The ZIMBABWE Situation
An extensive and up-to-date website containing news, views and links related to ZIMBABWE - a country in crisis
Return to INDEX page
Please note: You need to have 'Active content' enabled in your IE browser in order to see the index of articles on this webpage

Zim education slides back to chaos

by Nqobizitha Khumalo Wednesday 16 September 2009

BULAWAYO - Zimbabwe's education system that had shown signs of recovery is
quickly sliding back to chaos because of a teachers' strike that has
crippled learning at public schools that reopened only six months ago after
a new power-sharing government came into office.

The most crucial and final term of the year began more than two weeks ago
but there has been very little or no learning taking place at public schools
after the Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA), the largest of two unions
representing teachers in the country, called a nationwide job boycott by
teachers to press the coalition government to hike salaries.

The strike that began slowly when the new term began on September 2 appeared
to gather pace this week with, for example, nearly 90 percent of public
schools visited by ZimOnline reporters in Bulawayo and surrounding areas on
Tuesday found with only a few senior teachers present or no one at all to
teach or supervise children.

Many schoolchildren could be seen loitering at school grounds or nearby
shopping centres in scenes reminiscent of 2008 when learners were left on
their own as teachers went on strike or simply stayed at home because they
could not afford bus fare to work on their meagre salaries.

Education Minister David Coltart, who has held several fruitless meetings
with union leaders since the new term began, told ZimOnline that there was
little he could do to get teachers back to classrooms, surrendering the task
to the Ministry of Public Service that employs all government workers.

"The issue of the strike is not with me anymore," said Coltart, who also
pointed out that the work boycott by teachers had hit learning at most
schools across the country.

ZIMTA president Tendai Chikowore said: "The strike is still on . . . the
majority of our members are not reporting for duty in all provinces across
the country."

Chikowore, whose ZIMTA has about 40 000 members out of about 90 000 teachers
at schools, said the union would meet next Friday to review the strike.

Officials from the smaller Progressive Teacher's Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ)
were not immediately available for comment on the matter. The 20 000-member
PTUZ has opposed the strike action although it is unclear whether the union's
members are actually reporting for work as directed by their leaders.

Private schools that pay teachers more than public schools are running
normally across the country.

Zimbabwe's power-sharing government between Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
and President Robert Mugabe has promised to revive the economy and restore
basic services such as health and education that had virtually collapsed
after years of recession.

But the failure by the administration- which says it requires a total US$10
billion to get Zimbabwe back on its feet again - to convince rich Western
nations to release grants and soft loans has hampered its ability to sustain
the recovery effort.

The administration that since its February formation had been paying all its
workers a flat US$100-allowance per month last July hiked payments to
between $155 and $200 per month depending on grade. Teachers' salaries were
raised to US$150, a sum they say should be increased to about $500 per

Patrick Moyo a teacher at a Bulawayo secondary school described his
government salary as a "waste of time".

Moyo said he was at school to teach students preparing for their final
public examinations at the end of the year but he was asking each child to
pay him 20 rands (about US$2.00) to attend lessons.

He said: "If government will not pay us then the students will have to pay
for the lessons because we cannot toil for the whole month for just US$150,
it is waste of time." - ZimOnline

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

The shocking state of Zim schools


Chairman Dr Isaiah Sibanda

Press Release - 15 September 2009

The National Education Advisory Board, appointed in March this year,
released its "Report on the Rapid Assessment of Primary and Secondary
Education in Zimbabwe" yesterday at a Stakeholders Conference held at Prince
Edward School, Harare. The Assessment was funded by the European Commission,
represented at the launch by Ms Barbara Plinkert, Head of the Social Sector.
This was the first task requested by Minister David Coltart, in order to
have reliable data on which to base the work of reconstruction of the
education sector.

Among other findings in the sample 120 schools throughout the country, over
20% of primary schools had not a single textbook for English, Mathematics or
African language - even for the teacher! Large numbers of pupils in rural
areas had no place to sit or write. School buildings, teachers' houses,
furniture etc were generally dilapidated. Many schools had not been visited
for years by Ministry officials due to lack of resources. Examination
results were generally poor, teacher morale was low and the relationship
between teachers and parents had deteriorated.

The Conclusions were as follows:

"The Rapid Assessment focused on a number of problem areas and challenges
which require immediate attention. Despite the limitations of a study done
in such a short space of time, it provided a snapshot of the situation and
the immediate steps needed to stabilize and improve the situation of
education as a whole. At the same time, it made clear that a more in-depth
approach is needed in the longer term. For example major inputs are required
to improve the condition and morale of teachers who will always remain key
players within the education system. These include repairing the damaged
status of teachers and the problematic relationship which has developed
between parents and teachers due to the fact that parents, including very
poor parents, were forced by circumstances to take over responsibility for
teachers' remuneration during the period when the State was unable to
fulfill its obligations in this regard. The staffing and resourcing of the
MOESAC have been seriously affected, and need both re-structuring and
updating. The shortage of resources for the education sector has to be
seriously addressed and stabilized primarily by the State, assisted by
donors and parents. At the same time, there has been major erosion of
educational infrastructure which needs to be addressed. The provision of
teaching learning materials has deteriorated to the extent that the
industries servicing the education sector are no longer able to do so

The Report includes a number of recommendations on the way forward, divided
into urgent recommendations to Ministry not requiring additional expenditure
and those requiring additional funding, medium-term recommendations to
Ministry and recommendations to Partners.ENDS

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe deal leads to few changes for pupils

From The Associated Press, 15 September

By Angus Shaw

Highfield - Stinking waste flows into the yard from the classroom toilets of
B Block. Teachers hold lessons in the shade of trees outside: Much of the
schoolroom furniture is piled into heaps of broken wood. Mutasa junior
school was once the pride of this teeming impoverished township in western
Harare. Now signs in shaky children's writing on the walls tell visitors:
"No books, no learning; No table and chair for teacher. Please help." A year
after President Robert Mugabe signed a power-sharing deal with former
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, making him prime minister, the children
at Mutasa school have little to celebrate. "If my parents had money I could
go to a better school," writes one child in a poem on the bulletin board who
signs himself off as "Sad Boy." Another child says: "Our naked feet are full
of blisters." The United Nations children's fund estimates that an average
of 10 Zimbabwean children share a single text book and some schools have no
books at all. Almost half of junior school children don't go on to senior
school. In one of the biggest donor programs in the past five years, UNICEF
and Western donors on Monday unveiled a $70 million program to get children
back into class. The program aims to provide a text book for every child in
the country's 5,300 junior schools and will target 700,000 absentee children
from the most impoverished and vulnerable communities.

Education Minister David Coltart, a former opposition leader, estimates
about $1 billion is needed to rebuild and re-equip schools across Zimbabwe.
"As shocking as it seems," he said, Mutasa school "is far better off than
many." Years of political and economic turmoil brought Zimbabwean education
services - once a model in the region - to a near standstill in 2008,
depriving millions of children of schooling. Hundreds of rural schools shut
down as teachers fled assaults and harassment after the disputed March 2008
presidential election that later led to the power-sharing agreement. Many
schools were vandalized and had doors, windows and even roofs stolen,
Coltart said. The upcoming rainy season is expected to disrupt teaching
outdoors. "We have lost a year. If we don't get adequate resources in a year
or two we will have lost a whole generation. This is the tragedy. Our
children should be our absolute priority," Coltart said. Since the coalition
government was formed in February after six months of bickering, teachers
have staged sporadic strikes over pay. "We don't have the money. The
government has a dearth of resources" fueled by international skepticism
over the implementation of the deal, Coltart said.

Joe Mbadzi, an Highfield councilor for Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic
Change party, said that parents of Mutasa school children also battled to
raise money for fees and top-up "incentives" for teachers. At least 100
pupils dropped out this term. Mugabe blames Western sanctions for Zimbabwe's
economic meltdown and insists those measures have blocked national
reconstruction. Western nations argue that democratic, constitutional and
media reforms promised in the power-sharing agreement have not gone far
enough for them to restore traditional ties with the former British colony
Mugabe led to independence in 1980. "If we are to restore our once fine
education system, we have to work hard and as a matter of urgency to remove
the skepticism," Coltart said. A child's drawing pinned up at Mutasa school
shows a teacher with a down-curled mouth and lists payments for food,
housing and commuter transport far outstripping his monthly government
salary of $150 - the reason given officially for teacher absenteeism. "This
is just but unbearable," the grim-faced teacher in the child's drawing says.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zanu PF youth militia assault school teacher

This press release from the ‘Youth Alliance for Democracy’ highlights typical Zanu PF endorsed violent behaviour courtesy of the youth militia. It is alarming that this is continuing under the spotlight of the GPA. When will it stop?

