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Southern African Leaders Seen Urging Faster Zimbabwe Reform, Reconstruction

By Blessing Zulu
04 September 2009

Southern African political sources said Friday that Zimbabwean President
Robert Mugabe is likely to come under heavy pressure from his fellow
regional heads of state when they meet in summit next week in Kinshasa,
capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Southern African Development Community gathering will be looking at the
progress and the setbacks of the government of national unity formed in
Harare in February under the September 2008 Global Political Agreement, of
which SADC is a guarantor.

The Movement for Democratic Change formation led by Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai has complained to SADC that President Mugabe and his Zimbabwe
African National Union-Patriotic Front or ZANU-PF have refused to fully
implement the power-sharing pact negotiated to end an impasse between
ZANU-PF and the MDC following turbulent 2008 elections.

Sources said South Africa, which has been inundated with millions of
Zimbabwean emigrants seeking economic or political refuge, and Botswana,
which has also seen significant inflows, will take Mr. Mugabe to task on a
range of issues related to power-sharing.

Thandi Modise, deputy secretary-general of South Africa's ruling African
National Congress, set the tone on Friday saying Pretoria wants to see more
forward movement in Harare.

She said the millions of Zimbabweans who have crossed the border into South
Africa over the past decade are straining the country's health care,
education and housing resources.

Regional leaders and SADC officials are also displeased at this week's
declaration by ZANU-PF Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa that Harare no
longer recognizes the authority of SADC's Namibia-based tribunal, which has
ruled against Zimbabwe in cases brought by white farmers stripped of their
farms under land reform without compensation or due process.

Diplomatic sources said however that the ZANU-PF side of the Harare
government has been emboldened by the likelihood that DRC president Joseph
Kabila, seen as a Mugabe ally, will succeed South African President Jacob
Zuma as chairman of the regional organization.

Over the past week ZANU-PF has been backpedaling on a number of points
agreed under the Global Political Agreement, including the swearing in of
MDC provincial governors and deputy agriculture minister-designate Roy
Bennett. ZANU-PF sources said Mr. Mugabe's party now wants to revisit the
formula agreed upon for the allocation of governorships.

ZANU-PF Secretary of Administration and Minister of State Didymus Mutasa,
attached to the office of the president, told reporter Blessing Zulu of
VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the issues the MDC wants resolved are only
"side shows," with Western targeted sanctions against President Mugabe and
his inner circle ZANU-PF's main concern.

Spokesman Nelson Chamisa of Mr. Tsvangirai's MDC formation said ZANU-PF is
preoccupied with Western sanctions and ignoring issues related to good

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Zimbabwe urged to honour SA-brokered agreement

September 05 2009 , 4:00:00

Kgomotso Sebetso, DRC

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has called on
political parties in Zimbabwe to respect and honour the South African
brokered Global Political Agreement (GPA). This comes ahead of the 29th SADC
Summit of Heads of State and Governments to be held in Kinshasa on Monday.
Zimbabwe and the political situation in Madagascar will again dominate the
discussions at the meeting.

SADC leaders will also finalise who between Lesotho and Malawi will
take-over from Libya as the chairperson of the African Union (AU). SADC is
the guarantor of the GPA which was brokered by former President Thabo Mbeki.
Concerns have already been raised over what appears to be the slow
implementation of the agreement. Besides the establishment of a unity
government, political parties are still bickering over other issues on the
agreement such as the appointment of Reserve Bank Governor and the

Zimbabwe's Prime Minister and leader of the Movement Democratic Change
(MDC) Morgan Tsvangirai has accused President Robert Mugabe of delaying the
full implementation of the GPA. It now appears that SADC is running out of
patience. SADC Executive Secretary Augusto Salomao says there is a need to
urge political parties to move towards full implementation of the GPA saying
there is no other alternative in Zimbabwe but to implement the agreement.

On Monday, President Jacob Zuma is expected to present a progress
report on Zimbabwe at the Summit. South Africa is expected to push for a
special review on Zimbabwe. International Relations and Cooperation Minister
Maite Nkoana-Mashabane also emphasised that there does not seem to be an
alternative but to implement the GPA. She said there was also commitment
from South Africa to have a special session aimed at specifically reviewing
progress made in implementing the agreement.

Meanwhile, South Africa's one-year term at the helm of SADC is coming
to an end and Zuma will hand-over the chairmanship of SADC to Democratic
Republic of Congo (DRC) President Joseph Kabila on Monday. However,
according to Nkoana-Mashabane - South Africa will continue to play a special
role in Zimbabwe.

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Zimbabwe: Urgent Media Statement: Status and meaning of ratification of SADC treaty and protocol



Status and meaning of ratification of SADC Treaty and Tribunal Protocol



Patrick Chinamasa, the Minister of Justice, is reported as having stated that Zimbabwe is not bound by the Protocol on the SADC Tribunal (Tribunal Protocol) as she has not ratified this instrument. He goes on further to state that the Protocol is not yet in force as only five countries had ratified it. The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum (the Forum) respectfully disagrees with this view for the reasons stated below.


The Declaration and Treaty of SADC (SADC Treaty) establishes the institutions implementing the sub-region’s integration policies and founding principles. Article 16 of the SADC Treaty provides for the establishment of the SADC Tribunal. In terms of article 16(2) the “the composition, powers, functions, procedures and other related matters governing the Tribunal shall be prescribed in a Protocol, which shall, notwithstanding the provisions of Article 22 of this Treaty, form an integral part of this Treaty, adopted by the Summit. Essential Article 16 (2) exempts the Tribunal Protocol from the provisions of Article 22 of the SADC Treaty, which prescribes that each Protocol approved by the Summit of Heads of State and Government (Summit) shall become binding on member states 30 days after two thirds of the 15 SADC members have ratified the instrument. This means that 9 SADC member states should ratify a Protocol before it may be implemented and applied against any of them by the relevant body tasked with its enforcement. Furthermore since Article 16 (2) by-passes adherence to Article 22, the Tribunal Protocol became binding when it was approved by the Summit.


The institutionalization of the Protocols in the SADC legal framework came as a realization of the fact that effective implementation of regional policies required more than just political will, but the existence of legally binding instruments and enforcement mechanisms such as the SADC Tribunal and its protocol. Of the over 20 protocols now in force only the Tribunal Protocol did not require ratification by two thirds of the SADC member states for it to become a binding instrument. This therefore means that all SADC states which ratified the SADC Treaty, that became a legally binding instrument in 1993, are also bound by the SADC Protocol which became an integral part of the constitutive treaty of the sub-regional body by virtue of article 16(2). All SADC member states have ratified or acceded to the SADC Treaty and are therefore bound by its provisions and by extension the provisions of the Tribunal Protocol. It is therefore misleading for the Minister of Justice or any judicial body to argue that Zimbabwe is not bound by the Tribunal protocol on grounds that the instrument has neither been ratified nor entered into force. Therefore under international law Zimbabwe is bound by the decisions recently handed down against her by the SADC Tribunal in terms of legal instruments that she has voluntarily ratified.


