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

MDC to begin consultations on pulling out of unity govt

By Lance Guma
18 September 2009

The MDC says it will begin a series of consultations and feedback rallies
this weekend to assess whether to remain in the shaky power-sharing
government with ZANU PF. In a press statement issued Friday the party said
it would consult its supporters and 'the people of Zimbabwe.on the progress
and the challenges facing the inclusive government.' Starting this weekend 9
major rallies have been lined up across the country, with a least 39 ward
consultations in six provinces meant to gauge the feeling of its members.

The MDC said this 'engagement' is in line with resolutions made by the
National Council in Bulawayo last weekend. On Wednesday, party spokesman
Nelson Chamisa told Newsreel they had given themselves one month to finish
the exercise and make a decision about their continued participation in the
unity government. He said the exercise would look at whether the inclusive
government was a worthwhile and sustainable 'vehicle for real change and
democracy in Zimbabwe'.

In Kariba at Kamhunga Stadium, MDC Treasurer-General and Senator Roy
Bennett, who has been waiting seven months to be sworn in as Deputy
Agriculture Minister, has been lined up as a guest speaker. Spokesman Nelson
Chamisa will address a rally in Buhera North while Senator Morgan Komichi
will be in Gokwe.

There is growing disillusionment within MDC ranks over the refusal by ZANU
PF to honour its obligations under the unity deal. Over 7 months since the
government was formed MDC appointed governors have not yet been sworn in and
attempts continue apace by ZANU PF to take the telecommunications sector
from the ministry controlled by Chamisa. Farm seizures and disturbances
continue unabated, while the disputed unilateral appointments of Reserve
Bank governor Gideon Gono and Attorney General Johannes Tomana remain

The coalition in general has been plagued by a lack of sincerity from ZANU
PF. Mugabe's spokesman George Charamba has been given unfettered control of
the state media and has been abusing it to spew hate speech against Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC and private independent Zimbabwe media.
Parliamentarians from the MDC and other party officials continue to be
selectively victimized by the police and the Attorney General's office. The
same AG's office refuses to prosecute ZANU PF thugs responsible for last
year's bloody election violence.

In different parts of the country MDC activists continue to be victimized.
Last week in Mt Darwin two activists, Rebecca Chavunduka and Paul Chamboko,
fled their homes in Kapiripiri village after being threatened by ZANU PF
supporters. A colonel Zonge in the Zimbabwe National Army is said to be
carrying out a 'clean-up exercise' of MDC supporters in the area. Zonge has
even promised his hired thugs a new vehicle to use in their terror
operations. Last year the same colonel was one of over 200 senior army
officers deployed countrywide to carry out a campaign of terror and murder
against opposition supporters, ahead of the one-man presidential run-off

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Gono will consider stepping down if sanctions are lifted

September 18
2009 , 3:56:00

Thulasizwe Simelane; Zimbabwe

Zimbabwean Central Bank governor Gideon Gono says he will consider
stepping down if sanctions were removed. President Robert Mugabe
unilaterally re-appointed Gono last December in spite of a track record
questioned by the opposition and economists alike.

His position is also at the centre of a seven month tug-of-war between
Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. Gono says he won't step down
now, unless the president fires him.

The US however says any suggestion that sanctions against President
Mugabe and other leaders of Zanu-PF and their families should be lifted, is
premature. The South African Development Community (SADC) countries have
called on the international community to lift the sanctions, but Washington
says it was still not ready to lift sanctions from Zimbabwe.

The European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid Karel
de Gucht says the EU will also not remove sanctions targeted at Mugabe and
his loyalists. He says the EU won't resume development aid until more is
done to implement the nation's power-sharing agreement and to restore human
rights. De Gucht says that sharp differences remain between Mugabe and
Tsvangirai over their coalition agreement.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Seizure of top Zimbabwe firm's assets casts shadow over government's bid to attract investors

ANGUS SHAW Associated Press Writer
12:57 p.m. EDT, September 18, 2009

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - The government has frozen the assets of one of
Zimbabwe's oldest and largest companies, and the family behind the
conglomerate suspects the action was taken to preserve the job of its CEO,
who is close to President Robert Mugabe's party.

The seizure earlier this week by the Home Affairs Ministry is likely to
renew questions about whether the troubled country, whose government seeks
to attract investment, is safe for business. The party of Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai, who is in a power-sharing coalition with his erstwhile
rival Mugabe, condemned what it called a "mafia-style grab."

"We believe that asset grabbing sends wrong signals at a time the country
wants to attract investment," the Movement for Democratic Change said.

The government announced it seized Kingdom Meikles' assets pending
investigations into allegations of currency violations by company
executives. The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange also was told to suspend trading in
Meikles shares. The company has banking, investment, supermarket,
agricultural and retail interests, as well a leading Harare hotel.

Sternford Moyo, an attorney for the Meikles family, said Thursday the
government action is aimed at stopping a meeting next week at which
shareholders were expected to demand the departure of group chief executive
Nigel Chanakira, who has been in a long-standing boardroom dispute with John
Moxon, head of the Meikles family, and other board members and shareholders.

"This is typical of the abuse of power we have seen in Zimbabwe," Moyo said.
"If there is a case, why haven't any charges been made? Why hasn't it been
taken to the courts first?"

Chanakira did not respond to requests for comment from The Associated Press.

Moxon, accused of illegally exporting $7.8 million in funding from Zimbabwe
to the company's luxury Cape Grace hotel in neighboring South Africa, denies
any wrongdoing.

At a shareholders' meeting earlier this year, 90 percent of stockholders
voted for the Meikles group to split from Chanakira's Kingdom Bank.
Chanakira and two other directors have refused to quit.

Next week's shareholders meeting was expected to again demand Chanakira's
departure on grounds he mounted a witch hunt against Moxon and other
executives and shareholders and brought criminal allegations against them to
thwart his ouster.

