The ZIMBABWE Situation
An extensive and up-to-date website containing news, views and links related to ZIMBABWE - a country in crisis
Return to INDEX page
Please note: You need to have 'Active content' enabled in your IE browser in order to see the index of articles on this webpage

Census begins ‘mop-up’ count

Staff Reporter
5th September 2012

If you were one of the very many people who were not counted in the recent
Census you might be interested to hear that enumerators are going to be

There was such an outcry from across the country at the poor running of the
Census, the organisational body Zimstat had no choice but to send out the
enumerators again.

Deputy Justice Minister Obert Gutu was one of those who had been left out of
the exercise and he had threatened to sue Zimstat. He said a number of his
constituents were not counted and this was a gross violation of their human

Zimstat officials had originally said the Census had been a resounding
success, a fact confirmed by Finance Minister Tendai Biti, but then the
complaints started to come in.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

CIO bars residents from Zimstats office

Residents who were left out of the just ended population census here are
being barred by the Central Intelligence Organisation from entering Magnet
House to visit the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat) offices.
The building also houses the CIO’s provincial headquarters.

by Zwanai Sithole

Following widespread complaints from people throughout the country that they
were omitted from the counting process, Zimstat has called on citizens to
approach its offices for verification. But Bulawayo residents who thronged
Zimstat offices with the hope of being counted are being harassed.

“I was never counted during the census period. Yesterday when I went to
Zimstat offices at Magnet house hoping to be counted, I was denied entry by
two security agencies manning the entrance door. They told me that the
building is a security threat (sic) and anyone entering should be vetted,”
said a North End resident who refused to be named for fear of victimisation.

Another resident, who also refused to be named for the same reasons, said:
“Why is it that of all the government departments, Zimstat is the only
government department housed at Magnet building? Most government departments
are housed at Mhlahlandlela government building complex. As long as it
remains there, people who aspire to be counted will not go there,” he said.

A Zimstat contract worker was last year banned from entering the building
after CIO officials accused her of being once an employee of Bulawayo
Agenda, an NGO perceived to be anti-government.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe agrees to monitors


ZIMBABWE’s government partners have finally agreed to allow two Southern
African Development Community (Sadc)-backed facilitators to monitor the
political process led by South African President Jacob Zuma’s international
relations adviser Lindiwe Zulu.

Ambassadors David Katye from Tanzania and Zambian Colly Muunyu will join the
Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee, which is made up of
representatives from Zanu (PF) and the two Movement for Democratic Change
parties. The panel is mandated to oversee the full implementation of the
Global Political Agreement that led to Zimbabwe’s fragile power-sharing

It was signed in September 2008 by President Robert Mugabe, Morgan
Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara.

But the committee has come under fire from civil society groups for failing
to stand up to Zanu (PF)’s belligerence in meeting the political accord’s
requirements, including a reworked constitution, a referendum and elections.

Mr Katye and Ms Muunyu will also work with Ms Zulu’s facilitation team.

"If there are any challenges, then the facilitation team assisted by the new
Sadc team will come in to help us," Patrick Chinamasa, the Zanu (PF)
negotiator on the committee and also the justice, legal and parliamentary
affairs minister said.

The involvement of the Sadc-backed facilitators had been largely resisted by
Mr Mugabe’s Zanu (PF), who claimed the country’s "sovereignty would come
under attack" if it allowed a Sadc team to be closely involved in the
country’s political processes. The Sadc resolution passed at the Livingstone
summit in Zambia to include Sadc-backed facilitators was ignored for more
than a year.

Political analyst Charles Mangongera was not convinced the facilitators
would have any effect. "The SA facilitation team has sufficient information
on what has been happening in the country, even before the deployment of
this new Sadc team. Civil society organisations have also presented
thousands of dossiers documenting violations that are ongoing … no one must
expect overnight changes because the team has been accepted".

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe University Animal Unit On Cruelty Charges

Sep 5, 1:52 PM EDT


HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) -- An independent animal welfare group said Wednesday
it is filing cruelty charges against the veterinary teaching department at
Zimbabwe's main university after three emaciated, ailing and distressed
horses were killed using an ax and a knife.

The Veterinarians for Animal Welfare organization said the heavily indebted
University of Zimbabwe lacked expertise, equipment and drugs to put down the
animals humanely. The horses were taken to a zoo outside Harare last month
where their carcasses were fed to lions.

It said a stun gun failed to knock out the horses and they were struck on
the head with the blunt edge of a heavy farm ax. They were not dead - their
eyelids were still fluttering - when their throats were cut, the group said.
Cruelty charges carry the penalty of a fine.

Six horses were first brought to the university facility from a bankrupt
farm south of the capital, the veterinarians said in statement. Three were
taken away by the national police horseback unit but officers said they
could not afford to look after all six.

The three surviving horses are well groomed and cared for and recently were
used to give joy rides to children at the mounted police exhibits at the
Harare agricultural exposition in the last week of August, the animal rights
group said.

The veterinarians group said Wednesday the three horses at the university
suffered because the animal department could not supply enough clean
bedding, hay, food and water for the horses. Their hooves were rotting in
dirty stables.

`'All body bones were prominent," the group said.

It said it offered to "euthanase" the animals but authorities accused its
inspectors of interfering at the institution where President Robert Mugabe
is chancellor, or the titular head of all academic studies, though he is not
in charge of running of the campus of more than 8,000 students.