Press Release — Youth Alliance for Democracy is disturbed by the beating of Duncan Mapasure, a teacher at Mtasa Primary School in Mtasa district, Manicaland, by ZANU PF youth militias on Friday 11 September 2009. Sources from the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) confirmed the incident citing that Duncan was severely assaulted for failing to abide to the call by ZIMTA to embark on strike action in which the ZANU PF backed union is calling for a salary increment of at least US$540-00 per month.

Speaking on the phone with YAD Media and Communication Officer, Duncan narrated his ordeal saying

‘I was attending classes on Thursday when they came in a white Mahindra and demanded that all teachers should stop teaching and stay home until Tsvangirayi removes sanctions. All teachers then left as the situation was tense. The following day I went to school to give my pupils a test and it was while I was invigilating that test that they came and pulled me outside the classroom and took turns to beating me up accusing me of being a sellout and a puppet of the West.’

Mr Mapasure sustained serious head injuries and broken right hand.

It is unimaginable that some youths are brainwashed to an extent of demanding an end to schooling when pupils are eager to learn considering that this is the last term of the year with life determining exams in a month.

The stance by the European delegation that, Zimbabwe needs to fully implement the Global Political Agreement, restore the rule of law and respect human rights first before travel restrictions can be lifted makes sense, considering the continued human rights abuses in the country. On the other hand the position by SADC is a mockery to the crisis in Zimbabwe as it only exposes the body’s allegiance to President Mugabe.

We call upon the people of Zimbabwe to expose any forms of human rights violations and harassment and resist being used for political expediency.

‘We demand our rights first before you can freely move around the globe’


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Mugabe's remarks may fuel violence: Farmers

by Own Correspondent Wednesday 16 September 2009

HARARE - The Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) on Tuesday said threats by
President Robert Mugabe to send police after white farmers who do not
immediately vacate their land when told to do so by the government could
ignite more violence against the beleaguered farmers.

Mugabe who was addressing a congress of his ZANU PF party's youth wing at
the weekend said whites should quickly move off farms allocated to new black
owners by the government, saying those who did not would be forcibly driven
off the farms by the police.

The CFU said Mugabe's utterances would only help to fuel violence by mobs -- 
many of them members of ZANU PF -- that have continued invading farms across
the country despite formation of a power-sharing government that many
Zimbabweans had hoped would restore law and order on farms to help food

"The speech to the ZANU PF youth may provide fuel for further politically
motivated violence and disturbances on commercial farms at a time where
peace and stability are required to ensure confidence and increased
agricultural production in the current summer cropping season," CFU
president Deon Theron said in a statement on Tuesday.

Theron said white farmers have complied with all regulations and
requirements of the government's lands ministry, adding that farmers on land
targeted for acquisition by the state have always applied for permission to
continue farming as provided for under the law but the government had never
responded to such applications.

"The CFU and its members have never disputed the need for genuine land
reform that truly empowers all the people of Zimbabwe, irrespective of
gender, race, belief or political affiliation and without destabilising
agricultural production," the CFU leader said.

There was no immediate reaction to the CFU statement from Mugabe's office.

Mugabe's chaotic and often violent land reforms that he says were necessary
to correct a colonial land ownership system that reserved the best land for
whites and banished blacks to poor soils, are blamed for plunging Zimbabwe
into food shortages after he failed to support black villagers resettled on
former white farms with inputs to maintain production.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai who formed a power-sharing government with
Mugabe following disputed elections last year, has called for an audit to
establish who owns which land in Zimbabwe before an orderly land reform
programme can be implemented but Mugabe has in the past accused the MDC
leader of wishing to return land to former white owners.

Critics say Mugabe's cronies - and not ordinary peasants - benefited the
most from farm seizures with some of them ending up with as many as six
farms each against the government's stated one-man-one-farm policy.

Government farm seizures, which started in 2000, have resulted in the
majority of the about 4 500 white farmers being forcibly ejected from their
properties without being paid compensation for the land, which Mugabe says
he will not pay because the land was stolen from blacks in the first place.

The government has compensated some farmers for developments on the land
such as dams and farm buildings and says it is committed to compensating all
farmers for such improvements. But farmers say even these payments are way
below market rates. - ZimOnline

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Chiwewe to expose officials with 10 farms

September 16, 2009

From Owen Chikari in Masvingo

MASVINGO - Former Masvingo provincial governor and resident minister Willard
Chiwewe has threatened to expose certain Zanu-PF officials, who according to
him, own up to 10 seized commercial farms each, if he is forced to vacate a
farm which he seized from a black family.

Chiwewe refuses to vacate Ganyani Farm, a property which he grabbed  three
years ago.

He argues that the move to boot him out of the property is politically
motivated, saying he is ready to name and shame senior Zanu-PF officials
involved in land-grabbing scams, some of whom have now acquired up to 10
farms each.

Chiwewe says he is ready to do battle with the state in court after the
Masvingo provincial land committee headed by the current governor Titus
Maluleke ordered him to leave the farm and pave way for the return of the
Ganyani family.

"I am not going to leave that farm because the move is political", said
Chiwewe. "I am more than prepared to name and shame senior Zanu-PF officials
who own as many as ten farms each and President Robert Mugabe is aware of

"If they continue to apply pressure on me I am prepared for a fierce court
battle over this property."

However, Maluleke yesterday said the provincial land committee would be left
with no option but to seek the assistance of the police to forcibly evict
the former governor from the farm.

"If he insists on occupying the farm then we have no option but to seek the
assistance of the police for him to leave", said Maluleke.

Chiwewe who was the province's shortest serving governor since independence
has since been ordered to look for an alternative piece of land to graze his
70 herd of cattle after he was told to move out of Ganyani farm.

The governor grabbed the farm from the Ganyani family arguing that it was
underutilised by them.

The former governor had originally taken over nearly half of the 3000
hectare  farm, leaving the remainder for the Ganyani family.

Chiwewe had ventured into full time farming on the 1667,5 hectare property
after he was relieved of his position as governor of the province last year.

Chiwewe developed an irrigation infrastructure, erected fuel tanks and
constructed a farm house but the land committee said that he should be re-
located elsewhere, nevertheless.

The  land audit report revealed that Chiwewe had used his political muscle
to take over the property and that he had ignored the pleas of the Ganyani

This is not the first time that Chiwewe has been found on the wrong side of
government policy.

About three years ago soon after his appointment Chiwewe was quizzed by the
police for allegedly hoarding and selling government sourced inputs on the
black market.

He was let off the hook after senior police officers blocked his prosecution
and ordered him to pay an admission of guilty fine instead.

Just last year Chiwewe led a farm invasion in Chiredzi. He subsequently
allocated the property to his daughter.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

More attempts to take telecommunications ministry away from MDC

By Lance Guma
16 September 2009

Information Communication Technology Minister Nelson Chamisa has told
Newsreel he is surprised at renewed attempts by ZANU PF to usurp his control
of the telecommunications sector. Last week Chamisa instructed the state
owned Tel One company to slash it tariffs by 50 percent to make customers
pay realistic charges. The state controlled broadcaster ZBC initially ran
the story, quoting Chamisa as giving the directive, but by late afternoon
instructions had been issued from ZANU PF to have Transport Minister
Nicholas Goche cited in the report as having given the directive.

Chamisa told us he worked on the 'position paper' in June this year and ran
it through his cabinet colleagues for approval. After the announcement of
the directive this week he said he was surprised to hear his work being
attributed to someone else. He said initial attempts were made through
Webster Shamu, the Information and Publicity Minister, to take over
telecommunications from him, but now Transport Minister Nicholas Goche was
leading a new turf war against him. Chamisa says the new tug of war has
taken him by surprise, as he thought the matter had been resolved.

Earlier this year in February, Chamisa clashed with Shamu after the ZANU PF
minister attempted to address a meeting of Tel One workers. The young MDC
minister was at the same meeting and confronted Shamu as to what capacity he
was using to address the meeting.

Chamisa admitted the entire fiasco was designed to frustrate him and his
party. Newsreel has been told the matter will now be referred back again to
the principals of the unity government, that is Mugabe, Mutambara and
Tsvangirai, to resolve. In the MDC's complaint to SADC and the African
Union, the dispute over the functions of the ICT ministry remains an
outstanding issue.

So what will the MDC do? Chamisa says they have given themselves one month
to consult their supporters on whether to pull out or remain in the
coalition government. He conceded the consultation process made them look
indecisive, but added it was necessary to make the right decision and have
the backing of the people.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

August inflation slows on lower food prices

Wed Sep 16, 2009 8:34am GMT

* Inflation brakes on lower food costs

* No year-on-year data

HARARE, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Zimbabwean inflation slowed to 0.4 percent
month-on-month in August from 1.0 percent in July, figures released by the
Central Statistical Office showed on Wednesday.

