appointed committee is one that mandates the president to share
power with parliament.

The former ruling party is against introducing dual citizenship, homosexual
rights and the U.S. style of having running mates in an election. It is also
wants the death penalty to be upheld in the new constitution, among other

The MDC parties have rejected the Zanu PF demands and declared a deadlock in
the constitution-making process. President Jacob Zuma, mediator in the
Zimbabwe political crisis, has been invited by Mr. Tsvangirai and Ncube to

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New competition leaves ZBC in red

The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation is unable to pay its employees the
August salaries after advertisers reportedly ditched the corporation
following the licensing of two commercial radio stations.

by Tavada Mafa

Star Fm and ZiFM were recently awarded commercial radio licences and are
said to be taking business away from ZBC.

Workers who spoke to TheZimbabwean on Tuesday said poor programming,
corruption and mismanagement have seen advertisers leaving the station in
droves in search of alternative media outlets.

The company, which mainly depends on advert and licence revenue, is
reportedly in a financial mess and is believed to have accumulated an
estimated overdraft of $800,000 with CBZ, its banker.

To further compound the woes of the propaganda mouthpiece is the resignation
of two senior marketing managers, Piwayi Dzuda and Moses Banda, who have
since joined Star Fm and ZIFM, respectively.

“Our financial situation for the greater part of this year has not been good
but I think the departure of Dzuda and Banda was the final nail in the
coffin. Advertisers seem to be following these guys and the new manger is
not even known in the field,” said one worker who refused to be named.

“Again, the management underestimated the power of the new stations.

They thought they were just coming in for fun but these stations are
professional and have taken over a fair amount of the market share.

ZBC is as good as dead,” he added.

The workers committee which has been fighting for employees to get their
salaries is finding the going tough.

The company has been struggling to pay its workers, relying on overdrafts to
finance its soaring wage bill driven mostly by the excessive and
unsustainable perks for the top four managers.

“These top four guys are milking the organisation”, said a senior worker in
the marketing department Workers at the state broadcasting station were on
Monday advised by management that the company had no money to pay them their
August salaries.

“CBZ is now demanding that the company should at least return a quarter of
the overdraft if it is to increase the overdraft .Our salary bill is at $400
000,” the official added.

Efforts by The Zimbabwean to get an official comment from ZBC's
spokesperson, Sivhukile Simango, were fruitless as his mobile phone was not

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Gono must answer MPs’ questions: Speaker

11/09/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

CENTRAL bank governor, Gideon Gono, should appear before Parliament’s
agriculture portfolio committee to answer questions over the bank’s US$200
million farm mechanisation scheme, the Speaker of the legislative body has

Gono has already fielded questions over the 2007-08 programme before the
Parliamentary budget committee where he clashed with some legislators after
he declined to reveal the names of beneficiaries.

But Speaker Lovemore Moyo told Tuesday: “If they (MPs) feel
that they still want further information from Gono it is within their
legitimate right as a committee to do so.

“But it must be reasonable because you do not summon someone just for the
sake of doing it, and I will not support any committee that goes beyond its
mandate and go personal on parliament issues.”

Legislators suspect the equipment, which was meant for poor farmers, may
have been handed over to underserving individuals, most of who however
failed to pay for it, leaving the central bank with a US$198 million hole in
its finances.

Clerk of Parliament Austin Zvoma recently said it was unprocedural for the
portfolio committees to summon the RBZ chief over the issue, arguing
investigation of possible irregularities should be the Anti-corruption

Moyo however, said MPs were not acting outside their mandate when summoning
the central bank chief.
“My understanding is that any committee can sanction anyone to appear before
it, as long as there is any reasonable suspicion,” Moyo said.

“As long as there is suspicion that the concerned individual will be able to
produce evidence of the investigations on the issue the committee will be
operating on. Mind you this is a Parliament business not a personal

“I always appeal to whoever is cited and invited to cooperate. We do not
want a situation of uncertainty on what transpired.”
Gono sparked a furious row with Zanu PF MP Paddy Zhanda when he told the
budget committee in July it was illegal to reveal the names of people who
benefited under the programme which was part of the central bank’s
much-maligned quasi-fiscal activities.

“Section 60 (1) of the RBZ Act [Chapter 22:15] forbids bank staff from
disclosing information relating to the affairs of the bank or a customer
unless lawfully required to do so by any court or under any enactment,” Gono

“Anybody who contravenes the section shall be guilty of an offence and
liable to a fine not exceeding level seven or imprisonment for a period not
exceeding two years or to both such fine and such imprisonment.”

State media later reported that the benefici­aries included some 400 chiefs,
2,000 headmen, 60,000 villagers and about 3,000 A2 farmers. The programme
was carried out between 2007 and 2008.

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Founder of Chipangali Wildlife orphanage dies

Staff reporter
11 September 2012

Viv Wilson, the founder of one of Zimbabwe’s most well known wildlife
orphanages, Chipangali, died in Bulawayo on Sunday evening.

His son Kevin Wilson issued a statement saying: “It is with great sadness
that my father Vivian Wilson passed away at his home in Bulawayo. He had
been struggling with kidney failure for the last week. We all know his great
love for animals, birds and all creatures in general.”

Ex game ranger Viv Wilson and his wife Paddy created the wildlife sanctuary
in 1973 as a non profit organisation dedicated to the rescue and care of
orphaned, injured, abused or confiscated wild animals. The Wilsons said
their main function was to offer a home to sick wild animals and that
Chipangali was not a zoo.

”Wherever possible, rescued animals and birds are rehabilitated and returned
to the wild. If safe release into their natural habitat is not possible,
animals are cared for and kept for educational purposes and zoological
study. In the case of endangered species, captive breeding programs may also
be undertaken.”

Viv Wilson began his career with the Zambian Government as a tsetse-fly
control operator, and it was in Zambia that the whole concept of Chipangali
was born. The word means ‘open friendly country’.

He and his late wife Paddy retired from the active side of running the
orphanage more than ten years ago, in order to devote more time to wildlife
research projects, including the completion of a survey of the duikers of
Africa, Masters of the African floor, described as the most in-depth
monograph ever produced on the duiker. A mammoth work based on 12 years of
fieldwork, aimed at highlighting the plight of this species. The publication
contained over 200 black and white line drawings by Paddy Wilson and Janet

Princess Diana was a patron of Chipangali from 1983 until her death. Actress
Stephanie Powers is a patron and ambassador for Chipangali in the USA.

Viv and Paddy Wilson’s son, Kevin and his wife Nicky now run Chipangali.

A memorial service for Viv Wilson will be held at Chipangali on Saturday
15th September at 11 am.

