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Mugabe tells Zuma that constitutional changes are on track

By Associated Press, Published: September 26 | Updated: Thursday, September
27, 1:56 AM

HARARE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has assured regional
leaders that adoption of a new constitution is on track, ahead of proposed
elections to end the nation’s fragile coalition government, his loyalist
state media reported Wednesday.

Mugabe met with South African President Jacob Zuma, the chief regional
mediator on Zimbabwe, on the sidelines of the United Nations general
assembly in New York late Tuesday, the Herald newspaper reported.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, the former opposition leader, has declared
that the talks for constitutional reforms have become deadlocked.

The 15-nation regional bloc, the Southern African Development Community, set
far-reaching democratic and constitutional reforms as a condition for free
elections after violent and disputed polls in 2008.

Mugabe told Zuma that a stakeholders’ conference on the constitution is set
to go ahead in Harare next month and regional leaders “will not be let
down,” the Herald said.

It said Mugabe insisted two documents will be put to the conference — the
150-page draft constitution and a national statistical report on opinions on
proposed changes gathered at public meetings across the country by an
all-party panel of lawmakers in charge of rewriting the existing

Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party says the new draft omits some of the views of its
supporters who opposed the dilution of powers that the party and Mugabe have
held since independence in 1980.

Tsvangirai’s party officials charge the statistical report is not a true
reflection of recorded opinions that were skewed by several “quantative not
qualitative” factors, including groups of the same Mugabe supporters being
bussed to many of the public meetings.

The lawmakers’ panel on Wednesday announced it has rescheduled the
constitutional conference from Oct.4 to Oct.13, citing cash shortages and
delays in collecting funding for the gathering of 2,500 delegates from main
interested groups.

It said it was also scaling down the number accredited to participate.

The Crisis Coalition, Zimbabwe’s main alliance of independent civic groups,
has threatened to boycott the conference if the widest national interests
are not catered for.

A similar constitutional conference in 2009 was abandoned after it was
disrupted by militants of Mugabe’s party who sang revolutionary songs and
shouted down successive speakers contributing to the debate.

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Mugabe, Zuma discuss 'mini general election'

25/09/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe on Tuesday met South African President Jacob Zuma
privately on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New
York and warned him a court ruling could force him to call a “mini-general

Mugabe has until September 30 to issue a proclamation for parliamentary
by-elections to be held in three Matabeleland constituencies in line with a
Supreme Court ruling.

But the government has been pleading poverty, with ministers pointing out
that the court ruling also means by-elections must be held to fill nearly 30
other vacant parliamentary seats and over 160 local authority vacancies.

Zuma, the region’s point man on Zimbabwe, has been nursing the coalition
government towards new elections that are due by next June.

Zuma is concerned about the possibility of nationwide elections in Zimbabwe
this year before Mugabe and coalition partners Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai and Industry Minister Welshman Ncube agree on a raft of media,
security and electoral reforms to avoid a repeat of the violence-hit 2008
presidential election run-off.

Mugabe gave Zuma advance warning of his impending decision, according to the
state-run Herald newspaper.
A source who attended the meeting told the newspaper: “The President
explained the apparent legal com­plication arising from the process of
constitution-making on the one hand versus the Supreme Court ruling... to
get Zuma to appreciate the fact that the electoral vacan­cies in our system
are of such magnitude as to almost require a mini-general election. So there
are serious cost implications and also time implications.”

In Harare, Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa said on Tuesday that an
announcement on the by-elections – which could cost as much as $38 million,
money the government does not have – will likely be made on Wednesday.

The Supreme Court had originally given Mugabe up to August 30 to proclaim an
election date for the vacant Nkayi South, Bulilima East and Lupane East
constituencies after three former MDC MPs who were expelled by their party
in 2009 took the government to court for neglecting to order by-elections in
line with the law.

Mugabe asked the court for more time to comply, securing a one-month

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IMF Unhappy with Zimbabwe Policies

Sebastian Mhofu
September 26, 2012

HARARE — The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Zimbabwe's large debt
remains a serious impediment to the country's financial future. Ruling out
retiring Zimbabwe's $10 billion debt, which is what the country's finance
minister had hoped for, the IMF report released late Tuesday said Zimbabwe's
economy would slow down this year after two years of high growth. Economic
analysts said unless the country’s agriculture gets back on track, Zimbabwe’s
economy will not stabilize.

The IMF report said Zimbabwe’s high growth rate would slow down to five
percent this year because of poor harvests and concerns about upcoming
elections that will end the country’s three-year-old fragile coalition

The IMF predicted annual growth slowing to about four percent in the years
immediately ahead.