Central bank governor Gideon Gono, a top Mugabe loyalist, has frequently
thanked Chanakira, calling him "my brother Nigel," for blowing the whistle
on alleged corruption within Meikles.

The blue chip company brought in Chanakira as a law was being formulated in
2005 that stipulated that all white-owned businesses needed to have 51
percent black shareholders. With the merger of Chanakira's Kingdom Bank with
Meikles, the company was brought into compliance with the law that was
enacted a few weeks later.

Many businesses have teetered toward collapse due to the country's economic
meltdown but Meikles, with its broad range of assets, has continued to be

Earlier this week, Mugabe sought to reassure hundreds of businessmen that
their potential investments in Zimbabwe would be safe, saying "the sanctity
of property rights and the rule of law in all its dimensions are fully

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

While many businesses have teetered toward collapse due to the country's
economic meltdown, Meikles, because of its broad range of assets, has
continued to be profitable.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

The Meikles specification saga - implications on the rule of law

Mutumwa Mawere
18 September 2009

Since the appointment of Dr. Gono as Governor of the RBZ in December 2003, a
number of businesspersons have been specified in terms of the Prevention of
Corruption Act. At the time of his appointment as Governor, it was generally
felt in government circles that the economic crisis was largely a direct
consequence of corruption and financial indiscipline in the private sector.

The thinking in government was that using the Prevention of Corruption Act,
the economy would rid itself of alleged corruption and in so doing lift the
country up. Regrettably this did not happen hence the shift of emphasis to
targeted sanctions as the source of the economic and political crisis
confronting Zimbabwe.
Notwithstanding the change of focus to sanctions removal, there has not been
any fundamental change in thinking on whether in fact; the approach of
victimising businesspersons yielded the kind of results expected. The first
victim was ENG Capital and its shareholders. Then came Mr. James Makamba and
with him externalisation as a criminal charge worse than murder was born.

Mr. Makamba was to languish on remand in custody for about 8 months and he
was later joined by former Minister of Finance, Dr. Chris Kuruneri. Many
more were specified and no one has taken stock of the impact of
specification on economic performance. With more businesspersons being
targeted, the economy continued to nose-dive confirming that all the actions
of the state were either misdirected or a genuine attempt to distract
attention from the core issues at play.

Although the so-called anti-corruption crusade took a political character
with the majority of victims being black, the matter never attracted the
attention of political actors in the context of the SADC-facilitated talks
that eventually led to the formation of the inclusive government.

Before the formation of the inclusive government, principal state and
political actors were drawn from the same party that shared an ideology that
the state can do no wrong. The responsibility for specification was placed
on the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Hon. Chinamasa.
After the government reshuffle before the elections of last year, a new
Ministry was created under the name, Ministry of State Enterprises,
Anti-Corruption and Anti-Monopolies. An Anti-Corruption Commission was then
established in terms of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

The Ministry of Anti-Corruption was abolished with the advent of the
inclusive government. With the specification of Moxon and subsequently
companies deemed to be connected to him, the attorneys representing the
specified persons, Mr. Sternford Moyo, have raised an interesting legal
point that has implications to many who remain specified notwithstanding the
confusion regarding who is in charge of the administration of the Prevention
of Corruption Act.

Mr. Moxon is seeking an order in the court application under HC2857/09
before the High Court of Zimbabwe that the appointment by the co-Ministers
of Home Affairs of forensic auditors Budhama Chikamhi and Cleopas
Mukungunugwa as investigators be declared as a legal nullity.

The facts of the Meikles matter are that a battle for control of KMAL
between Messrs. Moxon and Chanakira has spilled into the domain of state
actors amid allegations that the state has been rented as leverage by Mr.
Chanakira to gain an advantage against Mr. Moxon. Mr. Chanakira was the
complainant against Mr. Moxon raising allegations of externalisation in
respect of certain transactions that relate to assets situated in a foreign
state, South Africa. Based on these allegations, Minister Undenge purporting
to act as the Minister of State Enterprises, Anti-Corruption and
Anti-Monopolies specified Mr. Moxon and appointed an audit firm as

At present, there appears to be no Minister administering the Prevention of
Corruption Act notwithstanding the fact that recently a number of
businesspersons were de-specified by the co-Ministers of Home Affairs. If as
observed by Mr. Moxon, there is no Minister assigned to administer the Act
as required, then the de-specification as well as all the specifications
that are purportedly in force is null and void. An Investigator as agent
needs a principal to report to. If the Principal is no longer in place, can
an agent be appointed to report to a Minister without legal standing?

The line of argument that Mr. Moxon has taken is not only interesting but
raises fundamental questions about integrity of the state. It is evident
that the manner in which the pre-inclusive government political culture
operated has been adopted by the inclusive government seamlessly. We have
seen the MDC condemning the action notwithstanding the fact that one of the
co-Ministers is a nominee of the party.
The mere fact that the specification order was signed after the formation of
the inclusive government confirms that there are people in the state who
continue to believe notwithstanding the dollarization of the economy that
externalisation is a criminal charge that merits the intervention of the

Mr. Chikambi supported by Mr. Melusi Matshiya, the permanent secretary of
the Ministry of Home Affairs, have opposed Moxon's application arguing that
a number of irregular transactions allegedly made by Moxon including a
disposal of 25% equity of T M Supermarkets to Pick 'n' Pay retailers and the
externalisation of US$8.4 million from the transaction. It is also alleged
that Mr. Moxon and not Meikles Africa Limited externalised US$7.4 million
being the proceeds from the disposal of shares in the jurisdiction of South
Africa to a South African and not Zimbabwean company, Mvelaphanda Group.
Chikamhi in the court papers accuses Moxon in his personal capacity of being
the mastermind behind the alleged undervaluation of the Cape Grace Hotel
that was sold for cash. He does so purportedly on behalf of the shareholder,
KMAL, arguing that the disposal to Mentor Holdings Limited represented by
Mr. Steven Lavenburg was not above board.

