By Tererai Karimakwenda
31 August, 2012
The chairperson of the SADC Troika on Politics, Defence and Security,
Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, could be joining SADC’s chief mediator,
President Zuma, on the Zim crisis in the next few weeks.
According to MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora, SADC leaders at the Maputo
summit two weeks ago agreed Zuma and Kikwete would get involved in the event
of a deadlock.
“They could be coming soon because we have formally declared a deadlock and
in terms of the SADC resolution from Maputo, SADC must intervene if there is
a deadlock,” Mwonzora told SW Radio Africa. He added that there is urgency
because the country must hold elections in the coming year.
President Zuma’s team returned to South Africa Wednesday after two days of
separate and joint meetings with negotiators from Zimbabwe’s warring
political parties. ZANU PF’s demands for an amended draft charter had been
rejected by both MDC formations.
The MDC-T spokesperson said ZANU-PF had made 266 changes to the draft
charter and this was not acceptable. “Mugabe is trying to interfere with a
parliamentary process that was conducted by a select committee. That is the
executive interfering with parliament,” Mwonzora explained.
Meanwhile MDC-T President Morgan Tsvangirai launched a campaign for a “yes”
vote on the COPAC draft of the constitution. Addressing civil society groups
at the launch on Thursday, Tsvangirai said his party would campaign for a
“Yes” vote without being “ashamed”. The theme for the campaign is “My Vote
is My Voice and My Vote is Yes”.
The MDC-T leader hinted that he had been willing to renegotiate a couple of
issues in the draft charter with ZANU PF, saying: “If SADC says talk about
one or two issues yes, but to reopen the whole debate now is like opening a
floodgate, you will never know when to stop.”
Tsvangirai also vowed that his party will not be rushed into an election
that is not free and fair. He accused ZANU PF of “dragging its feet” and
insisted he would not abandon the roadmap towards elections, which was
facilitated by SADC leaders.
by Garikai Chaunza
THE European Union (EU) has threatened to pull the plug on funding for next
year’s United Nations World Tourism Organisation congress over the recent
seizure of a local wildlife conservancy by politicians linked to Zanu PF.
Zimbabwe is set to jointly host the event with Zambia at the Victoria Falls
resort but EU Ambassador to Zimbabwe Aldo Dell'Ariccia warned Thursday
funding four the congress could be withdrawn the prized 3,400
square-kilometre Save Valley Conservancy in the Lowveld.
“In general terms what is happening in Save Valley conservancy is a major
blow to the credibility of the country and its image worldwide,”
“This is where we find a certain incompatibility given the fact that on one
side the country will host the UN tourism general assembly which would of
course improve Zimbabwe’s image; but on the other hand it is taking a
decision locally which goes against that idea.
“Honestly there is an incompatibility there and since there are European
citizens involved in this matter and for us it is an issue which we are
taking very seriously and we are very much concerned”.
Environment Minister Francis Nhema drew fire from cabinet colleagues after
he handed land and hunting leases to 25 individuals, most of them Zanu PF
officials who also benefited from the country’s land reforms.
Nhema argues that the conservancy, which critics claims is run by an
exclusively white membership, should comply with the country’s economic
empowerment policies but Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi accused his
colleague of “promoting greed” and undermining one of the sectors credited
with helping the country’s economy recover.
Mzembi charged: "It is wrong to have minority ownership of conservancies,
but it is even more unpardonable to replace that minority white with a
minority black, in the face of a crisis of expectations and thirst for
empowerment from our black majority.
“This business of empowering people who are already empowered severally in
other sectors, such as farming, ranching, sugar cane farming, mining, etc,
will not pass the moral test nor will it endear us to the people except to
The government has been scrambling to resolve the dispute with Vice
President Joice Mujuru and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai summoning the
two ministers to meetings over the issue this week.
Members of the conservancy deny allegations it is dominated and warn that
forcing in new members could imperil wildlife conservation efforts and well
as put at risk thousands of jobs.
"Two-thirds of stakeholders of the conservancy are black (But) it is now
being threatened by a collection of greedy individuals who are bringing
nothing into the conservancy and will destroy it," aid Wilfried Pabst, a
German businessman who is vice-chair of the conservancy.
Tsvangirai’s MDC-T party also condemned disturbances at the conservancy.
“The Save Conservancy is home to thousands of animal species, most of which
already face extinction due to poaching and hunting. There is need to
protect our animals and the indigenous people who have lived in close
proximity with these animals, protecting them to make a living,” the party
said in a statement Thursday.
“The MDC believes that a genuine broad-based economic upliftment programme,
which balances the need to attract investment, grow the economy and create
jobs for all, must be developed to protect the country from further Zanu PF
Founded in 1991 and running along the Save River, the conservancy is a
habitat for elephant, zebra, giraffe, as well as the country’s second
largest surviving population of endangered black rhinoceros. The area also
supports an array of African antelope and most species of birds and small
Harare, August 31, 2012 - Stung by a damning report about his party’s
diminishing political fortunes, the leader of the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, has fired 12 councillors,
including Harare's deputy mayor and Gweru Mayor over graft charges.
The dismissal of the 12 last Friday came a few days after the release of a
survey by US-based Freedom House showing that the MDC-T ‘s support in
Zimbabwe has been eclipsed by President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu (PF) party.
While Tsvangirai’s spin-doctors have tried to rubbish the survey, claiming
it was fundamentally flawed; insiders said the MDC-T leader was taking the
Freedom House report seriously, saying he had his eyes firmly on the
forthcoming presidential election where he is likely to face his nemesis
Party insiders said the move to fired councillors was part of attempts to
clean his party image ahead of polls Mugabe wants held this year.
A number of MDC-T officials have been implicated in corrupt activities since
the consummation of the power-sharing pact, particularly in the MDC-T
As part of efforts to spruce up its image, the MDC National Executive on
Thursday publicly released for the first time the names of the 12 axed
The release of the names followed last Friday’s meeting in which the MDC-T
National Executive received a report from national deputy secretary-general,
Tapiwa Mashakada, who chaired the commission that audited the state of the
10 MDC-led councils’ operations.
The commission was set up in March this year.
From Harare the dismissed are; Emmanuel Chiroto, the Deputy Mayor and
councillor of Ward 42, Peter Marange of Ward 49, Phumulani Musagwiza of Ward
22 and Xavier Vengesai of Ward 28.
In Gweru there is Tedius Chimombe of Ward 9 and mayor of the city, Clemence
Kwaru of Ward 17 and Holly Dzuda of Ward 2.
Bindura has Ivory Matanhire of Ward 4, Vengai Mudadi of Ward 8, and Rickson
Kaseke of Ward 11.
In Zvishavane there Alois Zhou and Kwekwe has Johannes Ngozo of Ward 11.
“After deliberating on the audit, the leadership unanimously resolved to
dismiss the councillors after they were found guilty of corruption,” said
He said the action taken by the MDC leadership would be intensified across
the country allegedly to “reclaim Zimbabwe’s self-respect; a climate of
accountability; and push for zero tolerance on corruption and all evils.
“The MDC assures the people of Zimbabwe that the crusade against corruption
is in full swing and unstoppable until we clean up all sections of our
society of the corruption scourge that was introduced into Zimbabwe by the
Zanu (PF) dictatorship in 1980.
What has happened in Harare, Gweru, Bindura, Kwekwe and Zvishavane is part
of the MDC’s
broad anti-corruption campaign within and outside the party,” he said.
He added that his party strongly believes in restoring the people’s dignity,
security, prosperity and basic freedoms.