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Bulawayo: Schools chase children away for non payment fees

Residents Voices – Issue 83

HUNDREDS of Bulawayo students were today (11 September 2012) turned away
from school for non-payment of fees despite directives by the Ministry of
Education that school authorities should not do so. Schools officially
opened for the third term today. In a survey around the city, Bulawayo
Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) identified at least nineteen
schools, both primary and secondary, that have denied children access to
school due to failure by the students to produce school fees receipts. The
schools include Mgoqo, Mawaba, Nduba, Mkhithika, Nyamande, Mgiqika,
Pelandaba, Mpumelelo, Mckeurtan, Newman’s Ford, Matshayisikova,
Senzangakhona, and Mkhithika Primary Schools, and Nkulumane, Gifford,
Townsend, Emakhandeni, Sikhulile and Luveve High Schools. Children were
chased away for various reasons including non-payment of the third term’s
tuition fees, failure to clear balances from previous terms, and various
levies such as building levy.

BPRA sees the chasing of children from school as a violation of the rights
of children to access education, and also as a violation of their dignity
and pride. The association believes that the Ministry of Education, and the
government should be held accountable for the development. As the
association has pointed out in the past, there is a need for the education
department to put measures in place to ensure that schools adhere to the
directives of the government on education. This could be done through
improvement of policing mechanisms. BPRA believes that at the moment,
children are bearing the brunt of poor management of the education sector.
The association challenges the government to improve the country’s economy
as ultimately high unemployment and poor remuneration are partly responsible
for the situation.

While BPRA acknowledges that schools need tuition fees and levies to
function normally, the association wishes to remind schools that they enter
into agreements with parents and guardians, not school children. It is
therefore morally wrong for children to face the music when their parents
and guardians fail to pay their fees, and it is at odds with the country’s
laws, not to mention that it is an affront on the right of children to
access education. Schools should make arrangements with parents and
guardians and leave children alone to attend classes.

Information Department
Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association

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Villagers Sue Diamond Mines

By Professor Matodzi HARARE, September 11, 2012- Zimbabwean villagers have
unmasked the irresponsibility of three of the country’s controversial
diamond mines, who are discharging raw sewage into rivers that have been
their source of water supply for ages.
The villagers from Chimanimani and Buhera rural constituencies in Manicaland
province exposed the miners’ negligence in court papers filed in the High
Court recently where their lawyers from Scanlen & Holderness were seeking an
interdict prohibiting Marange Resources, Anjin Investments and Diamond
Mining Company (DMC) from discharging their waste material into Odzi,
Singwizi and Save rivers.

The villagers Rosemary Jena, Zakeu Nhachi, Elias Matsveruka, Isaac Ziwenjere
and Mayimboti Mayimboti together with the Zimbabwe Environmental Law
Association accuse Anjin, Marange Resources and DMC of polluting rivers,
which have been sources of water supply.

The release of untreated mineral waste and raw sewage, the villagers say has
left the three rivers in their communities muddied, silted, dirty and loaded
with chemical and metal deposits leaving the water unsuitable for household
use and drinking.

The villagers charge that they have regularly depended on the rivers for
their sustenance and can no longer do so as a result of the pollution, which
has also exposed them to risks of contracting diseases such as cholera,
cancer, typhoid and some skin diseases.

“The discharges by the defendants (diamond mines) violate the environmental
laws of Zimbabwe and in particular the Environmental Management Act.

"Alternatively, the waste discharges by the defendants constitute a nuisance
hindering the plaintiffs (villagers) from enjoying the usage of the public
rivers as they have traditionally done for many years,” reads part of the
villagers declaration filed together with a summons in the High Court.

Anjin, Marange Resources and DMC are part of the five diamond firms mining
diamonds from the Marange diamond fields in partnership with the Zimbabwe
Mining Development Corporation since the government seized claims from
African Consolidated Resources and parcelled them to the miners.

However, Finance Minister Tendai Biti, regularly protest that some of the
diamond miners are not remitting adequate diamond revenue to his ministry to
fund government commitments.

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Kereke threatens the Daily News again

By Richard Chidza, Staff Writer
Tuesday, 11 September 2012 12:02
HARARE - Ex-Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) senior staffer Munyaradzi Kereke
has threatened the Daily News with another lawsuit for publishing in
yesterday’s edition, a story sourced from New

In his latest threat, Kereke claims the story headlined, “Gono, police
ignored warning on Kereke” was malicious, false and defamatory.

He demanded a “right to be heard” failure of which he would institute a $1,5
million lawsuit.

This comes as the RocFoundation Medical Centre founder has been fighting a
series of damaging social accusations, including allegations of raping a
minor and a violent altercation in Masvingo about five years ago.

In his latest salvo, which also comes after he has threatened to sue the
Daily News for $45 million, Kereke says he has never misused his firearm,
but it was "an accidental discharge of my firearm"
On Monday, a company spokesperson said the paper remains undaunted by the
young businessman's threats.

While we respect his rights to an audience and legal recourse, the Daily
News remains undaunted... to report on any national issue — be it political,
social or economic — without fear or favour and that's what we committed to
our very important readers.

Our lawyers have been briefed and like in the $45 million threat, we will
defend this one when it is launched."

Meanwhile, the maternal grandfather of the 13, year-old girl he allegedly
violated has filed a High Court suit against police commissioner-general
Augustine Chihuri and Attorney General Johannes Tomana to pursue the Harare
businessman's prosecution.

In this September 5 development, Francis Maramwidze has moved to embolden
family lawyer Charles Warara to pursue the matter, with the former being
cited as first respondent and the latter as second, respectively.

According to his founding affidavit, a copy of which is in the possession of
the Daily News, Maramwidze makes shocking allegations, including claims that
a senior police official admitted the police had failed to arrest Kereke
because of his political connections.

“Soon after I made a report to the police the accused Dr Munyaradzi Kereke
for the first time in his life started to visit my house in Greendale. He
came specifically to persuade me to drop the charges and in the process was
interfering with investigations."

“When he noticed that I would not be persuaded, he went and collected his
in-laws Muswapadare Taruvinga and Anna Muswapadare Taruvinga,” Maramwidze
states in court papers lodged last Wednesday.

Maramwidze claims he kicked out Kereke and his entourage from his house and
he immediately reported the matter to police, while Kereke threatened him
with a lawsuit.

“The police at Borrowdale Police Station advised me to be careful with the
children and my own life because he (Kereke) was very connected within the
ZRP (Zimbabwe Republic Police) and CID (Criminal Investigations Department)
who were protecting him.

“My lawyers advised me to stand by the police report I had made. I wish to
put it on record that the accused came to my house five times to persuade me
to drop the charges and threaten me,” he states in court papers.

Three months after making the initial police report, Maramwidze claims he
visited the police station again and met one inspector Mbiringa who advised
him that investigations were complete and police were waiting for medical
reports from Parirenyatwa Hospital.