Any rational observer would agree that the state of Zimbabwe has no right to
interfere with the administration of companies and more significantly that
any attempt to make Mr. Moxon accountable to Zimbabwean authorities on
transactions relating to assets situated in foreign territories violates
international law as doing so would effectively given the Prevention of
Corruption Act extra-territorial application. If Mr. Moxon committed an
offense then it is for the forum courts in South Africa to adjudicate.
What is critical is that all investors follow this landmark case as it
further exposes the fact that no investor is safe when the wheels of justice
and transparency are off. Yesterday, it was Muponda for example, and today
it is Moxon. What will tomorrow bring? Only God knows.

However, the government must observe its own laws before compelling others
to do the same. There is no choice but to accept the argument advanced by
Moxon that the specification has no force or effect and is, therefore, a
nullity. As we continue to watch the inclusive government negotiate its
moral compass, we can only support the efforts by Mr. Moxon to bring to the
attention of the investing public that a lot more needs to be done to remove
domestic sanctions against progress and prosperity.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Mutsekwa says plans underway to reverse seizure of Meikles group

By Violet Gonda
18 September 2009

Using a controversial anti-corruption law, a recently published government
gazette effectively seized the assets of one of the country's largest
companies, Kingdom Meikles, which is listed on stock exchanges in both
Harare and London. The group of companies comprising Kingdom Meikles,
Tanganda Tea, Thomas Meikles Centre and Murlis Investments were all listed
as 'specified,' allowing the government to place them under administration.
This is a move that has been condemned by the business community who say it
erodes much needed investor confidence in the country.

The Home Affairs Ministers, Kembo Mohadi and Giles Mutsekwa, both authorised
the seizure, after the group of companies was accused of externalising
foreign currency. But on Friday Mutsekwa admitted on the Hot Seat programme
that he made a serious blunder by only listening to CEO Nigel Chanakira,
when he co-authorised the specification order. The Minister also disclosed
that there are plans to reverse the seizure order, after company Chairman
John Moxon agreed to pay back the externalised funds.

He said it was a tough decision to authorise the seizure of such a big
company, but that it had to be done because it had committed a serious crime
by externalising US$21 million.

He added: "Apparently what has been taking place is that we have been
listening to only one person who is an aggrieved character (Chanakira) and
we took him for granted. Being a Christian everybody thought he was up to
his works, but ever since the gazette of that instrument the other side has
also approached me and we have held very high level meetings and I now
understand that it was not all that I was being told by the first side, that
is correct."

The co-minister said it was not easy to make contact with the company
Chairman, Moxon, who is based outside the country. Moxon has now assured the
Minister that he is willing to payback what ever the country was deprived
of.  "So I am happy as the Minister that everything is on course and I have
advised to take certain procedures so that we rectify the issue."

When asked if this meant the specification order was going to be reversed,
the Minister responded by saying: "I am saying precisely that and as I said,
the happiest news from the second player is that he recognises that he is
indebted to Zimbabwe and during my discussions with his emissaries there was
an indication, a very honest indication, that whatever Zimbabwe was
prejudiced of would be made good."

Mutsekwa denied he was reversing the order because of enormous pressure from
his party, who on Thursday issued a statement condemning 'the inclusive
government's mafia-style grab of the assets of the Meikles group of

The MDC statement read: "The co-Ministers of Home Affairs Hon Kembo Mohadi
and Hon Giles Mutsekwa have more pressing issues to attend to than seizing
the assets of private companies. Zimbabweans want to see a professional
police force that enforces the rule of law without fear or favour. They want
to see perpetrators of violence brought to book. They want to see a
corrupt-free police force which professionally discharges its duties. These
are the issues that must grab the attention of the ministers, rather than
the unbridled pursuit of private property."

Mutsekwa also talked about the challenges he is facing to bring back law and
order in the country and the difficulties of working with a 'police force
that is combative and is offended if ZANU PF is offended'.  Despite lack of
evidence on the ground he claimed he has managed to bring to book 75% of the
perpetrators of political violence, but said the rest is in the hands of the
Justice Ministry, especially the Attorney General's office.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Mugabe must be lead story - Shamu tells ZBC