We urge the Summit meeting in September to mount pressure on the Zimbabwean government to respect the rule of law by complying with court decisions delivered at the domestic, regional and international level. We further call upon the Zimbabwean government to put in place laws and regulations for the registration and enforcement of foreign judgments to facilitate the execution of decisions from the SADC Tribunal and the newly operationalised African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights. We also call upon the Zimbabwean parliament to enact laws consonant with ratified regional and international legal instruments and amend repugnant laws accordingly. The Zimbabwean parliament is further called upon to domesticate all ratified regional and international instruments to enhance the protection of fundamental human rights at the domestic level.




Submitted by:


Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum - Harare

Tel: +263 -4-250 511


International Liaison Office
56-64 Leonard St
London EC2A 4LT
Tel:  +44-(0)20-7065 0945 



Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights – Harare

(Member of Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum)


ZLHR Communications Officer:

Kumbirai Mafunda

6th Floor Beverley Court

100 Nelson Mandela Ave

Harare - Zimbabwe 

Tel: +263 4 251 468

Mobile: +263 11 619 745




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Zimbabwe Teachers Union Comes Off Sidelines With Partial Strike Call

By Patience Rusere
04 September 2009

Officers and hundreds of members of the Progressive Teachers Union of
Zimbabwe met in Harare on Friday and resolved to stay away from work two
days a week though continuing to give lessons the other three in a partial

The decision was seen as a compromise between PTUZ officials and
rank-and-file members, many of whom are said to have already joined a strike
called on Wednesday, the first day of a new term in the national school
system, by the rival Zimbabwe Teachers Association.

PTUZ officials had hoped that with Education Minister David Coltart out of
the country on business related to the Southern African Development
Community summit opening Monday, Finance Minister Tendai Biti would meet
with teachers to discuss their wage demands.

The Zimbabwe Teachers Association has demanded an increase in teachers
salaries of some US$150 currently to US$700, which the government says it
cannot afford.

But Biti sent word that as Coltart could not attend the meeting he did not
consider that it would be appropriate for him to engage the union by

PTUZ General Secretary Raymond Majongwe urged his members not to heed the
ZIMTA call to completely boycott classes, correspondent Fazila Mahomed
reported from Harare.

Union members ultimately resolved to stay away from classes on Thursdays and
Fridays but to continue teaching Monday through Wednesday.

After the meeting, hundreds of teachers tried to march to the Ministry of
Education but police barred the way. Union leader Majongwe said police
demanded he go with them to the Harare Central Police Station, but he
refused. Police then left and the teachers dispersed, he said.

PTUZ Mashonaland West Provincial Chairman Rosten Mutapa told reporter
Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the union did not want
to shut down schools which would penalize students and parents, but needed
to send a message to the government.

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Zim to attend Shanghai 2010 cultural extravaganza

Friday, 04 September 2009 11:33

Brian Mangwende, News Editor

ZIMBABWE has confirmed its participation at the World Expo 2010 to be held
in China's largest city and commercial giant, Shanghai, from May next year
right through to October.

Preparations for the expo are at an advanced stage with the city bussing
with construction activity ahead of the cultural extravaganza. Zimbabwe
confirmed its participation alongn with 50 other Africa countries. China is
expected to host over 70 million visitors as well as entertain the 18
million residents of that city.
The World Expo, an international event that is held after every five years
to promote scientific, cultural developments and heritage the world over,
began in 1920.
In 2005, the Expo was held in Aichii, Japan, officially the world's second
largest economy after America. China will be the first developing country to
hold such an important event.
The director general of the Shanghai Expo Bureau, Hong Hao said:
"Preparations are going on very well ahead of the official opening day on
May 1 2010. Two months ago, we were in Gaborone, Botswana where we met with
southern African countries to give them an update on the progress we have
made so far. We also visited Ethiopia to meet with East African countries
and also Ghana where we met West African country commissioners. The African
pavilion is in the final stage of construction and everything should be in
place by end of year."
China has invested over US$4,2 billion in the construction of infrastructure
for the Expo, with some of the money being sourced directly from the
Shanghai Expo Bureau.
Hao said, despite the impact of the global financial crisis, they have
surpassed their objective of drawing 200 official participants from around
the world.

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Drug deficits threaten HIV patients

Saturday, September 05, 2009
14:47 Mecca time, 11:47 GMT

By Haru Mutasa in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
Municipal health officials in Zimbabwe's second city, Bulawayo, are
struggling to cope with growing waiting lists of people in need of HIV
treatment and too few doctors to prescribe the drugs.

More than 320,000 Zimbabweans are in need of anti-retroviral (ARV) drug
treatment and of the 1.7 million living with HIV, only about 150,000 are
receiving medication from the public health sector.

Al Jazeera's Haru Mutasa reports on Zimbabwean migrant workers who cannot
access ARVs in South Africa and are forced to return to Bulawayo clinics for

A drop in levels of funding and interruption in the supply of ARV drugs have
led to the delay, suspension, or risk of suspension of the supply of
life-saving HIV drugs.

This disruption, says Medicin Sans Frontieres (MSF), is putting HIV patients
at risk in at least six African countries.

According to 2008 UN statistics, just under two million people were living
with HIV/Aids in Zimbabwe and the prevalence rate for the 15 to 49 age
bracket is 15.3 per cent.

Harare received close to $40m from the Global Fund earlier this year - money
that will go a long way to combating the epidemic if it is managed properly
by officials, say aid groups in the country.

With the unity government just over six months old, donor money is slowly
trickling back into Zimbabwe's bankrupt economy.

But it is not enough. Just like in other parts of Africa, and the world, the
global recession has cut into monies usually earmarked for aid and relief.

In Zimbabwe, ARV stocks have already become dangerously low in many public
health facilities in the country.

Waiting for death

Bulawayo's Khami Hospital is full of patients scrambling to find somewhere
to sit.
With just one doctor on duty, most of the 350 patients will probably have to
wait all day to finally receive treatment.

Some walked an hour to get here; others travelled by bus from the nearby
rural areas where clinics barely have sufficient headache tablets, let alone

Sihle Dube, 32, is HIV positive and believes her husband, who left her for
another woman three years ago, is the one who infected her.

She is unemployed and has a 10-year-old son to look after.

To do, that she needs to start taking anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs), but the
public hospital does not have enough in stock.

Sihle says she has been on a government waiting list for ARVs for nine

"All I can think of, while I wait to get my drugs, is death," she says,
"I've been waiting since December for ARVs - and I have no idea when I will
get them. I can't afford to buy them."

Sihle sighs as she realises how far down the line she is. She sighs again
when nurses announce they are "going out for lunch".

"Looks like I will be here all day or have to come back again tomorrow," she
says, frustrated.


The only way to avoid the long waiting lists and the hospital lines in
Zimbabwe is to buy your own ARVs at a private pharmacy. But its is a luxury
few can afford.