Zimbabwe's economy had grown at a 9.6 percent rate in 2010 and a 9.4 percent
rate in 2011.

The IMF report

John Robertson from Robertson Economic Information Services sums up the IMF
report which said the country's huge debt remains a serious problem.

“The IMF is trying to promote us or prompt us to makes changes," said
Robertson. "They do suggest that they want to see changes before they become
more generous with their assistance. And they will not be supporting much in
the way of assistance to the country until they see change.”

Ahead of the IMF report, Zimbabwe Finance Minister Tendai Biti was hopeful
the institution would be lenient on the African country.

“We believe that our macro-economic fundamentals are sound, and that there
is no reason at all why a positive decision would not be made in our favor,"
said Biti. "The importance of that IMF decision is that it will enable us to
deal with the key issues of arrears that are the hindrance, [as] are
sanctions, against Zimbabwe accessing huge levels of capital finance at the
World Bank and the African Development [Bank].”

The IMF said Zimbabwe’s debt now stands at about $10.7 billion.

Recently, Zimbabwe's government refused to adopt the Highly Indebted Poor
Countries (HIPC) status, which would have resulted in the country mortgaging
its mineral resources against its huge debt.

Zimbabwe’s agricultural-based economy took a nosedive in early 2000 when the
country embarked on a chaotic and sometimes violent land reform exercise
targeting white commercial farmers, seizing their farms, and replacing many
of them with peasant farmers. After a decade of decline, the economy has
improved somewhat since the creation of a unity government in 2009. But Biti
has said the recovery will remain weak and precarious until international
institutions such as the IMF retire Zimbabwe’s debt.

The IMF and Zimbabwe's debts

Economist Robertson said the finance minister was wrong to expect IMF to be
merciful to Zimbabwe.

"I think the clemency issue was not in any sense a write-off or a
forgiveness of debt. The IMF does not do that," said Robertson. "They can
give terms to countries that have clearly adopted policies that show that
the repayments will become possible because of the new policies. But
Zimbabwe has not presented any policies changes that seem to suggest to the
IMF that would lead us to a better position from which to repay our debts."

The IMF said addressing Zimbabwe’s debt required strong macroeconomic
policies and urged Harare to stop non-concessional borrowing and selective
debt servicing since that complicates reaching an agreement with creditors.
Earlier this month the IMF raised concerns over the failure by Sudan,
Somalia and Zimbabwe to honor their commitments to pay their financial

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Zimbabwe's Economic Growth To Weaken Significantly This Year: IMF

9/26/2012 7:24 AM ET
(RTTNews) - Zimbabwe's economic growth is set to slow sharply this year,
following two years of high growth, as adverse weather and tight liquidity
conditions continue to drag economic activity, a report from the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) revealed Wednesday.

In its annual review report on Zimbabwe, the IMF said that economic growth
is expected to slow sharply to 5 percent this year from 9.5 percent in 2011,
reflecting the impact of adverse weather conditions on agriculture, erratic
electricity supply, and tight liquidity conditions.

The medium-term outlook, under an unchanged policy scenario, is for growth
to moderate to average some 4 percent, although constraints on energy supply
and weak competitiveness may pose a challenge to achieving it. Foreign
investment is likely to be hampered by a poor business climate,
uncertainties over the implementation of the indigenization policy and
political instability, the report said.

The current account deficit is expected to moderate this year helped by a
marked growth in exports, and is seen narrowing to 20.5 percent of GDP after
jumping to 36 percent last year on a surge in trade shortfall.

The IMF, meanwhile, cautioned that the uncertain political situation ahead
of elections, and a difficult global environment will pose further risks to
the country's economic outlook.

In order to achieve sustained and inclusive growth, the government should be
fully committed to implementing policies focused on strengthening fiscal
management, reducing financial sector vulnerabilities, and improving the
business climate, the report said.

by RTT Staff Writer

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EU team jets in

Wednesday, 26 September 2012 11:21
HARARE - A top-level European Union (EU) delegation jetted into Zimbabwe
yesterday for crucial talks to restore financial aid and cooperation with
the southern African state.

The visit by EU delegation is the second high-level visit by an EU team in
10 years since the 27-nation bloc began targeted sanctions in 2002 against
members of President Robert Mugabe’s regime for human rights violations.