Written by Radio VOP
Friday, 18 September 2009 15:39
HARARE, - Information Minister, Webster Shamu and his permanent
secretary George Charamba, on Thursday read the riot act to senior managers
at the ZBC for failing to make Robert Mugabe the lead story during prime
time news.
Mugabe's official opening of the mining conference was slotted at the
at 21:02 due to what insiders at ZBC said were technical hitches blamed on
faulty Chinese imported broadcasting equipment. The footage of President
Mugabe at the mining conference had no sound, much to the chagrin of Shamu
and Charamba who both stormed Pocket after 2pm on Thursday in which they
summoned about 10 senior managers for allegedly botching up President Mugabe's
coverage of the officially opening of the mining conference which was
attended by more than 300 delegates.
Insiders said some of the managers taken to task by Shamu and Charamba
included Happison Muchechetere, the chief executive officer, Tarzzen
Mandizvidza, Freedom Moyo (bulletin manager), Jacob Phiri, Brian Rwafa
(responsible for reporters) and five other senior managers responsible for
"We had problems with the VCT 4 editing equipment which were are using
hence the bungling of the bulletin on Wednesday but both Shamu and Charamba
accused us of incompetence and sabotage," said one of the managers that
attended the dressing-down meeting on Thursday.
"Shamu went to remove his jacket as if he wanted to fight us. They
were shouting especially at Mandizvidza and Rwafa whom they specifically
accused of incompetence," said another source. Another added: "Charamba said
whether we like it or not President Mugabe was top news and should lead all
the bulletins. He went on to say those that thought otherwise were free to
leave the ZBC."
The Ministry of Media, Information and Publicity has kept tight reign
at the ZBC and other stables in the state media.
In a statement on Thursday the MDC said it was seriously worried by
the manner the Ministry of Media, Information and Publicity has abdicated
its national responsibility to the taxpayer in pursuit of the shameful
parochial interests of protecting one exclusive political party in the
inclusive government.
It said the public media has been abused to become the theatre and
arena of maligning and vilifying the MDC, its leadership and members at the
expense of covering pertinent issues affecting the ordinary man and woman.
"The Ministry of Media, Information and Publicity is the
spokes-ministry of the inclusive government in its entirety. The public
media, under the express orders of ministry officials, have become willing
vehicles of spreading hate speech, divisions and tension in the inclusive
government through overt bias and positive coverage of ministers and
officials from one political party," it said.
The MDC condemned the partisan use of public institutions such as the
public media to the detriment of national and public interest.
"For years, the MDC has been a perennial victim of unbridled
propaganda. Ironically, the ridicule, abuse and vilification have
intensified since the formation of the inclusive government in February
2009. The latest victim is Finance Minister Hon Tendai Biti who is on the
receiving end of a vicious war by Zanu PF bigwigs used to free handouts who
are now fighting tenaciously and extra-legally to have access to IMF funds
that are outside the control of the usual Father Christmas-the Central Bank.
"It would not be illogical to conclude that the life of Hon Biti, just
like other MDC officials and ministers, is in danger judging by the vitriol
being spewed by The Herald and the ZBC. A month ago, Hon Biti received a
live bullet in his mail and it appears there has not been any investigation
on the matter.
"The past seven months have seen the sunset of political debauchery
and corruption and the emergence of a new sunrise of hope for the people of
Zimbabwe. That hope; the nation's hope is under serious threat from the
partisan use of strategic national institutions to undermine the new
political dispensation. The Ministry of Media, Information and Publicity and
its puppet media have lost all credibility in the eyes of Zimbabweans who
want to nurture the new era of prosperity and hope.
The MDC regards the lampooning and hate speech against its Ministers
and officials as a threat to the Global Political Agreement.  We are worried
about the threat posed to the longevity of the GPA by a retinue of sulking
remnants from the old order which is hell-bent on undermining the hope that
had begun to be engendered by the inclusive government."

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwean Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa criticised for attack on SADC Tribunal


The representatives of the premier regional bar associations and rule
of law institutions on the African continent, gathered in Arusha, Tanzania
on 15 and 16 September 2009 to among other things reflect on the state of
the rule of law in Africa and the current state of regional and sub-regional
judicial organs have made and adopted the following communique:

Reaffirming that the observance of human rights, good governance and
the Rule of Law are indispensable requirements for the greater
democratisation of the African Continent;

Mindful that these are dependent on the existence of independent,
impartial and effective institutions that deliver justice without fear or

Acknowledging that in a significant number of African countries the
Rule of Law has entrenched itself and judicial institutions operate without
interference from any quarters;

Wary that some African countries have depicted a tendency to undermine
judicial authority at both the domestic and regional levels;


1. Observed with alarm the current efforts of the government of
Zimbabwe through the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs of Zimbabwe,
Honourable Patrick Chinamasa, to cause SADC to dismantle a sub-regional
judicial organ - the SADC Tribunal - on his perceptions relating to
non-ratification and the implications thereof.

2. Are not convinced by the official reasons, which the Minister has
raised to justify his decision. They observed among others that:

a. The establishment of the SADC Tribunal needs no ratification.
b. The Zimbabwean Government nominated a judge to sit as a Member of
the Tribunal. Other SADC states have also nominated judges to constitute a
complement of Tribunal judges.
c. The Government of Zimbabwe has appeared before the Tribunal in more
than one case, and has at no time raised objections to its legality and/or
d. The Government of Zimbabwe is only challenging the Tribunal as a
result of it being referred to the SADC Heads of State and Government to
explain its non-compliance with binding decisions of this sub-regional
judicial organ.
e. The failure of the Government of Zimbabwe to comply with a court
decision, whether of a domestic or international tribunal, is consistent
with its endemic culture of defiance of court orders that it dislikes.

f. In Zimbabwe the Government dismantled the Supreme Court and the
High Court when they were seen as issuing decisions which the Government
disliked through forcing out judges and hiring "politically correct"
individuals. Its current thrust to destroy the SADC judicial organ is
consistent with the Government's conduct in dealing with judicial organs
that it dislikes.

3. There have been suggestions that the SADC Ministers of Justice and
Attorneys General will meet shortly to decide the fate of the SADC Tribunal.
Attention must be drawn to the fact that the jurisdiction of the
Ministers of Justice (as extensions of executives) to consider this matter
is irregular, as this potentially amounts to an assault on the principle of
separation of powers. It is an established principle of international law
that the Tribunal, as the judicial organ itself - and not the executive
organ constituted by ministers - must be the ultimate judge of its own


1. Encourage the government of Zimbabwe to comply with the decisions
of the SADC Tribunal rather than to use disingenuous and convoluted legal
arguments to destroy the Tribunal, in an apparent quest to avoid submitting
to the rule of law.

2. Strengthen and defend its institutions of justice when they make
decisions, which are within their competencies. Failure by the SADC and AU
leadership to vigorously defend regional and sub-regional judicial organs
from such a blatant assault is likely to have a contagion effect throughout
the continent which is so desperate for strong institutions of democracy and
rule of law to protect the rights of the people, assure investors of the
sanctity of contract and availability of credible enforcement mechanisms,
and generally promote socio-economic development on the continent.