“Despite these few rotten apples that have been dismissed, the National
Executive has expressed satisfaction over the performance of the MDC-run
councils, especially in areas of water provision and refuse collection,”
by Moses Chibaya
MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai has said a campaign against corruption which
recently saw 12 councillors being expelled from the party would be extended
to include ministers and legislators.
Last Friday the party expelled 12 officials and cautioned 13 others
following an investigation into the 10 urban councils run by the party by a
commission of enquiry led by deputy secretary general, Tapiwa Mashakada.
But Tsvangirai told reporters during his monthly press conference in Harare
Thursday that the anti-graft probe would be widened to include cabinet
ministers and legislators.
“The probe is a continuous probe. Our executive (and) our council will make
a recommendation, the standing committee will make an evaluation of what
need to be probed,” he said.
“We don’t just look at a particular area. We look at the whole party and how
it affects the integrity of the party. So its not just councillors the MPs
with the CDF (Constituency Development Fund) we will be looking at them.
“But to me the question of corruption is something that has to be a
leadership responsibility it’s not something that you can watch until it
becomes a real problem for the party.”
Meanwhile, four of the expelled councillors were from Harare, three from
Gweru, three from Bindura and the other tow from Kwekwe and Zvishavane.
In a statement Thursday the party said: “Despite these few rotten apples
that have been dismissed, the National Executive has expressed satisfaction
over the performance of the MDC-run councils, especially in areas of water
provision and refuse collection.
“The action taken by the MDC leadership will be intensified across the
country … the crusade against corruption is in full swing and unstoppable
until we clean up all sections of our society of the corruption scourge.”
Staff Reporter 22 hours 52 minutes ago
HARARE - MDC leader Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and has said the his
party “takes note” of the recent Freedom House survey which suggested the
MDC-T faces a pasting at the next elections after suffering a sharp collapse
in support at a time President Robert Mugabe is enjoying a renewed surge in
“We take not of some of the observations and will take corrective measures
where they are necessary,” Tsvangirai told reporters in Harare Thursday.
“We are a party that always looks at these issues constantly. We don’t take
people for granted by the way we constantly review our performance in all
Conducted on behalf of the US-based pro-democracy group by Mass Public
Opinion Institute and supervised by South African academic Susan Booysen,
the survey showed that support for the MDC-T had has fallen from 38 percent
in 2010 to 20 percent this year. By contrast, backing for Zanu PF grew to 31
percent from 17 percent, over the same period.
In addition, the survey found that Mugabe would command the support of 31
percent of voters in a presidential election, compared to 19 percent for
Tsvangirai, an alarming prospect for the MDC-T whose popularity stood at a
healthy 55 percent no more than three years ago.
"I've heard people saying MDC-T is just not doing work in the constituencies
and is spending too much time in the palace. They're taking for granted
they're the crown princes. They are not capturing the desire for change,”
Booysen said when the results were released.
“Perhaps they think they are crown prince that need only wait for Mugabe to
go for it to fall in their lap. This is a wake-up call for them that there
is no honeymoon.”
However, Tsvangirai said the real test for his party would come next year
when Zimbabwe holds new polls to elect a substantive government.
“When we go to an election the people of Zimbabwe will be able to express
themselves whether they have confidence or lack of that confidence in the
MDC as a party that’s the real poll that l will be interested in not a
sample,” he said.
The survey polled 1,198 adult Zimbabweans but 47 percent of the respondents
said they would not vote, or refused to indicate who they would vote for and
Tsvangirai said this put into the conclusions of the survey.
“A sample may give you one direction or another. One of the notable factors
in that assessment is of course a very valid assessment that of 50 percent
of the people in this country cannot say which party they belong to,” he
“What does that mean? It means that the fear factor is a very dominant
factor in our politics. We can not run a credible assessment of people
feelings when 50 percent of people can’t speak or can’t even say their
Party secretary general, Tendai Biti also cast doubt on the authenticity of
the survey in a recent interview with the Voice of America.
“I respect the right of any person to carry out an opinion but if anyone
thinks that the 1,180 people that were polled are a true reflection of an
election then let’s go to … the actual election and let’s see who will win,”
“I can’t comment on the professionalism of those who carried out the opinion
poll but if an opinion poll is conducted in Zimbabwe and someone tells me
that the medium of choice is the ZBC and the Herald then that is insane.
“The most popular media in Zimbabwe is DSTV that is why you see little
satellite dishes on nearly every roof in Zimbabwe. So, I respect Freedom
House and what they have done but we will do our work as we have been doing.
By Alex Bell
31 August 2012
Questions are being raised about the motive of an international diamond
conference that is set to take place in Zimbabwe in November.
The conference, which will take place in Victoria Falls, is being hosted by
the Mines Ministry and will feature key diamond industry leaders. ZANU PF’s
Mines Minister Obert Mpofu will host the meeting, which will also feature a
range of speakers including Eli Izhakoff, Chairman of the World Diamond
Council, Ernie Blom, President Elect of the World Federation of Diamond
Bourses, and Abbey Chikane, the monitor assigned to oversee Zimbabwe’s murky
Mpofu has been quoted as saying that the conference “aims to highlight
the accomplishments of Zimbabwe in the diamond industry,” and that “Zimbabwe
stands ready to give the world full transparency on its achievements as a
major diamond producer.”
The second day of the conference will see representatives from Zimbabwe’s
mining companies addressing the delegates. This will include representatives
from the main companies at the Chiadzwa diamond fields, Mbada and Anjin.
Political analyst Clifford Mashiri told SW Radio Africa on Friday that the
conference is being held “against a backdrop of ongoing abuses, smuggling,
and dodgy dealings at the diamonds mines.”
Mashiri explained that the diamond mines remain the centre of controversy,
with little clarity about the goings on there. There is also speculation
about the use of the millions of dollars being generated from diamond sales,
money that is not being fed to the national Treasury.
Finance Minister Tendai Biti has admitted that Anjin has not remitted
anything to treasury, despite being granted a mining licence in the
understanding that it was a joint venture. It has since emerged that this
partnership is not with Zimbabwe’s government, but with the Mugabe aligned
army, raising concerns that the money is being funnelled to ZANU PF ahead of
a fresh election.
Mashiri said these are the concerns that Minister Mpofu will probably try
and diminish at the November conference, which is taking place just weeks
before an annual plenary session of the international diamond trade
watchdog, the Kimberley Process (KP).
The KP has cleared Zimbabwe for international sales despite widespread
protests about this decision. Mashiri said that ongoing concerns raised by
civil society will feature highly at the November plenary, and the Zimbabwe
conference will be an attempt “to legitimise what is happening at the
“Mpofu will want to silence civil society ahead of the KP meeting. This
conference in Victoria Falls will provide an opportunity to paint a picture
to the international market that all is well in Zimbabwe,” Mashiri said.
On Thursday, in a move that surprised no one, a judge granted Robert Mugabe
an extension to the deadline for by-elections.
Mugabe now has up to 1st October to announce dates for the by-elections.
Judge President George Chiweshe granted the application after Mugabe had
sought the exten¬sion of the deadline, following a Supreme Court order
giv-ing him up to Thursday to publish a notice ordering by-elections to fill
three parliamentary posts in Nkayi South, Bulilima East and Lupane East
constituencies. The posts became vacant when three legislators were expelled
from Professor Welshman’s Ncube’s MDC.
Advocate Ray Goba, who repre¬sented Mugabe, said he had met with Beat-rice
Mtetwa who is acting for the former legislators of the three constituencies,
and that she said they had no problem with the deadline being extended by
Mugabe’s advocate said that apart from the 3 vacant seats there are a 28
par¬liamentary vacant seats and 164 local authority vacant seats.
