(AFP) – 6 hours ago
HARARE — Zimbabwe Finance Minister Tendai Biti on Monday said more than $20
billion was needed for infrastructure projects such as road and rail
networks and to fully kickstart the re-emerging mining industry.
"The thirst for capital in our country is huge and high," Biti said at a
ceremony to unveil a 500 million pula (64.3 million US dollars) credit
facility from Botswana.
"On infrastructure alone, the country requires $14.5 billion. The mining
sector requires $5 to 7 billion to be fully operational. Our country needs
capital in the form of foreign direct investment, lines of credit and cheap
access to finance."
He said the credit line is part of funds pledged by Zimbabwe's regional
neighbours to help recovery projects after President Robert Mugabe and Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai formed a unity government in 2009 after polls
The money will be given as loans to firms in the energy, steel, leather,
pharmaceutical industries as well as tourism.
President of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, Kumbirai Katsande
said the credit facility will make a significant contribution to the
economy, comparing the country's present economic woes to the aftermath of a
Botswana's finance minister Kenneth Matambo said all commercial banks in
Botswana have agreed to participate in the line of credit subject to a
He said 70 percent of the funds will be availed to the manufacturing sector
and the remainder to agriculture.
Zimbabwe's economy is showing signs of recovery from a nearly decade-long
downturn which saw companies pulling down the shutters, downsizing or
migrating while roads, hospitals and railways crumbled under neglect.
September 03, 2012
HARARE — Botswana has extended a credit facility of about $70 million meant
to revive Zimbabwe's ailing industrial sector. The line of credit, announced
Monday, comes at a time when Zimbabwe has no access to international lenders
like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
According to the African Development Bank, Zimbabwe needs at least $4
billion in lines of credit so its struggling industries can get back on
Speaking after the signing ceremony for the Botswana credit facility,
Zimbabwean Finance Minister Tendai Biti outlined the rise and fall of his
"In 1996 we were the second largest economy in the SADC [Southern African
Development Community]," said Biti. "In 2012 we are marginally higher than
Malawi, marginally higher than Lesotho, marginally higher than Swaziland.
Let us put our house in order."
Biti has repeatedly criticized government policies of seizing white-owned
farmland and "indigenzing" foreign-owned companies to give a majority stake
to black Zimbabweans. Those policies crippled farm production and scared
away investors. As a result, the economy has struggled for more than a
decade, and the country‘s external debt is now about $10 billion.
Biti said he hopes other countries will follow Botswana in extending credit
lines to Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe cannot get credit from lenders like the IMF and
the World Bank since it defaulted on loans from those organizations about a
The Botswana credit facility is being bankrolled by commercial banks who get
a guarantee from the Gaborone government. This follows an appeal from SADC
leaders to make funds available to help Zimbabwe's industries recover.
Botswana's Finance Minister Kenneth Matambo said he hopes his country's
companies will benefit from the deal as well.
"The two governments have signed the Bilateral Investment Promotion and
Protection Agreement (BIPPA) in order to protect investments by nationals
and companies of both countries," said Motambo. "It is important that when
nationals and companies invest here, they must be ensured that they can
freely have dividends transfers from here to wherever they are."
In recent years, international investors in Zimbabwe have found it difficult
to transfer their dividends to their home countries.
By Alex Bell
03 September 2012
The European Union (EU) is under pressure to consider renewing the targeted
measures it recently lifted off members of the ZANU PF regime, because of
the invasion of the Save Valley Conservancy.
The Conservancy has been under threat for many months by a group of ZANU PF
aligned officials and war vets, who have now been awarded 25 year land
leases and hunting permits in the area. This group has also invaded the
Conservancy and instilled itself as the new ‘leaders’.
The takeover has been harshly criticised by Conservancy officials, who have
warned that it is a serious threat to the wildlife, conservation and hunting
sectors in Zimbabwe. The Conservancy has also said it is a “criminal” move,
because the area is meant to be protected from ZANU PF’s land grab. Many
international investors in the conservancy are also meant to be protected by
trade agreements between their countries and Zimbabwe.
This includes the Conservancy’s Vice Chairman, Wilfried Pabst, who is a
German citizen. He has warned that the EU could take retributive action for
the invasion of Save.
This warning has been echoed by the EU ambassador in Zimbabwe, Aldo Dell’Ariccia,
who was quoted as saying last week that the recently lifted EU restrictive
measures could be re-imposed.
“You will recall that the EU suspended the effect of the restrictive
measures because of progress achieved by the GNU towards democratising
Zimbabwe and respecting bilateral investments, but anytime those measures
could be re-imposed if progress is reversed,” Dell’Ariccia told the
The issue is also making international press headlines with Zimbabwe set to
co-host a UN tourism conference next year. Johnny Rodrigues, Chairman of the
Conservation Task Force, said the hosting of the conference was the same as
legitimising what is happening at Save Conservancy.
“To be recognised by the international community in this way is the same as
accepting what is going on. I don’t think it should be allowed,” Rodrigues
The hosting of the conference in Victoria Falls has been in doubt amid
revelations that Zimbabwe was dishonest in its bid to secure the event.
There are now further doubts, after more than a million dollars was
reportedly looted from Victoria Falls hospital. The money had been invested
in the hospital ahead of the conference next year. But police are now
investigating a scam involving the fraudulent purchase of medical equipment.
The state media has labelled the growing media interest in the Save
Conservancy story a “Rhodie” plot to undermine black empowerment initiatives
in Zimbabwe. But as officials at the Save Conservancy have explained, the
issue has nothing to do with genuine empowerment.
The Conservancy has used its Facebook page to try and dispel some of the
myths being generated by the state media, chief among them that the
landowners have refused to indigenise.
“On the contrary the Save Valley Conservancy welcomes (and always has)
business investment irrespective of race, nationality, creed or gender. The
Conservancy has a constitution which provides for responsible land and
wildlife management. All members and investors are bound to work within the
boundaries of the constitution,” the Conservancy wrote on Facebook.
It also moved to dispel the reports that the Conservancy is made up of “the
last vestige of white ‘Rhodesians’ in Zimbabwe”.
“The Save Valley Conservancy is made up of International investors, local
investors, on the ground investors, government and some local communities…A
large part of the Save Valley Conservancy was converted to resettlement area
during the land reform process…As things stand right now the Save Valley
Conservancy can accurately say and prove that the conservancy is indigenised
to the extent of 32%,” the Conservancy said.
By Alex Bell
03 September 2012
The invasion of a farm in Matabeleland South by a group of war vets has
resulted in the seizure and possible closure of a farming initiative, which
provides free training to local youths.
The Ebenezer Agricultural Training Centre forms part of the Maleme Ranch,
which has been invaded by war vets in an ongoing attempt to remove the farm
owner Peter Cunningham. Paddocks for cattle grazing that were allocated to
local villagers have also been seized, resulting in scores of cows dying.
Cunningham had given the local villagers access to the paddocks in 2000 as
part of a social responsibility programme. The Ebenezer Centre, which is a
charitable foundation, was also formed as part of this programme, by giving
free training to local youths interested in farming. It’s understood most of
these youths are orphans from across Matabeleland South.
The war vets, led by Clever Dube, have reportedly targeted the villagers’
paddocks in retaliation for their support of Cunningham and for protecting
him against eviction. Villages are now reporting that their cattle are dying
because there is limited grazing ground for the animals.
The war vets are now believed to be renting out the same paddocks they’ve
Killion Sibanda, chairman of the Natisa area grazing scheme, said they had
sought the assistance of Chief Masuku to drive out the war vets.
“We are just praying and hoping that the Chief will intervene urgently to
evict these war veterans before we lose all our cattle,” said Sibanda.
“These people are saying they are fixing us for protecting Cunningham, whom
we have lived with peacefully for years. He has done a lot for us.”
The Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) told SW Radio Africa that they were aware
of the situation and were following up on recent developments. CFU President
Charles Taffs also slammed the invasion and the seizure of the training
centre as more “unnecessary destruction” on farm lands.
by Staff Reporter
LEGISLATORS have demanded that COPAC pays them US$75 each in daily
allowances for participating in the national outreach programme, in a
development that could add another US$8 million to the overall bill for the
The MPs were paid US$25 each per day over the 90 days they travelled around
the country to gather the views of members of the public as part of the
constitutional reform process. But they now claim the daily allowance should
have been US$75 and insist COPAC owes them about US$4,500 each.