Submitted by:

Gabriel Shumba  - Human Rights Lawyer
Zimbabwe Exiles Forum -
Mobile: +27 72 639 3795
Phone: +27 12 322 6969

For further information:

Arnold Tsunga

Director of the Africa Regional Programme
International Commission of Jurists

Tel:    +27 11 304 9646 or 7

Cell:  +27 73 131 8411 (South Africa)


In his capacity as Director of the Africa Regional Programme of the
International Commission of Jurists, Mr Tsunga is working to strengthen the
rule of law on the African continent.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Tsvangirai calls for 'transparent' probe into diamond field abuses

By Alex Bell
18 September 2009

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Thursday called for a 'transparent'
investigation into the widespread abuses and deaths at the Chiadzwa diamond
fields, just two weeks after yet another person died at the hands of
soldiers there.
The Prime Minister was speaking at a mining conference in Harare and said
that innocent people at the diamond fields had been victimised for their
proximity to 'enormous natural wealth'.
"We must as a government investigate in an open and transparent manner any
human rights abuses that took place so that the innocent victims receive
justice and to ensure that the protection of our people is paramount in this
new Zimbabwe," Tsvangirai told foreign investors attending the conference.
Referring to the widely reported use of excessive force by the police and
army tasked with controlling the diamond fields, Tsvangirai said it is 'a
sad fact' that local communities have been "prevented from enjoying the
fruits of our natural resources and particularly in the east of the country
they have been persecuted for their proximity to enormous natural wealth."
The Prime Minister added that the "tragedy that took place in Chiadzwa and
other places cannot be repeated."
His comments come as the military grip on the diamond fields has tightened,
with this new death at the hands of the army reported last week. According
to the Mutare based Centre for Research and Development, soldiers based in
Chiadzwa kidnapped, tortured and murdered an apparent 'illegal' diamond
panner over a week ago. Moreblessing Tirivangani died on Sunday 6th
September after a vicious beating by soldiers the previous night. The Centre
for Research and Development reported that police, who transported
Tirivangani's body to the Mutare General Hospital Mortuary, were ordered to
report that he 'had tried to disarm a soldier.'
"This is highly untrue given that soldiers always move around in pairs or
more. Also given the general fear among the people with regard to soldiers,
it is very unthinkable that a civilian can try to disarm a soldier in a
highly militarised zone like Chiadzwa," the Centre reported.

The continued militirisation of the diamond fields has been in direct
contravention of recommendations made earlier this year by a delegation from
the Kimberley Process (KP), the international body tasked with stopping the
trade in blood diamonds. The group was shamed into sending a review mission
after receiving widespread accounts by human rights groups of violence,
torture, child labour and murder at the diamond fields last year. Survivors
of the military violence reported mass deaths at the hands of soldiers in
2008, after the military was ordered to 'clean up' the area.
The KP delegation found evidence of serious non-compliance with minimum
diamond trade standards, as well as dramatic human rights abuses. The
testimony of some victims was reportedly so sad that the Liberian team
leader left one of the meetings in tears. The team's interim report, which
was leaked to the media and is yet to be officially published, recommended
Zimbabwe's suspension from the regulatory body. But the suspension
recommendation was quickly denounced by the Kimberley Process Chair,
Bernhard Esau, who told reporters in Harare that suspension would never
happen. Esau, who has come under increasing pressure from human rights
groups and critics of the Kimberley Process, has since denied that he ever
made the statement.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

'Catastrophic' teachers strike set to hamper education recovery efforts

By Alex Bell
18 September 2009

Education Minister and MDC Senator David Coltart has said that the current
'catastrophic' teachers' strike will mar education recovery efforts,
following a multimillion-dollar investment in the country's education

The US$70 million cash injection announced by the United Nations Children's
Fund (UNICEF) earlier this week is an attempt to reverse the rapid decline
of Zimbabwe's education sector, which once used to be the most revered in
Africa. Years of mismanagement by the ZANU PF government, which has led to
economic meltdown and a desperate humanitarian crisis in the country, has
seen the education sector totally collapse. Grade seven pass rates have
dropped to an estimated 30% in 2007, while more than half of primary schools
pupils are not going to secondary schools.

This is according to UNICEF representatives in the country, who say one of
the primary objectives is to start distributing textbooks to schools. UNICEF
estimates that the ratio of textbooks to pupils is on average about one book
to every ten children, while some teachers in Harare have said the ratio is
much higher.

"The objective is to reach every child in Zimbabwe with a text book within
12 months. An assessment by the education advisory board has revealed that
in about 20 percent of all primary schools there is not single text book for
English, Mathematics or an African Language," Peter Salama, the UNICEF
representative in Zimbabwe said in a recent interview.

UNICEF, in partnership with the unity government, will be distributing funds
from donor countries that include Australia, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands,
Norway, New Zealand, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the European Commission
on behalf of the European Union. The attempt to resuscitate the education
system will take a two-pronged approach: the Basic Education Assistance
Module (BEAM), and the Educational Transition Fund (ETF), which will provide
technical capacity to the ministry of education to distribute textbooks.

But while the cash boost has been widely welcomed, it comes in the midst of
a widespread teachers' strike over low wages, which Senator Coltart said is
having a 'catastrophic' affect on education. The strike was launched earlier
this month by the largest of the country's teachers' unions, the Zimbabwe
Teachers Association (ZIMTA), and threatens the final term of the first
school year under the unity government. Coltart has previously lashed out at
the striking teachers for jeopardising the future of the country's school
pupils, accusing the union of deliberately disrupting a very important
school term.

"It doesn't matter how many textbooks we have in our classrooms, because
without teachers we cannot move education forward," Coltart said, explaining
that addressing the teachers' grievances is his 'number one priority'. He
added that while the US$70 million is welcome as the largest cash boost in
the sector for at least a decade, it is a 'drop in the ocean' of what the
education sector really needs to fully recover.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Dabengwa launches attacks on Mugabe

September 18, 2009

By Mxolisi Ncube

JOHANNESBURG - Zimbabwe's opposition ZAPU party has accused President Mugabe
of suffering from selfishness, in response to an earlier attack launched by
the octogenarian leader against the revived party Thursday. While addressing
the Zanu-PF National Women's League Conference in Harare Thursday, Mugabe
described interim ZAPU chairman, Dumiso Dabengwa and other members who
comprise the new party's leadership as "rogue" members, saying there could
never be any other such party besides the one that was formed by Joshua
Nkomo, ZAPU's late founding president who signed a Unity Accord with Mugabe
in 1987.