Justice Minister Chinamasa said that conduct¬ing the by-elections in 28
parliamen¬tary constituencies, as well as in 164 local authorities, was like
having a mini-general election.
Mugabe had argued that he needed the deadline delay to find the financial
resources for this.
President Robert Mugabe is in the Iranian capital, Tehran, joining leaders
from about 120 countries at the politically charged 16th Non-Aligned
Movement (NAM) summit.
Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei officially opened the summit
Thursday attacking what he called the “overt dictatorship” of the United
Nations Security Council.
Reports say Khamenei criticized the global agency after being told bluntly
by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in a closed meeting Wednesday that
he was not open about the country’s nuclear program.
Other issues to be discussed at the summit, whose theme is “Sustainable
Peace Under The Umbrella of World Management”, include the Syrian crisis,
human rights and nuclear disarmament.
The Non-Aligned Movement, which meets after every three years, was formed in
1961 to counterbalance the dominance of the Soviet Union and the United
States during the cold war. Harare hosted the summit in 1986.
Zimbabwe sources told Studio 7 that President Mugabe will be pushing NAM
leaders to denounce sanctions imposed on him and his inner circle by the
European Union and the United States.
Both the EU and Washington have called on Harare to institute democratic
reforms such as a new constitution and holding free and fair elections as a
precondition of lifting the sanctions.
But Zanu PF is stalling those reforms and calling for the unconditional
lifting of sanctions.
The United States has denounced the NAM meeting as a non-event. There was
drama at the summit when Egypt attacked the Syrian government - prompting
the Syrian delegation to walk out of the meeting.
ZANU PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo told Studio 7 NAM is still a vibrant
But political analyst John Makumbe of the University of Zimbabwe said Mr.
Mugabe is wasting tax payers money by attending meaningless summits.
The Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat) says it has successfully
completed its mop-up exercise countrywide covering areas that could have
been left out during the 10-day national population census.
Zimstat census manager Washington Mapeta said his organisation is now in the
process of collecting questionnaires from enumerators in order to start
collating the data.
Mapeta said enumarators would start receiving their allowances soon
following the release of $8 million by the government.
The census, which was initially crippled by suspected ZANU PF supporters and
security forces who took over the training workshops nationwide, was
conducted between 17 and 27 August.
The United Nations Population Fund has also released $12 million for
conducting the exercise.
At least 30,000 enumerators were hired to gather field data in all parts of
Mapeta said: "Field reports have started trickling in from Chitungwiza and
Highfields in Harare and we also expect to recieve questionnaires from other
districts," said Mapeta.
Zimbabwe holds a census every 10 years. The last one conducted in 2002
indicated that the country's population stood at 11,6 million.
FRIDAY, 31 AUGUST 2012 08:41
Population Census enumerators will not be paid anytime soon because the US$8
million released by Government is not enough, an official has said.
Apart from 30 000 enumerators, funds released to the Zimbabwe Statistical
Agency also have to cater for 10 450 supervisors.
Population Census director Mr Washington Mapeta yesterday said it was
difficult to juggle with the money because it was inadequate.
“The money is not enough to pay all the enumerators and at the moment our
accounts department is working to see if it is possible to distribute what
“I do not have an exact date when they would be paid their money, but all I
can say is we are working flat out on that.”
Mr Mapeta said Treasury had promised more money for the team.
“Government has told us that they are looking for the money and assured us
that it would be paid,” he said.
Mr Mapeta said US$12 million provided by the United Nations Population Fund
could not go towards the payment of allowances.
“The UNPF money is not for paying staff. The money is for material needed
and other expenses that need to be covered for the process to be complete,”
Some enumerators are still at their centres waiting to receive their
There were reports that some of them were holding on to data forms until
they were paid.
But Mr Mapeta said Zimstat had not received any such reports.
He said the mop-up exercise to cover areas that could have been left out
during the official counting days ended yesterday.
Officially, the census ran from August 17 to 27.
“Most of the centres are in the process of bringing the questionnaires back
from the field and it is a process we expect to be completed as soon as
possible to allow us to move forward,” said Mr Mapeta.
“As for the mop-up exercise, I think it has gone well to cover others who
might have been missed and it ends today (yesterday).”
The census was riddled with problems from the start.
Thousands of aspiring enumerators jostled at various centres to be
considered. This resulted in two days of training being lost as officials
bickered over the recruitment process.
It was then agreed that most of those to be recruited would be teachers,
some of whom have experience from previous censuses.
The census, scheduled to start on August 17, started the following day in
some areas due to logistical problems.
The process was also affected by late disbursement of materials, while
transport shortages had a bearing on the deployment of officers in remote
The population census will assist Government and other stakeholders in
planning and distributing national resources.
Zimbabwe holds a census after every 10 years, with the first in 1982 showing
the country had 7,6 million people.
There were 10,4 million people in 1992, with the figure rising to 11,6
million in 2002 - Herald.
By Alex Bell
31 August 2012
The future is unclear for a controversial multi million dollar mall that has
been approved for construction in Borrowdale, after the government listed
the building site under its plans to protect wetlands areas.
The government has gazetted a new statutory instrument to protect 26 wetland
areas in and around the Capital, including the Borrowdale wetlands.
Environment and Natural Resources Management Minister Francis Nhema has said
that the government was prompted into taking strict measures, because
similar regulations have been ignored in the past.
He said the statutory instrument requires the Harare Council to stop
allocating stands on land reserved as wetlands, while companies are required
to ensure they obtain the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) reports
before they start any project.
This move could potentially put Minister Nhema on the war path with the
country’s Vice President, Joice Mujuru, who has commissioned the Borrowdale
mall. She is also believed to be behind a government push to approve the
construction plans. Chairman of the Harare Council’s business committee,
Thomas Muzuva, was quoted as saying that local councillors have had no power
to stall the development of the mall.
“It’s a national project. Cabinet has approved the project. Council is a
substructure of central government. We cannot be seen going against national
policies. Council has no power over Cabinet decisions. We cannot fight
Cabinet,” he said.
The developers behind the Mall, Augur Investments, meanwhile have insisted
that the site is not a wetlands area. Chief executive Mike Van Blerk was
quoted by the Herald newspaper as saying that “the characteristics of a
wetland which include vegetation, soils and animal life are not evident on
“We therefore vehemently refute, based on the opinion of our leading
regional authority on environmental matters, Plan Afric, that (the site) is
a wetland. It is a vlei area that has suffered significant environmental
degradation and we wish to set the record straight,” Van Blerk was quoted as
But Dorothy Wakeling from the Conservation Society of Monavale (COSMO) told
SW Radio Africa on Friday that a vlei and a wetland are the same thing.
“It is a just a colloquial term for the same thing. We are involved in the
EIA process and this still has not been completed. But the Borrowdale
wetlands are definitely wetlands and they are some of the most important
wetlands in Harare,” Wakeling said.
She added that the mall itself should move to a different location, saying
this would be a “win-win situation for everyone involved.” She also
applauded the government decision to protect the wetlands areas, explaining
that it is critical for Harare’s water supply that these vleis are left
“Right now the areas are just being used willy nilly so we have really
needed government to step in. We need wetlands so badly in Harare because
water is short, and I think the government has recognised this,” Wakeling
Bulawayo, August 31, 2012 - The European Union (EU) has not filed opposing
papers to a lawsuit over sanctions imposed on President Robert Mugabe and
his top associates, Attorney General, Johannes Tomana has said.
Tomana, however, told Radio VOP that he senses victory over the lawsuit he
filed against the EU in May at the European Court of Justice.
The European Court of Justice is the highest court in the EU on matters of
“We are waiting for the EU to respond to our lawsuit. There have not been
any developments on the case since we filed the lawsuit.