“COPAC is a committee of Parliament, so they cannot pay MPs money that is
less than what was approved by Government. MPs are entitled to US$75 per day
for any parliamentary business,” said MPs' welfare committee member
Simbaneuta Mudarikwa (Zanu PF).
“COPAC isn’t a political party that can say they don’t have money. We are
going to raise it in the welfare committee and in the August House because
we cannot create a situation where COPAC can just do whatever they want.
“MPs are owed left, right and centre. It will only be proper for COPAC to
pay the outstanding amount. We will also ask COPAC how much they got and how
much they spent for accountability purposes.”
Mudarikwa said MPs were not happy that members of the Select Committee paid
themselves US$75 per day while paying other legislators US$25.
“All MPs doing any parliamentary business are entitled to the same
allowances regardless of what they will be doing,” he said.
“No MP should be paid more than what other MPs are paid when they are
conducting parliamentary business. There is, therefore, a disparity that
needs to be addressed.”
COPAC national co-ordinator Gift Marunda said they would consider the MPs'
request but insisted that rates used for the outreach programme were not
linked to parliamentary business.
“The rates we were working with had been approved. It is very unlikely that
the matter will be revisited,” said Marunda.
“We were working with limited resources and besides, this was a different
project. The rate regime we used was not applicable to Parliament.
“If the request is formally presented, then the Select Committee will
deliberate over it. If there has to be any changes, they have to be approved
by the Copac management committee.”
The bill for the new constitution is said to have already topped US$40
million, most of it financed by donors.
But the process appears to have stalled as parties to the coalition
government cannot agree on amendments to the draft which was published by
COPAC in July.
by Garikai Chaunza
SOME of the families displaced by diamond mining activities at Marange in
the eastern Manicaland province have dismissed as a pittance the US$1,000
they were given in compensation and want the payments increased to
About 4,000 families were moved from the Chiadzwa area to make way for
commercial exploitation of a diamond find described as one of the world’s
richest and a massive economic boon for the country.
Companies operating in the area, which include Mbada Diamond, Anjin
Investments, Diamond Mining Company and Marange Resources, were supposed to
pay relocation expenses for the affected villagers.
Some of the families were resettled at Arda Transau, a farm in Odzi, but now
say the US$1,000 they were paid in compensation was not enough.
“We are more than happy to see government and the companies operating in our
area because we were never given the chance to say what we wanted as
compensation,” Tsarukanai Mavhiza, a councillor from the area told New
“At the moment, a lot of us have not even received the US$1,000 and there is
no information from the companies. Even those who have been paid are now
realising that they were short-changed.”
Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association Executive director, Mutuso Dhilwayo,
said the organisation would represent the families in their fight for an
improved compensation deal.
“We are not concentrating on Chiadzwa or diamond mining only, but we are
saying all mining contracts which were secretively negotiated should be
renegotiated in public,” he said.
“In the case of the Chiadzwa villagers, they deserve to be given the chance
to negotiate for themselves not what happened.”
Willias Madzimure, an MP, added: “I strongly believe that these people were
short-changed. What was supposed to be done is to give them the opportunity
to choose what they wanted before the relocation.”
The Chiadzwa diamonds have been dogged by controversies since they were
discovered several years ago.
Industry watchdog, the Kimberly Process (KP), moved to block trading of the
gems on the world market following allegations of human rights abuses,
corruption and the involvement security services in mining the diamonds.
The KP ban has since been lifted but the MDC parties in the coalition
government claim proceeds from the diamonds are not being remitted to the
Harare, September 03, 2012 - The Zimbabwe military does not trust Vice
President Joice Mujuru such that securocrats will give power to Defence
Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa should President Robert Mugabe die before his
successor is chosen, latest Wikileaks cables have shown.
This was said by the Tanzanian ambassador to Zimbabwe, Adadi Rajabu, when he
met former United States ambassador Ray Charles in Harare in December, 2009
according to the whistleblower website.
Ambassador Rajabu told Ray that Mugabe and Zanu (PF) had made a grievous
error by failing to find his successor.
The former US ambassador said: “According to the Tanzanian Ambassador to
Zimbabwe, Zanu (PF), as a revolutionary party, has failed in its efforts to
"The military is not likely to stand by should that happen, and will
probably put Emmerson Mnangagwa forward as leader because the securocrats
do not like Vice President Joice Mujuru.”
In what he said was one of the most pessimistic views of Zimbabwe he had
heard from an African diplomat, Ray said Rajabu had told him that the Zanu
(PF) was still in revolutionary mode and had completely failed at governing
“Robert Mugabe at one time appeared to be looking at Joice Mujuru as a
possible successor, but hardliners within the party labelled her and her
husband as too close to the US and UK and he switched his attention to
Emmerson Mnangagwa,” the Tanzanian ambassador told Ray.
“It isn't clear, though, if this means he sees Mnangagwa as a successor, or
if this is just another example of his continuing manipulation of his party.
Should he suddenly die or be incapacitated, however, there will be chaos.”
Rajabu said that those who believe the military's professionalism will keep
it from intervening in politics were wrong.
Ray said the Tanzanian envoy thought that the military would, in such a
case, put Mnangagwa forward as leader because the military chiefs and other
hardliners did not trust Mujuru.
The Tanzanian ambassador reportedly said Zimbabweans were tolerant, but
their patience would someday come to an end, and that would result in chaos
and spill over into the region.
By Tichaona Sibanda
03 September 2012
On Saturday university lecturer and political analyst Professor John Makumbe
was introduced to thousands of voters in Buhera West constituency, by the
current MP he is hoping to replace at the next poll.
5,000 party functionaries turned up at Marenga business centre to see the
man who in March this year declared that he would throw away his academic
hat to pursue a political career.
6 months ago Makumbe addressed MDC-T supporters at the party’s 12th
anniversary celebrations at Gwanzura Stadium and said: ‘I want to tell you
all that I have now removed my academic hat and I am now openly supporting
‘There is no need for primary elections. The people in Buhera say they want
a white man to represent them and I have made myself available,’ he said in
reference to his albinism.
The constituency is held by the MDC-T’s Eric Matinenga, a lawyer and
politician who defeated ZANU PF’s Tapiwa Zengeya during the 2008 harmonised
elections. But earlier this year the Constitutional and Parliamentary
Affairs Minister announced that he will be stepping down as a legislator.
The ZANU PF candidate likely to contest against Makumbe is police Chief
Superintendent Oliver Mandipaka.
By Tichaona Sibanda
03 September 2012
MDC-T spokesman Douglas Mwonzora on Monday fired a broadside at Local
Government Minister Ignatius Chombo, for abusing the Urban Councils Act to
protect corrupt councillors dismissed from their party.
Mwonzora claimed that this is not the first time Chombo has protected those
dismissed from the MDC-T for corruption. The Nyanga North MP told SW Radio
Africa that when they fired corrupt councillors in Chitungwiza, the Minister
came to their rescue.
‘We now have the 12 councilors who have been found guilty of corruption
still being protected by the same Minister. This is because he’s involved in
corruption with those councillors, so we are saying ZANU PF can have these
‘As MDC, we will not worry about councillors who are themselves corrupt. Any
party that wants them can have them,’ Mwonzora said.
He continued: ‘We have made our position clear, unfortunately the law does
not allow us to take them out of council…the Minister only has the powers to
do that but as you are aware Chombo is protecting them.’
Last week the MDC-T fired 12 councillors at differ¬ent local authorities, on
allegations of abusing office and corruption.
Harare deputy Mayor Emmanuel Chiroto, and Gweru Mayor Tedious Chimombe, were
among those dismissed after a party investigating team completed its probe.
But over the weekend the Permanent Secretary for Local Government, Killian
Mpingo, insisted that councillors will continue to perform normal duties as
their dismissal was not sanctioned by Cabinet.
He told the state media that the decision to dismiss the councillors was
ineffective because it was taken at party level. However, Mwonzora
reiterated that from now onwards, the same councillors will be representing
ZANU PF interests in council meetings.
‘We are very solid in our fight against corruption. We will not allow
corrupt people to abuse the name of the party for illegitimate private gain,’
Recently Finance Minister Tendai Biti and the party’s secretary-general
said: ‘Once you get people being defended by the likes of Jonathan Moyo
(ZANU PF) you must know that you are finished.
He was referring to Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, whom he accused
of being defended by ZANU PF, adding that it proves beyond reasonable doubt
that he had been compromised by the former ruling party.