After the accord, Nkomo became the country's second Vice President after
Simon Muzenda (also now late), a post he held until his death in 1999.

Admitting the existence of a split within Zanu-PF, Mugabe singled out
Bulawayo and Harare provinces as the ones "giving us unnecessary problems"
and launched a personal attack on Dabengwa. He said the former Home Affairs
Minister was trying to single-handedly revived ZAPU.

"But there is a new phenomenon coming out of Bulawayo," Mugabe was quoted as
saying in the state media on Friday.

"After his sojourn in (Dr Simba Makoni's) Mavambo party, (Dumiso) Dabengwa
now says he wants to revive PF-Zapu, but we do not know where they are
getting the idea from.

"There is only one PF-Zapu we know, the one that went into a Unity Accord in
1987 to form Zanu-PF and that was the one led by the late Vice President Cde
Joshua Nkomo. There is no way one person can say PF-Zapu is withdrawing from
the Unity Accord. All I can say is that it is sad, sad, sad for the people
who will choose to join this direction.

"Cde Nkomo wanted unity. We are looking at where we are coming from and
where we are today. What purpose would it serve for one of us to say I want
to form another party from the revolutionary party?"

In his response, released Friday afternoon, Dabengwa said that Mugabe wanted
his Zanu-PF to be the only liberation movement "when he knows fully well
that ZAPU was the founder and authentic liberation movement in Zimbabwe,
alongside ANC in South Africa, MPLA in Angola, Frelimo in Mozambique and
Swapo in Namibia."

"That Zanu-PF managed to dribble its way into power in 1980 did not, and
will not change the history that ZANU and Zipra fought the war of liberation
as much, if not more, as ZANU and Zanla did," said Dabengwa in his

Dabengwa said that both he and ZAPU were dismayed by Mugabe's comments,
adding that contrary to the geriatric leader's comments, Nkomo did not form

"Nkomo never formed ZAPU. When ANC was banned by the white regime in 1957,
NDP was formed at Mai Misodzi Hall.

"Nkomo was invited to lead after one James Dube Sigodo from Enqameni
suggested to Jason Ziyaphapha Moyo, Joseph Msika, Enos Nkala, Stanslous
Marembo and William Khona to ask Nkomo to lead.

"It is important to remember that President Mugabe was not yet involved in
politics by then and only joined when Nkomo was the leader and assumed that
Nkomo had formed the party. Not long after joining ZAPU, Mugabe was among
those who split from ZAPU to form ZANU."

Dabengwa said that ZAPU did not have a culture of leaders owning the party.

"When Nkomo led ZAPU into unity with ZANU, he consulted and got authority at
a special ZAPU congress," said Dabengwa.

"Accordingly, ZAPU held a special congress which authorized and endorsed the
end of the unity accord. This was after I consulted the late Vice President
Joseph Msika who said we could only end the unity accord after consulting
ZAPU structures, which we did.

"The party was revived by members and supporters who asked me to come back
from Zanu-PF and lead them. I am following the people and not the people
following me. That is the difference between ZAPU and other political
parties. In ZAPU we believe the party is bigger than leaders and not the
other way round, as President Mugabe seems to suggest."

The former Home Affairs Minister added that Mugabe's "outbursts are welcome
because it proves that he cannot continue to deny that ZAPU has been

"Sad as it is, it is a fact that Mugabe has to live with for the remainder
of his years.

"ZAPU hereby declares that there is no going back on the resolution of our
congress to end the unity accord with Zanu-PF. We are gearing ourselves to
win the next elections and form a government to rebuild our great nation.
ZAPU is humbled by messages of support and solidarity from people in all
corners of the country, following President Mugabe's attack on our party and

"Finally, ZAPU wishes to urge the President to stop displaying such kind of
intolerance as it tends to cause unnecessary tensions in society."

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Breaking News on Harare market stalls!






 145 Robert Mugabe Way, Exploration House, Third Floor; Website:

Contacts: Mobile: 0912 653 074, 0913 042 981, 011862012 or email,,


18 September 2009

It has come to the knowledge of CHRA that the Minister of Local Government, Dr. Ignatius Chombo sent an instruction to the City’s Director of Housing, Justin Chivavaya, to reserve twelve market stands at Mupedzanhamo flea market in Mbare. The correspondence was made on the on the 17th of March 2009 after the Councilors had raised the issue of the unfair allocation of market stands in Harare (see appendix 1).

This comes amid reports that some former members of the Harare Commission, government and high ranking City of Harare officials have multiple stands at Mupedzanhamo and Machipisa markets which they are sub-letting to desperate residents. Chombo’s directive to Chivavaya also fuels the complaints that have been raised by residents that the market stands were being allocated on partisan lines. Some sources in Council have also pointed out that there is a possibility that some stands were allocated to ghost occupants and yet they were in actual fact owned by top politicians.

CHRA condemns any acts of corruption and urges Council to be vigilant in ensuring transparency in all its operations. The Association remains committed to advocating for good, transparent and accountable local governance.

CHRA Information, making the implicit, explicit


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe's Wheat Shortage - A Man-Made Calamity

"The preliminary winter wheat production estimates for 2009 of 55 000 metric
tonnes (MT) will only cover about 17 percent of national requirements, and
is 12 percent less than last season's production estimate of 62 000 MT,"
said Famine Early Warning System and Network (FEWSNET) .

Farmers this year planted less than 10 percent of the targeted 100 000
hectares. "A review of the challenges has indicated that farmers faced a
serious challenge of inputs, especially fertiliser that was in short
supply," Agriculture Minister Dr. Joseph Made told the government.

ZANU (PF)'s self imposed domestic sanctions barred Zimbabwe's 3000
commercial farmers from planting any wheat from the year 2000 onward. These
self-inflicted economic wounds created by Joseph Made's circular firing
squad are the epicentre of the decline in food production.

