Friday, 04 September 2009 13:43
EMBATTLED business mogul Mutumwa Mawere has engaged former Zambian and
South African presidents - Kenneth Kaunda and Thabo Mbeki respectively - to
negotiate with government for the return of his seized companies.
The South African-based Mawere lost his companies to government in
2004 when his SMM Holdings (Pvt) Ltd was placed under reconstruction for
indebtedness to the state, amid allegations that the tycoon spirited huge
sums of foreign currency out of the country.
Since then Mawere has been battling to regain the companies that had
interests in the mining, petroleum, telecommunications and agricultural
Talks between Mawere and government that commenced in May have since
collapsed after Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, Defence minister
Emmerson Mnangagwa and SMM administrator Arafas Gwaradzimba prevailed over
central bank governor Gideon Gono's earlier advice to President Robert
Mugabe to return the firms to the tycoon.
The Chinamasa group insisted that Mugabe and Gono should not interfere
with court processes as "it will set a bad precedent". Mawere had several
court cases against government in Zimbabwe and abroad.
The collapse of the negotiations, impeccable sources said, prompted
Mawere to engage Kaunda and Mbeki to negotiate for the return of the firms,
amid reports that the Chinamasa camp had vowed that he would not get his
Kaunda, the sources said, had since met Mugabe over the Mawere saga.
"Mawere has asked Kaunda and Mbeki to engage Mugabe for the return of
his companies," one of the sources said. "Kaunda met the president last
month when he came to Harare to pay his respects for the late Vice-
President (Joseph) Msika."
The sources said the Chinamasa group met on Wednesday and vowed to
resist any future moves, even by Mugabe, to give back the companies to
Gono wrote an advisory note to Mugabe on May 14, urging him and
government to return Mawere's assets in the "spirit of the inclusive
government and reconciliation".
The central bank boss said charges against Mawere must be dropped and
his companies returned because government had acted improperly during their
He said although he was aware the issues were before the courts, a
negotiated settlement could be a better way to resolve the dispute.
Gono has since withdrawn the note after "vital consultations" with
Mugabe, Chinamasa and Gwaradzimba in June and decided that he "had no other
role to play in the case".
In documents lodged with the Supreme Court last month in the
possession of the Zimbabwe Independent, Chinamasa insisted that there were
no talks between government and Mawere, although he claimed that the
businessman had "made contacts with certain people in responsible positions
including some ministers, particularly from the MDC-T and MDC-M", to lobby
for the deferment of cases related to the reconstruction of SMM.
Chinamasa said Mawere had "manipulated" Gono by giving him "selected
material, information and data, half truths and lies, basically in order to
lobby the governor like he has done with others" to support the return of
"The governor formed a view, albeit ill-informed, by Mr Mawere, at the
time, and without having had audience neither with me nor with the
administrator," read Chinamasa's notice of opposition filed with the Supreme
Court on August 21. "When the governor had the benefit of my views and
indeed then administrator he was better informed.In any event, any views
that the government would hold including his advice, would simply be his
opinion of the time and no more. The governor's mandate would not extend to
such matters, which are the domain of me as minister responsible."
In his answering affidavit, Mawere denied meeting ministers from both
formations of the MDC and Gono, but confirmed he met Mugabe on May 10 at the
Sheraton Hotel in Pretoria.
The meeting, he said, was a follow up to a discussion he had with the
president the previous day at South African President Jacob Zuma's
inauguration and was requested by Mugabe to brief him about the details and
circumstances leading to the reconstruction of SMM and his specification.
Mawere said he gave Mugabe the pertinent information and was informed
that the president's officials would get in touch with him to expeditiously
deal with the matter.
The tycoon said Gono became his government point man and on several
occasions he communicated through cellphone short message service (sms) on
the progress of the negotiations.
The sms are part of Mawere's answering affidavit and reveal that Gono
briefed the businessman of all meetings he held with Mugabe, Chinamasa and
Gono in the sms promised to fight in Mawere's corner and assured him
that Mugabe was also on his side.
"It was Dr Gono who showed concern about the reconstruction of SMM and
my specification and that it is also a concern of His Excellency the
president that I was unfairly treated," Mawere said. "According to Dr Gono,
the respondent (Chinamasa) had fears that any attempt to interfere with
court processes would set a bad precedent against other persecuted people
such as (Roy) Bennett, Jestina Mukoko and others. From this statement, it is
clear that the reconstruction is a political and not legal issue as the
respondent would like this honourable (court) to believe."
Mawere said until his meeting with Mugabe, he had assumed that the
president was at the centre of his harassment, "but it becomes very clear
that when the respondent (Chinamasa) is making reference to the government
of Zimbabwe he is in fact limiting the players to a selected few with him
playing a central and pivotal role in this matter".
Friday, 04 September 2009 13:23
JUSTICE Minister Patrick Chinamasa misled the public this week when he
announced that Zimbabwe had pulled out of the Sadc Tribunal arguing that the
panel was not properly constituted and therefore illegal, Zimbabwe Lawyers
For Human Rights (ZLHR) have said.
The lawyers said Chinamasa misinformed the public that the Tribunal
was illegal and not properly constituted because it was not ratified by
two-thirds of Sadc members.
ZLHR argues that Chinamasa's interpretation is wide of the mark
because the Articles he was relying on have been repealed.
Articles 35 and 38 of the Tribunal Protocol have both been repealed by
an amendment to the Sadc Treaty. Article 16 repealed Articles 35 and 38 and
overrides Article 22 of the Treaty which deals in part with the need to
have ratification by two-thirds of Sadc members.
"What Honourable Chinamasa fails and/or neglects to mention or address
is the fact that, in 2001, the Sadc Treaty was amended so as to make the
Sadc Tribunal an integral part of both the Treaty and the Institution of
Sadc. The said amendment to the Sadc Treaty spcifically established the Sadc
Tribunal and incorporated it into Sadc as an integral organ. The amendment
went on to refer to the Tribunal Protocol and categorically excluded it from
the usual requirement for ratification by two-thirds before it could come
into force and effect," ZLHR said.
ZLHR added: "Honourable Chinamasa and/or his legal advisors neglected
or failed to appreciate that these requirements for ratification were thus
made redundant by the Sadc agreement on the Amendment to the Protocol at
their meeting in Luanda, Angola, on 3 October 2002.
"Sadc member states' heads of state and government and/or their duly
authorised representatives agreed that it was not necessary to ratify the
protocol and appended their signatures to this agreement. In fact, the
minister's colleague and counterpart, Stanislus Mudenge agreed and signed
this amendment on behalf of Zimbabwe."
The Tribunal ruled in November last year that the chaotic land
seizures were discriminatory, racist and illegal under the Sadc Treaty.
The regional court ordered Harare not to evict the 78 farmers and that
it pays full compensation to those it had already forced off farms.
President Robert Mugabe has publicly dismissed the ruling, while his
supporters defied the court order by continuing to seize more land from the
few white farmers remaining in Zimbabwe.
ZLHR says contrary to Chinamasa's claims, the Tribunal is a creation
of the Declaration Treaty and did not "owe its existence to the ratification
of the Tribunal Protocol".
"It is clear from the above provisions of the Sadc Treaty that, while
all other protocols require ratification by two-thirds of Sadc member
states, the same rule does not apply to the protocol relating to the
"This was knowingly agreed to by Sadc member states and, in fact, they
believe they found this Tribunal to be so critical to the protection of the
objectives and workings of Sadc that they knowingly, intentionally and
willingly did away with the need for ratification by two thirds of the Sadc
member states," ZLHR said.
The lawyers questioned why Zimbabwe seconded Justice Antonia Guvava to
sit as a judge on the Sadc Tribunal if it had been illegal.
Friday, 04 September 2009 13:16
THE Sadc Summit to be held next week in the Democratic Republic of
Congo (DRC) has a difficult task in convincing President Robert Mugabe and
Morgan Tsvangirai to bring to finality the outstanding issues threatening
the Global Political Agreement (GPA).
The 14-member bloc is increasingly coming under pressure to resolve
the stalemate between Zanu PF and Tsvangirai's MDC, with calls for Sadc to
be firm in pressing Zimbabwe to implement what they agreed on last
Sources in the MDC-T said while some progress has been made, there
were serious issues threatening the stability of the inclusive government.
Tsvangirai's MDC formation wants Sadc to ensure the full
implementation of the GPA and to see key issues outlined in the January 27
Pretoria Sadc summit communiqué resolved. (See page 7 for full communiqué.)
These unresolved issues, they said, were related to the appointments
of the provincial governors, Governor of the Reserve Bank and
Attorney-General, the swearing-in of deputy Agriculture minister Roy
Bennett, and the arrests of MDC-T legislators.
However, Zanu PF is maintaining that it is the MDC which has in fact
not fulfilled key elements agreed to under the GPA.
Zanu PF is accusing MDC-T of not doing anything to address the removal
of sanctions against Zimbabwe and to stop the beaming of anti-Zimbabwe
messages by "pirate" radio station.
Presidential spokesperson George Charamba was quoted in the state
media saying sanctions were the greatest threat to the survival of the
inclusive government and that President Mugabe would draw the summit's
attention to the issue.
