21 SEP 2012 05:15 - RAY NDLOVU
Analysts fear a recently opened defence college, army recruitment, and arms
imported from South Africa are part of Zanu-PF's election preparations.
President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party has intensified its drive to
militarise the country with the commissioning of a state-of the-art National
Defence College ahead of new elections expected next year.
Observers point out that the move sends a strong message that the military
will be kingmaker in the next crunch polls where Mugabe is expected to face
off against arch-rival Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) for the third time, after previous encounters in 2002 and 2008.
Last weekend, Mugabe officially opened the college, built by China at a cost
of $98-million, describing it as a "think-tank" on security matters. He said
it would also be used as a bulwark against Western countries pursuing a
"regime change" agenda.
The college is reserved for military personnel with the rank of colonel or
group captain and above and their equivalent ranks in state security, police
As part of the terms of the loan agreement, the loan will be repaid over 13
years with the diamonds being mined by Chinese companies in the Marange,
Anjin, the Chinese-linked diamond mining company operating in Marange was
earlier this year involved in a war of words with Finance Minister Tendai
Biti, who accused the Chinese firm of failing to remit "a single cent" in
taxes to the treasury. In its defence, Anjin cited exemption as part of the
conditions of the loan.
Militarisation of Zimbabwean society
Charles Mangongera, a political analyst said: "The defence college not only
marks the continued militarisation of Zimbabwean society, but also the
dominance of Chinese interests in the country. Zimbabwe is not under threat
of attack from anyone and such a huge investment could have gone into
improving the situation at our defunct state universities. Mugabe sees the
military as a source of his power and will now do anything to please the
In June, the military recruited 10 000 people for the army, sparking tension
in the fragile unity government, as the Zanu-PF defence minister, Emmerson
Mnangagwa, demanded that the treasury placed the recruits on the state's
Military sources pointed out that the recruits were earmarked to play a role
in the census and upcoming referendum vote. However, opposition by the MDC
eventually resulted in the military's push to be included in last month's
census – traditionally conducted by public servants – blocked at the
There are also signs that the military has purchased R2-million worth of
arms from South Africa, circumventing the treasury in the process. Under
normal circumstances, Zimbabwe Defence Industries (ZDI) a government-owned
military company, deals with the purchase and sale of arms.
Senior ZDI officials have indicated that they did not engage with the South
African government over the arms procurement, which includes military
radios, tankers and teargas. The Zimbabwe treasury has admitted that it did
not know how the arms purchase was financed.
MDC spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said: "We learnt in the press just like
everyone else. Biti did not allocate money to buy a war chest. What is more
clandestine is that some of the deliveries are being made when he [Biti] is
away soliciting money in the region to keep our government afloat."
Welshman Ncube, the leader of the smaller MDC party, speculated that the
money could have been raised from diamond proceeds as Zanu-PF enjoyed
"monopoly and virtual control" over the Marange fields. Mugabe has since
been promoting senior military officers, such as Brigadier-General Douglas
Nyikayaramba, who have pledged allegiance to his rule and has also kept his
ring of military chiefs around him, despite their terms of office expiring.
FRIDAY, 21 SEPTEMBER 2012 14:35
Zanu PF has reactivated its structures accused of spearheading the deadly
2008 political violence in urban areas as it tries to railroad its
amendments to the Copac draft constitution, a human rights group said
The move is also reportedly part of Zanu PF’s campaign strategy for general
elections that must be held before June next year where it would seek to
reverse its poor performance in urban areas in the last decade.
In a report, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CZC) said members of the “terror
groups”, usually dressed in Zanu PF regalia, were moving around the country
harassing people ahead of the Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference on the new
Zanu PF, MDC-T and MDC are expected to meet soon to discuss the logistics
for the conference, including the dates and documents to be used.
CZC spokesperson Thabani Nyoni said the notorious Harare-based Chipangano
group had been spreading its influence to other centres outside Harare. The
groups were cited as Al-Shabaab in Kwekwe, Jochomondo in Hurungwe, Top Six
in Chinhoyi and Jambanja in Maramba-Pfungwe, Mashonaland East.
“What we discovered really is a group called Al-Shabaab in Kwekwe and we
think that there might be similar groups around the country,” Nyoni said.
“It is difficult really to link such groups, for example Chipangano, to Zanu
PF, but considering the free rein that they have to do what they want, shows
that they might have the party’s blessings.”