"Farmers put about 20 000-21 000 hectares of wheat during the winter wheat
season and with a projected yield of three tonnes per hectare, the yields
will be low," Made said. The United Nations Food and Agriculture
Organisation in June forecast the production of winter-season wheat of only
12,000 MT, the lowest ever.

The average yield for the commercial farmer prior to the fast track land
grab was 5.5 tonnes per hectare with individual yields of 8 to 10 metric
tonnes per hectare uncommon.

In other words, the tonnage of 12 000 MT of cereal Zimbabwe is about to
harvest could have been easily been harvested by a single cereal farmer
planting 2000 hectares and achieving a yield of 6 metric tonnes per hectare.

September 2009, the world's largest electrolysis ammonia plant at Sable
Chemicals in Kwekwe has been shut down, owing to high electricity tariffs.
Sable Chemicals is the sole producer of ammonia based fertilisers-top
dressing Ammonium Nitrate and Urea.

According to the government's own newspaper, The Herald, former Masvingo
Provincial Governor and Resident Minister Willard Chiwewe has threatened to
expose certain ZANU (PF) officials who, according to him, own up to 10
seized commercial farms each, if he is forced to vacate a farm which he
seized from a black family.

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

Mugabe is the main culprit, together with Zimbabwe's "Marie Antoinette",
Grace, they  now own more than 10 farms which include Foyle Farm now
Gushungo Dairy Farm in Mazowe, purported to be the most advanced dairy farm
in Africa; Gwina Farm in Banket; Iron Mask Estate in Mazowe; Mazowe Farm;
Sigaro Farm; Leverdale Farm; and Bassiville Farm.

So who sabotaged Zimbabwe's agriculture?

A monkey, Makwiramiti, aPhiri, maNcube or Soko Murehwa the vervet monkey is
the economic saboteur.

In September 2006, the Zimbabwe government fingered the cause of the
dramatic collapse of the country's agricultural sector: a monkey. Joseph
Made, appointed Minister of Agriculture and Lands in 2000, told MPs: "Our
investigations have shown that a monkey caused damage to a transformer
thereby sabotaging our preparations for the coming season. If it was not for
that monkey, the situation was not going to be as bad." Made told MPs that
the monkey "tampered" with the transformer at Sable Chemicals, Zimbabwe's
sole ammonium fertiliser plant and was electrocuted in the process. Minister
Made is the chief architect in the destruction of Zimbabwe's commercial

The competent farmer is violently removed from his place of business-the
farm; the farm is given to ZANU (PF) acolytes, who in turn await for free
fertiliser and other monetary handouts from printed valueless Zimbabwe
dollars; the Gono money printing fiasco causes hyperinflation and the "new
farmers" fail to pay for services rendered, including their essential ZESA
electricity bills; Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) is left with
no choice but to increase its tariffs.

The electricity tariffs are too high due to ZESA's inability to generate
power efficiently. ZESA blames Hwange Colliery for failing to produce enough
coal for its thermal station; Hwange Colliery then apportions the lack of
foreign currency for vital spares on the RBZ; the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
(RBZ) accuses the opposition of imposing sanctions, thereby blocking "aid"
which it needs to replenish its looted coffers; the opposition "which does
not impose sanctions by the way", blames the government for the breakdown of
the rule of law.

And the government blames Vervet monkeys for economic sabotage.

"ZANU (PF) yazopererwa nepfungwa kunge tsoko yazvara matwins!!!!"

Agriculture was responsible for the generation of foreign currency essential
for the procurement of fuel, medicines, and other crucial national

240 million kilogrammes (kgs) sold at the average price of US3.00 would have
injected US$720 million into the economy. This amount, which has been a
deficit since 2000, would by now have accumulated to US$6.5 billion. There
would be no need for begging bowls to Europe. Zimbabwe requires 900 million
litres of diesel and 750 million litres of petrol per annum for the economy
to be fully functional. Of this, 125 million litres are required for the
farming industry. Tobacco alone would adequately finance fuel imports.

In the year 2000 (a drought year), Zimbabwe imported US$310 million dollars
worth of fuel which constituted only 14% of total exports. 237 million kgs
of tobacco were produced that year and earned the country US$508 million
(ZW$25 billion) at the prevailing exchange rate. This figure was 30% of
Zimbabwe's 2000 GDP and would have paid for fuel leaving change for other
national requirements.

Zimbabwe ought to increase its production of Tobacco and export it all to
China. China has 1.3 billion people of which 350 million are smokers
according to the Chinese Association of Smoking and Health. Zimbabwe's total
annual tobacco production would be consumed by this market alone.

Let tobacco pay for infrastructure development on the farms and nationally.
Revenue derived from tobacco would enable the farmer to diversify into
horticulture and fund the building of dams, farm clinics, and school and
irrigation infrastructure.

Instead of developing agriculture further, ZANU (PF) resorted to
clairvoyants, sangomas, spirit mediums, and n'angas.  The government, with
its educated medical doctors, nuclear physicists, social scientists, and the
"erudite" Reserve Bank governor, saw it fit to consult a tokoloshis for
spiritual solutions for the country's fuel needs.

Mugabe sent a cabinet committee to a cave in Chinhoyi to secure the "diesel
that was purported to be coming out of the rock through ancestral spiritual
bliss." The n'anga was rewarded with a farm.

So for non-existent diesel, which rudimentary science informs us is a
by-product in the crude oil refinery process, a farmer growing tobacco and
wheat is forcibly removed to make way for the clairvoyant who supplies
fictitious diesel.

Farms are now the reward of choice to thugs and ruffians for aiding tyranny.
Law abiding citizens who pay taxes and create employment are perceived to be
enemies because of their skin colour or political affiliation.

Zimbabwe's food deficit situation can be reversed in 12 months if there
exists political will to allow professional farmers to do their job
irrespective ethnicity.