Meanwhile, head of a five-member delegation of the United States
Congress, Congressman Gregory Meeks of the 6th District of New York told the
Zimbabwe Independent that the removal of sanctions would depend on the
commitment of all the parties to fulfilling the GPA.
"Outright human rights violations and other things - there has to be
something that can show that there is going to be a change. I believe that
the first thing that has to happen is that everybody, both sides, have to
live up to their agreements with the Global Political Agreement," Meeks
"Show us that you can live up to that agreement and then that tells
me that maybe we should change our policies because there is a difference.
But if you can't even live up to that agreement, how can I convince my
colleagues to change the policies?" he said.
The delegation was in Zimbabwe for a two-day visit during which they
met Tsvangirai, Mugabe, Speaker of Parliament Lovemore Moyo and the
co-chairpersons of the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Constitution.
The Sadc summit of January26-27 resolved amongst other issues that the
equitable distribution of ministerial posts would be reviewed after six
MDC-T wants this review to be part of the summit in Kinshasa.
The review might see government ministries being reallocated if Sadc
leaders adhere to its resolution.
The MDC-T source said: "The MDC is expecting that the review process
will be part of the next Sadc summit agenda in Kinshasa and the MDC
president plans to attend the summit with his delegation."
Tsvangirai is expected, the source said, to make a separate submission
for consideration of the Sadc chairman, South African government and the
summit regarding the need for the review of equitable distribution of
The inclusive government, the sources said, has also had problems
related to interpretation of certain sections of the GPA, accusing other
parties of implementing it in bad faith.
MDC-T will bring to the attention of Sadc the unprocedural alterations
to the final Act of Constitutional Amendment 19.
The Act signed into law, the sources said, differed significantly from
the Bill assented to by parliament, thereby rendering it null and void.
On the appointments of the provincial governors, Reserve Bank governor
and Attorney-General, the MDC sources said these were done in violation of
the Memorandum of Understanding.
These, the sources said, were not reviewed as outlined in the Sadc
Communiqué of January 27.
The MDC-T now wants the posts of Governor of the Reserve Bank and
Attorney-General to be declared vacant and subsequently filled in line with
article 20.1.3 (p) of the GPA, which states that the president has to make
such key appointments in consultation with the Prime Minister.
On the provincial governors, MDC-T wants the five people it chose to
be sworn in this month and it is also demanding that Bennett be sworn in
It also wants the issue regarding the mandate of the Ministry of
Information Technology, whose communication department was taken away, to be
addressed by the summit.
"The chairing of Cabinet in the absence of President Mugabe is clearly
outlined in the GPA but Zanu PF continues to subvert this issue. There is
also continued abuse of the law and selective application of the rule of
law," said one source.
Meanwhile, Africa director at Human Rights Watch Georgette Gagnon said
Southern African leaders should stop looking at Zimbabwe through
"The region's leaders need to press Zimbabwe openly and publicly for
human rights reforms to prevent the country from backsliding into
state-sponsored violence and chaos.
Friday, 04 September 2009 13:12
ZANU PF is still to submit a list of chairpersons for the
constitutional thematic committees, a move which is seen as a deliberate
effort to further delay the constitution-making process.
The parliamentary select committee on the constitution has had to
postpone seven times the announcement of 17 chairpersons for the thematic
committees because Zanu PF factions are fighting over control of the
MDC-T president Morgan Tsvangirai on Tuesday bemoaned deliberate moves
to delay the constitution-making process, which was supposed to be completed
in 18 months from April this year.
"Equally problematic is the deliberately slow pace of progress on the
implementation of key issues connected to human rights and the rule of law.
This includes the self-evidently deliberate stalement on the
constitutional reform process, as well as the slow pace of media reform,"
said Tsvangirai at a press conference marking the first anniversary of the
Global Political Agreement (GPA) signed last September.
Impeccable sources in Zanu PF have revealed that the selection of
chairpersons has been hampered by factionalism in the party, with all the
factions trying to make sure that they have more people chairing the
committees. There are three camps in Zanu PF - one with President Robert
Mugabe's loyalists and the other two battling for succession led by retired
army general Solomon Mujuru and Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.
"People were chosen at a caucus meeting democratically, but that
process has been spurned by some senior officials. The factions are fighting
over control of the process, so we just have to wait and see who wins in the
end," said the official.
MDC-T co-chairperson of the select committee Douglas Mwonzora
confirmed to the Zimbabwe Independent that the names that had initially been
submitted were withdrawn by the Zanu PF politburo.
He said Zanu PF has had its deadline extended three times now - first
to August 21 and then to Wednesday and now to today.
Mwonzora said Zanu PF's co-chairperson Paul Mangwana has promised to
submit the list next week.
The chairmanships of the 17 thematic committees have been shared
between the three political parties represented in parliament, Zanu PF and
the two MDC formations as well as traditional leaders.
Zanu PF and MDC-T would each chair seven committees, while the Arthur
Mutambara-led MDC will chair two and one traditional leader will chair the
"It is now the seventh time that we have had to postpone the
announcement of the chairpersons because names from Zanu PF have not come.
They have been giving a number of explanations for the delay," Mwonzora
said. "Political parties must realise that they are not alone in the project
and they must be seen to be taking their colleagues seriously. It is
important that we move together in this project as Zimbabweans," he said.
Mwonzora said even though they had completed their work plan, they
were unable to proceed because of lack of funds.
They need US$4,2 million for the outreach programmes and this includes
funds to hire 165 cars for select committee members and 860 teams across the
Government has only disbursed US$350 000, which was used for the
stakeholders' conference in July.
"Regarding the support of government in the provision of resources,
the select committee is extremely unhappy. Firstly, there is no clear
provision in the budget for the select committee to work and secondly, we
have not received any material support from central government," Mwonzora
said. "It is important to note that the select committee regards government
as its principal funder and provider of material resources. Where the
government finds money is entirely up to it, but it should not ask the
select committee to indirectly fund the project."
Through the provision of funds, Mwonzora said the government would
allow the committee to meet the timelines outlined in the GPA.
Citing budgetary constraints and disagreements among the parties,
Mangwana has said the process might end in 2013, in time for the general
Turning to the sticky Kariba draft as a basis for the
constitution-making process, Mwonzora said they have devised a way around
"Kariba draft is not an issue in the outreach programme. We are agreed
that the outreach programme must not be converted into a referendum over the
Kariba draft. We are working on a questionnaire or talking points to get
objective responses. It is undesirable for us to reveal the source of these
questions," he said.
Mwonzora pointed out that they would not be discussing the reasons
they chose that particular source to come up with the questions.
He, however, said the three principals were free to interrogate the
select committee on the route they have chosen.
Mwonzora said there was need for a clear reporting structure for the
select committee because the GPA is silent on who they should report to.
"Granted that the select committee is coming from parliament, it is
answerable to the parliament administration headed by the Speaker. But given
its creation, the select committee must be treated as a committee sui
generis, which must inevitably interface with the principals," he said.
Friday, 04 September 2009 12:48
SUPPORT for President Robert Mugabe has plunged since the formation of
a unity government six months ago, according to two polls, the results of
which have only now been revealed.
Less than 10% of adults would vote for him or Zanu PF if elections
were held now, the surveys suggests.
Mugabe has lost 20% of his support since the March 2008 elections in
which Morgan Tsvangirai beat him.
However, after a campaign of Zanu PF violence, Tsvangirai was forced
to withdraw from a presidential run-off and Mugabe won the one-man race and
was sworn into five more years in office.
But Sadc persuaded the two to form a unity government.
Information leaked from the results of two recent public opinion
surveys shows that Mugabe's Zanu PF would be reduced to a small opposition
party if elections were held now.
A survey conducted by the Mass Public Opinion Institute (MPOI), which
accurately predicted election results over the past 10 years, sent
interviewers for the first time deep into Mugabe's rural strongholds.
A second survey, commissioned a month later in May, confirmed the
Eldred Masunungure, director of the MPOI, and a senior lecturer at the
University of Zimbabwe, said he could not comment on the findings.
"The survey covers a wide range of opinion about many subjects and
until analysis is complete we cannot release partial information," he said.
Nevertheless, key information about Mugabe's drop in popularity has
been leaked from various sources.
It shows that Mugabe and Zanu PF are indivisible in the voters' minds
and both would be lucky to score between 8% and 10 %; Tsvangirai and his
Movement for Democratic Change would get 57%, while between 31% and 33% are
still undecided; "Even if all the 'don't knows' voted for Mugabe, Tsvangirai
and the MDC would easily win any election," one senior researcher said this
Close to Mugabe's rural home in Mashonaland West province, many voters
formerly employed on white-owned farms, say they would vote for Tsvangirai
and his MDC in a "free and fair" poll.
Political analyst Brian Raftopoulos said the results of the survey
"confirm the continuing deep erosion and breakdown of Zanu PF and Mugabe's
support as the party of liberation.
"If Zanu PF is aware of this, this makes them even more dangerous as
Zanu PF's only power is state power, from the presidency, and they are
fighting desperately to hold on to that power," Raftopoulos said.