The southern African country had grappled with hyperinflation, prompting a
unity government formed in February by President Robert Mugabe and his rival
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to adopt the use of multiple currencies,
replacing the worthless local unit.

The CSO attributed the slowdown in August inflation to the lower cost of
food and non-alcoholic beverages.

The agency, which temporarily halted the release of official data when
inflation reached 231 million percent in July 2008, currently does not give
year-on-year inflation statistics.

In July Finance Minister Tendai Biti said the country was still experiencing
inflationary pressures from public utility and municipal tariffs, as well as
low production levels, which averaged 30 percent of total capacity.
(Reporting by Cris Chinaka; Editing by Chris Pizzey)

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

MDC MP Pishai Muchauraya arrested

By Violet Gonda
16 August 2009

Pishai Muchauraya, the MDC-T MP for Makoni South and Manicaland provincial
spokesperson, spent Tuesday night in police custody on charges of assaulting
someone inside a police station. The legislator was arrested when he went to
Mutare Central Police Station with his lawyer, Chris Ndlovu, after the
police issued a man-hunt for his arrest, in connection with an alleged
assault on August 14th.

Muchauraya appeared in court Wednesday and was released on free bail by
Magistrate Billard Musakwa. He is expected to appear in court on 28th
September for trial.

The legislator told SW Radio Africa soon after his release that he is being
victimized and that some ZANU PF politicians and senior police officers in
Mutare are trying to silence him. He denies the charge and says the
complainant, Precious Zinyemba, stole US$12 500 from a friend of his.

He said: "We drove the accused to the police station to make a report so
that the police would arrest this thief, but to our surprise the police did
not arrest the thief." The MP claims some of the officers connived with
Zinyemba to share the money she allegedly stole, which resulted in
accusations that he assaulted her in the presence of the police. He denies
the charge.

The outspoken MDC provincial spokesperson said the case has been heavily
politicized and he does not believe he will get a fair trial. A statement
issued by the MDC said two police officers have also been arrested for not
arresting Muchauraya on the day the crime was committed, and were both made
to pay fines.

Muchauraya added: "I doubt I will get a fair trial because right now four
police officers have been charged at Mutare police station for refusing to
make false testimonies. That is Detective Sergeant Mukwati, Detective
Chiwari and two others."  The MDC said the arrest of the Makoni South MP is
a clear signal that there is a determination in some people in the inclusive
government to continue to frustrate and harass MDC MPs, senior officials and
MDC supporters.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Makoni on trial for addressing meeting

September 16, 2009

BINDURA (Radio VOP) - The trial of Mavambo-Kusile-Dawn (MKD) leader and
losing presidential candidate in the March 2008 presidential election, Simba
Makoni, was on Tuesday deferred to next month.Makoni faces charges of
allegedly addressing a political meeting without police authority during his

Makoni, who broke away from Zanu-PF early last year to form a loose
coalition of independent candidates, all of whom lost dismally against
Zanu-PF and the two Movement for Democratic Change factions, briefly
appeared before a Bindura magistrate but was advised to come back to court
on October 8.

Police re-opened his case in June at a time when Makoni transformed his
political project into a fully fledged political party. His trial kicked off
Tuesday in the mining town, 19 months after the alleged offence.

"The court wants to look at the section of POSA he is being charged under so
the trial was deferred to 8 October, 2008," said Denford Magora, the
spokesman for the MKD leader.

During the trial, the defence raised an objection that Makoni was being
charged under sections of POSA that no longer existed.

"The mess surrounding this case shows just how ill-prepared the State is.
They do not even know their own laws and are seeking to persecute people
under sections that do not exist," said Magora.

Makoni now claims his trial was violating his freedom of speech, assembly
and movement.

Makoni is charged under the notorious Public Order and Security Act (POSA),
a piece of legislation human rights activists claim is draconian and is
allegedly being used by the state to persecute perceived opponents.

Court papers at hand show that the charges against him stemmed from a
meeting attended by about 400 people and addressed by the former Finance
Minister on March 5 last year, in the run-up to the controversial
presidential elections.

The state has lined up two Zanu- PF members and councillors Henry Magundani
and Tendai Kuzvidza and four police officers stationed at Glendale Police
Station, namely Albert Chifamba, Johane Chimbari, Oddington Chonze and Jacob
Pedzai, to testify against Makoni.

Emmanuel Muchenga, who has handled several cases involving MDC officials and
activists, including the party's deputy minister for agriculture designate
Roy Bennett in Mutare, will prosecute the matter when the trial finally

The state says Makoni organised the public gathering without giving due
notice to the police as required under a certain clause in POSA.

He allegedly sent a team to advertise the political gathering using a loud
hailer and about 400 people responded and gathered at Tsungubvi Bus Terminus
in Glendale.

The state says further that Makoni later arrived at the sceneand addressed
the gathering for about 10 minutes using the same loud-hailer.

The former executive secretary of Southern African Development Community
(SADC) officially launched his long-awaited opposition party,
Mavambo-Kusile-Dawn (MKD) in July this year with promises of delivering real
change to the country.

In the controversial March 2008 election, in which he was supported and
endorsed by the Arthur Mutambara led smaller faction of the MDC, Makoni
polled slightly over eight percent of the vote while President Mugabe and
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai respectively garnered 43 percent and 48
percent respectively of the votes cast.

Makoni's party has since split with a rival group forming its own break-away
faction, citing allegations of corruption.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Moyo calls MDC leaders "blithering idiots"

September 16, 2009

By Raymond Maingire

HARARE - Former Information Minister and independent legislator for
Tsholotsho North Jonathan Moyo has branded the mainstream MDC politicians
"blithering idiots" for claiming they helped him secure his parliamentary
seat during the March 2008 elections.

The MDC says it entered into a gentlemen's agreement with Moyo by not
fielding a candidate in that constituency.

The MDC says the move was intended to deny archrival Zanu-PF what appeared
to be an imminent victory in a constituency where its (MDC)
splinter faction led by Deputy Prime Minster Arthur Mutambara was equally

"Those who say that are blithering idiots," Moyo told the Zimbabwe Times
Monday when asked to comment if recent press reports he had
applied to rejoin Zanu PF were true.

Moyo refused completely to discuss the subject, preferring to concentrate on
the claims by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai led MDC.

"I never entered into any agreement with anyone. That's rubbish. They took
their own decision," Moyo said.

"They did not put a candidate in Tsholotsho North, yes. But they went on not
to put a candidate in Tsholotsho South. Are they trying to say
they were also helping me by not putting a candidate next door?

"Common sense says you must assist yourself first before you can think of
assisting any other person.

"Who told them they have supporters in Tsholotsho? There is no evidence at
all that they had any votes in Tsholotsho.

"To explain my point, Tsvangirai fielded candidates for a senatorial seat in
Tsholotsho and rural councils who all did dismally."

Moyo says by not fielding a candidate in his constituency, the MDC actually
denied him the pleasure of registering a resounding victory.

"I actually wish they had put a candidate in Tsholotsho North because the
candidate for MDC-M who really gave me a good run for my money
came close to me after benefiting a lot from the MDC-Tsvangirai's votes as
there was no other MDC they could vote for."

Moyo said the Tsvangirai led MDC would have suffered a huge embarrassment of
becoming last if it had fielded a candidate in the

Moyo received 3 532 votes, defeating Mgezelwa Ncube the candidate of the
Arthur Mutambara faction of the MDC and Zanu-PF's Alice Dube who garnered 3
305 and 2 085 votes, respectively.

Moyo refused point-blank to discuss his reapplication to rejoin Zanu PF, a
party he departed from ignominiously after defying a leadership directive he
should not contest the same Tsholotsho seat in 2005.

"As a matter of principle, I don't comment on what other people say," he

"I am no the one who has said it. Call the Zimbabwe Independent (newspaper)
and ask if it is true.

"I will not dignify somebody's story. You journalists start something and
think we have a burden to explain it."

Zanu-PF chairman John Nkomo confirmed on Thursday, September 10, that Moyo
had submitted his letter to the party's secretary for administration Didymus

Moyo had been writing long articles in the state media in which he viciously
attacked both MDC parties and showered President Robert Mugabe and Zanu-PF
with praise.

"Yes, he wrote to VaMutasa three weeks ago after Vice President Msika's
funeral," Nkomo said.

He said Moyo's application would then be presented to the Zanu-PF politburo,
which in turn would refer it to him as party chairman and head of the party's
disciplinary committee.

But even as Moyo refused to comment on his application, the State-controlled
Herald newspaper, which is privileged with both government and Zanu-PF
confidential information, reported that the politburo would discuss Moyo's
possible readmission at its next meeting.