To read more about these monkeys and other buffoons, get a copy of Madhinga
Bucket Boy -

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

No end to Zim madness?

Written by Julius Cobbett
Friday, 18 September 2009 06:55
Why did an MDC minister agree to "seizure" of one of the largest local
companies? (pictured: Giles Musekwa)

International observers will be forgiven for thinking that nothing has
changed in Zimbabwe after the state seized control of one of the country's
largest companies, Kingdom Meikles. Kingdom Meikles is listed in Harare and

The company was "specified" last Friday, which means it has been
placed under state administration on suspicion of criminal activity.

What is of concern is that an MDC minister signed the specification,
raising questions of whether the party is truly committed to reform.

Kingdom Meikles used to be the largest listed local company on the
Zimbabwe Stock Exchange. But its share price performance has lagged as
shareholders are involved in a bitter struggle to remove the CEO Nigel
Chanakira, who they claim is a Zanu PF proxy. The group made an operating
profit of $10m (about R75m) in 2008.

Earlier this year shareholders, including the Meikles family, Old
Mutual and Econet Wireless, voted at an extraordinary general meeting (EGM)
to demerge the company and boot Chanakira and two non-executive directors
from the board. However, Chanakira refused to go.

Shareholders have now called another EGM - to be held on September
24 - where they aim to try once more to remove Chanakira from the board.

Former Meikles chairman, John Moxon, says that immediately after
notice of the first EGM was sent out, Chanakira "organised the state
mechanism". He says he and his family were harassed and falsely accused of
externalising money. "I had to get out of the country," he notes.

Moxon says that management met with co-minister of Home Affairs, Giles
Musekwa, who is an MDC member. Musekwa, together with his Zanu PF Home
Affairs counterpart, Kembo Mohadi, authorised the seizure of Kingdom
Meikles. According to Moxon, when the import of the seizure order was
explained to Musekwa, he admitted to "making a mistake".

Moxon fears that if the seizure order is not reversed, and
shareholders are not allowed to boot the three directors, as is their wish,
the company will be run for the agenda of Zanu PF at the expense of its


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

A letter from the diaspora

18th September 2009

Dear Friends.
The absence of a Letter from me last week was due to a computer failure,
over which I had absolutely no control! When I finally got back online
again, it was after the EU visit. Only the day before the EU's arrival in
the country Mugabe had referred to 'bloody whites' as the source of all his
troubles when he addressed his party's Youth League. Zimbabweans have become
used to derogatory and racist hate speech from Robert Mugabe but that does
not make it any less shocking, coming as it does from the man who claims
'supreme leadership' of the country. Mugabe was rather more circumspect in
front of his all-white visitors from the EU. Everyone was on their best
behaviour, in public at least, but there was no doubt the EU delegation
needed more than the famous Mugabe charm to convince them that all was well
in Zimbabwe's new dispensation. No matter how hard they try - and they have
tried very hard - Mugabe and Zanu PF have not succeeded in convincing anyone
that sanctions are the cause of Zimbabwe's miseries. As Geoffrey Van Orden,
MEP, wrote in the UK Independent this week, 'Keep up the pressure on Mugabe
and his clique of kleptocrats.' Zimbabwe needs more than the cosmetic
changes brought about by the existence of a unity government. Real change
will only come about when there is a new people-driven constitution followed
by free and fair elections in the country. Robert Mugabe knows that very
well and that is why he is using every trick in the book to delay the
process to which he signed up in the GNU.

One look at the massive crowds attending MDC rallies - thirty thousand in
Bulawayo last Sunday - should tell Mugabe and Zanu PF that their time is up
but, like the political dinosaurs they are, they cannot accept the reality
of change. Meanwhile, inspired by their leader's blatant incitement,
Mugabe's shock troops on the ground continue their war of attrition against
the remaining white commercial farmers. "Farmers will not be saved by the
Unity Government" Mugabe declared to his Youth Brigade and in a sickening
reprise of earlier scenes over the past ten years we see again pictures of a
blood-soaked white farmer attacked by a gang of hoodlums. The evidence is
there for all to see in the video on the SW website. And what do the brave
ZRP do to protect the white farmer in question. They charge the farmer with
violence alleging that he shot at the invaders who have tormented him for
months. It could only happen in Zimbabwe.

It is the activities of the military that are, I believe, the deepest cause
for concern. There are disturbing reports of acts of violence by lawless
soldiers against fellow citizens all around the country. But it was the head
of the army, Lt.General Sibanda addressing the troops recently that revealed
very clearly where the army's sympathies lie - and it is not in support of
the spirit of unity that is supposed to underpin the GNU. Sibanda was
speaking about what he called 'asymmetrical warfare' and in particular what
he regards as the one-sided war being waged by foreign based radio stations.
"Guard against them," he told the troops. What exactly that means is not
clear but it is a worrying indication of military intentions. The army
remains in tight control of the Chiadzwa diamond mines where another
civilian was killed last week. The profits from these 'blood diamonds' are
undoubtedly funding Zanu PF and Robert Mugabe's continuing stranglehold on
the country.

Writing about the situation in Kenya in the dying days of Arap Moi's
dictatorial regime in Kenya, the Kenyan Nobel Prize winner Wangari Maathai
tells of an incident which seems to me very relevant to present-day
Zimbabwe. It was 1992 and Maathai was present in Nairobi at a big meeting of
pro-democracy activists when there was a phonecall telling the activists
that Moi wanted to hand power over to the army. The coup was scheduled to
take place any time they were told by a reliable source. Mathaai comments,
"A government sponsored coup would be the perfect way for President Moi to
avoid having to face the electorate at the end of the year."(Unbowed - One
woman's story by Wangari Maathai)
A silent military coup has apparently already taken place in Zimbabwe.
Mugabe is the Commander in Chief of the army so who now is in control?
Yours in the (continuing) struggle PH.

Back to the Top
Back to Index