The visit is part of a political dialogue initiated in 2009 under power
sharing Global Political Agreement provisions to restore ties with Western
countries, and opened with a high-level visit to Zimbabwe in 2009 by EU aid
and development commissioner Karel De Gucht and members of the Swedish EU

Gucht and his delegation met with all Principals in the inclusive

It was not immediately clear yesterday if the technical team from the EU
headquarters in Brussels that jetted in yesterday will hold talks with
Mugabe or Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

But the mission follows a visit to Brussels in May by a delegation of
Zimbabwean ministers Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, Elton Mangoma and
Patrick Chinamasa who met EU foreign chief Catherine Ashton for talks to
unlock billions of dollars in aid and foreign investment, and lift

The EU delegation in Harare said the top-level team was in Zimbabwe to
support the preparation of the EU cooperation programme with the Zimbabwe
government for the next financing period running from 2014-2020, under the
11th European Development Fund.

“The EU Council decision in July to suspend the measures restricting
development cooperation was a significant event in the process towards
normalised relations between the EU and Zimbabwe,” ambassador Aldo Dell’Ariccia,
the head of the EU delegation to Zimbabwe, said. “It represents a major
shift in approach, enabling the EU to develop assistance programmes in
direct cooperation with the government."

Following the EU’s decision to suspend sanctions in July, the EU delegation
has been working with the Zimbabwe government to develop a Country Strategy
Paper for the next cycle of EU development aid for Zimbabwe.

Since the establishment of the coalition government in February 2009, the EU
and its member states have provided $1 billion in humanitarian assistance
with emphasis on supporting the provision of social services and food
security, reinforcing democratic institutions, and fostering economic

Zimbabwe says it needs $10 billion to reconstruct an economy devastated by a
decade of economic meltdown, but Western nations have withheld major funding
holding out for more political and economic reforms from the coalition

The EU remains one of the major donors to Zimbabwe, pumping over a billion
dollars in humanitarian aid to the country since 2002, despite the targeted
sanctions. -
Gift Phiri

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Copac delays 2nd All Stakeholders Conference

By Tererai Karimakwenda
26 September 2012

The dates for the Second All Stakeholders Conference have once again been
moved back, with the select committee blaming a lack of resources for the

It had been announced earlier this week that the Conference would be held
from October 4th to the 6th. But this has now been delayed until sometime
before the end of October.

There seems to be some confusion as to the exact dates of this important
event. The state controlled ZBC news site reported that the date had been
moved to the 13th October, while a statement from the Crisis Coalition
claims it will be “anytime between 15th and 21st October”.

It has still not been decided how many days the Conference will run and
exactly where it will be held. COPAC is reportedly exploring the possibility
of holding it in Bulawayo.

The Conference will require an additional US$1.2 million. More than US$40
million has been spent on the constitutional reform exercise so far. It has
been more than three years since the project was launched and Zimbabwe still
doesn’t have a new charter.

State media reports quoted the COPAC co-chairpersons, Douglas Mwonzora and
Paul Mangwana, as saying the United Nations Development Programme will meet
on the 4th October to approve the budget for the Conference. They also said
government has yet to release $800,000 that is outstanding.

COPAC has also made it clear that the purpose of the Conference is to allow
delegates to make comments and recommendations on the COPAC draft. Their
input will be recorded and considered by the select committee, who will then
make appropriate adjustments to the draft.

But Madock Chivasa, spokesperson for the National Constitutional Assembly
(NCA), dismissed the whole process as a pointless exercise that now needs to
be concluded. He said the outcome will not represent the views of the people
or civic society organizations.

“The same political parties that drafted the COPAC draft will also decide
what to include after the 2nd All Stakeholders Conference. They should just
complete their draft of the constitution, bring it to a referendum and let
Zimbabweans vote on it,” Chivasa told SW Radio Africa.

He added that ZANU PF might still bring their own version of the charter to
the Conference and have their delegates make contributions based on the
that they want.

As for the number of delegates, it has been agreed that a total of 1,100
will participate, a significant reduction from the 2,500 that COPAC was
considering earlier this year. The three political parties will nominate a
total of 246, civic groups will nominate 574 and 280 will be members of

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Constitution indaba will be a circus - ZCTU