“Zimbabwe respectfully submits that the European Court of Justice should not
simply take our word and impose a penalty on the EU before it has had its
day in court,” Tomana said.
Tomana's suit was filed with the European Union General Court of Justice
where a similar action was taken June by David Matsanga, a prominent
supporter of Mugabe's Zanu (PF) party based in London.
Tomana added: “There was no legal basis for the sanctions and there are no
justifications or firm reasons for including the individuals and entities on
“The individuals and the entities that were placed under sanctions did not
even get the chance to exercise their right of defence and this impinged on
Mugabe and his close associates were slapped with travel bans to EU member
countries after 2002 disputed presidential poll, which western observers
said were rigged to hand Mugabe victory.
But according to Tomana, the sanctions are legally and technically
inconsistent with the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU in that
they violate its treaty.
Tomana argues that the EU included individuals without proper legal basis
for doing so, manifestly erred in considering that the criteria for listing
on the contested measures were fulfilled as well as failed to give adequate
or sufficient reasons for including individuals and entities.
He also contends the EU failed to safeguard the applicants' rights of
defence and to effective judicial review and infringed without jurisdiction
or proportion the applicants' fundamental rights, including the right to
protection of their property, business, reputation and privilege and family
by Staff Reporter
MOTORISTS have been warned of shock increases in toll fees on the country’s
The Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) claims the US$1 being
charged at the existing 24 tollgates is “sub-economic”.
The increases could come into effect as early as New Year’s Day, according
to Zinara spokesman Augustine Moyo.
Zinara says it is spending close to US$25 million on “state-of-the-art”
tollgates over the next three years.
The first to be completed will be 17km out of Bulawayo on the Harare road.
It will be commissioned by December 31, according to Zinara.
Motorists will pay more “in line with improved conditions at the toll
plazas”, says Moyo, adding: “The US$1 charged on small vehicles will be
sub-economic and we are likely to increase the current fees.”
The planned increase will rile motorists and road safety campaigners who say
too much money is being spent on constructing tollgates instead of improving
road surfaces. The campaigners also want all money raised from tollgates to
be used to repair road infrastructure.
Zinara says the new tollgates will come with “high security features which
will curb leakages of revenue”. The current set up has been condemned as
open to abuse. In November 2010, two Zimra employees were arrested after
stealing tollgate tickets worth US$1.7 million which were being issued to
motorists instead of the official tickets.
“Traffic lights will be fitted on the new toll plazas and they will control
traffic at any given time of the day,” Moyo said, adding that there would be
four pay points – two in each direction.
31 AUG 2012 10:12 - JASON MOYO
The Zimbabwe government is opening up the airwaves but broadcasters seem too
timid to surf.
After years of state control of the airwaves, Zimbabweans yearn for
alternative voices on radio. But when a new voice went on air recently, the
first sound heard was a Beyoncé dance track.
ZiFMStereo is the second station to be licensed since the government invited
private players to apply for licences. The first licence went to StarFM, a
station owned by Zimpapers, the pro-Zanu-PF state newspapers group.
Media activists have long campaigned for new stations that would air
political voices challenging Zanu-PF. But the new stations have steered
clear of politics, choosing the safe territory of neutral foreign news
bulletins and entertainment.
Kicking off its broadcasts, ZiFMStereo began with a blast of the national
anthem, which quickly gave way to Beyoncé's hit Countdown.
To the hip young presenters at ZiFMStereo's new studios in suburban Harare,
Zimbabweans must move beyond politics. On air in one of the brightly
coloured studios, two presenters sat across from each other animatedly
discussing Twitter etiquette and the pressing matter of whether Rihanna
should take back Chris Brown.
These were not exactly the issues citizens had hoped to hear.
Part of the plan
But that was part of the plan, said Njabulo Ncube, chairperson of the media
freedom advocacy group Misa-Zimbabwe.
"It is deliberate," Ncube told the Mail & Guardian. "They were issued with
licences just so the government would appear to be reforming the media. The
new broadcasters are careful not to step on anyone's toes."
But Supa Mandiwanzira, the owner of ZiFMStereo, said its slant towards
entertainment was all about business. Mandiwanzira has Zanu-PF links and he
reportedly elected the party's treasurer in his home district recently and
is the former head of a radical black empowerment group seen as allied to
However, Mandiwanzira insists his new station must be judged only on what it
"A lot of people say we are going to be biased. We are not going to be
influenced by anyone."
Mandiwanzira is a former news anchor at the state-owned Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Corporation and a former Al Jazeera correspondent. It took him
eight months to set up the station after it was licensed, recruiting
Zimbabweans who had left the country and importing equipment from Italy.
Former BBC journalist Robyn Hunter has been brought in as head of news.
Misa-Zimbabwe said the new stations had not yet offered the critical voices
Zimbabweans were waiting for. StarFM "simply regurgitates news from the
[state-owned] Herald," Ncube said, and the new stations were "simply ZBC in
a different suit".
Misa-Zimbabwe planned to hire a consultant to study content on the new
stations and compare it with that of the ZBC, Ncube said.
There is debate about how many radio stations Zimbabwe can accommodate.
Government officials have previously said there were limited frequencies
available, but Rufaro Zaranyika, an official of TransMedia, a state company
set up to build transmitters, said there was space for up to 93 community
and commercial radio stations.
But Zanu-PF is determined not to let go. With elections planned next year,
media activists said the party feared that community radio stations would be
used to mobilise the opposition and keep a critical eye on voter fraud.
A report released last week by rights group Freedom House showed that radio
remains more popular than television in Zimbabwe. Although about 54% of
Zimbabweans surveyed said they no longer relied on television for political
news, about 70% still tuned into radio news.
As a sign of the thirst for alternative voices, the survey showed that VoA
Studio 7, a Zimbabwe-dedicated service of the Voice of America, was one of
the most popular sources of news.
Zanu-PF views such stations as foreign-government interference in Zimbabwe's
internal affairs. The party has often cited the existence of these stations,
manned mostly by exiled Zimbabwean journalists, as a reason not to open up
the airwaves in Zimbabwe.
Information Minister Webster Shamu described the service as a "war against
"We advise all those employed by them, wherever they are, to come back home
[to work for] a proper channel instead of continuing to peddle foreign
policies, which will never succeed," Shamu said.
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe - Bankers in Zimbabwe said authorities were
finalizing plans to set up an Ombudsman's Office for the industry to curb
growing irregularities in the banking sector. Zimbabwe's banking industry
has been rocked by a series of scandals in recent years, some of which have
resulted in bank closures.
Two banks were closed this year alone after operational irregularities were
detected by the Central Bank, and scores of other quasi-financial services
companies were similarly shut down.
Officials said the Ombudsman's Office for the industry would mainly focus on
protecting the banking public from unscrupulous bankers and banks.
In the scandals that have rocked the sector, depositors have lost vast sums
Bankers' Association of Zimbabwe (BAZ) President George Guvamatanga said the
establishment of the Ombudsman's Office had been agreed with the Central
Bank, and would help restore the public's confidence in the industry.
Most Zimbabweans, after losing their savings, prefer to keep their money
under their mattresses at home instead of putting such in the banks.
As a result, it is estimated that more than three quarters of money in
circulation in the country is held outside the banking system.
“The Ombudsman’s Office will be an independent body where the banking public
can go for arbitration if they are not satisfied with the outcome of their
complaints,” Guvamatanga said.
Central Bank Deputy Governor Kupikile Mlambo said the concept of the
Ombudsman's Office for the banking industry was working well in other
“It is a very good thing that gives the public some security because they
will have somewhere to report malpractices. At the Central Bank we do not
have systems to deal with such matters at the moment,” he said. “We want the
public to have confidence in the banking sector. Right now the public does
not trust the banking system.'