He added that if the unity government collapsed Mugabe's clique would
cause a "bloodbath". - The Daily News (South Africa).
Friday, 04 September 2009 12:46
BY-ELECTIONS to fill close to 15 vacancies in parliament will only be
held after a new independent electoral commission is in place, sources in
Zanu PF and the two MDC formations revealed this week.
A senior MDC-T official told the Zimbabwe Independent that the delay
in holding the by-elections was deliberate to ensure that the elections are
conducted by the new independent electoral body, whose selection is yet to
No dates have been set for interviewing candidates to the Zimbabwe
"We are waiting for the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to be put in
place before the by-elections are held," he said "How can we have
by-elections when there is no body to conduct those elections? So the
by-elections will only be held when the new ZEC is in place - elections
cannot be conducted by the biased old ZEC."
This was also confirmed by a senior Zanu PF official, who said the
process of selecting election commissioners was likely to take more than
Some of the seats in both the Senate and the House of Assembly have
been vacant for more than a year.
The delay by President Robert Mugabe in calling for the by-elections
is, however, in breach of the Electoral Act and the Constitution of
According to Section 39 of the Electoral Act, the Speaker or the
president of the senate is supposed to notify the state president as soon as
possible after he/she becomes aware of a vacancy.
The state president then publishes a notice in the Government Gazette
within 14 days after he has been notified of the vacancy ordering a new
election to fill the seat.
A nomination court of candidates would sit not less than 14 days or
more than 21 days after the publication of the proclamation. An election
date would then be set not less than 28 days and not more than 50 days after
the nomination of candidates.
Constitutional lawyer Lovemore Madhuku said Mugabe was answerable for
the delay and can be taken to court for breaching the Electoral Act and the
country's supreme law.
The other option, he said, would be to accuse him of misconduct and
Madhuku dismissed claims by the political parties that ZEC was
dissolved by Amendment No 19.
Contrary to that assertion, he said the amendment only outlined a new
selection process of commissioners.
"The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission remains in place until another one
is constituted. So it is not true that ZEC was dissolved," he said.
ZEC chairperson Justice George Chiweshe said this week the commission
did not have enough money to hold by-elections, indicating that the polls
were not going to be held any time soon.
This, a Zanu PF politburo member said, was meant to delay the
Senate seats to be filled include Gokwe South, Chiredzi, Chegutu,
Gokwe-Chirumhanzu. House of Assembly constituencies that are vacant include
Matobo North, Bindura North, Mutare North, Guruve North and
Recently, three vacancies arose following the expulsion from the MDC
formation led by Professor Arthur Mutambara of Norman Mpofu (Bulilima East),
Abednico Bhebhe (Nkayi South) and Njabuliso Mguni (Lupane East).
Several MDC-T members have pending cases in the courts and if they are
all convicted and sentenced to more than six months imprisonment, the number
of by-elections due could rise to more than 30.
The three parties that signed the Global Political Agreement cannot
contest each other in any by-election until after September 15.
An extension of this was now highly unlikely, a senior MDC-T official
said this week.
Friday, 04 September 2009 12:40
FOR a man normally associated with terror for his alleged role in the
often bloody farm invasions, war veterans' leader Joseph Chinotimba could
try his hand at stand-up comedy following his dramatic performance in court
last week that left even the magistrate in stitches.
Judging by his performance he could face off with the late Paraffin or
Mutirowafanza and emerge victorious hands down.
What would have been a long boring court procedure on Wednesday last
week turned out to be an entertaining one with even Harare Magistrate
Kudakwashe Jarabini failing to resist Chinotimba's hilarious testimony.
It was the day when the trial of deputy Minister of Youth Development,
Indigenisation and Empowerment Thamsanqa Mahlangu started on allegations of
stealing a cellphone belonging to Chinotimba.
The former Harare City Council police man was the first to narrate how
his Nokia 2310 was stolen on July 17 when he attended Deputy Prime Minister
Arthur Mutambara's National Vision 2040 at the Harare International
Conference Centre (HICC).
Mahlangu is jointly charged with his personal assistant Malvern
Chadamoyo and two Hwange women, Geraldine Phiri and Patience Nyoni, with
stealing the US$40 phone.
All of them deny the charge.
Clad in a grey suit, a smart-looking Chinotimba from time to time
swayed to other issues despite constantly being told to stick to the
cellphone theft story.
He said: "I got to the conference a bit late around lunch hour and
some people had already eaten.
But before I sat down 'pakaita mufaro wakanyaya vanhu vachida kutaura
neni sezvo vanga vanzwa kuti ndichataura speech' (There was great happiness
among the crowd as people came to greet me and talk to me. They had heard I
was going to make a speech)."
As Chinotimba wanted to go on with how he was welcomed he was cut
short by the magistrate and told to stick to the story of how his phone was
I went and sat with third accused (Mahlangu) and we started chatting.
We were talking about the constitution jesting at each other. We spoke
'nehushamwari hwakadzika sevanhu vari muincrusive' (we spoke with deep
friendship as people who are in the inclusive government)," he said,
speaking in Shona.
Chinotimba suspected that after he had gone to collect his main course
his phone which he had left on the table with his file, diary and hat was
He claims that he had switched it off because it was distracting him
from partaking in his meal.
Chinotimba said: "Ndabva kunotora chikafu chihombe chiya (After I had
gone to take the main course) I left my things on the table. I never
suspected that "vanhu vakati svinurei" (well-respected people) would steal
anything from me. When I just sat the third accused immediately left the
"Handina kutarisa kuti phone yaivepo here ndakangopinda mukudya. Hino
kana uchidya zvinhu zvinokanganikwa. (I did not check whether my phone was
still there. You know when you are eating you tend to forget some things).
It was only when I was about to go to the conference that I realised the
phone was missing."
The phone and broken sim card were brought in as exhibits and
Chinotimba was asked to identify and again the court was left laughing.
"Ndoyangu chaiyo, chaiyo, grazi racho rakotoparika parika (This is my
phone with its scratched screen) and this is my sim card. I know my number
(shouting it in court). The number is well recognised even internationari
(internationally)," he said.
Chinotimba said he was worried as to how the accused managed to switch
on his phone when it had a pin code.
"It bothered me how they got my pin number because my phone was off
and has a pin number of four zeros."
Explaining how Minister of Youth, Saviour Kasukuwere, got involved
Chinotimba said he was very annoyed when he got information from Detective
Inspector Henry Dowa that Kasukuwere had his phone.
Chinotimba said: "I called Kasukuwere and he told me that my phone
had been left by deputy Minister Mahlangu. I asked him why the phone was
handed to him and whether he had now taken possession of the police."
"I was annoyed by the situation and told him to go to the police and
leave the phone there or give the person who gave him (the phone) to take it
to the police and warned him not to get involved because the matter was now
at the police. Why did they have to go through Kasukuwere? I am not a lion."
According to Chinotimba his phone is valued at US$40 while his sim
card is US$10. He also claimed that he incurred a bill of between US$35 and
US$40 when the sim card was allegedly used by the two women.
During cross examination, defence lawyer Charles Kwaramba asked
Chinotimba whether he would be able to dispute that Mahlangu was not at the
HICC during lunch hour and only arrived at 3pm.
Kwaramba said: "Would you deny it if the third accused (Mahlangu) told
you that he was not at the conference during lunch hour and that the third
and fourth accused never had lunch that day and never at that time entered
the VIP lounge. That he had gone to CMED for it was the day he made
arrangements to get his Prado car?"
Chinotimba however said they were lying because he had sat with them
at the table during lunch.
Chinotimba said: "They are lying because I was sitting with them.
Mbavha haimbofi yakabvuma kuti ndakaba inoti, ndirikunzi ndakaba. (A thief
will never agree that he stole the phone)."
Kwaramba grilled Chinotimba on the exact time announcements that he
had lost phone were made at the conference.
Initially Chinotimba had said that the announcements were made at
around 5pm and then 6pm as delegates were leaving the HICC and that they
were all made by a "white man".
He later changed the announcements times to 3pm and around 5pm.
Kwaramba however disputed that saying that his witnesses said the
first announcements were made at around 14.30 and that the "white man" whom
he identified as Kurt Michael Ritz had not made them.
Chinotimba responded angrily: "The white man and the accused
(Mahlangu) are very close friends. No white person at the conference would
agree that he stole my phone. No white person could talk against MDC. They
are in cahoots. They are so much in love with each other."
Kwaramba asked Chinotimba why some of the things he said in his
evidence-in-chief were in contradiction to his police statement and why he
did not say that initially.
There maybe a difference but it does not mean they did not steal. I
said it, but it is not my fault that the police did not mention it in the
statement. The information is there in the hand-written statement," he said
When asked how far he was sitting from Mahlangu when the announcements
were made and why he could not pinpoint him as the one who stole his phone
since they had had a conversation, Chinotimba reluctantly said: "He was far
right. I did not have a tape to measure the distance. As politicians it was
not possible for me to go and say you stole my phone. On the surface we
appear to be in good books but we lie to each other a lot."
The trial continues on September 21.