Harare, September 26 - The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) says the
second All-Stakeholders conference on the proposed new constitution, now
slated for the third week of October, will be another circus.
The Parliamentary Constitution Select Committee (COPAC) had initially slated
the second all-stakeholders indaba for 4-6 October but on Tuesday moved it
to anytime between 15 and 21 October, citing logistical problems.
It is understood the Ministry of Finance is battling to raise US$1, 2
million needed to host the conference expected to be attended by about 2000
delegates drawn from ZANU-PF, the two formations of the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) and the civil society.
But Japhet Moyo, the secretary general of the ZCTU, said on Wednesday the
labour body was wary over the manner in which the second ‘all’ stakeholders
conference on the draft Constitution was being organized.
Moyo said the ZCTU was of a strong conviction that the authorities should
skip the so-called second stakeholders’ conference and subject the COPAC
draft document to a referendum and let the people decide whether or not it
is what they want.
“There is nothing ‘all’ or ‘inclusive’ about the conference if media reports
are anything to go by especially with the planned cosmetic inclusion of
civic society groups. Civic society organizations are independent entities
that should attend the conference representing their own constituencies and
not as appendages of political parties.
In our view, if this conference succeeds, it should not allow the revisiting
or amendment of the draft document,” he said.
The ZCTU boss said the labour body has always taken issue with Article 6.1
of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) that excludes other political
players besides the three signatories to the GPA from the constitutional
making process. He charged that other players such as civic groups are
reduced to mere spectators and ‘assistants’.
Moyo noted that the GPA did not have terms of reference for the stakeholders’
conference so no one was really clear what the conference is all about.
“The stakeholders’ conference should not be allowed to give itself
powers that have not been defined by the GPA. COPAC politically
negotiated people’s views to come up with the draft hence only the
‘people’ can decide in a referendum whether they accept the draft
document or not. It is also sad that plundering and greed has also
taken centre stage as the prior processes were more of a money-making
venture than serious business. In any case, there are no guarantees
that there will be no violence as happened with the first all
stakeholders’ conference. Innocent people have been assaulted before
despite police presence even in the Parliament of Zimbabwe people have
been violently attacked,” Moyo said, adding that the draft document
should be subjected to a referendum because political parties were
represented during negotiations for the draft document.
“We do not want a situation where the political parties also dominate
this process in the disguise of a second stakeholders’ conference. Or
is it just another gathering to pamper political party faithfuls and
blow away thousands of dollars?”

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Government business on hold

By Tererai Karimakwenda
26 September 2012

Government business continues to be on hold, because parliament has not been
reopened by Robert Mugabe. It is now feared there may not be enough time
before the end of the year for parliament to deal with several crucial
issues that are pending.

This includes next year’s budget, debate on the new draft constitution and
ratification of the Human Rights Commission and Electoral Amendment Bills.
Some Bills have already been passed by parliament and now wait for Robert
Mugabe’s signature to become law.

It is not clear why the ZANU PF leader has delayed opening this year’s last
session of parliament. But it is widely believed he may be considering
calling an early general election, without a new constitution.

Mugabe has also been dragging his feet in filling the MDC-T post of Deputy
Minister of Transport, Communications and Infrastructural Development, which
has been vacant since Senator Tichaona Mudzingwa died in April this year.

The GPA stipulates that the vacancy be filled by an MDC-T nominee who will
then be formally appointed and sworn in by the President. Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai nominated MDC-T Vice-Chairperson, Senator Morgen Komichi,
and forwarded this to Mugabe back in June. But Komichi is still waiting to
be sworn in.

In addition, the National Security Council, which is supposed to meet at
least once a month, has not held any meetings since May. It is the
responsibility of the President, in consultation with the Prime Minister, to
call the National Security Council meetings.

It was hoped the coalition government would bring a sense of progress and
accountability to Zimbabwean politics, but the chaos and mismanagement that
characterize the ZANU PF administration continues.

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Chinese Coal Mining Threatens Zimbabwe's Zambezi Water Project

26 Sep 2012 - 00:00 by OOSKAnews Correspondent

ZIMBABWE, BULAWAYO — The environmental practices of Chinese coal companies
are threatening the future of Zimbabwe’s National Zambezi Water Project,
according to Zimbabwean officials.

The government has granted a number of Chinese companies mining rights along
the Gwayi and Shangani rivers, the site of the Gwayi-Shangani Dam, which
will serve as the reservoir for water drawn from the Zambezi River under the
water pipeline mega project.

Both the Gwayi-Shangani Dam and the Zambezi pipeline are being funded
through a Chinese loan.

But officials from the Gwayi Valley Conservancy now say the Chinese mining
firms are flouting environmental laws and polluting the rivers that feed the
Gwayi-Shangani Dam.

They are engaging in open pit mining, which is blamed for causing siltation
while coal residue is making its way into the main waterways.

“Some of these Chinese companies have been fined more than three times by
the Environmental Management Agency for operating without an environmental
impact assessment certificate, but they continue to secretly do their
pegging on the farms and some have established structures that they are not
allowed to [build] by law,” Mark Russell, chairman of the Gwayi Valley
Intensive Conservation Area, told reporters last week.

Langton Masunda, another official from the Gwayi Valley Intensive
Conservation Area, said the level of pollution from coal mining could be a
serious blow to efforts to bring water to the region.