But an estimated 90 per cent of the population is unemployed and a monthly
dose of tablets costs around $23.

The price can double depending on which part of the country one lives.

Health officials estimate more than 320,000 people in Zimbabwe need ARVs,
but less than half are getting them.

MSF says more than 400 people die every day from Aids-related causes.

"As you know, we can't cure HIV, we can only control it," explains Dr
Brigitte van Hove from MSF.

"That's what ARVs do. They try to control it - try to stop the
multiplication as much as possible. They allow a body which is immune
depressed to get better and allow people to look after themselves with their

Ailing health sector

Zimbabwe health officials say they are trying to find solutions but the
health sector is in tatters and reviving it is going to take a lot of work
and money.

Disgruntled medical practitioners, who get paid just $170 a month, are
always threatening to go on strike.

Drugs are always in short supply and hospital equipment is inadequate.

The coalition government of Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean president, and his
prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai says it desperately needs close to $10bn to
resuscitate the economy, which had been brought to a standstill by years of
mismanagement and bad policies before the coalition government was formed in
February this year.

Officials hope most of this money will come from Western nations and donors.

But international donors have been reluctant to pour money into the African
nation until more political and economic reforms are made on the ground.

This, coupled with the recession, means there is not enough funding to
properly deal with HIV/Aids.

If the money to supply drugs keeps dwindling, many across Africa will
continue to die from a disease that can be contained for less than $25 a

Dangerous alternatives

But some in Zimbabwe have resorted to alternative treatment.

In the poor township of Mkokoba in Bulawayo, close to 200 people sit under a
tree waiting for faith healer Mkululi Moyo, who says he can heal anything
from cancer to HIV/Aids, to arrive.

Some come from the capital Harare about 500km away while others come from as
far as neighbouring South Africa, desperate to see the faith healer.

As Moyo finally arrives, people rush toward him. He splits them into two
groups - those who are sick on his left and those who have financial
problems, for example, on the right.

Two long snake-like queues are formed as people line up to fill their
bottles with holy water brought by their faith healer.

When their bottles are filled they sit down and wait for instructions.

The faith healer tells them to write their problems on a piece of paper and
put the paper in the bottle of "holy water".

Then they must shake the bottle hard to completely douse their problems with
the blessed water.

Next, they are told to form another line and, one by one, they smash their
bottles - the only way to chase out the evil demons that are making them

"A person comes here to receive Jesus as their personal saviour," explains

"I give them water filled with the Holy Spirit. Whatever illness they have -
be it cancer, even Aids - I tell them Jesus has the power to heal and for
real they are healed."

With Aids drugs in short supply and too expensive - the desperate are
clutching onto anything that can restore their health and keep them alive.

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Makumbe calls for Nkomo's resignation

September 5, 2009

By Our Correspondent

HARARE - Prominent political commentator, Professor John Makumbe says
national Healing Co-Minister John Nkomo should gracefully resign from his
job because of allegations of sodomy that have been levelled against him

Makumbe said Nkomo would find it difficult to recover the trust he had
enjoyed among Zimbabweans even if the courts were to absolve him of any

He said the mere allegations of sodomy made against Nkomo, who is tipped to
take over from the late Joseph Msika as one of Zimbabwe's two Vice
Presidents, rendered him ineligible to spearhead a process meant to foster
national healing among Zimbabweans.

Makumbe further criticised Nkomo's Organ for National Healing,
Reconciliation and Integration for allegedly failing to discharge its
mandate to the expectation of the victims of Zimbabwe's decades of political

He said the organ was just an institution created to present a false facade
by President Robert Mugabe's unity government that Zimbabweans were now
prepared to forgive each other for past transgressions.

Six months into its formation, the National Healing Organ still remains a
largely mysterious entity, with even the most informed Zimbabweans failing
to understand its operations

The organ has failed to condemn the murder of a Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) activist last week by alleged Zanu PF militants while the
public media, still firmly in the control of the State, continue to publish
hate speech with gay abandon.

"They are not resourced," Makumbe said in reference to the national healing

"They are not resourced because they are supposed to do exactly what they
are doing - nothing. In between standing in courts and answering charges of
sodomy and so forth, how can you expect somebody who sodomised you to say
lets talk about healing?

"It's really unfortunate that in this country, a person who is accused of
sodomy continues to sit in a government office and says, 'Let's talk about
healing and reconciliation.' In other countries even if you did not do it
you would step down straight away."

Makumbe made the remarks during a panel discussion organised Thursday night
by the Mass Public Opinion Institute.

The discussion, which was attended by dozens of people, mainly focused on
the performance of Zimbabwe's unity government formed by Zanu-PF and the two
MDC parties.

Mncedisi Twala (30) of Bulawayo could have dashed Nkomo's aspirations of
landing the powerful post of Vice President by claiming he was sodomised by
the veteran politician.

Nkomo, on his part, claims he is the victim of strategies by his political
opponents also aspiring to succeed Msika.

Makumbe further accused both Zanu-PF and the MDC of excluding the civic
society from protracted negotiations leading to the formation of the unity

He said the inclusion of civic society groups would have forced the
political parties to shift their thrust of negotiating for political
positions into more critical issues of restoring basic freedoms for Zimbabwe's

He said the current deadlock in the resolution of some outstanding issues to
the Global Political Agreement (GPA) could be traced to failure to involve
civic society organisations in the negotiations.

Makumbe, a political science lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe, further
criticised Zanu-PF for pressuring the MDC to advocate for the lifting of
western imposed sanctions as a condition for it to make more concessions to
the GPA.

He said the sanctions should remain in place for as long as Zanu-PF
continued to block crucial reforms in the media and around repressive
legislation in Zimbabwe.

"Zanu-PF should stop blaming the MDC for sanctions," said Makumbe.

"If they want sanctions to be considered an outstanding issue, they must
behave themselves and the sanctions will be lifted. They should not appeal
to the MDCs to have sanctions lifted. It's quite ridiculous.

"Sanctions must stay in place until there is acceptable change and the full
implementation of the conditions of the GPA.

"We know why they want the sanctions lifted. They want the sanctions lifted
so that they can access their funds abroad.

Makumbe said the MDC should not allow itself to be frustrated into pulling
out from the unity government but should continue to exhaust all available
channels to bring about change.

"It is a situation where we either sink or swim together," Makumbe said.

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State failing to exploit diamonds - Moyo

September 5, 2009

By Our Correspondent

HARARE - Gorden Moyo, Minister of State in the Prime Minister's office, says
government was failing to fully exploit Zimbabwe's rich diamond resources in
Manicaland province's Chiadzwa area because of fierce resistance from
corrupt but powerful government officials who include the military.

This he said was also affecting the current inclusive government's capacity
to expedite the restoration of economic prosperity in Zimbabwe following
years of steep decline caused by a combination of poor policies and
corruption among government officials.

"There is a lot of looting in this country," Moyo told a Mass Public Opinion
Institute discussion forum at a Harare hotel Thursday.

"Corruption is at its highest order. You know that we have Chiadzwa where
there are diamonds.

"If we were to exploit diamonds alone, we would get over $US2 billion a
month and our problems would be over.

"But there are powerful people with interests there, including the military
and we are not able to move that."

Moyo was reacting to criticism from some members of the audience who said
they felt the inclusive government was failing to deliver on its promises of
restoring economic prosperity to Zimbabwe, which requires US$8,3 billion to
redress its economy decline.

Fambayi Ngirande, spokesperson for the National Association for
Non-Governmental Organisations in Zimbabwe (NANGO), who was among the four
panelists, criticised the inclusive government for what he said was now an
obsession with clamouring for the resolution of outstanding issues in terms
of the Global Political Agreement.

Ngirande said parties within government should for once start talking about
the replenishment of medicine in hospitals, the plight of striking education
and health services personnel, and the restoration of the basic rights and
freedoms of ordinary Zimbabweans, as the most important outstanding issues.

But Moyo said he felt the removal of obstacles on the political front was
key to any positive and sustainable change in Zimbabwe.

During the discussion, Moyo was adamant the Zimbabwean dollar would not be
reintroduced unless the causes of hyper inflation had effectively been dealt

Lately, controversial Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono,
who is accused of printing loads of worthless Zimbabwean dollar notes for
offloading on the black market, has been advocating for a return of the
Zimbabwe dollar which was scrapped in February and replaced with the current
multi-currency regime.

Said Moyo, "We are not able to bring back the Zimbabwe dollar because that
will create the same inflation that we have arrested.

"So Gono can dream. He can wish. Once the Zimbabwe dollar is back, the
governor will find work to do as he would now be able to print any amount of

"He will start to perform the quasi-fiscal activities that we know him for.
At the moment it is unfortunate, we are not going to accept that."

Moyo said Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was determined to see through the
revisiting of unilateral appointments by President Robert Mugabe, of his
crony, Gono at the Reserve Bank and Attorney General Johannes Tomana.

He said calls for the replacement of the central bank chief were linked to
efforts to reform the RBZ and restore public and investor confidence in the
banking sector.

He said Gono could no longer be entrusted with depositors' funds as he had
proven he could not guarantee their safekeeping and return as and when the
owners want their money.

He also accused Tomana for alleged bias against Tsvangirai's Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) party.

"There are serious issues of rule of law in this country," Moyo said, "The
problem is located and situated within the Attorney General's office.

"People are selectively arrested, prosecuted and sentenced. If you deal with
the issues of the Attorney General, you would be able to deal with the
issues of the rule of law."

Moyo said no amount of resistance by forces opposed to the current political
dispensation would force Tsvangirai to withdraw from the unity government.

"There shall be no quitters in this government because every space is
important. The government is a new side of the struggle," said Moyo.

"The Implementation of political agreements will never be easy. The ultimate
goal will be the Constitution.

"We will stay there and we will continue to push. Nothing short of a bullet
will push us out of Munhumutapa Building."

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Zimpapers Launches Tabloid

HARARE, September 05, 2009 - Zimpapers, publishers of the state owned
Herald and Chronicle Newspapers among others,  have added a new stable -
H-Metro - that will report on issues and events in Harare's Metropolitan

The paper was officially launched on Friday night by Media,
Information and Publicity Minister Webster Shamu.

The tabloid hits the streets on Monday and will cost US50 cents.

The Herald Metro comes ahead of Newsday, owned by ZimInd Publishers,
who also print The weekly Zimbabwe Independent Newspaper. Newsday is still
to be licenced.

The Herald Metro, a lifestyle newspaper, was launched using the Herald

The company has appointed Editor Lawrence Moyo to edit the
newspaper. Moyo is a former Deputy Sports Editor of the Herald.

Award winning Former Sunday Features Entertainment reporter Robert
Mukondiwa has been appointed the News Editor of the new paper modeled along
United Kingdom tabloid The Sun.

Zimpapers has already starterd flighting advertisements of their new
kid on the block.

However the Herald will continue to publish the -a popular
pullout in the Saturday Herald. In addition to this Herald will also
introduce an eight-page sports pullout starting on Saturday. Herald's Senior
Sport Editor, Robson Sharuko, will edit the sports pull out.

Zimpapers has already made a raft of promotions at its titles The
Herald, Sunday Mail and vernacular paper is moves in to counter poaching of
its staff by the opening up of the media space.

A senior editorial staffer at Zimpapers said the company was bracing
up for competition when the Zimbabwe Media Council is announced soon and
starts issuing licenses.

"We are bracing for competition when the Newsday and Daily News are
finally get licensed Zimpapers would have grabbed a chunk of the market
including advertisers and readers," said senior member.

Among the major changes at Zimpapers is also the relaunch of their
popular magazine, Trends that is based in Bulawayo. Umthuywa the vernacular
paper which also published by the Zimpapers' Bulawayo branch Chronicle will
also be launched.

The listed company owns daily papers - The Herald and the Bulawayo
based Chronicle.

The defunct Daily News has already started flighting advertisements in
the Financial Gazette inviting applications.

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Former Zimbabwe bishop must return property, church leaders say

Posted by David Virtue on 2009/9/5 9:20:00
CENTRAL AFRICA: Former Zimbabwe bishop must return property, church leaders

Anglican Communion News Service
September 04, 2009

In a letter addressed to the law courts of Zimbabwe, leaders of the Anglican
Church in the Province of Central Africa (CPCA) have expressed "increasing
concern" about the courts' involvement in numerous cases involving former
bishop Nolbert Kunonga and CPCA property.

Kunonga, former bishop of the Diocese of Harare, Zimbabwe, severed his ties
with CPCA in 2007, naming himself archbishop of Zimbabwe. He has continued
to occupy property and use assets belonging to the diocese. CPCA leaders
assert that Kunonga had resigned his see and has no standing in the Anglican
church or right to the property in question.

Many Anglicans say that Kunonga, as an avowed supporter of Zimbabwean
president Robert Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party, has supported the
intimidation and persecution of Anglicans in Zimbabwe who have opposed his
leadership, according to a July 29 report from Ecumenical News

Kunonga has asked the Zimbabwean High Court to set aside the recent election
and July 26 consecration of Chad Nicholas Gandiya as Bishop of Harare. In
their letter to the law courts, CPCA leaders write that Kunonga, having been
removed as bishop and excommunicated from the Anglican church, has no legal
or ecclesiastical standing to make such a demand.

"It is our strong contention that the courts in Zimbabwe have no
jurisdiction to interfere with the procedure and decisions legitimately made
by the transnational CPCA," says the letter.

The full text of the CPCA letter follows.

Letter from the Church of the Province of Central Africa

It is with increasing concern that we, the Bishops of the Anglican body of
the Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA) note the ongoing
involvement of the Law Courts in Zimbabwe in respect of numerous cases
instituted about the status of Nolbert Kunonga vis-ą-vis the CPCA and his
rights to our property.