Zanu PF political commissar Webster Shamu at the weekend told a meeting in
Bulawayo that the party had set up committees that would go to urban areas
to promote “development and indigenisation”.
But there are fears the campaigns would be used to intimidate residents, the
majority of whom have shunned Zanu PF activities since the formation of the
then united Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in 1999.
MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora and MDC deputy spokesperson Kurauone
Chihwayi said they were concerned about the reports that Zanu PF was
plotting to use violence.
“This will not be the first time that Zanu PF is using violence during this
process,” Mwonzora said. “They used violence during the first outreach
programme and they also used violence during the First All-Stakeholders’
Conference and so they will want to use violence again.
“We have said this Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference must be monitored by
international observers. We also want the Executive to guarantee the safety
of the participants.”
Chihwayi said Zanu PF must not be allowed to disrupt the constitution-making
process, which was now at a crucial stage.
“We are concerned with what Zanu PF is doing on the ground; we know the
intention is to disrupt the All-Stakeholders’ Conference,” he said. “Zanu PF
is a party that thrives on violence and they know that they will lose in a
However, Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo dismissed reports that the party
was preparing to use violence in its campaigns.
“It’s all daydreaming, there’s nothing like that, but it’s the usual MDC
propaganda to tarnish our image,” he said in an interview.
“We are not going to force people to support us. It’s nonsense, we don’t
have to force people to support us, so there’s no need for us to whip people
into line as it were.
“All that the political commissar did, was that he convened a workshop to
brief people on the decision of the party.
“People wanted clarification of the politburo’s decision on the draft
constitution ahead of the Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference.”
President Robert Mugabe has repeatedly appealed for peace during campaigns
in the next elections, but there have been questions about his sincerity -
Friday, 21 September 2012 12:02
HARARE - Mystery surrounds the source of funds used to buy an assortment of
arms from South Africa, strengthening allegations that Zanu PF could be
running a parallel authority outside the coalition government.
Reports indicate that Zimbabwe’s powerful Defence ministry last week took
delivery of an assortment of weaponry, including armoured vehicles from
Well-placed sources said the Finance ministry, which ideally should pay for
such government expenditure, was not involved.
The sources said Finance minister Tendai Biti was in the dark on how the
arms purchase was financed since he had not budgeted or released money for
According to the insiders, mystery surrounds the financing of the arms
purchase and other projects carried out by Mugabe such as the presidential
Asked about his ministry’s involvement in the arms purchase, Biti appeared
unwilling to talk.
“My friend, we release an overview of the state of the economy every month.
They are public documents which you can access,” he said.
“You can check from them on whether Treasury has paid for the purchase of
arms or is funding the scholarship programme,” Biti said.
Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba was not available for comment and his
office said he had accompanied the president to the UN General Assembly in
Defence minister Emerson Mnangagwa was unavailable for comment. His office
said he flew out of the country well before Mugabe left for the UN.
The latest quarterly report “You can check from them on whether Treasury has
paid for the purchase of arms or is funding the scholarship programme,” Biti
Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba was not available for comment and his
office said he had accompanied the President to the UN General Assembly in
Defence minister Emerson Mnangagwa was unavailable for comment.
His office said he flew out of the country well before Mugabe left for the
The latest quarterly report of South Africa’s National Conventional Arms
Control Committee included Zimbabwe among close to 50 countries that bought
arms from Pretoria.
The committee stated that the transaction happened between April and July
The Daily News has gleaned through this year’s State of the Economy Reports
and can authoritatively state that there has neither been a payment for arms
or indication Treasury is paying for Mugabe’s pet projects.
Top government sources who spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed
Treasury did not fund the arms “cache purchase” and other programmes mainly
administered under Mugabe’s office.
Biti has previously accused Mugabe’s Zanu PF, which enjoys close relations
with the army’s top command, of diverting diamond revenues from Marange to
run a parallel government.
The defence forces are linked to diamond mining in Marange.
The MDC, of which Biti is secretary-general, has also repeatedly made
The party says it fears Mugabe is building a war chest ahead of elections
most likely to be held next year.
Zimbabwe is reportedly the world’s fifth largest producer of alluvial
diamonds but extraction of the prized stones has not turned the economic
fortunes of the country.
Biti has previously said Treasury is receiving very little from mines
operating in Marange.
He has also claimed that Anjin Investments, a Chinese-related venture with
close ties to the defence forces, has not been remitting money to Treasury.