“Allowing the Chinese companies to extract coal in the Gwayi area would
scuttle Bulawayo’s plans to draw water from Zambezi River. We are not
refusing development in Matabeleland North, but we should also think of our
children and grandchildren," said Masunda, who sits on the conservancy’s
executive committee.

“Water has far-reaching benefits than the mining activities that are likely
to last for about 20 years, but the environment won’t be renewable after
coal mining. Those who make decisions should make economic decisions and
think of the future generations,” Masunda said.

The operations of Chinese companies, which have won multi-million-dollar
contracts in virtually every sector of the Zimbabwean economy, are
increasingly coming under scrutiny, with some critics noting labor
violations at some of the dam construction sites across the country.

The Water Ministry has not weighed in on the pollution concerns.

Critics also say the Chinese are protected by President Robert Mugabe under
his ambitious “Look East policy,” which over the past decade has courted
Chinese investment as part of the country’s economic revival efforts.

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State witnesses fail to identify informants

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Two police officers who were called today to testify as State witnesses in
the High Court murder trial in which 29 MDC members are being falsely
charged with murder, failed to name their informants involved in the arrest
of the accused persons.

Timothy Guta, who arrested Solomon Madzore, the MDC Youth Assembly
chairperson on 4 October 2011, told the court that after some informants had
informed the police that Madzore was part of the group that was in Glen View
when Inspector Petros Mutedza died.

Guta said he did not know if Madzore was in Glen View on the date the
offence was committed but was only working on assumptions made by the
informants. Asked to name the informants, Guta said he could not do so as
they were only known by the investigating officer, Detective Inspector
Clever Ntini. Ntini is yet to testify in court.

Guta's response led to a query by the defence lawyer, Alec Muchadehama as to
why the informants were “nameless and faceless” yet they were heavily
relying on their information.

The police however failed to make a follow up on Madzore’s alibi, which
states that on the day in question he had visited the MDC Harare Youth
Assembly chairperson, Shakespeare Mukoyi who was unwell after he was
assaulted by the police.

Later in the day on 29 May 2011, Madzore accompanied his wife to the doctor
as she was also not feeling well.

Another witness called in after Guta, Obert Maida who was in May Last year
heading the CID Homicide Section at Harare Central failed to recall the
names of the police officers who accompanied him to make arrests or to name
the people who were arrested during the raids.

Maida is now a Detective Chief Inspector with CID Homicide based at the
Police Headquarters.

The situation in today’s trial was made worse by Edmore Nyazamba, the State
prosecutor who failed to submit statements made by the State witnesses
before the trial to the defence lawyers. Nyazamba said the non-submission of
the statements to the defence was an oversight and promised to submit the
statements when the trial resumed after lunch.

However, the trial failed to kick off in the afternoon after Nyazamba said
he could not locate the statements.

The MDC has continued to maintain that the 29 accused persons are innocent
and their lengthy incarceration is persecution and not prosecution. They
have been in remand prison for 16 months.

On Tuesday, the defence registered a formal protest with the trial judge,
Justice Chinembiri Bhunu against Nyazamba for engaging in delaying tactics.
Justice Bhunu said he was wondering why Nyazamba was always late for court.

MDC @ 13 - The last mile: Towards Real Transformation!!!

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Air Zimbabwe revival stifled by debt

25/09/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

A GOVERNMENT bid to revive the comatose Air Zimbabwe is being stifled by the
airline’s poor international image as well as its massive debts, a cabinet
minister admitted Wednesday.

The airline is currently offering a truncated domestic service after
grounding regional and international flights last December when restive
creditors in London and Johannesburg seized some of its aircraft.

Air Zimbabwe is said to owe creditors about US$150 million dollars while
unpaid employees are also pressing for the company to be placed under
judicial management in the courts.

Early this month Transport and communications minister Nicholas Goche said
officials were working feverishly to tie-up a deal with new investors that
would enable the airline to resume regional and international flights in
time for the lucrative Christmas travelling season.

But Goche conceded Wednesday that potential investors had been put-off by
the sorry state of affairs at the airline.
“You cannot expect a strategic partner now because of the sorry state the
airline is in. Many have expressed willingness, but at the end of the day
they are put off by the situation they see,” Goche told state media.

The government has since agreed to take over the airline’s debt but wants
the company to trim its bloated workforce. Efforts however, continue to
secure a strategic partner for the airline, Goche added.

“That (finding a partner) is what we are doing, but it is difficult mainly
because of the bad balance sheet and bad image. We are busy trying to
correct the problems. We have to ensure that our national airline is
debt-free and attracts partners,” he said.