Monday, 03 September 2012 09:03
HARARE - Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono has filed a $10
million defamation lawsuit against his ex-advisor Munyaradzi Kereke, in what
promises to be a tantalising case for many Zimbabweans.
Apart from fighting Kereke, who has made persistent allegations that he
stole public funds for personal gain, the RBZ chief is also battling Zanu PF
political hawks who are reportedly eager to reinstate his hauling before
Parliament to disclose beneficiaries of the farm mechanisation programme.
And with the two locked in an unintelligible feud, which also saw Kereke
being ejected from the Central Bank early this year, Gono says his former
aide’s claims that he misappropriated $6,5 million, among other scurrilous
charges, were meant to tarnish his good name.
“The statement was understood by… by defendant to mean, amongst other
things, that plaintiff is dishonest, a liar, a cheat, treasonous, without
integrity, not fit to hold a public office, in that he has committed
unlawful acts of theft, has lied, has cheated, drafted laws that would
result in civil war, is a criminal and has and has used his office to engage
members of government to silence defendant,” Gono’s attorneys Dube, Manikai
and Hwacha said, adding as a result he had “suffered damages in the amount
And through his lawyers Gasa Nyamadzawo and Associates, Kereke has filed a
motion to defend the suit.
Apart from accusing Gono – in a February 28 letter – of siphoning RBZ money,
cars and gold bullion for personal gain, the Rock Medical Clinic (RMC)
proprietor also says that his ex-boss pinched $100 000 from his company
In this epic clash, the 39 year-old economic also claims that he was pushed
out of the RBZ by Gono and his courtiers to cover up for their alleged
financial misdemeanours, which the latter has described as false and
While Gono had chosen to remain silent ever since Kereke’s contentious
letter surfaced on the Internet, it was his August 17 lawsuit and response
that has caught many by surprise, especially in terms of its timing.
For a man so much given to bluster and invoking the might of his resources
to fight opponents whenever his territory or turf is threatened, it remains
to be seen how Kereke will fare - or survive - in this one, analysts say.
As things stand, he is battling other damaging social allegations involving
a 13 year-old Harare girl and is involved in an ugly legal spat with several
newspapers, including the Daily News and a local weekly the Weekend Post.
Fighting back ... Gono responded to Kereke claims with High Court action
by Staff Reporter
MUNYARADZI Kereke, sacked as adviser to Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono in
February, on Monday petitioned parliament seeking “immunity” from
prosecution ahead of an appearance at the High Court where he faces two
defamation lawsuits from his former boss.
Gono last month sued Kereke for US$25 million after the Rocfoundation
Medical Centre founder took out whole-page newspaper adverts and sent a
lengthy letter to President Mugabe accusing him of stealing public funds.
But Kereke on Monday said defending himself would prove impossible, claiming
that he had been “approached by senor (sic) members in government in clear
harassment tones who sought to intimidate me from souring (sic) and
producing the explicit evidence proving Dr Gono’s acts of breech (sic) of
the law and betrayal of the country’s interest”.
He claims in the letter to the Speaker of Parliament, Lovemore Moyo, that
“specifically, I was told that if I ever dared opened (sic) my mouth in
court or produce official documents proving Dr Gono’s criminal activities in
defence of the lawsuits against me, I would be immediately arrested for
contravening the Official Secrets Act”.
He did not name the individuals who made the threats. His letter also does
not say if he had reported the threats to the police.
Kereke is seeking “leave and immunity to source and produce before the High
Court of Zimbabwe information which I know with certainly (sic) exists
proving the rampant acts of theft of millions of public funds, fraud,
corruption gross, abuse of office, betrayal of national interests and breach
of the Official Secrets Act and other vices by Dr. Gideon Gono, Governor of
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.”
Legal experts said Kereke’s petition would fail because parliamentary
privilege is only limited to lawmakers and witnesses called by Parliament,
and never to private citizens facing litigation in court.
“In my opinion the request for parliamentary immunity is without merit and
has no basis at law,” lawyer and financial services expert, Dr Lance
Mambondiani, told New Zimbabwe.com.
“Since this relates to allegations of criminal activity by the governor,
this can easily be determined by whatever court is looking at the matter. A
presiding judge in either a criminal or civil court can determine whether it
is in the public interest to disclose the information.
“Official secrets would only relate to information that he would have come
across in the course of his duties as a government employee and not that
which he acquires post facto. Kareke cannot claim parliamentary protection
when he is not giving evidence before parliament.
“The request to parliament is therefore more political than it is legal and
probably intended to make the most noise beyond the merits of the civil case
which is at hand.”
In a letter to Gono dated February 28, which he also circulated to the
media, Kereke claimed that his dossier of his former boss’s alleged corrupt
activities at the RBZ was “available” adding that it “cannot be destroyed by
any means you may seek to deploy now, even killing me.”
He went on: “There are at least three legal experts who have taken custody
of the evidence to testify on my behalf in the event I cease to be here on
earth for whatever reason, given the real threats on my life these matters
are now raising.”
But in his letter to the Speaker, he says he wants parliament’s approval to
“source and produce” the evidence in court.
He claims that his evidence will show that:
# Gono stole gold bullion worth millions of dollars for his own personal
# The governor stole millions of US dollars in cash for his own personal
# The RBZ chief facilitated the theft of US$6,5 million from the Reserve
Bank by an unnamed “colleague” and later wrote this amount off the books
# Stock Exchange listed shares belonging to the RBZ were stolen by Gono for
his own use
# Gono used RBZ money to buy shares in former Premier Bank – now Ecobank –
and later sold some to German investors and pocketed millions of dollars
# Gono used RBZ money to buy dozens of properties for his personal gain
# The governor circulated Cabinet minutes to foreign embassies hostile to
# Gono abused his office and position as governor of the RBZ to “unethically
borrow” US$40 million from the banking sector in ways that directly
compromised his effectiveness in discharging the duty of supervising banks
Kereke’s letter does not make it clear how the set of allegations he makes
against Gono would constitute a “state secret”. To add to the confusion, he
says in his letter to the Speaker that “it is absolutely not my intention to
undermine the sacred interests of the State by revealing any document or
facts detrimental to the interests of the State”.
“The data I seek this special parliamentary immunity for is that which
relates only to Dr. Gono’s unacceptable criminal transgressions for his
personal gain which he now wants to cover up through abusive deployment of
the Official Secrets Act on me,” he adds.
Kereke said should parliament not grant him the immunity, he would be
willing to “testify before it so that the proofs discovered therein can then
be tendered before the High Court of Zimbabwe.”
A spokesman for the governor said: “Dr Gono has never commented since this
matter came up except to say he will get justice done through the courts.
The recent lawsuits are an effective response challenging Kereke to prove
what he is alleging.
“He should bring his evidence to the High Court and we will meet him there.”
Monday, 03 September 2012 09:12
HARARE - A government and private fund to empower the youth has allegedly
been politicised by Indigenisation and Empowerment minister Saviour
Kasukuwere, benefitting only Zanu PF youths.
Deputy minister of Indigensation and Empowerment Tongai Matutu told the
Daily News Kasukuwere was distributing the funds in a partisan manner.
“The Old Mutual-Cabs-handled Kurera-Ukondla Youth Fund is being disbursed by
Cabs, working in conjunction with the Indigenisation ministry and a board of
trustees,” said Matutu.
He said Kasukuwere has hijacked the whole process as he is now solely
distributing the funds to Zanu PF members and youths.
“We know he took $500 000 to distribute to Zanu PF youths in Mashonaland
East and Manicaland,” Matutu said.
“He also went with $200 000 to Chiredzi. The question therefore, is who is
getting the money? I don’t think youths from our parties are getting it.”
“I understand why youths are clamouring out there because the whole system
is compromised and there is no transparency. This seems more like a Zanu PF
project for their youths.”
Kasukuwere could not immediately comment on the matter as his mobile phone
Cabs set aside $11 million and Stanbic $20 million for a youth fund facility
under the indigenisation drive.
However, the deputy minister said out of 10 000 applications for the Cabs
fund, only 668 have so far been approved, 10 months after the facility was
Matutu said the Stanbic fund was difficult to access because it needed
collateral security whilst the CBZ fund was not in circulation.
Promise Mkwananzi, the mainstream MDC youth assembly secretary-general said
youths from his party are not accessing the money from the youth funds
because it is a Zanu PF project.