Zanu-PF secretary for administration, Didymus Mutasa described Moyo as an
"important asset" to the party.

"I do not think it is necessary for the politburo to punish people like him.
It (the politburo) is not there to humiliate Cde Moyo," Mutasa said.

Mutasa said the politburo should "show gratitude for the good work Prof Moyo
did during his time in Government and Zanu-PF".

Mutasa confirmed receipt of the letter from Moyo seeking readmission into
Zanu-PF adding that the author of the repressive media law "did not quit
Zanu-PF of his own volition".

During his term as Information Minister, Moyo banned four newspapers which
were viewed as critical of President Robert Mugabe.

"I have got the letter," Mutasa said. "I personally regard it highly. It is
noble for him to have applied to rejoin the party.

"A lot of things were happening that were not pleasing to him. The fact that
he has seen it good to re-apply and join the party makes me very pleased.

"The resources of the party and its investment are in the people. In
Jonathan Moyo I find a very good and important investment for the party,"
Mutasa said. "He is a very good information person. He showed this during
the time he was Minister of Information. I would not like to lose people
like him."

Moyo defended his recent newspaper articles where he continues to criticise
Tsvangirai and his MDC.

In his latest article, Moyo claims the MDC leader was running a parallel
government by paying his workers in government higher salaries than the

He says he was "exercising my freedom of expression to hold to scrutiny "
someone who "lies" by claiming he is the head of government and yet refuses
to take responsibility for the failure of the same government's programmes.

Moyo, who has also criticised Mutambara, says he would not do the same to
President Robert Mugabe.

Mugabe also claims he is the head of government, among other titles that the
State media now routinely piles on him.

"I am exercising my freedom of expression," he said, "I must not do what you
want. I must do what I want and I am entitled to do that. If that does not
please you, too bad! That is what freedom of expression is."

Moyo denied claims he had filed a court challenge against MDC MP Lovemore
Moyo's election as Speaker of the House of Assembly last year on behalf of

"I am doing it on behalf of Zimbabweans, who include both Zanu-PF and MDC. I
am dong it in the interest of the rule of law which you journalists and your
MDC say you believe in. And that rule of law does not discriminate between
MDC or Zanu-PF.

"It is in the interest of the rule of law that the conduct of the election
of Speaker which is a constitutional office is done in terms of the
constitution, the laws of Zimbabwe and the standing orders of Parliament.

"I have the right to seek redress in a court of law. I never went to a
militia or anybody else to seek redress. I never beat up Mr Moyo. I simply
went to a court of law and paid money to my lawyer and I think only idiots
would find something wrong with that."

Asked if he would proceed to also challenge the election of President Mugabe
last year, which was even more controversial and was condemned by the
international community after over 200 supporters of Tsvangirai's MDC were
left dead.

"Why did you not challenge it yourself because you are so eloquent about
it?," Moyo said.

"Why should I be the one who is carrying your burden? Am I your
representative? You are the ones who describe the election as having been
flawed and mired in controversy. I would respect you for challenging that in
a court of law in the same way I challenged Moyo's election.

"But it is not my duty to go about challenging all elections as if I am a
fool. I am not a fool."

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Chinamasa criticised for attack on SADC tribunal



Reaffirming that the observance of human rights, good governance and the
Rule of Law are indispensible requirements for the greater democratisation
of the African Continent;
Mindful that these are dependent on the existence of independent, impartial
and effective institutions that deliver justice without fear or favour;
Acknowledging that in a significant number of African countries the Rule of
Law has entrenched itself and judicial institutions operate without
interference from any quarters;
Wary that some African countries have depicted a tendency to undermine
judicial authority at both the domestic and regional levels;

1. Observed with alarm the current efforts of the government of Zimbabwe
through the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs of Zimbabwe, Honourable
Patrick Chinamasa, to cause SADC to dismantle a sub-regional judicial
organ - the SADC Tribunal - on his perceptions relating to non-ratification
and the implications thereof.
2. Are not convinced by the official reasons, which the Minister has raised
to justify his decision. They observed among others that:
a. The establishment of the SADC Tribunal needs no ratification.
b. The Zimbabwean Government nominated a judge to sit as a Member of the
Tribunal. Other SADC states have also nominated judges to constitute a full
complement of Tribunal judges.
c. The Government of Zimbabwe has appeared before the Tribunal in more than
one case, and has at no time raised objections to its legality and/or
d. The Government of Zimbabwe is only challenging the Tribunal as a result
of it being referred to the SADC Heads of State and Government to explain
its non-compliance with binding decisions of this sub-regional judicial
e. The failure of the Government of Zimbabwe to comply with a court
decision, whether of a domestic or international tribunal, is consistent
with its endemic culture of defiance of court orders that it dislikes.
f. In Zimbabwe the Government dismantled the Supreme Court and the High
Court when they were seen as issuing decisions which the Government disliked
through forcing out judges and hiring "politically correct" individuals. Its
current thrust to destroy the SADC judicial organ is consistent with the
Government's conduct in dealing with judicial organs that it dislikes.
3. There have been suggestions that the SADC Ministers of Justice and
Attorneys General will meet shortly to decide the fate of the SADC Tribunal.
Attention must be drawn to the fact that the jurisdiction of the Ministers
of Justice (as extensions of executives) to consider this matter is
irregular, as this potentially amounts to an assault on the principle of
separation of powers. It is an established principle of international law
that the Tribunal, as the judicial organ itself - and not the executive
organ constituted by ministers - must be the ultimate judge of its own


1. Encourage the government of Zimbabwe to comply with the decisions of the
SADC Tribunal rather than to use disingenuous and convoluted legal arguments
to destroy the Tribunal, in an apparent quest to avoid submitting to the
rule of law.
2. Strengthen and defend its institutions of justice when they make
decisions, which are within their competencies. Failure by the SADC and AU
leadership to vigorously defend regional and sub-regional judicial organs
from such a blatant assault is likely to have a contagion effect throughout
the continent which is so desperate for strong institutions of democracy and
rule of law to protect the rights of the people, assure investors of the
sanctity of contract and availability of credible enforcement mechanisms,
and generally promote socio-economic development on the continent.

1. Observed that the substantial archives in respect of the Rwanda Genocide
are part and parcel of Rwanda's and Africa's history and heritage. The AU
and the UN are therefore implored to work together to ensure that the UNICTR
archives are retained and stored in Africa, with appropriate levels of
access for citizens, researchers, scholars and others.
The leadership of the representatives of regional bar associations and rule
of law institutions welcomed the establishment of this forum and committed
to continue working together and deepen collaboration on strengthening of
the rule of law in Africa through this forum.
Done and signed at Arusha, Tanzania, this 16th September 2009.








Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Army commander declares war on private radio stations

By Violet Gonda
16 September 2008

There are two main excuses that ZANU PF has been using as reasons that the
Global Political Agreement has not been fully implemented - the issue of the
'sanctions' and the so-called 'pirate' radio stations broadcasting into
Zimbabwe.  The regime's public criticism of 'pirate' stations has become
more vocal of late, and even senior army senior army chiefs are accusing the
stations such as SW Radio Africa and Studio 7 of treason, through their
"asymmetrical warfare".
Lieutenant-General Phillip Valerio Sibanda, the Commander of the Zimbabwe
National Army, told a study seminar of army officers in Harare on Monday
that foreign-based radio stations are at 'war with Zimbabwe' and told the
soldiers to remain on guard against such things.
He was addressing soldiers attending a five day seminar on 'low intensity
operations and asymmetric warfare' at 2 Infantry Brigade Headquarters in
Harare on Monday.
Online blogger Denford Magora quotes the army chief as saying: "Our country
is undergoing asymmetric type of war where all means are used to achieve set
objectives by our detractors. Zimbabweans must be aware and clearly
understand that war is not only about guns and bullets. Zimbabwe's
detractors are using some NGOs and pirate radio stations to spread false and
hate messages that will lead to rioting, despondency and eventually cause
The Zimbabwe Times newspaper reports Sibanda saying it was imperative for
army officers to be on guard and equip themselves with knowledge of
different types of warfare that can be waged against a country by its
enemies. The general accused foreign governments of funding this 'campaign'
to reverse Mugabe's land reform programme.
Another army official, Brigadier General Douglas Nyikayaramba, said: "There
are so many instruments which are used in asymmetric warfare and we, as the
Two Brigade, were tasked to equip our army officers with knowledge so that
they do not only protect the country with guns."
Journalist Angus Shaw said this is part of the new scenario where ZANU PF is
trying to find blame for the non-implementation of the GPA.  He said
although Sibanda is generally considered a 'moderate man,' his latest
statements show that he is now parroting what people are saying within the
higher echelons of ZANU PF.