“I am happy the Minister of Finance (Tendai Biti) is now co-operating with
us and recently he released some money to Air Zim. That is the money that
was used to settle some operational debts and settle part of the workers’

Ministers believe Air Zimbabwe’s brand and routes are its biggest selling
point. With new investors and increased reliability, they hope the airline
will repair its battered public image quickly.

Air Zimbabwe is believed to have since acquired two Airbus aircraft to be
used on domestic and regional routes, but pending the finalisation of a
partnership with a foreign airline, its overseas routes will continue to be
serviced by its two Boeing 767s.

The airline’s problems have however, coincided with the return of a number
of international carriers which had quit Zimbabwe at the height of the
country’s economic and political problems in the last decade.

The United Arab Emirates airline, Emirates, says it is boosting its
five-times-a-week schedule from Dubai to Harare to daily, starting from
October 1.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, meanwhile, has announced that it will begin
flights from Amsterdam to Harare starting on October 29.

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MDC-T to celebrate 13th Anniversary in Bulawayo

By Tererai Karimakwenda
26 September 2012

The new wife of MDC-T President Morgan Tsvangirai will be introduced to
party supporters at celebrations for the party’s 13th Anniversary, in
Bulawayo on Saturday. Tsvangirai and Elizabeth Macheka tied the knot at a
customary wedding in Harare last weekend.

SW Radio Africa correspondent Lionel Saungweme, said the 13th Anniversary
rally will be held at Bulawayo’s White City Stadium. Senior party officials,
including secretary general Tendai Biti, will be on hand to introduce Mrs
Tsvangirai for the first time in public.

Saungweme said: “It is a belated anniversary because the actual date is
September 11th but there was the wedding on that day. The main thing is for
the party to highlight their journey in Zimbabwe politics.”

According to Saungweme, MDC-T officials will address the crowd, focusing on
the persecution of party members by ZANU PF and the many brave supporters
who lost their lives in the fight for democracy.

A new party symbol to be used during the next election will also be
introduced. Saungweme said this was meant to deal with the confusion that
took place at the last election, when the other MDC formation used a similar
election symbol.

“The symbol is a child with the familiar open palm. Bulawayo officials said
the child represents the future and the MDC-T is the party of the future,”
Saungweme explained.

The MDC-T has invited all supporters and party sympathizers in Bulawayo to
join them for the celebrations at White City Stadium.

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New Zimbabwe Steel Workers Surviving on Menial Jobs

Gibbs Dube

Distressed New Zimbabwe Steel Limited workers have started doing menial jobs
on farms near the Midlands town of Kwekwe in an effort to make a living
following stalled operations at the defunct Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company

According to Zimbabwe Steel Workers Union secretary general Takura Chikwiri,
the situation is so bad that the workers are being paid mealie-meal and
potatoes by commercial farmers.

Chikwiri said although there have been indications that the Zimbabwe cabinet
recently gave Indian firm, Essar Africa Holdings, the greenlight to revive
Ziscosteel, the situation has not changed at Redcliff where workers were
last paid in March this year.

“Some workers are reporting for work though most of them spend their time
doing menial work on nearby farms where they are paid in kind,” said

The Ministry of Mines has expressed dismay over some provisions of the
initial deal which reportedly gave Essar Africa Holdings vast iron ore
reserves at the expense of the government.

Chikwiri said the government and Essar have not informed workers about fresh
efforts to revive the $750 million deal signed last year.

Industry Minister Welshman Ncube said there should be some visible progress
at New Zimbabwe Steel within the next few weeks.

“We are currently working with the company and looking at the implementation
matrix of the deal spelling out issues that need to be conducted by
government and the Indian firm,” said Ncube.

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Empowerment funds diverted to pay Lobola by ZANU-PF youths

Staff Reporter 8 hours ago

Harare - Millions of dollars under the ZANU PF engineered Youth Fund are
being abused as beneficiaries use their allocations to finance “menial
projects” such as paying the Lobola-bride price, it has emerged.
The Zimbabwe Youth Council director Livingstone Dzikira has revealed that
more than 6 million dollars have been spent on Lobola.
The program which began amid glitter, pomp and fanfair has now seen millions
of dollars being diverted to pay personal expenses such as Lobola, it has
emerged. 70% of the youths who got the loans have diverted the funds to pay
for lobola and other personal things, Livingston Dzikira, revealed at a
workshop organized by UNICEF in Nyanga.
Lack of capacity building and to some extent also creativity and innovation
has resulted in many youths submitting proposals for chicken rearing which
the council director said they are now rejecting, he said.
Youths who received loans under the Old Mutual Youth empowerment fund have
decided to re-write the project proposals they used to apply for the loans
and give the initiative a new meaning of “personal empowerment”, a Kubatana
blogger wrote on Tuesday.
Under the program, Old Mutual issued US$11 million dollars to youth so that
they can start sustenance business projects and reports reveal that many
youths decided to engage in chicken rearing which however has been and many
have been denied.

