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Supreme Court of Appeal in South Africa confirms SADC Tribunal ruling binding, Zimbabwean Government must pay costs


SADC Tribunal Rights Watch

20 September 2012

South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein handed down a 23-page judgment today (September 20, 2012) in the appeal of the Zimbabwe government against the North Gauteng High Court's registration and enforcement of a SADC Tribunal ruling and the subsequent attachment of Zimbabwe government-owned property in Cape Town.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Tribunal, the region’s highly respected court, had in November 2008 ruled in the Campbell case, a landmark test case, that Zimbabwe’s land reform processes were racist and that farmers ought to have been compensated for their farms.

In June 2009, the tribunal followed up its ruling with a contempt ruling and costs order, a financial penalty levied against the Zimbabwe government. The costs, determined by the Registrar of the tribunal, were US$5,816.47 and ZAR112,780,13.

Despite being subject to the jurisdiction of the tribunal, the Zimbabwe government declined to pay the costs.

This resulted in an application to the North Gauteng High Court by three Zimbabwean farmers, Louis Fick, Richard Etheredge and the late Mike Campbell, to have the ruling and costs order recognised in South Africa.

After the judge ruled in their favour, AfriForum’s legal representative, Willie Spies, who acted as the farmers’ attorney, said that the door was open for the sale of Zimbabwe government properties in Cape Town that AfriForum had seized in 2010.

The Zimbabwe government’s appeal against the North Gauteng High Court ruling was heard last month by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein on August 27.

In today’s ruling, the SCA dismissed the Zimbabwe government’s appeal with costs, which included the costs of two counsel.

Despite the Zimbabwe government’s claims to the contrary, the SCA confirmed in its judgment that, according to the SADC Treaty, the decisions of the Tribunal were final and binding.

Appeal Judge R W Nugent said that, according to Article 32 of the SADC Treaty, “Decisions of the Tribunal shall be binding upon the parties to the dispute in respect of that particular case and enforceable within the territories of the Member States concerned.” South Africa is a SADC member state.

The unanimous SCA judgment by a full bench of five judges also held that Zimbabwe's contention that it was not bound by the amendments of the SADC treaty had no merit.

The planned sale will make international legal history as it is believed to be the first sale in execution of property belonging to a state that has committed gross human rights violations.


The litigation began when a Zimbabwean farmer, Mike Campbell, approached the SADC Tribunal in Windhoek in October 2007 after the Zimbabwe Government started prosecuting him for living in his home and farming.

The hearing, comprised of five judges from various southern African states, ruled in November 2008 that the Zimbabwean land reform process was illegal and racist and that Campbell and 77 other farmers who intervened in his application should be left in peace and their property rights restored.

In the run-up to the proceedings before the SADC Tribunal, the elderly Campbell, his wife, Angela, and son-in-law, Ben Freeth, were abducted, brutally assaulted by war veterans and intimidated in order to force them to abandon their action before the tribunal.

They nevertheless proceeded and won the case.

Part of the final and binding judgment read: “By unanimity, the Respondent [the Zimbabwe government] is directed to take all necessary measures, through its agents, to protect the possession, occupation and ownership of the lands of the Applicants.”

Tragically, the case cost Campbell his life. Due to the severity of the injuries he sustained during the abduction, which were compounded by previous assaults, Campbell’s health deteriorated rapidly.

He never recovered from this trauma or from his violent eviction in 2009 from the farm he had built up into a highly successful enterprise. He passed away in April 2011.

Mount Carmel farm was transferred into Campbell’s company name in 1999, 19 years after independence, following the receipt of a “certificate of no present interest”. This meant that the government, which had first option on any sale, did not require it.

Despite this, numerous efforts were made by the Mugabe government from July 2001 to seize the profitable farm. It was the largest mango-growing enterprise in the country and generated significant export revenue.

In September 2009, Campbell’s house was burnt down with everything in it. His crops, which were all ready for harvest, as well as tractors and other equipment, were stolen by an octogenarian former Cabinet Minister, Nathan Shamuyarira. Campbell left the farm with nothing.

Freeth’s house had been burnt down three days previously, along with farm workers’ homes and their linen factory. Some of the workers were also beaten violently and sustained broken bones, while other farm workers were jailed.

Although the SADC tribunal subsequently found the Zimbabwe Government to be in contempt of court, nothing was done to bring back the rule of law.

Commenting on the SCA ruling, Freeth said: “This is another landmark day on the road towards justice and the rule of law in Zimbabwe. We want to thank our legal team and AfriForum for assisting us with this critical case and for helping us attach a Zimbabwe government-owned property in Kenilworth, Cape Town, to pay our legal costs. Most of all we thank God.”


Submitted by / For further information

Ben Freeth

SADC Tribunal Rights Watch – Zimbabwe

Cell: +263 773 929 138


Willie Spies - Legal representative

AfriForum – South Africa

Cell: +27 (0)83 676 0639


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The SA Supreme Court judgement on Zim in full

Click above to read the SA Supreme Court judgement on Zim in full.

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Principals agree to let COPAC deal with constitution

By Tichaona Sibanda
20 September 2012

Principals to the GPA have agreed to let COPAC deal with all issues
concerning the draft constitution, a move seen by analysts as a climb down

Following a stalemate when the former ruling party demanded amendments to
the draft produced by COPAC on 18th July, ZANU PF suggested only the
Principals had the power to sit down and unlock the logjam.

This was dismissed by both the MDC formations, who then informed SADC
mediator Jacob Zuma of the deadlock. Not long after that the regional Troika
body announced it would convene a special summit on Zimbabwe in Tanzania
next month, to discuss the issue.

On Wednesday, Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy
Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara met in Harare and agreed that the COPAC
draft will be the only document used during the forthcoming second all
stakeholders conference.

Our correspondent Simon Muchemwa told us the COPAC Select Committee spent
Thursday locked in a meeting in Harare, trying to work out the modalities
for the second all stakeholders meeting.

‘I think ZANU PF were forced to back down after realizing the MDC formations
were not going to be bullied into agreeing to amend the draft. Analysts
believe they were trying to test the waters so they’ve realized, for the
process to be completed, they had to withdraw their demands,’ Muchemwa said.

Meanwhile, the government will from Monday roll out pre-referendum
activities to inform the public on the contents of the draft Constitution.

The state controlled Herald newspaper reports that Constitutional and
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga said legal officers from the
ministry would simplify the draft, to help people make decisions from an
informed position during the referendum.

‘We are now moving forward and what is now happening is that Government
teams will move around the country explaining the draft constitution to the
public. Many people do not understand the legal language used in the draft,
hence the need to simplify it for them. When they go for the referendum they
will know what to vote for or against,’ Matinenga is quoted as saying.