Observers say the regime's extreme opposition to private radio stations
shows that they understand how important radio is for providing access to
independent news and information to all Zimbabweans. It also indicates
they have no interest in freeing the media and that the only media they want
is one that they can completely control, such as the ZBC and the Herald.

Shaw also said ordinary Zimbabweans are hungry for proper information and
are frustrated with the subversion of the state media. The journalist said:
"There is nothing but hate speech on the ZANU PF controlled media and there
is now a smoke and mirror situation where just like the sanctions issue,
they are trying to find excuses about why they haven't moved forward with
the constitution commission, media reforms and democratic reforms in
general, plus the restoration of law and order."

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabweans Blame Mugabe Over Unity Government Stalemate

By Peter Clottey
16 September 2009

Zimbabweans say President Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party are to blame
for the ongoing stalemate in the country's coalition government.

They are accusing the embattled leader of refusing to fully implement the
Global Political Agreement which led to the formation of the coalition

But President Mugabe has said there are no sticking points in the agreement
which threaten to unravel the government's unity.

Rather he blames the international community for imposing sanctions, which
he claims hinder the functioning of the government.

Glen Mpani, a Zimbabwean political analyst said that President Mugabe is
good at shifting blame.

"It is a statement that does not reflect reality that is there between the
three political parties. Because if two of the principals are mentioning
that there are outstanding issues that need to be resolved, I don't think
that it is his (Mugabe) responsibility. to justify whether there are
disagreements or not in the agreement," said Mpani, a Zimbabwean political

He said the sticking point of the agreement was dealt with during a regional

"It was in essence agreed that the inclusive government was going to deal
with the issue of the governor, the issue of the attorney general and the
issues of other appointments that were supposed to be taking place," he

Mpani said there are indications that Mr. Mugabe is not serious about the
unity government.

"For him (Mugabe) to say that there are no other sticking points, I think he
is simply politicking. It does not reflect the spirit of ensuring that they
are working in an inclusive government," Mpani said.

Embattled President Mugabe maintains that he is working with the former
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in a unity government to
resolve the ongoing crisis.

But Mpani said Mr. Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party have often undermined
elections in the country.

"We have an election where we did not get a conclusion in terms of the will
of the people of Zimbabwe," Mpani said.

He said Mugabe often plays the victim by claiming the sanctions hinder the
functioning of the coalition government.

"One of the ways in which ZANU-PF has been able to deal with sanctions is to
construe them as having been imposed on them because of the MDC. And I think
we have to be careful not to allow the propaganda that he (Mugabe ) has been
associated with the issue of sanctions to be perpetuated," he said.

Mpani said there is need to holistically examine the usefulness of the

"It is very important and critical for Zimbabweans internally and externally
to critically assess the role of the sanctions. What have they done, what
have been their impact, are they assisting in unlocking the crisis in
Zimbabwe?" Mpani asked.

He said the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has not done
enough to ensure Mugabe fully implement the agreement that led to the
formation of the unity government.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

MDC MPs Fed Up

MASVINGO- September 16, 2009- Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
legislators said on Tuesday they had lost faith in the six month old but
shaky Global Political Agreement (GPA) and are beginning to campaign for
fresh elections.

The GPA signed by MDC leaders Morgan Tsvangirai and Authur Mutambara
as well as ZANU PF's Robert Mugabe is under threat due to disagreements in

The provincial party spokesperson and Member of Parliament for
Masvingo Urban constituency ,who is also the chairman for Standing Rules and
Orders Committee (SROC), Tongai Matutu, told RadioVOP that they had resolved
to holding fresh campaigns after discovering that 'Mugabe is refusing to
consider their issues'.

"All MDC-T legislators from Masvingo have met today in a caucus
meeting and they agreed to start campaigns from Mwenezi- the district which
is popularly known for its dire support for the once ruling party Zanu PF.

"We have nothing to hide here; Mugabe is being notorious by refusing
to consider our issues. He has stretched our patients too far; we can not
wait while he continues to take us like his children. We are not interested
in this game anymore," he said. "Masvingo has lost faith in this animal
called GPA, its better we think for another way to fully liberate the people
from Mugabe dictatorship. We are preparing people for yet another election
because there is no where we can go with Mugabe blocking all developmental

"We are starting with Mwenezi tomorrow. We shall talk to villagers in
Mwenezi East and all MPs and party provincial executive members will be
talking to people. On Wednesday alone we shall have at least nine rallies in
Mwenezi. I will promise you that we are not joking, this is a beginning of a
new era," said Matutu.

Speaking on the issue of consulting the public on whether they still
want the inclusive government, Matutu said there was no doubt that the
people of Masvingo were 'exhausted'.

"What else can people do to show that they are fed up. We are going to
carry a survey but for sure the people here are exhausted. Mugabe has let
the whole deal down. We want to see progress but if all the outstanding
issues are not being addressed then why should we try to solemnise this
marriage. Masvingo is prepared to walk out."

Meanwhile a Minister responsible for National Healing under the
Mutambara led MDC, Gibson Sibanda, said he had since learnt  that Zanu PF
and Mugabe never honoured agreements.

Speaking at a one-day workshop on national reconciliation workshop
held in Masvingo, Sibanda said: "PF ZAPU and ZANU established a unity
government after the violence that erupted in Matebeleland, to be known as
the Gukurahundi massacres. Many people lost their lives, and I lost several
relatives. The two parties merged to form one party-ZANU PF. But Mugabe
failed to honour the agreement, leading to the swallowing of PF ZAPU."

"Then came the MDC, and again that violence started. All this time
there was violence, injury and loss of life. Since 2000, all the elections
were marred by bloodshed. And now Mugabe appears as if he made a compromise,
but again he is defaulting," said Sibanda.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe Will Use Recent IMF Loan for Infrastructure

By Peta Thornycroft
Southern Africa
16 September 2009

Zimbabwe Finance Minister Tendai Biti says the hundreds of millions of
dollars pledged by the International Monetary Fund earlier this month will
be used to rebuild the country's infrastructure.

Earlier this month, Central Bank Governor Gideon Gono made a statement
through the partisan public media saying Zimbabwe had been awarded $500
million from the International Monetary Fund.

The IMF said the money, in the form of special drawing rights that have to
be sold to turn it into cash, was allocated to Zimbabwe and 185 other IMF
countries in a one-time loan to help them cope with the world recession.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti says he is in close contact continuously with
the IMF, and after consultations has decided that as bilateral aid is not
forthcoming, he will use the IMF money to rebuild schools, hospitals, roads,
railways and communications.

Since becoming the unity government finance minister, Biti has eliminated
the Zimbabwe dollar and introduced U.S. dollars and the South African rand
to stabilize the economy.

In an interview in a weekly newsletter published by the unity government's
prime minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, Biti hinted at tension between himself
and Gono. In a clear reference to the financial chaos of the previous
ZANU-PF administration he said Zimbabwe's era of what he called 'Zombie'
economics were over, as was the "era of of the state acting as the arena for
personal enrichment."

He described the previous administration as a "kleptocracy" and said he
would ensure the IMF's once-time award was used for the benefit of the
people as a whole and not individuals.

Gono, who has been widely accused of usurping the finance ministry's powers
before the inclusive government was sworn into power in February, was
responsible for the printing of large amounts of money and triggering the
record-breaking inflation that crippled the economy last year.

In his interview Finance Minister Biti painted a grim picture of the
Zimbabwe economy, saying it has a debt of $5 billion, of which the central
bank debt is $1 billion.

He said the national debt, inherited by the inclusive government, as a
percentage of gross domestic product was more than 150 percent and that this
debt was two-and-one-half times greater than the value of Zimbabwe's total
exports. He said Zimbabwe's indebtedness, including current arrears, which
he said were a result of previous economic mismanagement, prevented Zimbabwe
from accessing cheap loans from institutions like the World Bank.

Western countries have said they will only provide development aid when the
year-old political agreement signed by Mr. Mugabe and Mr. Tsvangirai is
fully implemented.

Zimbabwe has received more than a $1-billion in humanitarian aid since the
economic crisis began in earnest in 2000.

The IMF says another $10 million was awarded to Zimbabwe, but is being held
back until it clears $140 million in current arrears to the fund.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Investors make tentative return to Zimbabwe

By Richard Lapper in Harare

Published: September 16 2009 17:52 | Last updated: September 16 2009 19:04

The imposing façade is freshly painted, the hardwood floors and panelling are repaired and polished and the oil portraits of Cecil Rhodes, founder of colonial Rhodesia, dusted off. The Bulawayo Club, preserve of the white elite in pre-independence Zimbabwe, has become an unlikely beneficiary of the country’s stuttering economic recovery.