“The funds are meant to win Zanu PF votes and empower its kith and kin
otherwise the ordinary youths will gain nothing from it. Anyone genuinely
interested in empowering people economically must be concerned about the
political dispensation,” Mkwananzi said.
‘Kasukuwere politicising youth fund’Indigenisation and Empowerment minister,
by The Independent on September 3, 2012 in News
JUST over a year after the death of former army commander General Solomon
Mujuru in a mysterious firestorm, his sprawling business empire —
meticulously built over 30 years — has started crumbling with the
provisional liquidation of his flagship company River Ranch diamond mine,
and the controversial sale of the mine’s headquarters in Gunhill, Harare.
Report by Faith Zaba
The recent arrest of his close business associate Tendai Mundawarara, NMB
board chair, on allegations of swindling a Dubai jewellery company of more
than US$280 000 in a botched gold deal is another indication the Mujuru
business structure is slowly, but surely, collapsing.
Mujuru, who made his wealth using his vast political networks and
influence-peddling, had interests in agriculture, stock and money markets,
finance, construction and mining.
Apart from River Ranch Mujuru reportedly had interests in many other
companies, including the Zimbabwe Mining and Smelting Company (Zimasco). The
late general lived at his Beatrice farm, which had modern equipment, cattle
and wildlife worth millions, that he seized during the land reform
Mujuru, who also had an interest in Marange diamonds although government
blocked his business partners there, also wanted to muscle in on Zimplats.
According to whistle-blower website WikiLeaks, former Zimplats CEO Greg
Sebborn reportedly told US embassy officials Mujuru had tried to arm-twist
the mining firm to choose him as its indigenisation partner in return for
“political protection” from the Chinese whom President Robert Mugabe wanted
to impose on the company.
Mujuru died a night before he was due to travel to Beitbridge to completely
take over River Ranch.
However, his empire and estate, which are likely to be hotly-contested after
recent revelations many children sired outside wedlock have turned up to lay
claim to their fair share, has started crumbling.
River Ranch was recently put under provisional liquidation after its major
shareholder, Rani Investment, whose boss Saudi-based tycoon Adel Abdul
Rahman al Aujan had an acrimonious feud with Mujuru before his death, filed
a High Court application requesting the winding up of its operations.
Winsley Militala was appointed provisional liquidator.
The Dubai-based company said it applied for liquidation as it could no
longer sustain itself. It said it has been subsidising the running of the
mine while negotiating the sale of its shares, first with Khupukile
Resources, and then later Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation.
Rani Investment is the majority shareholder in Limpopo Resources, a company
that owns 80% of River Ranch in which the Mujuru family holds a 20% stake.
The Mujuru family have been locked in a fierce battle with Rani Investment,
headed by Aujan.
The fight for the money-spinning asset recently took a dramatic twist when
the Mujuru family woke up to the news that the Gunhill offices were sold
four months ago, in the clearest sign yet that the late general’s empire is
Information gathered by Zimbabwe Independent shows the Mujuru family has
lost the River Ranch headquarters located at No 99 Churchil Avenue, Gunhill,
Harare, which it had been trying to buy from Rani Investment.
Investigations by Independent show a company linked to Mines and Mining
Development minister Obert Mpofu bought the property four months ago, a move
which is likely to strain relations with Vice-President Joice Mujuru, given
the acrimony around the property.
However, to Mujuru family’s surprise, they only discovered this week the
property had been sold. A close family and business associate said
yesterday: “The Mujuru family wanted that property to perpetuate the legacy
of their father and all other properties associated with the general. We
wanted to secure that property so that it could have been part of the Mujuru
He added: “It is intriguing that a former colleague of the general is seen
purchasing that property which is under dispute. This creates unnecessary
tension and betrays Mai Mujuru’s trust.”
In response to questions by the Independent, Rani Investment CE Salim Bitar
said the property was actually owned by Aujan Southern African Development,
a company privately held by Aujan, not River Ranch.
“Its only relationship with River Ranch mine was that it has been used as a
Harare address for the mine. The house was sold earlier this year to a local
company,” he said.
The Mujuru family in January this year accused Aujan, who clashed with
general over the mine in Victoria Falls three months before his death, of
reneging on an understanding to sell the River Ranch offices to Khupukile
Resources as initially agreed.
According to a letter from Khupukile Resources director Nyasha Mujuru del
Campo to Aujan, dated January 31 2012, the Saudi businessman initially
agreed to sell the offices to the Mujuru family for US$400 000, in addition
to his 80% stake in River Ranch mine.
“When we met you (Aujan) in Harare and you said that you would sell No 99
(Churchill Avenue, Gunhill, Harare) and your shares in River Ranch to us,
you said that you would like to have the deal concluded and payments made by
December 31,” reads Nyasha’s letter.
“We told you that it was impossible because in Zimbabwe most things, other
than shops, close between December and mid-January.”
However, Nyasha said she arranged with the company’s bankers, CBZ Bank, to
transfer US$400 000 to be held in trust by Aujan’s lawyers Sawyer & Mkushi.
According to Nyasha, CBZ failed to pay on time as it was experiencing
liquidity problems at the time. While still trying to make the payment, the
Mujuru family got a letter from Aujan’s lawyer Honour Mkushi of Sawyer &
Mkushi in mid-February advising them the property would no longer be sold to
them because the payment had still not gone through.
“However, the legal advice we have received is that the late receipt of the
money by Mr Mkushi does not mean that you can cancel the sale. Firstly,
there was no provision in the agreement we entered into that payment had to
be made by December 31, January 7 or any other date. Secondly, even if a
fixed date had been agreed to, where the late payment was not due to us not
having the money, but due to CBZ not having it, then we are not liable for
the default and therefore the agreement cannot be cancelled because of late
payment,” reads the letter.
Nyasha said then the Mujuru family eventually paid the money and would not
accept reimbursement, adding that they would remain in possession of the
property, fuelling the conflict between the two parties.
“Khupukile Resources was offered the opportunity to purchase the private
property of Mr Aujan but failed to do so. Likewise Khupukile Resources was
given the first option to purchase Rani Investment’s shares in Limpopo
mining Resources, the company that owns the River Ranch mine. However,
Khupukile failed to produce an offer, Rani Investment entered into
negotiations with the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation.”
Bitar: “The process of liquidation is moving forward while giving time to
the ZMDC to conclude an offer.”
Aujan in February stated he was looking for other buyers of his 80%
shareholding at a nominal price, provided the purchaser buys the majority
shareholder’s loan account then standing at about US$16 million. These
dramatic events have left Mujuru’s business empire gradually falling apart.
Monday, 03 September 2012 11:36
HARARE - The University of Zimbabwe is in a water paradox. It has failed to
re-open for the new semester because of water shortages.
Yet, Harare mayor Muchadei Masunda accuses the UZ of being one of the
biggest wasteful users of water.
Addressing the latest full council meeting, Masunda said despite the
institution being closed for vacation, its consumption had increased from
one mega litre to 2,5 mega litres.
“UZ has to sort this out through its department of water works so that they
reduce consumption,” he said.
Council noted that most of the water was being lost through leakages.
The UZ was supposed to open on August 27 for its first semester but moved
the opening to September 10.
Masunda said that council was committed to improving water supply at the
institution by constructing a pipe from Emerald Hill which will cost $380
But the university has to clear a $2,7 million debt it owes to the local
Finance minister Tendai Biti earlier said Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
had instructed Water minister Sam Nkomo to avail the budgetary requirements
so that the water crisis would be solved timeously.
The university has been facing perennial water woes prompting it to delay
the opening of the new semester.
Up until last year, UZ had closed its halls of residents for three years due
to the rehabilitation and construction of water reservoirs which were to
serve students. This development left thousands of students desperate for
The university officials were recently reported saying they were making
efforts to ensure adequate water supplies would be available by the new
proposed date of opening.
By Lance Guma
03 September 2012
Former fitness trainer and ZANU PF aligned businessman Temba Mliswa, has
blown open the ZANU PF patronage system by spilling the beans on how he used
his political connections to help controversial businessman Billy
In an interview with the weekly Financial Gazette last week Mliswa opened up
about how he helped Rautenbach push through million dollar platinum and
ethanol deals by taking him from “minister to minister” and doors were
opened for him.
Rautenbach at the time was facing fraud, bribery and corruption allegations
in South Africa and was banned from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mliswa
claims Rautenbach hired him as a consultant “to help him with several
things, amongst them to get his farm back because it had been allocated to
Gerald Mlotshwa (a Harare lawyer).