An autopsy of one of the horse's skulls showed the stun gun had been fired
nearer the eyes and nose than at the upper brain area where it would have
been effective.

The weakened stallion then "staggered several meters (yards) before crashing
into the side of a trailer." After five more minutes, he was hit on the head
with the back of an ax, the group's animal welfare inspectors reported.

Earlier this year, the state university in Harare, the nation's highest seat
of learning, launched an appeal for $10 million in donor funds to repair its
dilapidated campus infrastructure and restore water and power supplies after
years of outages in the troubled economy.

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, delivering a guest lecture entitled
"African universities as agents for sustainable development" on Wednesday,
said the university should not be blamed for its failures because of funding
shortages. He said the state should take more steps to bail it out.

"The government can't keep saying it doesn't have money. It means that the
system of government is not working well," he told a symposium on the
university's intellectual and research achievements.

Mugabe is in a shaky coalition with the former opposition of Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai whose party controls the finance ministry and the
education budget.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

SADC Troika to convene special summit on Zimbabwe in October

By Tichaona Sibanda
5 September 2012

The SADC Troika has resolved to take a hands-on approach to the Zimbabwe
crisis by convening a special summit next month, to discuss and address the
‘deadlocked’ constitution process.

At the end of Tuesday’s closed session of the Troika on politics, defence
and security Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete told journalists in Dar es
Salaam that they wanted to see free and fair elections in Zimbabwe.

Kikwete, who took over the Troika chair in August, said the summit will be
held on the 7th and 8th October. He did not name the country that will host
the summit.

Tuesday’s day long summit, attended by Kikwete, SADC chair and Mozambican
President Armando Guebuza and Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba, also
dealt with the issue of how to bring stability and peace to the Democratic
Republic of Congo.

Zimbabwe was discussed at length, following differences that have emerged in
the constitution process. The adoption of a new constitution is one of the
regional bloc’s requirements for Zimbabwe to hold free and fair elections.

MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai last week declared a deadlock over ZANU PF’s
requirement for extensive changes to the draft constitution.

The two MDC formations have endorsed the new charter, completed on 18th
July, while ZANU PF insists it won’t accept the draft constitution without

ZANU PF wants homosexuality and same-sex marriages outlawed, devolution of
power abolished and replaced with decentralization, and dual citizenship
banned. The party claims these were popular sentiments contained in the
national report of the outreach program.
During last month’s SADC summit in Maputo, Mozambique, SADC Heads of State
mandated the Troika to engage Robert Mugabe, Morgan Tsvangirai and Welshman
Ncube, should they fail to resolve the impasse.
ZANU PF is now offering the two MDC formations a ‘bargain’ to break the
deadlock over a new constitution.

The Daily News reported on Wednesday that ZANU PF has said the coalition
partners must conduct an audit of the COPAC draft, against views expressed
during the outreach program.
Further delaying any discussion has been the cancellation of the meeting
between Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Ncube to discuss the amendments. It’s been
pushed to next week Monday after the MDC-T leader travelled to the US to
attend President Barack Obama’s Democratic Party convention.
Douglas Mwonzora, the MDC-T spokesman confirmed to SW Radio Africa on
Wednesday that they’ve already declared a deadlock to the SADC mediator,
President Jacob Zuma, and the Troika.
He said any negotiation between now and October has to be meaningful and not
retrogressive as demanded by ZANU PF. Mwonzora told us he was hopeful the
Troika will be able to make a breakthrough.
‘SADC and the three-member Troika have dealt with more difficult issues
before this constitutional impasse. With the correct attitude and energy I
sincerely hope the Troika will help the GPA partners bridge the differences.
‘It should also be said that it’s high time the Troika told Mugabe in his
face that he’s being an impediment to the whole process. He’s been
contemptuous of SADC, contemptuous of his coalition partners and next month’s
summit will be an opportune time to tell him to simply follow the rules,’
Mwonzora said.
United States based political analyst Dr Maxwell Shumba said ZANU PF should
embrace humility and accept that they must move the process to its
‘ZANU PF’s intransigence in the last three years has seen the party lose its
integrity amongst its friends. Ten years ago Mugabe would have many friends
in his corner in a SADC summit, but this is no longer the case.
‘You can tell from the overtures from the party that they are uncomfortable
taking this dispute to the Troika in the full knowledge Mugabe will lose his
case to amend the constitution,’ Shumba said.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Police in Tsholotsho ban Zimrights meeting on domestic abuse

By Tererai Karimakwenda
05 September, 2012

The police in Tsholotsho have been strongly criticized by one of Zimbabwe’s
top civic society organizations, after they banned an important meeting on
Tuesday because the group did not have a letter from owners of the venue.

The Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights), said the banned meeting
had been requested by the Sipepa community and was supposed to focus on
domestic and gender based violence. The request followed a recent sharp
increase in cases of domestic violence within the community.

Zimrights director Okay Machisa told SW Radio Africa that the police refused
to clear the meeting at the last minute, claiming the group did not have a
“free venue letter”. Machisa said this requirement is not legal because it
is not indicated anywhere within Zimbabwean law.

“The law in Zimbabwe requires that police be notified of public events as
stipulated under the Public Order and Security Act. The police are using
these tactics to ban civic society groups from doing their work in the
communities,” Machisa explained.

He added that this was the first time they had ever heard of this
requirement and the second time police in Tsholotsho had banned their

Machisa blasted the police chief for Tsholotsho Govo who banned the Tuesday
meeting, claiming that another group had already booked the venue. But he
refused to name this “other group” and dismissed all evidence presented by
ZimRights showing they had permission.

Machisa said Govo is the same police chief who arrested the Bulawayo
ZimRights team in May last year, claiming they had no clearance for that

“So now the community was deprived of an important meeting because some
police officers are mixing politics with their work. The domestic interests
of the people are suffering,” Machisa fumed.

The ZimRights activist called on the Joint Monitoring and Implementation
Committee (JOMIC) and the unity government to ensure that the police do not
behave in a manner that limits the activities of civic organizations and
violates the basic freedom of association.

Although this “venue letter” has been demanded by police in Tsholotsho only,
civic groups around the country are being intimidated and harassed by
authorities using other excuses.

In February this year, Masvingo Governor Titus Maluleke suspended 29
non-governmental organizations from operating in the province, after he
accused them of failing to register with the local authorities. The NGOs
dismissed the ban and vowed to continue helping Zimbabweans wherever
government has failed.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Trial of nurses deferred as Howard Hospital saga continues

By Tererai Karimakwenda
05 September, 2012

A group of 12 Chiweshe residents and 8 nurses from Howard Hospital appeared
in court on Tuesday, accused of inciting violence and overturning an
ambulance owned by the hospital during protests last week.

The protests were fuelled by last month’s dismissal of Dr.Paul Thistle, a
top doctor and respected member of the local Chiweshe community, who has
served at the Salvation Army run hospital for 17 years. The group of 20
accused was told to return for trial on September 24th.

A Chiweshe resident who was at the court hearing Tuesday said lawyers also
asked that the 8 nurses be allowed to go back to work until the case is
finalized. The request was granted and all 8 nurses were seen on duty at the
hospital Wednesday.
But the source, who chose not to be identified, told SW Radio Africa that
many of the accused are innocent villagers who were demonstrating in support
of Dr. Thistle. He accused the police of making random arrests, then coming
up with charges.

Meanwhile services at the Hospital are reported to have deteriorated. Our
source said basic drugs are in short supply and there are fewer patients
turning up for treatment since Dr. Thistle’s dismissal.
“He was the only one who can operate some of the machines at the hospital
and no one is there to do it now,” our source said, adding that even basic
scans are not being done.

There is also concern for about 1,500 local orphans that Dr. Thistle has
been helping by raising funds to pay for their school fees. Our source said
it will only become clear how the orphans have been affected when schools

The doctor’s dismissal last month raised many eyebrows after he was given 48
hours to leave his post. Armed soldiers were reportedly posted outside his
house during that period. The Salvation Army ordered him to leave the
country, but Dr. Thistle has refused to abandon his colleagues.

Another source told SW Radio Africa that the Salvation Army has tried on
three separate occasions to get him and his family on a plane bound for
Canada, but he has refused.

It is understood the respected doctor may have angered some officials within
the Salvation Army leadership in Zimbabwe after raising concerns about
missing funds and materials meant for the Howard mission.

There is also speculation that Dr. Thistle’s removal is linked to infighting
within ZANU PF. SW Radio Africa has been told that Vice President Joice
Mujuru, who is a senior member of the Salvation Army in Zimbabwe, used her
influence to have the doctor removed. in an effort to control the area where
her rival Emmerson Mnangagwa has support.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Ousted Canadian Doctor seeks refuge at Canadian embassy

Harare, September 05, 2012 - The Canadian doctor, who was recently forced to
leave his post as the resident doctor at the famous Salvation Army church
owned Howard Hospital, is now resident inside the Canadian embassy in
Harare, sources say.

The sources said Dr Paul Thistle went into the embassy a few weeks ago after
church leaders in Zimbabwe tried to send him back to his native Canada after
he allegedly raised concern over the mismanagement of donor funds by the
church leaders.

He was supposed to have flown out of the country last month but he has been
refusing to leave and was supported by Chiweshe villagers who demonstrated
for days against his ouster by church leaders.

“Dr Thistle is at the Canadian embassy that’s where he and his family have
been living since they left Chiweshe last month,” highly placed Salvation
Army church members told Radio VOP.

Officials at the embassy could neither deny nor confirm that he is at the

“We cannot comment on that, we are strictly bound by privacy laws and this
matter that you are asking about is a very sensitive issue, so we are sorry
we cannot assist you,” an embassy official said when approached for a

Thistle told his supporters via an email on August 6 that the Salvation Army
had ordered him to leave his post as chief medical officer and only
full-time doctor at the 144-bed Howard Hospital which serves 270 000 people
in the rural Chiweshe.

This immediately sparked riots in the rural area with villagers attacking
church leaders who had visited the hospital to serve Thistle with letters of
transfer to Toronto.

Thistle had spent 17 years at the hospital and was married to a Zimbabwean
woman and the two have two sons. He will be remembered for defying Zanu (PF)
militias and treated badly injured suspected MDC members during the 2008

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

War Vets reject constitution

Staff Reporter
5th September 2012

The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association, led by the
notorious Jabulani Sibanda, have done ZANU PF’s bidding and rejected the
draft Constitution.

Sibanda said his association would, ‘resist any attempts to foist foreign
ideas on the people.’

But he didn’t just single out the MDC-T for criticism over the draft, he
included everyone; Munyaradzi Mangwana (Zanu-PF), Douglas Mwonzora (MDC-T)
and Edward Mkhosi (MDC-N). He blamed them all for ‘departing from what the
people had said.’ He also went along with ZANU PF’s rhetoric of trying to
make it a racial issue, saying ‘dual citizenship was an attempt by former
colonisers to become local citizens so that they could re-claim farmland
taken for resettlement.’

The fact that dual citizenship is not guaranteed in the constitution seems
to be a point that he missed. This was one of the ‘parked’ issues that the
constitution leaves up to parliament to decide.
He denied that ZANU PF had extensively amended the draft saying it had been

Sibanda is well known for being one of ZANU PF’s violent henchmen. He was
recently in Zaka where he threatened villagers with death if they continued
supporting the MDC.

Recently there has been in-fighting in his war vets association, and one of
the factions passed a vote of no confidence in Sibanda.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zanu PF attacks Tsvangirai for US trip

23 hours 12 minutes ago

HARARE – President Mugabe and his party Zanu PF have taken umbrage over
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's invitation by the US President Barack
Obama to the Democratic Convention in the United States accusing the MDC
leader of ignoring of what they say is a crucial principals meeting at home
to discuss issues of national interest.
Democrats launch their case for Barack Obama's re-election at their party
convention on Tuesday, looking to draw a sharp contrast with Republican Mitt
Romney and convince voters that the U.S. president deserves four more years
to fix the economy.
A source in the Prime Minister's office last night said there was no
scheduled meeting between the Prime Minister and his coalition counterparts.
MDC-T spokesperson Mr Douglas Mwonzora confirmed his boss was in North
Carolina, at the invitation of the Democratic Party that he said shared the
‘‘same interests and principles’’ with MDC-T.
“He is there with the full mandate of the party as he is on a drive to
strengthen our international relationship with other countries.
“The Constitution-making process was completed and we now have a draft
“It is President Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party who are trying to rewrite the
Global Political Agreement and refusing that document to go the Second All
Stakeholders’ Conference.”
Mr Mwonzora said there was no need for Principals to meet to discuss the
Copac draft.
“The GPA is clear on what should be done. Before he (Mr Tsvangirai) left, he
wrote to President Mugabe about the party’s position on the Zanu-PF draft
“President Mugabe must by now be making considerations on the submissions
made by president Tsvangirai,” he said.
However, Presidential spokesperson Mr George Charamba said it was clear the
MDC-T leader favoured foreign interests ahead of national issues.
“It is clear where the priority of the MDC-T president lies. He values his
spectator status in front of the mini drama of the Democratic Party than he
does issues to do with the future of his country.
“His interest is always outward, it is never inward. There is also a
compelling reason for him to do so. He is going to assure the Americans
after the Freedom House survey, which projected him as a bad political
investment for the Americans,” he said.
Mr Charamba said it was baseless for MDC-T spokesperson Mr Mwonzora to
compare President Mugabe’s participation at the recent Non Aligned Movement
Summit in Iran where 120 world leaders attended to Mr Tsvangirai’s
attendance at a function of an American political party.
The source also said Zanu PF is trying very to isolate and corner Tsvangirai
in "dark corridors" and force him into agreeing Zanu PF amendments to the
Draft Constitution, a move this source said was bound to fail.
Over the years Zanu PF has always attended party functions of its foreign
In February this years Zanu-PF attended the 50th anniversary of the ruling
Botswana Democratic Party held in Gaborone with a strong delegation led by
Zanu-PF national chairman Simon Khaya Moyo and both parties Zanu-PF and
Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC sent delegations to the ANC's centenary this year.
Last week all ZANU-PF provincial chairpersons left the country for China for
a two-week "leadership training course".
However, Political analyst in the State media, Dr Charity Manyeruke a Zanu
PF Commissariat described Prime Minister Tsvangirai’s decision as an insult
to the people of Zimbabwe.
Zanu PF chief political advisor and Politburo member Professor Jonathan Moyo
had no kind words for Mr Tsvangirai whom he described as a disgrace to the
people whom he pretends to lead.
The party’s loyalists said it is high time Zimbabweans should be wary of the
Prime Minister’s behaviour as it has also emerged that he ignored the
principals meeting to go on a spending spree with his wife in the US to buy
goodies for his wedding set for next week.
Mr Tsvangirai was supposed to attend a routine principals meeting this
Monday to discuss a deadlock over the draft constitution among other
national issues.
That meeting was postponed because the premier was away.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his party have already launched
campaign for a yes vote and he has accused President Robert Mugabe as
arrogant and accused him of misleading his Sadc counterparts into believing
that he was committed to the constitution-making process when in fact he was
Addressing civic society leaders at his offices at Charter House in Harare,
Tsvangirai said the MDC-T was ready to launch a campaign for the adoption of
the Copac draft constitution
He said despite Mugabe’s complaints to Sadc in Luanda, Angola, in June that
he was not happy with what he called the negotiators’ delaying tactics on
the constitution, it was him who had assumed that role to justify Zanu PF’s
push for an election under the old constitution.

“In Luanda, President Mugabe said the negotiators were dilly-dallying and we
should go for an election,” he said.

“Now that we have concluded, he is assuming the delaying tactics he was
accusing people of using, now that’s arrogance.”

Tsvangirai said his party would have softened its stance on the constitution
deadlock, but Zanu PF was making outrageous demands that were tantamount to
“throwing the baby with the bath water”.

“The Sadc involvement is not on all processes, but on difficult issues. Zanu
PF wants to throw the baby
with the bath water,” he said.

“Had they come with one or two issues, we would have opened up.

“As principals, I find it difficult to start discussing when Zanu PF is
bringing in things yet we were all part of the process.

“If Sadc says talk about one or two issues yes, but to reopen the whole
debate now is like opening a floodgate, you will never know when to stop.

“We will start our constitution campaign and we will campaign for a ‘Yes’
vote and we are not ashamed.”

He said the theme for the campaign would be: My Vote is My Voice and My Vote
is Yes.

Tsvangirai said the exit from the coalition government was a free and fair
election, but vowed that he would not be rushed into an election that would
not be free and fair by Zanu PF.

“Zanu PF is dragging its feet, but we have a clear roadmap that we can’t
abandon now,” he said.

“In Kenya, evidence is there, the clouds of a storm are on the horizon
already and these experiences spell doom.

“We hope there will be no clouds of storm in Zimbabwe.”

He said people, including civic society and his party, were now in the
comfort zone forgetting to continue the fight for democratic change.

“There is a mercenary attitude now of people wanting to be paid for being in
the streets instead of a missionary attitude,” Tsvangirai said.

“People like (Macdonald) Lewanika (Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition director)
now wear suits every day and even (Information Communication Technology
minister Nelson) Chamisa wears suits every day.

“The fighting spirit has gone and this is what should be addressed.”
Addressing hundreds of party members at Zimuto Siding business centre,
Masvingo North the MDC provincial chairperson Wilstaff Sitemere called for
unity of purpose and determination ahead of both the referendum and the
watershed polls, which he predicted that the MDC will emerge the victor.
Sitemere said the MDC would go for the “Yes” vote in the referendum despite
desperate efforts by Zanu PF to stall the whole process. “I wish to urge you
to focus on the referendum and our position as a party is very clear because
we are going to vote Yes,” said Chairperson Sitemere.
“We say so because the Copac led Constitution making process was endorsed by
all the GPA principals and therefore we will not tolerate political games
and backsliding,” he said.

He added: “As the MDC, we support devolution because it decentralises
management and control of national resources thereby creating employment for
all. There is need to decentralise matters of governance to the provinces
since it creates room for development at provincial level.

The chairperson said Masvingo province is blessed with minerals, wildlife
conservancies and vast sugar cane estates in the Lowveld –that is why the
MDC supports devolution. “In addition we support dual citizenship and we are
optimistic the new Constitution will address human rights issues.

“We are unhappy with the level of police brutality in the country and we
hope such matters will be addressed in the new Constitution. However, I urge
you to remain focused on the referendum.

“While we have seen a lot of improvement in terms of our living conditions
we should not be complacent because we have not yet achieved our chief goal
of achieving real change,” he said.

Addressing a separate rally at Chinyika business centre in Gutu North on
Saturday, the MDC provincial vice chairperson Hon. Heya Shoko said the GPA
was set up as a platform to pave way for fresh democratic elections and
should not be seen as the final destiny.

“We agree that the GPA has brought some respite for us since we were hard
pressed by social and economic meltdown before the formation of the
inclusive government. We should avoid the lame duck approach to political
affairs. We are not yet in full control of government issues. We need to
keep on pushing for total social and economic reforms.

“I have observed that people are now sitting back thinking the battle is
over. It’s not. We must know that it is never over until it is over. Let us
therefore avoid complacency ahead of the referendum and elections,” said
Hon. Shoko.

He added: “This is not the time for back biting and infighting because
internecine battles will demoralize us. We will definitely go for the
referendum and we will vote Yes”.

MDC provincial chairperson, Mai Judith Muzhavazhi echoed Hon. Shoko’s
statements adding: “I wish to urge women to stand up and participate in
these crucial processes”.

In attendance at the rally were the MDC provincial organising secretary,
Hon. Earnest Mudavanhu and Gutu Senator Empire Makamure.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zim poachers poison vultures to cover tracks

Sapa | 05 September, 2012 08:31

Poachers in Zimbabwe recently poisoned 183 vultures in a single event, in an
attempt to cover their tracks, according to a report on Wednesday.

Beeld reported that the vultures died after the poachers killed an elephant
and smeared poison on the carcass in Zimbabwe's Gona re Zhou National Park.

Andre Botha, a spokesman for the Endangered Wildlife Trust, told the
newspaper on Tuesday that poisoned vultures could end up breeding in the
Kruger Park.

Botha said the disturbing new poisoning trend had originated in East Africa,
where poaching had spiralled out of control.

The poachers poison vultures because they alert nature conservation
authorities to the presence of a fresh carcass, and therefore the
whereabouts of the criminals.

Botha warned that it was only a matter of time before the trend filtered
across the South African border.

He said he had heard about the incident in the Gona re Zhou National Park
from Professor Peter Mundy of the University of Bulawayo.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Green Fuel dispute political: ARDA boss

05/09/2012 00:00:00
by Brian Paradza

THE dispute over the US$600 million Green Fuel project is political, ARDA
boss Basil Nyabadza has said, adding the MDC-T was determined to see the
company to collapsing because they believe it is a Zanu PF project.

Production at the firm's Chisumbanje ethanol plant stopped several months
back after the company's efforts to win government endorsement for mandatory
blending hit a brickwall with officials blaming energy minister, Elton

Mangoma says the company has failed to justify why all motorists must be
forced to use its products as well as explain several other issues raised by
the government including pricing of its fuel as well as the fate of
villagers displaced by the project.

But Nyamadza insisted that Mangoma was playing politics.

"We had elections which saw the MDC-T candidates winning all the seats in
the area,” Nyabadza said in an interview with

“There was a perception that this was a Zanu PF project and that brought the
negative influence on the project by the personnel on the ground from
councillors to cabinet ministers. The whole project was then identified as a
Zanu PF project.”

The company is a joint venture between ARDA and two private companies which
secured a deal to establish the project on lands owned by the agricultural
parastatal as well as run it for 25 years before handing over control to the

Meanwhile, Nyabadza also dismissed recent claims by Mangoma that the
government never awarded the company National Project Status, insisting this
was confirmed by both President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai during familiarisation visits to the Chisumbanje plant.

The ARDA boss also said Mangoma’s claim that the project had displaced
thousands of people from their lands was inaccurate, saying the villagers
had, in fact, settled illegally on land belonging to the parastatal.

“ARDA has always retained ownership of 40, 000 hectares of land within the
Chisumbanje area and up to 10,000 hectares in the Middle Sabi area,” he

“But because we had not been utilising that land for years these villagers
were allowed to move in, not permanently, but just so that they could grow
some crops

“So you have villagers who had using between 10-20 hectares knowing fully
well that they were on ARDA land and that that ARDA was just not in a
position to fully utilise it.

“They also knew that when ARDA was going to assume its right over the land
they would have to move.”

Nyabadza however, insisted that the villagers had not been neglected saying
the company was developing a 4,000 hectare irrigation scheme for the 700
families who were affected.

“Over 4000 hectares of land will be developed and put under irrigation for
the benefit of villagers. The economic life of these people has improved
greatly; we have over six banks operating at the local shopping centre,” he

Green Fuel spokesperson Lilian Muungani also revealed that dozens of
families have also embarked on cane growing, taking advantage of the
irrigation facilities developed by the company.

“241 farmers are participating in a commercial cane out grower scheme to
grow cane for supply to the mill while receiving support services in the
form of inputs and tillage," said Muungani.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe Minister Takes Over Planning Of Diamond Conference

05.09.12, 13:22 / World

The government of Zimbabwe has assumed responsibility for organizing the
African nation’s first-ever international diamond conference, which is
scheduled to be held on November 12 and 13.

According to a report in Rough & Polished, the Zimbabwean mines minister,
Obert Mpofu, will play host at the conference, which was originally planned
by the London-based firm Country Factor. The conference is expected to
attract over 300 visitors from the diamond industry.

Troy Reuben, an executive at Country Factor, told Rough & Polished that he
was surprised at the government’s decision to cancel the July conference.
“We were just told that the event has been canceled,” he said. “However, we
respected the decision of the Zimbabwean government.”
Country Factor had invested considerable time and effort in attracting
delegates and speakers to the event, only to be pushed aside as the date

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

MDC-T, Zanu PF MPs claim Ncube took Essar bribe

05/09/2012 00:00:00
by Everson Mushava I NewsDay

MDC-T and Zanu PF MPs on Tuesday called for a commission of inquiry to
investigate the way Industry and Commerce Minister Welshman Ncube handled
the Ziscosteel takeover by Indian company, Essar Holdings.

The MPs claimed Ncube, who leads the other MDC formation, received bribes to
facilitate the $750 million takeover of the Kwekwe-based steel giant.

This followed the presentation of a report by the chairperson of the
Industry and Commerce parliamentary portfolio committee and Buhera North MP
William Mutomba (Zanu PF) in the House of Assembly, alleging irregularities
in the deal.

Mutomba’s report claimed that Ncube signed an agreement where names of some
government ministries were wrongly spelt.

The report alleges this backed MPs’ suspicion that the deal was dictated to
Ncube by the Indians.

Highfield MP Simon Hove (MDC-T) said the committee discovered that the
minister did not consult Zisco directors when he negotiated the deal.

“Even today, money realised from the sale of ore from Buchwa Mine, which was
supposed to be deposited into the Ziscosteel account, was put directly into
the ministry’s account,” he said.

“We will pursue the matter to see if the money was deposited into the Zisco

“We cannot choose to be silent when a transgression is committed, otherwise
we would be creating ghost towns around the country.”

Hove said giving Essar 80% shares in Zisco would allow the Indian company to
export all the ore without benefiting the country.

“Why does the minister involve himself in the affairs of Ziscosteel when
workers have gone for months without salaries?

“No wonder why one of the actors is busy dishing out bicycles and cattle at
his campaign rallies,” he said.

Another portfolio committee member, Bindura South MP Bednock Nyaude (MDC-T),
said the deal was “clumsy and vague”.

Kambuzuma MP Willias Madzimure (MDC-T) claimed Essar bribed people to clinch
the deal.

“If the Executive was not compromised when they commissioned the Essar deal,
it’s within its right to renegotiate another deal,” he said.

“There was inducement for the deal to be concluded. Anyone who says there
was no exchange of money will be lying.”

Mbizo MP Settlement Chikwinya (MDC-T) said there was need for the deal to be
renegotiated for the alleviation of the plight of workers whose lifeline was
cut after Essar suspended payment of salaries owing to the confusion.

Cabinet in June endorsed the Essar deal.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Housing schemes affect urban farming

Rapid urban expansion, demand for housing and growth of the informal market
means land used for urban farming will be compromised, according to town
by Tonderayi Matonho

“More people are buying land in urban and peri-urban communities, the
so-called in-fills” said a senior official responsible for planning in the
City of Harare, Dombo Chibanda.

“Without urban and peri-urban agriculture, the challenge to feed the
megacities would be enormous,” said a lecturer from the department of Rural
and Urban Planning at the University of Zimbabwe.

Large open spaces where urban farming used to thrive in Tafara, Mabvuku,
Mufakose, Epworth and Hatcliff, has been taken up by housing cooperatives
and informal sector businesses.

John Reketayi, 57, an urban farmer from Tafara, said his land provided a
significant income for his family.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Torture victims lose hope

Some Zimbabwean torture victims based here have bemoaned the SA government’s
lackadaisical approach to investigations of torture claims against officials
of President Robert Mugabe’s government.

by Mxolisi Ncube

In May this year, the exiles celebrated as the North Gauteng High Court
passed a landmark ruling ordering South African authorities to investigate
officials accused of involvement in torture and crimes against humanity. The
government has given notice to appeal the decision.

“We had thought that with the ruling, we would finally find the justice that
we failed to find back home and for so many years, but it looks like we were
wrong,” said Sibangani Nkomo.

“The most painful thing is that we do not know how long this appeal will
take because such court processes usually take a long time to be finalised
and some of the victims might even die before they get justice, while
evidence can also get lost during the long wait.”

“Those who have suffered or have witnessed crimes against humanity should
report the presence of any of the perpetrators to the nearest police station
as SA’s obligations remain in terms of international law - to investigate
arrest and prosecute perpetrators,” said Gabriel Shumba, director of the
Zimbabwe Exiles Forum.

The National Prosecuting Authority had not responded to questions at the
time of going to press.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

The MDC Today

Wednesday, 05 September 2012
Issue - 426

It is now sixteen months since the arrest and illegal detention of 29 MDC
members at Harare Central and Chikurubi Maximum Prisons on false charges of
murdering a police officer in Glen View, Harare last year in May.

Their bail application is still pending at the Supreme Court after they were
denied bail at the High Court when they were indicted for trial in March.
Nothing positive has been coming from the courts on either their bail
application or the continuation of their trial, which has been stalled since

Justice Chinembiri Bhunu is the trial judge at the High Court.

Those in remand prison on trumped-up charges of murdering the police officer
in Glen View are; the Youth Assembly chairperson, Solomon Madzore and
National Executive member, Last Maengahama, Councilloras Oddrey Sydney
Chirombe and Tungamirai Madzokere, Cynthia Manjoro, Stanford Mangwiro,
Tendai Chinyama, Jefias Moyo, Abina Rutsito, Gabriel Banda, Stephen
Takaedzwa, Linda Masiyamhanje, Tafadzwa Billiard, Simon Mudimu, Dube
Zwelibanzi, Simon Mapanzure, Augustine Tengenyika, Nyamadzowo Gapara, Paul
Rukanda, Lazarus and Stanford Maengahama, Kerina Dewa, Memory Ncube, Rebecca
Mafukeni, Yvonne Musarurwa, Phineas Nhatarikwa, Edwin Muingiri, Francis
Vambai and Lovemore Magaya

Meanwhile, preparations are underway for the MDC 13th Anniversary
celebrations to be held at White City Stadium in Bulawayo on 29 September

MDC @ 13: The last mile: Towards real transformation!!!

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

External Debt Choking Zimbabwe’s Economic Recovery

Sebastian Mhofu
September 05, 2012

HARARE — Three years after the formation of Zimbabwe's coalition government,
the country's economy is still trying to recover.

Cars have now returned to the streets of Harare and almost all shops are
fully stocked. This was not the case prior to the formation of Zimbabwe’s
coalition government in 2009. Streets were empty, so were shops.
Everything was in short supply. It is more than three years down the line.
Things have changed for the better.

But the country imports most of its products including bottled drinking
water as industries are still struggling. Willard Manungo, the Ministry of
Finance's permanent secretary, says Zimbabwe's huge external debt is the
major hurdle.

"African Development Bank is a major, major player but when it comes to
Zimbabwe, because we are in arrears, we become automatically ineligible to
borrow from African Development Bank," he said. "The same situation with
World Bank and other major cooperating partners. So the issue of arrears is
limiting the capacity of some of the cooperating partners to cooperating
with us.”

Zimbabwe’s external debt is now more than $10 billion and for more than a
decade now the country has been in default resulting in major international
lenders shunning the African country. The African Development Bank is owed
more than $500 million.

Earlier this week the Zimbabwe finance minister said he was in talks with
the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to retire Zimbabwe’s
debt. Manungo says the suspension of development aid to Zimbabwe was
affecting the country's recovery.

"If you look at [the] number of development areas that we would want to go
into in Zimbabwe - energy, infrastructure, water - I think those are all
areas where if development assistance was as it was in the past, Zimbabwe
would be seeing major support. So the scaling of global development
financial flows is also having a major impact on Zimbabwe," he said.