Friday, 04 September 2009 12:35
ZIMBABWE'S global political agreement (GPA) is under threat as Zanu PF
and the MDC formations are deadlocked on outstanding issues of the pact.
Last month Zanu PF's politburo resolved not to make any further
concessions on sticking points such as the rehiring of central bank governor
Gideon Gono and the appointment of Attorney-General Johannes Tomana, and the
appointment of provincial governors.
The party said the appointments could not be reversed because they
were made by President Robert Mugabe using his constitutional prerogative.
Zanu PF was also adamant that the appointments were made before the
inclusive government was formed.
Zanu PF said as far as it was concerned, the outstanding issues of the
GPA were the continued imposition of sanctions and pirate radio broadcasts.
The party accused the MDC of not campaigning enough for the removal of the
sanctions and an end to pirate radio broadcasts.
When Sadc Heads of State and Government convened an extraordinary
summit in Pretoria on January 26-27 to review the implementation for the
GPA, they set out timelines for the formation of the inclusive government
and outlined the outstanding issues for the full consummation of the deal.
It was at this summit that MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai agreed to join
The regional leaders never identified sanctions and pirate radio
broadcasts as outstanding issues, probably because they knew that the
partners in the unity government had no power to have them lifted.
On Monday and Tuesday next week, Sadc leaders will meet in the
Democratic Republic of Congo to, among other things, review whether or not
their decision in January was implemented.
Below is the full text of the Sadc communiqué after the summit.
1. The Extraordinary Summit of the Sadc Heads of State and Government
met at the Presidential Guest house in Pretoria, Republic of South Africa,
on January 26-27, 2009. The Extraordinary Summit met to review the
implementation of the Zimbabwe Global Political Agreement.
2. The Extraordinary Summit was chaired by HE Kgalema Motlanthe,
Chairperson of Sadc and President of the Republic of South Africa.
3. The Extraordinary Summit was attended by the following Heads of
State and Government or their representatives: Botswana HE President Lt Gen
Seretse Khama Ian Khama, Lesotho Right Honourable Prime Minister Pakalitha
Mosisili, Mozambique HE President Armando Emilio Guebuza, Deputy Chairperson
of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, Namibia HE
President Hifikepunye Pohamba, South Africa HE President Kgalema Motlanthe,
Chairperson of Sadc, Swaziland HM King Mswati III, Chairperson of the Organ
on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, United Republic of Tanzania
HE President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, Zambia HE Rupiah Banda, Zimbabwe HE
President Robert Gabriel Mugabe, Angola Hon Assuncao Dos Anjos, Minister of
External Affairs DRC Hon Alexis Thambwe Muamba, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Seychelles Honourable Patrick Pillay, Minister of Foreign Affairs Malawi Hon
George Chaponda, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development
Madagascar Hon Dr Denis Andriamandroso, MadagascarAmbassador to South
Africa, Mauritius Mr Anund Priyay Neewor, GOSK, Secretary of Foreign Affairs
4. The meeting was also attended by His Excellency Thabo Mbeki, Former
President of the Republic of South Africa and Sadc Facilitator on the
Zimbabwe Political Dialogue, Leaders of MDC formations, Right Honourable
Morgan Tsvangirai, Prime Minister-designate and Professor Welshman Ncube,
representing Professor Arthur Mutambara, Deputy Prime Minister designate of
the Republic of Zimbabwe, and the Executive Secretary of Sadc, Dr Tomaz
5. In his opening remarks, His Excellency President Kgalema Motlanthe,
Chairperson of Sadc and President for the Republic of South Africa welcomed
all delegates to the meeting and re-affirmed Sadc's commitment to finding a
lasting solution to the implementation of the Zimbabwe global political
6. The Extraordinary Summit noted that the people of Zimbabwe are
faced with difficult challenges and suffering that can only be addressed
once an inclusive government is in place.
7. In view of the above, the Extraordinary Summit decided as follows:
(i) the parties shall endeavour to cause parliament to pass the
Constitutional Amendment Act 19 by February 5, 2009;
(ii) the prime minister and the deputy prime ministers shall be sworn
in by February 11, 2009;
(iii) the ministers and deputy ministers shall be sworn in on February
13, 2009, which will conclude the process of the formation of the inclusive
(iv) the Joint-Monitoring and Implementation Committee (Jomic),
provided for in the Global Political Agreement shall be activated
immediately. The first meeting of Jomic shall be convened by the Facilitator
on January 30, 2009, and shall, among other things, elect the chairpersons;
(v) the allocation of ministerial portfolios endorsed by the Sadc
Extraordinary Summit held on November 9, 2008, shall be reviewed six (6)
months after the inauguration of the inclusive government;
(vi) the appointments of the Reserve Bank Governor and the
Attorney-General will be dealt with by the inclusive government after its
(vii) the negotiators of the parties shall meet immediately to
consider the National Security Bill submitted by the MDC-T as well as the
formula for the distribution of the Provincial Governors;
8. The Extraordinary Summit expressed
its appreciation for the efforts of His
Excellency Thabo Mbeki, Former President of the Republic of South
Africa and the Facilitator of the political dialogue on Zimbabwe in helping
to find an amicable solution to challenges facing the Republic of Zimbabwe
and encouraged him to continue with his facilitation efforts.
9. The Extraordinary Summit commended the political parties to the
Global Political Agreement for their openness and constructive engagement in
finding a lasting solution to the challenges facing Zimbabwe.
10. Sadc shall remain seized with the Zimbabwe situation in keeping
with its obligations as guarantor of the Global Political Agreement.
11. The Extraordinary Summit directed the chairperson of Sadc to
present the African Union at its forthcoming summit a progress report on the
implementation of the Sharm- El-Sheik Resolution.
Thursday, 03 September 2009 18:02
SOUTH African President Jacob Zuma flew into Zimbabwe last Thursday
and upped the tempo for full consummation of the global political agreement
(GPA), but the situation on the ground shows widening divisions in the
inclusive government, political analysts have said.
So worrying is the growing list of outstanding issues that one of the
key principals to the GPA, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, on Tuesday
implored the Sadc Summit next week to rein-in on President Robert Mugabe and
force a resolution of the sticking points.
During his two-day official visit, Zuma - in his capacity as
chairperson of Sadc - met Mugabe, Tsvangirai and his Deputy Prime Minister
Arthur Mutambara and urged the principals to move with "speed and progress"
to fully consummate the GPA signed last September to resolve long-running
political tensions in the country.
Zuma said the Sadc Summit on September 7-8 in the Democratic Republic
of Congo (DRC) would provide an opportunity to review progress in the
implementation of the agreement, and for the countries of southern Africa to
reaffirm their commitment to assisting Zimbabwe.
The implementation of the GPA has been dogged by the intransigence of
Zanu PF since the formation of the inclusive government on February 11 and
on Tuesday Tsvangirai expressed frustration.
It was apparent that the three principals had failed to break the
impasse on the outstanding issues and that Tsvangirai's salvation was now
with Sadc, which analysts argued has no leverage to push Mugabe to play
Incoming Sadc chair Joseph Kabila is relatively inexperienced in
Zimbabwean politics and in any case owes his survival to Mugabe's
intervention in the Congo conflict.
"We have not resolved or implemented agreed positions on provincial
governors despite the negotiators agreeing on a formula on their fair
allocation," the premier told journalists in the capital. "This is why we
urge Sadc to place the issue of Zimbabwe for specific consideration during
the forthcoming summit in Kinshasa."
Apart from the issue of provincial governors, Tsvangirai and the two
formations of the MDC have been irked by Mugabe's move to rehire Reserve
Bank governor Gideon Gono and appoint Attorney-General Johannes Tomana in
breach of a memorandum of understanding the principals signed in July last
Mugabe has also refused to swear in MDC treasurer Roy Bennett as
deputy Agriculture minister while there were continuing reports of farm
invasions and sporadic acts of political violence throughout the country.
Tsvangirai lamented that the political climate in the country
continued to be marred by unfortunate and "vicious" propaganda emanating
from the state-controlled media.
To make matters worse, he said, the selective application of the rule
of law, including the persecution and prosecution of MDC MPs, continues to
inflame political tensions.
Equally problematic, Tsvangirai added, was the deliberately slow pace
of progress on the implementation of key issues connected to human rights
and the rule of law.
"This includes the self-evident deliberate stalemate on the
constitutional-reform process, as well as the slow pace of media reform,"
Political analysts said Tsvangirai's call for Sadc intervention was a
clear sign that Zuma's visit had failed to nudge the leaders to resolve the
The analysts said despite his outspokenness during his visit, there
was no departure from South Africa's so-called quiet diplomacy under
ex-President Thabo Mbeki who brokered the Zimbabwe political deal.
University of Zimbabwe political scientist Eldred Masunungure said
Zuma's diplomacy was no louder than Mbeki's.
"In any case, I did not discern that Zuma's diplomacy - when he
finally spoke - had any more decibels than Mbeki's. It would appear that his
was a variation, a different style around the same theme of silent
After all, he argued, Zuma's was the first and probably last foray
into the murky waters of Zimbabwe-Sadc diplomacy.
Zuma would at the Sadc Summit hand over the regional body's
chairmanship to "an even quieter if not inaudible" DRC President Kabila who
has his own "can of thick worms" to worry about.
Masunungure said Zimbabweans should not pin any hopes on the Sadc
Summit to resolve the sticking points because it "does not have sharp teeth
that bite and even has difficulty barking".
Another political scientist Michael Mhike concurred with Masunungure
that Sadc cannot resolve the sticking points.
"Sadc does not have much leverage over the three principals,
especially Mugabe and Zanu PF," Mhike said. "And the host of the summit is
easily the youngest Sadc leader who is battling insurgency in the eastern
part of the DRC. How then can he call the Zimbabwe kettle black?"
Zanu PF told Zuma that it could no longer make more concessions on the
outstanding issues because the MDC formations had failed to honour part of
their bargain - calling for the removal of sanctions and putting an end to
broadcasts by international pirate radios.
On the other hand, the MDC argued that the issues of sanctions and
pirate radios were collective responsibilities of the partners in the unity
Masunungure agreed with Zanu PF that the two issues were sticking
"Both are outstanding issues, especially sanctions which directly and
visibly affect key members of the previous regime," he said. "Both are
apparently Zanu PF's "outstanding issues" but they are deliberately being
elevated above MDC's issues. Apparently as well, both sanctions and pirate
radios are matters beyond the control of the MDC and of Sadc; they are
within the jurisdiction of other sovereign states."
Zuma said effective recovery in Zimbabwe "is also dependent on the
removal of sanctions and other measures that hold back economic
Zimbabwean lawyer based in the United Kingdom and also newspaper
columnist Alex Magaisa was of the view that Sadc could have had great effect
in ensuring the adherence to the GPA if it was serious.
"But this appearance is far removed from the reality. Sadc feels that
it has done enough to halt the violence and turmoil in Zimbabwe and quite
frankly I don't expect anything to come from that body," he said.
Friday, 04 September 2009 09:55
GEORGE Orwell must have had a future Zimbabwe in sights and when he
penned his classic novel Animal Farm which satirises how greed, personal
interests and petty issues can betray a revolution.
Not only do the principals to the Global Political Agreement know what
needs to be done to ensure that industry and the economy is revived, but
"greed, personal interests and petty issues" seem to be slowing the economic
recovery of the country.
For most Zimbabweans an economic recovery among other things would
ensure an environment of affordable basic commodities and utilities,
reliable electricity and clean water supplies, employment creation, reliable
and affordable health system and education and more investments.
Business leaders, directors and economist who spoke to businessdigest
during the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) annual congress on
Wednesday and yesterday lamented how differences among the principals in the
power-sharing had slowed down pace of the revival of the economy.
Economic analysts said a new way of doing business was critical in
view of the multiple currency system where such practices as low-volume;
high mark-ups were being practised by business.
Speakers during the first two days of the congress said government
should "urgently" change the way it has been operating if economic growth
was to be achieved.
Analysts also said Zimbabweans need to move away from "talking too
much to more positive action". CZI president Kumbirai Katsande said as
business, they agreed that the inclusive government should be seen as an
instrument, "rather than as a destination in itself".
"The inclusive government should create an environment for all to
develop competitive capabilities regardless of the sector," he said.
Katsande said such an environment was imperative given the Sadc and
Comesa trade agreements and events on the global market.
"For this inclusive government to be worth it, the politicians and the
entrepreneurs must go for continuous environment. There is no time to watch
the grass grow. (We should) eliminate waste, act with speed, respect
regional and global bench-marking in all aspects," Katsande said.
The congress comes at a time when devaluation and concessionary
funding are no longer an option and companies will have to exercise price,
cost and wage restraint to ensure that prices are not above regional levels.
Drought of finance including working capital means companies will be
more reliant than ever before on foreign lines of credit.
University of Zimbabwe School of Management lecturer, Anthony Hawkins
said national macro-economic strategies should be developed to enable
businesses to discover where their competitive advantages lie. "Firms need
to develop new business models because those employed over the last 20 years
have long passed their sell-by date.
"The integrated commercial farming-manufacturing dynamo that drove
growth prior to 2000 is no longer a viable policy option," Hawkins said.
Hawkins said while there was a fixation on capacity utilisation there was
need to invest in new investment, new technologies and new production,
product and marketing strategies.
"The lesson is that manufacturers must forget their past, especially
the recent past and move up market, up the technological ladder and away
from the poor goods syndrome in which we are currently locked," he said.
"Government's role is to level the playing field leaving individual
firms to invest in output, exports and employment where they think they can
make a profit," said Hawkins.
Economist Brains Muchemwa said apart from personal interest and small
issues slowing the rate which the economy was recovering, rigidities
associated with scarce domestic working capital, as well as the ill-guided
international perception that Zimbabwe is not ready for meaningful
investments had slowed the progress of revival.
"At a time the world is in a crunch, it will take more to convince the
few investors that have pots of cash to splash on seemingly discounted
opportunities in Zimbabwe when equal opportunities exist in emerging markets
riding on lower perceived country risk," Muchemwa said.
Speaking at the same occasion University of Zimbabwe political
scientist, Professor Eldred Masunungure who gave a political analysis of the
risks and opportunities in the country said the unity government "had
brought in a lot of positives but outstanding issues were derailing economic
revival and investor confidence.
"The unity government has resulted to peace in the country as well as
a stable macro-economic environment conducive for business. However there is
need for the three political principals to ensure that all outstanding
issues under the GPA are fully implemented to ensure continuity," he said.
Business, he said needed to present its own outstanding issues, such
as the creation of a National Economic Committee as spelt out in the GPA to
ensure that it gets more involved in charting its destiny. Labour and
Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe director Godfrey
Kanyenze who gave a socio-economic overview said government needs to start
taking responsibility for its actions in order to move forward.
"Government needs to start building a developmental state by coming up
with a technically sound long-term development agenda to create an
environment that is conducive for a quick economic recovery," Kanyenze said.
This years congress was held under the theme "Re-igniting industrial
Thursday, 03 September 2009 18:51
FIRST we were told that Jacob Zuma's visit was exclusively to open the
Harare Show. There would be no discussion on the GPA outstanding issues.
This was neither the place nor time for that. It was a figment of the
imagination of journalists, Zanu PF spokesmen insisted.
Then, as Zuma's associates began talking about the visit it soon
became clear that discussion of the outstanding issues was central to the
trip. And ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe for the second time in as
many weeks said that Zuma's party would become more vocal in its attempt to
curb what he called "deviant behaviour".
A good example of that was the attempt to set an agenda for Zuma's
visit. Sanctions was the only issue that mattered, he was told. And he would
see abundant evidence of its effects.
The South African leader soon had a dim view of the country. A power
cut at Harare airport on his arrival was no doubt the work of Zimbabwe's
enemies! The reception had to be illuminated by vehicle headlights.
In Cape Town immediately prior to his trip last Thursday, Zuma made it
clear he would be attending to the issues that had been raised by the MDC-T.
"The fact of the matter is the prime minister has come here to raise
certain issues," Zuma told reporters. "Certainly I will also have to raise
those issues with the leaders in Zimbabwe."
Far from indulging Zanu PF's attempt to divert his attention with a
sanctions wild goose chase, Zuma was clear on the issues.
A number of countries had offered Zimbabwe humanitarian assistance, he
said at the opening of the Harare Show, but they had set conditions for
large-scale economic aid.
"Since these relate to the implementation of the GPA to which the
signatories remain fully committed, meeting these benchmarks should be a
priority for the inclusive government."
That message was clear to all except the shrill denialists in the
The politburo had said Zanu PF would not discuss any issues other than
sanctions. And it was blocking progress on the GPA terms. Zuma's message was
that all matters must be quickly resolved. Sanctions barely got a look-in.
His message on the land issue was equally unambiguous. He said it was
critical that the country guaranteed food self-sufficiency.
The GPA sought the "restoration of full productivity on all
agricultural land in the interest of all the people of Zimbabwe", he
reminded his audience.
Could anything be clearer than that? Is Zanu PF "restoring full
productivity on the land"? Isn't it in fact doing just the opposite? And are
the interests of "all the people of Zimbabwe" being addressed by land
In a warning on regional repercussions of land chaos, Zuma said: "We
must underline that agriculture is the backbone of the economy of the Sadc
region as a whole which is why it is important to us all. The performance of
agriculture has a strong influence on food security, economic growth and
stability of the Sadc region."
It is little wonder that the MDC saw Zuma's remarks as "refreshing"
and "unequivocal". The outstanding issues were given the attention they
deserve, Nelson Chamisa told the media.
Is it too soon to heave a sigh of relief that media hangman Tafataona
Mahoso has lost his bid to join the nascent Zimbabwe Media Commission?
The government had been seeking ways, we gather, to smuggle him onto
the Commission. It will be recalled that Mahoso performed dismally at his
interview for a seat on the commission.
This week he was complaining bitterly in the Herald that he had beeen
unfairly treated. It was the longest case of sour grapes in the history of
What the public should expect of any and every member of that
commission is honesty.
Last weekend, in his rambling column in the Sunday Mail, Mahoso
reminded us of US Ambassador Christopher Dell's assertion that living
conditions had fallen to the level of 1953.
