HARARE, September, 22, 2012-Zimbabwean authorities are pressing ahead with a
bid to punish five prosecutors who led a crippling work boycott over poor
remuneration and working conditions last year.
Law officers and prosecutors staged wild cat strikes last year demanding a
review of their salaries and conditions of service. The prosecutors staged
demonstrations outside Attorney General Johannes Tomana’s office and at
magistrates courts dotted around the country. The strike action was
triggered by a government decision to award salary increases to regional
magistrates and chief law officers in Tomana’s office while excluding the
prosecutors who numbered about 200.
In an attempt to punish the leaders of the job action, Tomana, who was left
embarrassed by the incident after failing to reign in his subordinates first
charged five leaders of the prosecutors’ labour representative body, the
Zimbabwe Law Officers Association (ZILOA) with defiance, misconduct and
inciting other workers to stage a work boycott that lasted for two weeks.
He later served the ZILOA leaders Dereck Charamba, Leopold Mudisi, Patrobs
Dube, Mehluli Tshuma and Musekiwa Mbanje with letters withdrawing his
authority approving the prosecutors as his prosecutorial agents.
Last week, the ZILOA leaders were summoned to attend a disciplinary hearing
to be convened early next month in Gweru to answer charges of misconduct.
The disciplinary committee will be chaired by Virginia Mabiza, the Secretary
in the Ministry of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs.
Prosecutors are among the country’s poorly paid public servants who in
recent years have resorted to work boycotts to demand salary hikes and who
wrestle for public transport with some of the suspects and criminals they
would have prosecuted in courts.
by Staff Reporter
DOZENS of MDC supporters on Friday came under attack from a group of men in
army uniform minutes after party leader Welshman Ncube addressed a rally in
Mutoko, Mashonaland East, officials said.
Ncube and senior party leaders had just left the venue of the rally in
Mutoko centre when dispersing supporters came under attack, according to a
spokesman for the party, Kuraone Chihwayi.
He said several supporters were injured in the raid while six party
activists had gone into hiding.
The party says the assailants were disgorged by two army trucks. Mutoko is
headquarters to the 2.1 Infantry Battalion.
Chihwayi said: “I can confirm that violence erupted at the rally venue soon
after the president had left when people who were in army trucks and dressed
in army uniform started beating up our supporters.
“As I speak, our provincial chairperson, Shupikai Mandaza, and five other
party leaders in the province are in hiding. Mandaza is actually a liaison
officer for JOMIC [Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee – a body
tasked with monitoring implementation of a power sharing agreement].”
Chihwayi said despite President Robert Mugabe’s public calls for a cessation
of violence, Friday’s attack was evidence that “we are far from building
“The MDC will hold Mugabe accountable for the missing party supporters. We
are going to press on until Mugabe is gone,” he added.
Ncube, who returned to Harare in the evening, confirmed receiving a report
on the violence.
“I am informed that our party supporters were beaten up soon after my team
had left. During the rally, these army trucks were moving up and down. After
the rally, the trucks dropped off the soldiers who then started assaulting
our supporters leaving one young man seriously injured,” Ncube said by
“We are still in the process of verifying what exactly went on and we have
notified the police about the incident.”
New Zimbabwe.com was unable to verify if the assailants were soldiers.
Zimbabwe National Army spokesman Col Alfios Makotore was not answering his
mobile phone late Friday.
Ncube added: “This incident exposes the sad reality that the country has not
moved on from the 2008 election violence. It clearly demonstrates that some
areas are still no go areas for other political parties.”
Both MDC factions accuse coalition partner Zanu PF of employing soldiers for
partisan political programmes.
The military was fingered as a key driver of the violence that swept
Zimbabwe in 2008 ahead of a presidential run-off election which was
boycotted by MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai. President Mugabe won the
discredited vote by a landslide but regional countries pressured him into
sharing power with his rivals.
Saturday, 22 September 2012 15:20
HARARE - The US embassy in Harare has denied ZBC News chief correspondent
Reuben Barwe a visa to travel to the 67th session of the United Nations (UN)
General Assembly currently underway at the UN Headquarters in New York.
Zimbabwe has reacted angrily to the invocation of the travel ban against
Barwe and accused the United States of abusing its position as the host of
the UN by denying a visa to the ZBC ace.
Barwe was scheduled to travel with President Robert Mugabe who left Harare
Wednesday night for New York.