“At that stage it became clear that the police were not willing to arrest
and detain the accused as is standard practice or according to the Police
Charter. Following the despatch of letters by my lawyers to the police and
AG, I was advised that the docket had been sent to the AG’s office (copies
of the letters are attached)."

“I was also advised to check with Police General Headquarters for further
enquiries and given reference number 10/03/11 and a telephone number 702083
or the Police complaints desk 703631.

He said meetings with two senior police commanders provided little relief.

“I knew I was hitting a brick wall. The police were clearly unwilling to
follow the law and the AG was compounding the problem. I have lost faith in
the criminal justice system which protects the influential.

“I further wish to place it on record that we have through our legal
representatives written several letters to the respondents requesting
clarification on the failure to prosecute. These letters were ignored until
second respondent replied on January 27, 2012 claiming that an earlier
letter meant to reach us had disappeared,” he said.

Maramwidze claims his lawyers were then sent from pillar to post in their
quest to obtain written confirmation of refusal to prosecute.

No such communication has come their way since then.

Maramwidze argues that there is no basis for the state to decline to

“…What is so special with the accused that his case can be declined
prosecution without an arrest or even a statement having been recorded?” He
queries in court papers.

“Even with medical records, respondents think it is not enough. I believe
there is a hidden reason than what the public knows.”

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Transcript: Exclusive Interview with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
Violet Gonda
Voice of America's Violet Gonda brings you an exclusive interview with the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, Morgan Tsvangirai, who was in North Carolina, USA, to attend the Democratic National Convention that ended last Thursday. In this wide-ranging interview Mr. Tsvangirai started by talking about his trip.

MORGAN TSVANGIRAI: I was invited to participate in the National Democratic Convention as part of the International leadership forum organized by NDI so I’m part of the over 300 international leaders of various levels of government who are participating in this convention.

VIOLET GONDA: I understand that you were the highest ranking African leader to be invited by the Democratic Party to attend this convention.

TSVANGIRAI: It’s true and I am humbled by the fact that I have that recognition but I don’t think that it’s something that is significant. I’m sure that in any of their conventions they do identify which leader to come and grace their occasion.

GONDA: So what lessons did you learn from the US process?

TSVANGIRAI: Work, process and substance. Process wise, I think that there is a lot that we can learn. You know democracy is not an event. These are institutional developments that have been here for the last 200 years. So our democratic development is a baby, so there is a lot that we can learn in terms of process. How do we ensure that people are participating, how do we formulate policy, how do we increase debate because really it’s about issues it’s not about individuals, so on substance, I think one of the things that you sort of observe is the extent of ideological and policy difference between the two major parties in the United States and the way people try to convince the rest of the population to support them.

GONDA: I don’t know if you’ve had a chance to read the newspapers or what’s been said about your visit to America in the state controlled media, for example, the Zanu PF party said you abandoned a critical principles meeting to attend this convention and presidential spokesman George Charamba said that this is a clear example that shows you favour foreign interests ahead of national issues. What can you say about this?

TSVANGIRAI: Well, I don’t like to be personal to George; he has chosen to make my role in the country personal and to portray an image which has nothing to do with my objective in government, my objective in the politics of the country. Firstly the question of abandoning, well, if the same accusation were to apply, President Mugabe left for the Non Aligned Movement a week ago when the draft constitution was out and he did not even explain when we were going to meet because I told him I’ll be away for a week, he was going to be away for a week - so who has abandoned what? And as far as the second part about ‘serving foreign interests’, it will be in the same equal measure that President Mugabe in attending the Non-Aligned Movement, is he serving foreign interests? Let’s abandon that. We are all patriots, we are all trying to do our best under very difficult circumstances to push our country forward in spite of the frustrating experiences, the lack of implementation of a GPA, the lack of implementation of those reforms that are necessary and the intransigencies on the part of Zanu PF to reverse a constitutional process that they have endorsed.

GONDA: Considering that the US is in election mode, some say that this is showing allegiance and you should have stayed away because this would potentially affect relations if the Republicans were to win for example. What’s your comment on this?

TSVANGIRAI: That’s totally out. I did not come here to endorse the Democratic Party or the Republican Party. I came out here to an international forum, as invited, to experience the American political system at a convention. I have not been given a platform where I have said I’m endorsing the Democratic Party or the Republican Party, we work with both.

GONDA: How do you respond to critics who say you have managed to build some credibility by focusing your advocacy in Africa? But that by you coming to the US you are now providing ammunition to propagandists who would say this is evidence of you being a puppet of the West like what has been said by Mr. Charamba?

TSVANGIRAI: To be honest, I’ve long since taken a position that what George says does not change the direction and destiny of the country either way, it’s his personal view, he can shout and do whatever he wants, I will not even give him a moment of thought. The position is this, we as MDC would like to engage the international community and the international community includes first and foremost Africa, Europe, America, Eastern Europe, Chinese, everyone. And I’ve demonstrated over the last year the diplomatic in-roads we have made even with some of the people who thought we were enemies, we have engaged them. The idea is that Zimbabwe is not an island and that what we are attempting to do is that Zimbabwe should be part of the family of nations. What we are trying to do is to promote the best interests of Zimbabwe and if anyone would come and say that you are undermining the best interests of Zimbabwe, perhaps that would be basis for argument, but the real basis that Zimbabwe needs to be part of family of nations and that’s my objective.

GONDA: You still have others who are saying there is too much globetrotting by government leaders and couldn’t you send some of your deputies, for example, especially as there are pressing matters back home such as the constitutional crisis?

TSVANGIRAI: There’s no constitutional crisis, there is a constitutional impasse which is not the creation of the MDC. Well, every mission has got an appropriate level of delegation and I don’t go to every opportunity that arises. I go strategically to engage at the level that I think is going to be in the long term interest of the country. As for a crisis like the constitution, it will be resolved one way or the other.

GONDA: Let’s talk about this stalemate on the constitution-making-process; do you honestly think President Jacob Zuma’s mediation will work, considering he is only a facilitator?

TSVANGIRAI: At the end of the day, if the three parties agree and have endorsed a certain position, and have signed to a certain position, why should the whole country be held to ransom by one party, and I don’t think it’s fair. It’s acting in bad faith; it’s acting in the partisan interest and not in the national interest. Above all, a constitution is a national document of governance and as far as I’m concerned if there is consensus among the main actors, that should be the basis of moving forward.

GONDA: Many people believe that Zanu PF will not yield to settling with the final draft, so what are the possible scenarios here?

TSVANGIRAI: Well, the possible scenario is that… but of course you have to take into consideration that SADC will not allow a stalemate, SADC will find a way of resolving this impasse - but above all, it would have been better for Zimbabweans to find common cause which we thought we had arrived at when we signed the document after a very painstaking three and a half years of work and after so much resources were put in this exercise.

GONDA: Your party has said you will not dialogue any more on the final draft constitution, and you have stated your position. So what other options are there besides waiting for SADC or external countries?