ZANU PF Indigenisation youth group-the Upfumi Kuvadiki organisation in
meeting - file copy
“We have stopped taking proposals on chickens for some reasons and I can
assure you this fund is there to help everyone and I even have a list of
some of your colleagues (journalists) who have benefited from the youth
fund. It is open to everyone, but you won’t be exempted from coming up with
business proposals like anyone else,” said Dzikira.
Youth and Indigenisation minister Savior Kasukuwere has however blasted
critics of the program.
“This is your project as youths and I wonder why people want to write bad
things. I am sure you saw some very good projects in Nyanga on youths who
are doing well and who are involved in very good projects. Why not encourage
them to do more?” said Kasukuwere.
MDC youths fail to obtain funds
It has however emerged that youths from MDC parties have been denied access
to the funds as it was revealed that only 20 MDC-T youths had benefited from
the fund.
MDC-T youth assembly spokesperson Clifford Hlatshwayo blasted the program
for being biased towards ZANU PF
“Our position is that the youth fund must not be discriminatory in terms of
race, colour, political affiliation or anything. “That is not party money,
but government money and we have been encouraging our youths to apply and we
have gone further to assist people to come up with business proposals,”
said Hlatshwayo.
A recent poll conducted on the Zimbabwe Youth Council website has claimed
that 44.1% of the people say the Youth Fund is not accessible in a friendly
way and 19.6% don’t even know about the Youth Fund
Youth Development minister Saviour Kasukuwere, however, defended the
proposals submitted by the youths. - Zimeye

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ZLHR Launches Analysis Of COPAC Draft Constitution ahead of Second All Stakeholders Conference

The analysis provides an overview of each Chapter of the proposed
Constitution together with a commentary of what is progressive (highlighted
in normal text) and issues which remain problematic (highlighted blue text).


As the country moves towards the 2nd All-Stakeholders’ Conference and a
possible constitutional referendum, it is necessary for all Zimbabweans to
personally educate themselves on the content put forward by those involved
in the current constitution-making process in order to make their own
decision on whether the COPAC Draft is better than the current constitution,
whether it requires further improvement, and whether it is likely to
positively impact on the country moving forward.

ZLHR notes that a constitution cannot make a positive impact on society in
and of itself. It requires a population that is willing to protect its
provisions, as well as a government and state institutions and actors who
are committed to the principle of constitutionalism and who are willing to
make themselves subservient to the provisions of the constitution as an
expression of the will of the people. As such, even a perfect Constitution
will be meaningless if there is no political will to comply with its ethos,
provisions and safeguards.

ZLHR encourages all Zimbabweans to take time to read and understand the full
COPAC Draft Constitution, this summary and other opinions relating to it, in
order to decide whether to further amend it, and ultimately support or
reject it. The analysis can also be accessed on our website

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Constitution Watch of 26th September 2012 [Stakeholders Conference Later in October]


[26th September 2012]

Second All Stakeholders Conference to be held Later in October

Management Committee Reschedules Second All Stakeholders Conference

After first scheduling the Second All Stakeholders Conference for 4th – 6th October, COPAC has decided that to organise the conference so soon would be unrealistic. They are now aiming at holding the Conference before the end of October, probably in the third week of the month.

In fact, setting it for the first week of October was surprising in view of the previous lack of clarity about the final form of the draft constitution to be presented to the conference – MDCs insisting on the COPAC draft and ZANU-PF on the draft as amended by their Politburo. Also COPAC had assured the public that there would be plenty of time to consider the draft and that it would be translated into several languages before the Conference.

Sequence of Events

Constitution Watch of 20th September described the situation up to the 19th September and how the seven week-long deadlock was loosening, with ZANU-PF saying the COPAC draft could go forward if the national statistical report went with it.

Wednesday 19th September, a principals’ meeting at last took place, and President Mugabe, Mr Tsvangirai and Prof Mutambara agreed that the Second All Stakeholders’ Conference should be expedited and that COPAC should take both the COPAC draft and the COPAC National Statistical Report to the Conference. [Professor Ncube excused himself from the meeting for family reasons.]

It was reported that the Principals had insisted on 4th – 6th October, presumably wanting something to report to the Facilitator before the SADC Organ Summit scheduled for 7th – 8th October. In fact President Mugabe has since met President Zuma, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York and assured him that the process is back on track and that Zimbabwe will not let SADC down.