The firm accuses Biti of lying, saying it has paid over $30 million to
government since starting operations in 2010.
Government mining agency, Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) has
been less than willing to shed light on diamond revenues, even in the face
of accusations that the money is being diverted.
ZMDC board chairperson and Mugabe loyalist Godwills Masimirembwa recently
told journalists that it is difficult for the diamond mining sector to meet
the projected $600 million contribution to the 2012 national budget because
of “sanctions as well as the continued victimisation of the market by the
But some government insiders are not impressed.
“The military is taking delivery of arms worth in excess of $50 million yet
Treasury did not finance the deal. Where did it get the money from?” queried
The insiders also disclosed that the cash strapped coalition government is
not bankrolling the $70 million required for the presidential scholarship
programme yet millions of dollars continued to be mysteriously churned
towards the project.
Mugabe’s scholarship fund, whose beneficiaries are said to be cherry-picked
along political party lines, caters for thousands of Zimbabwean students
scattered across South African universities.
“Very soon as we enter the new agriculture season, Mugabe will finance an
agricultural presidential scheme to the tune of at least $40 million. Where
is he getting the money?” queried a government insider who spoke to the
Christopher Mushowe, the director of the presidential scholarship programme
said Mugabe’s office directly funded the programme.
“This is a government programme run under the President’s Office and funded
by government. It has been in place since 1995 and has always been funded by
the State. I am surprised people are denying this. That position has never
been communicated to us,” Mushowe said.
Mugabe has previously said “well-wishers” were funding the agricultural
Netherlands’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Barbara Joziasse, has expressed her
government’s concern over the invasion of conservancies in the Save Valley
by a group of officials aligned to Zanu (PF).
by Zwanai Sithole
The top diplomat said the invasions were a direct violation of investment
protection agreements between Zimbabwe and other countries, hers included,
and described them as illegal and detrimental to the local economy. She was
addressing journalists in Bulawayo on Thursday.
“We are concerned about the invasion of the Save conservancies. Apart from
violating investments protection agreements, the invasions are also
affecting ordinary Zimbabweans who are going to lose jobs as a result of the
“Zimbabwe should respect these treaties if the country wants serious
investors to invest in the country,” said Joziasse. She said her government
was engaging the Harare government over the issue.
A number of conservancies in the Save area, among them those owned by German
and Dutch nationals, are under threat from Zanu (PF) bigwigs who have been
parceling them amongst themselves under the guise of indigenisation.
The new beneficiaries have been awarded 25-year leases, but conservationists
have condemned the takeovers. The invasions are already causing diplomatic
EU Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Aldo Dell Ariccia, recently said restrictive
measures that were earlier this relaxed could be tightened.
By Tichaona Sibanda
21 September 2012
A decision by COPAC to exclude civil society organizations from the second
all stakeholders’ conference has sparked a firestorm of controversy, with
accusations that the move is not only retrogressive, but dangerous.
In recent weeks the parliamentary select committee spearheading the
constitutional reform program has hinted that the majority of the delegates
to the conference would be drawn from the country’s civil society
The initial agreement would have seen civil society fielding 70 percent of
delegates, with political parties occupying the remainder.
But following meetings of COPAC’s secretariat and the select committee this
week it was decided, allegedly because of budgetary constraints, to reduce
the number of participants from 2,400 to 2,000. They also decided that each
of the three parties will send 600 delegates, with the remaining 200 slots
being allocated to Members of Parliament.
Philani Zamchiya, the regional coordinator for Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition,
expressed grave concern at the latest arrangement, which he said bordered on
He insisted the non-participation of ordinary Zimbabweans in the exercise is
a major threat to fundamental liberties and freedom of expression.
He also said the GPA principals had tentatively set between the 3rd and 5th
October as the most ideal time for the conference to be held.
‘I think because of time constraints between now and the dates proposed,
COPAC has been compromised to a point where they want to renege on an
earlier undertaking. This is unacceptable and a sad day for democracy.
‘This is arrogance at its best by the political parties and we will push
them to reconsider their decision. If they try to defy us we will confront
them more aggressively,’ Zamchiya said.
He continued: ‘We are concerned that the three main political parties have
once again decided to make this important process a political party’s event,
while excluding the voice of the people.
Zamchiya emphasized that the new arrangement is a negation of the initial
agreement and will deprive the majority of Zimbabweans of an opportunity to
actively and effectively participate in the conference.