TSVANGIRAI: Well, we have not met at principles, we want to hear what justification President Mugabe has for his party to go and overhaul the whole constitutional process that he had signed to and until such a time that he is clear about it and we have made our position clear, one cannot talk of an end. I’m sure that down the line the constitution will go to the people. They are the final arbiters on the constitution. They are the ones that made the input and they are the ones who will have the final say.

GONDA: Are you in a catch 22 situation here because, doesn’t the Global Political Agreement (GPA) say that in the event that you fail to agree on anything, either party can call an election?

TSVANGIRAI: No, there is no such thing, you have read our GPA very well, there is no clause like that. There is no clause first of all on any party to exercise veto power and secondly there is no clause in the GPA which allows a party to take unilateral action against another party. So no party has got the right to call an election, no party has got the right to single-handedly determine anything, that’s why the principles have to meet to decide the next step. If that was the case, the whole constitutional edifice upon which this GPA was built would collapse.

GONDA: You said the principles have to meet and decide on the next step, but you have been meeting for a very long time and it seems that there is no solution to this problem. Surely you… (interrupted)

TSVANGIRAI: That’s why even the disagreements, the implementation deficits that are there, we have noted them, we have brought them to the attention of SADC, and SADC has said we need full implementation. Obviously there is no way that anyone can have the leverage to force a political party to do 1,2,3 things. But as long as we are part of the GPA, we are bound by the 19th Amendment of the constitution which is the basis upon which this GPA is build, so the government has to be managed.

GONDA: Yes, but how Prime Minister? What options do you have as a party? Surely your own party should have a position on this. What is your party’s position?

TSVANGIRAI: Our position is that if there is a consensus to disagree we will disagree and then we will advise SADC on the next steps. If it means that we need now to go to say - an election - then the conditions for elections will now be the next subject of discussion but at the moment we are not talking about elections we are talking about the constitutional process, and until that deadlock is arrived at, I cannot talk of a further step beyond the current constitutional debate.

GONDA: Yes, but the emails we’re getting, the responses we’re getting from our listeners are that people are getting fed up with this long negotiation process.

TSVANGIRAI: They’ll have to be patient. Rome was not built in a day. Remember the position we are coming from, the acrimony, the polarisation and I think that the transition has helped to break down those barriers of suspicion in terms of what the national interests are and pushing forward those things. I’m quite conscious of the fact that people want to go to elections, and we’ll go to an election if that is what it takes for the final resolution of the Zimbabwean crisis so let it be. But it cannot just be a thumb sucking exercise.

GONDA: So will you go to elections without reforms?

TSVANGIRAI: No we can’t! We are saying there are steps and benchmarks that need to be put in place before that election is conducted, or else we’ll reproduce 2008.

GONDA: At the end of the day, isn’t it a fact that reforms are not the problem here and those reforms will only remain on paper and not implemented even if you are to have the reforms.

TSVANGIRAI: No, we have implemented some of them, not all, we have agreed on the Electoral Act, we have agreed on the Human Rights Act, we have put in commission, that’s all part of the reform that are comprehensively going to help create an environment for free and fair elections.

GONDA: Isn’t there an assumption that our problems in Zimbabwe are only about policies and strengthening institutions and reforms - but isn’t it more about our political culture, that as long as there is no shift in political culture, nothing will change?

TSVANGIRAI: Well the transition was intended to achieve that, it was intended to soft line the crisis so that we have a different political culture. Now, having said that, have we achieved a totally different political culture? Certainly it is a process that is going to take time but at least we have set ourselves on a direction in which the democratic credentials of the country will be the basis upon which the future political interaction will be set.

GONDA: Let’s talk about the Freedom House survey. It indicated that public trust in the Prime Minister’s office has considerably gone down. What is your reaction to this?

TSVANGIRAI: I cannot discuss the validity or otherwise of the survey and make it the subject of discussion. I take note of the observations that they’ve made but also I take note of some of the gaps in the survey like for instance, how do you say Zimbabweans now listen to the ZBC more than any other source? How do you now say The Herald is now the most popular newspaper when we know the truth? So all I can say is that yes, we take note of some of the observations. If there is any validity, then it’s up to the MDC to take into consideration and take the corrective measures. We are not dismissing any survey that is covered by anyone, but the real survey Violet, is the people themselves when they go to a vote. You should not be scared of a sample; you should be scared about the outcome of the real national vote, that’s where it counts.

GONDA: But on this survey, if this is what people are saying, has there been a reflection in your party to see what the cause is, because it seems people are …(interrupted)

TSVANGIRAI: … If people just say your support has declined without giving reasons of which area, why and how. We, of course as a party from time to time we reflect on these issues - where is our weaknesses, we always take a strategic review of our situation. We don’t do it because there is a survey; we do it as a regular assessment of the performance of the party outside government, the performance of the party in government, in local authorities. All these matters are matters we regularly check and especially after the survey, we have to say how far true is it. We have to self-introspect and correct it.

GONDA: You say they didn’t give any examples but there are actually quite a few examples that were in this report including widespread corruption by some of your officials - as some of the issues that people had problems with.

TSVANGIRAI: But who is not corrupt? Corruption is something that has been set by Zanu PF and they have not done anything to arrest corruption. We have done something. We have gone in and fired a whole City Council in Chitungwiza; we have done an assessment of all our local authorities because we know. Our people are telling us that these issues need to be addressed so we do an evaluation of delivery in local authorities - and what we have done is to deal with those that have been identified as corrupt. The issue is not that there will be no corruption, even in the United States, anywhere in the world there will be corruption but what we need is - what are you doing about it. That is the real issue.

GONDA: So would you consider leading your party to a lifestyle audit where individuals holding public office are actually assessed in terms of what they earn and the lifestyle that they are living?

TSVANGIRAI: What lifestyle?

GONDA: The other day I interviewed your secretary for local government Sesal Zvidzai and he gave an example of the Mayor of Gweru - who you fired recently - and Mr. Zvidzai gave an example saying that a person who was like a street kid just the other day was now a Mayor, and amassed a lot of wealth including several cars, fancy houses and.. (Interrupted)

TSVANGIRAI: … that’s why we dealt with him.

GONDA: … so this is what I’m saying, that as Prime Minister are you willing to lead an audit to see who has what?

TSVANGIRAI: We are willing to evaluate the performance of ministers and everyone to ensure that we stay within the principles of the party, but we are not going to be on a witch-hunt because a witch-hunt sometimes goes into a subjective area. But as I said the issue is that where we have evaluated and we found that someone is not acting in the best interest, values and principles of the party we deal with that.

GONDA: Well, you mentioned witch-hunt and it seems that some of the people that have been fired by the party are saying that’s exactly what happened. They say they were never called to a disciplinary hearing and that they were not even consulted or interviewed by the committee that investigated the allegations.