The US traditionally waivers travel bans to allow leaders on the US embargo
such as Mugabe to travel for the world body meeting.
Barwe was denied a visa because he is on the US sanctions list.
Foreign Affairs minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi has protested to the UN
Committee on Relations with the Host Country saying US authorities were
misusing the country’s status as the seat of the UN headquarters as
“political leverage to advance your political agenda against Zimbabwe.”
He said it was “nothing short of calculated political intimidation and
pressure” which he said “impairs the very foundations of multilateral
Mumbengegwi cited the UN Charter, which says all member states and their
delegations are supposed to have access without hindrances to the
headquarters of any UN organ.
The US embassy in Harare had not responded to Daily News questions seeking
comment on Barwe’s visa denial at the time of going to print.
It is the second time Barwe has been barred from the US, after the 2010
debacle in which he was again denied a visa together with Central
Intelligence Organisation director-general Happyton Bonyongwe.
As the host of UN headquarters, the United States has pledged to issue entry
visas to officials from UN member states, though it can and does deny entry
permits to foreign officials for many reasons, such as failure to meet
deadlines or provide proper documentation, or if espionage is suspected.
The US has imposed “narrowly targeted sanctions” on specific high level
individuals and their families in Zimbabwe, accused of undermining democracy
and crushing the Zimbabwean people’s civil liberties.
Over 200 individuals, including Mugabe, have their assets frozen in
America. - Gift Phiri
By Fungai Kwaramba, Staff Writer
Saturday, 22 September 2012 14:54
HARARE - President Robert Mugabe Mugabe is delaying swearing-in Morgan
Komichi, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s pick for deputy minister of
Transport and Infrastructure Development, a development which could raise
tensions in the coalition government.
Tsvangirai has chosen Komichi, the MDC deputy chairperson, to fill the
vacancy created following the death of Tichaona Mudzingwa in April early
Mudzingwa passed on at the Avenues Clinic in Harare from cancer.
Mudzingwa had served as MDC senator and deputy minister since his
appointment in 2009 by Tsvangirai. He died aged 69.
The Daily News has seen a copy of Tsvangirai’s letter to Mugabe where he
proposes that Komichi fills the post left vacant by Mudzingwa, an
ex-Zimbabwe National Army colonel who served from 1980 to 1994.
Only Mugabe, as the head of state, has powers to swear-in government
The letter, dated June 13, 2012, recommends that the non-constituency
senator be appointed deputy minister. But four months on, Mugabe is still to
swear him in.
Efforts to get a comment from the President’s spokesperson George Charamba
were fruitless as he was said to have accompanied Mugabe to the UN General
Assembly in New York.
But Tsvangirai’s letter to Mugabe says: “The passing away of Hon Dr Tichaona
Mudzingwa, MP deputy minister of Transport and Infrastructure has left a
vacancy in that ministry which must be filled.
I therefore recommend for appointment to the post of deputy minister and
Transport and Infrastructure Development Hon, Morgan Komichi, Senator in the
upper house of the Parliament of Zimbabwe and a member of my political
party. I wait to hear from you on the above which we can discuss at our next
Highly-placed government sources said Mugabe and Tsvangirai discussed the
matter and both agreed that Komichi be appointed as deputy minister.
However, Mugabe, who has previously refused to swear-in the MDC
treasurer-general Roy Bennett as deputy minister of Agriculture, has been
sitting on the letter.
There are mounting fears that Mugabe will again block Komichi’s appointment.
The Prime Minister’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka confirmed to the Daily
News that Tsvangirai had indeed picked Komichi as deputy minister.
“I am aware that a letter was written some time ago by the Prime Minister
recommending the appointment of Senator Komichi. I however, do not know
reasons for the delay,” said Tamborinyoka.
While Mugabe has been dragging his feet on appointing MDC ministers, he has
been swift to appoint ministers from his own Zanu PF party.
In March this year, Mugabe swore-in one of his most vocal supporters Monica
Mutsvangwa to fill the post of deputy minister of Labour and Social Welfare
position following the expulsion of Tracy Mutinhiri from Zanu PF.
Analysts said the delay could escalate tensions within the fragile
power-sharing government set up by Tsvangirai and bitter rival Mugabe in
The power game in Zimbabwe goes beyond the appointment of ministers as the
two Principals are also wrangling over the adoption of the parliamentary
authored draft constitution and other political reforms.