We are not alone in expressing concern. The Council of Anglican Provinces in
Africa (CAPA) voiced their astonishment at a meeting held in Alexandria,
Egypt, in February 2009 and recorded their earlier views, stating:

"As representatives of the Anglican Communion, we re-iterate that we do not
recognize the status of Bishop Norbert (sic) Kunonga and Bishop Elson Jakazi
as bishops within the Anglican Communion, and call for the full restoration
of Anglican property within Zimbabwe to the Church of the Province of
Central Africa".

This statement reflects the true and lawful position. It also echoes the
sentiments of the Anglican Communion worldwide, members of whom are frankly
shocked by the conclusions and decisions given in some of the judgments of
the courts in favor of Kunonga, a man who has abandoned the Anglican faith
and the CPCA. It would seem a few of the learned judges (and magistrates)
are either under some misconception or unwittingly ignore the true

We have therefore deemed it appropriate to draw attention respectfully to
the following in order to put beyond doubt the factual, legal and
ecclesiastical position:

1. The CPCA is a multinational body covering Botswana, Malawi, Zambia and
Zimbabwe, whose laws are trans-nationally binding upon its members.

2. Its laws, like those of any other similar organization, are not available
to be used by any person who is not a member of the body of the CPCA.

3. Likewise, its property and assets, like any other similar organization,
belong to it and cannot be usurped, removed or unlawfully used by anyone
outside its membership.

4 . The Diocese of Harare (the Diocese), its property and assets, form an
integral, permanent part of the body of CPCA, as do all the other dioceses
and their assets in the Province.

5. The CPCA laws call on bishops, before taking office, to swear that they
will be bound by, and govern their diocese in conformity with the laws and
canons, Acts and other regulations of the Province and their diocese.

6. On the 21st September 2007, Nolbert Kunonga willfully broke his canonical
oath and unilaterally, formally and intentionally chose to break away and
cut all ties with the CPCA. He had irrevocably exited from and would have
nothing more to do with us.

7. His departure and cessation of membership was noted and accepted by the

8. The result of his action was that he not only forfeited his membership
and had no status nor rights within the CPCA but also ceased automatically
to be a member of the Worldwide Anglican Communion. More than that, he was
no longer an Anglican Bishop and therefore there was a vacancy in the See of
the Diocese. Anglican officials and Anglicans throughout the world
acknowledged that this is the situation.

9. We wrote to Nolbert Kunonga to vacate our property and assets in the
Diocese and make them available to us. He ignored our request. He still uses
the property, assets and money of the Diocese for his own purposes. In our
respectful submission, Nolbert Kunonga is acting as a trespasser on our
property and his undoubtedly unlawful use of our funds and assets is
tantamount to theft. And his claim to be bishop of the Diocese is a
deliberate misrepresentation amounting to falsehood as is his claim to be an

10. Instead of withdrawing peacefully and without demur, Nolbert Kunonga and
a few non-Anglican collaborators commenced a programme of sustained threats,
intimidation and assaults on members of the CPCA, depriving them of access
to worship in the parish churches or even on the premises of the Diocese.

11. By breaking away from the CPCA, Nolbert Kunonga committed the act of
schism. To underscore this, Nolbert Kunonga, on the 15th March 2008, formed
his own church. He proclaimed himself Archbishop of his organization and
appointed 4 or 5 non-Anglican colleagues as bishops. This defiant move of
Nolbert Kunonga is a classic case of schism; entering into membership of a
(presumably) religious body not in communion with the CPCA. Thus he has
overtly given his allegiance to an organization separate from and not
recognized by the Anglican Communion.

12. To put the position of Nolbert Kunonga firmly into an unmistakable
category after he declared the formation of his own church, we let it be
known on the 12th May 2008 that his status is that of a person
excommunicated from the CPCA and the Anglican Communion throughout the

We find it incredible that the establishment of his own church by Nolbert
Kunonga does not seem, with respect, to resonate in the minds of some of the
learned judges in Zimbabwe hearing the cases before them on Nolbert Kunonga.
Surely, the existence of his own organization must put beyond all possible
doubt the fact the Nolbert Kunonga as a result of his own actions and
behavior cannot lay claim to any right to be a bishop in, and have control
over, property of the CPCA in the Diocese. He has now made himself
Archbishop of an organization in opposition to and not recognized by the
CPCA. He would have had a conflict of interests if he had not already given
up membership of the CPCA.

From a theological point of view a judgment cannot interfere with faith
which is controlled by an individual's conscience. Faith cannot be tested
overtly nor imposed upon a person by a court order. This is why in the
Anglican Church laws have been specially promulgated to facilitate the
propagation by priests and others of the Christian faith. Those persons who
choose to be Anglicans willingly, subject themselves to the faith, worship,
teachings, format and rules, fellowship, mutual support, the proclamation of
the Gospel and the care of God's people in love and faith as prescribed in
our Canons, Acts and other laws. These are spiritual and ecclesiastical
aspects outside the scope of the Common Law Courts. Nolbert Kunonga withdrew
his membership from this organization voluntarily. But this does not give
him, nor the courts, the right to insist that CPCA members must follow him
and change their faith and allegiance to the CPCA. No one has the right to
restrict, prevent or prohibit Anglicans from worshipping in their Churches
of the Diocese as they have done peacefully and respectfully for many years.

We now earnestly seek your kind consideration of the above facts and
comments and are emboldened, by the worldwide support we have received, to
believe the only conclusion you can reach is that -

A. Nolbert Kunonga is not a member of the CPCA; is not an Anglican bishop in
the Diocese; and has no right to occupy or use the Anglican assets in the
Diocese; and

B. Nolbert Kunonga has elected to become Archbishop of an organization he
has formed and which is not recognized by the Anglican Communion Worldwide;
and he has been excommunicated from the CPCA and the Anglican Communion
internationally; and

C. The CPCA is an organization not confined to Zimbabwe but is transnational
and recognized internationally; and

D. In view of all of the above, the civil courts have no jurisdiction to
deal with issues pertaining to the status of Nolbert Kunonga vis-ą-vis the
CPCA and the Anglican communion and, in any event, Nolbert Kunonga has no
locus standi to be a party to pleadings in any civil court because, by his
own admission, he has abandoned and severed his links with the CPCA and
formed his own church which is a separate entity in no way connected to the

To bring this epistle up to date, we have pleasure in announcing that, to
international acclamation and in accordance with the laws of the CPCA and
other ecclesiastical laws, Dr. Chad Nicholas Gandiya, having been duly
elected in June 2009, was consecrated and ordained within our Province as an
Anglican Bishop recognized worldwide on the 26th July 2009. The ceremony was
witnessed by numerous bishops and well over 10,000 others who were in
attendance. He was enthroned on that same day in the See of the Diocese of

After Nolbert Kunonga had left the CPCA and the Diocese and until this
momentous enthronement of Bishop Gandiya occurred, Bishop Dr. Sebastian
Bakare had acted as caretaker Vicar General/Bishop of the Diocese of Harare
from November 2007, a role he filled with distinction and success. Bishop
Bakare had been called upon to administer pastorally and otherwise after
Nolbert Kunonga left the Diocese effectively on the 4th August 2007.

We, the Bishops of the CPCA, hereby draw to your attention yet another
application just launched by Nolbert Kunonga. Although he has nothing to do
with, and disassociated himself from the CPCA and formed his own
church/organization, in his latest application he asks the honorable High
Court in Zimbabwe to set aside the consecration and enthronement of Bishop
Chad Nicholas Gandiya as the Bishop of the Diocese of Harare and for the
court to pronounce that he, Nolbert Kunonga, is still bishop of that

We re-iterate our firm belief that Nolbert Kunonga has no locus standi to
appear before, and be recognized by the courts. It is our strong contention
that the courts in Zimbabwe have no jurisdiction to interfere with the
procedure and decisions legitimately made by the transnational CPCA. We
trust that the application will be dismissed on these grounds.

Such a decision will remove the strong perception held by us and most
interested persons, locally and internationally, namely that the honorable
Courts in Zimbabwe appear to be minded for reasons best known to themselves,
to ignore the lack of status of Nolbert Kunonga and the question of
jurisdiction and to presume to rule upon the internal, domestic, spiritual,
theological, administrative and Church affairs of the CPCA.

We sincerely call upon the courts to heed our concerns so that the chapter
on the behavior and demands and absence of status of Nolbert Kunonga in the
Anglican Church can finally be closed.

Dated on this, the 1st day of August in the Year of Our Lord 2009.

The Rt. Rev. Albert Chama
Dean of the Church of the Province of Central Africa

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A crisis driven by greed

Comment from Pambazuka News, 3 September

Dewa Mavhinga

I had not realised the true extent and impact of the Zimbabwe crisis on
ordinary Zimbabweans until last weekend, when I embarked on a four and half
hour drive from Johannesburg to Kabokweni, a tiny, far-flung township
situated in a valley near Nelspruit, in South Africa's Mpumalanga province.
I was visiting my two brothers, a cousin, a nephew and an uncle who now, due
to circumstances back home, are trying to eke out a living there. To my
utter amazement, I soon discovered there are literally hundreds of
Zimbabweans there, perhaps without a thought of returning home soon.
Commenting on how he has been forced to put away his degree certificates and
resort to doing odd, often degrading jobs just to survive, all that my uncle
said to me was, 'Look what Mugabe has done to us!' I felt a deep sadness in
the depths of my soul and began to agonise over the root causes on the
crisis in Zimbabwe.

This morning, while taking a shower (that is usually my time of greatest
inspiration), it suddenly occurred to me that the primary driver of the
crisis in Zimbabwe - and the consequent misery and suffering of the people -
is greed on the part of those in authority. For the avoidance of doubt,
authority in Zimbabwe resides in Zanu PF and its allies, the so-called war
veterans, green bombers, and security forces. Greed has so consumed those in
authority so much that they have ceased to care about anything except their
excessive desire to accumulate massive wealth, which they neither deserve
nor need. Political power, for them, is the vehicle through which they can
satisfy their greed, and therefore, they would be prepared to shed blood to
acquire and retain that political power. In their twisted sense of logic,
they are therefore justified in unleashing waves of electoral violence and
coerce people to 'vote' them into political power, or to use other
fraudulent means to attain political office. Understanding that greed is the
primary driver of the Zimbabwean crisis would lead to a better understanding
of the paradoxical situation of Zimbabwe that, in the midst of all this
suffering, you find multi-millionaires in United States dollar terms, on the
streets of Harare.

This also explains how a person like Joseph Chinotimba, a mere municipal
guard (no offence to this humble profession intended), who was virtually
penniless before he discovered the benefits of Zanu PF membership, can claim
that due to loss of his mobile phone for just a week, he had lost business
worth US$19 million! And this is not one of those Chinotimba jokes doing the
rounds. What business is he into? Clearly there are a few people who are
directly benefiting from the suffering of millions of Zimbabweans. That same
group of people is reaping where they did not sow. Again, this is not just a
figure of speech. Scores of those aligned to Zanu PF are currently on an
invasion spree of white-owned commercial farms and are literally reaping
where they did not sow. Zimbabwe has enough resources to support all those
who live in it, and also to support the region, but a few politically
connected and greedy people are busy plundering Zimbabwe and eating
everyone's share. I would not be surprised if there are people in Zimbabwe
whose daily prayer is that the crisis never ends!

Greedy political leaders who do not care about the people they purport to
represent invariably breed misery and suffering. This breed of political
leaders often have the following distinctive characteristics: (1) Although
generally incompetent and lacking in business acumen, they are involved in
all kinds of businesses; (2) they measure they political achievements by the
amount of wealth accumulated or cars they own; (3) they publicly speak
against the West and pose as pan- Africanists while privately sending their
children to school in the West, drink wines imported from the West and do
not miss on their monthly satellite television subscriptions; (4) all their
ill-gotten wealth is derived exclusively from their political connections;
(5) their lavish, and outlandish lifestyles are at odds with their
professional salaries (for example, it is not surprising in Zimbabwe to come
across a mere journalist working for state media, but with powerful
political connections, owning several properties that he can never acquire
on his journalist's earnings).

This breed of political leaders is beyond redemption and cannot be expected
to reform and be like the biblical Zaccheus, the chief tax collector who
repented and gave away his ill-gotten wealth. Politicians of this kind, who
unfortunately at present dominate the political scene in Zimbabwe, must be
removed from office and mechanisms put in place to ensure that this breed
becomes extinct. This legacy of leaders who doggedly pursue self-serving
interests must be broken. Without such a paradigm shift, charting a new
political direction for Zimbabwe will remain a pipe dream. It is worthwhile
noting for political leaders in government, particularly those in the MDC
whom many of us look up to in hope, that greed is not a trait confined to
leaders from one particular political party. Zimbabwe desperately needs
political leaders with integrity, who deeply care for others, and have the
ability to self-transcend. Political leaders are judged not on the basis of
the political party they belong to, but on content of their character and
their service to humanity. I am absolutely convinced that if we had leaders
who really cared, then Zimbabwe would not have gone through the horror, pain
and suffering which characterised the past decade and continues. It is not
an act of God, neither is it a freak of nature, that Zimbabwe finds itself
in this multi-layered socio-economic, humanitarian and political crisis. The
issue boils down to want of able political leadership. Want of leaders who
have already distinguished themselves in their private and professional
lives who now take up public life leadership roles to serve, deriving
satisfaction from putting a smile on an old woman's face.

Dewa Mavhinga is a human rights lawyer based in Zimbabwe

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Arranged marriage of inconvenience

Dear Family and Friends,

Zimbabwe is breathtakingly beautiful this spring. Everyone is talking
about the spectacular colours of the new leaves on the trees. Perhaps
its because we are all just so utterly worn out after a decade of
decay and horror or maybe we are finally allowing ourselves to see
beauty again and begin feeling hopeful about the times ahead. One
friend who is back in the country for a month after having spent 3
years in exile in the Diaspora, said that just sitting under the
Msasa trees was enough to decide her.

'I'm coming home,' she said.

The wide blue sky and warm sun, the open spaces and rugged beauty and
the calls of hoopoes, sparrowhawks and bulbuls is enough to weaken the
hardest of Zimbabwean hearts.

Coming home will not be easy. The flush of saved money doesn't go far
in these times when every American dollar that we have buys food and
pays bills with nothing left over for the other essentials necessary
for life and health. It will not be easy learning to negotiate the
flood tide of officials in every government department and building
who want, need, demand, a bribe in order to do their job. For many
who come home it will be a bitter pill seeing the evil still walking
free amongst us: the men (and women) who beat, burnt, raped and
murdered us and our families, friends and relations this last decade.
Perhaps hardest of all for people coming home from democratic
countries will be accepting that lawlessness still exists depending
on your political affiliations and that mayhem and thuggery continues
in farming areas where "land" is still used as a smokescreen for
theft, looting, arson and murder.

Events of this week are likely to put paid to thoughts and plans of
coming home for many Zimbabweans in the diaspora. Hardly had the fire
died down and the ash settled from the suspicious fires which
destroyed the farms and homes of Ben Freeth and Mike Campbell when
yet more dire news came. These two farmers who have endured so much
and fought so hard for their legal rights - and who have won their
cases in Zimbabwean and SADC courts are now bereft. The farmers and
their farm workers and all of their families have lost everything -
homes, jobs and futures. Listening to Ben Freeth talking on an
independent radio programme this week, the tears filled my eyes.

"I told my workers I'll be back. I promised them we'd rebuild,"
Freeth said.

They are words that many thousands of commercial farmers have said to
their faithful and loyal employees as they've been evicted,
dispossessed and lost everything this last decade. Promises that
farmers have been unable to keep as Zanu PF have changed laws,
amended the constitution and disregarded rulings made by their own
courts. This week legal Affairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa

hammered in the last nail. Zimbabwe, he said, will no longer appear
in front of the regional SADC courts, will not recognise their
rulings or respond to any actions or suits instituted by the SADC

As beautiful as Zimbabwe is this spring we are still a long way from
being free of the clique who cling to power and fill their pockets.
But, as every day passes, we are closer to the day when this arranged
marriage of inconvenience can be over and we can hold free, fair and
democratic elections and start again. Until next week, thanks for
reading, love cathy. 5th September 2009 Copyright cathy buckle

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London: John Bradburne: anniversary Mass and talk

Posted: Saturday,
September 5, 2009 12:18 am

A Mass marking the 30th anniversary of the death of John Bradburne,
will take place at Westminster Cathedral this afternoon.

The lay missionary and poet, was shot dead, almost certainly by
guerrillas, while working at a leper colony in Zimbabwe in 1979.

Bradburne was born at Skirwith, in the Eden Valley, in 1921, the son
of a Church of England vicar.

A charismatic figure, Bradburne once walked to Rome, lived for a year
in the organ loft of a church and tried to live as a hermit on Dartmoor. He
was also a lay member of the Order of St Francis and an accomplished poet.

John was received into the Catholic Church  in 1947 and travelled to
Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, as a missionary helper in the 1960s where he became
warden of the Mutemwa leprosy settlement. Friends urged him to quit Zimbabwe
as the war against white rule escalated in the late Seventies but he
refused. His body was found by the roadside near Mutemwa. Up to 25,000
attend a service in his memory in Mutemwa each year.

The John Bradburne Memorial Society was founded in 1995 to support the
work of the leper settlement.  Celia Brigstocke, director of the Society, is
also leading calls for John Bradburne's beatification.  Since Bradburne's
death  there have been at least two miraculous cures linked to him. A woman
in South Africa regained the use of her legs and a man in Scotland was cured
of a brain tumour.

The Mass, at Westminster Cathedral, will be celebrated by Bishop
Patrick O'Donoghue   on Saturday,  5 September at 2pm.

It will be followed by a talk in the Cathedral hall and the launch of
a new book, John Bradburne on Love.

Tickets for the talk cost £7 and are available from the John Bradburne
Memorial Society, PO Box 32, Leominster, Herefordshire HR6 0YB.

For more information see:

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Bill Watch 30 of 4th September 2009 [Opening ofParliament & SADC Summit]

BILL WATCH 30/2009

[4th September 2009]

Both Houses of Parliament are adjourned until Tuesday 29th September

Both Houses sat briefly on Tuesday afternoon, the House of Assembly for 25 minutes and the Senate for 15, before adjourning.

Opening of New Session of Parliament

In terms of the Constitution [section 62] there must be a new session of Parliament in each calendar year.  The First Session was opened in August last year, so there must be a new session starting this year.  Traditionally a session lasts about 12 months and a new session usually opens July/August.  Parliament was expecting the opening of the Second Session at the end of last month, but the President went to an extraordinary AU meeting in Libya.  Parliament now expect the opening of the Second Session to be on or before the 29th September, but are waiting for the date to be confirmed by the President.  There will then be a proclamation gazetted proroguing [formally ending] the First Session and summoning Parliament to meet for the Second Session [as laid down in the Constitution, section 63].  At the Official Opening the President in a speech to both Houses will outline the government’s legislative agenda for the Second Session. 

In Parliament on Tuesday 1st September

The same item of business was dealt with in both Houses.  This was the approval of the SADC Protocol on Finance and Investment. 

Outstanding Business in House of Assembly

[Note: there is no outstanding business for the Senate – the Senate dealt with very little business during the session.]

·   Motion for the Appoint of a Select Committee of Parliament to investigate the violence that took place after the March 28 Elections and to report its findings to Parliament.  [This motion has been on the Order Paper since early February [before the formation of the Inclusive Government] without being debated.]

·   Questions for Wednesday Question Time –  among 22 questions from backbenchers to which Ministers have not yet responded are:

    To Minister of Transport on safety on National Railways

    To Minister of Public Service - how many people were employed by the Ministry of Youth in March 2008, the policy and procedures of employment of these youths, and why employment documents for those employed are only being processed now, when they are already on the payroll.

    To Minister of Justice on what plans there are to help prisoners in Mutare prison on remand who have spend 2 or more years without being brought to trial.

    To Minister of Media [Minister Shamu] when the media reform Bill will be tabled and other media reforms made.

Any Bills, motions, questions not dealt with when the present session formally ends will fall away.  This means that if the session does end before Parliament resumes, all the above will lapse and will have to be reintroduced.

Status of Bills as at 4th September 2009

Bills In the Senate - None; Bills in the House of Assembly - None

Bill awaiting introduction

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill [H.B. 7, 2009]  Gazetted on 14th August 2009

Ministry:     Finance

Stage:   House copies available – ready for introduction

House:  [This Bill could be introduced in either House]

Summary:  The Bill provides for major amendments to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Act, principally to bring the powers of the Governor under the control of the Bank’s Board, to clarify the functions of the Bank and to require the Bank to increase its reserves.  [Available on request: electronic versions of [1] the Bill and [2] the Reserve Bank Act showing effect of the Bill.]

Work of Committees

Portfolio Committees and Thematic Committees met this week [see Bill Watch Special of 31st August for meetings open to the public].  There  will be no further meetings until the Houses resume sitting.

Committee on Standing Rules and Orders  [CSRO] has not met this week, and its next meeting is not until 21st September.  This means a further delay of over two weeks before there can be any announcement about the holding of interviews for appointments to the three remaining Constitutional Commissions [Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission]. 

Select Committee on the New Constitution met on Wednesday 2nd September but was not able to make progress because ZANU-PF has not submitted its nominations for chairpersons of thematic subcommittees.  The process seems stalled for the time being, pending the resolution of outstanding GPA issues and the outcome of the SADC Summit.  Adhering to the GPA timeframe now seems impossible.  

Select Committee to Investigate AG's Conduct of Prosecutions – on 30th July the House of Assembly adopted MDC-T MP Tongai Matutu’s motion  for the appointment of a independent Select Committee to investigate the conduct of the Attorney-General in all politically-motivated prosecutions, in view of the number of arrests and convictions of MDC-T MPs – 5 have been convicted and have appealed, and 9 are awaiting trial.  [This is not counting MPs such as Tendai Biti, Tichaona Mudzingwa, Pearson Mungofa and Eric Matinenga, all of whom were arrested and eventually acquitted.]  The CSRO has not yet appointed the members of the Select Committee. 

The Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs wrote to the Speaker objecting that such a Select Committee would be unconstitutional as under the Constitution the Attorney-General [AG] exercises his functions free from direction or control by any other authority, and that only the President can order an investigation into the AG’s conduct of his office.  The Minister also complained that he had not been given an opportunity to respond to the motion.  The Speaker’s ruling on the Minister’s objection is awaited.  As this motion cannot be acted on until the Speaker has announced his ruling, it is likely that it will lapse at the end of the Session[Note: (1) Notice of the motion was given on 23rd July and it was debated on 28th and 29th July.  ZANU-PF took part in the debate and these constitutional objections were not raised, nor was there any move for rejection of the motion.  (2) Section 76(7) of the Constitution states that in the exercise of his prosecutorial functions the AG ”shall not be subject to the direction or control of any person or authority” – but the motion does not in terms seek to direct or control the exercise of the AG’s functions.  (3) It is true that section 110 of the Constitution allows the President to order an investigation of the AG’s conduct if the object is to consider whether or not he should be removed from office – but as the motion does not seek the AG’s removal from office, there is no obvious conflict with the President’s powers under this section.]

Inclusive Government Problems Referral to SADC

President Zuma of South Africa’s Recent Visit  President Zuma met with the three principals on 27th and 28th August.  His press statement  after his visit said little other than that he and the parties discussed the critical issues relating to the implementation of the GPA and agreed on the need to speed up implementation and to find solutions to the current points of disagreement.  The important factor was that there was commitment among all parties. [Full text of press release available.]  Nevertheless statements emanating from the “State” press and from MDC Information indicate that both ZANU-PF and MDC seem to have come away from the talks feeling their very different points of view had been sympathetically received.  The three party principals did not meet following President Zuma’s visit, as President Mugabe left soon thereafter for Libya for an extraordinary AU Summit. 

Tsvangirai Press Conference  On Tuesday, in his capacity as MDC-T President, Mr Tsvangirai issued a statement to mark the first anniversary of the signing of the GPA due on 15th September 2008.  He detailed the outstanding GPA issues, said failure to resolve them was impacting negatively on the credibility and legitimacy of the inclusive Government, stressed that they must be resolved urgently and thanked President Zuma for “echoing the call” for full implementation of the GPA.  [Full text of statement available.] 

Both before and since the Zuma visit both sides have been cranking up the pressure ahead of the SADC Summit, with MDC stressing its list of outstanding GPA issues still awaiting action from President Mugabe and ZANU-PF, and the President and ZANU-PF spokespersons insisting that “illegal sanctions” are the cause of all the country’s problems.  

SADC Summit: Kinshasa, DRC

The Summit will run from 2nd to 8th September, starting with meetings of officials and Ministers and culminating in the meeting of Heads of State and Government on the 7th and 8th.  President Zuma will report to the Summit in his dual capacity as SA President and Chair of SADC, both guarantors of the GPA, on the progress of he inclusive government in Zimbabwe and the outstanding issues raised by the parties to it in his recent meetings in Harare.  A senior South African government official said that the Summit will also debate the future of South Africa’s facilitation team [former SA President Thabo Mbeki was appointed as SADC facilitator of the Zimbabwean dialogue in 2007, and the appointment has never been revoked].  A new facilitator [or better still a respected facilitation team] may be able to break the impasse preventing any real progress in the inclusive government and thus the economy of Zimbabwe.  President Zuma will be surrendering the SADC chair to DRC President Kabila at the Summit, and President Kabila will then chair SADC until the next regular SADC Summit in a year’s time.  Given the close ties between Presidents Mugabe and Kabila, there is speculation that this change could lead to a lessening of SADC pressure on President Mugabe and ZANU-PF to comply with the GPA and resolve outstanding issues unless a strong facilitator [or facilitation team] is appointed.

SADC Tribunal

Since President Zuma’s visit it has emerged that on 10th August the Government delivered a letter to the SADC Tribunal rejecting Tribunal decisions as null and void and withdrawing from further participation in the Tribunal, on the ground that the SADC Protocol establishing the Tribunal has not come into force [because it has not been ratified by the required two-thirds of SADC members].  The Tribunal has in turn referred the matter to the Summit for consideration.  [The legal correctness of the Government’s new stance on the Tribunal has been questioned by eminent lawyers, so the Summit’s reaction is awaited with great interest.]  [Opinion released by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights obtainable from]

Legislation Update

Acts still awaiting gazetting

The Finance (No. 2) Bill and the Appropriation (Supplementary) Bill [both passed on 23rd July] have still not been gazetted as Acts.  Initially there was an unexplained delay in getting them printed and submitted to the President for his assent.  They were sent to the President’s Office last week.  As these Acts will not be legally effective until they are gazetted, and as some of the tax law changes in the Finance (No. 2) Act are stated to be with effect from the 1st August, this delay is deplorable. 

Statutory Instruments

Statutory instruments gazetted on 28th August included SI 142/2009 [regulations under the Agricultural Marketing Authority Act controlling the growing and marketing of seed cotton and other aspects of the seed cotton industry] and SI 143/2009 [new fees under the Trade Measures Act for the assizing of scales and measuring equipment, and services provided, by the trade measures inspectorate]. SI 145/2009, gazetted today, reduces customs duty on a wide range of raw materials, intermediate goods and capital goods.


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