TSVANGIRAI: No, no, no. It’s not a question of a disciplinary hearing; we do have our own internal measures. You can’t have a disciplinary hearing in the face of evidence that is overwhelming, you wait until you have a disciplinary hearing to establish what when the facts have been properly established and the men and women themselves have admitted to that indiscretion. What disciplinary hearing, except to make it a bureaucratic delay? We need action and we need to send a clear message that the party will not tolerate that.

GONDA: Another issue that has come up is the quality of some of your public officials, and as I mentioned, one of your deputy ministers described one of the people that was fired as someone who was a street kid before he became a councillor. So what does that say about the quality of some of your officials?

TSVANGIRAI: Look, look, look. We are a young party - popularity sometimes is not a measure of capacity. We have had to revise our standards of selection of Mayors, councillors, MP’s. We have just adopted a new principle out of experience and out of abundance of caution that we would not allow people who by chance just happen to use the popularity and ride on the popularity of the party - just to get to an office without the responsibility to discharge that responsibility. So we have set a new standard and it’s an experience. We have for the first time controlled all the 32 town councils throughout the country and the level of delivery is different from city to city and we have learned that you need to put certain standards that will allow for maturity and for responsibility to apply.

GONDA: The survey was very clear that … (interrupted)

TSVANGIRAI: … please don’t ask me about that survey…

GONDA: … I am not asking about the survey but it was saying your appetite for change in Zimbabwe, as a party, has dissipated - what do you make of that? That public confidence has eroded?

TSVANGIRAI: Let me tell you - the MDC and the people of Zimbabwe are together in a project and we have a clear road map to achieve that project. In 2006 we set out to say we will act to put pressure on Mugabe to come to the negotiating table and we have done that. We will have a transitional government, we have set that up. We will have a new constitution, that’s what we have just concluded. We will have free and fair elections. We will have a referendum. So as far as the defined strategy of the MDC, we are on course, so for people to conclude that we no longer have the appetite, when we are on course, how else can we define the path to that change? And I want to tell you one thing, the people of Zimbabwe are resilient, they want change, they have not withdrawn from that particular objective and the MDC is the party for change.

GONDA: Some observers are saying that the tragic thing is that you took all of your lieutenants into the inclusive government and the party has now suffered because all the ‘drivers of the movement’ are now consumed in doing government business instead of doing party business.

TSVANGIRAI: Well what is government business? Government business is about delivering to the people. It’s another arena of struggle. If you say you should all confine yourselves in throwing stones without necessarily taking those strategic positions to influence policy to understand how the government works, and to help the people deliver on their needs, then I don’t know what kind of leadership that is. I did not take everyone into government, there are people who are out there who have not been a part of the government - and I want to say that for the MDC, it has been a very good learning experience which we’ll find very handy in the future. And also people must not just conclude or expect the MDC to be the only instrument of struggle, there’s the civic society. There are all these people who want change, and all we need is a strong alliance to continue to push that agenda.

GONDA: So do think that perhaps people expect too much from you and that you have too much on your plate?

TSVANGIRAI: Ohh there is even no distinction. The expectation was that MDC was going to create jobs in the coalition, MDC was going to do 1, 2, 3 things - and you know the limitation of a coalition? There’s no consensus on policy, sometimes there is policy discord, sometimes there’s sabotage of things - but let’s measure those things that the coalition government has achieved in terms of stabilizing the economy, in terms of health delivery, education, water, and in terms of general peace in the country. Yes, we may not have delivered jobs because jobs are not created like manna from heaven. Jobs are dependent on what investment you put in place, and what measures you put in place to attract foreign direct investment. So those are measures that would need even further debate.

GONDA: We received complaints, and there are some reports from such publications such as The Daily News saying that the Prime Minister himself seems to be less and less accessible to the local media and we have also been trying to get in touch with you but ever since you became Prime Minister, it’s been difficult.

TSVANGIRAI: Violet, Violet, but you are talking to me, how do you complain that I’m actually excluding you from the interview?

GONDA: But Prime Minister…

TSVANGIRAI: …at home…

GONDA: … can I answer that question because this is something that is of concern to some of us?


GONDA: … yes you’re talking to me now but since you became Prime Minister three or four years ago, this is the first time that I’ve actually had a chance to interview you.

TSVANGIRAI: No, no, no. Let’s be honest. You were studying therefore you were not accessible. At home I have a monthly press briefing. Studio 7 is there at all those monthly briefings.

GONDA: But that is not the same Prime Minister, because even here The Daily News is complaining about this lack of access. Journalists are complaining about this.

TSVANGIRAI: No, no, no…

GONDA: You’ve complained that ZBC does not cover you, for example, and yet the private media is willing to give you space but we are not getting that space. That’s basically what people are complaining about.

TSVANGIRAI: I have never refused anyone an interview and that’s the truth. I’m very accessible, if there are any gatekeepers who prevent me from accessing the media, I’m hearing it for the first time. I think that to a large extend I’m out there in the field with the people, the media is there - and justifiably, I had a reason to raise that about the media and that’s the truth. I am the Prime Minister of the country and for the three and a half years I’ve never appeared on ZBC and that’s the truth. So these matters as far as access Violet, I think what we need is to follow-up and have proper arrangements - but I can tell you, and I want to assure you that I’m very accessible, and Luke my spokesman does everything to make sure we have these monthly briefings, and weekly briefings for ministers, if the ministers do not attend, it’s not the Prime Minister to blame.

GONDA: With all due respect Prime Minister yes, we understand that you hold these monthly press briefings but it’s not enough especially as they can be seen as stage managed. There are very little one to one interviews with you and this is what many journalists are complaining about.

TSVANGIRAI: Well if they are complaining about it, let me go and investigate. I would not deliberately prevent anyone from having access to me. I’m the most accessible person and that you know.

GONDA: Moving on, still on the issue of access. It’s not just people in the media who have complaining about this, one of the emails we received said: “This increasingly reclusive behaviour by the Prime Minister does not make him a man of the people and he needs to be seen more regularly and speaking of the injustices that so badly afflict the nation and the communities.” Do you think this is fair?

TSVANGIRAI: I can understand the anger but I’m not the spokesman. A Prime Minister who speaks every day is a megaphone. I have spokespersons, I have ministers and of course, where matters affect the national interests and habits of the people, I will speak.