Although foreign investors are still wary of Zimbabwe’s continuing political uncertainty, local businesses, such as Amalinda Collection, the local tourist group behind the club’s refurbishment, are starting to commit capital. Phil Stead, managing director of Amalinda, says: “It is going to happen. If you have a good product you can make money here.” 

Zimbabwe’s seven-month-old coalition government – in which Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF and Morgan Tsvan­girai’s Movement for Democratic Change are sharing power after a disputed general election – may still be fractious, but entrepreneurs such as Mr Stead are betting that the political settlement and currency stability – achieved when the local dollar was replaced by the US dollar and South African rand – have changed things fundamentally.  

Amalinda, which also owns two safari lodges, negotiated a lease to manage the 114-year-old gentlemen’s club in Bulawayo this year and are planning to manage it like a conventional hotel. Some $180,000 (€123,000, £109,000) has been invested; more will follow.

“The bottom fell out of this [tourism] market in a heartbeat at the end of the 1990s and it could recover just as quickly,” says Mr Stead. Recent weeks, he says, have been encouraging, with adventurous US tourists, mining company executives and European diplomats among those staying at the club.

The Bulawayo Club (above) is an unlikely beneficiary of the country’s stuttering recovery

Greater price stability and the opening of credit lines from South Africa are also presenting opportunities in other sectors. In a small town near Harare, an engineer, still too nervous to offer his name, recently returned with his family from abroad to invest tens of thousands in a cross-border business supplying imported merchandise.

“There is no way I would be back without these changes,” he says. “You know that when you wake up your money will have the same value as it had the night before. I know now I can go to the supermarket and buy milk and cereal for the kids.”  

The government is hoping this sense of opportunity will soon lure significant foreign investment, helping to exploit economically pivotal reserves of gold, platinum, chromium and diamonds. Both Mr Mugabe and Mr Tsvangirai were expected to address an event billed as the country’s biggest mining conference in Harare on Wednesday.

So far, though, investors themselves are cautious. At the Harare Stock Exchange, which reopened seven months ago, share prices have moved sideways, with as many investors choosing to realise gains as to take fresh positions.  

In the real economy, foreign businessmen are still concerned about restrictions and legal confusion. Vaguely worded indigenisation laws mean that foreign investors must cede a controlling stake to black empowerment groups. Change has been promised, with new mining legislation apparently under consideration. But for the moment groups such as South Africa’s Impala Platinum, already the biggest investor in Zimbabwean mining, are leaving multi-million-dollar investment plans on hold.


In spite of dollarisation, exchange controls remain on the statute book and Gideon Gono, the Zanu-PF politician who presided over the monetary chaos that led to Zimbabwe’s hyperinflation, is still governor of the central bank. A long-awai­ted investment treaty with South Africa has still to be approved. 

The occupations of commercial farms owned by white farmers – which have continued since Mr Tsvangirai was inaugurated as prime minister in February – do not help business confidence. And as Sean Gammon of Imara, a  pan-African financial group, puts it: “There is still unease about the politics generally and how sustainable all this is.”

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe finmin says blocked possible IMF aid abuse

Wed Sep 16, 2009 4:51pm GMT

By Cris Chinaka

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's Finance Minister Tendai Biti said on Wednesday
he had blocked possible "unprocedural use" of IMF aid allocated to the
country under a global assistance agreement for member states hit by a
global crisis.

Biti dismissed as "rubbish" reports in state media that he had written to
the International Monetary Fund effectively rejecting over $500 million in
IMF special drawing rights extended to Zimbabwe because Harare has external
debts of about $5.7 billion.

"That is rubbish. I did not block (the aid)," he told a news conference he
called to address what he termed unjustified excitement over the IMF

"What I blocked are efforts to unprocedurally convert and to liquidate the
SDRs into cash," Biti charged. But he refused to name the culprits.

Biti, a senior figure of the Movement for Democratic Change opposed to
President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party, has been fighting a bitter turf war
with the president's allies, especially central bank Governor Gideon Gono,
since the MDC joined ZANU-PF in a power-sharing government in February.

The IMF said on September 4 that it had transferred around $400 million in
IMF special drawing rights to Zimbabwe under a $250 billion agreement to
bolster the reserves of the fund's 186 member countries.

The fund said however it would withhold another $102 million of Zimbabwe's
allocation by placing it in escrow until the country had cleared its $140
million IMF debt.

Biti said on Wednesday it was common knowledge that Zimbabwe was broke and
had no foreign reserves, and that the economy was struggling to get off the
ground after a decade in crisis.

"This is the net position of Zimbabwe ... and so we have to use any money
that we get very carefully, under a proper fiscal plan," he said.

Biti said he was recommending that the government uses the IMF allocation
mainly to rehabilitate Zimbabwe's dilapidated infrastructure, including
roads, water resources, phone and electricity network.

Zimbabwe has suffered a decade of economic meltdown, worsened by the
withdrawal of Western funding over policy differences with Mugabe's previous
administration, before he formed the unity government with rival MDC leader
Morgan Tsvangirai, now prime minister.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe set to double maize harvest -finmin

Wed Sep 16, 2009 3:23pm GMT

* Previous season harvest was 1.2 million tonnes

* Finance minister says preparations for harvest better

* Analysts say 2.5 million T maize output target unlikely

By MacDonald Dzirutwe

HARARE, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe expects to harvest 2.5 million tonnes
of maize in 2009/2010 compared with 1.2 million tonnes in the previous
season, Finance Minister Tendai Biti said on Wednesday.

Once a regional supplier of grain, Zimbabwe has failed to feed itself since
2001, relying on imports and donor handouts.

"I see no reason why, with the better preparations we are having, we cannot
have a bumper harvest of 2.5 million tonnes," Biti told a mining conference
in Harare.

Zimbabwe is holding the conference as part of efforts by a new power-sharing
government to attract investment in the southern African nation.

Analysts said it was unlikely that Zimbabwe would be able to more than
double its maize output next year because of lack of funds for inputs such
as fertilisers.

"It is a very ambitious project to try and raise maize production to that
level simply because the infrastructure does not support that and I doubt
they have enough money to spend on fertilisers and seed," a Johannesburg
grain trader, who declined to be named, said.

Another trader said the country's farmers would be unable to increase output
without more government and donor support.

Biti said in July the government would provide $142 million this year to
help small farmers buy resources needed to boost food production and help
reverse years of decline in farming.

Industry experts say production of all major crops -- including maize, wheat
and tobacco -- has declined by more than 50 percent since 2001.

The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and World Food
Programme said in June about 2.8 million people in Zimbabwe will face food
shortages in the coming year and will require some 228,000 tonnes of food
assistance, including 190,000 of cereals.

The decline of the country's farm sector is blamed on the often violent
seizures of white-owned commercial farms in 2000, which President Robert
Mugabe has defended as necessary to correct colonial-era imbalances in land
ownership. (Additional reporting by Shapi Shacinda in Johannesburg, editing
by Anthony Barker)

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Mugabe woos mining firms, promises stable policies

Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:38pm EDT

* Approves 15 mining projects worth $400 mln since Feb

* Mining now key sector after collapse of agriculture

* Rio Tinto says uncertainty blocks investments

By Nelson Banya and MacDonald Dzirutwe

HARARE, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe urged foreign
mining companies to invest in the southern African country and sought on
Wednesday to allay fears that such businesses could be expropriated.

Mugabe told a mining conference in Harare that the government would soon
pass a new law to govern the sector, which would address concerns raised by
an earlier draft that had said foreign mining companies could not hold more
than 49 percent of a business and had to sell any stake above that to

Following the collapse of commercial agriculture, mining has become the top
foreign currency earner, with gold alone bringing in a third of total export
earnings to a country that says it is unlikely to receive bilateral
assistance soon. [ID:nLG224373]

Mugabe, trying to woo badly needed foreign investment, said the law would
seek a balance between attracting investors and empowerment of Zimbabweans -
a key concern for his government.

Poor power supply to mines was also a big concern to existing and potential
investors [ID:nWEA1244]

Mugabe said the proposed mining law would be debated in the next session of
parliament, which starts later this month.

"The review of the Mines and Minerals Act will seek to strengthen the
relationship between the government and mining houses," he said in a speech.
"It also seeks to ensure that Zimbabweans benefit from their natural
resources through the creation of an enabling framework."

The mining conference is part of efforts by a new power-sharing government
to attract investment in Zimbabwe, which has the world's second-biggest
platinum reserves after South Africa and large deposits of diamonds, coal
and nickel.

"The government is committed to ensuring that the policy environment is
stable, predictable and sufficiently attractive to guarantee investors good
returns," Mugabe said.

Victor Gapare, the president of Zimbabwe's Chamber of Mines said Mugabe had
reiterated to a handful of concerned investors in a private meeting the
country would not expropriate mines.

The previous mining draft law raised fears of a repeat of the violent
seizures of white-owned commercial farms in 2000, which Mugabe defended as
necessary to correct colonial land imbalances but which critics blame for
acute food shortages.


Participants at the conference said uncertainty over policies would continue
holding back big new mining investment.

Niels Kristensen, head of Rio Tinto's (RIO.L)(RIO.AX) diamond unit in
Zimbabwe said at the conference although he was encouraged by the country's
aim to improve its mining sector, more must be done to resolve uncertainty
and attract new cash.

"Until we see some certainty, there won't be significant investment in
mining," he said. [ID:nWEA1231]

But some new cash was trickling into the mining sector.

Elton Mangoma, Zimbabwe's economic planning minister, said the country had
approved 15 mining projects worth $400 million since February this year, and
some were already being developed.

Zimbabwe, which has had no meaningful exploration for the last decade, said
it would set up a company to explore minerals in areas seen as high risk by
private mining firms.[ID:nWEA1215]

Mining companies in Zimbabwe include Anglo American (AAL.L) unit Anglo
Platinum (AMSJ.J), Impala Platinum (IMPJ.J) and Rio, a major shareholder in
a diamond mine. (Writing by James Macharia, Editing by Peter Blackburn)
(; +263 4 799 112)

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

President Mugabe calls for investment in Zimbabwe

Associated Press

Sep 16, 12:23 PM EDT

Associated Press Writer

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) -- President Robert Mugabe told businessmen Wednesday
that their potential investments in Zimbabwe would be safe, while the
finance minister announced the country is $5.7 billion in debt.

Mugabe, opening a two-day meeting on investment in the once vibrant mining
industry, said that Zimbabwe's unity government has made "satisfactory
progress" in creating a conducive environment for investment.

"The sanctity of property rights and the rule of law in all its dimensions
are fully respected," Mugabe said.

Zimbabwe's economic meltdown began after Mugabe ordered the seizures of
thousands of white-owned commercial farms in 2000, disrupting the
agriculture-based economy in the former regional breadbasket.

His critics point to continuing human rights violations, land seizures and
laws requiring a majority local stake in foreign firms.

Mugabe has demanded that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, the former
opposition leader, do more to get the sanctions lifted and restore foreign
aid and investment.

But the European Union and other Western nations say the coalition, formed
in February, has not done enough to restore the rule of law and begin
democratic reform, blaming Mugabe and high-level loyalists for resisting

Zimbabwe is $5.7 billion in debt, Finance Minister Tendai Biti told
reporters later Wednesday.

"We hunt for money. Our situation is very rudimentary," he said. "We are
unable to liquidate our debt."

Biti, a former opposition official, said he would announce a national budget
review in November in which support by the International Monetary Fund would
bolster efforts to kick start Zimbabwe's crippled economy.

The IMF released $500 million earlier this month in a sign of acceptance for
the southern African nation's new coalition. The money would be used for
reconstruction of roads and water and energy supply and provide lines of
credit for exporters.

But he warned that the IMF was not "a Father Christmas" and that the use of
the funds would comply with international law and proper fiscal discipline.

"There won't be anything that is consumptive and short-term," he said.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Long while before bilateral aid: Zimbabwe Finance Minister

Wed Sep 16, 2009 10:47am GMT

By MacDonald Dzirutwe

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's Finance Minister Tendai Biti said on Wednesday
it would be a "long while" before the country, struggling to pull itself out
of an economic crisis, received bilateral assistance.

Biti also told a mining conference Zimbabwe could not return to using the
local dollar -- abandoned at the start of the year after hyperinflation
rendered it worthless -- until the economy could support the currency.

Zimbabwe says it needs $10 billion in foreign aid to rebuild the country,
grappling with a dilapidated infrastructure, hyperinflation and unemployment
of over 90 percent.

But Western nations who suspended aid over policy differences with veteran
President Robert Mugabe are reluctant to release cash without further
political and economic reform under a unity government he formed with rival
Morgan Tsvangirai, now Prime Minister.

"It's going to be a long while before bilateral assistance comes to Zimbabwe
... so we are having to look at foreign direct investment," said Biti, a
minister from Tsvangirai's MDC party.

Harare adopted the use of multiple currencies, mainly the U.S. dollar and
the rand, to try and rein in inflation.

"We cannot return to the Zimbabwe dollar ... unless we have an economy that
supports the currency. Most of our friends (donors) are sulking, so we have
to come up with our own local initiatives. We are on our own," Biti said on

Earlier this month the IMF said it had transferred around $400 million in
special drawing rights to Zimbabwe under a $250 billion global agreement to
bolster the reserves of its 186 member countries in the wake of the
worldwide financial crisis.

The IMF said, however, it would withhold another $102 million of Zimbabwe's
allocation by placing it in escrow until the country had cleared its $140
million IMF debt.

On Wednesday Biti said the government would introduce a new income tax in
November which would see the application of a "transparent and flat" tax
system. Biti gave no further detail.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe Labor Officials Attend Convention of American Confederation

By Jonga Kandemiiri
15 September 2009

Representatives of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions were in Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania on Tuesday attending the 26th constitutional convention of the
American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations, better
known as the AFL-CIO.

ZCTU President Lovemore Matombo and Secretary General Wellington Chibebe
were invited by the trade union federation to attend the convention, during
which AFL-CIO President John J. Sweeney was to hand off to successor Richard
Trumka, a third-generation coal miner.

Chibebe told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that
workers in his country could learn much from the relationship between the
U.S. government and labor.

President Barack Obama addressed the convention Tuesday, telling delegates
that America's success has been based on its middle class, which opened
opportunity to others.

"And the fundamental test of this century, of our time, is whether we will
heed this lesson, whether we will let America become a nation of the very
rich and the very poor of the haves and the have-nots, or whether we will
remain true to the promise of this country and build a future where the
success of all of us is built on the success of each of us," he said.

"That's the future I want to build," Obama told the labor convention.
"That's the future the AFL-CIO wants to build. That's the future the
American people want to build. That's the future that I've been working to
build from the moment I took office."

President Obama also seized the occasion to drum up support for the health
care reform legislation he hopes to see voted into law by the House and
Senate later this year.

"We have talked this issue to death, year after year, decade after decade,"
Mr. Obama said. That's why I said the time for bickering is over, the time
for games has passed, now is the time deliver on health care reform."

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Tsvangirai's address to the Zim Employers' Confederation

Address by the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, the Right Honourable Morgan
Tsvangirai, to the Employers' Confederation of Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls,
16th September 2009

Honourable Ministers Here Present,

The President of Emcoz, Mr. D Govere,

Business and Industrial Leaders

Invited Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen;

Thank you for the opportunity to address you today, as you consider how - as
employers - you can support the process of Economic Recovery in Zimbabwe.

All of us here today must work together to reshape our economic destiny to
meet the needs of our people through establishing an environment that
encourages sustained economic growth and development.

If we are to ensure sustained recovery in the shortest possible time, every
sector in our economy must unite to drive the process of recovery together
with Government.

Ladies and Gentlemen, yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of the
Global Political Agreement (GPA) which saw the formation of the current
inclusive Government in an attempt to soft-land the country's dire political
and economic crisis.

There is no doubt in my mind that, despite the unpalatable compromises the
various signatories to the agreement had to make, it was the right move for
the country, such was the situation at the time.

The key issue to consider is how we can best reshape our economic destiny to
allow Government to meet the needs of our people through establishing an
environment that encourages sustained economic growth and development.

If we are to ensure sustained recovery in the shortest possible time, we
will have to seek out and implement innovative approaches to sourcing the
capital requirements needed for such a recovery.

Zimbabwe's economic stability requires access to foreign markets, finance,
technologies, skills and ideas, which are only made possible by all the key
stakeholders working together as partners committed to our nation's

The year 2008, was the low-water mark in the history of Zimbabwe. We all saw
what chronic mismanagement, combined with systemic kleptocracy, could do to
a once proud and vibrant country.

Over a period of many years, the hard work, commitment and honesty of the
many was slowly betrayed, undone, and stolen by the few.

As Zimbabweans, we had started to lose pride in our country. The legacy of
those that fought, and died to secure our independence was in jeopardy and
more names were being added to the roll of honour of those that have paid
the ultimate sacrifice for a democratic country.

Today, we have managed to restore a modicum of sanity to our country's
economy as well as beginning the process of restoring basic services and
getting our schools and hospitals operating again.

However, progress towards real change has not been as fast or comprehensive
as the people demand or deserve and does not yet reflect an adequate return
on the hope invested by the people of this country.

Seven months since the formation of this new Government, there can be no
excuse for the continued failure to implement in full, all the articles of
the GPA. This deliberate attempt to frustrate the process of change and the
rebuilding of our nation, is now affecting all aspects of our society - an
aspect that you as employers are only too well aware of.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we cannot let ourselves be diverted from our quest to
drive the process of positive change within Zimbabwe.

Let me assure you that I am fully committed to the rebuilding of this great
nation. We have entered an irreversible process of change, albeit a
difficult one.

Ladies and Gentlemen, let us be frank about the scale of the task still
ahead of us, as we seek to rebuild a country in which we can all rightly be

We have an economy which, though now stable, is a shadow of what it once

We have an infrastructure which has crumbled due to years of looting and

We have farms lying idle due to a corrupt and inept land redistribution

We have lost many of our most qualified and educated citizens, who have left
the country in despair.

Perhaps most dangerously, we still have a few people clinging desperately to
a system in which they perverted the rule of law, basic freedoms, and even
the institutions of the state to serve their own, selfish and divisive

But the process of change has started, and it is irreversible.

Slowly but surely, we are dismantling the systems of privilege, entitlement
and impunity which sheltered and protected the systematic looting of this

Slowly but surely, we are rebuilding the solid economic foundations, on
which we can build our future livelihoods.

Slowly but surely, we are rebuilding the basic services and the basic
infrastructure which will serve our people, and allow them to be proud and

Slowly but surely, we are rebuilding the rule of law and respect for
property rights, without which business cannot function.

This is a process which will take some time. There have been many
frustrations to date and more to come. But we will not let them distract or
deter us from the mandate we have from the people to effect real change in
their lives.

In this, I pledge to you:

as businessmen, and businesswomen;

as employers and investors;

and indeed as parents;

that we will secure the changes in Zimbabwe which we need to give all our
citizens the opportunities they deserve.

Those opportunities will be shared by the many, not the few.

The State will not use its powers to interfere within the boardrooms of
commerce and industry and where this has happened in the past, the situation
will be rectified.

The rapid and effective economic stabilisation which we achieved earlier
this year will now be followed by a period of economic consolidation,
reform, and investment.

My fellow Ministers and I invite you to share with us your views on how best
we can achieve this. We certainly do not believe that we have all the

What is clear is that a culture of cooperation and consensus has begun to
take hold within Government, between Government and business and between
Government and the people. This culture is replacing the previous attitude
of impunity and entitlement that drove the country to the brink of total

The GPA commits Government to establish a National Economic Council so that
key stakeholders can act as advisors to Government and we can work as
partners in rebuilding our nation.

I ask you as employers to partner with us on rebuilding this country. In
turn, I will continue to tackle both the mismanagement and the corruption
which has come to characterise government in Zimbabwe. This is a fight that
must be fought and won, but that cannot be won by Government alone.

In this fight to end the cancer of corruption you too have a vital role to
play be refraining from encouraging corrupt practices and instead reporting
them to my office. In my Government, there will be zero tolerance for
corruption or practices that promote corruption.

Real change is also required in the way business is conducted. For too long,
too many businesses have been forced to rely on patronage to survive. My
Government is committed to establishing an environment determined by strong
market principals that encourages both independence and innovation.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am encouraged by the fact that EMOCOZ has chosen the
theme "Decent Work for Economic Development" for your congress this year.

Promoted by the International Labour Organisation, Decent Work sums up the
aspirations of people for work that is productive and delivers a fair
income, security in the workplace and social protection for families; better
prospects for personal development and social integration, freedom for
people to express their concerns, organize and participate in the decisions
that affect their lives and equality of opportunity and treatment for all
women and men.

As a former Trade Unionist, and also as one who understands the need for a
market-driven business environment, I applaud you for promoting the rights
of the workers. A contented workforce is a productive workforce.

Thus, with my assurance of the continued pursuit of stability, real change
for the people of Zimbabwe and the support of this Government for business
growth, it is my pleasure to formally open the EMCOZ Congress 2009.

I thank you.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe Christian leaders (UK) to facilitate Role of Diaspora In ZIM Transitional Process

Press Release­­

London, 10 September, 2009, -Zimbabwean Christian and Lay Leaders in the UK
are meeting in London on the Ist of October 2009 to facilitate how migrants
in the Diaspora can best contribute towards their country's socio-economic
and political development.

This inaugural conference entitled, 'Locating The Role of The Diaspora in
Zimbabwe's transitional process', is being organised by the Council of
Zimbabwean Christian Leaders Uk (CZCL UK).

The conference comes at a time when Zimbabwe experiences a political test
during which many in the Diaspora have been reduced to mere commentators and
Cynics of the current goings on.

 CZCL UK is convening this consultation to create a credible yet effective
platform that will steer significant involvement of Zimbabwean Christians in
the UK who are currently leaders or studying to be the same in different
sectors of life. This platform will serve as a bridge and overcome obstacles
posed by class, gender, color, ethnic orientation or political affiliation
in this exercise.

The conference is a significant step in providing an apolitical yet morally
credible movement of Zimbabweans living abroad in fostering intelligent yet
constructive debate, engagement and discourse that will give a definite
voice to those in the Diaspora.

Speakers at the London Conference will include Hon. Minister of State - Mr.
Gorden Moyo, Professor Ken Mufuka - Lander University (USA), Dr. Sabelo
Gatsheni Ndlovu - Open University (UK), Reverend Mucharutya Chisvo, Dr.
Julius Mugwagwa - Open University (UK), Reverend Ray Motsi - Zimbabwe
Christian Alliance and Dr. John Makumbe - Political Analyst.

One of the Key issues to be discussed during the conference is how best to
involve the Diaspora in the current constitutional reform process. The UK
hosts the second largest Zimbabwean population outside Zimbabwe and it is
important to find ways of involving this constituency in such an important

CZCL is therefore inviting to this conference skilled professionals,
students who have since migrated to the UK, Churches, Community Leaders,
Academics, Aid organizations and institutions as well as individuals who are
working on issues related to Zimbabwe or the Diaspora.


For Further information contact:

 Taurainashe: 07787960979 or Barbara: 077337077698

 For conference e-mail: ,, Call us on + 44 (0)2085344568 (land) or  +447733707698

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

There Will Be No Rest Until Zimbabweans Have Peace - Tsvangirai

Harare, September 16, 2009 - Zimbabwe's Prime Minister and Movement
for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai says he will not rest until
Zimbabweans have peace and freedom.

A statement posted on his website on Wednesday to mark one year
anniversary of the signing of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) quoted
Tsvangirai saying: "We want people to live peacefully. We want them to have
more freedoms. We want prosperity among our people. We want them to restart
their lives and improve their lives and we will not rest until this is
"The GPA is not just a piece of paper," he said. "The people of
Zimbabwe must actually own the agreement. They must understand how that
agreement impacts on their lives. It's not just a leadership issue. It is
for the people. It must be owned by Zimbabweans."
"We have reduced tension across the political divide. There was a
sense of hope to the people when we opened schools and hospitals that had
closed down. We have started attracting international investment to the
country and creating more business opportunities. The confidence of our
business community has grown. Generally, it is more of a situation where we
provided hope where there was despair."
Tsvangirai said the ride has not been easy, saying: "But it would
appear our opponents or our colleagues who are in ZANU PF, have not embarked
on a paradigm shift. You still have the emphasis of apportioning blame on
the MDC (Movement for Democratic Change). There is emphasis of apportioning
success on ZANU PF by the State media. The hate language in the State media
is incessant. I will give you an example of today's (Tuesday) Herald. It has
five negative articles on MDC and you would think that we are running a
parallel government."
"The Public Service Commission has not demonstrated the new
dispensation. Some of my staff has not been appointed. My security details
have not been incorporated or integrated into the structure of the
Government although they will continue working. The constitutional process
seems to be struggling to take off. The National Healing programme seems to
be up there and not having an impact on the people. So while we have
committed from our side of the bargain, I think ZANU PF is far from that."
Mugabe is due to give progress of the GPA at a rare briefing with
editors from both state-owned and private press at State House on Thursday.
Mugabe has blamed MDC for failing to persuade the West to end its
sanctions on Zimbabwe, which he said, are the main cause of Zimbabwe's
current economic and political suffering.
The GPA was brokered by the Southern Africa Development Community
(SADC) through Thabo Mbeki, the former South African president and was
signed on September 15, 2008.
However progress has been slowed down due to disagreements in the
implementation of the agreement. Most western countries have refused to
fully committ themselves financially to the inclusive government, demanding
first an improvement in the implementation of the GPA and an end to human
rights abuses.

Back to the Top
Back to Index