Both Zanu PF and the MDC agree that government was now dysfunctional with
party interests taking precedence over national issues, but the MDC says the
parties must implement all outstanding issues from the power-sharing pact
and implement an election roadmap outlined by regional bloc Sadc.
Saturday, 22 September 2012 15:00
HARARE - International rights group Amnesty International urged the Zimbabwe
police yesterday to act with restraint and ensure members of the public are
not placed at risk as they conduct a crackdown on groups of people suspected
to have been involved in recent outbreaks of violence in Harare.
On Wednesday the police arrested 308 people following clashes between
soldiers and touts controlling minibus stations.
Amnesty International believes that given the randomness of the police
operation the detainees may include innocent members of the public and are
at a high risk of being tortured.
Eyewitnesses reported that members of the public had been beaten and caught
in the police swoop.
Regular police, supported by anti-riot and military police were seen beating
suspected touts in Harare.
“The Zimbabwe police’s attempt to restore law and order has resulted in
further chaos and placed members of the public at immediate risk. They are
roaming the streets carrying out random beatings and whippings which is
absolutely unacceptable,” said Noel Kututwa, southern Africa director for
“The government must act immediately to bring the police under control. The
308 people already detained must be brought before a court immediately.
Innocent members of the public also arrested during the police action must
be released immediately and unconditionally.”
The minibus touts, known as mandimbandimba, are suspected to be linked to
the notorious Chipangano gang and control most of the public bus ranks in
Harare extorting money from minibus drivers.
Chipangano has over the years used violence to wrestle control of many small
businesses and market stalls across the capital.
The gang is affiliated to President Mugabe’s Zanu PF party and as a result
has enjoyed relative impunity despite being accused of violence against
members of the public.
Clashes between the touts and the military began last week when two soldiers
were beaten by minibus touts.
This prompted revenge attacks by a group of about 20 soldiers early this
“These events in Harare are just a tip of the iceberg. Gangs linked to
President Mugabe’s Zanu PF party have been enjoying total impunity for human
rights abuses against their political opponents and members of the public,”
“The culture of impunity that permeates Zimbabwe’s security forces needs to
be urgently addressed.
“In the run up to the constitutional referendum and elections when tensions
are high, it is imperative that Zimbabwe is policed by a body that upholds
the highest standards of impartiality.”
Amnesty International called on the police and army authorities to act
immediately against the deep-rooted culture of impunity by members of the
security forces and to investigate incidences of collusion between them and
There have been consistent reports of human rights violations by security
forces against perceived political opponents and members of the public.
Similarly the police have been accused of handing criminals over to
Chipangano gang members who have subjected them to torture before they were
taken back into custody and charged.
The Chipangano gang appears to have grown out of control with its leaders
using their growing influence to enrich themselves through rent seeking
activities mainly in the township of Mbare.
In recent weeks Zanu PF leaders, including the party’s secretary for
administration, Didymus Mutasa have attempted to distance the party from the
gang and to reign in its activities.
In recent weeks one of the group leaders was questioned by police and
released following an incident where municipal police demolishing illegal
car sales businesses were fired at.
SATURDAY, 22 SEPTEMBER 2012 10:43
A TOP Zimbabwean politician shocked education officials in Bulawayo during a
graduation ceremony when he told them not to speak in English language.
The deputy Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education Lutho Tapela told
officials at the United College of Education teachers’ graduation ceremony
that they were wrong to conduct the occasion in English language, saying
they should use vernacular as everyone at the function understood local
However, apart from being an official language, English language integrates
all Zimbabweans of different tribes and the country is a well-known English
speaking nation. Commentators reacted and said Tapela's statement amounted
to telling Zimbabweans to stop using English language as an official
Tapela was the guest of honour at the ceremony where 238 graduands were
capped after finishing courses in various disciplines.
“The principal has addressed you in English, the director of ceremony, it’s
the same and the representative of the University of Zimbabwe, Pro
Vice-Chancellor, did the same,” he said. “But when I look here, there is
no-one white. Why then do we speak in English? It shows you are still
Tapela said people should address in “our vernacular, if . . . there is no
one from other races who does not understand our languages.”
“This happens when people are used to have things done for them,” he said.
“We should use our local languages if we are addressing our own people.”