GONDA: I guess some people, especially those who are affected, expect more. For example, I was taking to one of the family members of the group of 29 people from Glenview, who are still in custody and she was saying her daughter is still in custody and yet they don’t hear anything from the Prime Minister talking about these injustices

TSVANGIRAI: No, no, no you can’t be talking about that - you take measures. The group of 29 is an issue we are grappling with as a party. The party has spoken, the party is doing the welfare, interventions but the difficult position we face is that this is not a political detention - although we know there are political motives - it’s a criminal. And when you go to a criminal court the abuse of the criminal justice system becomes even more evident, that’s why we want to amend the Criminal Code and Evidence Act which prevents…, and we didn’t even know that there is actually a rule which says that if something happens to the police it will not even allow any bail application. That’s why the matter is before the Supreme Court. So we are doing everything, we know the plight of these 29 and unfortunately we are trapped in this legal process that we need to address. But yes, we do understand, we are intervening as a party, we are responsible for the welfare of the families but we are trapped with this legal hindrance hurdle that we need to overcome.

GONDA: Don’t you think you’ll go to another GNU, and if so, where do you stand on this?

TSVANGIRAI: There is no reason for having another GNU, there is no reason whatsoever if an election is conducted and it’s free and fair. It should produce a legitimate government which should take the country forward, whether it is MDC or Zanu PF. If it’s conducted in a free and fair manner there should be one clear winner who should be able to address the destiny of the country, address the vision of the country address the needs of the country, the future. And there is so much that needs to be done, so I don’t foresee a situation where we have another GNU, for what?

GONDA: We did talk briefly about the issue of policies but how do you respond to people who say they don’t hear any clear expressed policies from the MDC beyond their mantra of ‘democratic change’ and ‘change for better’ and that … (interrupted)

TSVANGIRAI:… oh come on, come on…

GONDA: … they say that Zanu PF is clear on some of these issues like land, indigenisation policies but the MDC is not. How do you respond to this?

TSVANGIRAI: The problem is how do you form a party which is 13 or 14 years old without a vision, without a policy? Do you think it’s just a matter of being anti-Mugabe? No, no, no. People must go to our documentation and must be able to distinct which party policy the party is pursuing. What does it mean when they say they are not hearing? An individual stands up, I was in Japan the other day and a girl stood up and said ‘we are not hearing about your land policy’, and I said have you looked at the policies of the MDC, they are there. You decide yourselves to say there is no policy on land, but I can articulate those policies clearly because I know they are there.

GONDA: But how would you tell that to a family in the rural areas with no access … to read the policy documents online?

TSVANGIRAI: I can understand that but it also means that we go out to the people and explain our land policy to the people, explain what the party stands for, everything. It’s only those people who want to come so we tell them the policies of the MDC in the offices. We have our policies on the website and when we go out to the rural areas we explain our policies clearly. That’s why people have been with us all these years.

GONDA: Can you explain your policy on land for example?

TSVANGIRAI: We believe that land must go to the people and not the politicians. Land must go to the people who need it. We believe that land is a finite resource, then it must be used productively and in order to do that you need to entitle the land so that people can invest in the land. All that is there!

GONDA: And on indigenisation?

TSVANGIRAI: Indigenisation is a Zanu PF policy, it’s not an MDC policy, but we believe in broad based empowerment. We don’t believe in individuals – the Kasukuweres accessing all the resources of the country for themselves and their party. We believe there is a basis for a broad based empowerment policy for Zimbabweans, whether it is in business, whether it is on education, whether it is on land, we believe in a broad based theme. It is Zanu PF which is pursuing the selfish, predatory elitist positions that are not in best interests of the broad mass of Zimbabwe.

GONDA: So how does the MDC plan to address these very real issues?

TSVANGIRAI: They are not real issues unless they are raised by the Zanu PF, hey? They become real issues when they are abused by Zanu-PF for partisan political objectives and not for national interest. If we wanted to have a proper empowerment policy, we should go to the Parliament table, a green paper, people discuss it and then it is implemented by government, but if it becomes a partisan political objective of a few who just want to benefit as if mashuku ari kungo gumwa achi donha pamuti, it’s not the best way to go. So you cannot ask me to articulate a Zanu PF policy. I can only articulate what I believe is the best way to empower people in a broad way and not just an elite group.

GONDA: And what is the MDC’s position on gay rights?

TSVANGIRAI: Look, the question of gay marriages is Zanu PF propaganda, it has nothing to do with MDC. We have said that the question of sexual orientation has nothing to do with everybody. Sexual orientation is for the individual behind their closed doors – it’s got nothing to do with everybody. And if you are talking about human rights, it then becomes an infringement on somebody’s private life and that’s not upholding human rights.

GONDA: But rights’ activists say this final draft that your party has endorsed does not actually protect their rights?

TSVANGIRAI: No, it does, it says freedom of sexual orientation is an individual rights so how else do you want it to be captured?

GONDA: And before we go Mr. Tsvangirai, your wedding is in a few days so I’d like to take this time to congratulate you, Makorokoto.

TSVANGIRAI: Thank you, I thought that is what you should have started with.(laugh)

GONDA: I thought we should end on a good note. (laughs)

TSVANGIRAI: Munoita chivanhu vanhu, munoita majerasi. (laughs)

GONDA: So what have learned, reflecting on the journey you have travelled in your personal life? What are some of the things you would want to share with your supporters in your being able to select a partner for yourself?

TSVANGIRAI: No. no, no these are personal matters, but I just want to say look, I’ve had the misfortune of losing a wife in very sad circumstances and after three years I’ve found somebody I want to marry and I’m in love with and I’m happy with and I’m moving on, on that basis. I’m not the first man to go through that experience, and that’s what I’m looking forward to - to a happy marriage again.

GONDA: What can you say to your supporters who are disappointed that you married the daughter of a man who is accused of brutalising your supporters in Chitungwiza?

TSVANGIRAI: You know, I cannot answer for aMacheka’s actions, and let me tell you one thing, when you’re going out to look for a woman, you don’t ask for a political card or you don’t ask for their parents - you look at the woman and say I love this woman. The children cannot be answerable for their parents’ sins.

GONDA: I understand some of your supporters especially from Chitungwiza actually approached the party to talk about their concerns on this matter and that’s why I’m asking for your reaction.

TSVANGIRAI: Let me tell you one thing, I don’t answer for Mr. Macheka’s misdemeanors. I don’t answer for whatever he has done, it is not justified. Whatever he has done, if people are not happy with it, then they should judge Mr. Macheka and not me. I have met my future wife in totally different circumstances and I’m happy with her. How she’s going to deal with the people of Chitungwiza who are not happy with her father, that’s a different issue. But as far as I’m concerned we have people from different political affiliations who have married across the political divide - and I can tell you the Speaker of the House his wife is the daughter of Zanu PF’s Nyoni, and we can have so many of these. These are personal matters and I’m not accountable, of course, I’m sensitive to my supporters concerns but I cannot stand and start defending something I do not know about. All I know is that I’ve met a woman, I love her and I’m moving forward. If people want to make a judgement of my leadership on that basis then we certainly cannot have that as a yard stick for measuring my leadership on that.

GONDA: You have an option of answering this question because it is your personal life as you said, but I have a duty to ask you as your public figure - given a chance to do this again or a second chance, are there things you would do differently in terms of identifying a partner and what would you avoid?