Most Western nations such as the U.S., Germany and Britain suspended
development assistance to Zimbabwe in 2002 after President Robert Mugabe’s
government was accused of disregarding human rights and suppressing the
opposition then led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. The two are now in
a power-sharing government but are tied up in quarrels about the drafting of
a new constitution, which Tsvangirai's party says is needed to have a free
and fair national election.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

MDC-T graft clamp-down farcical: critics

05/09/2012 00:00:00
by Garikai Chaunza

CRITICS have dismissed the MDC-T decision to sack 12 councillors accused of
corruption saying the move was a just political gimmick which would not help
the fight against corruption since the councillors remain in office.

The MDC-T recently expelled 12 councillors countrywide, and cautioned 13
others, acting on the recommendations of a graft enquiry led by the party’s
deputy secretary general, Tapiwa Mashakada which investigated the 10 urban
councils run by the party.

However, the councillors remain in office after thelocal government ministry
said the party should have dealt with the matter through Cabinet and in line
with the provisions of the Urban Councils Act and the Rural District
Councils Act.

Said secretary for the Ministry of Local Government, Urban and Rural
Development Killian Mpingo : “Concerning the dismissals, it was not a
Cabinet decision, but a party decision. So, the situation remains the same;
we only deal with Government issues.

“We deal with matters in line with the Urban Councils Act and the Rural
District Councils Act, which both affect councils. It is clear this is a
matter concerning them (MDC-T) and not the Government.

Ronnie Danga, a former senior official with the Ruwa local authority said
the councillors are free to continue with their alleged corrupt practices
adding the MDC-T should have been aware of the possibility and ensured they
could not remain in office.

“These councillors belong to a political party which has taken a political
decision to fire them. But to say the truth it is a non-event because if
they are corrupt like what their party is saying they are still looting
since they have not been fired from their respective councils,” he said.

Democratic Party President Urayayi Zembe said it was ironic that the MDC-T
was now expelling its officials over allegations of corruption having
opposed similar moves against MDC-T-run councils by local government
minister, Ignatius Chombo.

“It is the MDC-T which was accusing Chombo of vilifying its local government
officials when he embarked on a firing spree of councillors country-wide on
corruption allegations,” Zembe said.

“What the MDC-T must realise is the same councillors are going to be used by
Zanu PF to de-campaign Tsvangirai and his party during elections. Chombo is
not going to fire these councillors but instead take them to Zanu PF”.

However, MDC-T spokesman Douglas Mwonzora said the sacked councillors were
free to join Zanu PF if they pleased.

“We do not care. It is better for us to go to an election with few clean
people than associating with corrupt officials. If ZANU (PF) wants thieves
it is free to embrace them. If there is any other political party which
wants thieves they can have them,” he said.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Wake up call for MDC-T

Both the recent Mass Public Opinion Institute polls on the political
situation in Zimbabwe indicate that the former ruling political party, Zanu
(PF) is slowly regaining its former glory or popularity among Zimbabweans
while the MDC-T seems to be losing ground. In this briefing, I wish to give
my personal appreciation of what is going on and what it may mean to
political players from both sides of the ideological divide.

by John Makumbe

First, I must state categorically here that the results of both the Freedom
House survey and the Afrobarometer survey are authentic and highly credible.
MPOI is a serious outfit that has undertaken numerous surveys on various
issues of national governance in this country. It is entirely non-partisan
and does not hold a brief for any political grouping in this or any other
country. The results of the two surveys in question must therefore be taken

It must be borne in mind that the surveys were conducted during the period
of the inclusive government, when it is rather dangerous for people to be
frank and open about their political preferences, especially in terms of
their support for either Zanu (PF) or the MDC. This clearly explains why
there was such a huge percentage (47%) of respondents who would not disclose
their political preferences to the researchers in the Freedom House survey,
and some 22% in the Afrobarometer survey.

It is quite obvious that a huge chunk of both these percentages is likely to
support the MDC rather than Zanu (PF) come next elections. Zanu (PF) will be
fooling itself to think that the people of this country have suddenly had a
change of heart regarding their rejection of Mugabe and his party as
reflected in the March 2008 harmonised elections. It would equally be
foolhardy for the MDC to assume that both these percentages are necessarily
going to vote for them and their leader, Morgan Tsvangirai.

But there is a sense in which the MDC has brought this situation upon
itself. The inauguration of the inclusive government resulted in the MDC
pushing the majority of its key personnel and strategic drivers of the party
into the coalition government. This essentially left the party virtually
naked and vulnerable to lethargy and stagnation. In my view, the party went
into the corridors of power and abandoned the work in the streets.

People are found in the streets and not in the corridors of power. We have
all seen that, even though it was in the corridors of power, Zanu (PF) never
left the streets. Add to that the fact that the former liberation movement
also controls and abuses the state media to its advantage 24/7. The MDC will
be lucky to get any sensible mention in any of the numerous political
reports churned by the state media on a daily if not hourly basis.

These survey results do come at an appropriate time for the MDC since they
constitute a wake up call to get back into action by way of campaigning for
change and democracy. There is still plenty of time to vigorously engage the
people not to forget what they have endured under Mugabe and Zanu (PF) for
the past 33 years. The MDC must never assume that its demonstrated
popularity is a given, or that it cannot change over time. The party has to
work closely with the people on a regular basis if the results of the next
survey are to reflect the honest truth about the political situation in this

Back to the Top
Back to Index