‘We are convinced that the 2nd All Stakeholders’ Conference is a space for
ordinary people and hence must not be hijacked by political players who have
been active in the constitution making process for the past three and half
years,’ he said.
We tried all day to get hold of both MDC formations, but no one was
answering their phones.
By Tererai Karimakwenda
21 September 2012
A leading human rights group in Zimbabwe has expressed deep concern at the
continued use of torture by the police during investigations, following the
death of a suspect who had been assaulted by officers at Chitungwiza Police
According to the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, Harrison Manyati was a
suspect under police custody when officers brutally assaulted and tortured
him on September 4th. Manyati is reported to have died nine days later from
the injuries he sustained. He was only 24 years old.
The Forum said Manyati had lodged a complaint of torture by officers at the
same police station, but at the time of his death no action had been taken
to investigate the complaint or prosecute the perpetrators.
Phillip Pasirayi from the Center For Community Development told SW Radio
Africa they have it “on good record” that Harrison Manyati had died from
injuries sustained during police interrogations at Chitungwiza Police
He said the culture of impunity that existed before the coalition government
was installed has continued to exist.
“We credit the MDC formations for condemning violence. A lot has been done
by them but not enough to pressure Robert Mugabe into disbanding these gangs
like Chipangano. And SADC should also be pressured to have monitors on the
ground now to oversee events,” Pasirayi explained.
He added that the next election in Zimbabwe will be meaningless if it
happens before reforms to the state security institutions are implemented.
“To have elections while we still have a partisan police and military that
publicly supports ZANU PF would be an exercise in futility,” Pasirayi said.
Earlier this month, a group of 20 soldiers ran amok and assaulted touts and
rank marshals at the Charge Office commuter bus rank in Harare. The attack
was allegedly meant as revenge for an assault on one of their colleagues,
which had taken place at the same location.
There are also reports that rowdy soldiers and riot police are abusing
revellers and other innocent civilians around Harare’s high-density suburbs,
assaulting the public for unknown reasons. According to NewsDay newspaper,
the unruly soldiers descended on Highfield, Glen View and Budiriro,
confiscating vendors’ properties.
A statement from the Forum said: “The Forum urges the Government of Zimbabwe
to immediately ratify the UN convention against Torture and its optional
protocol as well as criminalise torture in Zimbabwe in fulfillment of its
commitment before the UN Human Rights Council.”
By Tichaona Sibanda
21 September 2012
A Harare Civil Court has postponed to next week a hearing at which Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s ex-lover Locadia Karimatsenga Tembo is claiming
US$15,000 a month from the MDC President.
The case was due to be heard at the Harare magistrates’ court on Friday. But
Innocent Chagonga, Tsvangirai’s lawyer, told SW Radio Africa the hearing was
postponed to next week Thursday.
In a claim that was filed by the court three weeks ago, Karimatsenga wants
the Prime Minister to contribute towards her upkeep. She said she was now
used to the high standard of living, which Tsvangirai had introduced into
Karimatsenga still insists Tsvangirai is her husband under customary law
after he paid lobola to her parents in November last year. The Prime
Minister denies this.
Last week Karimatsenga successfully challenged the courts to revoke
Tsvangirai’s marriage licence to his wife Elizabeth Tsvangirai. However the
Premier on Saturday circumvented the court ruling that tried to block his
wedding to Elizabeth by staging the nuptials under the alternative customary
law that allows a man to have as many wives as he wants.
Originally he had planned his marriage under the country’s monogamous laws—
being married to only one person at a time.
By Tererai Karimakwenda
21 September 2012
A government scheme meant to assist villagers in need of grain has been
hijacked by ZANU PF officials in Masvingo, who are selecting only members of
their own party as beneficiaries.
Reports from Rupike, Tugwane, Mavizhu, Muchibwa, and Maburutse villages in
Masvingo province said that villagers are facing starvation while ZANU PF
politicians abuse the government scheme.
According to a report from the Crisis Coalition, villages had, “properly put
their names forward and submitted photocopies of their identity particulars”.
But local councillors and traditional leaders are being used to alter
distribution lists and only ZANU PF members are receiving seeds and
fertilizer, meant for all in need.
A team from the Crisis Coalition spoke to a villager who said: “We are
starving here, we have no food. The major problem is that when food is
distributed we are not given because they say we are MDC members. Lots of
food is being distributed but we are left in the cold because of our
The strategy of politicizing food donations has been used by ZANU PF
regularly over the years, to try and increase their support base ahead of
elections. The donations are usually accompanied by threats to the
recipients, who are ordered to vote for Robert Mugabe and ZANU PF candidates
if they accept the food.
The same strategy has already been used in other parts of the country,
especially in Manicaland, where villagers are being told to report the
incidents to the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC). But
the provincial JOMIC teams have no power to change anything.
The loan scheme was introduced by the inclusive government last year. The
idea was to assist communal farmers who needed grain from the Grain
Marketing Board but could not afford it. The scheme gives them a loan of
seeds, which is meant to be repaid after their next harvest.
by Staff Reporter
ZIMBABWE will ask South Africa’s ruling African National Congress to take a
“political decision” to stop displaced white farmers from seizing its
properties, a minister said on Thursday.
South Africa’s Supreme Court dismissed an appeal by Zimbabwe against a
decision of the Johannesburg High Court to register and enforce a 2008
judgement of the SADC Tribunal which ruled that the land reform programme
was “racist and illegal” – clearing the way for white farmers to press for
The 77 white farmers had gone on to attach a Cape Town property owned by
Zimbabwe – which was not covered by diplomatic immunity – with the intention
of selling it.
Zimbabwe has always said it did not recognise the SADC Tribunal’s rulings
because it did not ratify its founding treaty. The Tribunal has since been
Presidential Affairs Minister Didymus Mutasa said: “What they (farmers) are
fighting is not about land, but to trouble the government of Zimbabwe.
“After this judgment, which is legal, we should let it go and we speak to
the ANC [African National Congress] and take a political decision. I hope
that is possible.”
Advocate Martin Dinha, who was part of Zimbabwe’s legal team, said suggested
the decision of the South African Supreme Court was racist.
“South Africa’s judiciary is not yet liberated from apartheid; it has
cosmetic liberation. South Africa remains a colony of white Rhodesians and
apartheid,” charged Dinha, who is also the Mashonaland Central governor.
He added: “Notwithstanding attempts by elements of the Rhodesian Front to
derail the land reform programme, the programme is totally irreversible.
“No country has jurisdiction over another. Zimbabwe is a sovereign state.”
He said Zimbabwe fully expected South Africa to take political steps to stop
any further seizures of Zimbabwean properties.
“South Africa must be careful. They must respect the sovereignty of
Zimbabwe. They have properties here and given that there are unspeakable
abuses that were committed during colonialism and property was damaged,
nothing stops us from seeking compensatory damages here and attaching those
Willie Spies, a lawyer for the white farmers, called unanimous decision by
the Supreme Court a “a great success ... a symbolic victory that makes it
possible for the government of Zimbabwe to be effectively punished.”
Spies, attorney for South African rights group AfriForum and for many
Zimbabwean farmers, said the dismissal will bring solace “to the many
Zimbabweans who affected by the atrocities.”
He added: “I think it’s probably the first time in legal history
internationally that a judicial failure in execution of property will go on
after a country is found to be in contravention of certain human rights
laws. We’re making legal history.”
By Alex Bell
21 September 2012
The future of a primary school on a farm in Chivhu remains uncertain, amid
an ongoing attempt by a female prison officer to evict the teachers who live
and work on the farm.
The three teachers from Makumimavi Primary School have been fighting to keep
the farm school open and stay on the property, ever since it was seized
under the guise of land ‘reform’ more than a year ago. The teachers have
been living on the farm in a compound specifically built to house the school’s
staff and without them, the school will be closed.
The beneficiary of the land, prison officer Angela Chisora, has since filed
criminal charges against one of the teachers, Edwin Maseva, for refusing to
vacate the property. He is being charged under a section of the Land Act,
which ‘outlaws’ his ongoing occupation of a building on the government
Jeremiah Bamu from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) told SW Radio
Africa on Friday that Maseva was meant to appear in court this week, but the
state could not produce any witnesses for the case. He explained that when
the state is ready to proceed, Maseva will be summonsed once again.
“He sees this as harassment and intimidation. This has been going on for
about a year and a half and he has been requested to attend court on a
number of occasions. His right to a fair trial is being denied,” Bamu said.
In August Maseva was only issued with a summons to attend court on the day
that he was meant to appear. He had also been previously summoned in March,
but the summons was defective and quashed after the intervention of ZLHR.
Desperate parents concerned about their children’s future at the school have
meanwhile pleaded to Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, and
the Education and Lands ministries to intervene. But these pleas have not
“His eviction will negatively impact on the right to education of over 100
children who learn at the farm school. It is necessary that this matter is
concluded as soon as possible,” said Bamu.
The school remains open, for now.
By Alex Bell
21 September 2012
Members of the Chipinge South community, affected by the construction of an
ethanol plant there, are still in the dark about their future, despite this
week’s release of a government report about the project.
The report, released by Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara on Wednesday,
has exposed that the Chisumbanje Ethanol Project has been abusing the
community and their livestock, and has also misrepresented the facts of the
multi-million-dollar venture to the government.
The ethanol plant is owned by controversial businessman Billy Rautenbach who
has strong links to ZANU PF ministers. In 2009 ZANU PF Minister Didymus
Mutasa gave Rautenbach permission to take over 5,000 hectares of land at the
Chisumbanje Estate (then owned by the Agricultural and Rural Development
Authority – ARDA) to grow sugarcane for production of ethanol fuel. In the
same year Mutasa reportedly signed a letter authorising Rautenbach to
operate the ethanol project at Chisumbanje, but never disclosed this to
Mutambara, who chairs the committee that recently probed the goings on
there, revealed serious malpractices at the plant, which has been idle since
early this year.
“Verified reports from the displaced communities indicate that livestock was
lost through being shot, drinking contaminated water or by the levying of
undue and oppressive fees for trespassing. A total compensation of US$20,000
must be advanced to the affected communities,” Mutambara said on Wednesday.
He continued: “There are a few individuals who were victims of violence,
contaminated water, and unsafe working conditions. Rehabilitation of, and
compensation to, these people amounting to about US$15 ,500 must be
immediately effected. The company must swiftly install a water purification
system for the contaminated water from the plant before it is recycled for
human and livestock consumption.”
Local MDC-T MP, Meke Makuyana, told SW Radio Africa that the community
remains completely in the dark about what is going to happen. He said there
has been no feedback from the government committee and no one knows what
their future will be.
“The people want to know about compensation, and what land they will have,
how much hectarage, if they will get their ownership back. But there has
been nothing from the government and this is the main problem,” the MP told
SW Radio Africa on Friday.
Mutambara meanwhile said Wednesday that the committee has proposed that the
ethanol project be turned into a joint venture, with the government as a
majority shareholder. The project had stopped ethanol production after
failing to win government backing for mandatory blending of petrol and
ethanol. If they approve of a joint venture, Mutambara said mandatory
blending will start immediately at five percent, rising to 20 percent by
Friday, 21 September 2012 12:08
HARARE - Mbada Diamonds yesterday handed over a new $1,5 million
state-of-the-art police accommodation block at the Harare International
Airport that it built and furnished.
Mbada chairperson Robert Mhlanga handed the accommodation block to police
chief Augustine Chihuri at an event attended by top cops and senior airport
Mbada is a 50-50 joint venture between private investors and the state-owned
Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC).
The accommodation block is for ZRP Support Unit details who man Mbada
Diamonds’ offices at the Sorting and Valuation Centre at the Harare
Chihuri said it was a fantastic addition to airport police.
“It is an inspiring gesture of social responsibility by Mbada,” Chihuri
said. “This will go a long way in addressing problems of accommodation here
at the airport. It is something to be proud of.”
The ZRP accommodation block is fully furnished with leather sofas, 2x10
dining-room suites and 51inch plasma TV and a PVR decoder fully subscribed
for a year.
It has beds for officers on duty complete with ironing boards and steel
cabinets to hang their clothes.
The kitchen is fully furnished with an industrial stove and the latest
double-door fridge. Mbada also installed a 15KVA generator and a borehole at
“I am sure you will agree with me that this level of responsibility is
historic,” said George Manyaya, Mbada Diamonds’ corporate services
Chihuri said: “I haven’t seen accommodation for officers at any airport
anywhere in this world like this so far.”
Manyaya said Mbada diamonds was accelerating its national duty of letting
diamonds sweat for the people.
“All our efforts are guided by the need to harness diamonds for the people,”
Mhlanga said Mbada was going to liberate the country economically.
“Ours as a business is to ensure that whatever business we do in this
country is not meant for the benefit of individuals as people would like to
speculate,” Mhlanga said.
“Ko unonokama mombe wotadza kumwawo here? (Can you milk a cow and fail to
take a cup of milk?) So it’s given but then you don’t drink the whole milk.”
Chihuri said he had made several futile appeals for assistance for the
police force from Finance minister Tendai Biti but said Mbada had swiftly
responded to their plea for help.
The police chief asked Godwills Masimirembwa, ZMDC chairperson, to give
Mbada Diamonds three more diamond mining concessions so that it can engage
in more beneficial social responsibility programmes.
Manyaya said they were grateful to the police for the security they were
providing at the Harare International Airport.
“Our diamond fields and sorting offices are professionally secured by the
ZRP and this is part of the reasons why we are KP compliant,” he said.
International diamond watchdog the Kimberley Process (KP) certified the
diamond mining company to sell gems from the Marange fields on the
international market last year.
Manyaya said their relationship with the ZRP was blossoming with each
He said they have entered several strategic alliances with the police,
including during the recently held commissioner’s gala, commissioner general’s
funfair and providing monthly food rations, vehicles and fuel for the teams
in Chiadzwa. - Gift Phiri
Since the formation of the Zimbabwe coalition government four years ago,
politicians sought to re-work the country’s political landscape and revive
the economy in an effort to boost the struggling economy.
Many multi-million dollar projects have been given the green-light to
operate in the southern African nation amid pomp and fanfare but most of
them today have stalled due to continued political interference.
Green Fuel (Pvt) Ltd's Chisumbanje Ethonal Plant, saddled with over 10
million liters of ethanol, has now been lying idle for almost a year though
an inter-ministerial taskforce headed by Deputy Prime Minister Arthur
Mutambara is trying to resolve its ownership structure.
Mutambara told journalists in Harare Wednesday that the taskforce has
resolved to reconstitute the company’s ownership structure from the initial
‘Build-Operate-and-Transfer’ arrangement to a joint venture with the
state-owned Agriculture and Rural Development Authority (ARDA).
He said the government is expected to gradually introduce mandatory blending
of ethanol and fuel from E-5 to E-10 up to E-20 by 2015.
Mutambara said cabinet has accepted these recommendations after the
taskforce unearthed numerous irregularities which are supposed to be
addressed by Billy Rautenbach’s Ratings Investments, one of the top
He said Green Fuel is now expected to also compensate over 1,238 villagers
who lost their land and livestock when the project was implemented
At the same time, the $750 million Essar Africa Holdings and Zimbabwe Iron
and Steel Company deal is another project facing serious problems due to
disagreements in the unity government.
Government is currently renegotiating the deal after the Indian firm took
over the collapsed entity and renamed it New Zimbabwe Steel Limited.
There were high hopes that the company would be speedily revived by Essar
Holdings but everything was scuttled by the Ministry of Mines which claimed
that the Indian firm was bound to grab vast iron ore reserves, worth
billions of dollars in some parts of the Midlands Province, at a giveaway
More than 7,450 people have been left jobless due to the stalled operations
at New Zimbabwe Steel and Chisumbanje Ethanol Plant.
On the other hand, politicians have been criticized for their involvement in
conservancies, especially the recent forced take-over of the Save
Conservancy, Manicaland Province.
Critics say this is threatening to derail the revitalization of the tourism
industry and holding of the United Nations World Tourism Organization
General Assembly in Victoria Falls next year.
Some top Zanu PF politicians and military commanders have grabbed the
conservancies where they are reportedly killing large numbers of wild
animals and selling the meat to urban retailers and villagers.
Left behind are Zimbabweans desperate to revive their lives as unemployment
tops 86 percent countrywide. Critics say the government lacks the ability to
revive the economy by letting politics to call the shots.
For perspective, VOA spoke to Callisto Jokonya, an economist and former
president of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, and Godfrey Kanyenze
of the Labor and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe.
Kanyenze said the failure of these deals is a reflection of Zimbabwe’s
Jokonya concurred, adding that government negotiated these deals with many
by Staff Reporter
BULAWAYO’S two million residents are being asked to flush their toilets all
at the same time once every three days as the city grapples with a worsening
There is not enough water in the reticulation system and waste is not moving
for days. The build-up is causing sewer pipes to burst all over the city,
say council officials.
Now engineers are recommending that every household must flush their toilets
at 7.30PM every three days when water services are restored across the city
during the on-going water shedding.
Simela Dube, Bulawayo’s director of engineering services, said: “We need to
flush our toilets at the same time to push all the waste that will just be
under the surface as residents would be using little water to flush toilets
during water shedding hours.”
In a statement, council spokeswoman Nesisa Mpofu added: “Every household is
requested to flush their toilets systematically at 7.30PM the very day when
water is back after the 72 hours of water shedding.