TSVANGIRAI: It doesn’t arise. I’ve found a partner. The fact that what mistakes I’ve done, whatever, life is about experience. If you were to repeat it, this is even a hypothetical question, if you were to re-live your life, there are certain things that you’d say I made a mistake here and there and you would correct - but unfortunately in life you don’t repeat life.

GONDA: Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, thank you for taking time to talk to Voice of America's Studio 7.

TSVANGIRAI: Alright, you’re welcome.

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The love scandals that rocked Zanu PF: Part 1

By Lance Guma

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has been sliding on political grease this week after former lover Locardia Karimatsenga Tembo approached the High Court twice in two days, first seeking US$15 000 a month in maintenance and then trying to stop his wedding to Elizabeth Macheka this coming Saturday.

Locardia's camp is now leaking previously private photos like this of her and the Prime Minister in happier times

Locardia’s camp is now leaking previously private photos like this of her and the Prime Minister in happier times

Tsvangirai spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka believes there are “Two CIO operations: Operation Blackhawk and Operation Spiderweb financed to the tune of US$100 million dollars to cause maximum damage” to the PM. “Today it’s a lawsuit. Tomorrow, an application to stop the wedding,” he said.

If it’s true Zanu PF and its appendage Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) are pouncing on Tsvangirai’s personal problems to extract political capital, it might be worth noting that the drivers of this agenda are not exactly political angels and its fair game to remind ourselves of their chequered past.

George Charamba (Mugabe spokesman)

George Charamba

Presidential spokesman George Charamba

In February of 2004, President Robert Mugabe’s spokesman George Charamba bashed his wife Rudo in what her close friends claimed was an attempt to kill her. Details of the case were that Rudo confronted Charamba, accusing him of picking up prostitutes in the Avenues and infecting her with the HIV virus.

Charamba who has a black belt in karate, deployed those skills in battering her until she was unconscious. Rudo was taken to a local hospital, bleeding profusely. Her friends rushed to report the matter at Borrowdale Police Station and also kept her blood stained dress as evidence.

Although the police responded by arresting Charamba for the savage assault, Mugabe intervened, ordering police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri to ensure the case was dropped. The case file at Borrowdale Police station went missing and the official line put out was that Rudo had dropped the charges.

Ignatius Chombo (Local Government Minister)

Bed-hopping love rat Minister Ignatius Chombo

Bed-hopping love rat Minister Ignatius Chombo

Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo was embroiled in a messy divorce with his wife of 26 years, Marian Mhloyi. Not only did the case expose his massive property portfolio published as a result of the case, but his affair with former ZBC news anchor Nanette Silukhuni was blown into the open.

Marian Mhloyi not only sought to divorce the bed-hopping love rat Minister but she also filed a Z$2 billion dollar lawsuit against his mistress (Silukhuni) who was branded “a classy man eater who has lived all her life pursuing rich men.”

Silikhuni had previous flings with the late businessman Rodger Boka who once bought her a Mazda 626 Executive car when she was at the Harare Polytechnic. She also dated then Natbrew MD Myethi Mpofu, leading to a heated clash with fellow journalist Lydia Mavengere who was involved with Mpofu at the time.

During the hearings in the Marian case, it was claimed Nanette had married Chombo under customary law and was not aware that Chombo was married to Marian. Ironically Marian also married Chombo under customary law in 1985 but had the marriage formalised in 1993.

Cain Mathema (Zanu PF governor for Bulawayo)

Cain Mathema exposed as a sex mad alcoholic

Cain Mathema exposed as a sex mad alcoholic

The Zanu PF governor for Bulawayo, Cain Mathema hit the headlines after being extremely offensive to his wife about her private parts, saying he wanted to marry a virgin to satisfy his ravenous sexual appetite. The Governor at the time was reported to be having an affair with ZBC reporter Jocelyn Muguya.

Mathema’s wife sought to divorce him, arguing in court that she had had enough of the abuse. She said Mathema was an alcoholic and was very abusive every time he arrived home drunk. She said the abuse also took place in front of the children. The case exposed Mathema as a sex mad alcoholic.

John Nkomo (Vice President)

John Nkomo

Vice President John Nkomo

Vice President John Nkomo was in the news in August 2009 when a 31 year old Bulawayo man Mncedisi Twala, sensationally claimed that the then ZANU PF National Chairman molested him in April 2002. After fleeing to South Africa Twala says he came back and filed a police complaint in July 2009.

The police however refused to investigate his complaint until they called him to supply more information. He was arrested, allegedly for making a false report, and spent 6 days in custody. Twala also claims attempts were made at Luveve Police station in Bulawayo to inject him with a mysterious substance.

Twala was taking photographs at Centenary Park in Bulawayo where he says he met Nkomo, then Home Affairs Minister. Nkomo invited Twala to his room at the Rainbow Hotel, promising him a job. Twala claims the Minister then tried to kiss him while pressing his body against his and dancing to country music.

Twala claimed Nkomo’s bodyguards threatened him with death if he reported what happened. He was then given an envelope containing Z$2,000, with a note marked ‘Service Fees’.

In his defence Nkomo claimed the whole case was manufactured to undermine his chances of becoming Vice President, following the death of Joseph Msika in August 2009. Nkomo’s supporters even accused Twala of being used by Zanu PF governor Cain Mathema and Mines Minister Obert Mpofu.

Join me tomorrow (Tuesday) for Part 2 of this series in the countdown to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s wedding on Saturday. The last installment will be Part 5 on Friday.

You can follow Lance Guma on twitter @LanceGuma

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The love scandals that rocked Zanu PF: Part 2

By Lance Guma

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has been sliding on political grease this week after former lover Locardia Karimatsenga Tembo approached the High Court twice in two days, first seeking US$15 000 a month in maintenance and then trying to stop his wedding to Elizabeth Macheka this coming Saturday.

Tsvangirai spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka believes there are “Two CIO operations: Operation Blackhawk and Operation Spiderweb financed to the tune of US$100 million dollars to cause maximum damage” to the PM. “Today it’s a lawsuit. Tomorrow, an application to stop the wedding,” he said.

This article does not seek to exonerate Tsvangirai but simply point out the hypocrisy and double standards exhibited by his political opponents in Zanu PF who have pounced on his personal problems to extract political capital. It is off course the nature of politics to do this, but so is it our role as media to expose.

Robert Mugabe (President)

President Robert Mugabe ‘snatched’ his current wife Grace Mugabe from under the nose of then airforce pilot and husband Stanley Goreraza. The current First Lady then known as Grace Marufu worked as Mugabe’s secretary before she became his mistress while still married to Goreraza.