The MDC Today
Friday, 31 August 2012
Issue – 423
Villagers in Chipinge South in Manicaland have complained bitterly over the
taking over of their land for the Chisumbanje Ethanol plant.
Speaking on condition of anonymity this week, one resident said many of the
villagers were displaced to make way for the sugar plantation yet the ARDA
field is not being utilized.
“Why was the war fought for? Why did we struggle? Why did we lose our
relatives? We heard that land is being redistributed for the black people,
but now the land is being taken from the blacks and given to Billy
Rautenbach. We have lost everything, including our livestock because we no
longer have the pastures or land to farm,” the irate villager said.
ARDA has 5100 hectares, which Macdom, Rautenbach’s company running the
Chisumbanje Ethanol project, should have taken over in terms of the Build,
Operate and Transfer agreement (BOT). However, only 2 400 hectares of the
available hectorage have been utilized for the sugarcane production. That
company went on to take 3 500 hectares from the surrounding communal lands
displacing hundreds of people.
Hon Mangoma, the Minister of Energy and Power Development said the issue of
Chisumbanje should not be politicised, but the law should be upheld.
“The illegal displacement of families should stop. The villagers are
seething, because their communal lands have been taken. Yes, we authorized
the use of ethanol to blend fuel, but we cannot make it mandatory that all
fuel in Zimbabwe should be blended. Whoever wants to fill their vehicles
with blended fuel, they can do so at service stations, while those who
prefer unleaded do so as well,” he said.
Hon Mangoma said it is prudent to give the people the freedom to choose the
fuel they want to use in their vehicles.
Rautenbach is a controversial business man with strong links in Zanu PF. In
the 1990’s he was wanted in South Africa where he faced hundreds of charges
of alleged fraud, corruption and other crimes including his connection with
his own South African company named Wheels of Africa Group.
Meanwhile, the MDC will over the weekend continue with peace rallies across
the country as a way of keeping the country informed on recent developments.
The rallies are meant to update the people on what is happening concerning
the draft constitution and many other positive developments undertaken by
the MDC since the inception of the Inclusive Government as well as the
hindrances the party has faced in the same period.
Hon Tendai Biti will on Sunday address a rally at Nyamakate Shopping centre
in Hurungwe North, Mashonaland West Province.
In Masvingo, the provincial leadership will hold two rallies in Gutu North
at Chinyika Business Centre and at Zimuto sidings Business Centre in
Masvingo North Constituencies tomorrow.
MDC @ 13: The last mile: Towards real transformation!!!
The ZimFest Harare features the inimitable Cynthia Mare
ZIMFEST HARARE 2012 – Announcing The Artists:
Zimfest Harare hosts RainDance – The International Concert on Saturday 22
December 2012 and today announced the artist line-up. Showcasing some of
Zimbabwe’s hottest talent from home and abroad the star studded line up will
take over Harare Sports Club. Confirmed artists include Rusike Brothers –
whose comeback album is hotly anticipated later this year, African dancehall
ambassador Jusa Dementor (UK), Chikwata 263 and Evicted Angus featuring
The annual festival will also see Hip Hop star – Synik, Chris Wright, Jah
Prayzah and Hope Masike who is currently on tour in Europe as well as
multiple award-winning singer/songwriter Cynthia Mare (UK). Zimfest also
announces the DJ line up for the festival which includes DJ Smoove (Deon
Fulton), Zuggy, Simba Smooth, Smooth Spinner (USA), Kimble Rodgers (ZiFM),
Toby 2 Shoes (Cape Town – Headline DJ), Reverb 7 & Simba Tags, DJ Naida
(Power FM), Rob Macson (Coming back from performing at Zimfest London).
For the second year, a diverse array of some of some of the greatest names
in music will appear on one stage. The inaugural Zimfest Harare in December
2011 marked the official launch of the Zimbabwe leg of the internationally
held Zimfest, and in 2012, the festival will celebrate its local success.
During the one-day festival the the audience can enjoy non stop performances
throughout the day and have a choice of watching the artists perform live on
stage or hanging out in the DJ arena where the DJ will spin some amazing
tracks and mixes.
The Project Manager of the festival Mike Tashaya said, “All Zimfest
festivals are such an amazing experience and we are extremely pleased to
have the opportunity to again deliver a diverse, extraordinary line-up of
incredible talent at Zimfest Harare 2012.”
Promotion of Zimfest Harare 2012 will kick off at ZiFM, Zimbabwes newest
radio station, who we are pleased to announce as our media partner for the
festival, followed by regular updates of additional artists and new
information. In addition we will be using a very strong social media
component reaching all tech savvy music fans through twitter, facebook and
our website he said. Announcements will also continue to roll out in the
Tickets – Tickets prices range from $20(advance) – $25 (at the door) and
will go on sale from September 2012
- For group sales, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Children under 13 free
- Visit the Zimfestlive website, Twitter or Facebook for updates and more
Sponsorship – Sponsorship packages are available. Contact
Sponsorshipharare@zimfestlive.com for more information
Zimfest was established in 2001 by a group of Zimbabweans based in the UK
and since grown to become a global brand. The annual festival has been held
successfully over the last 12 years. Zimfest has grown to become one of the
biggest African festivals and last year attracted over 5000 people.
Testament to the success of the event is the multitude of strategic
partnerships that have been established to give the event a unique global
presence. Zimfest now takes place in 5 cities across the globe Harare,
London, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Perth and Brisbane, attracting Zimbabweans
as well as locals in a truly multicultural celebration of Zimbabwean music
Three years into an awkward coalition, ZANU-PF is pursuing populist policies
and, according to polling, support for the MDC-T is diminishing.
31 AUGUST 2012 - 3:57PM | BY ANDREW MAMBONDIYANI
A survey reporting a drop in support for the Movement for Democratic
Change-Tsvangirai party (MDC-T) has led to much soul-searching within the
coalition government partner.
Three years on from the 2009 Global Political Agreement (GPA) – under which
President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party and the MDC agreed to share power
with Morgan Tsvangirai as prime minister – the MDC-T’s popularity has,
according to the Freedom House poll, fallen while ZANU-PF’s has risen.
The coalition was formed after elections in 2008 in which Tsvangirai
withdrew from the presidential run-off, having won the first round, citing
persecution of his supporters. Mugabe was thus elected president unopposed
though amidst international condemnation.
Zimbabweans voice their opinion
The survey of Zimbabwean public opinion – commissioned by USA-based NGO
Freedom House and led by South African political analyst Susan Booysen and
the Mass Public Opinion Institute in Harare – was the most recent in a
series of three conducted since September 2009 thus allowing for the
observation of trends. A nationally representative sample of 1198 adult
Zimbabweans was asked about a range of topics including political power,
elections, fear, violence, the constitution, and socio-economic conditions.
Interviews were carried out in all ten provinces in each respondent’s
language of choice.
Asked who they would vote for if parliamentary elections were held tomorrow,
47% of respondents said they would not vote or refused to indicate who they
would vote for – this was up from 41% in 2010. Of the 53% who declared their
preference, 20% said they would support MDC-T – down from 38% in 2010 – and
31% said ZANU-PF – up from 17% in 2010.
Why the fall in popularity?
Various factors could have resulted in the decline of MDC-T support since it
became part of the coalition government.
A senior and founding member of the MDC-T, speaking to Think Africa Press on
the condition of anonymity, admits that the fall in support could be the
result of poor performance by councillors and ministers. “Our councillors
have been fingered in various corrupt acts and some have been fired by the
party”, he explains. “This has greatly tainted our image as a party. Though
we have acted on the corrupt councillors, the electorate is not entirely
convinced. This survey is a wake up call to us as party.”