"Although Dell did not want to admit that illegal and racist sanctions
requested by (Tendai) Biti's party were slowly responsible for the mass
degradation of the population's living conditions back to the days of the
Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland in just under six years," Mahoso
claimed, "it is an open secret that sanctions caused the decline."
This is the best example yet of the deceitful approach of Zanu PF
spokesmen to Zimbabwe's decade of decline. It's all the fault of sanctions,
they pretend, kicking dust in the public's eyes.
This by the way was the same message that contributed to Zanu PF's
electoral defeat last year. The "14 million Zimbabweans" Mahoso claims to
speak for rejected his blandishments and those of his party in their
How can Mahoso go about making dishonest claims about who is
responsible for the mess we are in when the voters of this country told him
in no uncertain terms who they thought was responsible.
And it wasn't Tendai Biti!
Mahoso's appointment to the ZMC would seriously undermine its
credibility. Readers may recall his attempts, as chair of the MIC, to cow
newspaper editors by issuing a "notice to investigate a complaint".
In September 2004 the Standard published a picture of President Mugabe
hitching up his pants at the Harare Show.
Mahoso wrote to the paper claiming that the MIC had received "numerous
telephone complaints about the alleged photograph".
One of the "10 or so" complainants had put his complaint in writing,
Mahoso said, enclosing the letter.
It was from an official in the Department of Information in the Office
of the President called J Neusu. He said it was his department's view - and
that of "the majority of the citizenry" who called his department to
"register their utter disgust"- that the president needs to be treated in a
manner that befits the head of state of a sovereign state".
"The use of the photograph by the Standard," Neusu averred, "is
extremely mischievous and represents a deliberate denigration of the highest
office in the country. Indeed, it epitomises the weekly newspaper's
editorial disposition that is underpinned by an anti-Mugabe orientation. It
is obvious that the paper seeks to foist on the nation an image of the
president that will facilitate its regime-change discourse."
The department wanted to see "appropriate action" taken against the
publication, Neusu demanded. We told him to take a hike.
But what this episode reveals is a pompous self-serving official class
that uses imposts upon the media to set up an office within the government
to police the media with a view to curbing its right to disclose to the
reading public the activities of the nation's leadership. In other words the
very opposite of accountability.
The threat to the Standard came because the picture it used was not as
flattering as it might have been.
The late Elias Rusike recounts in his autobiographical account of his
days as CEO of Zimpapers how Information minister Nathan Shamuyarira would
call him into his office to ask why the president's picture wasn't on the
So they want the president's picture used - but only if it's
This week after a long slumber in which he was supposed to be writing
his memoirs. Shamuyarira emerged to lecture us on ethical standards. He has
evidently just been informed that "some newspapers are being run by blacks"!
What other news does he have for us?
Emmerson Mnangagwa is reported to have threatened war if whites are
given back land expropriated under the land reform programme.
"Let it be known that anyone wanting to deny us this heritage we got
from God, that we are ready to fight them," he was reported as telling ZBC
during the burial of Richard Hove.
Contrast these remarks with those of Jacob Zuma reported above.
There is a world of difference.
And what is the suggestion here? That whites will be taking land from
black beneficiaries of land reform? Who said that? All that is planned is a
land audit to see who got what and to prevent multiple ownership. Now why
would Mnangagwa be so opposed to that?
Does the racist brutality of 2000-2008 constitute a God-given
Mnangagwa's populist posturing is clearly designed to advertise his
What it in fact tells us is how unsuitable he is for a position of
leadership. The last thing this country needs is more war, threats and
By the way, the report about to be published on voting patterns
suggests Zanu PF will get no more than 10% in any forthcoming poll.
The best way to corroborate this is to step outside and ask. Finding
somebody who admits they will vote for Mugabe and his gang is like finding a
needle in a haystack.
A few of those "needles" could be seen last Thursday evening making
their way through the metal detector in the Harare airport domestic terminal
from where they were proceeding on to the tarmac to welcome President Zuma.
At the metal detector, we are told, there was some commotion as
security officers ran in all directions when the comrades removed their
The fallout was overpowering apparently forcing a hasty
retreat by those supervising the process.
Thursday, 03 September 2009 18:48
AT a Zimbabwean investment appraisal summit last week, the former
Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment minister Munyaradzi Mangwana,
addressed a gathering of influential potential foreign investors
contemplating investment in Zimbabwe.
In doing so, he reiterated statements made previously, and at the same
event, diverse other speakers from within the Zimbabwean political
environment, on the critical need for substantive Foreign Direct Investment
(FDI), as one of the prerequisites for a substantive economic recovery.
The "inclusive" government has, over recent months, been very emphatic
that one of the most essential catalysts of Zimbabwe's muchneeded, very long
overdue, economic recovery is that it attracts significant foreign
investment, concurrently with extensive domestic investment. Such
investment is desperately required as a source of employment generation,
technology, transport, foreign exchange inflows (by way of investment and
export proceeds), downstream economic growth, and fiscal inflows, in
addition to diverse other positive economic yields.
However, concurrently, Mangwana also emphasised that an absolute
requirement for Zimbabwe is that there be meaningful economic empowerment
for a significant portion of the Zimbabwean population, most of whom have
been economically marginalised for generations, and that implicit in
achieving that objective is that there be emphatic "indigenisation" of the
Zimbabwean economy. He was especially qualified to address this key policy
issue for he had, whilst in office as minister, been the primary architect
of Zimbabwe's Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act, which legislation
was enactmented by parliament and Senate in 2007, and then belatedly
bulldozed through Presidential Assent and enactment very shortly before the
2008 Presidential and Parliamentary elections.
Almost without exception, his audience readily accepted and agreed the
need for indigenisation and economic empowerment as an essential element of
Zimbabwean society and its economy. Not only is a vigorous pursuit of these
objectives and indisputable need for substantial and ongoing economic
development, growth and wellbeing, and very necessary as a measure to
eradicate progressively the inordinate poverty that affects the majority of
Zimbabweans, but they are also necessary on grounds of morality and justice,
for the economic constraints and hindrances that impeded most Zimbabweans
for a century or more must become history, reversed and remedied. But doing
so should not (Nay, must not!) be in ways that :
lFail to attain real economic recovery, merely benefiting the poor ;
lAre as unjust, immoral, unequitable, inhumane, and economically
disastrous as were the indigenisation and economic empowerment barriers of
lRender Zimbabwe an unattractive investment destination, thereby
discouraging and alienating the much -- needed FDI, and precluding
attainment of the considerable benefits which would flow from FDI.
Mangwana emphasised that it is Zimbabwe's right to control its own
economy, instead of such control being in the hands of non-Zimbabweans. It
cannot be credibly denied that any and every country's rights of sovereignty
include economic control, but such control must be practical and realistic,
nationally beneficial, and compliant with internationally accepted norms.
Economic control does not require domination. It requires fair and
constructive legislation, and implementation thereof, to protect national
interests of security, of moral and health wellbeing, to ensure compliance
with law and good economic practice. For example legislation and enforcement
should contain corruption, labour abuse, and compliance with taxation and
However, the currently prevailing Indigenisation and Economic
Empowerment Act seeks to do far more than that. It prescribes that not less
than 51% of all economic entities, all businesses, all enterprises, must be
owned by indigenous Zimbabweans. Thus, any foreign investor, and any
Zimbabwean resident who is not a Zimbabwean citizen - even if permanently
resident - is required to be subordinated to one or more indigenous
Zimbabwean co-investors. Effectively, therefore they are told that their
investment is not as a partner, as equitable joint venture participation.
Instead they are implicitly expected to provide investment wealth,
expertise, access to markets, usage of intellectual properties, and so
forth, whilst being wholly or substantially subjected to others controlling
and directing the investments and their operations. Admittedly, Mangwana
did disclose that exemptions from the 51% rule can be granted by the
responsible minister, although he intimated that such exemptions would not
be in imperpetuity, but only for such periods of time as he determines be it
three, five, 10 or 15 years.
Unsurprisingly, these advices did not inspire the potential investors
to dig rapidly into their wallets and embark upon Zimbabwean investment.
Instead, they were disconcerted, discouraged, and reserved as to the
desirability or otherwise of progressing any such investment. All were
apparently very receptive to participative investment between themselves and
appropriate Zimbabwean co-investors, with equitable pro rata investment of
capital, skills and other resources, but not to being compelled to be
silent, dominated, junior partners. There was also a very great awareness of
the magnitude of disparity between Zimbabwe's economic empowerment and
indigenisation intents and those of South Africa -- with its Black Economic
Empowerment (BEE) policies -- those of Zambia -- with its Citizens Economic
Empowerment (CEE) policies -- and those of innumerable countries in Africa,
Asia, South America, and Eastern Europe.
The concerns of possible investors are exacerbated and intensified by
the magnitude of the generalities, instead of specifics, contained in the
To all intents and purposes other than establishing an Indigenisation
and Economic Empowerment Investment fund, all that the legislation presents
is the obligation for Zimbabwean majority ownership of everything. Beyond
that, the legislation gives the responsible minister a virtual "blank
cheque" to dictate by statutory instrument, whatever he may from time to
time deem fit in order to achieve the legislation's objectives. This
intensifies further the sense of insecurity for non-indigenous investors.