Thursday 20th September, COPAC full Select Committee met It reached decisions on numbers of delegates, civil society participation, documents to be tabled, admission of observers, the purpose and functions of the Conference, and the need to put in place measures to ensure maintenance of security during the proceedings. Subcommittees were appointed to organise aspects of the Conference.

Monday 24th September the COPAC Management Committee decided the Conference could not be held as soon as the 4th October but should convene before the end of October. The need to ensure adequate funding was a factor.

Conference NOT a Drafting Conference

COPAC is emphatic that the Conference will not be turned into a drafting conference. Its purpose is to enable delegates to make comments and recommendations on the COPAC draft. Their contributions will be recorded, and after the Conference COPAC will consider all comments and recommendations and make appropriate adjustments to the COPAC draft.

Arrangements for the Conference

These are the arrangements so far and could be subject to change

Dates and Venue and Opening Ceremony

Dates for and length of the Conference [one or two days] are still to be settled. A decision on the Conference venue has been deferred while the possibility of holding it in Bulawayo is explored. The party principals will open the proceedings of the Conference to underline its importance for the future of Zimbabwe.

Numbers of Delegates and Participation by Civil Society

The number of delegates [1 100] has been severely pruned compared with the First All Stakeholders’ Conference in 2009 which was attended by approximately 4000 people. It is also less than half the figure of 2 500 that COPAC and its funders were talking about earlier this year.

Breakdown of delegates between MPs and Others

Total ..................................... 1 100 made up as follows:

Members of Parliament ......... 280

Other delegates ..................... 820

Breakdown of the 820 “other delegates”

GPA parties [30%].................. 246 [82 nominated by each party]

Civil Society [70%] ................. 574 [see below for how selected]

Selection of civil society delegates

The 570 civil society delegates will be identified by their organisations. In other words, COPAC will not select the individual civil society delegates. COPAC will compile a list of the organisations to be represented, aiming at comprehensive inclusivity. Each organisation will fill its quota with delegates of its choice. The term “civil society” for this purpose embraces Zimbabwean NGOs [not international NGOs], faith-based organisations, the business, industrial, agricultural and mining sectors, the labour movement, youth and women’s organisations, disabled persons, etc..

Civil society organisations have conveyed to COPAC their concern that the civil society delegates should not be regarded as proxies for any of the political parties. It is to be hoped that COPAC respects this concern and ensures that the list of invited organisations does not reflect political partisanship.

Documents to be Used

COPAC will provide delegates with the following documents:

· the COPAC draft constitution

· the complete National Statistical Report – i.e. not only the documentation based on the reports from the outreach process but also the reports on:

§ the special extra outreach meetings for Parliamentarians; youth; the disabled; and the Diaspora

§ the online outreach [responses to the questionnaire on the COPAC website]

§ written submissions received by COPAC from organisations and individuals

· the documents making up the basic instructions given to the three lead drafters [see further below]

· if ready in time, translations of the draft and a Braille version.

Note: ZANU-PF’s re-draft with proposed amendments will not be included in the documents that COPAC supplies to Conference delegates although ZANU-PF is likely to want to supply it to its supporters and possibly other delegates.

The Documents Given to the Drafters

COPAC’s Foreword to its National Statistical Report explains that the three lead drafters were not provided with the voluminous statistical reports. Instead, they were given the following four documents, all derived from the national and provincial statistical reports:

· the constitutional issues document – listing the issues to be covered in the constitution [these were drawn up by a team of technical experts drawn from the three GPA political parties and representatives of the Chiefs’ Council, working from the reports of the outreach process and consultative meetings with MPs, children, the disabled, the Diaspora, the website submissions and sectoral submissions made direct to COPAC]

· the gap-filling document – prepared by a team of local technical experts mandated by COPAC to identify the gaps in the information collected during the consultative process and advise on how to fill the gaps, guided by research into best practices in constitution-making

· the constitutional principles formulated by COPAC

· the draft framework – indicating how COPAC wished the various parts of the constitution to be arranged.

Methodology of the Conference

Details of the methodology to be followed are not yet available. Delegates will, however, break up into groups to consider individual chapters of the draft constitution. Each group will, as with all COPAC mechanisms, have three co-chairs – one from each GPA party – and the co-chairs will report to the plenary session of the Conference.


COPAC co-chair Douglas Mwonzora has given an assurance that observers will be allowed at the Conference. Accreditation with COPAC will be required.

Court Case

The Select Committee has not yet agreed on how to respond to the case in which the Federation of Non-Governmental Organisations and its president Goodson Nguni have asked the Supreme Court to order publication of the National Statistical Report in the local media. The application was launched before the parties agreed the report would go to the Conference.

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

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