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Mugabe, Tsvangirai Agree to Publicly Table Draft Constitution

Staff Reporters

After failing to meet for the past two weeks to discuss the contentious
issue of the country’s draft constitution, President Robert Mugabe and Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Wednesday finally discussed the charter,
agreeing the only way forward is to take the document to a second
all-stakeholders’ conference as a team to avoid chaos.

Industry Minister Welshman Ncube, one of the leaders of the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC), failed to attend due to family commitments.

Zanu PF and the two MDC formations in the inclusive government have been
disagreeing over the past month on the draft charter with the former ruling
party coming up with a raft of amendments it wants considered before the
holding of a referendum.

Mr. Tsvangirai’s spokesman, Luke Tamborinyoka, told VOA the two leaders
agreed to take the draft constitution to the conference and noted that a
date has to be set for the crucial indaba without any further delays.

Meanwhile, the parliamentary constitutional committee (COPAC) is expected to
meet Thursday to come up with a date for the stakeholders’ conference after
Zanu PF finally agreed to attend.

A stakeholders’ sub-committee met in Harare Tuesday to discuss conference

Zanu PF is demanding that two documents - the draft constitution and a
national report with all the people’s views gathered during the outreach
phase - be tabled at the conference.

But COPAC co-chairman Douglas Mwonzora of Mr. Tsvangirai’s MDC formation
told VOA only the parliamentary draft will be tabled at the all-stakeholders

In Masvingo, a Zanu PF senator has decided to go against her party,
endorsing the constitutional draft produced by COPAC.

Maina Mandava ruffled feathers in her party Wednesday by urging local
residents to support the charter saying women have much to gain in terms of
their rights compared to the Lancaster House constitution crafted before
Zimbabwe attained independence from British rule.

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Zanu PF concedes defeat over draft constitution

19/09/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party all but conceded defeat over its bid
to force a raft of amendments to the draft constitution on Wednesday.

Zanu PF’s politburo sat across four marathon meetings and amended the
Constitution Select Committee (COPAC)’s draft published in July, and then
tried to have the changes adopted by the two MDC parties.

But after meeting Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister
Arthur Mutambara on Wednesday, Mugabe conceded that the COPAC draft will go
through to the Second All-stakeholders’ Conference.

Zanu PF will insist that COPAC publish the so-called National Report – the
document containing all data from the nationwide outreach – alongside the
draft constitution so that delegates can compare the two documents and make

Mugabe’s spokesman George Charamba said the conference was likely to be held
early next month.
MDC leader Welshman Ncube missed the meeting to attend to his mother who is
ill, but in his absence Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Mutambara agreed that “the
COPAC draft should be taken to the Second All-stakeholders’ Conference
together with the national report,” according to Charamba.

But Douglas Mwonzora, the COPAC co-chairman from Tsvangirai’s MDC-T party,
insisted that only the draft constitution will be tabled at the conference
which will bring together some 600 representatives from each party and
various NGOs.

Zanu PF says the MDC-T is not keen to have the National Report published
because it will show that the draft constitution does not properly capture
the views of the people.

Zanu PF is now targeting the National Report as the new battleground as it
seeks to force changes to the draft on various issues including dual
citizenship, homosexuality and devolution.

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Mnangagwa’s henchman behind KweKwe’s Alshabab group

Alshabab graffiti in KweKwe

By Tichaona Sibanda
20 September 2012

Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa’s henchman, Owen ‘Mudha’ Ncube, is reportedly behind a new militant group based in KweKwe that calls itself ‘AlShabab’.

SW Radio Africa is reliably informed that members of the group usually wear ZANU PF regalia emblazoned with Mudha’s face. The group has in the last three weeks gone on the rampage in Mbizvo, harassing and beating up residents.

The group has also been forcibly evicting shop owners from their business premises, taking them over under the guise of youth empowerment. Alshabab, named after the notoriously bloodthirsty Somalian based Islamic terror group, claims to promote ZANU PF’s controversial indigenization drive.

The MDC-T MP for Mbizvo, Settlement Chikwinya, told us market stall holders in his constituency have not been spared. He said many market stall holders, some of them from ZANU PF, were forced out by the group. He said the group’s actions have heightened tensions in the normally tranquil Mbizvo suburb.

More Alshabab graffiti in KweKwe

‘They are resorting to their natural DNA of violence and intimidation and since this is election season, we expect them to up the tempo as the polls draw near.

‘I don’t normally speak for ZANU PF but there are several members from that party who have been deliberately targeted for belonging to the (Joice) Mujuru faction. We cannot discount the theory that the group is systematically targeting its opponents from the party,’ Chikwinya said.

Asked who he thought was behind the group, the legislator said the militants are led by Tapiwa Muto but the ‘big fish’ was none other than Mudha, Mnangagwa’s right hand man.

‘We cannot ignore the fingerprints and footprints of Owen Ncube in this group. The other night they came and harassed people who were standing near me having a drink in a bar. They wore party regalia that had Mudha’s mugshot, so you don’t need a rocket scientist to tell you who their master is,’ Chikwinya said.
The group has also been moving around the town inscribing graffiti with the words ‘Alshabab youth power – return back our land.’

Meanwhile, there are reports in Harare that rowdy soldiers and riot police are abusing revelers and other civilians around Harare’s high-density suburbs, indiscriminately assaulting the public for unknown reasons.

The daily Newsday newspaper said the unruly members of the uniformed forces this week descended on Highfield, Glen View and Budiriro high-density areas indiscriminately beating up unsuspecting revelers and the public, before confiscating wares and foodstuffs sold by vendors.

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Chipangano: ZRP in crisis

The police and Zanu (PF) are desperately trying to distance themselves from
the Chipangano terror group, which many fear is now totally out of control.

by Christopher Mahove/ Thabani Dube

The way the Zimbabwe Republic Police has handled the criminal activities of
the group has exposed tensions in the senior ranks, with the public
relations department reeling in confusion, issuing conflicting statements
and this week being transferred en masse.

Sources within the force said the spokespersons had made several statements
which were bound to expose the ties between Chipangano and ZRP, and the
transfers were a retributive reaction as a result of the embarrassment

Zanu (PF) has consistently denied any ties to the terror group, which has
been kidnapping and beating up people perceived to be critical of Zanu (PF),
extorting money from commuter operators and flea market vendors, stealing
goods from vendors, disrupting meetings - even inside Parliament – all with
absolute impunity. It is widely believed that the Godfathers of the group
are Jim Kunaka, Tendai Savanhu and Amos Midzi – all senior Harare provincial
executives in Zanu (PF).

The party’s secretary for administration, Didymus Mutasa, recently wrote to
Midzi saying: “Cde Midzi, if you tell me that you know nothing about this
group (Chipangano) that is terrorising people in Harare it would be a lie. I
will not believe that.”

Sources said the statements by the police spokespersons exposed the
divisions among Zanu (PF) leaders over how to deal with the shadowy group.