Thursday, 03 September 2009 17:55
A COLLEAGUE remarked to me last week that time moves very fast in
He cited the fact that it seems to be only recently that he was part
of the throngs of people that went to the Rainbow Towers in September last
year to witness the possibly historic signing of the Global Political
Agreement between the post-March 2008 three main political protagonists.
And after the last 12 months he is not sure what to make of most of
the political processes that have occurred.
These range from the promises made that this would be a transitional
government, that the constitutional reform process would be "people driven",
and that the national economy would improve significantly with the advent of
an inclusive government.
To be sure this uncertainty is not just peculiar to my colleague but
is shared by many Zimbabweans. This is because assessing the relationship
between the people and the beast that is the inclusive government is an
onerous task. Questions relating to whether this arrangement is sustainable
or is working still remain inadequately answered.
Even issues relating to the nature of the personal, if any,
relationship between President Mugabe and Prime Minister Tsvangirai remain
the subject of speculation within the public psyche.
However, it is my considered view that a pattern as to how the
inclusive government is functioning a year after the signing of the GPA can
now be discerned. This pattern is characterised by about four trends.
The first is that the inclusive government is beginning to manage and
in fact lower policy change expectations/standards for the people. Secondly,
there is regular mimicry of Zanu PF political culture within the new parties
Thirdly, the inclusive government is willing to soldier on beyond the
unofficially anticipated 18 months and fourthly, that civil society has been
to a larger extent co-opted into the competitive actions of the inclusive
The first pattern referred to above can be understood through the
English proverb, "half a loaf is better that nothing". While it might
actually be less than half a loaf, the remaining quantity would still be
better than nothing at all. It is true that upon the signing of the GPA and
the swearing in of the prime minister and other new cabinet members,
national optimism had never been higher in the country.
The slight improvement brought in through dollarisation of the economy
was popular in relation to the filling up of supermarkets and the seeming
revival of the small-scale businesses that dot the country. The improvement
in health care, though mainly in the private hospitals and the referral
public ones, was enough to lift people's spirits, but for the problem of the
ability to purchase or access the newly available goods and services.
The inclusive government and the political parties involved therein
have however not allowed such problems to hinder their annunciations of
"work in progress". The compromises that they continue to reach between
themselves over the appointment of commissions, the constitutional reform
exercise as well as the national healing process are clearly a departure
from what the people would have expected, and the three political principals
know this very well.
So it has become their business, almost a year on, to ensure that the
people they lead do not easily remember the initial agenda of the inclusive
government either as espoused in the GPA or within the framework of their
party policies. Where anyone has differed with their own assessment of what
they perceive to be their progress, these persons are labelled spoilers,
imperialist NGOs or as persons harbouring personal political ambition.
The second pattern that is increasingly worrying as it is real is that
the two new parties in the government are beginning to mimic the old one.
Apart from the understandable difficulties that the MDC factions have
because this is their first time in government, there are similarities to
Zanu PF in the manner in which they have dealt with those that oppose their
Expulsions from parliament that are laced with a unique political
vindictiveness are normally the forte of Zanu PF. So too are reports of, on
occasion, physical or negative publicity related attacks on those that
differ with what is preferred as the "party position" on issues concerning
the inclusive government.
This pattern is then further augmented by the cooption of the MDCs
into assumedly national events where they have no other role to play save
for attendance and salutation. This is akin to not being able to present a
historical narrative that differs from what Zanu PF portrays as "true" or
The third trend relates to a tacit understanding between the three
political parties that there is a possibility of the extension of elections
beyond the anticipated period of 18 months. This is evidenced by the
confused and publicly confusing nature of the constitutional reform process,
which when completed, is meant to be the raison-d'etre for the holding of
new elections in terms of the new constitution.
It may not be as deliberate as it seems, but the silence over and
about when free and fair elections can be held on the part of the political
leaders of the GPA is tellingly indicative of the fact that each party is
biding its time, trying to wear the others out, take advantage of mistakes
made by either parties and eventually ascend to power without strong
This means that there might be an unwritten intention to allow this
government to last throughout the life of the current parliament which is
presumed to be there until 2013.
The fourth and final trend to be considered is that of the cooption of
civil society into the political processes and competition between the three
Because civil society has over the last 10 or so years been generally
sympathetic to the parties that espouse democratic values, the entry of the
MDC into government has meant that the latter has continued to ask for
loyalty from it regardless of whether decisions made are based on democratic
principle or opportunism.
The argument has resided in the mantra that the inclusive government
presents a unique and close to infallible opportunity for political reform.
Various NGOs have almost literally fallen over their feet to ensure
that they do not contradict the policy pronouncements of the inclusive
government regardless of whether or not it suits an agenda for meaningful
democratic reform or not.
The NCA, ZCTU and Zinasu have differed with this approach and have
continued to remind the inclusive government and the public about the
original aims and objectives of the struggle for the democratisation for
Zimbabwe, as recently as through their Second Peoples Constitutional
The business side of civil society will also continue to try to glean
as much profit as possible from the multi-currency economy and will
negotiate with the three parties to make as much as they possibly can from
promises of privatisation of state assets.
To conclude, the four patterns that I have outlined in this article
are essentially going to continue throughout the life of this inclusive
government. I have not included the role that Sadc will attempt to play in
this political set-up because it will no longer seek direct intervention as
it has done over the year.
Not least because it will be under the chairpersonship of President
Kabila of the Congo but more because, since the inclusive government has
lasted a year, there is no rational political argument that can be made as
to why it cannot last another year if not more.
This is especially so given the statements of commitment to the
"spirit and letter" of the GPA that have emanated from the three political
=Takura Zhangazha is the National Director of Misa Zimbabwe. He writes
here in his personal capacity.
By Takura Zhangazha
Friday, 04 September 2009 12:28
President Mugabe heads for Kinshasa, DRC, next week for the Sadc
summit hoping to convince his peers in the region that the inclusive
government is under threat from the failure by partner Morgan Tsvangirai to
call for the lifting of sanctions.
Mugabe will seek to convince the Sadc heads that the only sticking
point in the full consummation of the inclusive government is sanctions and
all the other sticking points have been dealt with or are not of any
This includes the appointment of Attorney-General Johannes Tomana and
Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono, and the refusal by Mugabe to swear in Roy
Bennett as deputy Agriculture minister.
This position, taken at Zanu PF politiburo meeting last month to
ratchet up pressure on the MDC using the sanctions issue, has sown seeds of
fresh conflict and discord in the inclusive government. The parties to the
inclusive government have started to pull apart again with Zanu PF appearing
profoundly content with ensuring that the year-old marriage collapses.
At the Sadc summit in Kinshasa we do not expect the regional heads to
nudge Mugabe into dropping his hardline position. His spokesman George
Charamba was yesterday quoted in the media as saying that Mugabe would not
budge on the issue Tomana and Gono.
Here is our head of state being contemptuous of Sadc. The Sadc
communiqué of January 27 (which we carry in full on Page 7) released at the
end of a regional summit in Pretoria clearly stated, among other issues,
that "the appointments of the Reserve Bank governor and the Attorney-General
will be dealt with by the inclusive government after its formation" and that
the negotiators of the parties shall meet immediately to consider the
National Security Bill submitted by the MDC-T as well as the formula for the
distribution of governors".
The same communiqué does not mention the issue of sanctions as an
outstanding issue to be dealt with by the MDC for the simple reason that the
party does not have the capacity to do so. That however is not to say that
the sanctions issue should not be resolved.
Its resolution is not dependent on the MDC mounting the nearest soap
box to denounce the restrictions. The issue, as Mugabe and his party are
aware, can only be resolved with a change of policy and a respect for basic
tenets of freedom.
Progress in the opening up of democratic space has been glacial
because there is a strong grouping in the Zanu PF which feels threatened by
freedom. The work of this groups has made the work of the Sadc focus group
on Zimbabwe sanctions difficult.
The MDC-T cannot be held responsible for the failure to amend laws,
license new media and the slow pace in the drafting of a new constitution.
In Kinshasa Mugabe's plan is to force the sanctions issue through and
have it incorporated as a fresh resolution on Zimbabwe.
This new resolution then revises the January 27 communiqué which
should have guided Zanu PF and the MDC formations in the implementation of
the GPA. The challenge for the Sadc heads therefore is whether they will
allow Mugabe to ride roughshod over them and alter what was agreed upon in
Failure by the regional heads to rein-in Mugabe should ultimately
sound the death knell for the GPA.
It should be noted that the MDC only agreed to enter into the marriage
with Zanu PF after assurances from Sadc that it would underwrite the
agreement. President Mugabe has taken every opportunity to thank Sadc and
its appointed mediator Thabo Mbeki for helping to unlock the political
logjam in Zimbabwe.
His respect for the region should be demonstrated in how far he is
willing to implement the GPA as guaranteed by the regional grouping.
Outgoing Sadc chair Jacob Zuma who was in the country last week
refused to be sidetracked by Zanu PF's subterfuge. The party started to vend
the sanctions issue a few days before Zuma's arrival to set an agenda for
the visiting SA president.