He continues: “Of course we cannot entirely blame our ministers in the
coalition government because some were given sensitive ministries like the
Finance Ministry and Public Services. Look how Finance Minister Tendai Biti
is blamed for almost every negative thing in the country while Public
Services Minister Lucia Matibenga is blamed for the plight of civil
servants. This is unfair and the electorate at times does not understand how
government operates, hence people say MDC ministers are not performing.”
Political analyst Tendai Mudzunge, on the other hand, suggests that it was
joining ZANU-PF in government that compromised the MDC-T in the eyes of the
“MDC-T’s popularity was centred on failure by the ZANU-PF government, but
now that the party is in government they can no longer blame ZANU-PF for
government failure”, he says. “The party thrived on being an opposition
party. ZANU-PF has dragged MDC-T in the mud and all parties are now dirty.
Zimbabweans were expecting MDC-T to perform miracles in government, but now
that no miracle has been performed the electorate is losing faith in the
Offering another perspective, independent economic consultant John Limani,
suggests that ZANU-PF populist economic policies – such as the campaign to
force foreign-owned companies to surrender majority shareholdings through
community share trusts – are the reason behind ZANU-PF’s resurgent
popularity. “MDC-T seems to be against the economic indigenisation and
empowerment, which to some people might look like the party is against black
empowerment”, Limani explains. “ZANU-PF has received widespread support from
poor Zimbabweans on the economic empowerment drive.”
A wake-up call for the MDC?
While ZANU-PF has accepted the favourable findings of the opinion poll, some
within the MDC-T have been less willing to take the research at face value.
MDC-T spokesman Douglas Mwonzora, for example, said that surveys carried out
under current conditions were difficult to rely on due to the fluid nature
of Zimbabwean politics and opinion and called for a degree of measure in
looking at the research. “Given the margin of error acknowledged in the
report, it is difficult to rely entirely on this report to gauge the opinion
of the people of Zimbabwe on their political choices”, he said. “We note
that a lot of people interviewed refused to disclose their political
ZANU-PF central committee member Chris Mutsvangwa, however, comments:
“historically it [Freedom House] put out findings which were supportive of
the MDC-T, which used to embrace them as an objective organisation. Now that
the news is no longer what the MDC-T is expecting of them…they are beginning
to denounce it.”
Indeed, many people have warned the MDC-T to take the survey seriously.
Political analyst Phillan Zamchiya, for example, believes that instead of
dismissing the poll, the MDC-T must work to rectify its mistakes.
“Confronting the elephant in the room rather than being dismissive is for
the party’s own ultimate good”, Zamchiya writes, adding that there are a
number of issues in the report “that the MDC-T should seriously consider in
order to turn the tide in the next election”.
Think Africa Press welcomes inquiries regarding the republication of its
articles. If you would like to republish this or any other article for
re-print, syndication or educational purposes, please contact:
In the papers today we’re told that toll fees are to go up in Zimbabwe. This
is because the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (ZINARA) is
implementing “state-of-the-art toll plazas on the country’s highways.” And
with improved conditions at the toll plazas, “The US$1 charged on small
vehicles will be sub-economic and we are likely to increase the current
fees,” according to the ZINARA spokesperson.
Because the plaza is really where this money should be going anyway?
As yesterday’s Financial Gazette article points out, Zimbabwe’s road network
is stalled. The priority for ZINARA’s toll revenue should be fixing the
roads, not fixing up the “toll plazas” where the tolls are collected.
This entry was posted on August 31st, 2012 at 9:44 am by Amanda Atwood
SW Radio Africa journalist Lance Guma speaks to Energy and Power Development Minister, Elton Mangoma, who explains the long running controversy over the Chisumbanje Ethanol Project.
Mangoma was verbally abused during a tour of the plant by villagers and war vets who accused him of forcing its closure. He says the government cannot ignore problems with the project just to enrich its owner, businessman Billy Rautenbach.
Interview broadcast 27 August 2012
Lance Guma: Good evening Zimbabwe and thank you for joining me Behind the Headlines. Tonight we are joined by Energy and Power Development Minister, Elton Mangoma, following developments over the weekend where press reports are saying war vets and some villagers in the Chisumbanje area verbally abused him over the Chisumbanje Ethanol Plant. Minister Mangoma thank you so much for your time.
Elton Mangoma: Thank you, good evening.
Guma: Okay this issue has been rumbling on for quite some time – could you set the record straight and just explain to our listeners why there’s this resistance to this project?
Mangoma: I don’t think there’s a resistance to the project, it’s just people saying the wrong things so that they get their own positions of advantage through and that is what the major problem is, is that there are less facts that are being shared and more political hot air and when you are looking at a project of that magnitude what we need is to deal with it in a cold sober manner of fact and then set the reality that is there and balance the various interests there that need to be balanced.
Guma: Now we are being told this project will employ ten thousand workers, cut Zimbabwe’s fuel import bill by two hundred thousand US dollars per day – what is wrong with that?
Mangoma: In fact that is what is wrong with it because that is not correct. It is misinformation which is not correct; he has already stated that he is employing five thousand people – I’ve simply asked him there simple way of verifying how many employees one has got.
Either give us a NSSA return which would show how many you are putting in and they failed to do so. Or give us a clear PAYE return and they’ve failed to do so and clearly when you go there, you’ll see that the place doesn’t employ that many people.
So we’re not, we want people to be employed so let’s not make any mistakes with it but let’s not use the wrong information. The second thing is that the fuel bill of this country, I know it every day, I watch, that’s what I do.
When they bring in those numbers, they are way, way, way exaggerated and therefore when you begin to push the falsehoods then some people begin to question why are you doing that? Why can you not use the proper facts? And that is the issue.
Guma: Okay just clarify for us what happened. We know Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara is chairing the inter-ministerial cabinet committee on this Chisumbanje Ethanol Project; you went there on a familiarization tour – what happened? We are hearing war vets were abusing you.
Mangoma: Firstly this was my second visit so it really wasn’t for familiarization; it was for these other ministers I had, to have the same facts that I have got so that when we argue we are arguing on the same platform as opposed from some arguing from newspaper things and others arguing from reality on the ground.
So what then happened was, I had indicated to Professor Mutambara that we would see management at the factory. Those who wanted to tour it would then tour it and then we would go to the community and meet the people in their communes.
But however that was not what these promoters of the project wanted so the first thing they did was because I refused to go by their helicopter or aeroplane, I chose to drive because I wanted to be able to be seen as not having been influenced in any way by the investor because trust is important when you are dealing with the community and when facts are not correct, people will misread anything.
But also that we’d be able to see a lot more when I drive myself around than when I’m guarded and stopped from seeing some things that I should see. When I got to the gate they actually started harassing me which was very unfortunate but when I then said to management why am I being harassed, one of them actually said no there is nothing wrong that has been done.
But let’s take that aside, when people were now getting, and said look they had bussed some people outside the gates, then others were allowed to get in so there was quite a crowd inside and why they were brought in, only God knows.
Most of these obviously would have been people who had have been coached what to say but I’m also trained to figure out when someone says something is it their own or have they been coached because I have been there before. And I have taken so many of the other things and I fully understand all the issues that are involved in this matter.
Guma: But if this plant has been closed, affecting all these workers who were working there…
Mangoma: Again it’s a wrong impression. When people say it has been closed, you then ask who has closed it? Because that is the question that must be answered. Has a ministerial order been given that they should shut or it’s like all the other businesses that are facing business problems?