The transfers came a few days after the officers made comments to the press
following a joint blitz by the Zimbabwe National Army, ZRP and Harare City
Council on commuter operators.

The crackdown was targeted at rank marshals, most of them known members of
Chipangano, who had attacked kombi drivers and operators and beaten up two
soldiers who had attempted to stop the harassment.

Police arrested four soldiers when they staged a revenge attack on the
youths. The next day soldiers, angered at the arrests, accused the police of
siding with Chipangano.

A senior police officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the issue
of Chipangano was highly sensitive and political and needed to be handled
with caution.

“The problem is that the statements made by the spokespersons ruffled the
feathers of some senior officers who felt they were politically incorrect,”
he said, adding that some senior police officers had joined Zanu (PF)
factions, which were divided over what action to take against the group.

“Sabau made a reckless statement when he said the police were going to
convene a meeting with the Mandimbandimba (rank marshals), transport
operators and council officials to resolve the issue. How can the police
convene a meeting with criminals? Surely that was a reckless statement which
put the police in bad light,” he said.

Bvudzijena allegedly denied any knowledge of the skirmishes caused by
Chipangano at the Harare Central Police station bus terminus. Phiri referred
all questions to Oliver Mandipaka, saying he was no longer a police
spokesperson. Sabau did not answer his mobile phone while Bvudzijena and
Mandipaka could not be reached for comment.

Meanwhile, human rights lawyers have mounted a constitutional challenge
against the ZRP’s practise of outsourcing torture to Chipangano. Last month,
police arrested two MDC youths Petros Makaza and Golden Nhika accusing them
of stealing a soldier’s beret and mobile phone after a beer hall brawl in
Epworth and surrendered them to a Zanu (PF) office in Mbare, where they were
severely tortured until they lost consciousness.

Disgusted by the blatant selective application of the law, human rights
lawyer Tawanda Zhuwarara of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights last week
filed an application for referral of the matter to the Supreme Court,
arguing that the extensive torture at the hands of members of Chipangano
occurred with the acquiescence of the police who transported Makaza and
Nhika from Epworth to Mbare, where they surrendered them to members of the

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Soldiers Beat Up Budiriro Residents

Harare, September 20, 2012 - A team of 10 rowdy soldiers ran amok in
Budiriro beating up civilians watching a game of soccer at Baseline Night
club late Tuesday night a week after rowdy soldiers beat people in the
central business district in revenge over their colleagues who were beaten
by touts.
According to the victims, the soldiers entered the bar and ordered the
shutting down of the television before forcing everybody to lie face down.
The soldiers did not give reasons for beating up people.

“We were busy watching the game between Real Madrid and Manchester City and
suddenly a team of soldiers entered into the bar. They ordered everyone to
lie down and they started us beating us with clenched fists and heavy
sticks. I received injuries and did not go to work today,” said Japheth
Mapuranga, a resident of Budiriro surburb said.

“They started singing Zanu (PF) slogans and ordered everyone to join them in
sloganeering. I managed to sneak out and ran away but had received injuries
on my hand after being thoroughly beaten by the soldiers,’ said Andrew
Makuyana, another resident said.

Soldiers have been on a terror campaign since last week when they started
beating up rank marshals and touts in the Harare Central Business District

This followed reports that the touts had beaten one of their colleagues and
the operation has resulted in the cleansing of members of the infamous
Chipangano terror group that had been extorting commuter operators.

The soldiers beat up people on Tuesday and Wednesday last week mornings and
during the evening indiscriminately, resulting in ordinary people condemning
the act as people were caught unawares going about their businesses.

Soldiers and riot police beat up touts and commuters at Charge Office bus
terminus, Copacabana and Market Square commuter bus terminuses. Other small
bus terminuses were also affected in the melee across the capital.

Zimbabwe soldiers are known for being ruthless and taking the law into their
hands over the years. It is common to have soldiers revenging on their
colleagues who would have been attacked by people for various reasons in the

Even at beer halls soldiers are known for attacking revellers as they use
their positions in society to do whatever they want to do.

The police have said they arrested over 400 touts over disturbances in
Harare but did not say that their own officers and members of the Zimbabwe
National Army were beating up people.

Radio VOP understands that three soldiers were beaten by Zanu (PF) touts
last week at Charge Office bus terminus after they had an argument with
touts when they wanted to pay a lower charge for travel.

Zanu (PF) touts have been controlling bus terminuses across the country
illegally collecting revenue, which is said can reach up to $20,000 a day,
while councils were not benefitting.

Soldiers in 2008 went on a rampage in Harare at the height of the economic
decay beating up people and looting shops after complaining about high
levels of inflation which ran into millions which was ravaging the meagre

The military forms part of Mugabe's strong support base and was fingered in
the dealy violence that left over 300 supporters of Tsvangirai's MDC dead.

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Mpiranya Close Ally Of Zim Security Forces

Harare, September 20, 2012 - Protais Mpiranya, the fugitive and wanted
criminal for Rwanda genocide, who is believed to be in Zimbabwe, is a close
ally of security services in the southern African country after he assisted
them in the Democratic Republic of Congo's fight against rebels from Uganda
and Rwanda, it has emerged.
"Mpiranya was instrumental during the DRC war after he worked side by side
with southern African Allied forces, which included Zimbabwe, Angola and
Namibia," the world renowned Wikipedia stated on its profile of Mpiranya,
who is accused of ordering the killing of 800,000 minority Tutsi ethnic

"He is believed to have supplied strategic information about the Rwandan
military and also mobilised and trained Rwandans in refugee camps in eastern
DRC to fight against the Rwandan army," notes Wikipedia.

"Mpiranya allegedly stayed in Norton, about 40 km west of the capital
Harare, since his arrival in Zimbabwe in 2001. Security sources said that
the Harare authorities were not keen on giving up the fugitive to whom they
feel indebted over his reconnaissance role during the 1998-2001 Democratic
Republic of Congo civil war."

The global information hub website said Mpiranya had always been suspected
to be in Zimbabwe over the past years after the southern African country
"accused Rwandan secret agents of illegally entering the country in pursuit
of Mpiranya. Kigali denied the allegations, saying it would follow proper
procedures to seek the extradition of Mpiranya."

Wikipedia also noted that this was the second time that Zimbabwe had refused
to extradite African officials accused of genocide in their own countries.
It had refused to hand over former Ethiopian dictator, Mengistu Haile
Mariam, who is wanted in his country for mass murder.

An ethnic Hutu, Mpiranya was born in Gitarama prefecture. In 1993, he held
the rank of major in the Rwanda Armed Froces and was second-in-command of
military operations and intelligence (S2 and S3) in the Presidential Guard
Battalion. Later the same year, he was appointed Commander of the
Presidential Guard Battalion.

The ICTR indictment alleges that between 1990 and 1994, Mpiranya and other
officers conspired to exterminate the Tutsi civilians and political
opponents, and helped to train interahamwe and militia groups who committed
the genocide.