“He also wanted to start the mining of coke in Hwange. He wanted to be given
a concession for a thermal power station which he was going to build in
partnership with ZESA. He also wanted platinum concessions,” Mliswa told the
Although Mliswa was paid US$10,000 per month, on top of an allocation for
fuel, relations between the two have now soured. Mliswa is claiming
Rautenbach is backtracking on promises he made to give him shares in some of
For example Mliswa claims he helped Rautenbach in pushing through and
setting up the controversial Chisumbanje Ethanol plant, in return for a 10
percent shareholding. He said there was opposition to the deal and it only
went through because he was roped in as part of an indigenisation drive.
According to the Financial Gazette, “Mliswa’s lawyers recently wrote to
Rautenbach enquiring about their client’s promised shareholding and
threatening to go to court, but the latter opted for an out of court
settlement that has remained elusive.”
“This (ethanol) thing won’t take off before my spirit rests. My tears are
dropping. I was warned before of the sort of person Billy is. One Indian
once told me; ‘never open the door for Billy, show him the door, only open
when he has paid you,” he told the paper.
Last week SW Radio Africa spoke to Energy and Power Development Minister
Elton Mangoma who said government could not ignore the problems surrounding
the ethanol project, just so that they could enrich one person (Rautenbach).
Mangoma said the project had “kicked out and taken land from the people,
from their communal areas, this has got to be restituted.” He also said the
project was trying to force the mandatory blending of fuel in the country
but as the government they had to balance “the interest of the investor and
the interest of the public.”
Rautenbach has a very controversial past. In 2008 both the European Union
and the United States added him to a list of officials and companies under
targeted sanctions for allegedly aiding the regime under Mugabe. In return
for this financial support he was given lucrative mining and land deals.
In 2002 the UN Panel of Experts on the Illegal Exploitation of Natural
Resources and Other Forms of Wealth of the Democratic Republic of the Congo,
described Rautenbach as a man “whose personal and professional integrity is
Efforts to get Rautenbach on Monday were not successful.
By Professor Matodzi Harare, September 03, 2012 - Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human
rights (ZLHR) have petitioned the High Court seeking to overturn a ban
imposed by the Board of Censors on a theatre play aimed at national healing
and peace building.
The Board of Censors chairman only identified as Malaba last week banned the
play “No Voice No Choice” written by prominent theatre practitioner Tafadzwa
Muzondo, alleging that it was “inciteful and against the spirit of national
healing and reconciliation”.
The ban could affect the desire by the promoters of the play who had planned
to participate at the annual Intwasa Arts Festival which runs from 12 to 22
September in Bulawayo.
In the court application, the ZLHR lawyers, Tawanda Zhuwarara and Bellinda
Chinowawa, want the high court to issue an order interdicting the Board of
Censors of Zimbabwe and its functionaries from preventing the staging of the
performance at any venue in Zimbabwe and permit Muzondo and his Edzai Isu
Theatre Arts Project to perform the play at the Intwasa Arts Festival.
In August, ZLHR had to turn to the Masvingo Magistrates Courts to quash a
police ban on the play aimed at exhorting peace and reconciliation after
years of conflict in Zimbabwe.
A court interdict, which was granted by Magistrate Jabulani Zinyati on
August 2, 2012, came after human rights lawyer Collin Maboke instituted
urgent proceedings in the form of an ex-parte application challenging the
police ban of the play.
The police through Chief Superintendent Nyapfuri, the Officer Commanding
Zimbabwe Republic Police Masvingo Central District had banned the public
performance of “No Voice No Choice”, a production by two community theatre
groups, Edzai Isu Theatre Arts Project and Zvido Zvevanhu Arts Ensemble.
This is the fourth time in less than two years that ZLHR has had to
intervene in defence of freedom of expression and to safeguard artists’
rights in Zimbabwe.
In February last year, ZLHR fought on behalf of Rooftop Promotions and
obtained an interdict from Bulawayo Magistrate Rose Dube barring the police
from prohibiting the theatre production group from staging a theatre
performance entitled “Rituals”.
This was after the police through Chief Superintendent R. N Masina of
Bulawayo Central Police Station had banned the public performance of Rituals
on the basis that they could not sanction the performance of the play
because the government was already attending to issues of national healing
through the Organ for National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration.
In September last year, ZLHR also successfully challenged the police ban of
the Gwanda-based Jahunda Community Theatre play entitled “1983, the years
before and after, a play on the past disturbances seeking to establish true
National Healing, true peace and true reconciliation.”
Monday, 03 September 2012 12:18
HARARE - Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) president George Nkiwane
has demanded that Lovemore Matombo, former president of ZCTU, returns assets
and property of the labour movement to their offices.
Nkiwane told the Daily News that they have been asking Matombo to return
ZCTU property he has in his possession namely; a vehicle Isuzu Twin Cab,
laptop and a cell phone, since he is no longer the leader of ZCTU.
“Matombo is still holding on to our property and we expect him to return it,
the matter is now being handled by our lawyers. Our former secretary-general
Wellington Chibhebhe handed over the vehicle he had been using when he
retired last year and we expect Matombo to do the same,” said Nkiwane.
Alec Muchadehama ZCTU’s lawyer confirmed the development and said he was
chasing up the matter with Matombo who is refusing to hand over the
“We have a Supreme Court order which confirms that my clients are the
legitimate ZCTU leaders. I have written several letters to Matombo for him
to surrender the properties and we have not received any response from him.
We are still pursuing the matter, because it is not his property. The
vehicle was part of his working benefit but he must now return it to ZCTU,”
Contacted for comment, Raymond Majongwe, spokesperson for Matombo’s
Concerned ZCTU Affiliates said they were not aware of the demand by Nkiwane.
“We are not aware about that demand but I know they are being petty. How can
they claim a cellphone which costs $15? We have better issues concerning the
plight of the workers to attend to rather than trying to settle personal
scores. Nkiwane can have his property anytime rather than bothering Matombo
who is recovering from his illness,” said Majongwe.
Matombo said the matter was being handled by his lawyers and he had no
comment to make as it was a matter before the courts.
Last month, the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal by Matombo to recognise
him as the legitimate leader of ZCTU.
Matombo had approached the Supreme Court seeking an order to overturn
Justice Francis Bere’s ruling in November last year barring him from holding
his elective congress and referring himself as president of ZCTU.
The court also stopped Matombo from using the ZCTU logo, name and properties
and that he should stay away from the ZCTU offices and let sanity prevail in
the labour organisation.
ZCTU had been split into two factions one led by Nkiwane and the other by
Matombo since August 2011.
Nkiwane was elected ZCTU president in August last year at the ZCTU congress
in Bulawayo but Matombo challenged it saying he was voted by bogus
Matombo organised his own congress which was held in December where he was
elected president with Thabitha Khumalo as deputy president and Raymond
Majongwe as secretary-general.
He has now formed his own faction called Concerned ZCTU Affiliates.
by The Standard on September 2, 2012 in Local
CHINHOYI — Civic society has blasted the police for demanding a letter of
consent from venue providers whenever non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
hold public meetings, saying the new requirement curtailed their operations.
Report by Nunurai Jena
The organisations said the new requirement was also an attempt to intimidate
venue providers and deny NGOs a chance to carry out their operations.
Zimrights director, Okay Machisa said the issue of the venue concerned the
convener of the meetings and not the police.
He said the police were determined to close the democratic space by putting
up measures that restrict the operations of NGOs. Zanu PF has on several
occasions accused the organisations of backing MDC formations to effect
regime change in the country.
“The police officers are either overzealous, can’t interpret Posa (Public
Order and Security Act) or are influenced by political machinists,” said
Machisa. “But the bottom line is that it is a strategy of intimidating and
frustrating civil participation considering that we might go for an election
Zimbabwe is set to most probably hold national elections next year.
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) spokesperson, Thabani Nyoni concurred
saying the move was an attempt to threaten venue providers and business
people from accommodating organisations carrying out civic education.
He said most venue providers would not accommodate them fearing
victimisation from the police and Zanu PF activists.
“It is a further assault on the freedoms of assembly and speech by the
government through the police,” said Nyoni. “The police have been acting
outside the law by trying to grant permission on the notification, now they
are going a step ahead in requesting a consent letter. It is outrageous.”
Mashonaland West police spokesperson Inspector Mabgweazara, confirmed that
the police would now require a letter of consent to avoid double bookings at
venues. He said a lot of double bookings had occurred in the province
causing administrative problems.