So that’s what people must start asking because the impression being given is that there is a certain minister who has got the power to go and shut down a plant and I don’t know which minister has got those kinds of powers.
So when one has got to get the facts straight; we have and my ministry is responsible for licencing products and there’s already licence for two of their products: Blend E10 which is 10% ethanol and Blend E85 which is 85% ethanol. These have already been done.
Guma: It seems here the main bone of contention is they are asking government to introduce mandatory blending of petrol to allow their project to be sustainable it would appear.
Mangoma: Well this is now a completely different issue now you can see so nobody has closed anybody so it must be very clear. But if you have got your own product which you have been allowed to put onto the market you cannot turn around and say my product is not being bought, now government please force everybody to buy my product, whichever product it might be.
It might be coca-cola, it might be cooking oil, it might be a t-shirt, it might be anything, so you then say – what right has anybody got to say because I am the one producing my product I must force every one else to do it on these terms as opposed to terms that are mutually beneficial to every one. That is where the difficulty is.
Guma: What’s the cabinet position on this because the way this thing is being spun…
Mangoma: Cabinet position has said that there should be no mandatory blending, that at least cabinet has pronounced itself on. So if cabinet has pronounced itself on no mandatory blending, who then can force mandatory blending? But this is the less of the problem if I may tell you, because what has happened, unbeknown to everyone, they have taken outside of the ARDA land 3,500 hectares of communal lands, displacing over a thousand people who are now homeless.
And in a free Zimbabwe where the liberation war was fought on the basis of land, where we have seen a messy and wrong but messy implementation of land reform where land was being taken from the few whites to the majority black. Now here we have got a situation where a few Zanu PF people, nicodemously are now empowering a white person to remove the black people from their land, from their land and nobody talks about it and nobody thinks it’s an issue.
Because when we are talking about development, what development is good at the national level when it is wrong at the local level? What development is there that you can say one white person should be able to enjoy money whilst exploiting the majority of the black people?
Certainly for a person like me where we fight for freedom and freedom means you can have choice, freedom means you have got respect, freedom means you will be able to enjoy your own household, you are now being party to something that is so unjust to the majority of the people.
Guma: I suppose Mr Mangoma, this is at the heart of the way the state media, or the Zanu PF controlled media are spinning this – they are saying you are an MDC minister who is sabotaging this project because the owner or the main shareholder in this project has strong links with Zanu PF.
Mangoma: I actually didn’t know he had strong links to Zanu PF, you are telling me now but I look at business as business and justice as justice so if they think that is the question then they are actually misguided.
Maybe that’s why they brought in this rowdy crowd but not that they would change the facts on the ground because we have got the people in the community where we went to who clearly indicated that they’ve got nothing against this plan for as long as this man does not take their land and he continues to work within the ARDA boundaries.
That they have said.
Guma: Now we understand you have told them that if they are confident with their product they can export it but they seem to have problems with the exporting bit – why is that?
Mangoma: Well I think this is the issue that I have always said – if they can export it, if it is required in so many places, then whatever, because once you are exporting it whatever money comes in, replaces the money that is going out and therefore there is nothing.
You can’t force people to simply say just do this for me, we can only do it this way because nobody has stopped them from doing anything. They can even buy all the service stations in Zimbabwe because we have liberalized everything, and sell their product through that as the only product. We will not stop them.
Guma: Okay if you were to summarize this for our listeners Mr Mangoma – what are the main problems with this project? Just in summary, in point form, what are the problems?
Mangoma: I’ll just give you – it is wrong as follows: the first is that they have kicked out and taken land from the people, from their communal areas, this has got to be restituted.
When they were taking that crop, they were ploughing down their crops and there’s been no compensation given. This is manifestly unjust, 32 years after independence and for it to be perpetrated by Zanu PF, people must know that this is duplicity of the highest order.
The second issue is that when we are talking of mandatory blending, then we need to balance the interest of the investor and the interest of the public who pay for the fuel and the issues that come in is (1) the issue of price.
The price that this product should be sold at must be the internationally acceptable price and we have indicated that the price that it should be sold at is 70 cents and a maximum of 76 cents because that is the international benchmark. Anything above that is extortionist.
The second thing is that and also because there is a low calorific value of ethanol for them to say they would sell ethanol at a dollar when in fact the cost of petrol before duties and everything else is actually just around a dollar and it was only in the last few weeks it was much lower. There is no justification for it.
Thirdly there are vehicles and gadgets that do not use blend. They have indicated that they will be able to put in the convertors but there is no logistical framework even today that anyone can talk about – this is how you’d do it and therefore all it is, is that the mandate is given and people’s vehicles are destroyed and they’ve got no recourse to anyone.
They might have actually recourse to me because if I’m the one who’d have done it, that’s the person they will see and I think when you now look at just those factors, it is something that can be sorted out and it’s something that can be corrected but if it is an insistence that somebody must profiteer at the expense of everyone else that clearly is not acceptable.
Guma: Okay so what has the ministerial cabinet committee on this project done? Have you laid these as the conditions for them to adhere to? Where are you at this stage?
Mangoma: No, no, we are simply gathering the facts. The facts are that we need to be able to see whether it is true or not that people have had their land taken and they’ve not been compensated for. That must be a fact that must be established.
Two, we already know the price that they are selling it is a dollar which is at least 26 cents above the acceptable price. Who is enjoying the difference between the international accepted price and that dollar? And in fact the reason why they are not wanting to export is that nobody would pay above that price of 76 cents.
So they know that and everyone knows that so to try and give any other reason is false because that is the price that they will export it. So we were simply trying to make them prove that this product cannot have any other price except 70 to 76 cents.
Guma: My final question for you Mr Mangoma, some say that the fact that this project is a joint venture between two private but local companies that include the state owned ARDA, is that not enough to justify government help in this project alone?
Mangoma: No it’s not even correct because also unbeknown to many people, they signed what we call a BOT Agreement with ARDA on the back without any of government knowing about it and this is an arrangement that should have been sanctioned by cabinet and we were already part of that cabinet when this thing was signed and it didn’t happen but that is not the issue.
They put in a BOT that they will transfer whatever in 20 years time. But also when they were putting in this plant they now put it outside of ARDA land so that after the 20 years, ARDA will simply get its land back and nothing else. So that’s how deceitful it is all this thing.
So it’s those facts that must be put on the table so that everybody who looks at it understands that there is more spinning than fact and that we must deal with facts to be able to make this thing go. We cannot base it on chicanery. So those are the issues that I think the task force will look at and then say what is the best way forward.
Guma: Let me slide in one more question; we know there’s a coalition government in power, at cabinet level, is there a meeting of minds between the three political parties or the parties are haggling over this also?
Mangoma: NO, no I don’t think so, you see this is the issue I’m trying to put in – that we like the development but the development must not prejudice anyone and clearly, so one cannot talk about are you agreeing, are you disagreeing, are you what, because there is no-one who has never said we don’t want this development because any development is good but development must be development that is a win-win solution not at the expense of anyone.
Guma: Well Zimbabwe that’s Energy and Power Development Minister, Mr Elton Mangoma, joining us Behind the Headlines. Mr Mangoma thank you so much for your time.
You can listen to the interview here:
Given the heated debate over the draft constitution produced by the three parties in the coalition government, COPAC co-chair Douglas Mwonzora (MDC-T) defends his party’s position on the draft. In Part 2 of this interview with Lance Guma he responds to accusations that they sold out on some of the concessions they made to ZANU PF, for example, presidential powers, dual citizenship, devolution and the diaspora vote.