On September 25, 2002, Mpiranya was indicted by the U.N.'s International
Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). He was charged with genocide,
conspiracy to commit genocide, complicity in genocide, crimes against
humanity and war crimes. Mpiranya remained at large and was one of the most
wanted men by the Tribunal.

In February 2010, Mpiranya was reported by Belgian authorities to be
sheltered by the Zimbabwe government, operating businesses in Harare, on top
of acting as mercenary for the ruling party Zanu (PF) to silence the

In August 2010, Rwanda appealed for United Nations intervention in its
diplomatic row after the Zimbabwean government refused to extradite Proitas
Mpiranya to the ICTR.

Rwanda’s Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga said the International Criminal
Tribunal of Rwanda (ICTR) should move and bring Proitas Mpiranya to book.
The two nations backed opposite sides in the DRC war.

The ICTR has placed a $5 million bounty for Mpiranya hoping he can be
tracked and brought to justice.

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President off to New York

Thursday, 20 September 2012 00:00

Caesar Zvayi Deputy Editor
PRESIDENT Mugabe left Harare last night for New York to attend the 67th
session of the United

Nations General Assembly that opened at the UN Headquarters on Tuesday. The
President, who is being accompanied by the First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe,
Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi and senior Government
officials; was seen off at the Harare International Airport by senior
Government officials and service chiefs.

The 67th Session opened with a call for peaceful solutions to international
disputes at a time the UN host country; the United States has embarked on a
concerted campaign of aggression in the Middle East and Africa.

Washington’s sabre-rattling has been largely held in check by the veto
powers of China and Russia in the Security Council.

President Mugabe is scheduled to address the General Assembly during the
annual debate that begins on September 25 and runs until October 1.
The Syrian conflict, peaceful resolution of international disputes and an
efficient global co-ordinated response to terrorism are among the important
issues expected to dominate debate in the General Assembly whose theme this
year centres on peaceful resolution of conflicts.

The annual debate will be preceded by a high-level meeting on the rule of
law at national and international levels, during which member states will
deliberate on strengthening the rule of law.
Addressing the opening session on Tuesday, UNGA president, Mr Vuk Jeremic,
Serbia’s former foreign minister underscored the importance of peace and
security in overcoming the prevailing global economic crisis.

He also outlined the main areas of focus for this year’s session, whose
overarching theme is peaceful settlement of international disputes.
Other important high-level meetings and initiatives on energy, women’s
health, nutrition and education, peace and security challenges are also
expected to dominate discussions.

‘‘I hope this framework will usefully serve the noble cause of preventing
gathering conflicts and resolving existing ones,’’ Mr Jeremic said.
The UNGA, Mr Jeremic said, should not just focus on achieving the eight
Millennium Development Goals tenable in 2015, but also on the post-2015
agenda. He underscored the importance of fulfilling the commitments made
during the UN Sustainable Development Conference (Rio+20), which was held in
Brazil in June.
“Our objective should be the full implementation of the mandate this body
received at the Rio+20 Conference. This will require a decisive commitment
to observe not only procedural deadlines but also the political and
financial objectives it has been designed to accomplish,” Mr Jeremic was
quoted as saying.

He also highlighted the importance of arms control and disarmament,
strengthening UN peacekeeping, improving a global co-ordinated response to
terrorism, and promoting human rights in the international arena during the
next 12 months.
The rule of law, he said, would remain one of the main priorities on the
Assembly’s agenda.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon congratulated Mr Jeremic on his new role and
thanked the immediate past UNGA president, Mr Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser,
for his leadership over the past year. He also underlined that the role of
the UN is crucial during this period of uncertainty, and called on the 193
members of the UN to deepen their efforts to work together.

During the 67th session, which runs through mid-September 2013, the General
Assembly will consider the outcome of the Rio+20 Conference.

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South Africa wants a high profile at rule of law meeting

By Tererai Karimakwenda
20 September, 2012

South Africa has been criticized for planning to play a key role at the
first ever rule of law meeting to take place ahead of the United Nations
General Assembly next week. This is the first time the UN has held an event
dedicated specifically to the rule of law.

South Africa is planning to play a major role at this important meeting,
sponsoring two of the nine side events. One of the side events will focus on
women’s access to justice, a theme that will also be addressed by the UN

Nicole Fritz, Director of the Southern Africa Litigation Center, described
South Africa’s efforts as “ironic”, given the role the country played in
dismantling the regional human rights tribunal in Namibia.

“The fact that SA participated in a SADC summit decision to dismantle the
Tribunal takes away and undermines its reputation as a rule of law model,
which makes it all the more ironic that the country is seeking to profile
itself at the first ever rule of law meeting of the General Assembly,” Fritz

She added that SADC leaders had hoped to keep the closure of the Tribunal
quiet, but there has been a lot of attention and publicity on the event.
Fritz said SADC leaders will probably be criticized by other countries for
the Tribunal closing, but behind closed doors.

SADC leaders chose to suspend the operations of the Tribunal rather than
deal with the Mugabe regime, after Zimbabwe ignored the Tribunal’s ruling
against Mugabe’s land grab. This effectively shut down the only human rights
court in the region. This closure has a knock on effect on the whole fabric
of the rule of law.

Fritz said SADC established the Protocol on Gender and Development, which
commits member states to laws and policies intended to advance the condition
of women in the region. But the only vehicle through which the protocols can
be realized was the Tribunal, which is shut.
According to Fritz, South Africa gained a reputation as a progressive
democratic state due to its peaceful transition to democracy, its
recognition of the Constitution as key to good governance, and the
establishment of commissions that safeguard and monitor peace. This
reputation was undermined by the Tribunal’s closure.

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Dutch Envoy Condemns Property Grab In Zim

Bulawayo, 20 September, 2012 - Netherlands Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Barbara
Jazoisse, has condemned the ongoing land invasions, grabbing of foreign
owned companies in Zimbabwe and the violation of investment treaties between
the two countries, saying this is hurting investor confidence.
Zanu (PF), army, intelligence and police officials were recently fingered in
the invasion of the Save Conservancy in Masvingo.

“We are very much concerned about the on-going land invasions. The economic
developments and employment goes down in Zimbabwe. We have bilateral
agreements with Zimbabwe and we are very concerned that our treaties are not
being respected. It is also bad in that the Dutch investment is also

“Dutch investors are losing confidence because of this. We have tried to
engage the authorities but they are doing nothing about it. We are very much
concerned about this. All this undermines investor confidence,” Jazoisse
told journalists in Bulawayo during a press conference on Thursday.

Jazoisse also condemned the grabbing of companies under the guise of
empowerment saying it undermines investor confidence.

“There is nothing wrong with empowerment. The question is, is this
indigenisation going to help the majority of Zimbabweans?