“Yes we now require a consent letter from the venue provider. We have had
cases where members of different organisations claim to have all booked the
same venues, thereby causing violence” said Mabgweazara.
Zanu PF and MDC-T have clashed in Mashonaland West and Mashonaland East
provinces over double-booking at venues.
Over the years, NGOs have provided much-needed relief in all sectors
including governance and democracy, social and humanitarian services to
citizens across the political divide.
The power wielded by NGOs is a constant toothache to President Robert Mugabe
and his Zanu PF. With an impending referendum and possible general election,
Zanu PF, as per its December 2011 Congress resolution, is bent on curtailing
the operations of NGOs and ensuring that the next election is devoid of
16:05 03 SET 2012
(AGI) Abuja - A Nigerian university will bestow honorary degrees on Jimmy
Carter, Kofi Annan and Robert Mugabe. The former president of the United
States, Jimmy Carter, the ex-secretary general of the United Nations, Kofi
Annan and the president of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, will soon have in common
the receiving of a "honoris causa" degree from a Nigerian university. The
Ahmadu Bello university of Zaria in northern Nigeria, one of the most
prestigious in the country and the continent in general, will confer the
degrees. The regents at Ahmadu Bello are organizing a series of events to
celebrate their first 50 years of existence from October 4th through
November 24th. . .
Commuter omnibus operators plying the Chitungwiza-Harare route temporarily
withdrew their services on Monday morning, protesting against police
roadblocks that have sprouted on the highway.
Their action left commuters stranded and travellers had to resort to private
vehicles to get into Harare.
Drivers claimed there were up to five roadblocks on the Chitungwiza stretch
that covers slightly over 30km.
They complained they were being stopped at every roadblock where they were
either forced to pay a bribe or were issued with traffic offence tickets.
They claimed they were losing about $80 in bribes every day.
Kombi operators coming from Chitungwiza expressed their anger by dropping
passengers just before the first roadblock close to the St Mary’s police
Those that had already been issued with tickets could be seen waving the
papers in the air as a way of expressing displeasure.
A visit to the Chitungwiza Harare Police Station terminus showed frustrated
drivers relaxing in their parked commuters whilst others were returning to
the dormitory town without passengers.
“We are losing almost $80 on a daily basis to police officers, so where do
we get the profits? We are tired of this situation,” said a driver.
Even though drivers vowed not to return to work until the roadblocks were
dismantled, some were however seen ferrying passengers by afternoon.
Drivers urged the Anti-Corruption Commission to conduct undercover
operations and establish the intensity of the problem.
The police is reportedly making $9m a month through traffic fines.
National traffic police spokesperson Inspector Tigere Chigome refuted the
allegations saying his office had not received an official report.
“Commuter operators should come forward and report cases of bribery because
it is a serious offense,” he said.
by The Independent on September 3, 2012 in Politics
ZANU PF’S divisive succession puzzle continues to cause headaches in the
faction-riddled party as its decision-making organ, politburo, was recently
forced to reject a provision in the controversial Copac draft constitution
on running mates fearing this would further destabilise the organisation
ahead of its conference in December and elections next year.
Report by Staff Writer
President Robert Mugabe’s leadership succession is one of the biggest
political questions facing Zimbabwe, as it is intertwined with the fate of
Zanu PF and the nation.
Politburo insiders told Zimbabwe Independent this week all senior party
members who spoke at recent 50-hour politburo meetings strongly opposed the
The provision, over which Zanu PF is unwilling to compromise, forces the
party to deal with its complex succession issue as it corners Mugabe into
anointing his successor, something which he has always refused to do.
Indications are that Zanu PF is looking at the post-Mugabe era, considering
the way it has framed the issue of vice-presidents.
Its proposal says in the event that the president is incapacitated, resigns
or dies, one of the two appointed vice-presidents from the party of the
former president shall take over within 48 hours for the remainder of the
The Copac draft proposes that an elected vice-president or the first running
mate must come in. Critics described it as a “hierarchy of deaths”
provision, showing it was also looking beyond Mugabe.
Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo this week said: “During the outreach
programme the people said they wanted the president to be assisted by two
vice-presidents whom he appoints; the issue of presidential running mates is
alien to Zimbabwe and against the wishes of the people and should therefore
not find its way into the new constitution.”
If Zanu PF uses the party hierarchy Mugabe, already battling with issues of
old age and ill-health, would run with Vice-Presidents Joice Mujuru and John
Nkomo who is suffering from cancer, something which could cause problems.
Zanu PF has revised the Copac draft mainly to restore Mugabe’s imperial
executive powers trimmed in the document. The party says it wants a strong
president with sweeping powers like in the current constitution apparently
to win the next elections and manage succession.
WOZA PRESS STATEMENT: Friday, 31 August, 2012
Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) fully associate themselves with the statement
made at the close of the Zimbabwe Learning Exchange Meeting Declaration of
28 August 2012 convened by the Action Support Centre. WOZA add their call
for the opening up of space for the work of civic society as we move towards
finalisation of our constitutional reform process.
We also call on the King Mswati and the Swaziland Police to allow all
citizens the full enjoyment of freedoms of expression and assembly during
the upcoming Global Week of Action on Swaziland.
The time has come for the people to people solidarity and WOZA members
commit to active solidarity to their sisters and brothers in the region. It
is in this spirit that we express our condolences to the families of those
who lost their lives in the Marikana tragedy.
WOZA adopted a mandate to practice peaceful protest as human rights
defenders committed to the principles of non violence and universality. For
the last 10 years we have conducted protests on a range of issues, including
partnering with the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions in their right to a
decent wage. The Zimbabwe Republic Police response to the peaceful protests
have been beatings, arrests torture and our activists are persecuted on a
daily basis for their peaceful protest mandate.
As victims of police brutality and use of excessive force, WOZA are
especially concerned that police officers within the region must be trained
in response to protest situations and in the case of Marikana, in how they
respond to violence without killing the innocently non violent. We call on
South African Police Commissioner general Riah Phiyega to follow the
Southern Africa Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation protocols.
And further probe the role played by the two rival unions in this tragedy.
The articles therein call for respect for human life and the use of force
and torture. Article 8 calls for a police force that the public can trust
and police officials who can be above reproach. These principles have been
called into account by the wanton shooting of the miners. Additionally we
wish to raise our concern at the national prosecuting authority bringing of
murder charges against miners in custody.
WOZA wish to ring very loud alarm bells that the current events in South
Africa could set unfortunate precedents for the repression of the right to
expression and assembly. We also wish to remind South African of the
inspirational examples they have shown us in removing apartheid through the
use of non violent protest and boycotts. It is unfortunate that some of the
miners were carrying weapons that saw the initial slaying of 14 people
including 2 police officers but still we do not condone the reaction of the
police officers in the subsequent events. Some of these events inspired the
formation of WOZA and its work to build a movement of committed social
We pray our message will be heard by South Africans and other Southern
African Development Community leaders and citizens.
Zimbabwe Learning Exchange Meeting Declaration 28 August 2012
Celebrating more than a decade of practical people to people solidarity with
the people of Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum (ZSF) is a network of
progressive South African civil society organizations. This includes youth,
women, labour, faith-based, human rights and student formations. The Forum
is currently hosted by ACTION Support Centre. For more information visit
www.asc.org.za or www.actionsupportcentre.co.za
Monday, 03 September 2012
Contrary to the statement attributed to the Deputy National Organising
Secretary, Hon Abednico Bhebhe, the MDC has no plans of writing its own
The national council of the MDC which is the highest decision making body in
between congresses, has resolved to endorse the current constitution draft
produced by the Parliamentary select Committee.
In doing so, the party was guided by two important considerations. The first
was its respect of the people’s views as expressed during the outreach
process. The second one was the MDC’s respect of the negotiations it entered
into in good faith. The draft constitution has to be taken to the people of
Zimbabwe for their approval or disapproval.
The position of the Party is that it is the people of Zimbabwe who should
decide from time to time what constitution they want. Should the people
demand changes to the current draft when the MDC is in power, the MDC will
obey the people. This is what Hon Bhebhe intended to communicate.
The MDC will never draft its own draft constitution like what Zanu PF has
done. Any constitution or amendment to the constitution must come from the
people of Zimbabwe.
My vote is in. My voice is YES!!!