“This is done to prevent any sewer blockages as we anticipate longer periods
without water in the reticulation system. Please note that this is in
addition to the normal flushing that will occur during the day.
“This is due to the recent water shedding programme by council which has
seen a reduced amount of water entering the sewer system.”
Two of Bulawayo’s five water supply dams have already been decommissioned
and the water levels have reached critical levels at the remaining dams –
the result of the worst drought in south-western Zimbabwe in almost four
A long-mooted plan to build a pipeline to draw water from the Zambezi River
has reached implementation stage after the Chinese government committed
US$2,2 billion for the project – but it will not be complete for at least
another two years.
As a long-term solution is being pursued, Bulawayo residents are going for
up to two weeks without water. The worst hit areas are Entumbane,
Harrisvale, Old Pumula, New Magwegwe and New Lobengula.
Council spokesman Mpofu explained: “Water, unlike electricity, takes long to
move from the nearest reservoir to the point of consumption particularly if
the latter is far. Also water flows to low lying areas first.
“The residential areas that are not receiving water are all high altitude
areas and will always be the last to receive water.”
The council has been sending water bowsers to worst affected areas.
The MDC Today
Friday, 21 September 2012
Issue – 436
The MDC calls on the police to activate its arresting powers and extend the
long arm of the law on a new Zanu PF outfit, El-Shabab in Kwekwe before it
worsens the chaos and lawlessness in the town.
The militant group, being bankrolled by Emmerson Munangagwa and his
henchman, Owen ‘Mudha’ Ncube is forcefully evicting shop owners from their
business premises under the guise of youth empowerment. Al-Shabab, named
after the Somalian based Islamic group, claims to promote Zanu PF’s looting
Hon Settlement Chikwinya , the MDC MP for Mbizo, said market stall holders
in his constituency have not been spared. He said the group’s actions have
heightened tensions in the normally tranquil suburb.
Meanwhile, it is exactly eight days before the MDC celebrates its 13th
anniversary next Saturday.
The “Red Event” set for Bulawayo’s White City Stadium will be a carnival of
activity as MDC members and supporters will celebrate 13 years of existence
in Zimbabwe’s brutal political landscape under the theme: “The Last mile:
Towards Real Transformation”.
MDC @ 13: The last mile: Towards real transformation!!!
21 September 2012 17:59
Pledges budget support grants, a line of credit and export credit
South Africa will continue helping Zimbabwe in its economic recovery
programmes, the finance ministers of the two countries said on Friday.
"South Africa further committed itself to continue supporting Zimbabwe's
efforts to normalise its relations with multilateral financial
institutions," the ministers said in a joint statement.
The statement followed a meeting in Pretoria between South African Finance
Minister Pravin Gordhan and his Zimbabwean counterpart Tendai Biti, aimed at
deepening co-operation between the two governments.
The discussions in the meeting were centred on the resolutions of the
extraordinary summit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC)
heads of states held in Swaziland in 2009.
The resolutions were to provide support to Zimbabwe's Short Term Economic
Recovery Programme (Sterp).
At that summit, South Africa pledged to help Zimbabwe through budget support
grants, a line of credit and export credit facilities.
Gordhan and Biti recognised Zimbabwe's positive recovery from a period of
hyper-inflation and the successful implementation of Sterp, the statement
However, both ministers noted that the country continued to face significant
economic constraints, including cash flow challenges arising from revenue
collections that were below target, a high debt over-hang, and uncompetitive
Other challenges were infrastructural deficits and limited access to lines
of credit for business.
The ministers acknowledged that Zimbabwe had been undertaking reform
measures to achieve fiscal sustainability and overall economic recovery.
The measures included increase in fuel taxes coupled with the incorporation
of the Zimbabwean Revenue Authority (Zimra) into the diamond value chain, as
well as closing tax loopholes and slippage.
Budget processes had been strengthened to improve support for fiscal
management, planning and control of spending.
Both ministers agreed that Zimbabwe would receive the facilitation of a line
of credit, and further budget support which would be aligned to South
Africa's 2012 budget process.
Development finance institutions would also be encouraged to participate,
including the Development Bank of Southern Africa, in order to invest in
infrastructure projects, particularly energy and roads.
Collaboration would be strengthened between the SA Revenue Service and
Zimra, with particular focus on the harmonisation of customs systems,
procedures and investment in Beitbridge border post infrastructure.