“Confidence, property rights and the rule of law guarantees investment. I do
not believe the people will be empowered when no investors are coming into
the country,” Jazoisse said. “The economic cake should grow so that everyone

Jazoisse said the Dutch government committed US$40 million last year to
Zimbabwe while US$2 million had been set aside for food security for the

She added that transparency was required at the diamond mines.

“Zimbabwe is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of minerals
but transparency is have to weed corruption so that revenue
generated from the abundant natural resources are channeled through
treasury,” she said.

Joziasse also said urged the media to play a pivotal role in nation
building, saying negative reporting hurt the country.

“I am not Zimbabwean and l cannot tell you how to run your country
but...before you write anything you must ask yourself a question on what
benefits the article will bring to the country."

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GMB Officials, Villagers Selling Food Aid in Zimbabwe

Gibbs Dube

Some senior Grain Marketing Board (GMB) officials and villagers in Gwanda
Central are reportedly diverting drought relief aid and selling it for up to
$10 a bucket as the food situation deteriorates in Zimbabwe.

According to parliamentary agriculture committee member, Patrick Dube, the
diversion of drought relief aid has left thousands of people without food in
most parts of Matabeleleand South.

Dube said a 10 kilogram bucket of maize which fetches $5 in retail shops is
now being sold for $10 dollars in the black market.

He claimed that the maize is being diverted by some politicians linked to
President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party and several GMB officials who were
not available for comment.

“One of the local councilors is working hand in hand in these shady grain
deals with as aspiring senator linked to the former ruling party,” said

He said the government needs to intervene to stop the illegal maize deals.

The United Nations World Food Program said recently that it is closely
monitoring the crippling drought situation in the country and lobbying
stakeholders for the provision of food and other resources to the affected

Zimbabwe has pledged 35,000 tonnes of maize and the WFP is working with
other organizations to secure additional aid.

Close to 1.6 million people, 60 percent higher than the one million that
needed assistance during the last lean season, will need food aid by March
next year.

Meanwhile, the United Kingdom and Australia have provided $11.5 million to
help Zimbabwean smallholders farmers under the food and agricultural
organisation’s agricultural inputs program.

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Cabinet approves mandatory ethanol blending

19/09/2012 00:00:00
by Gilbert Nyambabvu

MINISTERS have resolved to turn the US$600 million Green Fuel ethanol
project into a joint venture, with the government as a majority shareholder.

If Green Fuel approve, mandatory blending will start immediately at five
percent, rising to 20 percent by 2015, Deputy Prime Minister Arthur
Mutambara announced in Harare on Wednesday.

Green Fuel stopped ethanol production at its Chisumbanje plant in eastern
Zimbabwe early this year after failing to win government backing for
mandatory blending of petrol and ethanol, leaving the project, which was
touted as a solution for the country’s fuel supply problems, on the brink of

Two private firms were developing the project under a build, operate and
transfer agreement with agro-parastatal ARDA, but a cabinet committee led by
Mutambara has recommended that the project should be turned into a joint
venture with the government.

“The Cabinet decision to convert the project from a build, operate and
transfer to a joint venture must be upheld and implemented within the
proposed timeline of two months,” Mutambara told a news conference.

“It must be noted that the ethanol plant is not on ARDA land, and was not
part of the BOT, which means this BOT arrangement was actually detrimental
to the national interest. In doing the BOT conversion to JV, due diligence
and investment or project valuation there is need for rigour and creativity.

“The veracity of the claim that US$600m has been invested must be
established, including the source of the financing. There must be robust and
creative valuation of the State’s asset contributions to the project, such
as the land (40 000ha).

“In fact, the State can easily bring to the project assets that will enable
it to achieve 51% ownership of if not higher. The work on converting the
project from a BOT to a JV must proceed speedily. In fact once concluded
this conversion to a joint venture will make most of the other technical and
business issues easily resolvable.”

Mutambara headed a ministerial taskforce to look into the Green Fuel crisis,
which included Energy Minister Elton Mangoma, Local Government Minister
Ignatius Chombo, Economic Planning Minister Tapiwa Mashakada and their
Public Works counterpart Joel Gabuza.

Cabinet stepped in after Mangoma refused the grant Green Fuel’s request for
mandatory blending insisting Green Fuel had failed to address various issues
including the compensation of hundreds of families displaced by the project
as well as the pricing and possible impact of its E10 blend on vehicles.

Mutamabra said mandatory blending would only be introduced when the project
was turned into a joint venture with the government.

“We cannot have mandatory blending for one private producer of ethanol. If
there were several producers, it might make sense,” he said.

“As a starting point, the mandatory blending should be at the 5% (E5) level.
This should be implemented immediately, on the assumption that the
conversion from the BOT to a joint venture is now irreversible.

“E5 is also the ideal starting point because none of the car manufacturers
and sellers has a problem with that level of ethanol, whereas there were
complaints about certain vehicles’ compatibility with E10.”

Ministers are also pressing Green Fuel to immediately resettle and
compensate hundreds of families who were displaced by the project.

“Out of the total 1,754 households displaced from their communal lands… only
516 have been resettled. The company should immediately relocate the
outstanding 1,238 households who have not been relocated on irrigated land,”
Mutambara revealed.

“The company should immediately compensate households that lost crops in the
process of developing the project’s dams and canals in accordance with the
assessments of crop damages that were carried out by Agritex officials and
further enhanced and adjusted by information obtained directly from the
affected communities.

“It is unfortunate that some of these crops were insensitively ploughed down
by Green Fuel. This is completely unacceptable. A total of US$80,500 is due
to these households (and) this compensation must be paid immediately.”

He added: “The quantum of resources required to address these concerns are
quite insignificant compared to the financial scale of the project.

“While we appreciate that resolving the business issues leading to the
running of the plant will make it easier, and less financially burdensome
for the company to address the social concerns, it is our unyielding
conviction that not only has the company got the requisite resources, it has
a legal and moral obligation to address the concerns of the communities,

“This project is a national and strategic asset with a potentially huge
impact on our economy, through radically changing our fuel economics, power
generation (supplying the entirety of Manicaland), multiple downstream
industries, new dependent projects such as Kondo Dam, and a potential car
manufacturing industry.”

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Chisumbanje villagers to get compensation?

Nearly 2,000 Chisumbanje villagers are set to get compensation for their
farming plots taken over by Green Fuel in 2009 to pave way for a
multi-million dollar ethanol project.

by Thomas Madhuku

They applauded a government appointed committee led by Deputy Prime Minister
Arthur Mutambara for brokering the deal after a deadlock that had almost
crippled operations at the plant. Wedzerai Gwenzi, one of the community
leaders, confirmed that they had submitted a list of names of farmers to
receive compensation to Mutambara’s office.

The compensation list, in the hands of The Zimbabwean, bears names of the
affected farmers, size of land taken and the number of livestock lost during
the takeover. One of the Chisumbanje community representatives, Rabson
Nyakurwa, reported that the company had agreed to compensate them, but added
that it was not yet clear how that would happen.

Nyakurwa added that they had proposed that compensation be in the form of
plots or money. If they were to be given plots, he said, they would insist
on title deeds so as to secure themselves against further displacements.
Member of Parliament for Chipinge South under which Chisumbanje falls, Meki
Makuyana, confirmed that he was part of the team that submitted names to

Lillian Muungani, Green Fuel’s spokesperson promised to return this paper’s
call when contacted for a comment but failed to do so. Further attempts to
reach her were fruitless.

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Coltart launches blitz on govt schools

Wednesday, 19 September 2012 17:55
BULAWAYO — The Education Sport and Culture Ministry has embarked on another
clampdown of School Development Associations (SDAs) abusing public funds.
It is understood that headmasters/headmistresses and bursars could be the
primary targets in the latest exercise since they are the custodians of
funds received from parents or guardians.
Teachers’ unions are however, divided over the exercise with the militant
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) opposed to the initiative
while the Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA) is supporting it.
PTUZ accuses the ministry of failing to relieve public schools of their
financial burden. Increasingly, most public schools are now depended on
their SDAs.
Raymond Majongwe, PTUZ secretary general, termed the blitz a “divide and
conquer strategy” being used to shift public attention from the critical
issues that affect the Ministry of Education.
“This is a divide and rule strategy meant to create animosity between the
teachers, the SDAs and headmasters/headmistresses. It is merely a smoke
screen to cover up the failures of the Education Ministry which it is trying
to sweep up under the carpet,” he said.
“This term is an examinations term and this has created disquiet among the
schools, as they will have to concentrate on auditors rather than the
administration part of school examinations,” he added.
David Coltart, the Education Minister, described as “normal reaction”, the
backlash from PTUZ.
He said his ministry was merely responding to recommendations from the
permanent secretary of Education and to letters from concerned parents.
“I am working on crafting regulations on how measures can be taken and
implemented to ensure accountability and one of the things that have been
suggested is that school accounts be posted on notice boards,” he said.
ZIMTA chief executive officer, Sifiso Ndlovu, welcomed the initiative saying
it will benefit the education sector although he expressed reservations over
its timing. — Own Correspondent.

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Betty Kaunda dies

Staff reporter
20th September 2012

Betty Kaunda, the wife of Zambia’s first president Dr Kenneth Kaunda, died
in Harare Wednesday. She was 84 and had suffered from diabetes for most of
her life. Dr Kaunda was in South Africa at the time and was given a plane by
President Jacob Zuma to fly to Zimbabwe. The couple had been married for 66

Mrs Kaunda had been visiting her daughter who lives in Borrowdale.

One of her sons, Tilenje Kaunda, said his mother would be buried at Chinsali
in the northern province of Zambia. Her body was flown back to Zambia on

Another of her sons said she would be remembered for her contribution to the
liberation struggle and that most freedom fighters would remember her for
her role as a matriarch, when she housed so many of them at the height of
the liberation struggle.
She is survived by eight children, 38 grandchildren and 17 great

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Kasukuwere: colonial laws blocking empowerment

19/09/2012 00:00:00
by NewZiana

ZIMBABWE must repeal or amend more than 140 laws which were enacted during
the colonial era to impede black empowerment and indigenisation, a cabinet
Minister said on Wednesday.

Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment minister Saviour Kasukuwere
said the laws were stifling smooth economic empowerment of the black

"Some of these laws put by the whites to protect their interests we still
use them today.
"There are about 144 laws that stifle easy empowerment of our people as some
people and institutions take advantage of them to base their arguments," he

Kasukuwere said the government was going to scrutinise the laws for
amendments or repeal where necessary.
"I will be taking them to cabinet soon for deliberations. We understand
there are some individuals who are opposed to the empowerment programme but
that will not deter the government's intention," he said.

He said the laws included the Mines and Mineral Act which allows for the
arrest of gold panners.

"On that law the President and cabinet have agreed to some amendments and
the Ministry is working on it.

"All those being called illegal miners who are in prisons are going to be
released once the amendments are done," he said.
Zimbabwe Indigenous Economic Empowerment Organisation (ZIEEO) president
Paddington Japajapa warned that there would be more friction if the laws
were not harmonised.

Japajapa said the Urban Councils Act was being used by the Harare City
council to issue licences or enter joint ventures with foreigners in the
retail sector which was reserved for indigenous people.

He urged the government to stop the city from issuing retail licences to
Japajapa added that the Marriages Act was also being used by foreigners to
acquire residence and working permits in the country.

"They come and lure our sisters into marriages upon which they acquire
permits before dumping them.

"Government should enforce a five or more years before a foreigner is
granted a marriage certificate," he said.

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Proteas cruise to 10-wicket win over Zim

Thursday 20-September-2012 14:48

South Africa got their World Twenty20 campaign off to an ideal start,
cruising to a 10-wicket win over neighbours Zimbabwe in Hambantota, thus
sending the minnows crashing out of the tournament within the first three

After losing their opening game to Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe needed a win, but
they could only score a meagre 93 for eight in their innings, before Proteas
openers Richard Levi and Hashim Amla made light work of the chase, still 44
balls to spare.

It was hardly a classic game of cricket, and for a T20 was rather boring for
the most part in front of an already sparse crowd. The highlights for
Zimbabwe were few, with only Craig Ervine's 37 the bright spot in their

South Africa won the toss and chose to bowl, a good decision on a grassy
track that gave much assistance to their already powerful bowling attack.
Morne Morkel set the tone early on, removing the first two wickets for six

Jacques Kallis was the star of the show for the Proteas though, taking a T20
career-best four for 15 in four overs, including two wickets in two balls to
break Ervine and Stuart Matsikenyeri's fledgling partnership with the score
on 51.

AB de Villiers also had a good game, becoming only the sixth wicketkeeper to
take four or more catches in a T20 innings. These included a brilliant
effort that saw him diving full stretch to his left and gloving it
one-handed to get rid of Prosper Utseya off Dale Steyn.

South Africa's chase was never in danger as Levi, looking to show he is more
than a one-innings wonder, reached 50 off 43 balls, including some non-T20
strokes to rival his partner Amla, the king of classy batting.

Their partnership saw a quarter of the runs required in the bag after just
three overs, and aside from one dropped catch off Amla (33 not out) with six
runs to go, there were no chances to be had for the Zimbabweans.

South Africa next face Sri Lanka on Saturday at the same venue.

South Africa: Richard Levi, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers, JP
Duminy, Farhaan Behardien, Albie Morkel, Johan Botha, Robin Peterson, Steyn,
Morne Morkel.

Zimbabwe: Hamilton Masakadza, Vusi Sibanda, Brendan Taylor, Craig Ervine,
Stuart Matsikenyeri, Elton Chigumbura, Graeme Cremer, Prosper Utseya, Ray
Price, Kyle Jarvis, Brian Vitori.

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Ninth Free Zimbabwe Global protest on Saturday 22nd September

To Zimbabwe Vigil supporters

Please join us for the ninth 21st Movement Free Zimbabwe Global protest on Saturday 22nd September. The demonstration is being held on Saturday rather than Friday 21st September because we are likely to get more people.

We are meeting at the Vigil at 2 pm then taking letters to the Tanzanian and Botswanan High Commissions in Stratford Place, London W1C 1AS (1AY). Nearest station: Bond Street. We will be going by public transport once the Vigil is set up. We will be joined by MDC UK, ROHR and the Zimbabwe We Can Movement. The reasons for targeting Tanzania and Botswana are outlined in the letters. For text of the letters see:

We will be returning to the Zimbabwe Embassy at around 5 pm for the end of the Vigil.

Zimbabwe Vigil Co-ordinators

The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe.

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Morgan Tsvangirai's messy love life is a gift to his enemies

Zimbabwe's prime minister may yet succeed Robert Mugabe but his poor
judgment about his private life gives cause for concern

Petina Gappah, Thursday 20 September 2012 09.30 BST

Zimbabwe's prime minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, believes that intelligence
agents loyal to president Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF party orchestrated a plot
to humiliate and embarrass him ahead of his wedding, which was to have taken
place last Saturday. What Tsvangirai does not say is that his messy love
life and poor judgment have made it all too easy for such plots to succeed.

Before the wedding, Zimbabwe was gripped by headline after headline
featuring all the prime minister's women. There is his fiance, Elizabeth
Macheka. There is a South African woman who claimed he proposed to her, and
gave a graphically detailed account of their love life, complete with
pictures of Tsvangirai smiling on a luxury cruise ship and on a beach in the
Seychelles. And there is his jilted lover, Locardia Karimatsenga, whose
legal action to have the wedding stopped precipitated this damaging crisis.

Karimatsenga approached a magistrate to have Tsvangirai's marriage licence
annulled and the wedding interdicted. She argued that he could not marry
another woman in a monogamous process as that would amount to bigamy. The
journalists who have filed on this story did not consult legal experts, and
have, subsequently failed to understand the importance of customary law in

Zimbabwe's legal system recognises customary law and not "tribal law", as it
is patronisingly called in many international reports. Customary law is the
complex system of law that governed indigenous societies in Zimbabwe prior
to colonial conquest in 1890. And, like every republic, Zimbabwe also has a
legal system derived from its constitution, legislation, common law and
legal precedent. Zimbabwean law thus has multiple sources. Customary law on
the family has detailed rules about how marriages are established and
dissolved. At the same time, general law also applies to marriages,
guardianship of children and inheritance. The challenge for the system has
been to strike a balance between, on the one hand, the rights that derive
from tradition and, on the other, progressive norms such as equality for
women and protecting the rights of girls.

The system has not always succeeded, and has led to seemingly contradictory
outcomes: Zimbabwean law recognises polygamy but criminalises bigamy. A man
may have any number of wives as long as he stays within the customary law
framework. If he chooses to marry in a polygamous marriage, he cannot
subsequently marry another woman in a monogamous marriage, as that marriage
would mean the automatic divorce of the polygamous wife. To get around the
bigamy laws, he would first have to divorce his customary law wife or wives
before he commits to a form of marriage that allows him to marry only one

This was the argument that Karimatsenga made in her attempt to stop
Tsvangirai's wedding. The magistrate agreed with her. He ruled that
Tsvangirai had indeed married her, but he had failed to go through the
formal steps under customary law that would have dissolved the marriage. The
magistrate ruled further he could not issue the couple a marriage licence
for a monogamous wedding until Tsvangirai had gone through the customary
rites of divorce in their proper form. If Tsvangirai nonetheless went ahead
and married, he would be arrested for bigamy.

The international press has reported that he married "in defiance" of the
court order. He actually respected it. The couple were careful not to
"marry", and instead celebrated their already existing customary law union
and affirmed their commitment to each other..

But how much does all this matter? For the most part, Zimbabweans don't
particularly care about the private lives of politicians. President Mugabe
and his wife Grace began their relationship with an affair when both were
married to other partners. Cabinet minsters routinely jump in and out of
multiple beds, and Zimbabwe gives a collective shrug.

This debacle matters for different reasons. It raises, once again, questions
about the prime minister's judgment and fitness for office. Even his allies
are lining up to speak out. The Independent, a leading business weekly,
asked the question: is he fit to govern, while veteran journalist Geoff
Nyarota encouraged Tsvangirai to have regard for the dignity of his office.
Certainly, his multiple, and, apparently, simultaneous, sexual relationships
with partners who appear to have been subject to no vetting not only
demonstrates his extremely poor judgment, they also raise security concerns.
He has made it woefully easy for his enemies to portray him as a sex-crazed
maniac: the acerbic Jonathan Moyo famously wrote that Tsvangirai approaches
every issue with a shut mind and every woman with an open zip.

Tsvangirai's poor judgment is particularly puzzling given that he has been
the subject of intelligence plots before: he barely escaped from an
orchestrated treason trial. The invisible hand of the intelligence agency
is, indeed, all over this debacle. The events had a smooth efficiency that
suggests careful planning. It cannot be said often enough that any plot
against him only worked because Tsvangirai has made himself vulnerable to
such plots.

Will this hurt him? There is the very real possibility that Tsvangirai will
not only survive this, but may even gain a sympathy bump in his popularity.
The intelligence agents who orchestrated this debacle overreached
themselves. Tsvangirai has certainly been exposed as a self-indulgent and
careless man. But his enemies have demonstrated a single-minded ruthlessness
that shows why Zimbabwe desperately needs a new constitution and a change of
government. The apparent use of state resources and machinery to humiliate
the president's main rival demonstrates clearly why Zanu PF can no longer be
an option for Zimbabwe.

This is Zimbabwe's tragedy: the mantle of leadership has rested too long on
the shoulders of the man who currently leads Zimbabwe, and it will sit
uneasily on the man who wants to unseat him. But voters are likely to
conclude that Tsvangirai is the lesser of two evils. Flawed as he is, he may
just make it.

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Constitution Watch of 20th September 2012 [Constitution-Making Deadlock Loosening?]


[20th September 2012]

Is the Constitution-Making Deadlock Loosening?

The Deadlock

A deadlock in the constitution-making process was reported to President Zuma on his visit to Harare on 15th August, just before the SADC Summit in Maputo. President Zuma, in turn, reported the differences between ZANU-PF and the MDCs in his report to the Summit. Although, in its communiqué of 18th August, the SADC Summit urged the parties to work together on the constitution, a deadlock on the parties’ opposing stances was again reported to the visiting South African facilitation team on 29th August.