However, Tapela later turned to his prepared speech which was written in
English and applauded government for promoting education but said it was
time to rebrand.
“There is need to redefine our educational brand in line with the
ever-changing education dynamics,” he said.
“There is need to redefine who we are, redefining is a vital step for
realigning ourselves to be proactive and generating new ideas.”
Tapela said government had done enough in promoting information and
communication technologies (ICT) and drew laughter from the audience when he
revealed that he got into the government without computer knowledge.
“If this was being said by another person, I was going to be angry,” he
“I didn’t even ask my secretary to teach me because I feared she would tell
people that I was computer illiterate. Whenever she came into my office, I
pretended to be busy on the computer yet I was blank.
“It was only when the ministry of Finance revealed that our ministers are
computer illiterate that I ran to Cape Town where my grandson is doing Grade
Seven. He had to teach me day and night.”
By Richard Chidza, Staff Writer
Saturday, 22 September 2012 15:14
HARARE - Police commissioner-general Augustine Chihuri is seemingly washing
his hands off a case in which a 13-year-old girl who claims she was raped by
Munyaradzi Kereke, former advisor to Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono, is
In his opposing affidavit to a High Court challenge filed by the girl’s
lawyer Charles Warara of Warara and Associates seeking a High Court order to
bring Kereke before the courts ostensibly because police were not interested
in prosecuting him, Chihuri claims a warned and cautioned statement was
recorded from the accused.
“I further submit that it is denied that the suspect was not called to the
police station, as a warned and cautioned statement was recorded from the
suspect (Kereke) and is part of the docket,” the police chief submitted.
Warara claims in his court papers that police referred him to the Attorney
General Johannes Tomana, even before they had recorded a statement from
“It is denied that the letter of the applicant’s legal practitioners had any
effect in the reference of the docket by the officer-in-charge Borrowdale
(Police) to the 2nd respondent (Tomana)’s office,” Chihuri’s papers say. “It
is common practice that all serious cases the police put forward the docket
to the AG for directions before bringing the matter to court so that when
the matter is brought before a court it is ready for trial.”
In a February 21, 2012 letter to Warara, the officer-in-charge of Borrowdale
police wrote: “The matter was investigated and the matter is with the AG’s
This was prompted by your correspondence copied to the AG and the station
hence they had to have sight of the docket.” The letter clearly states that
the docket was forwarded to Tomana after receipt of Warara’s letter.
Tomana, who is also a respondent in the High Court case, said in his
opposing affidavit there was insufficient evidence against Kereke. The girl’s
lawyer claims she has a comprehensive medical evidence that the girl was
“The accused was facing one count of indecent assault as defined in Section
67 of the Criminal Law (Codification and reform) Act (Chapter 9:23) and one
count of rape as defined in Section 65 of the same code. A 9-page warned and
cautioned statement recorded from the accused person on the 10th of November
2010 was also part of the docket,” Tomana’s papers say.
“Upon perusal of the docket and assessing the evidence it was the 2nd
respondent’s (AG) considered view that prosecution be declined for want of
consistent, coherent and incriminating evidence. An entry to that effect was
entered on the police running diary on the 22nd of September 2011.”
Warara is fighting to have Kereke brought before the court to stand trial on
allegations of rape.
An affidavit by the “raped” girl’s maternal grandfather claims senior police
officials admitted that they are failing to arrest Kereke because he is
“powerful and well connected.”
The girl, through her lawyer, petitioned police chief Chihuri protesting
that two years after the rape, she had hoped for justice even while holding
out the possibility that committing Kereke for trial was the only way to
restore her honour.
By Fungai Kwaramba, Staff Writer
Saturday, 22 September 2012 15:04
HARARE - A year after Nyanga MDC activists including national spokesperson
Douglas Mwonzora were held incommunicado in police custody and tortured, a
Supreme Court review into whether their rights were violated during the
detention opened at the Supreme Court on Thursday.
Mwonzora, who is MP for Nyanga North, was present in the court in a case in
which he and 32 other activists want the Supreme Court to declare their
ill-treatment in custody including being denied access to food and lawyers a
flagrant violation of their constitutional rights.
The MDC activists’ claim they were viciously assaulted by police before the
tables turned and they were charged with assault.