03 September 2012
Eddie Cross says the transition of power from the Mugabe era has started at
The Winter of our Days
Each of the seasons in Zimbabwe is special and very different. Spring is
characterized by the brilliant colors of the new foliage of trees that sense
the longer days and the coming rains. Summer with its storms and flooding
rivers, green grass and rich, dense foliage. Then the onset of the dry
season when the weather clears and we have chilly nights, green veld,
running streams and beautiful blue skies and clear nights when the stars
just crowd the skies and you can walk by their light.
But our winters are tough - harsh dry, dust devils scatter across the
bushveld, rivers slow and then die, trees drop their leaves and are stark
and bare, many covered in thorns that make the bush difficult to walk
through. The grass dies and goes brown and is frosted and turned white or
pale yellow, tinder dry and instantly supporting fire when given the
slightest provocation. Millions of hectares are burnt and scarred and the
sun turns a deep red as it its energy is filtered through a dense prism of
dust and smoke. The winter moon rises just after sunset as a yellow ball,
twice its normal size and giving the whole world a sense of serenity that is
broken by the grunts of a distant lion, or the weird laugh of a hyena and
the faint tinkling call of the nightjar.
During the winter it is very difficult to imagine that summer is coming. It
takes a lot of faith and memories of what was in previous years. It's
especially tough in the spring when temperatures rise to the mid 30's and
low 40's. I can remember one spring when for two weeks the thermometer sat
at 45 c during the day and never dropped below 35 cat night. That year you
would not have seen a blade of grass for 100 kilometers in any direction,
cattle died in their thousands, the only hippo left alive were in swimming
pools and dams maintained with pumped water.
But I was born in this wild and tough environment and find the bush of the
lowveld and Matabeleland especially fascinating. By comparison the soft
green environment in the wetter and more temperate areas seem characterless
and uninteresting, even barren. But it can look pretty discouraging and
bleak to the outsider.
In politics this is our winter, there not much to cheer about, Zanu PF is
still frustrating all progress, both in the economy and in the political
arena. They seem to be able to continue to burn what remains of the rural
economy and get away with the arson. The MDC seems compliant and without
power or even influence. The regional community makes the right noises but
seem unable or unwilling to intervene effectively on the side of justice and
Preparations for the summer are not going well, the Constitution making
programme is flawed and compromised by the necessity of doing a deal with
the Zanu PF to get progress and even this has not yielded progress. Zanu PF
has tabled a version that simply closes the door on the future and they
claim that "this is not negotiable". The rogue elements in the Party refuse
to disclose either what they are producing or selling from the diamond mines
and are clearly not returning most of the secret revenues to the country.
So we have had to cut our budget and reduce the scope of all we planned this
winter. People are hungry, jobs are few and still declining, health services
are available but expensive and although everything is now available,
finding the money for daily needs is very difficult. But the main problem is
that relentless dry sky and the absence of real hope that the rains of
change are coming.
Yet it is in these days that we must prepare for what we must believe, in
faith, is coming soon. During the bush war in this country between 1972 and
1980, it was always an inspiration to me to travel through the farming
districts and see farmers preparing their lands, planting seed beds and
getting into stock all they would need once the rains broke. To me this was
always an act of faith. Here was a community of people who believed that the
rains would come, that the dry barren earth would yield its plenty if
nurtured. A community that was not dismayed by mandatory UN sanctions
against their products; not dismayed by the nightly attacks on their remote
farms and the constant call outs.
In politics, this is our winter, we need to believe that the rains are
coming and we must prepare for their advent because if we do not, we will
not be able to take advantage of the opportunities they present. The
transition of power from the Mugabe era has started at last. There is no
doubt in my mind that Mugabe is yesterday's man today. Events are still
swirling about him but he is less and less involved or able to direct
matters. The only questions are of timing and the outcome. It's just like
the beginning of the rains - we can never be certain of when or how much
rain will fall.
My own view is that there are now four possible scenarios - the one on the
table supported by the SADC and the AU of a free and fair election after all
the agreed reforms are implemented. If this transpires then we are looking
at a final transition towards the end of 2013. The second scenario is that
the hard liner faction in Zanu PF succeeds in their call for an election in
the immediate future that they can control and manipulate. The third would
follow the incapacitation in some way, of President Mugabe which would
trigger a transition. The final option, which I still think is a real
possibility, is a negotiated solution that accommodates the fears and needs
of all the stakeholders but achieves a peaceful and democratic transfer of
power to new leadership.
As in the past, the outcome will be determined - not so much by the weather
inside Zimbabwe but by the winds of change that blow regionally and
internationally. External pressure has always been critical in order to
break the log jam in local politics. That was true in 1976 when Kissinger
intervened using his global power and reach and the support of key African
leaders, in 1989 it was Mrs. Thatcher who forced the final resolution of the
South African crisis and gave them a new beginning.
Right now for ordinary Zimbabweans it looks as if this winter will never
end. They struggle every day to make a living and keep a roof over their
heads. They watch the endless maneuvering of the local political parties and
despair of progress or real change. They wonder, will the rains of change
bring relief or just another form of the old crisis of governance that has
hitherto robbed us of our future?
It is in times like this that we must, each of us, take out our tractors and
go and plough and prepare our lands, we need to make plans for early planted
crops by servicing our irrigation equipment and getting the inputs ready. In
2008 the international community, led by the diplomats in the Fishmonger
Group, imported a million tonnes of maize, thousands of tonnes of pulses and
vegetable oil in preparation for the traditional hunger season here and in
anticipation of change.
When change came they were ready to keep the country stable by feeding over
70 per cent of the population. In this way they keep the country stable and
avoided mass starvation during a time of real crisis. Regional leaders,
acting in the space created by this foresight, took the lead and ushered in
the GNU and tried to get the new Government to work on the longer term
That this has not happened is no fault of theirs - the fault lies with those
who hold the guns and the diamonds and who have everything to fear from a
new season. They are not preparing to plough, they are preparing for war: a
fight on the ground that will support their control of any new election in
Zimbabwe. Can they pull this off?
I do not think so; history is stacked against them, just as it was in 1976
against Ian Smith and in 1989 against the Nationalists in South Africa. The
key lies in Pretoria and I know that the global powers are not only
maintaining a watching brief but are also applying the required pressure and
resources. As in all such local conflicts we have to deal with the
hardliners and to accommodate their fears. Some compromise is essential and
this is not understood by those who have suffered at the hands of the old
regime in the past - and they are many!
What we are doing is to try and get ready for change - so we have been
working on the detailed policies and work programmes that will guide the new
administration as we tackle all the problems of a failed State in Africa.
These are nearing completion and we then go out to consult our structures to
get their agreement on the vision the MDC has for a new Zimbabwe. Hopefully
then, when finally the rains of change break and we can smell the sweet
fragrance of the wet earth after this long winter, we will be ready to take
advantage of the changes in the weather and make a success of the new season
in our lives.
Eddie Cross is MDC MP for Bulawayo South. This article first appeared on his
Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, 3rd September 2012.
The goings on at Save Valley Conservancy are disturbing and it is time the
coalition government drew the line before the country loses its endangered
species and direct foreign investment
The GNU should know that the whole world is watching how it is trying to
restore order and sanity at Save Valley. Any half measures will be
If the coalition government allows partisan politics to take the centre
stage, then the crisis is likely to worsen with far reaching implications.
Of major concern is the dithering by the coalition government on stamping
its authority to protect wildlife, livelihoods for thousands of families and
indeed local and foreign investors in the Save Valley Conservancy area.
It is disappointing to watch people aligned to political groupings fighting
each other for the control of natural resources and meat for braais at their
Curiously, the regime suddenly wants to indigenise Save Valley Conservancy
(SVC) when the Conservancy started a more meaningful form of indigenisation
well, well before Kasukuwere drafted his destructive regulations.
Formed 11 years after independence with the approval of the Zimbabwe
Government, National Parks, assisted by the WWF and Beit Trust, the Save
Valley Conservancy says, “Opportunities to invest were open to all and in
fact the government took the opportunity through Arda (a parastatal).”
SVC also notes that an IFC Loan, approved and supported by Government, was
negotiated in order to purchase wildlife as a severe drought meant that
there were no cattle or animals left in the area.
Community Trust Predated Indigenisation Laws
The Save Valley Conservancy goes on to disclose that it has “long held the
view that indigenisation would take the form of community involvement and
As a result they formed the Save Valley Conservancy Community Trust, which
incorporates five neighbouring Rural District Councils. “This was achieved
between 1996 and 1998 predating the current indigenisation act by some
years,” says the SVC on its website.