Prime Minister Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe departs Andrews Air Force Base after a state visit to the United States (26 September 1983)

Prime Minister Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe departs Andrews Air Force Base after a state visit to the United States (26 September 1983)

At the time Mugabe’s first wife Sally Mugabe was battling a chronic kidney ailment while Mugabe was having an affair with Grace. The affair resulted in two children, Bona, named after Mugabe’s mother, and Robert Peter, Jr.

Sally was never able to have any children with Mugabe after their only son, Michael Nhamodzenyika Mugabe, born 27 September 1963, died on the 26th of December 1966 from cerebral malaria in Ghana where Sally was working.

Sarah Francesca (Hayfron) Mugabe, popularly referred to as Sally Mugabe, was Mugabe’s wife until her death in 1992. On the 17th of August 1996, Mugabe married his former secretary, Grace Marufu, 41 years his junior, with whom he already had two children while she was married to Goreraza.

Bona Mugabe is currently 23 years old, meaning she was born in or around 1989, some three years before Sally Mugabe died. Robert Jnr, is 19 this year, meaning he was born in or around 1993, a few months after the death of Sally in 1992.

Meanwhile Mugabe dealt with Grace’s husband, Wing Commander Stanley Goreraza by dispatching him to work as a defence attaché at the Zimbabwean embassy in China. Goreraza and Grace had one child, a son, Russell Goreraza, who now manages his mother’s extensive farm property, Gushungo Dairy.

The couple only divorced between 1995 and 1996.

In 2002, to mark the 10th anniversary of Sally Mugabe's death, Zimbabwe issued a set of four postage stamps, of a common design, using two different photographs, each photograph appearing on two of the denominations. She is remembered fondly with love and affection, as she is still considered the founding mother of the nation of Zimbabwe

In 2002, to mark the 10th anniversary of Sally Mugabe’s death, Zimbabwe issued a set of four postage stamps, of a common design, using two different photographs, each photograph appearing on two of the denominations. She is remembered fondly with love and affection, as she is still considered the founding mother of the nation of Zimbabwe

Last year in December, it was perhaps unsurprising when Mugabe departed from his usual vitriol against Tsvangirai and urged the state controlled media to back off and stop talking about the Premier’s love affairs.

Mugabe said Tsvangirai’s “love life” and choices did not justify the “hullaballoo” in the media, adding the PM was free to choose his bride.

“We want peace, we want people to be happy, we don’t want them to live in fear and we want them to be their own masters, mistresses, to marry people they choose. He who wants many wives, one or two, it’s his own choice.

“If one chooses his wife, why should people mind about that? It’s his own choice. Now newspapers write about that (the PM’s ‘marriage’) and are on his case, why? We don’t have that policy (one-man/one-wife) because we know our elders had many wives.

“My father had two, my maternal grandfather had one, my grandfather Karigamombe Matibiri had five. When he came to church, it was not possible to throw away the other wives and he was told to choose one and he chose the youngest and wedded her.

“He was told that the others would continue to stay with him, but not as his wives. Imagine people who were your wives and you stay with them without doing anything to them, but just looking at them,” Mugabe said.

Gideon Gono (Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor)

Several years ago it was reported how the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono was “having year-long secret trysts with former Miss Zimbabwe and Miss Malaika winner, Brita Masalethulini.”

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono was “having year-long secret trysts with former Miss Zimbabwe and Miss Malaika winner, Brita Masalethulini

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono was “having year-long secret trysts with former Miss Zimbabwe and Miss Malaika winner, Brita Masalethulini

To make matter worse when Gono’s wife Hellin found out about the affair, Gono bluntly refused to end the relationship and even sought to formalise the relationship with Brita by entering into a customary marriage.

Gono allegedly showered the then 27 year old Brita — 16 years his junior — with presents and promises that he would marry her. The two are said to have met during fund raising activities for beauty pageants, including the Miss Malaika 2002 pageant hosted in Zimbabwe.

When Brita became a mother at 28, she had to fight off speculation that the baby was Gono’s. She later confirmed the baby’s father was Harare businessman Tongai Kasukuwere, younger brother to Youth and Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere.

Gideon Gono’s bed hopping antics did not end there. His wife Hellin had to put up with finding out that Gono fathered an illegitimate child with former television personality Nanette Silukhuni, who also had an affair with another “bed-hopping love rat” in Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo.

Gono at the time was paying maintainance for his then four-year-old daughter with Silukhuni. The former ZBC presenter was forced to make the admission in court papers after Chombo’s jilted wife Marian Mhloyi filed a Z$2 billion dollar lawsuit against her. She later divorced the minister.

In yesterday’s Part 1 we forgot to mention how Marian wrote a letter to President Robert Mugabe asking him to intervene in the acrimonious divorce between her and the Minister. She exposed how Chombo had four other wives, Nanette Silukhuni, Angela Rugara, Bessie Mugabe and Chipo Jandya.

Join me tomorrow (Wednesday) for Part 3 of this series. You can also follow me on twitter @LanceGuma

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Industry dead, Zimbabweans job hunt in the suburbs

September 11th, 2012

Index Mundi

This is how it used to be …

Early in the morning with the backdrop of the opera that comes from vendors selling vegetables, men and women rush to work. The bus touts’ cacophony punctuates the mass movement from home to labour, the small talk on the road a quiet hum. Come the weekend the streets are still, people resting in preparation for the week ahead.

That was life in my neighbourhood, but now it is all different …

Every day seems like a public holiday. In some Zimbabwean cities, even the main routes into the cbd’s have lost their urgent rush to gainful employment, for there is no work to rush to. The high density working class suburbs have lost their early morning beat, for the rhythm in my nation is dead and lost.

The suburbs now throng with the unemployed, their hopeless lives reflected in the despondent lethargic pace of the Zimbabwean urban dirge.

So desperate are Zimbabweans that it has become commonplace for me to be woken early in the morning by a knocking at my door. I am one of the few Zimbabweans who manages to keep a job.

“I am looking for any kind of work; I can do anything from digging wells to sprucing the yard, anything my friend because I must take care of my family.”

In front of me stands a man, reduced to hunting for any job, no matter how menial. He has given up trawling the industrial areas, for those once thriving areas are all but shut, victim to economic recession.

In the high density residential areas, where the majority of people live, life is a constant battle, all of us grappling with water shortages and the dearth of electricity.

I admire the man for seeing opportunity and pouncing on it, the taps are dry and the only way one can ensure that there is a water supply is by digging a well. At the same time I curse the government for failing to look after the welfare of our nation.

The economic outlook is bleak and for Zimbabweans there is no use in waiting for the government to deliver when it is all too apparent that promises from higher offices will come to naught.

The rhythm of life in Zimbabwe has changed, people once believed that basic education was a ticket to a better life, but now that hope has been reduced to a pile of slain dreams. The educated knock on doors in the chance their better-off fellow citizens can spare them a dollar for menial labour.

Life is cruel.

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