Headman Rwisai Nyakauru later died reportedly from wounds sustained during
Nyakauru, who was 82, was arrested on February 14 last year at the Taziwa
He was viciously assaulted in one of the rooms before he was taken into
Narrating his custody ordeal along with the late headman, Mwonzora said they
were shackled and denied medication by authorities in violation of their
They also spent three weeks behind bars after the State kept invoking
Section 121 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act (CPEA).
Nyanga magistrate Ignatio Mhene granted an application filed by the defence
lawyers seeking to refer the matter to the Supreme Court for a determination
on possible violation of their rights during their arrest and period of
On Thursday, the much awaited case got off to a stuttering start as the
Supreme Court, sitting as a Constitutional Court, determined that lawyers
representing the 33 MDC activists had not furnished the court with adequate
details to warrant the court to proceed.
Deputy Chief Justice Luke Malaba granted the defence’s application to
postpone the trial to a later date in order to assemble the necessary
Malaba said the matter had been postponed to allow the counsel to provide
affidavits that detail the alleged torture “before proceeding with the main
Malaba had earlier on rapped the defence counsel for doing a “shoddy” job in
failing to adequately prepare necessary documents that would enable the
court to make a reasonable judgement.
“As we seat as a court we don’t know what happened. We don’t know about the
violence. The charges are not here and we don’t even know what happened,”
Malaba said judges are not omniscient and therefore require lawyers to
provide details to enable them to make an informed decision.
It has taken more than a year for the villagers to have their day in court.
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) lawyer Jeremiah Bamu, who is
representing the 33, wants the Supreme Court’s full bench to determine
whether or not the assaults, torture and denial of medical attention to
their clients constitute inhuman and degrading treatment in violation of
Section 15 (1) of the Constitution.
Bamu wants the Supreme Court to determine whether or not the raising of
Section 121 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act (CPEA) (Chapter 9:07)
against their clients denied them their protection by the law and infringed
on their right to liberty in a manner that is not reasonably justified in a
Further, he wants the court to determine whether or not in raising Section
121 (3) of the CPEA, the State acted in bad faith and thereby contravening
Section 18 (1) (a) of the Constitution.
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) joins Zimbabweans and the rest of
the world in commemorating the International Day of Peace on 21 September
This significant day on the human rights calendar affords us an opportunity
to reflect and recommit to the sincere undertaking by the United Nations and
the global peoples to promote and safeguard peace throughout the world.
The International Day of Peace, whose theme is “Sustainable Peace for a
Sustainable Future” is devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both
within and among all nations and peoples.
The world has witnessed decades of numerous human rights challenges
resulting from a diverse range of factors including colonisation, racism,
oppression, war, poverty, disease, corruption and autocratic governance. It
is against this background that instruments that enforce values such as
peace, freedom, justice, equality, development and human dignity around the
world need to be implemented and respected.
As a nascent democracy, Zimbabwe initially made some strides towards
upholding peace and fostering a culture of respect for human rights,
particularly in relation to social rights such as education and health.
However it is tragic and regrettable that State and non-State actors
continue to work indefatigably to deny their citizens peace and fundamental
rights which were at the core of the struggle for liberation.
Despite recently marking the 4th anniversary of the signing of the
Inter-party Political Agreement (IPA) by the three political parties to the
Inclusive Government (IG), Zimbabwe still carries the dictatorial hallmarks
of erosion of personal liberties, repression, torture, surveillance, an
oppressive legal framework and abuse of the criminal justice system to
harass, intimidate and persecute Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) and ordinary
citizens caught in the crossfire.
Whilst attempts are being made to move the country forward in terms of
legislative and institutional reform necessary to free the operating
environment agreed under the IPA, State security agents and other non-State
actors aligned to repressive elements of the old order continue to
intentionally disrupt community-led peace building initiatives.
Arbitrary arrests, baseless prosecutions and persecution, abuse of insult
laws continue to occur. At an alarming rate, the country is witnessing
impunity by State actors, especially the police, who engage in the
antiquated practice of outsourcing torture through handing over suspects
arrested on political reasons to Chipangano, a shadowy ZANU PF terror group.
Unwarranted harassment of lawyers, who would be carrying out their
professional duties still continues while women HRDs, particularly members
of the Women of Zimbabwe Arise, continue to be targets of arrests and
persecution by the police for simply electing to exercise their democratic
right to freedom of assembly and expression.
In recent months, the police have abused their positions of authority and
engaged in unlawful activities of harassing and arresting women in social
clubs and women walking in the streets after hours. Such despicable and
pre-historic approaches to law enforcement done under the guise of law
enforcement are disgraceful and unbecoming and should not be condoned by any
well-meaning law enforcement agency.
Of concern to ZLHR too, are the sustained attacks, harassment and
persecution of members of the Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe based on sexual
orientation that, in itself, is a monumental tragedy and also a violation of
international human rights law.
The process of national healing remains elusive and the Organ on National
Healing and Reconciliation has been neither victim-centred, nor
victim-owned. It has failed to have any impact or effect and will not be
able to deliver as long as there are two centres of power - one that wishes
to bury the past’s excesses, and another that wishes to bring them into the
open and address them in a meaningful manner.
Although political party leaders have on several occasions denounced
violence, it is sad to note that these have only remained hollow and mere
All these transgressions are the hallmarks of the coalition government’s
tragic failure to fulfill the commitments laden in the letter and spirit of
the IPA, an agreement which was steeped in a shared commitment to re-orient
our attitudes towards respect for the Constitution, national laws, the rule
of law as well as to build a society free of violence, fear, intimidation
ZLHR reminds the coalition government and both State and non-State actors
that violence, harassment and persecution rob people of the opportunity to
develop, safeguard the environment, create jobs, fight poverty and advance
social equity and ultimately peace and development.
For ZLHR, the trickery of endless political dialogue by some uncommitted
hardhearted political players to stall the urgent imperative for a peaceful
and acceptable election in which the free will of the people is expressed
and respected can no longer be tolerated.
Instead, the IPA must now immediately be used as a tool to facilitate an
environment and institutions that will ensure a genuine, peaceful free and
fair election in line with the SADC Principles and Guidelines for Democratic
Elections and the AU Declaration on Principles Governing Democratic
Elections and allow for the credible return to electoral legitimacy which
places effective popular participation at the centre of our choice of
leaders. All political parties involved in the IPA must heed this, and take
urgent action to move towards such necessary conditions if they are truly
people centred and committed to a peaceful Zimbabwe.
Dear Family and Friends,
In the eerie glow thrown by a thin orange crescent of the setting
moon, sausage flies and flying ants filled the evening sky this week.
The orange moon sinking into a dark, dusty horizon along with the
sudden reappearance of gossamer-winged insects is a sure sign that
summer has arrived. Clouds are starting to build up, Jacarandas are
turning purple and wherever there’s a mulberry tree the ground is
carpeted in fallen fruits and purple bird droppings. First thing in
the morning you can track the flight path of the fruit bats, the
purple splats spread far and wide from the bountiful fruit trees.
Irresistibly you are drawn to the Mulberry tree and it is impossible
to resist feasting straight from the tree, paying the price later with
purple fingers and feet. Purple is the colour of early summer and this
year it has brought both bad news and good news for Zimbabwe.
The bad news came in the form of a half page newspaper report
headlined ‘A.G. wants tough action against white farmers.’ Despite
the fact that only an estimated three hundred commercial farmers are
still on their properties and that the government has seized 95% of
the country’s farms without compensation in the last twelve years,
the Attorney General isn’t happy. A.G. Tomana says the remaining
white Zimbabwean farmers are clogging courts around the country with
what he calls ‘frivolous appeals.’ Tomana says that the penalty
for white farmers refusing to vacate land the government has gazetted
for compulsory acquisition is two years imprisonment. ‘Prosecution
should have been the easiest way to deal with the issue,’ Tomana
said. ‘It is strange that people continue to violate and break the
law in open day and nothing is done,’ the Attorney General said,
bemoaning the reluctance of officials to enforce the law. While
talking about an absence of law enforcement , it was sad that the
Attorney General said nothing about the thousands of perpetrators of
crimes in the last twelve years who still walk freely amongst us.
Their crimes, ranging from arson and rape to torture and murder were
committed under the guise of ‘political violence’ and their
victims have waited for over a decade but still justice hasn’t been
Later in the week, good news came from the South African Supreme Court
of Appeal. Nearly four years after the SADC Tribunal ruled that
Zimbabwe’s land reform processes were racist and that farmers ought
to have been compensated for their farms, the South African Supreme
Court of Appeal upheld that ruling. A press release from the SADC
Tribunal Watch said: ‘Despite the Zimbabwe government’s claims to
the contrary, the Supreme Court of Appeal confirmed in its judgment
that, according to the SADC Treaty, the decisions of the Tribunal were
final and binding.’ The Court dismissed the appeal made by the
Zimbabwe government against the attachment of Zimbabwe
government-owned property in Cape Town whose sale will be used to pay
Zanu PF’s Presidential Affairs Minister Didymus Mutasa said:
“After this judgment, which is legal, we should let it go and we
speak to the ANC and take a political
decision. I hope that is possible.”
A legal ruling overturned by politics is something we’ve become
familiar with in Zimbabwe, but in South Africa?
We are watching, holding our breath; do we dare to hope?
Until next time, thanks for reading, love cathy 22, September 2012.
Copyright � Cathy Buckle. www.cathybuckle.com
September 22, 2012, 1:55 am
Robert Mugabe officially opened the Military Training Academy last week. The
$98 million it cost to build the Academy was provided by the Chinese as a
loan repayable over the next 13 years from the diamonds which the Chinese
are currently mining in Zimbabwe. The Academy will be a ‘think tank’ said
Mugabe and by 2015 it will be a fully-fledged university. Any parent
thinking of encouraging their offspring to register with this ‘seat of
learning’ would do well to study the speech Mugabe made at the opening. A
degree or diploma obtained from such an institution would certainly be
tainted with anti-western, pro-Zanu PF propaganda – if Mugabe’s opening
speech is anything to go by. He said that Zimbabwe was inspired to open such
an Academy by the “west’s hate filled tactics” which had been evident since
the year 2000. It was these tactics, he said, which resulted in Zimbabwe
seeing the need to “beef up its national defences”. Without actually giving
any factual evidence of foreign invasion, Mugabe claimed that Zimbabwe had
been under attack from western forces aiming to destabilise the country. By
Mugabe’s standards, this was a short speech but it deserves to be quoted as
an example of his conviction that the whole western world is against him.
“At the height of the economic crisis in 2009-9 Zimbabweans temporarily
adopted an alien culture of drawing knives against each other as unusual
fights between brothers, sisters, uncles nieces, husbands and wives became a
common phenomenon. This explosion of negative forces and the generous
sponsorship they received sought to effect regime change through civil
disobedience. Indeed, the neo-colonial adventurism went to the extent of
seeking a military invasion of Zimbabwe.” Those who know Zimbabwe will
recognise that Mugabe was referring to the emerging political differences
between Zanu PF and the MDC. Realising that for the first time Zanu PF
hegemony was threatened, the war veterans and youth militia took up weapons
of one sort and another to defend Zanu PF and Mugabe. It was only the
signing of the MOU and the formation of a Government of National Unity that
brought an apparent end to inter-party strife.
It was only an ‘apparent end’ because it is very clear that
inter-party violence has not ceased and if Robert Mugabe were being truthful
he would have to concede that it is his own party stalwarts who are behind
the violence. The news this week of the emergence of yet another terror
group, Alshabab, operating this time in Kwekwe, is an indicator that
violence is being used to enforce the so-called ‘black empowerment’ policy.
Alshabab is just one of the groups - and they are all Zanu PF supporters. In
addition to Alshabab in Kwekwe, Harare has Chipangano, in Chinhoyi it is the
Top Six, Jochomondo in Hurungwe and Jambanja in UMP. These gangs combine
their criminal activities with their political allegiance to Zanu PF and
Robert Mugabe. Only very rarely do the police take action against them. Four
members of Alshabab were arrested this week but later released without
charge. Alshabab is named after the gang which operates in Somalia, and its
presence in Zimbabwe is a terrifying sign of the way the country is going
with different areas controlled by criminal gangs and the police unwilling
or unable to control them. “China will help strengthen Zimbabwe’s defences
against western invasion” Mugabe claims but he says nothing about the
violent invasion by his own supporters of innocent citizens’ property by
these terror gangs.
Even some Zanu supporters are openly admitting that CIO agents and Zanu
PF were responsible for the murder of a policeman; a murder for which 29 MDC
supporters have served 16 months in gaol. The revelation this week that
Zimbabwe spends more on defence than it does on education is supported by
the continuing purchase of arms by the Zimbabwean government. Who is the
country, assisted by the Chinese-built ‘think tank’, defending itself
against this time other than its own citizens?
Yours in the (continuing) struggle, Pauline Henson