Continued engagement with authorities
It is arguable that the Conservancy’s own indigenisation drive from 2006 to
2009 aimed at increasing benefit to neighbouring communities and increasing
indigenous shareholding appears to have been was frustrated by self-seeking
It is very distressing to note that Conservancy supplied the “requested
documentation” to the Ministry “on many occasions without any formal or
directional feedback being supplied by either Ministry of Environment or
Again as the regime’s real intentions appear to have been exposed when a
steering committee was formed to guide the legal, accounting and business
processes that would be necessary to ensure smooth transactions, the whole
thing ran aground in July 2011.
What is shocking is that “would-be partners stated they had no intention of
investing but wanted “cash on the table” according to the Conservancy.
In typical Zanu-pf vindictive style, hunting safaris throughout the
Conservancy were cancelled by the authorities, while hunting quotas for
properties in the Conservancy have since been issued to the would-be
partners from Masvingo.
Reports say the ban deprived the Save Valley Conservancy of vital income.
However, the Save Valley Conservancy and its members remain “committed to
proactively seeking realistic and viable solutions to the situation.”
This talk of indigenisation is so upsetting when it is reported that Robert
Mugabe and his cronies own 5million hectares of land that was seized from
white commercial farmers since 2000 (The Zimbabwean 01/12.10).
The seizure of Save Valley Conservancy by Robert Mugabe’s loyalists will
have serious implications for Zimbabwe and wildlife.
Already the world is abuzz with news of the destruction of wildlife and the
environment with the European Union threatening to stop funding the
forthcoming UNWTO general assembly.
Surely, such a drastic move by the EU would be collective punishment for the
sins of a few Zanu-pf loyalists. Instead the EU should be more selective and
slap the culprits with targeted restrictive measures.
Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, Political Analyst, London,
Clifford is commencing fulltime doctorate studies on forced migration at
the London South Bank University on 24th September and would appreciate any
well wishers willing to support him to contact him directly as he is
struggling to raise the initial fee of £5000 for year one.
PEACE WATCH 1/2012
3rd September 2012
This new series of Peace Watch will provide some ideas which people can think about, share and debate, on topics such as National Healing, Ubuntu [as applied to the nation], Transition, National Cohesion and Unity, Equality and Social Justice. All are prerequisites for moving forward from a situation of divisiveness and conflict to a united and peaceful nation.
The first issue which will be examined will be that of National Healing. It is a subject that has been talked about for several years and many individuals and organisations have contributed towards what they think necessary to achieve this. But have we had a real consensus on what is meant by National Healing? Have we “unpacked” what is necessary for it and do we know whether what has been done is working? The duty of National Healing has been recognised at the political level, but the question remains: was it a “look-good” token recognition or was it a statement of intention?
Recognition of the Need for National Healing in the GPA
There was a recognition of the need for National Healing in the Global Political Agreement [GPA]. Although it was the three major parties with seats in Parliament that put their signatures to the GPA, the other parties, even though left out of the process would find it difficult not to resonate with this:
ARTICLE 7 OF THE GPA
PROMOTION OF EQUALITY, NATIONAL HEALING, COHESION AND UNITY
The Parties hereby agree that the new Government:
a) will ensure equal treatment of all regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, place of origin and will work towards equal access to development for all;
b) will ensure equal and fair development of all regions of the country and in particular to correct historical imbalances in the development of regions;
c) shall give consideration to the setting up of a mechanism to properly advise on what measures might be necessary and practicable to achieve national healing, cohesion and unity in respect of victims of pre and post independence political conflicts; and
d) will strive to create an environment of tolerance and respect among Zimbabweans and that all citizens are treated with dignity and decency irrespective of age, gender, race, ethnicity, place of origin or political affiliation.
e) will formulate policies and put measures in place to attract the return and repatriation of all Zimbabweans in the Diaspora and in particular will work towards the return of all skilled personnel.
First we will look at healing in its broadest sense. Healing literally means to make whole. The Old English word from which it comes is in essence the same as the Bantu word “ubuntu”.
Healing may be physical, psychological, social and spiritual.
The word healing assumes:
· That there has been the infliction of some sort of hurt, injury, pain, damage, unbalance – whether this be physical, psychological, social or spiritual or a combination of these. This infliction can be the result of a sudden, quick traumatic event, violence or accident – in which case it is often labelled trauma – such as a rape, injury or loss of loved one in a fire. Or it can be long drawn out such as the hurt inflicted to the dignity of black people in years of colonialism, or the constant repetitious hurt of an abusive relationship.
· That healing involves some process of ‘repairing’, cure, restitution – whether this be medical attention, psychological therapy or counselling, spiritual healing, or compensation/restitution to a family or whole community.
Healing requires: identifying injury and pain, stopping whatever is immediately causing injury and pain, preventing the causes from restarting and repairing the injury and pain [more on this below]
In the context of talking about national healing in Zimbabwe, the focus is on political and social causes of injury and pain, whether inflicted on individuals or communities, and on various forms of political and social remedies that will repair the individual or community and ultimately the nation in all respects – physically, psychologically, socially and spiritually.
There are multiple aspects of injury and pain, its causes, and options for remedies. In the immediate context of Zimbabwe, the focus must be on state-sponsored and political party activities – for the simple reason that these are the single biggest cause of injury and pain. This focus does not suggest that other forms of violence are not important [such as criminal and domestic violence], but the goal here is to stress the political responsibility for national healing.
Healing the nation requires:
i. identifying injury and pain
ii. stopping whatever is immediately causing injury and pain
iii. preventing the causes from restarting
iv. repairing injury and pain.
A great deal can be said about each of these steps in healing. But first a key point needs to be emphasised – that healing cannot start while more injury is being caused. Healing a burnt hand cannot start if the hand is still in the fire.
The steps for healing should be taken sequentially. Many might focus on the fourth [repairing], but this would miss the obvious point that more injury is still being caused. Counselling a woman who has been raped will not do much good if she is raped again the following week. Healing a divided community cannot start if one side is still beating the other.
For the short term, we should concentrate on the first three in the sequence – identifying the cause of the pain, stopping it continuing and preventing it from recurring. [Each will be looked at in more detail] Only when the nation has identified, admitted and stopped the immediate and ongoing injury and pain and has taken steps to ensure it will not recur, can society concentrate on the fourth stage, i.e. the more common view of ‘healing’, summarised in the word “repairing”.
Tackling the first three is not complicated, and visible progress would be dramatic if it were done at a national level of political responsibility. Individuals and civic organisations can and have done their bit, but political and state organised violence and the healing of its wounds require the involvement of political-party leadership and government institutions and policy makers. But before anything effective can be done, there has to be a first stage, at a political and governmental level, of acknowledging the problem exists and the extent of the problem, and of taking responsibility for the problem.
Acknowledgement of Responsibility
To even start the process of nation-wide healing it first requires our political-party leadership, government institutions and policy makers and the Organ for National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration [the “Organ”] set up by government to face facts and publicly acknowledge that sectors of our nation have been subjected to state-sponsored and political violence. There should be no place for pretence and avoidance. The saying “adding insult to injury” applies to the brutality of the violence and suffering that has occurred and in many areas of the country is still ongoing, but is not acknowledged. Nor can the prospect of repetition of this suffering be evaded. Already, as we approach the next elections, violence is escalating; and, fear of a repeat of the killings and beatings, displacement and destruction of property that occurred in the 2008 elections is being expressed throughout the country.
Acknowledgement is not only morally right, it is important for political leaders, not only in terms of their potential legal liability, but also in terms of their reputations in political, community and personal terms. What will be the answers, if their grandchildren ask “‘what did you do about the violence being carried out by the state or your political party?”
As regards potential criminal liability, many examples throughout the world show that if people in positions of authority take no action in the face of clear evidence of state-sponsored mass violence or, worse still, find ways actively to hide such evidence, they risk being complicit in criminal behaviour.
Hence, denying the evidence, refusing to do anything and obfuscating, carries great risks to political parties, to the government as an institution and for the individuals in it and to the Organ [again as an institution and for the individuals in it]. If these institutions, both collectively and as individuals, do not publicly and consistently state their position on state and political violence, they run the risk of irreparable damage to their reputations both now and in posterity. At the criminal responsibility and liability end of the scale, denial, etc., is effectively condoning and even authorising, the conduct in question.
To be continued
Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied