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SADC agrees to convene special summit on Zimbabwe

By Tichaona Sibanda
7 September 2009

A special summit on Zimbabwe to review the progress of the power-sharing
government will soon be held in Maputo, Mozambique, eight months after such
a move was first suggested by an earlier SADC summit.

A source in Kinshasa told SW Radio Africa on Monday that this extraordinary
summit on Zimbabwe will be held in the coastal city of Maputo in three weeks'

The decision to remove Zimbabwe from the agenda at the current SADC summit
in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was received as 'good news' by an
MDC delegation led by Morgan Tsvangirai. The MDC leader spent part of the
day holding one-on-one meetings with SADC leaders on the sidelines of the

The 15-member body, which kicked off its two-day summit on Monday, had been
expected to discuss a raft of issues relating to the deal between Tsvangirai's
MDC and Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF. The issue of Justice Minister Patrick
Chinamasa's unilateral move to pull out of the SADC Tribunal will now be
dealt with in Maputo.

Human rights lawyer Dewa Mavhinga, who is in Kinshasa, told us the decision
to defer discussion on Zimbabwe was to give SADC member states more time to
focus on the core issues troubling the inclusive government.

'This will give the Heads of State and Government ample time to address the
question of Zimbabwe as it is, without clouding it with other issues, like
the conflict in Madagascar and peace making efforts in the eastern DRC,'
Mavhinga said.

'I think this is a better way of addressing outstanding issues, rather than
try to rush through discussion on Zimbabwe because of time limits, as the
summit has a host of other issues to tackle. So in three weeks, it will be a
special summit on Zimbabwe only,' Mavhinga added.

During a SADC summit in Pretoria in January, the regional bloc undertook to
conduct a six-month review of the inclusive government and the allocation of
ministerial mandates to the respective parties.

The SADC group comprises Angola, South Africa, Botswana, Mauritius, Lesotho,
Mozambique, Malawi, Namibia, the DR Congo, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and
Zimbabwe. Madagascar was suspended because of current political upheaval.
The MDC and Zanu-PF have asked SADC to resolve outstanding issues. These
include a dispute over Mugabe's unilateral appointment of the attorney
general and central bank governor, the ongoing arrest and imprisonment of
MDC politicians, plus various others issues such as Mugabe's reluctance to
swear in the Deputy Minister of Agriculture Roy Bennett.

The Attorney-General, Johannes Tomana told the Zimbabwe Standard over the
weekend that he will not to resign from his post, even if it means the
collapse of the inclusive government. He said his appointment was above
board and was constitutional.

The AG said if the GNU collapses because of the controversy surrounding his
appointment it would not be his fault and he would not feel guilty.

'Politicians are the ones that would have let the nation down. I won't feel
bad. I am not a politician. The nation would have been let down, but not by
me,' Tomana is quoted as saying.

The power-sharing government was established to try to end the country's
political and economic crises. During the run up to the June presidential
election last year tens of thousands of MDC supporters across the country
had their homes and villages destroyed by ZANU PF youths and purported war
veterans, to intimidate them from voting against Mugabe.

The  Tsvangirai MDC said over 200 of its supporters were killed, countless
thousands were badly tortured and another 500,000 were displaced by Mugabe's
security forces, ZANU PF youths and war veterans.

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Zim making significant progress, says Zuma

    September 07 2009 at 08:20PM

Kinshasa - Zimbabwe has made signficant progress towards ending its
political crisis as its once feuding leaders learn to bury their
differences, South African President Jacob Zuma said on Monday.

Speaking in Kinshasa at a summit of a regional club of nations known
as SADC, Zuma also said southern Africa had to remain on hand to help
Zimbabwe push on after the establishment of a unity government in Harare.

"Significant progress has been made under the auspices of the
Inclusive Government," said Zuma who is standing down as head of the
Southern African Development Community (SADC) after South Africa's 12-month
stint in the chair.

"We are all encouraged by how the three parties put their differences

Zimbabwe was plunged into political crisis last March after veteran
leader Robert Mugabe was beaten into second place in a presidental election
by his long-time rival Morgan Tsvangirai.

Tsvangirai subsequently pulled out of a run-off election after scores
of his supporters were killed but he eventually agreed to join a unity
government in February this year as prime minister, along with another
opposition faction.

"These achievements signalled to the people of Zimbabwe, the region
and the world, that the Zimbabwean political leadership was ready to
collectively tackle the political and the socio-economic challenges facing
that country," added Zuma.

Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila, who succeeds
Zuma in the SADC chair, told his fellow leaders that he wanted "to encourage
the continuation of efforts" to resolve differences between Mugabe's ZANU-PF
party and Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change.

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Zuma urges Zimbabwe`s leaders not to undermine unity govt deal

September 07 2009 , 3:24:00

Outgoing Chairperson of the Southern African Development Community,
(SADC) President Jacob Zuma, has reiterated his call to Zimbabwean leaders
not to engage in any activities that undermine the country's power sharing

He was speaking at the SADC Heads of State and Government Summit today
which has resumed in the Democratic Republic of Congo's capital city,
Kinshasa. Recently, political bickering over the implementation of the
power-sharing pact has heightened tensions between President Robert Mugabe
and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

Zuma, who has just relinquished his position as SADC Chairperson, says
they are committed to encouraging further progress in the country. "Just as
SADC has stood with the people of Zimbabwe in the search for the solution to
the challenges facing the country, it remains committed to working to
encourage further progress."