He saw through this ruse and his speech at a state banquet was subtle
yet significant as it sabotaged Mugabe's project of declaring sanctions the
only outstanding issue.
He said all parties forming the inclusive government should be
committed to fulfilling the letter and spirit of the Global Political
Agreement. He also said African nations should commit themselves to human
rights, good governance and democracy if our continent is to extricate
itself from the bad-boy image.
This is an opportunity for Sadc to step up to the plate and
demonstrate its commitment to good governance.
We should not however expect too much to emerge from the Kinshasa
summit. Incoming Sadc chair Joseph Kabila knows little about the intricacies
of Zimbabwean politics. Where Thabo Mbeki's diplomacy was quiet, Kabila's is
likely to be inaudible.
In any case he owes a debt of gratitude to Mugabe for his intervention
in 1998. And Zimbabwean troops continue to provide him with personal
Not a recipe for robust exchanges. More a regional fudge.
Friday, 04 September 2009 10:09
SOUTHERN African Development Community (Sadc) leaders are expected to
review six months of Zimbabwe's inclusive government when they meet in
Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Monday and Tuesday.
The assessment will be critical in so far as it will indicate the
position of the region - which is likely to give a ringing endorsement to
the coalition arrangement in Harare - on issues and hopefully press on the
local political leadership to resolve disputes diverting government's
attention from delivery.
While a vote of confidence in the inclusive government and claims of
progress are to be expected from Sadc, the reality on the ground paints a
gloomy picture of the situation. Hard facts show that not many steps forward
have been taken since February. There appears to have been a false dawn
More than six months after the formation of the supposedly
transitional and power-sharing government, there has been little progress in
instituting envisaged political and economic reforms.
A semblance of normalcy has been restored on the macro-economic
environment, but the fact is that the economy has not bottomed out in any
Industry has slightly increased capacity utilisation, closed companies
have been one by one reopening, some companies are weighing expansion plans,
investors are exploring new opportunities and the international community is
beginning to talk to Harare.
There has also been an increase in government revenues and financial
aid, mainly humanitarian assistance, and there are promises of economic aid
on the horizon. Workers, especially civil servants, are returning to their
Via a multi-currency regime, the dragon of inflation has been tamed
and macro-economic dislocations and structural problems are being addressed.
Schools, hospitals, clinics and other critical public utilities have
re-opened. Some degree of peace and stability has been restored as
repression and violence have relatively diminished in intensity.
This is certainly an improvement on the hopeless situation of last
year. If the inclusive government had not come in to rescue the situation
the country would be engulfed in violence and chaos. That was almost
guaranteed. There are precedents in history all over the world. What is not
clear is what would have been the course of events and history in the
However, apart from a number of these token and symbolic movements
since February, not much has changed. The economic situation remains bleak.
There is no funding for recovery. Without substantial financial aid, the
economy will not recover.
Government and economic experts say up to US$45 billion is required
for Zimbabwe's economy to recover to the GDP levels of 1997. This shows
the economy had been ruined beyond what is usually appreciated.
In the short term, Zimbabwe - which is saddled with a debt profile of
early US$5 billion - is looking for US$8,3 billion (Sadc rounded off the
figure to US$10 billion in Swaziland), but only a drop in the ocean has been
secured because donor countries are sceptical about the Harare coalition.
In rural areas people have returned to barter trade, showing
regression and lack of improvement.
Western countries have set benchmarks relating to democratic reforms
for funding. However, Zimbabwe has been procrastinating on measuring up to
the reforms index.
There is mounting evidence that the new government is failing or
unwilling to change course.
The inclusive government is failing to end serious human rights
violations, restore the rule of law, institute fundamental reforms, and
chart a new political direction for the country.
Despite GPA commitments made by all parties, the new power-sharing
coalition has not taken any significant steps to ensure justice for victims
of human rights violations or hold perpetrators of those abuses to account.
Government has only paid lip service to national healing and reconciliation.
Repression remains entrenched. Political activists, mainly from the
MDC, civil society advocates, human rights campaigners, judicial officers,
lawyers and journalists, among others, are still being harassed and
Even MPs - lawmakers themselves - are being politically persecuted.
Zanu PF is stubbornly refusing to embrace change. Lacking real
political power to effect reforms, the MDC and its leaders are unable to
push for change and appear to be accommodating Zanu PF and President Robert
Mugabe in order to ensure the survival of the power-sharing government at
the risk of co-option.
Given these circumstances, what will the MDC do if all else fails? How
about Zanu PF? And what about Zimbabweans in their collectivity?
The GPA promises to "build a society free of violence, fear,
intimidation, hatred, patronage, corruption and founded on justice,
fairness, openness, transparency, dignity and equality."
None of these issues have been seriously implemented. There have been
no reforms on the legislative framework, electoral rules, judiciary, state
security services and state institutions. The culture of brutality and
impunity remains. It is imperative to overhaul the security system to root
this out. Sanctions can only easily go if Zanu PF accepts reforms.
However, Zanu PF has shown hostility to far-reaching reforms.
This is why it is rigidly determined to resist constitutional reform
because a new dispensation would necessarily lead to its liquidation. Thus
failure by Sadc to resolve the conflicts within the inclusive government and
ensure substantive change would result in the coalition falling apart at the
If the transition is botched, Zimbabwe risks sliding back into
violence and chaos. What will Sadc do if everything fails?
Thursday, 03 September 2009 19:17
GOVERNMENT'S policy of promoting the informal sector at the expense of
properly structured SMEs and big business has come back to haunt the nation.
Finance minister Tenda Biti in warning teachers not to go on strike
this week revealed that government had in July managed to collect a miserly
US$90 million in taxes and levies. This is against a projected annualised
revenue inflow of US$1,7 billion to be raised from taxes and levies. That is
an average of US$141 million a month.
Government is off target and as a result the state cannot raise
revenue to pay restive civil servants a living wages or finance social
services. The low revenue flows, averaging below US$25 million a week are
not likely to improve significantly until there is a deliberate policy
thrust to correct damaging state interventions during the bad years of
Firstly government's intervention promoted arbitrage which gave rise
to the growth of an informal economy where business was conducted on the
street with no real set rules. Big business became a cheap target for
politicians to score points as capital was accused of sabotaging the economy
and promoting a regime-change agenda.
Price controls were recklessly implemented to keep a lid on rising
prices in the face of rampant inflation. On the other hand the informal
economy took root and many became suddenly very rich through corruptly
acquiring scarce commodities and selling them at exorbitant prices. They
were never caught by the price control net.
Then there were cheap funds, fuel, seed and maize given to "farmers"
who never put a seed into the ground. They sold these and became instantly
rich. Those farmers honest enough to plant a field and produce a crop were
never asked to pay back loans neither were they taxed on their farming
businesses. They got free capital and pocketed fat profits.
The sum total of this has been a debilitating erosion of the tax base
and current efforts to raise revenue will fail as long as the new regime at
the Ministry of Finance believes that the best way forward is setting Zimra
upon small-scale traders to collect revenue. This is not sustainable.
The era of blitzes and search and grabs is over. Tendai Biti and his
team have to be smarter in their quest to raise revenue.
The challenge is to widen the tax base by formalising the informal
Many among our rulers harbour the unfortunate misconception that the
formalising of the informal sector means making them pay tax and levies. The
Zimra blitzes have nothing to do with building capacity but more to do with
squeezing as much revenue as possible out of struggling traders.
When business people see tax as punitive they try as much as possible
to avoid paying it. There are small companies that have closed shops in town
to operate from garages at home to avoid paying tax. Others are using more
subtle means to evade tax.
The challenge before Biti therefore is to come up with a plan that
increases capacity in the informal sector and grow registered SMEs which in
the long term would expand the tax base. Many Asian countries which have
experienced economic booms took this route.
Closer to home, the South African government - having realised that
access to equity finance by small and medium-sized businesses was one of the
main challenges to the growth of this important sector of South Africa's
economy - last month started using its taxation legislation to stimulate SME
To enable SME business ventures to obtain capital required to fund
establishment or growth, the South African Income Tax Act now provides for
tax incentives to those who invest in venture capital companies that engage
in the provision of funding to small business enterprises.
That tax incentive comprises tax deductibility of the entirety of
amounts invested in venture capital companies that provide SME funding. By
so doing the South African government hopes to raise capacity in the
small-scale sector. The growing sector can then contribute meaningfully to
the fiscus through corporate tax and individual income tax. It's a smarter
way of doing things indicative of the innovative thinking that could
vigorously stimulate SME development here.
Zimbabwe needs to come up with smart ways of encouraging formal and
informal sector development and not stifling trade through punitive tax
raids. We want to see a deliberate policy that ensures there is a
progressive shift by business people in the informal sector to join the
ranks of the formal sector.
The same should happen on the land. There should be a proper plan for
resettled farmers to also start paying tax on their land and on their
agro-business ventures. It does not make sense that a small trader selling
buns and coke in West End is raided by Zimra whilst a large-scale commercial
farmer is exempt. All this is taxing, isn't it?