by Patricia Mpofu and Clara Smith Friday 18 September 2009
HARARE - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF party is split over an
application for readmission into the party by controversial former
information minister Jonathan Moyo, party insiders said on Thursday.
Authoritative sources within ZANU PF, speaking on condition they were not
named, said fissures between two rival camps, one led by former army
commander Solomon Mujuru and the other by Defence Minister Emmerson
Mnangagwa - who are embroiled in a mortal fight to take over Mugabe's job
when he steps down, have opened up in recent weeks with Moyo's possible
return to the party.
While the faction led by ZANU PF secretary for legal affairs Mnangagwa is
said to be vigorously pushing for Moyo's unconditional admission to the
party which fired him nearly five years ago for defying a party directive,
the Mujuru camp is understood to be resisting manoeuvres to fast-track the
return of the former media hangman.
The Mnangagwa camp is said to have convinced Mugabe that Moyo was the vital
cog lacking in the ZANU PF propaganda machinery against a media suave
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
which has launched a number of newsletters to counter ZANU PF's crude
propaganda churned through state-controlled media.
"We want him. He knows how to deal with these MDC T greenhorns. Check how he
is taking Tendai Biti to pieces in his several writings in the state media.
This is what we need when faced by an enemy sponsored by the imperialists,"
said a ZANU PF senior politburo member, adding that Moyo's application was
submitted to the politburo - the party's supreme decision-making organ -
But another politburo member said Moyo's unconditional admission would set a
bad precedent for ZANU PF. He said people were angry that "the spoilt brat"
was being considered for readmission to the party despite not apologising
publicly for rubbishing Mugabe and ZANU PF after he was dismissed.
Moyo was fired by Mugabe from the government after a failed 2004
plot -hatched at Tsholotsho in southern rural Zimbabwe - to block the
appointment of Joice Mujuru as Vice-President, placing her ahead of the pack
to succeed Mugabe was uncovered.
"Why is a fellow who has shown disrespect and disregard of the party being
treated differently from others. He was the brains behind Tsholotsho and you
know what that scheme was meant to achieve," he said.
Moyo is said not to see eye to eye with the Mujuru camp as well as with ZANU
PF national chairman John Nkomo. Moyo took Nkomo to court after he was fired
by ZANU PF for standing as an independent candidate in the March 2005
While ZANU PF is divided over his re-entry into the party he has once
described "as dead and ready to be buried by the MDC", insiders claimed
yesterday however that his application was on the verge of sailing through.
Both the ZANU PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa and Justice
Minister Patrick Chinamasa, one of Mugabe's chief negotiators, confirmed
Moyo had submitted his application.
"I don't see what the fancy is about with his application. He is seeking to
come back to the revolutionary party. I have said it before and I am saying
it now, I personally have no problems with it. I have the application and it
is up to us to admit," Mutasa.
Chinamasa said; "I wish him well and hope to work with him again."
Moyo and Chinamasa were in the fore-front of demonisation of the MDC in 2000
after the two were parachuted into the Cabinet as non-constituency members
of parliament by Mugabe.
Other sources claimed that Nkomo, who chairs the disciplinary committee of
the party, was unhappy that some of his comrades wanted to overrule standing
regulations by wanting to fast-track Moyo's re-admission.
There were also questions why Moyo lodged his application after the death of
Vice President Joseph Msika.
"We find this in bad taste if not callous," said a ZANU PF central committee
member. Nkomo declined to comment.
Moyo, the only independent candidate in the House of Assembly, was the
architect of the draconian Access to Information and Protection of Privacy
Act used to shut down four newspapers, including The Daily News, and the
Broadcasting Services Act that has kept the Zimbabwe Broadcasting
Corporation's monopoly intact. - ZimOnline
September 17, 2009
By Our Correspondent
HARARE - Finance Minister Tendai Biti has said the US$510 million that was
allocated to Zimbabwe by the International Monetary Fund will only be used
next year when a new national budget comes into effect.
He said the fund would only be used after the drawing up of a budget in the
second or third week of November.
"The bulk of the money will be used towards infrastructure development,"
Biti said, "that is roads, information communication technology and water
and not for anything in the short term.
"Another amount will be used for lines of credit for the exporters. Another
amount will then be used for budgetary support, where we may use the money
to have a one month window of, let's say, $60 million to meet recurrent
He also took the occasion of the press conference to state that treasury had
the sole responsibility to oversee the management and disbursement of the
This is a clear message for the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe which received the
funds and has already drawn up recommendations for how the funds should be
Meanwhile, the inaugural Mining Indaba in Zimbabwe ended Thursday with more
than 250 international investors in attendance.
Some of the investors came from as far afield as Canada, the United States
The first day was marked by presentations by policy makers to provide policy
directions to the investors attending.
The indaba was officially opened by President Robert Mugabe and there were
presentations by Finance Minister Tendai Biti as well as the Minister of
Mines and Mining Development Obert Mpofu.
President Mugabe spoke on the sanctity of property rights and said
government would respect any investments made.
Biti spoke on the issue of the reintroduction of the local currency, as has
been suggested by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono.
The finance minister said the Zimbabwe dollar was not in any way going to be
"Some people want me to commit suicide for them to know that the Zimbabwe
dollar is not returning," said the minister.
This is the third large-scale investors' conference to be held in the
country after a tourism investor's conference held in March and another
investors' conference that took place in July.
Mining has the potential to drive the economy as there are huge mineral
deposits waiting to be exploited.
By Sandra Nyaira
17 September 2009
Political analysts and ordinary Zimbabweans seem to agree that it would be a
mistake for the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai to declare the September 2008 Global Political Agreement a
dead letter and scuttle the seven-month-old national unity government.
One year and a few days after the signature of the GPA by Mr. Tsvangirai,
President Robert Mugabe and rival MDC formation leader Arthur Mutambara, now
deputy prime minister, recriminations and threats of dissolution are heard
among unity government partners more than celebratory declarations.
Of the three GPA principals only Mr. Mugabe has declared himself satisfied
with the degree of fulfillment of the GPA. Mr. Tsvangirai's MDC formation
says the president and his ZANU-PF have flouted the pact with unilateral
appointments, delayed installation of MDC officials, and systematic
prosecution of MDC members of parliament on charges Tsvangirai's former
opposition party calls trumped-up.
Mr. Tsvangirai on the weekend said he would sound his supporters on whether
the GPA should be kept in place or not - which many interpret as a veiled
threat to pull out of the government.
For perspective on this latest turn in this saga of an agreement that took
months in 2008 to negotiate and was not translated into a unity government
until five months later amid disease, hunger and desperation, Sandra Nyaira
of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe asked John Makumbe of the University of
Zimbabwe and London-based analyst George Shire whether the MDC would be well
advised to pull the plug.
Both agreed that Mr. Tsvangirai's dominant MDC formation should keep the
deal intact - but Makumbe argued that the MDC is entirely correct to
challenge ZANU-PF on its adherence to the pact.
Correspondent Taurai Shava reported from Gweru, Midlands province, that
ordinary Zimbabweans fear the economic and political consequences of a unity
government collapse triggered by an MDC walkout, saying recent economic
gains could be lost and political violence could surge as in 2008 after the
March elections in which Mr. Tsvangirai outpolled Mr. Mugabe and ZANU-PF
lost its House majority.
By Chris Gande
17 September 2009
Controversy has arisen in Zimbabwe over the disbursement of World Bank funds
provided to the government to keep skilled professionals in the country.
The Multi-Donor Trust Fund, administered by the World Bank, has been
supplementing the salaries of skilled civil servants to retain them,
regardless of political affiliation.
Most civil servants earn only US$150 a month, but those receiving allowances
are said to be receiving as much as US$3,500 dollars a month.
The state-run Herald newspaper, closely aligned with the ZANU-PF party of
President Robert Mugabe, charged that the main beneficiaries were loyalists
of the Movement for Democratic Change formation led by Prime Minister Morgan
The Herald also accused the prime minister of running a "parallel
government" whose staff received higher salaries than official public
servants of the Zimbabwean government. But he told ZimOnline this week that
the public service refuses to officially appoint his staff.
Government sources said they did not know why offices controlled by ZANU-PF
were not drawing upon the fund. VOA was unable to obtain comment from
ZANU-pf on the issue.
Acting Chief Executive Officer Sifiso Ndlovu of the Zimbabwe Teachers
Association told reporter Chris Gande of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that a
fund to retain skilled workers is a good idea, but secrecy surrounding it
has caused misgivings among civil servants.
Members of the Zimbabwe Teachers Association are currently on strike over
GODFREY MARAWANYIKA Published: 2009/09/18 06:14:46 AM
HARARE - Zimbabwe was ready to consider easing proposals for rules that
would force foreign mining companies to give local businesses majority
stakes in their firms, Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere said
Three years ago, President Robert Mugabe's government proposed requiring
mining firms to give - for free - 51% stakes to black Zimbabweans.
The move alarmed foreign mining firms, with the draft law drawing
comparisons with Zimbabwe's violence- plagued land reforms when the
government seized white-owned farms with little or no compensation.
Mining firms warned expropriations would do more harm to an already hobbled
mining industry, which accounts for 50% of Zimbabwe's export earnings.
Now that Mugabe has been forced into a unity government with his erstwhile
rival, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, the government is trying
desperately to lure foreign investors to rebuild an economy crushed by years
Kasukuwere said the government was ready to consider easing the proposed
regulations, and any local business partners should have cash to invest.
"The 51% stake is not a pre-requisite for investment. We are saying bring
your money, and we will not illegally take it," Kasukuwere said on the
sidelines of a conference to attract foreign investors.
Some companies had feared the new rules would result in the government
imposing partners on foreign firms, but Kasukuwere denied that was the aim.
"We will not impose a partner on anybody," he said.
"For anybody to get equity in any firm, they must bring cash upfront.
"When we talk of empowerment, we are not talking of nationalising or
expropriation," he said.
Foreign companies to be affected by the bill included Rio Tinto, Anglo
Platinum and Zimplats, a subsidiary of SA's Impala Platinum.
Mineral-rich Zimbabwe was once a prime source of gold, platinum, chrome and
other metals, but most mines now run only maintenance operations due to the
high cost of business.
Gold panning and scavenging for diamonds took off during Zimbabwe's economic
nosedive, leading to claims of human rights abuses in the eastern Marange
diamond fields as the military seized control and forced out informal
Zimbabwe's mining ministry said it had short-listed two foreign firms to
take over the Marange fields to avert a ban on the nation's diamond sales by
the Kimberley Process, which regulates the global gem trade to prevent
The two-day mining conference, which wrapped up yesterday, aims to lure
foreign companies back to the country, with 850 delegates from SA, India,
Georgia, Russia and Australia.
Mines Minister Obert Mpofu pledged at the conference to cut the time it
takes to get a mining licence to six months at most. Some have been pending
Mining accounts for 3,8% of Zimbabwe's economy and 4,5% of formal
Tsvangirai told the conference the minerals sector could attract 6bn-16bn in
investment from 2011-2018 once a more conducive environment for investment
had been put in place.
"This government, in conjunction with the mining industry, has a window of
opportunity to prepare a conducive policy environment by mid-2010.
"That (policy environment) could see Zimbabwe's mineral sector attracting
between 6bn and 16bn in exploration and mine development investment during
the 2011-2018 period," he said.
Tsvangirai said the investments could help boost the country's gross
domestic product by 3bn a year. With Reuters
The 51% stake is not a prerequisite for investment. We are saying bring your
money, and we will not illegally take it
September 18, 2009
By Our Correspondent
HARARE - Justice and Legal Affairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa has denied
wide-spread claims that his Zanu-PF party was deliberately delaying the
current constitution making process because it was not prepared to face
Zimbabwe's inclusive government is leading a constitution making process
which, according to the Global Political Agreement (GPA) signed la year ago
by the political parties in government, is supposed to be complete by
October next year.
Fresh national elections are supposed to be called thereafter.
Zanu-PF has continued to take a passive approach to the process, it is
alleged in some quarters.
But Chinamasa denies this was meant to derail the process by Zanu-PF.
"We are not blocking the constitution," Chinamasa told journalists at the
Quill Club, Harare's press club, Wednesday evening.
He said it was not necessary for his party to be seen accelerating itself
into a process which was inevitably going to falter along the way due to
continued lack of resources.
"We are also not afraid of elections. That is propaganda and you do not get
weighed down by propaganda," said Chinamasa, who was chairperson of the
drafting committee during the 1999 draft constitution.
The draft was however rejected in a referendum held in February 2000.
Chinamasa continued, "I know what goes into it (constitution making) in
terms of commitment, logistics and in terms of resources and what I know
about this particular constitution making process is that the resources are
"The first all-stakeholders conference on the making of new constitution in
July demonstrated that unless you have resources, you are killing this
process. You do not need me or Zanu -PF to kill it. It will just kill itself
if you do not fund it adequately.
"The resources should come from the government. Right now it has no
resources. We are now moving around with a begging bowl. What is coming in
is just a trickle. The parliamentary committee cannot use its own
Just like the land reform programme, Chinamasa said, Zanu-PF was still keen
to se the writing of a new constitution concluded to avoid parties using the
two crucial issues in their manifesto in the future elections.
"In the future elections," said Chinamasa, "we do not want to see in a
manifesto from MDC-T, MDC-M anything about the constitution or the land
"We want to see those issues concluded to allow us to talk about other
things like who would be the better manager of our resources and who will
empower our people and not go back to issues that will polarise and divide
Zanu-PF has come under criticism for failing to submit names of people to be
drafted into thematic committees in time.
Reports said factions within the party were not agreed as to who should be
seconded to the marathon process.
Some took offence at recent statements by Zanu-PF secretary for
administration Didymus Mutasa that the MDC was trying to use the writing of
a new constitution as a subtle means to remove President Robert Mugabe from
Critics say the Zanu-PF mindset was revealed at the stakeholders meeting at
the Rainbow Towers in July when a horde of party supporters disrupted the
meeting forcing MDC officials to flee the podium after they were pelted with
water bottles by the mob.
They accused the MDC of trying to dethrone Mugabe though the envisaged
Meanwhile, President Mugabe says the constitution-making process will go
ahead but his party will not support any resultant document that is not
anchored on the Kariba Draft document.
The writing of a new constitution is the initiative of the current inclusive
government which brought together former rivals Zanu-PF and MDC.
The MDC is the party that has evidently displayed more enthusiasm for the
programme to succeed.
The MDC is hoping a new supreme document would be able to address
contentious issues that have created the current political crisis in
Zimbabwe where a leader of unlimited terms has been allowed to entrench his
Currently, the process is at consultation stage although authorities are yet
to set up bases in the various centres where they are supposed to gather
public views on the project.
by Andrew Moyo Friday 18 September 2009
HARARE - Political risk for investors in Zimbabwe is no longer as high as it
was before formation of a power-sharing government by President Robert
Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, a top mining house said on
Toronto Stock Exchange-listed mining giant New Dawn Mining told a mining
investment conference in Harare that the days of politically motivated and
hostile economic policy decisions were over in Zimbabwe.
"Zimbabwe now has one of the most stable fiscal and monetary regimes in
Africa," New Dawn president and chief executive officer Ian Saunders told
hundreds of foreign investors from across the world.
"I do not think the political risk in Zimbabwe will go back to where it was.
If decisions continue to be made on economic reasons, we will be okay. I do
not see the risk politically going to the past," Saunders said, appearing to
have truly taken to heart Mugabe's promises earlier on Wednesday to work to
ensure economic stability.
Addressing the mining conference, Mugabe urged international mining firms to
pour fresh money into Zimbabwe's deposits -rich mining sector, promising the
miners a sound and stable operating environment.
However Mugabe has also vowed to continue with his farm seizure policy that
has scared away foreign investors before because of its blatant disregard
for the rule of law and property rights.
New Dawn owns Turk and Angellas gold mines near Zimbabwe's second largest
city of Bulawayo.
After temporarily shutting down Turk Mine last year due to delayed payments
for gold deliveries by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, New Dawn in April sold
its first two gold bars under the new mining regime that allows mining
companies to retain all their hard cash earnings.
Saunders has promised to restore Turk mine to full production. - ZimOnline
Thursday, 17 September 2009 22:01
THE latest row between Finance Minister Tendai Biti and Reserve Bank
governor Gideon Gono (pictured) over the disbursement of over US$500 million
from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) intensified this week with the
multilateral lender supporting Treasury in its battle to wrest control of
the funds from the central bank.
This came as Biti, whose fight with Gono has scaled crisis levels,
this week tabled a major proposal on a debt clearance strategy which has
deeply divided government along party lines just like the IMF funds.
Documents to hand show fights over IMF money and debt clearance are
However, Biti has so far won the battle for the control of IMF funds,
a large sum of them already in the Reserve Bank coffers, after a concerted
campaign over the past three weeks. Biti though still faces an uphill task
over the debt issue.
Official documents show Zimbabwe has an alarming debt overhang of
US$5,7 billion of which US$5,2 billion is external debt and US$413 million
domestic debt. Of the publicly guaranteed debt, US$3,1 billion is in
arrears. This is broken down into US$1,3 billion multilateral arrears, while
bilateral creditors are owed US$1,6 billion and supplier's credit US$200
The debts are affecting investment and capital inflows into the
country, hence economic recovery. Zimbabwe, currently looking for US$10
billion to resuscitate its ruined economy, needs US$45 billion in the next
10 years to recover to GDP levels of 1997.
Government has been relentlessly sued by creditors who include KFW of
Germany, Daro Film Distributors and UBS AG of Switzerland, SACE of Italy,
ING Bank of the Netherlands, EximBank of US and West Merchant Bank and
Lloyds of the UK abroad over debts. It risks losing assets for failure to
Public assets are targeted for seizure over debts. Zimbabwe owes money
to multilateral creditors (international financial institutions such as the
World Bank and the IMF), bilateral creditors (Paris Club) and commercial
creditors (London Club).
Government has engaged a debt consultant, Patrick Malambo from the
Bank of Zambia to formulate a debt and arrears clearance strategy and draft
a policy document to guide overall debt management. Biti has proposed
different strategies to clear the debt, including the Heavily Indebted Poor
Country (HIPC) Initiative which he prefers. Zanu PF ministers are livid over
There were clashes on the IMF funds and debt issues among cabinet
ministers on Tuesday with Zanu PF officials launching fierce attacks on Biti
whom they accused of handling matters shoddily. Biti dropped a hint on this
at the Mining Conference on Wednesday.
IMF deputy managing Takatoshi Kato on Monday wrote to Gono informing
him that Fund would not agree with his instruction for it to accept part of
the US$408,7 million received by Zimbabwe on August 28 as arrears repayment.
Zimbabwe owes the IMF SDR89 million or US$138 million.
Gono had written to IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn on
September 8 informing him Zimbabwe would like to repay its arrears using the
money it received following the injection of US$283 billion into the global
economy to provide liquidity and boost member countries' dwindling foreign
To Page 2
Zimbabwe got Special Drawing Rights (SDR) 328,4 million, an equivalent
of US$512,3 million.
"As of today, the 8th of September 2009, I have instructed my Finance
Division to pass a swift message to the Fund's Accounts Department to
request the IMF to fully repay Zimbabwe's overdue obligations through the
usage of SRD262 million (US$408,7 million) already in the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe," Gono wrote to Kato.
"The balance of the SDRs, including the second allotment of SRD66, 4
million to be released from the escrow account will be deployed into
non-consumptive, but productive areas to rejuvenate economic activity in the
country," Gono said. "We seek your support in allowing Zimbabwe as a member
of the IMF community to gainfully deploy the SDR allocations to not only
clear all IMF arrears, but also provide the impetus for sustainable
However, Kato wrote to Gono on Monday, saying the IMF would not do
that because it dealt with the Ministry of Finance and not Reserve Bank on
such matters. The letter was copied to Biti and IMF executive director
"I am responding on behalf of the managing director to your September
8, 2009, letter to him regarding Zimbabwe's SDR allocation. I would like to
clarify that under Article V, Section 1 of the IMF Articles of Agreement,
each member is to deal with the Fund only through its fiscal agent and the
Fund is to deal with the member only with or through the same agent," Kato
"Accordingly, instructions from Zimbabwe for the transfer of SDRs can
only be accepted from Zimbabwe's Ministry of Finance, which is Zimbabwe's
fiscal agent for the Fund."
This left Biti in charge, although most of the money is currently in
Gono's custody. The minister argues as head of treasury and fiscal
authority, he is empowered in terms of the constitution and the
International Financial Organisations Act to assume control of IMF funds,
while the central governor says he has jurisdiction as chief policy advisor
to government on monetary issues. The warring officials have not met over
the issue despite letters flying between them since August 28.
Biti and Gono, who are fighting over control of government financial
levers, have separately been communicating with the IMF on this issue in a
bid to assert control over the funds. Biti said this week he as the "sole
authority" on the matter and would decided how the money would be used. He
said the bulk of the money would go to infrastructure development and lines
of credit for exporters. The minister also said he might channel part of it
towards budgetary support.
Gono wants the money directed into mining, manufacturing, tourism and
recapitalisation of public enterprises such as NRZ, Zesa, Zisco and Hwange
Colliery, among others. He would also like to use the money to repay
government debts to corporates, NGOs and the IMF.
Zimbabwe has no capacity to repay its debts and liabilities will
remain unsustainable until 2029. For instance, the country's projected
revenues for 2009 are only US$970 million and the GDP is US$3,4 billion,
while external arrears alone are US$3,1 billion.
Biti's debt strategy options include the use of internal revenue
inflows which are woefully inadequate, resource-based debt restructuring,
Paris Club debt rescheduling and the HIPC initiative which he thinks is the
Thursday, 17 September 2009 21:56
MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai (pictured) is in a quandary after his
national council broke ranks with him and initiated a process that may lead
to the party pulling out of the inclusive government with President Robert
Mugabe over outstanding issues of the global political agreement (GPA).
Impeccable MDC sources told the Zimbabwe Independent that the premier
was cornered by members of the national council during its meeting in
Bulawayo and told to adopt a tough stance against Mugabe on the sticking
issues if the unity government was to survive. On Saturday, the party's
national executive had also met in Bulawayo and adopted the same stance.
The sources said the two meetings exposed deep divisions in the MDC on
the feasibility and necessity of the inclusive government.
Tsvangirai, the sources said, was against the proposal to walk out of
the inclusive government, but the majority of council members were for the
"There was general agitation to pull out," a council member said.
"We, however, softened our stance and resolved that we should consult the
people on the way forward."
The decision to engage party structures and the people, the sources
said, left Tsvangirai in a dilemma because he would not be able to go
against the will of the people if they endorse the pull out.
Senior members of the party have since started campaigning in their
respective constituencies for the MDC to disengage from the unity government
citing Mugabe and Zanu PF's intransigence.
Speaking at a rally at White City Stadium on Sunday, MDC youth
chairperson Thamsanqa Mahlangu and women assembly boss Theresa Makone - both
members of the national executive and council - said their party should
disengage from the inclusive government.
MDC MPs from Masvingo province reportedly met on Tuesday and agreed
that their party should withdraw from the inclusive government and call for
fresh elections. The legislators agreed to campaign for disengagement and
the anticipated polls.
Sources said during the council meeting, Tsvangirai was told to give
Mugabe a week's ultimatum to implement fully the unity pact.
Eddie Cross, a council member and a close advisor of Tsvangirai, this
week confirmed the ultimatum and the resolution for toughness with Mugabe.
Writing on his website, Cross said Tsvangirai was mandated to tell
Mugabe that the "national leadership has resolved to give their Zanu PF
counterparts one week to begin to implement the full demands" of the GPA.
Tsvangirai met Mugabe on Monday, but their meeting did not last long
as the two protagonists clashed, resulting in Tsvangirai walking out.
The sources said Tsvangirai told Mugabe of the MDC ultimatum on the
sticking issues, but Mugabe would have none of that.
"Mugabe told Tsvangirai that his party should cause the removal of
sanctions first," another MDC source said. "Tsvangirai walked out of the
meeting after telling Mugabe to seriously consider his party's demands".
According to Cross, the tough stance against Mugabe was triggered by
the president's speech to the Sadc Summit in Kinshasa a fortnight ago where
he said the inclusive government was working well and that there were no
"We felt that our willingness to compromise to try and make this deal
work was being misconstrued as compliance and that this impression had to be
corrected," wrote Cross. "But perhaps the most important challenge came from
the ordinary members of the party who felt that the failure to get Zanu PF
to play its part in the transitional government was stalling recovery and
Sources said council members were also livid that Tsvangirai told
South Africa President Jacob Zuma when he visited Zimbabwe last month that
the inclusive government was working well, yet sticking issues of the GPA
were not being resolved.
Tsvangirai's pronouncement, the sources said, contributed to the
decision of Sadc not putting Zimbabwe on the agenda of its summit a
fortnight ago in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Thursday, 17 September 2009 21:48
JUSTICE minister Patrick Chinamasa has denied claims that Zanu PF is
delaying the constitution-making process, blaming it instead on lack of
financial and other resources. Addressing journalists in Harare on
Wednesday, Chinamasa also said his party was not afraid of any future
elections and dismissed as propaganda surveys which show that Zanu PF would
perform dismally in any polls.
He said that the new constitution would only be in place if there are
adequate resources in place, adding that the 2000 draft constitution
outreach programme was well-funded by organisations such as the United
Nations Development Programme.
Chinamasa said the lack of resources had been evidenced by co-chairman
of the parliamentary select committee Douglas Mwonzora having to hire a
vehicle to carry out his duties.
He said that thematic committee members tasked to carry out
constitutional outreach programme were therefore not expected to fund the
process from their own pockets and that the government would now need to go
out with "a begging bowl" for funds.
Chinamasa said Zanu PF party cannot fund its parliamentarians to carry
out the process.
He castigated the parliamentary select committee for being
disorganised citing the all-stakeholders conference in July which ended in
disarray after some Zanu PF delegates disrupted proceedings on the first day
as well as the failure to pay for accommodation and transport of delegates.
Chinamasa said the constitution should be a product of all the three
parties in the inclusive government and should therefore be resoundingly
adopted by Zimbabweans.
"If the constitution is rejected, it will be catastrophic, However, I
am not a pessimist," he said.
He said the debate on whether or not the Kariba draft constitution
should be used as reference document was diluted by the ignorance of most
people, including parliamentarians, on the contents of the document.
"The problem is that most people including MPs and you journalists
have not read the (Kariba draft) constitution. People should not concentrate
on process but content of the constitution," Chinamasa said.
On by-elections, Chinamasa said the polls would only take place when
the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is constituted and when funds are made
available by Finance minister Tendai Biti.
Turning to the expected return of Independent MP Jonathan Moyo to the
Zanu PF fold, Chinamasa said the former information minister would have come
back to the party a long time ago if he had the power to influence such a
"I worked well with Jonathan Moyo. Personally I have a soft spot for
Jonathan Moyo," Chinamasa said. "If you look at his ideology, his home is
with Zanu PF, don't you think so?."
Thursday, 17 September 2009 21:43
TENSION at the Zanu PF Women's League conference yesterday was at
knife-edge over the selection criteria of candidates to the national
executive. Some delegates almost exchanged blows at the party headquarters
over what they described as the "imposition" of leaders at provincial level
and the proposed list of people to take up the national executive posts in
Two women from Mashonaland West whose ascendancy is being attributed
to the Saviour Kasukuwere camp had to run for dear life after another group
of about 20 women from the same province threatened to beat them up.
The group, which was shouting obscenities at the two women, accused
them of being elevated by the former youth leader and questioned why
Kasukuwere was getting involved in women's affairs.
"What do the youths want in women's affairs? Why are they getting
involved? Why are you allowing the youths to use you," fumed one woman, who
threatened to beat them up. Security officers at the party headquarters, on
realising that there were journalists present, rushed to quell the women.
There were reports yesterday that fresh elections for Mashonaland West
might be held at the conference.
There are three factions in Zanu PF, led by kingpins, Emmerson
Mnangagwa and Retired Army Commander Solomon Mujuru.
The third camp, supposedly aligned to President Robert Mugabe with
Kasukuwere and Nicholas Goche as fronts, has teamed up with Mujuru, to block
the ascendancy of Mnangagwa's group.
Tension was also high on Wednesday evening as delegates queued for
accreditation, with some singing derogatory songs against Politburo member
Olivia Muchena, who is being accused of plotting with Vice President Joice
Mujuru to have the current Women's League boss, Oppah Muchinguri, removed.
Muchinguri's post is by appointment by the Presidium and this year it
will be up to President Robert Mugabe and his vice, Joice Mujuru to appoint
the politburo at the national congress in December.
Allegations from Muchinguri's supporters are that Mujuru was plotting
to put down Muchinguri.
Muchena's credentials were questioned, following her short stint as a
top official in Abel Muzorewa's government before independence.
Of all the provinces, Harare was the angriest as it still had not
elected its provincial leadership and had to attend the conference as
The hostility among candidates was so obvious at the official opening
of the conference by the party president, Mugabe, at Harare City Sports
There was an absence of the usual exuberance associated with such Zanu
PF meetings, which are normally full of fanfare with delegates breaking into
song and dance at every opportune moment. It was a total contrast to the
youth league conference , where the energy, excitement and verve was high.
Inside the venue, one could have been forgiven for mistaking the
occasion for a funeral or any such sad occasion.
But the spirit outside was different, with angry delegates vowing not
to be taken for granted and threatening to disrupt the conference .
One senior member of the executive, respected for her ability to
excite crowds, just had no words to describe the atmosphere.
"Pane mweya wakashata pano (There is a thick fog of tension
permeating). Handisati ndambofeela kuremerwa sezvandaita mukati muno (The
tension is unbearable). Ndirikutonzwa kuneta (I feel drained right now). I
didn't have the energy to sing or dance today," she said.
Another delegate from Midlands province accused the national
leadership of failing to deal with factionalism. She said some of the issues
coming out at the conference could have been dealt with at provincial
Although the proposed final line-up was not yet out and was expected
to be finalised last night, there was anger at the quick ascendancy of
Minister of State Flora Bhuka, whom they said was being fast-tracked into
the national executive.
Bhuka is tipped to get the secretary for administration post, after a
fiercely contested election in her province forced politburo member Tsitsi
Muzenda to step down.
However, there was talk that the Mnangagwa camp might refuse to have
Midlands allocated the secretary for administration post.
Sources in Midlands told the Zimbabwe Independent that some people
went as far as telling Muzenda to go back to her home area Gutu, in
Masvingo, and that the fact that she was the daughter of national hero, the
late Vice President Simon Muzenda was no longer relevant.
A member from Harare province said: "The whole system is flawed and is
not fair. They want to put a young person to a top post when there are
people who have been in the Women's League for more than 15 years.
"A precedent has been set at national leadership that we elevate
according to seniority. So what's different about the Women's League? People
are angry but can't complain publicly. "
Meanwhile, the deputy secretary for the Women's League, Eunice
Sandi-Moyo is likely to retain her post unopposed.
Some delegates from different factions were even afraid of talking to
each other, because if seen, they run the risk of being accused of jumping
ship - a costly move to one's plans to rise in the party.
President Mugabe in his opening address admitted that factionalism was
one of the two threats to the party; the other being the MDC formation led
by Morgan Tsvangirai, which he accused of being foreign-funded to effect
Mugabe urged his supporters to remain united, as they prepare for the
next elections, which he said would be held soon after an affirmative
"The constitution will go for 18 months. After that the constitution
will be put to the people and if they accept it, we will go for an election
within the 24 months outlined in the GPA (Global Political Agreement)," he
Mugabe said his party maintains that the Kariba draft is the basis for
the constitution-making process and will not budge from that position.
He, however, said they were open to suggestions and no one was
disallowed from participating in the process.
Thursday, 17 September 2009 21:10
THE police have said they will release a luxurious BMW X5 vehicle used
by MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai during his presidential election run-off
campaign last year if the party pays a US$2 000 fine for allegedly breaching
the Customs and Excise Act. The vehicle was impounded from Tsvangirai in
Matabeleland North on allegations that the now prime minister and South
African businessman Adrian Espag had contravened the law when the vehicle
was brought into the country.
Espag owns the bulletproof vehicle.
Job Sibanda, the lawyer representing Tsvangirai and Espag, said police
have informed him that the vehicle can be released once a fine of US$2 000
has been paid.
"The police in Hwange have indicated that the two (Tsvangirai and
Espag) flouted the Customs and Excise Act and the temporary import duty
rules when they brought the car into the country. So the car will be
released once we have paid the fine of US$2 000 that they are demanding,"
Sibanda said this week.
He said he was currently working towards the release of the vehicle.
According to the Customs and Excise Act, a person who brings a
vehicle into the country has the sole use of the car and cannot leave it in
the custody of any other person.
Espag brought the vehicle into Zimbabwe but later decided to leave the
car in someone else's possession.
The lawyers representing the two told the police that Espag had
donated the vehicle to Tsvangirai through his confidante Jameson Timba. The
police disputed the claim.
The police late last year had indicated that they wanted to question
Timba, now the Deputy Minister of Information and Publicity, over the
The police alleged that the person who was driving the car in the
country was not authorised to use it.
The vehicle is parked at Lupane Police Station. Last week, Tsvangirai
visited the police station and expressed concern at the neglect of the
Thursday, 17 September 2009 21:06
FORMER newspaper publisher Ibbo Mandaza, embroiled in a land ownership
dispute with a Harare woman, has told the High Court that the matter is
political because he contested last year's House of Assembly elections under
the ticket of Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn (MKD) movement. Documents lodged with the
High Court, in which Mandaza is challenging the acquisition of 119 hectares
of his land by government, reveal that the property in dispute was allocated
to Colleta Muzonzini, a major in the Zimbabwe National Army.
Mandaza, who is the managing director and major shareholder of Panhowe
Farm (Private) Limited, said the wrangle started months after he stood by
former Finance minister Simba Makoni, one of the candidates in last year's
"On this point, it may not escape this Honourable Court's notice that
I was a candidate in the 2008 parliamentary elections, representing Mavambo
Movement, headed by Dr Simba Makoni, who contested for the presidency," said
Mandaza in his affidavit. "We both lost, and accepted it, but the
developments did not go down well with certain people, and the events
regarding this land have had political utterances made which I am unable to
Mandaza is seeking an order barring Muzonzini from occupying the piece
of land in Mazowe.
Mandaza now faces possible arrest for illegally occupying state land.
Mandaza bought the farm called Passaford A of Manyuki in Mazowe in
In 1996, he purchased the remaining land of Manyuki Farm and renamed
the entire land Panhowe Farm.
He then discovered that there was a deliberate alteration of farm
boundaries by former farm owners, denying Manyuki farm access to water from
Murowodzi River. But that was later resolved and the land comprising 611
hectares consolidated, including the piece of land in question after
approval from the Ministry of Lands in 2004.
Mandaza is currently constructing a medium-sized dam on the disputed
land. In addition, Mandaza set aside 76 hectares for a hotel, conference
centre and holiday resort to be managed by Rainbow Toursim Group. The resort
also includes a golf estate. There are also plans for 50 plots of three
acres each for construction of country homes.
But the trouble started in early December last year when the
construction of the dam had already started. Muzonzini, who is the second
respondent after the Minister of Lands, showed up at the farm claiming that
she had an offer letter for the portion of land consolidated into Panhowe
After being told that there must have been a mistake, she left only to
return on February 14 accompanied by police officers from Mazowe Police
She spoke to Mandaza over the phone, who explained the history of the
In mid-May, a certain man only known in the neighbourhood as Matthew
cut trees on the land in question and attempted to build a shelter, saying
he had been sent by Muzonzini.
On May 18, a group of soldiers in uniform went to the farm and
allegedly assaulted farm workers accusing them of blocking Matthew and
Muzonzini from occupying the land. Both events were reported to Mazowe
In June, Mandaza was ordered to attend a meeting either at Mazowe
Police Station or at the offices of the Lands Inspectorate at Compensation
House in Harare. The inspectorate was set up to implement and enforce land
policy and is made up of senior police, central intelligence and army
At one meeting at the Land Inspectorate offices, Mandaza said he was
harangued and threatened with arrest and detention for occupying state land
He said the officers refused to listen to his explanations.
On many occasions, Muzonzini thereafter tried to move onto the farm.
Threats and demands from the Lands Inspectorate continued.
Despite appealing to the Minister of Lands for assistance, there was
no reprieve and demands from the inspectorate intensified, Mandaza claimed.
In his court application, Mandaza is seeking for an order declaring
lawful the consolidation of the land in question. He wants Muzonzini to be
given another piece of land.
Thursday, 17 September 2009 20:31
PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's office has been accused by Zanu PF
of running a parallel structure bankrolled by the World Bank. Our news
editor Constantine Chimakure on Wednesday posed questions to Minister of
State in Tsvangirai's office, Gorden Moyo, on these and other issues. Below
are the excerpts. Chimakure: Is the inclusive government functioning as one
Moyo: Coalitions by their very nature are a difficult proposition not
only in the African continent but the world over. Certainly ours is not an
exception but I must hasten to say we are working under extraordinary
circumstances with extraordinary political gladiators.
But within a short space of time, the progress we have registered, the
scores we have made and the successes achieved clearly show our commitment
as the inclusive government to deliver to the people of Zimbabwe. The
inclusive government is a mixed grill.
However, it has worked in bringing about a positive difference to the
people of Zimbabwe. So far (there is) Sterp, the 100-Day Plan, Budget
Review, Aid Coordination Policy, Engagement Policy, and Investment
Framework, the hosting of the Comesa Summit, the launch of the
constitution-making process, the launch of the Organ on National Healing,
Reconciliation and Integration and quite recently government has come up
with a Government Works Programme. The government is functioning.
However, this does not mean that there are no challenges.
Chimakure: Is Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in charge of all
ministers and how many Ministerial Council meetings have taken place since
the formation of the inclusive government and what came out of them?
Moyo: The GPA Article 20 is very clear about the role and the mandate
of the prime minister of the Republic.
The prime minister is in charge of all the ministers and ministries
with respect to policy formulation which he oversees through cabinet. For
policy implementation, which he presides over directly with the assistance
of the deputy prime ministers. The Council of Ministers meets on a bi-weekly
basis to consider issues to be taken to cabinet and to monitor progress on
the implementation of government policy.
As regards what has come out of the Council of Ministers meetings,
please be advised that I cannot discuss the issues of council of Ministers
in the media. But of course you will be glad to know that all government
programmes go through the council.
Chimakure: Is it true that there is a parallel government structure in
the prime minister's office being bankrolled by the World Bank?
Moyo: The repetition of a lie does not make it true. I have heard and
read about this fictitious notion of a parallel government before. I know
not of any parallel government but if it does exist, then it is composed of
those "elements" that are practising selective arrests of MPs, inciting
disruptions on farms and in schools, and promoting hate language in the
media. A lie by its nature has no legs.
In fact, how does a prime minister run something parallel to himself?
It can only be suggested by people who have not read the GPA or read it and
not understood it or read it, understood it but are deliberately mischievous
in misleading and misinforming the nation.
We have seen such characters rearing their ugly heads, trying to sow
seeds of acrimony on the back of falsehoods, lies and half-truths. It is a
very serious offence according to the laws of Zimbabwe particularly if one
is using acres of space in state media, using taxpayers money, to divide
Chimakure: Explain the World Bank arrangement to pay some of the
officers in the Prime Minister's office, instead of all government civil
Moyo: The Prime Minister's Office has a staff compliment of only 11
people of which only three have had their appointments and contracts as
government workers formalised by the Public Service Commission. These three
receive government salaries like all other civil servants while those who
are awaiting appointment are struggling like other Zimbabweans.
For the record, there is no arrangement for the World Bank to pay
civil servants in the Prime Minister's Office. The only scheme that I know
is that of technical assistance. This facility of technical assistance by
the World Bank is available to all government ministries.
To date, the Prime Minister's Office has benefited from this facility
through the consultants seconded to organise and facilitate the two
government retreats. I think you will need to talk to the World Bank itself
to get clarification.
Chimakure: You have reportedly said sanctions do not exist, why is it
Mugabe and the Prime Minister tasked you last month to come up with a
position paper on the matter when you say they don't exist?
Moyo: There are no trade sanctions in Zimbabwe. There are only
targeted sanctions against certain individuals. Therefore what I have said
is that not everybody buys this notion that there are sanctions in Zimbabwe.
In fact others believe that there are only restrictive measures.
Actually the GPA itself refers to both sanctions and targeted measures in
Article 4. This therefore shows that there are various narratives that need
to be reconciled. That is why there is desire in government to open a frank
and honest debate in order to create a shared understanding on the issue of
It is hoped that this debate will set the stage for Zimbabwe's reunion
with the rest of the international community, inform and illuminate the
re-engagement strategy of the inclusive government and inspire the
government to do everything within its powers to end Zimbabwe's
Zimbabweans want the delivery of real change and not justifications
and explanations for failure to deliver.
Chimakure: Can this inclusive government hold on given the
non-conclusion of sticking points and the growing list of fresh negative
Moyo: The GPA belongs to the people of Zimbabwe. Its success or
otherwise is a matter squarely in the province of the people of Zimbabwe.
Thursday, 17 September 2009 19:01
INSIDE Zanu PF headquarters -- a monolithic building on the outskirts
of the central business district -- is a portrait of the party president and
first secretary, Robert Mugabe, in his early years in office, possibly 29
years ago. The portrait is conspicuous on entry because it hangs at an
elevated position. A sticker celebrating the 2000 chaotic fast track land
reform programme is pasted on the elevator wall.
Outside the building, the sun burns mercilessly.
But a handful of Zanu PF youths keen to get accreditation last Friday
for the youth conference beginning in an hour at the Harare City Sports
Centre are undeterred and jostled to get it.
Disgruntled youths saunter rather aimlessly around the premises. Some
from Harare province are not happy after being turned away because the
metropolitan province of the party is not eligible to vote.
A short dreadlocked girl cannot hide her frustration after being
She declares: "Isusu mashefu emusangano muHarare tonzi hatipinde
muconference. Wanozopinda ndianani? Zanu haina varidzi (I am an important
official of the party. if I can't attend the conference then who will? No
one owns Zanu PF)."
In her group, her outbursts are mutual.
After 10 minutes, the same youths from Harare are told to queue and
follow an older party official for accreditation.
Once accredited, they make way for the gate and trail the important
official in a rather disorderly fashion.
Trendy SUV's can been seen from a distance parked outside the Harare
City Sports Centre.
At the gate, plain clothed and uniformed officers conduct thorough
body searches aided by metal detectors. A security official, won't let the
Zimbabwe Independent news crew in because she argues, although the team has
been accredited by the party, some of its members could have press cards
from the defunct Media and Information Commission.
A few phone calls to senior Zanu PF officials establish that our team
could cover the event.
But even so, a heavily built official insists she needs an ice-cream
before she lets us in.
With the clock ticking, we part with R5, enough for a chocolate
During the conference, youths from Zanu PF will elect their own
leaders after months of political jockeying and scheming ahead of the annual
All delegates from the party's 10 provinces are clad in red, green,
and yellow party regalia, except those from Harare.
Unlike the past youth conferences of Zanu PF, leaders will have to be
30 years or below. In the past leaders in their 50's could still qualify as
youths; like the late Vice Air Marshal Josiah Tungamirai, who served the
youth league in his 50's.
This time, most delegates are indeed youthful and for a party, whose
political star has stopped shining among the electorate -- particularly
among the younger voters -- Zanu PF surprisingly still has a decent
following among the youths.
"Youth in Defence of National Sovereignty and Promotion of Economic
Empowerment for a Brighter Future," is the theme of the meeting, and not
much departure from Mugabe's policies. Mugabe believes he is defending
Zimbabwe's sovereignty which is under siege from the West. He is also
pushing for black economic empowerment and the youth league has been led
down the same path.
No fresh ideas, it seems, will likely come from the youth league while
Mugabe is alive as the wing seems bent on pleasing the 85-year-old leader
A message on a T-shirt reads: "President, The Liberator!" and another
says: "Pachibhakera (Behind the Fist)."
The youth wing's allegiance to Mugabe is evidently unflinching and
occasionally explodes into an ecstatic wave of cheering and shouting
whenever there are slogans like "Pamberi navaMugabe! (Forward with
The youths shout praises at Mugabe, hailing him as their life ruler.
Loyalty and love for Mugabe is all around the conference. After attending
the conference and basking in new found glory, the aged leader told the BBC
that he is "still young."
Although the youth gathering is not a national event, it looks like
one. The entire presidium is there.
A few hours into the conference, a Zanu PF youth from Harare claims to
know who is going to win and who is not.
"The Manicaland guy is going to take the top job. The Midlands girl is
not going to win," the youth avers.
On Thursday night, the youths had camped outside the party's HQ
braving the late night cold singing revolutionary songs and dancing the
night away aided with alcohol right under the nose of the police.
By the end of the conference on Sunday, one of the aspirants would be
catapulted into the politburo, the supreme decision making body of the
"Tsvangirai is a traitor! He wants to sell Zimbabwe to the West!" the
The youths' idolisation of their leader, Mugabe, was beyond doubt
judging from their excitement.
The youth wing is a strategic arm for the party and party strongmen
like Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and retired army general Solomon
Mujuru, want control of the youth league and other party structures such as
the women's league.
A Harare youth opens up. He says: "It's important to understand that
the election is a charade. Those with the strongest political backing will
win at the end of the day. It doesn't matter who gets many votes. Mnangagwa
people and Mujuru people will share the positions among themselves. Harare
is a troubled province at the moment and I doubt if we will get a seat. We
don't even have party regalia like other provinces and our vote really is
On the surface, the party presented a united front. Party chairman
John Nkomo presided over the election and ordered all delegates to leave the
room during voting and counting. Even observers, were not spared the boot.
But this did not raise much eyebrows because Zanu PF does not play even by
its own rules.
As the results came in, it became clear that Mnangagwa had pulled the
rug off his political foes' feet. Edison Chakanyuka from the Midlands
province became deputy secretary for youth ahead of widely tipped Anastancia
Ndhlovu, a Mujuru nomination for the same position.
The secretary for youth is appointed by Mugabe when he selects members
of his politburo. Midlands had accepted the post of deputy secretary once
held by Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere but rejected Ndhlovu as
Ndhlovu's name had mysteriously vanished from the original list of
prospective leaders and she is said to have appealed to Mnangagwa before her
name reappeared on the initial list again.
Although the youths appeared immune to party fights and are strongly
behind Mugabe, the outcome and divisions along factional lines exposed the
youths' susceptibility to manipulation by either the Mujuru or Mnangagwa
At the end of the day, Mnangagwa's candidates from Masvingo,
Matabeleland South and North, Midlands and Manicaland got posts in the
John Mushai, Lesley Ncube, Khumbulani Mlilo, Bekezela Sibanda, Kudzani
Chipanga, Cleopas Magwizi and Yeukai Simbanegwi. Joshua Sacco scored a first
by becoming the first white to hold a position in the Zanu PF youth league.
He is now deputy secretary for production. On the same day, the youth
league endorsed Mugabe and Zanu PF leadership, an icing on top for the aged
leader still haunted by the reality of last year's election defeat.
Thursday, 17 September 2009 18:03
ON the anniversary of the signing of the Global Political Agreement
(GPA) -- September 15, the Prime Minister's Newsletter reporters asked Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai (PM) to give an overview of the current situation
within government and the country as a whole. Q: Today 15 September marks
the anniversary of the signing of the GPA. On reflection do you think it was
the right decision to make?
PM: We made a decision in the best interests of the people but
acknowledging that it is not what they voted for. It is not what was the
optimal condition they would like to see especially if people had struggled
for 10 years to bring real change to the people. We knew this was not real
change but we provided a lifeline to people who were desperate and crying
for some form of a resolution. We did that with all this in mind. So it was
a right decision to rescue the country. I think every Zimbabwean will tell
you that the decision was right because we rescued the country from a
Q: What have you achieved since the signing of the GPA?
PM: There has been progress in a number of areas. 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
However it does not mean it was all necessarily an easy ride. No. We
have had our disappointments and frustrations.
But overally, we can say we brought life into our country's economy
and hope to our people.
Q: What were the disappointments?
PM: We went in and we have shown our sincerity and our commitment and
were conciliatory to our opponents.
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. There is emphasis of apportioning success on
Zanu PF by the State media. The hate language in the state media is
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. We have seen our MPs being persecuted.
I am not just talking about the ordinary members of our structures.
There are still incidents of violence. 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.
Q: Are you running a parallel government as reported in state media?
PM: How do I run a parallel government when the definition of my role
is to supervise all ministers? I supervise all ministers; there is a Council
of Ministers I chair. We have come out of a government retreat organised by
my office for the whole cabinet to define the entire programme for the rest
of this year and the year 2010. The budgeting process is being done
transparently with the participation of all ministers. In fact, I would say
those who think there is a parallel government are those that report to the
President (Robert Mugabe) without reporting to the Prime Minister as per
I am the first line of supervision. Therefore we have a single
hierarchical structure in this government.
Q: What about cases where some ministers make decisions on behalf of
the country without cabinet approval, for example Justice minister Patrick
Chinamasa withdrawing the country from the Sadc Tribunal?
PM: The cabinet is very much seized with the issue. Chinamasa's
position regarding the Sadc Tribunal is not a policy position. I do not
recall any cabinet sitting discussing the issue of the Sadc Tribunal. As
long as we do not have a collective decision it remains Chinamasa's decision
as an individual.
Q: It seems you are having problems with some of these ministers. For
example, the Information minister seems to be promoting hate language in the
state media without restraint. Do you wield any real power in this
PM: I think there are things that you must understand. My attitude has
always been that let us give this co-habitation a chance.
As I said, I was very sincere and I am very sincere about it. But it
also depends on whether the other side is honouring this bargain. There are
several instances you can point out where an act of bad faith is being
demonstrated. Like the state media, we know that it is not the problem of
the state media editors. The problem is with George Charamba (President
Mugabe's spokesman) who is giving directions and acting as an overzealous
commissar of Zanu PF. The political divisions are being emphasised, but to
It is seven months into government. Everyone is trying to adjust their
behaviour to the new situation. I think I can say to a larger extent I have
won the confidence of everyone across the political divide that the Prime
Minister has a significant role to play, as he has the executive authority
over these ministers and that is why there is the Council of Ministers.
There are two people who are mentioned by name and in the GPA and the
Constitution, the president and the prime minister.
Q: Some groups have described the performance of some of your
ministers such as Giles Mutsekwa at Home Affairs as disappointing. For
example, police still harass innocent protestors and the state is using the
same ministry to fight boardroom coups, for instance, in the Meikles
specification case. What is your position?
PM: We should not use state power to abuse innocent people otherwise
we will be no different from dictators. We cannot also use state power to
fight corporate boardroom wrangles. What has that got to do with us?
In fact, we have brought that to the attention of minister Mutsekwa
and told him he cannot do that. It is not an issue for the state, it is an
issue for the boardroom. If (John) Moxon and Nigel Chanakira are fighting
their wars and if they fail to agree then they should go to court. This
specification (of Meikles) can't stay.
Q: What is your position on the issue of restrictive measures imposed
on some individuals by the West?
PM: The other side of restrictive measures is the rule of law. The
rule of law on one side and restrictive measures on the other side. So we
have agreed in cabinet that we need to have a strategic discussion on this
debate. Why only talk about restrictive measures? Talk about the rule of
law, the violence against the people, good governance practices.
Talk about real change to the people's lives. I have initiated
dialogue with those countries with a view to assist my partners in
government affected by the measures and we can see progress. Australia has
announced that they are re-engaging us. The EU dialogue is on track and a
high level delegation was here just last week. The United States
Congressional team was in the country recently and both the EU delegation
and US congressional team met with President Mugabe as well, something
unimaginable just a few months ago. But this is happening because I am
working to end this isolation. In fact when we have these engagements, part
of the agenda is the issue of restrictive measures. But Zanu PF people have
to play their part as well. We won't have any restrictive measures to talk
of if we restore the rule of law and implement the GPA.
Q: You have been complaining about the failure by Zanu PF to respect
the GPA. What would be your breaking point?
PM: The point is that it is incumbent upon the parties to fulfil the
GPA. We have done our part of the bargain. It is the other party, Zanu PF,
which should stop all this nonsense, to stop all these violations. The other
thing is that we have a guarantor which is Sadc. There is need to review
this government as per the Sadc January resolution. And in the review we
talk about the outstanding issues, we talk about the performance of
government, we talk about even revisiting the ministerial allocations,
including the co-ministering of Home Affairs.
All these are issues are within the Troika of Sadc. The GPA is not
just a piece of paper. 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
Q: Going forward, what should Zimbabweans expect from their prime
PM: Well, first of all we are committed to real change. We want people
to live peacefully. We want them to have more freedoms. We want prosperity
among our people. What they should expect from this government is to move
towards the fulfilment, the full implementation of the GPA and the
translation of this agreement into real life. We want them to restart their
lives and improve their lives and we will not rest until this is achieved.
We have done our part of the bargain. It is the other party, Zanu PF,
which should stop all this nonsense, to stop all these violations. -- PM's
Thursday, 17 September 2009 16:45
THE MDC formation led by Morgan Tsvangirai is in a dilemma -- to
remain in the inclusive government or to pull out. Tsvangirai is under
tremendous pressure from members in his national council who want the party
to disengage in order to put pressure on Zanu PF to make concessions on the
outstanding issues of the Global Political Agreement (GPA).
The outstanding issues include the hiring of central bank governor
Gideon Gono and the appointment of Attorney-General Johannes Tomana and the
refusal by President Robert Mugabe to swear in Roy Bennett as deputy
At its national council meeting in Bulawayo at the weekend, the MDC-T
resolved to consult grassroots members on the unity government.
Tsvangirai told his supporters on Sunday at White City Stadium in
Bulawayo that: "We are coming to you. Is this government sustainable? It is
you, the people, who shall give us direction."
MDC executive members, among them, youth chairman Thamsanqa Mahlangu
and chairperson of women's assembly Theresa Makone, told the same supporters
that the party should disengage from the unity government.
"This creature called the inclusive government is not working,"
Manhlangu said. Everyone is seeing that. As MDC youth we say let's pull out
Makone added: "There is continued marginalisation of women who are not
Zanu PF, so when will this end. It is rather better we pull out than
continue to be abused, raped willy-nilly by Zanu PF people. I say lets pull
John Makumbe, a University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer,
said it was understandable why some MDC activists wanted out of the
He said people were frustrated by the slow pace at resolving the
sticking issues, but was doubtful the MDC would walkout of government.
Makumbe said consulting ordinary people on the fate of the MDC in the
unity government could be disastrous.
"I doubt whether Tsvangirai and his team would adhere to the views of
the people if told to get out of government. The consultation route is
dangerous as they might fail to implement the wishes of the people therefore
plunging them into a dilemma," he said.
Makumbe said MDC should be seen at this stage soliciting views on how
to "make the GNU work".
He was, however, quick to point that the slow pace in implementing
fully the GPA would serve to ignite "pockets of militancy" among the people.
"The fact that people are not demonstrating now should not give the
three principals a false sense of security thinking that Zimbabweans are
content," Makumbe warned. "Yes, people are now not starving as was the case
last year, but there is no tangible development on their lives. In the long
run, people would start picketing countrywide, and signs to that route are
now showing. Look at the strike by doctors and now teachers, it's a serious
statement to the leadership."
Bulawayo-based political commentator Qhubani Moyo said the MDC talk of
consulting its members was mere rhetoric.
Moyo said: "I don't think Tsvangirai was sincere when he said they
would consult their members on whether to pull out or not. That is just
rhetoric only meant to show Zanu PF that they are still popular."
Moyo said generally the people were happy with the inclusive
government because basic goods were now readily available in shops and
hospitals were now operating.
"The mood now is that of general happiness and MDC should just abandon
their planned consultation," he said. "Instead, they should ask people on
how best the little gains achieved so far can be consolidated."
Moyo said by pulling out of government, the MDC would "become
irrelevant and will resurrect Zanu PF. They should continue in government
and demonstrate their good governance credentials".
There are also fears that if the MDC pulls out, the country would
again plunge into chaos.
A member of the civil society, who preferred not be named, urged
Tsvangirai to pull out now.
"He (Tsvangirai) knows that this government is not working. The
narrow-minded Zanu PF regime would not move an inch. Running back to Sadc
portrays MDC as a cry baby," the activist said. "If MDC stays in this
inclusive government till year end, it risks losing credibility and
popularity. People cannot wait forever for change. They can be patient and
the Zimbabwean people have shown a colossal fountain of patience but there
are limits to their patience and time is running out. MDC must pull out
Tsvangirai said although he is a tolerant person, he and millions of
other Zimbabweans were now losing patience.
"We want partners that are sincere... We want partners who are going
to commit themselves to good governance principles," he told his supporters
at White City Stadium, Bulawayo, on Sunday.
"I have done my part to promote reconciliation in this country. Even
after winning the election, I have compromised for the sake of Zimbabwe. But
don't misjudge me. You misjudge me at your peril."
Some people in Bulawayo interviewed by the Zimbabwe Independent blamed
Zanu PF for failure for deliver "real change".
Amos Nxumalo said: "pulling out is not an option as Zimbabweans have
vested overwhelming support to MDC and view it as its sole saviour."
Similar views where echoed by Gladis Makamure at White City Stadium,
who said: "Tsvangirai asked us if we will stand by him in this struggle and
we gave him our fresh support. He should soldier on despite open arrogance
shown by Mugabe who is prepared to destroy the inclusive government."
Thursday, 17 September 2009 21:04
CFX BANK is facing serious liquidity problems with the entire bank
having cash at hand amounting to just US$123 393 as of August 31, documents
to hand show. The amount is about 1,5% of the US$6,25 million minimum
capital requirement for commercial banks set by the Reserve Bank by
September 30 and $12,5million by March 31 next year. The banks have 13 days
left before the minimum capitalisation deadline to raise the money arrives.
CFX which two months ago released a cautionary statement advising its
shareholders that it had recorded a loss for the interim period ending June
30 also had deposits amounting to US$1 260 630 during the same period.
The bank's total equity and liabilities on its balance sheet amounted
to US$3 757 684 on August 31.
Statutory reserves amounted to US$124 634 while loans and advances
amounted to US$12 887 during the same period, a position analysts said would
not instill confidence indepositors and investors.
The bank was said to be contemplating a US$10 million rights issue to
support its operations. This was unlikely to be supported due to liquidity
shortages on the market.
The bank has since engaged the Reserve Bank on its plans to raise
Information obtained yesterday suggests that Finance Bank of Zambia
was holding on to a US$12 million cash injection into CFX which was about to
be bankrolled in its acquisition by parent group, Swiss Reinsurance.
This was after the Zambian bank received a letter from ENG Capital
about wrangles over investments and shares in CFX Bank.
Part of a letter by ENG Capital to the Zambian bank reads: "You are
receiving this letter as notification of the course of action spearheaded on
behalf of ENG Capital and its directors in our efforts to recover at least
309 million and up to 900 million Century Bank shares fraudulently converted
into CFX Bank shares."
"The fraud was masked as a merger between Century Bank and CFX Bank
but after the merger Century name was dropped to cover the tracks of the
fraud. This dispute was triggered by the special bargain sale of 309 million
shares but the total shares owned by ENG were 900 million. The balance was
transferred in piece meal fashion to avoid detection of the fraud and
transaction laundering that was being perpetrated," the letter said.
ENG warned: "It is important that your organsiation avoids being a
conduit to a money and asset laundering scheme," reads the letter in part.
The letter alleges that directors of CFX provided false and misleading
information to CFX's auditors and concealed from them their falsification of
CFX's books and records and manipulation of dates recorded in CFX's general
ledger and subsidiary ledgers. This, they allege, made and caused CFX to
make untrue statements of material facts.
In December, the Reserve Bank dissolved CFX Bank's board of directors
and removed the financial institution's senior management after new
serialised bank notes issued to the bank were found on the black market
prior to the date of the launch.
Formerly Century Bank, the institution was renamed CFX Bank (CFXB)
following a merger between CFX Financial Services (CFX) and Century Holdings
Ltd in 2004. The bank was placed under the management of a curator on
December 17 2004.
CFX applied to merge the operations of CFXB with CFXMB on the grounds
that it was not viable to continue the business of the merchant bank
separately, as all trading was taking place in the name of CFX Bank Ltd.
The merger was approved by the Ministry of Finance on February 27
2006. Following the determination that CFX Bank Ltd had been resuscitated,
curatorship of the bank was uplifted on February 28 2006.
Thursday, 17 September 2009 21:01
THE Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) has been accused of double standards
and allowing government to interfere with the rights of shareholders of
listed companies thereby undermining irreparably the integrity of the
bourse. Last Friday government specified listed Kingdom Meikles Africa
(KMAL) and subsidiary companies Tanganda Tea Company (Private) Limited,
Thomas Meikles Centre (Private) Limited and Murlis Investments (Private)
Limited in a move Meikles lawyer Sternford Moyo of Scanlen and Holderness
said was "unlawful, null and void".
Home Affairs Ministers Kembo Mohadi and Giles Mutseyekwa appointed
Messrs Budhama Chikamhi and Cleopas Mukungunugwa as investigators of
Mitchell and the specified companies.
This resulted in Kingdom Meikles Africa being suspended from the ZSE.
In a letter to ZSE chief executive Emmanuel Munyukwi this week
businessman Mutumwa Mawere said the local bourse should undertake a serious
review of its actions since the specification of his companies in 2004 which
continued to trade.
"As you are aware, SMM was the controlling shareholder of a number of
listed companies," said Mawere in the letter. "After more than five years,
it is not too late for the ZSE to reflect on its actions to see if the
allegation that by its silence and complicity, the ZSE has encouraged the
government of Zimbabwe to continue the behaviour of interfering with the
rights of shareholders of listed companies and in so doing undermine
irreparably the integrity of the ZSE."
Mawere said Judge President Makarau in a matter in which the ZSE was
involved has already ruled that the courts will entertain the intrusion of
the state in corporate affairs using the specification legislation.
"I was informed strangely enough by Mr Moyo of your decision to treat
my case as separate from the KMAL matter and, therefore, to proceed as if
nothing has happened to suspend on a selective basis the trading of the KMAL
shares," the letter said.
If this is true, please kindly inform me of the reasons supporting the
decision when the factual and legal matrixes are the same.
"I am convinced that if the ZSE had taken action in 2004 when CFI and
other companies connected to listed companies were specified including NMB's
shareholders and executives, the specification of KMAL's executives and
shareholders will have been nipped in the bud."
Mawere said he informed Munyukwi of the implications of the ZSE taking
a decision to suspend the trading of (KMAL) when it is common cause that
when CFI was specified on August 26 2004 under similar circumstances, the
ZSE took a decision to do nothing despite his protestations.
"What I did request is that if a decision to suspend the trading of
Meikles shares was to be made, then clearly all the shares of companies that
were affected by the same draconian laws must also be suspended. I also did
indicate to Mr Moyo that fundamentally I have no problem with the decision
to suspend trading but what I do object to is that the ZSE appears to be
impotent where my rights are concerned. Is it because the ZSE has become
the judge in my case and I stand guilty until proven innocent by the
courts," he said.
Thursday, 17 September 2009 17:57
THE Minister of Finance Tendai Biti has vowed that the Zimbabwe dollar
will not come into circulation anytime soon unless the country's economic
performance can support it.
Speaking at the mining investment conference on Wednesday an emotional
Biti, said it would be unscientific for someone to think of the return of
the local currency in a manner which ignores the economic fundamentals
prevailing in the country and region.
"Maybe I should commit suicide for some people to believe me when I
say the Zimbabwe dollar is not coming back," Biti said. "Let me repeat this
for the umpteenth time; we cannot and are not going to return the Zimbabwe
dollar, unless we have an economy which can support it."
Biti said such an economy would among other things be characterised by
exports that are about 30% of Gross Domestic Product as was the case in 1996
when the country earned up to US$5 billion in exports.
"When all major sectors of the economy start recording positive gains,
then we will start talking about the Zimbabwe dollar," he said.
Biti said the return of the Zimbabwe dollar should recognise trade
pacts with countries organs such as Sadc, and Comesa.
"A narrow, parochial and nationalistic manner with regard to
attempting to introduce the Zimbabwe dollar does not work," Biti said.
Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono last months said the country should
prepare for the revival of the dead currency and link it to gold reserves
held in the country, a move investors said was a journey into the past.
Gono said bringing back the Zimbabwe dollar would not be blind but a
But analysts see an ulterior motive in bringing back the unit. They
believe Gono could be oiling the printing press once again to finance and
subsidise government departments and a coterie of government officials as he
did in the past.
Harare-based economist John Robertson said: "If we try to bring the
Zimdollar back, it will lose value in a week. You need credibility in your
currency which is not there."
Another economist Daniel Ndlela says: "People lost confidence in the
financial system and if you talk of the Zimbabwean dollar what comes to
people's minds is whether they are going to sleep in queues again."
Biti also said there was need to simplify taxes to lure investment.
"The issue of taxation is more important than the indigenisation matrix."
In mining alone, there are 15 different tax rates and a number of
exemptions have cut the "effective" tax rate in that industry to 8% from
15%, he said. The top personal income tax rate is 47,5%," he said.
Thursday, 17 September 2009 17:48
PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said there is need to withdraw
government's position of specifying individual businesspeople for alleged
crimes committed during the Zanu PF "single-handed government era".
Officially opening the 27th edition of the Employers Confederation of
Zimbabwe (Emcoz) congress in Victoria Falls, Tsvangirai said there was need
to de-specify the remaining individuals as they could play a big role in the
development of the country's economy.
He said government "would now concentrate on its role of key policy
decision-making and refrain from interfering in boardroom battles of
"The state will not use its powers to interfere within boardrooms of
commerce and industry," said Tsvangirai. "The situation will be rectified
where these development have happened. If you have problems or disputes
within your organisation, why not go to court? These are the institutions
that are legally placed to deal with these issues."
Businessmen who are specified include business mogul Mutumwa Mawere,
Meikles Africa Limited boss John Moxon, Kingdom Meikles company secretary
Andrew Lane Mitchell and Intermarket founder Nicholas Vingirayi.
Businessmen who are now de-specified include Barbican Holdings Limited
founder and chief executive, Mtuli Ncube, now with South Africa's
Witswatersrand University, and Trust Financial Holdings Limited's former
directors, William Nyemba (chief executive officer); Chris Goromonzi,
(executive director, merchant banking) and Nyevero Hlupo (finance director).
Josphat Sachikonye, a former chief executive for FML Limited, and CFX
Financial Services Limited's senior managers, Garainesu Shoko (managing
director), Onias Ndlovu (finance director), Chamu Matsika (head of treasury)
and Calvin Mtomebeni (assistant accountant), have also been exonerated.
Tsvangirai said he and other members of government do not agree to
specification being the only solution of boardroom squabbles, adding there
was no need for government to take any sides in the wrangles.
"I and certainly many in the inclusive government do not agree that
specification is the only way out of such problems. The state cannot again
use its power to side with one of the players to the squabbles," said the
Speaking about the inclusive government, Tsvangirai said government
was under threat from forces bent on pushing for its collapse.
He however said the unity government would not sit by and watch as
these forces continued to "frustrate government".
"Seven months into the inclusive government, there can be no excuse
for the continued failure to implement in full all the articles of the GPA,"
he said. "The deliberate attempt to frustrate the process of change and the
re-building of our nation is now affecting all aspects of our society."
He said while the economy was now stable, it was indeed a pale shadow
of its former self, citing looting and under-investment as the major causes
slowing down economic recovery.
"Perhaps most dangerously, we have a few people clinging desperately
to a system in which they have perverted the rule of law, basic freedoms,
and even institutions of state to serve their own selfish and divisive
goals," Tsvangirai said.
Tsvangirai said government was now putting in place mechanisms that
would assist it dismantle systems of privilege, entitlement and impunity
which he said had sheltered those that had played a bigger role in the
destruction of the economy.
"Slowly but surely, we are rebuilding the rule of law and respect for
property rights, without which business cannot function," he said.
He added: "This is a process which will take time. There have been
more frustrations to date and more to come. But we will not let them
distract or deter us from the mandate that we have from the people to effect
positive change in their lives."
Nkululeko Sibanda in Vic Falls
Thursday, 17 September 2009 17:41
THE dollarisation of the economy without the use of international
credit cards has become a nightmare for the tourism sector as it makes the
billing system rather cumbersome. This has discouraged international
tourists from visiting the country and it has also limited "spend per guest"
for those who come to Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe's tourism sector, like almost all other sectors of the
economy, is operating on a cash basis and most international tourists are
not used to this as they a prefer to use plastic money. In most cases, up to
99% of international tourists rely on plastic money.
Chief executive officer of African Sun Shingi Munyeza confirmed the
complications which the use of cash was causing for the tourism sector.
"The rest of the world has gone plastic while we are using cash with a
currency which is not even our own and this has caused some complications,"
"This goes back to the confidence levels. International debit cards
institutions would like to know if they would get their money if they use
the local banks as intermediaries.
"At African Sun we will soon be rolling out the use of credit cards
and this will increase the spend per guest as well as the visitor's comfort
as they would not be required to move around with lots of cash."
It would have been proper if the cash system in the country was fully
operational, that is with local currency being used.
As it is now, Zimbabwe is operating like it is an appendage of the US
or South Africa but there is no control of how much money is in circulation.
With the introduction of debit cards, the tourists will feel secure and do
not have limits on expenditure as is the case with cash.
Players in the tourism industry have started adopting strategies to
increase domestic tourism in response to the limitations which are being
caused by the cash economy.
Domestic tourism is possible now that Zimbabweans earn in hard
currency and they can now afford to go on holiday within the country.
A number of promotions have been launched by players in the tourism
industry including African Sun and Rainbow Tourism Group and these are aimed
specifically at Zimbabweans.
There have been a number of changes to the country's tourism sector in
the last nine years with new players coming in.
This has seen traditional players losing ground to emerging players
especially those in the touring business.
Traditionally dominant players such as the United Touring Company
(UTc) used to control around 40% of the market 10 years ago but this has
dropped to between 10 and 15%.
This drop has been attributed to the macro-economic factors which hit
the bigger players harder than it did to smaller operators.
Using multiple currencies, though the US dollar is the most widely
used unit, has brought stability to the economy but there are a number of
challenges which still have to be overcome.
There are liquidity problems which have affected all sectors of the
economy and at the same time, attempts to promote domestic tourism may not
yield much as there is very little disposable income.
Thursday, 17 September 2009 16:53
THE Sunday Mail had rather confusing information on the visiting
European Union delegation's meeting with President Robert Mugabe on
Saturday. The delegation led by Swedish Minister for International
Development Co-operation Ms Gunilla Carlsson was in the country as part of a
diplomatic initiative to normalise relations with Zimbabwe.
On its front page, the Sunday Mail - in a story covering the president's
address to Zanu PF's youth congress - Mugabe was dismissive of the mission
saying the visitors had been misled into demanding the ouster of RBZ
governor Gideon Gono and Attorney General Johannes Tomana. He wanted the EU
delegates to talk about sanctions.
"Instead of discussing sanctions, they were talking about Tomana and
Gono and I said munei navo (What has that to do with you?). Kubva ku (To
come from) Europe to come and talk about an appointed official," Mugabe told
But on a story on page four of the same paper, Mugabe said the
discussions were "friendly".
"It went on well. there was good rapport. It was a friendly meeting.
open. People spoke their minds," said Mugabe.
But Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa was quoted in the press on
Monday extinguishing his boss's myth about the friendly and good rapport
with the EU.
"They seem to want to undermine the inclusive government. They speak
as much as MDC-T. They just swallow line, hook and sinker what the MDC-T
says," he said.
Chinamasa is disappointed that Western diplomats have failed to
swallow hook, line and sinker his party's myth that it is a victim of an
international conspiracy called for by the MDC-T.
"We cannot fully re-engage if the Global Political Agreement is not
fully implemented. The issue (removal) of the restrictive measures is
decided at the EU. It is not up to (Morgan) Tsvangirai to take them away,"
This is a banal fact the Mugabe and his ilk fail to appreciate. The
onus of the removal of sanctions rests with Mugabe standing up to lead
reform and not a cavalry bent on deception.
Equally deceptive early in the week were reports that police officers
in the traffic section were being put through an "acid test". The acid test
administered to police in the traffic section turned out to be lying tests -
using a lie detector - to fish out those who have been receiving and asking
for bribes. If taking a lying test is an acid test for the police, what do
we call subjecting suspects in police custody to electrical shocks, beating
on the soles of the feet and simulated suffocation? Routine interrogation
perhaps! Can the police be more serious about dealing with corruption in the
force instead of employing laughable methods of asking cops wired to
polygraph machines whether they have ever received bribes. The answer is a
loud YES. But we want to know what is being done to ensure police spend more
time hunting criminals and not haunting motorists.
There is need for a revolutionary change in the command of the police
structures to ensure that the force sticks to its own Service Charter.
Also hooked on graft were security personnel manning gates at the Zanu
PF youth congress last week. They wanted to be cooled by ice-cream to grant
journalists from independent media entry into the arena. At first, the
scribes were told by the security personnel at the City Sports Centre that
they could not get in without producing cards from the now-defunct Media and
Information Commission. It required ministerial intervention to enlighten
the security personnel that the Mahoso card was not necessary.
The journos sought assistance from Information minister Webster Shamu,
who ordered the spooks at the gate to allow the reporters to cover the event
without press cards from MIC. Shamu had to explain to them that MIC no
longer existed and that accreditation would be possible when the new
Zimbabwe Media Commission is constituted. This intervention and
accreditation cards issued to journalist at the Zanu PF headquarters to
cover the congress seemed worthless to the security personnel - without the
ice cream. "If you want to get in, you must buy the ice cream, otherwise you
won't get in," snarled one of them. So the journos delivered the coins for
the ice-cream and gates opened like the Red Sea. That's how easy it is to
make a security officer drop guard.
Online news site Kubatana.com this week carried this snippet: "A South
African woman phoned up a new anti-corruption hotline and was shocked to
find herself talking to President Jacob Zuma. The pair spoke for 10 minutes
before she was told who she was talking to. The free hotline was launched on
Monday and in its first three hours received 7 300 complaints from
frustrated citizens," the presidency's Vusi Mona told the BBC.
"Can you ever imagine this happening in Zimbabwe? Yes, it should of
course, but are our politicians brave and humble enough?" asked Kubatana.
The problem with our leaders is that they associate bravery with shouting at
the phantom of Gordon Brown or calling diplomats prostitutes. To them,
bravery is a preserve of those who fought the liberation war. Answering
difficult questions from the public is a weakness. Bureaucratic arrogance is
a virtue to our 'brave' rulers.
This quote by Professor Jonathan Moyo aptly summarises this
condescension by our rulers: "The rot in Zanu PF smells in government where
the cabinet has become no better than a status club in which ministerial
positions have no strategic policy value as they have become instruments of
patronage to gain personal access to national resources and the illusion of
power and influence."
Moyo, it appears, has been missing the musky smell of putrefaction
that comes with the status of being a Zanu PF member. This paper revealed
last week that the good professor has applied for readmission into Zanu PF.
Judging by his articles denouncing Zanu PF over the past three years,
Muckraker would like to congratulate Moyo for exposing the desperation
within Zanu PF. Party secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa this week
said Moyo was an "asset".
"In Jonathan Moyo, I find a very good and important investment for the
party," gushed Mutasa. They need Moyo because he is a "good information
person". This is a dangerous statement that should ring warning bells to
those fighting for media reform. Zanu PF needs Moyo to strengthen the
anti-reform bastion in the party. To Zanu PF, his past is not important as
long as he can formulate a propaganda plan for the party in its new war
against the MDC formations in the unity government. He is coming back as a
strategic weapon which Mugabe intends to turn onto his opponents. He is one
of the lucky few to be forgiven by a party that treats traitors harshly.
Moyo in his seemingly reformed state after exiting Zanu PF in 2005
never apologised to Zimbabweans for his role in closing newspapers or making
Mugabe the leader he is today. Back in the Zanu PF fold, we hope that he
will not apologise to the party for telling us "Mugabe has publicly
demonstrated his leadership incapacity to make way for an able and dynamic
successor by succumbing to manipulative tribal pressure from a clique in his
We also hope that he will stand by his word that "Mugabe is now leader
of a shelf political party that exists only in name even with those
seemingly high numbers in parliament because, in real terms, the hearts and
minds of the bulk of its members have ideologically emigrated to a new
all-inclusive third way beyond current party boundaries, the so-called third
force which in fact is a people's movement, such that Zanu PF membership is
now only for strategic survival purposes in practical and not ideological
terms which are temporary".
Next time he hears Mugabe speak, I am sure that he would conclude that
the address is "full of the same old clichés he has been saying over and
over again to no useful end".
In meetings, he should remind that party that the "presidium would be
better consigned in a museum than anywhere else in a properly functioning
society, let alone a democratic one".
Is he coming in as the curator of the museum pieces or taking a place
in a section of stuffed ngwenas and nyatis?
Thursday, 17 September 2009 16:49
THOSE in Zimbabwe's so-called inclusive government, who, before it
came into being, governed the country, have been deeply resentful of the
allegedly illegal sanctions that were imposed against them by the
international community. That there are no international laws which preclude
any countries from determining whom they will, or will not, interact with,
whom they will, or will not, allow to visit their countries, and whom they
will, or will not, trade with, is conveniently disregarded. Therefore,
describing such sanctions as being illegal is specious and spurious, and
naught but political deception being perpetrated upon the populace.
Moreover, those of the former government (and now elements of the new
government) endlessly seek to justify their demands for the cessation of
sanctions by ascribing the disastrous collapse of the Zimbabwean economy,
and the consequential immense hardships afflicting most Zimbabweans, to such
sanctions. In doing so, they are conveniently and myopically oblivious to
First and foremost, the economic collapse was set in motion in late
1997, almost five years before any sanctions or restrictions were imposed.
Only the naïve or deviously duplicitous can convince themselves, and try to
convince others, that the horrendous state to which Zimbabwe's economy was
reduced progressively between October, 1997 and 2008, was not due to gross
governmental economic mismanagement, but to other causes, including
substantially non-existent economic sanctions.
In reality, there are only two substantive sanctions of an economic
nature imposed against Zimbabwe by any of the international community (and
legally so, albeit probably ill-considered, counterproductive, and against
the best interests of the Zimbabweans that the sanctions-imposers seek to
First and foremost is the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act
(Zdera), enacted by the US in 2001. Amongst other provisions, that Act
precludes the USA representatives to the International Monetary Fund and the
World Bank from voting in favour of any funding support for Zimbabwe.
However, it in no manner bars the Zimbabwean private sector from
trading with USA, be it by exporting Zimbabwean goods to that country,
purchase by Zimbabweans of products from USA, or other trade linkages. It
also contains no barrier upon USA residents travelling to Zimbabwe, or upon
Zimbabweans travelling to USA.
Such travel, be it for business, holiday, educational or other
purposes, is in no manner constrained by the legislation, but only by
immigration procedures which preclude certain persons from entry into USA,
and by a specific ban upon a selected number of the upper echelons of the
former ruling party in Zimbabwe, and some senior officials within the
Zimbabwean government and associated entities.
In like manner, no other countries have imposed all-embracing economic
sanctions upon Zimbabwe.
The European Union (EU), and some British Commonwealth countries, have
imposed that which it terms as targeted "restrictions" upon specified
Zimbabweans, and upon parastatals and other entities within the Zimbabwean
Under these restrictions, specifically named Zimbabweans, and members
of their families, are barred from entry into the countries imposing the
restrictions, from accessing education in these countries, operating banking
accounts, acquiring properties, or effecting other investments, or engaging
in any other economic or associated activities in, or with residents of,
In addition, none in those countries may have any economic
interactions with the Zimbabwean government, its parastatals and other
government-related enterprises. But, as with the US, neither the EU nor any
Commonwealth countries have prescribed trade or other constraints,
restrictions, or sanctions upon the private sector of the Zimbabwean
economy, or upon Zimbabweans in general.
None of these factors have precluded the hierarchy of Zanu PF from
endlessly striving to mislead the Zimbabwean population into believing that
Zimbabwe's grievous economic ills are a consequence of malicious,
malevolent, international sanctions, thus diverting attention from the fact
that the economic ills have almost wholly been caused by government over the
period preceding the formation of the inclusive government.
If that hierarchy were to be believed, none of the decimation of the
economy is attributable to the governmental destruction of agriculture,
which was the foundation of the economy, or to the state's profligate
spending far beyond national means, to the recurrent recourse to excessive
printing of money (unsupported by reserves), to grossly excessive regulation
of the economy, to intensified bureaucracy and creation of a non-welcoming
investment environment, to the failure to contain corruption and implicit
condonation of such corruption, to disregard for international norms of
protection of human and property rights and of maintenance and
implementation of just law and order, and to near abolition of the
fundamental principles of democracy.
Nay, according to the Zanu PF hierarchy, all of these are figments of
the imagination of Zimbabwe's enemies, at home and abroad, and in no manner
the cause of the Zimbabwean economic morass. But most Zimbabweans, and the
world at large, know otherwise!
Admittedly, there are some negative economic consequences of the USA,
EU, and certain Commonwealth countries' restrictions.
On the other hand, the intensely debilitated state of most parastatals
and their pronounced service delivery inadequacies are exacerbated by the
international restrictions. On the other hand, some residents of the
restrictee countries have developed reservations and concerns over
travelling to, and investing in, Zimbabwe, being aware of the imposed
restrictions which implicitly (and with substance!) indicate that all is not
well in Zimbabwe.
But there can be no doubt that the endless berating of the imposers of
the restrictions is actually founded upon, in part, resentment at the
personalised restraints and, in part, to perpetuate the misleading of the
Zimbabwean population as to the real causes of Zimbabwe's economic ills.
This was clearly evidenced by the statements at the recent Sadc Summit
in Kinshasha, where much emphasis was placed upon the contended injustice of
the personalised restrictions. And it was even more emphatically
demonstrated when a high-powered EU delegation visited Zimbabwe last week.
Instead of providing Zimbabwe with a positive reconciliation
opportunity, a scathing, racist verbal attack was voiced against the
delegation before it had even arrived.
The President suggested that the EU sanctions were not targeted, for
he is still in office, and in the meanwhile the populace is suffering.
(A limited extent of the suffering can be attributed to the EU
restrictions, but the primary cause of the suffering is the devastation that
government wrought on the economy for over 10 years).
He also said that "we can't get grants from banks including the World
Bank because of the London and Washington imposed sanctions". He failed to
ascribe prolonged non-receipt of funding from the Bretton Wood's
institutions to Zimbabwe's pronounced payment defaults, or to acknowledge
that, in the last fortnight, Zimbabwe received US$512, 3m from the IMF.
Inevitably, therefore, one must assume that in the endless and
scathing castigation of the international community, those doing so are
pursuing their own agenda, placing their interests above those of the
nation, no matter how greatly they may protest to the contrary.
Thursday, 17 September 2009 16:33
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has not had such a good week since he managed
to shake hands with Prince Charles at the last pope's funeral in 2005. Days
after regional leaders at the Sadc summit called for the removal of "all
forms of sanctions against Zimbabwe", the one-time pariah president received
another present: the arrival of an EU delegation, the first such visit to
his country for seven years.
Some may find images of a cheery Mugabe welcoming the Swedish
development minister with "open arms" and brushing aside questions about
stepping down - at 85, he is "still young", he said - hard to stomach.
This is a man, after all, who is stands accused of presiding over
economic ruin, torture, killing and starvation.
The Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, has called for him to be tried
in The Hague for crimes against humanity.
But far from demanding punishment, could we - should we - bring
ourselves to forgive him instead?
In June this year I sat down with a man who has responded in just such
a superhumanly charitable manner to the brutal actions of another dictator.
Mohamed Nasheed became the first democratically elected president of
the Maldives last November. Under the previous regime of Maumoon Gayoom, he
had been imprisoned 23 times, held in a tiny metal box under the tropical
sun for months, and tortured, including being forced to swallow broken
But remarkably, he has not only forgiven his jailers and torturers but
has refused to take any action against them whatsoever.
"We shouldn't come out with this sweet revenge idea," he told me as we
spoke after he opened the new Iru Fushi Hilton, a sumptuous symbol of the
only Maldives that holidaymakers ever see. He has removed the chief of
police, but apart from him, "the rest of the top brass are my own
interrogators," he said. "There are so many allegations of corruption and
human rights abuses. No one has to tell me. I know it's true - I've been
But Nasheed, an English-educated journalist whose cause was championed
by Amnesty and PEN, is unwilling to prosecute members of the old regime. "In
the past, whenever there's been a change of government, the former ruler was
either mobbed or sent out from the country. We want to break that circle and
see if we can find amicable solutions."
Zimbabwe's neighbour, South Africa, provides another example of such
heroic magnanimity - of victims of injustice and brutality showing
themselves to be better than their oppressors.
Forgiveness appears to be in short supply in Britain at the moment,
however. A recent poll found that a majority of Scots not only opposed the
release of Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi but also thought he should die in jail,
an opinion shared by Tory leader David Cameron.
But leave aside the question of Megrahi's failing health and the
problem is this: is it right to load such a weight of vengeance on one man's
For this is undoubtedly part of the reason why the uproar over his
release has been so great. No other individuals have been called to account
for the shooting of WPC Yvonne Fletcher, for Libya's long years as a
state-sponsor of terrorism, nor for its provision of semtex explosives to
We hunger for a man, a name to which we can put a face, on whom
justice is seen to be done. It is an understandable appetite, and indulging
it can be both satisfying and convenient, as the French found when they
placed the burden of guilt for wartime collaboration on Marshal Petain, thus
allowing former Vichy fonctionnaires such as Francois Mitterrand off the
But it does not make it right, nor necessarily just; for prosecuting
one man, dictator, terrorist or war criminal, does not remove the complicity
for all the others, often the thousands who have supported or participated
in their crimes.
Further, baying for such punishment can end up having the effect of
prolonging the actions we wish to condemn. For all that governments pretend
they will never talk to terrorist groups, for instance, it is only when they
do, and combine that with ceasing threats of retribution, that those groups
can shed their violence and enter the political realm.
Similarly, efforts to bring Mugabe to the International Court of
Justice will not increase the likelihood of his voluntarily relinquishing
power (and there is no imminent prospect of his leaving in any other way).
If opposition figures and the (Barack) Obama White House are willing
to contemplate dealing with the military as part of Burma's future, then the
Zimbabwean president, who, for all his misdeeds, does not have a record as
appalling as the Burmese generals, may have to be recognised as part of the
solution in his country, too.
Forgiveness - and refusing to seek legal vengeance for Mugabe's crimes
may be seen as an expression of that - may be hard. But if one day it helps
an old dictator become an old ex-dictator, it may prove far sweeter than
* Byrnes is an assistant editor of the New Statesman.
Thursday, 17 September 2009 19:24
OF late there has been a growing clamour from Zanu PF for the removal
of limited sanctions imposed by Western countries starting 2002 for a whole
range of reasons, including the breakdown of the rule of law, human rights
abuses, politically-motivated killings, general repression and dispute over
the chaotic land reform programme. Of course, Zanu PF dishonestly thinks
sanctions were just over its violent and unstructured land redistribution.
The party does not seem to realise that the political violence and
concomitant murders which it licensed by acts of commission or omission were
serious violations of human rights that warranted reaction and
The choreographed campaign on sanctions reached a crescendo just
before last week's Sadc summit in Kinshasa when President Robert Mugabe and
his cronies were lobbying the regional grouping to put in its communiqué a
renewed call for the lifting of the restrictive measures.
Asked what the government was doing to get the sanctions lifted,
President Robert Mugabe this week said the only thing they could do was to
'plead for sanctions to go". "Ours is a mere prayer. We cannot do more than
that," Mugabe said. By contrast, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who
refers to the limited sanctions as restrictive measures, said government
should first or simultaneously address those issues which led to Western
"The other side of restrictive measures is the rule of law. The rule
of law on one side and restrictive measures on the other side. So we have
agreed in Cabinet that we need to have a strategic discussion on this
debate. Why only talk about restrictive measures? Talk about the rule of
law, the violence against the people, good governance practices," Tsvangirai
"Talk about real change to the people's lives. I have initiated
dialogue with those countries with a view to assist my partners in
government affected by the measures and we can see progress. Australia has
announced that they are re-engaging us. The EU dialogue is on track and a
high level delegation was here just last week. The United States
Congressional team was in the country recently and both the EU delegation
and US congressional team met with President Mugabe as well, something
unimaginable just a few months ago."
Tsvangirai said he said her was working to end Zimbabwe's
international isolation. "In fact when we have these engagements, part of
the agenda is the issue of restrictive measures. But Zanu PF people have to
play their part as well. We won't have any restrictive measures to talk of
if we restore the rule of law and implement the GPA."
There in lies the problem. Mugabe thinks all Zanu PF needs to do to
get the sanctions lifted is to "appeal" and "pray". Tsvangirai understands
that praying is not enough. There has got to be far-reaching reforms and a
change of political culture for the restrictions to go.
Zanu PF needs to stop lying about the situation, especially claiming
that the economy was destroyed by sanctions. The financial restrictions made
a bad situation worse. The economy was already on freefall when these
measures were imposed.
The facts speak for themselves. Zimbabwe's current economic crisis
(note: there were fundamental problems of a structural nature before) began
in 1997, with the dramatic collapse of the Zimbabwean dollar after the
government made huge unbudgeted payouts to war veterans. This was worsened
by the DRC war in which Zimbabwe intervened from 1998 to 2002.
The political conflict attendant upon the constitutional reform
process between 1999-2000 and the establishment of the MDC in 1999 also
worsened the situation.
This was aggravated by the land invasions which started in 2000 and
persist up to this day. There were also company invasions and seizures.
Underlying all this was Mugabe's disastrous policy failures. The breakdown
of the rule of law put the final nail in the economy's coffin.
There is no straight line on such debates but in brief this should
establish the context and genesis of the current economic crisis.
By the time the EU imposed "targeted sanctions" in 2002 over the
dispute over presidential election observers and the US followed suit, the
crisis was already very serious and uncontainable. Zanu PF must stick to the
facts and avoid propaganda and falsehoods.
The MDC, which the EU correctly says has no power over the matter
beyond moral persuasion, also needs to stop being dishonest about these
There are limited sanctions, including financial restrictions, travel
bans and arms embargo by the EU and the US.
This must be acknowledged. It's true that Tsvangirai and Finance
Minister Tendai Biti have in a way done, but there are some MDC apparatchiks
and hirelings still in denial. This doesn't help anything.
We need honest debate and not deceitful arguments to move forward. To
get the sanctions removed, government must address the causes of the issue.
It must stop repression.
It must restore the rule of law, end human rights abuses, cease
political harassment and persecution, sort out the messy land reform
programme and institute political reforms. Praying won't get the sanctions
Thursday, 17 September 2009 16:56
FOREIGN delegates and investors coming into the country this week for
the high level mining investment conference were greeted with the news of
the specification of Kingdom Meikles Africa Limited and its subsidiaries.
The conglomerate has also been suspended from the Zimbabwe Stock
Exchange in a move that has very negative effects not just on the frontline
protagonists in the business, Nigel Chanakira and the already specified John
Moxon, but also on thousands of ordinary people who hold stock in the now
Only last week, there were press reports that state-owned steel
manufacturer Zisco was on its knees and had resorted to selling scrap metal
to keep going. This is despite government having poured in huge amounts of
money to capitalise the state enterprise.
Industry and Commerce minister Welshman Ncube revealed last week:
"Government organised loans for Ziscosteel before the formation of the
inclusive government. Every time money was pumped in, it went into a
bottomless pit." But there are criminals reaping a grim harvest somewhere
in the bottomless pit. Who are they and why has government not told us about
The rape of Ziscosteel and other parastatals like the Cold Storage
Company are treated as normal business practices as there is no haste to
specify persons or order a state investigation as is the case with private
sector companies. It is shameful that our government is quick to specify
private sector players yet ministries cannot even order state enterprises
under their control to produce audit reports.
Would-be investors at Zisco - those wanting to get into bed or should
I say into the furnace - with the government should understand the history
of mismanagement, looting and unprofessional political meddling which have
made Zisco what it is today.
The same dirty hands are quick to pounce on the private sector. The
specification of KMAL has therefore all the hallmarks of unjustifiable and
overzealous political intervention in the running of private sector
It is all too easy to put a company under investigation but the
process of coming out of specification is cumbersome and lengthy, which has
serious ramifications on shareholders and investors. Not only that,
subsidiaries of the group, critical to the well-being of this economy now
find themselves hamstrung by the specification. Meikles Hotel for example
will find it difficult to court partners to revamp operations or borrow
large sums of money to refurbish. This is at a time when our rulers are
harping about the country's preparedness to capitalise on next year's soccer
Co-Home Affairs ministers Kembo Mohadi and Giles Mutsekwa, I am sure
are aware of what the specification will do to Kingdom Financial Holdings'
quest to raise money to shore up its balance sheet ahead of the Reserve Bank
deadline for banks to comply with set capital adequacy ratio benchmarks.
Tanganda Tea Company will find it difficult to expand estates and service
Put simply, specification of companies in this country has not served
a real purpose other than dispossession and looting of private property. The
specification of businessman Mutumwa Mawere's empire in 2004 is a case in
point. I want to contend that specification as it is administered at the
moment is a major assault on property rights and a disincentive for would-be
investors in this economy.
For a country struggling to attract direct foreign investment in key
sectors of the economy, the issue of protection of capital should be dealt
with carefully. Zimbabwe has already gained enough notoriety on this front
and should be working on improving the image of the country through fair
play in business. That is absolutely critical.
Opening the mining conference on Wednesday President Mugabe said
government "respected the sanctity of property rights and the rule of law"
in all aspects. This is not convincing at all. Zimbabwe provides a
compelling case study of the perils of ignoring the rule of law and property
rights. That is well documented.
No investor believes Mugabe no matter how sincere he might want to
sound. His government has to demonstrate willingness to change its policies
and strategy before investors start digging for minerals. In April a South
African business delegation led by mining magnate Patrice Motsepe reminded
Mugabe of the issue of property rights.
"The critical thing is that the rules of investment should remain in
place," Motsepe said. "The concern is that there should be no shifting of
goalposts a few years down the line."
The problem with our rulers is that they appear unable to hold on to
that trust. Only last week Mugabe removed a large chunk of that trust
investors require. He said this about removing farmers from the land: "Once
people have offer letters and they are valid, that's it. The farm is not
yours any more. Please don't resist. I am saying please, please but that
"If we hear about any resistance, we will stop pleading. I will just
send the police to drive them away. If they thought they would be saved by
the inclusive government, kunyeperwa ikoko! (That's a lie)."
At a meeting with investors on Wednesday Mugabe was asked what
government was doing to ensure the removal of economic sanctions. His
response: "We are pleading for sanctions to go. Ours is a mere prayer. We
cannot do more than that." Really?
I do not agree. The government should tell investors what is being
done to open up media space, fight corruption, depoliticise the police
force and reviewing security laws and so on. That's what a country seeking
Gono has Failed the Nation
Thursday, 17 September 2009 19:23
I WAS bemused by Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono's utterances about
the need for the return of the Zimbabwe dollar. It is such a shame that the
very person whose policies decimated the economy thinks he still has a role
to play in reviving the Zimbabwean economy. In the eyes of many, the best
thing for Gono can do is just simply to resign in shame.
To some of us, the word Gono rekindles very sad memories of the
painful cash crisis, hyperinflation and the consequent national suffering.
Did Gono ever sleep on bank pavements queuing for money? He did not and that
is why he does not know how the general public which came face to face with
his disastrous policies feels about him.
So many nations have faced political crises but certainly not to the
extent of having their currencies rendered completely useless. The Zambians
under Kenneth Kaunda limped on with their Kwacha. The same happened to
Mozambique under Samora Machel, they still have their metical.
In Zimbabwe the currency disappeared altogether and the people who
were at the helm during the darkest era in the history of our country are
adamant that they did a great job and they want to continue. How shameful!
Why did Gono not implement the policies he is now agitating for during
his first five year term when the local unit went into an unprecedented free
He had everything at his disposal to do as he wished. We remember him
so well flaring up the coals of inflation by uncontrolled money printing and
quasi-fiscal activities. He basked in the glory of being the de facto prime
minister back then.
Some of us who stay in Bindura had the misfortune of witnessing first
hand Gono's destructive policies more often.
We remember hordes of Zanu PF supporters getting free diesel monthly
at BP/ Shell depots along Trojan Road. Despite getting the fuel, seed,
fertiliser and tractors the so called farmers dismally failed to feed the
nation. Independent journalists noted that these were not farmers but black
market dealers eager to make a quick buck.
These journalists were labeled as Selous Scouts, sell-outs,
Rhodesians, British stooges, CIA operatives and all! The results however
were all there to see, a failed and hungry nation importing maize from
Malawi and Zambia, of all countries. After all that garbage, Gono still has
the temerity to suggest solutions, let alone to appear in public?
Mugabe's Remarks on Farm Invasions Unfortunate
Thursday, 17 September 2009 17:30
THE Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU), on behalf of its members would
like to express concern and disappointment at the remarks which were
reported in the Herald of September 12, as being made by president Robert
Mugabe when addressing the Fifth Conference of the Zanu PF Youth League. We
are concerned by the possibility of putting in jeopardy the lives of all
Zimbabwean people (including our members) by sacrificing food self
sufficiency for possible political gains.
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.
We believe these remarks are contrary to the spirit and tenor of the
Global Political Agreement (GPA).
The president is reported to have urged "former" commercial farmers to
embrace land reform. And further goes on to state: "Once people have offer
letters and they are valid, that's it. The farm is not yours any more.
Please don't resist. I am saying please, please but that will stop.
"If we hear about any resistance, we will stop pleading. I will just
send the police to drive them away. If they thought they would be saved by
the inclusive government, kunyeperwa ikoko!"
The CFU would like to place on record that farmers have complied with
the criteria set out by the Ministry of Lands, Land Reform and resettlement
in that applications have been made to continue farming and occupation of
To date, regrettably, government has not responded to the numerous
applications which were made.
It appears that government does not accept the legal rights of skilled
commercial farmers, the majority of whom are also Zimbabwean citizens who
bought land after Independence (as opposed to being neo-colonialist
Their land has been acquired in an arbitrary manner by the state and
they are now excluded from being allowed to use their wide experience,
knowledge and skills for the benefit of all Zimbabwean people.
The true legal interpretation of an offer letter is that it does not
entitle a beneficiary to immediately take up a piece of land that has
allegedly been acquired. It is merely a precursor to the possible issuance
of a lease should certain further conditions be complied with.
It is important that the ZRP should at all times be impartial and to
ensure that no selective application of the law is applied.
Elsewhere the president states: "It is the duty of the British to pay
the compensation. We will only pay for improvements made at the farms."
If this is the case, we request that those of our members and former
members, who may so desire, be adequately and fairly compensated for their
improvements, equipment and materials without delay and without prejudice to
any other claims they may have against the state.
It is regrettable that the vast majority of our members and former
members, the majority of whom were driven off their farms over the past 10
years, have not received any form of compensation.
Compensation for improvements, which has been paid to only a few
former farmers, (less than 200 farmers out of approximately 3 500 who have
been forcefully evicted), has been criticised as being grossly inadequate
In some cases the total amount paid equates to less than 10% of the
total value of the improvements.
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
We respectfully submit that this has clearly yet to happen.
Commercial Farmers' Union.
Mbare Hostels Rentals Exorbitant
Thursday, 17 September 2009 17:28
THE Harare Residents Trusts (HRT) is disturbed by moves taken by the
Harare City Council to lock out more than more than 5 000 families living in
Mbare hostels for failing to pay rentals. Council dispatched final warning
letters and bills averaging US$540 in August 2009 to families living in
these dilapidated dwellings demanding full settlement of their bills within
seven working days. These bills accumulated from February this year when the
dollarisation of the economy took place. However, residents could not and
cannot afford the high rentals.
On average, the city council is demanding US$70 a month for the
one-roomed Mbare, Matapi, Shawasha, and Nenyere hostels which is way beyond
the reach of the majority of residents in this impoverished community.
The council instructed its employees to lock all houses whose tenants
owe them any amount to the last cent.
This sparked an outrage among the occupants and a riotous situation
was only averted after the city employees ran for their lives. Residents
have vowed to resist these illegal lock-outs after it emerged that the
council had already purchased hundreds of steel lockers for this exercise.
This is inhumane and unacceptable.
In efforts to suppress any dissent against their action, the council
initially sought the help of Support Unit police to carry out the evictions
after some council employees faced threats from angry residents. The riot
police refused to intervene on the pretext that the police force does not
intervene in civic matters.
The HRT is shocked to learn that the council has become a capitalist
enterprise which is only focusing on making huge profits to appease its
executives by giving them luxury perks while ordinary residents live in
unacceptable, filthy and life-threatening conditions.
For the past seven months, residents have resisted paying these high
rentals, demanding a justifiable and affordable review.
Instead the city fathers have become arrogant and unresponsive to the
demands and expectations of the electorate who contribute a significant
amount to sustain their extravagant lifestyles.
Residents living in these dilapidated structures feel the rentals are
too high and not commensurate with the services they are getting. Residents
want to pay for services they get. Most of these hostels have dysfunctional
toilets and the whole infrastructure has collapsed posing a serious health
risk for the residents especially children.
The HRT fully supports the residents' move to resist the evictions
which will result in a serious humanitarian crisis. Residents should pay
monthly rentals averaging US$20 given that most of the people living in
these hostels are unemployed and generate family incomes of less than $100 a
The HRT will not hesitate to mobilise residents living in the hostels
for a complete boycott of paying any rentals unless an amicable solution for
a negotiated settlement is reached.
HRT Information and Publicity
firstname.lastname@example.org This e-mail address is being protected from
Zimsec let us Down
Thursday, 17 September 2009 17:25
I AM a 19 year old student who completed my Advanced Level
examinations. I was totally devastated by the way my 'A' Level results
turned out. In fact most of my fellow students at our school received
results that they also say do not belong to them. Others received results
for subjects that they never studied for.
When we applied for re-marks for all the subjects that we had
written, the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) informed us that
the original results would stand and they refused to admit their error. What
then are we supposed to do?
I was the top student in my entire school and my tutors expected
me to obtain a minimum of 13 points at 'A' Level but the outcome of my
examinations puzzled everyone including my parents.
Zimsec's lack of organisation has jeopardised the future of a
lot of students who do not deserve to suffer this way.
New Constitution Must be a Priority
Thursday, 17 September 2009 17:24
IT is now over six months since the inception of the inclusive
government and no meaningful reforms have been undertaken due to lack of
trust between three parties in government. As a result of the tumultuous
scenario the constitution-making process is grinding to a halt.
The select committee responsible for the constitution-making
process is reported to have downed tools in protest due to paltry allowances
whilst Zanu PF feels MDC should by now have facilitated the lifting of
The Zanu PF politburo is on record as saying that the issue of
the constitution is only meant to effect regime change diplomatically hence
political will on the part of the former ruling party is lacking. The
effects of such political treachery are that either the constitution will be
delayed or it will be fast tracked -- both of which are repulsive to
democracy starved Zimbabweans.
Instead of just lamenting the denial of the democratic right of
the people of Zimbabwe, this time should be utilised to educate and mobilise
all and sundry to take not only the constitution-making process seriously
but also equally critical issues such as national healing, transitional
justice, economic recovery to mention a few.
Youth Alliance for Democracy.
SMS The Zimbabwe Independent
Thursday, 17 September 2009 17:15
ZANU PF is stalling the constitution-making process because it's
clear that the sunset party will be defeated in the next elections. The
people of Zimbabwe should continue to agitate and support the parliamentary
committee's efforts. A new constitution is our bridge to a new Zimbabwe and
a new beginning without the Zanu PF baggage weighing us down
ZANU PF, through the "public" media seeks to create the
impression that it alone is at the forefront of ensuring a successful 2009
I HAVE heard of rats jumping off a sinking ship but never of a
rat jumping onto a sinking ship. Jonathan Moyo bewilders me.
I WONDER what the voters in Tsholotsho think after Jonathan Moyo's
crossing the floor to Zanu PF. They had voted for an independent candidate
who has decided to realign himself with Zanu PF.
THE MDC should not take their supporters for granted. They are
now saying they want to hear from the people whether they should continue to
be a part of the GNU or not. They should rather go and ask those who advised
them to join this government what to do now because they did not ask the
people in the first place.
SENATOR Obert Gutu's articles are well researched, balanced,
well researched and clearly presented. The editor should consider giving him
a regular column.
WHETHER the propagandists like it or not, there should be no
going back on the constitution-making process.
I HEAR Tambaoga wants everyone to believe that he is now a
changed man and no longer a Zanu PF propagandist. He will not convince me!
The Blair he should know is a toilet and that is where he belongs.
I DON'T think that there are any leaders as confusing to their
members as the leaders of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ).
Urging teachers to go to work and then not to on Thursdays and Fridays is
just plain ridiculous. Save us from the PTUZ and Raymond Majongwe madness.
RAYMOND Majongwe is misleading teachers in PTUZ. He criticises
Robert Mugabe and the previous government for being corrupt when he also
wastes the union's resources for personal gain. He should step down and and
join the MDC if he wants to discuss politics.
THE Finance minister must ensure that the Chinese, Indian,
Nigerian and other traders bank the money they are accruing. These people
are keeping their cash and importing goods without the money getting in the
banking sector. The country can never be financially liquid at this rate.
All imported goods above a certain figure should be paid through the bank.
MAY the powers that be take action to curb corruption in the
judiciary? It is now reaching alarming levels where convicted people are set
free because they can pay and the innocent deprived of justice because of
their social status.
THE inclusive government should come to Jaggers Wholesalers' aid
before it collapses and hundreds of employees lose their jobs.
ZIMSEC has truly perfected the art of extortion. The exam fees
are so high that I am sure Zimsec can now afford to lend government some
money, if not the IMF!
BUSINESS in Binga is being disrupted by the poor road network.
Someone should do something about it.
CAN bus operators plying the Harare to Mutoko route justify
their US$5 charge for a 140km distance when a 600km distance; Harare to
Beitbridge is costing around US$10?
AS a Caps United supporter I wish to give the Makepekepe owner
and directors a free dose of advice: Lloyd Chitembwe should only be the
assistant coach because he lacks experience and has got nothing to
I AM looking for my brother who I last saw in December 2007. His
name is Munyaradzi Mataranyika and the last time I heard from him he was
working for the Ministry of Justice in Bindura. Can anyone with information
on his whereabouts contact me on 0913461186.