MDCs said the COPAC draft was the final and only draft and that they would not entertain alterations to it; and wanted to refer the matter to the new chairperson of the Troika of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, President Kikwete of Tanzania, and the facilitator, President Zuma – in other words, to invoke the 18th August Maputo Summit resolution requiring SADC intervention to assist in resolving “any difficulties” over the constitution.

ZANU-PF refused to accept the MDC positions that the draft was final and could not be changed. They were insisting that ZANU-PF’s proposed changes to the COPAC draft should be considered at the level of the party principals, who had yet to meet and discuss the draft. They denied there was a deadlock and refused to participate in a referral to the SADC Organ.

Deadlock Hardened by Subsequent Party Actions


Both MDCs wrote letters to Presidents Mugabe, Zuma and Kikwete

On 30th August Mr Tsvangirai sent a letter to President Mugabe, copied to Presidents Zuma and Kikwete, setting out the MDC-T position and stating that the COPAC draft had been agreed and that the there was no role for the principals to discuss changes to the finalised draft. Professor Ncube sent a similar letter to President Mugabe and the other Presidents.

MDC-T launched campaign for a YES Vote on the COPAC draft

On Saturday 8th September Mr Tsvangirai went ahead as earlier promised and launched the MDC-T’s promised Vote YES campaign for the COPAC draft. The MDC also announced an immediate campaign in support of the COPAC draft.

ZANU-PF continued to insist that their proposed changes to the COPAC draft should be considered at the level of the party principals despite the fact the principals’ meeting was constantly postponed.

Principals’ Meetings Repeatedly Aborted

In fact there were no principals’ meetings until today. The principals usually meet on Mondays and were therefore expected to meet on Monday 20th August, shortly after returning from the SADC Summit. They did not meet. Again, there was no principals’ meeting on Monday 27th August; because the President was away all that week for the NAM Summit in Teheran. Nor was there a meeting on 3rd September; Mr Tsvangirai was out of the country to attend the Democratic Party’s National Convention in the United States. Although President Mugabe, Mr Tsvangirai and Professor Mutambara met on Monday 10th September. Professor Ncube was not invited to the meeting and there was no discussion of the constitutional logjam. On 11th September Mr Tsvangirai and Professor Ncube, on standby after that day’s Cabinet meeting at President Mugabe’s request, waited for a GPA party leaders’ meeting. They were then told the meeting had been rescheduled to a date and time to be notified. Instead the President met Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, ZANU-PF’s lead GPA negotiator, and Minister of Defence Mnangagwa, ZANU-PF’s secretary for legal affairs.

This Wednesday 19th September the President, Mr Tsvangirai and Professor Mutambara eventually met – Professor Ncube having excused himself to attend to his mother, who is ill. There has only been a Herald report on this meeting, but the MDCs’ perspective is awaited.

On Wednesday evening President Mugabe left the country to attend the UN General Assembly annual meeting in New York.

Nevertheless there has been some shifting in two of the parties previously “adamant” positions.

ZANU-PF Shifts its Ground

ZANU-PF’s new stance

After a meeting of the ZANU-PF Politburo on Wednesday 12th September, a new but conditional ZANU-PF position emerged: The COPAC draft may go to the Second All Stakeholders’ Conference IF

· COPAC’s National Statistical Report on the Outreach is printed and taken to the Second All Stakeholders’ Conference together with the COPAC draft – so that everyone can have a copy to compare with the COPAC draft

· ZANU-PF will take its amendments to the Conference.

In statements to reporters party spokesman Rugare Gumbo confirmed that the party principals had not deliberated on the draft to find consensus rather than deadlock, and explained: We have said as a party that we will go to the Second All Stakeholders’ Conference with the COPAC draft, but the national report should be printed before the stakeholders conference so that everyone can have a copy and compare it with the COPAC draft. We are saying the new Constitution should fully take into account the issues that we raised. If the MDC formations endorse the draft as it is, we will ask the people who will be present to compare with the national report. We will go to the All Stakeholders’ Conference with our amendments.”

ZANU-PF actions to strengthen this position

Court application demanding National Statistical Report

On 13th September it was confirmed that the Federation of Non-Governmental Organisations and its chairperson, ZANU-PF’s Goodson Nguni, had lodged an application against COPAC in the Supreme Court seeking an order compelling COPAC co-chairs to make its National Statistical Report available to the public.

Mobilising the party apparatus in support of ZANU-PF’s proposed amendments

On 14th September ZANU-PF political commissars from all regions of the country met for what party spokesman Gumbo described as “a mobilisation workshop where we told them what to do and how to present the party position at the All Stakeholders Conference”.

MDC-T Shifting its Ground

MDC-T still says that only the COPAC draft can go forward to the Second All Stakeholders’ Conference and should not be changed by the principals. But from saying it is the final draft and that they would not entertain alterations to it, MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora – also a COPAC co-chair – has now said that changes to the draft can be made at the Conference: “By its very nature the Second All Stakeholders Conference can make far-reaching changes to the draft.” He did however, reject the ZANU-PF suggestion that National Statistical Report on the outreach must be presented to the Second All Stakeholders’ Conference to be used to assess the COPAC draft. He stressed that, contrary to what people have been led to believe, the statistical report does not reveal what the majority and minority views on particular issues were.

At the same time as easing its stance on changes to the draft, MDC-T has expressed fears that a faction of ZANU PF is planning to disrupt the Second All Stakeholders’ Conference by causing “chaos and mayhem” at the Conference, and said that SADC, the African Union and the international community must supervise and monitor the Conference.

MDC Not Shifting its Ground

According to party spokesperson Qhubani Moyo, the MDC led by Professor Ncube has not changed its stance that the COPAC draft was the final and only draft and that they would not entertain alterations to it. They see the purpose of the Second All Stakeholders’ Conference as being to enable the COPAC to table its draft constitution, as required by Article 6 of the GPA, and to explain and clarify it to participants and answer their questions – not a forum for the continuation of the drafting process or making changes to the draft.

Is the Ball Back in COPAC’s Court?

Will COPAC go ahead with the Second All Stakeholders’ Conference under ZANU-PF’s conditions? COPAC will be meeting to decide what to do. Much will hinge on the Select Committee meeting scheduled for today.

Or Will it Go to SADC?

SADC Organ Troika announces meeting on Zimbabwe for 7th - 8th October

On 4th September the chairperson of the Troika of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, President Kikwete of Tanzania, said there would be a special Summit of the Organ Troika on 7th and 8th October at which developments in Zimbabwe and Madagascar would be discussed. The announcement came in Dares Salaam at the end of a special meeting of the Troika called to discuss the situation in the Eastern DRC. President Zuma did not attend the meeting, nor did members of his facilitation team. The official communiqué’s only reference to Zimbabwe was the statement that the Troika Summit “agreed to convene again soon to deliberate on the developments in Madagascar and Zimbabwe”

Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied

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