Interview broadcast 22 August 2012
Lance Guma: Good evening and thank you for joining me once again on Question Time. This is Part Two of our continuing discussion with Douglas Mwonzora, one of the co-chairs of the Constitutional Select Committee that came up with the draft constitution that is currently of course the subject of heated debate.
Some quarters believe the draft constitution ignores the fact that Zimbabweans in the outreach exercise, said they wanted a president without executive powers.
Blessing Vava from the National Constitutional Assembly said for example – it is clear that the president is still the head of state, head of government and commander-in-chief of the defence forces, he is still not liable to any criminal court procedure for crimes committed in office and he’s still the one appointing and dismissing key public figures in government.
Douglas Mwonzora: Well firstly you, that question is from a very, very biased quarter. It is from the National Constitutional Assembly who said they were going to vote no even before the constitution was written so they are searching for reasons to dismiss the constitution but let me do justice to the question raised by Blessing.
Obviously he has not read the constitution, that is very, very clear because under this constitution we have a president who has got executive power but this president is an accountable president.
For example, unlike the previous president, by president I mean the office, unlike the previous president, he exercises power, this president exercises power together with the cabinet. So this president is accountable.
The second difference is that when it comes to a declaration of war, the president under the old constitution would act alone; under the new constitution he needs the approval of parliament. When it comes to the prerogative of mercy, the president does not act alone, he acts with parliament.
When it comes to appointment of judges, again the judges are subjected to a public interview and the posts are advertised and the best the president can do is to nominate and his nominees are subjected to public interview before appointment.
So there’s a lot of difference between the president then and the president now and it is not true that in the outreach people wanted a titular president. Some people wanted a titular president but the majority of people wanted an executive but accountable president.
That is what the data said. The data does not say a titular president and it is not sensible in a country like Zimbabwe to have a titular president so the constitution, the people said they wanted an executive president whose powers were checked and balanced. That’s what we sought to do.
Guma: Former diplomat Clifford Mashiri says – in view of the fact that Zanu PF would like to renegotiate extensively and if possible introduce new issues, the MDC formations should stop wasting time engaging in the blame game and seize the opportunity to amend their own mistakes which caused an outrage.
He argues that, and I quote – “behind closed doors, your members and civil society activists are angry at what they see as a betrayal on devolution, Gukurahundi, 2008 violence, land seizures without compensation, disenfranchisement of exiles and a vague reference to dual citizenship and many others.”
Mwonzora: Ah well again this is a manifestation of a person who has not read the constitution or if they have read it they have not understood it. Let me go to issue of citizenship: yes a constitution is about interpretation of course. The constitution makes it clear that only for citizens by birth, by descent or by registration can parliament limit the rights to dual citizenship. What does that mean?
That means citizens by birth can have dual citizenship. Again the constitution says that every Zimbabwean citizen has equal rights; it goes on to say that one of the rights that every Zimbabwean has is the right to vote. Now it leaves it there. That means a Zimbabwean everywhere, everywhere on this planet is able to vote, has got that right.
We can’t write in the constitution to say a Zimbabwean in Nyanga, and a Zimbabweans in Tsholotsho, and a Zimbabwean in Johannesburg, and a Zimbabwean in London has a right to vote, no we can’t write it like that.
Guma: But why be vague Mr Mwonzora? Why not clearly state that Zimbabwe permits dual citizenship; only in exceptions a, b, c, and make it very clear because you do know the history behind this contentious issue, people would have liked to see this spelt out clearly and not to imply it in a constitution.
Mwonzora: It’s a question of drafting style. This is an expert area, it’s a question of drafting style. What is important is not how it is written it is what it means which is important. What it means is that dual citizenship by birth is there. The only citizenship limitable is the citizenship by registration and by descent.
This is exactly the same wording in the Namibian constitution, it’s nothing new so what is important is what it says. Then coming to the issue of devolution – again devolution is there in the constitution. There’s a provincial government, there is a governor who comes from the party with the majority of the seats in the region.
There is an area of jurisdiction of the provincial government and the area of jurisdiction is social and economic development and then there is a provincial structure that does that. That is devolution of power to the provinces. There are many models to devolution.
Now when our people talked about wanting devolution they did not talk about the modules so the module that we put is the module that was acceptable to everyone but the most important thing is that devolution is there. Now let me come to the issue of the negotiation – that we should re-open and so on. No the MDC can’t do that.
The MDC respects two fundamental issues: the first one is that it respects the will of the people of Zimbabwe which can be against its own philosophy. The second one is that it respects the negotiation that it entered in good faith. Now we made concessions, we entered into this negotiation in good faith and where we gave our word we cannot go back behind our own word and say we have thought better, we want to change the stance and so on.
No we can’t do that because we were negotiating in good faith and we cannot negotiate in good faith twice. We have explained to our membership in the MDC that is why our national executive blessed the document.
Our national council blessed the document because what they see is that it provides incremental gain in the democratization of Zimbabwe. It is not a perfect document but it is a document that is the best document so far since 1896 and they want to take advantage of what it provides.
It has many, many, many, many positives that they can ill-afford to lose.
Guma: As the MDC, are there clauses in this draft constitution that you accepted grudgingly? Are there clauses that you would point out and say we were not happy with this but we just conceded because this is what our partners wanted?
Mwonzora: Well certainly the clauses on land, on agricultural land were not as elegant as we would have wanted as the MDC; also we wanted more parliamentary involvement in appointments, in the making of key appointments we wanted that; we also would have wanted a more, less acerbic clauses on certain areas in the Bill of Rights.
We also would have wanted a president, a disqualification of a president who has already served for more than ten years before the promulgation of this constitution but we looked at the bigger picture. We looked at what this constitution provides:
There is dual citizenship for Zimbabweans by birth, there is freedom, there is free, there is a right to vote for every citizen including citizens in the Diaspora, there is a constitutional court, there is a national prosecuting authority and there is a good method of appointment of judges, a transparent method of appointing judges.
A president can no longer declare war on his own so all those were positive things; there’s devolution and so on. All those things were positive things that if they are implemented carry Zimbabwe forward.
Guma: On Face Book, probably our last question Audrey Charova Perazim on Face Book says if this new constitution is approved and the MDC wins the election next year are there any plans to change the provisions that currently allow political violence perpetrators to get off scot-free? And additional questions from other people who say they were not happy with the way you dealt with the issues of Gukurahundi and the 2008 political violence.
Mwonzora: They are mixing two things, with the greatest of respect they are mixing two things. They are mixing the constitution draft and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Bill.
The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Bill which was passed in parliament has a cut off date and therefore limits the investigation of human rights only to periods after 2009, February 2009.
But if you read the constitution draft, it provides for a Human Rights Commission that investigates human rights abuses; it does not have a cut-off date in the constitution. Therefore, issues that they are talking about are dealt with. Then the other important thing is that there is the Truth, sorry there is the Peace and Reconciliation Commission whose functions include to ensure post-conflict justice.
Now all that deals with the areas that my sister Audrey is worried about. So I encourage Zimbabweans to read this constitution and really understand it because there is clear evidence of people who are not reading it and so on, so all those areas are dealt with.
Of course we cannot write in the constitution to say there was Gukurahundi, there was Murambatsvina, there was 2008 election. You can’t write that in the constitution.
But what you do, is you provide generic definition, generic term like ‘conflict’ because Gukurahundi was a conflict and so on and then you also provide that those conflicts will be investigated and there shall be post-conflict justice. All that has been taken care of.
Guma: Well Zimbabwe that’s one of the co-chairs of the Constitutional Select Committee, he is also the member of parliament for Nyanga North and also spokesperson for the MDC led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, that’s Douglas Mwonzora joining us on Question Time. Mr Mwonzora that you so much for your time.
Mwonzora: Thank you.
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