DRC President Joseph Kabila has now officially taken over from
President Zuma as new chairperson of SADC. Kabila is seen as a close ally of
Mugabe and there are doubts whether he will be an impartial mediator between
Zanu-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

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Another MDC activist murdered

By Violet Gonda
7 September 2009

The MDC said on Monday that another party activist, Godknows Dzoro
Mtshakazi, was beaten to death by four soldiers at Mufiri Business Centre in
Shurugwi, Midlands province on August 30th for playing an MDC song in a bar.

Mtshakazi was drinking beer with some friends when soldiers from a nearby
military base came and started questioning them on why they were playing a
popular MDC album called Nharembozha - Cellphone. The soldiers reportedly
started beating up all the people in the bar accusing them of fanning hatred
in the community.

The MDC statement said: "A family spokesman said Godknows was tortured to
death by the four soldiers.  He said the deceased was burnt with plastic
paper and had his dreadlocks cut and burnt. Other revellers sustained severe
injuries and had to seek medical treatment at the nearby Shurugwi Hospital."

The 33 year old activist was buried last Friday at Mufiri Village.

Last week the MDC announced that another MDC activist, Joseph Munyuki died
at Masvingo Hospital after he was attacked early last month by a known Zanu
PF youth. The party said he was assaulted for being an MDC sympathizer.

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Call for GNU to address 2008 violence

September 7, 2009

By Our Correspondent

HARARE - Civic society organisations have challenged government to recall
more than 70 senior army officers who were deployed among rural communities
during the run-up to the presidential re-election on June 27, 2008.The
military allegedly committed human rights abuses with impunity while acting
as political commissars for the then ruling Zanu-PF party.

The senior army personnel purporting to be war veterans were deployed in
April 2008, as first revealed by The Zimbabwe Times then, to intimidate
opposition supporters through a campaign of violence during the run-up to
the second presidential election. President Robert Mugabe was the sole
candidate after Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan
Tsvangirai withdrew from the election citing brutal violence against his
party's supporters.

In a report entitled "Can apples be reaped from a thorn tree - Zimbabwe's
road to transition", the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CZC), a grouping of
more than 350 civic organisations challenged the coalition government to
update Zimbabweans about the whereabouts of more than seventy soldiers who
were deployed throughout the country's ten provinces.

"The media environment, legislative environment, the militarization of the
villages, State and its critical institutions created during the sham
election seem to remain intact, seven months after the formation of the
inclusive government of Zimbabwe," reads part of the 67 page report launched
last Friday by CZC chairperson Irene Petras in Harare.

"There is no clear evidence that the soldiers who were deployed to different
communities during the violent poll have returned to the barracks. The
historic vigilisation of the military had catastrophic consequences on human
rights in the country."

The coalition said there were reports of other bases being set up in some
areas and further deployment of the so-called "youth officers" from the
Ministry of Youth.

"The inclusive government authorities (especially the Ministries of Defence
and Home Affairs) are challenged to prove that the military have moved out
of the villages and communities where they stand accused of committing human
rights abuses with impunity while they acted as political commissars of the
then ruling Zanu-PF party, outside the provisions of the Zimbabwe Defence
Act and the Constitution of Zimbabwe," the report said.

CZC said the transitional government had in its first seven months ignored
the critical issues of transitional justice-especially the retributive
aspect of it thus fuelling impunity in the same manner that selective
application of the law had continued unabated under the direction of a
partisan Attorney-General (AG)'s Office.

However, the civic organization noted that the coalition government had made
some progress in revamping the health and education sector, which had
effectively collapsed prior to its formation this February.

CZC urged the coalition government to bring to book the perpetrators of last
year's unprecedented political violence and wanton human rights violations
which led to the domestic, regional and international condemnation of the
June 27 presidential election run-off fiasco.

CZC said it was pertinent for civil society organisations to closely monitor
the progress of the transitional government in implementing the Inter Party
Agreement (IPA) considering there was no longer effective political
opposition in the country where transparency, accountability, addressing the
needs of citizens, and ensuring their rights, can be overlooked by those
more intent on consolidation of power.

"Ideally, the role of civil society is to be a 'watchdog' of State
activities, ensuring that the State complies with domestic, regional and
international requirements for the successful transition to democracy," said
Petras, who is also the executive director of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human
Rights (ZLHR).

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Prison officers allegedly tortured

September 7, 2009

By Owen Chikari

MASVINGO - At least 10 prison officers based at Mutimurefu Prison on the
outskirts of Masvingo city are battling for their lives at Masvingo General
Hospital after they were allegedly tortured by the military police for

The Ministry of Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs has reportedly
deployed military police at the main prisons countrywide to curb cases of
indiscipline. Some dangerous criminals have escaped from custody while
prison officers were on duty.

The 10 officers said yesterday said they were tortured for reporting for
work late while senior prison officers said they were punished for
unspecified cases of indiscipline.

Two of the victims were unconscious when they were brought to hospital.

"We were just told that we had reported for work late hence we were supposed
to be disciplined", said one of the officers.

"Some of us sustained serious injuries and our seniors have barred us from
making a police report".

The officer in charge of Mutimurefu Prison, Finos Masango, yesterday
confirmed the prison officers were disciplined but pleaded with the media
not to publish the story.

"The ten were just disciplined in a normal way and to say they were tortured
is very untrue", said Masango. "I plead with you not to publish this story
because it is sensitive. Only two sustained serious injuries while others
were just treated for minor injuries."

The permanent secretary in the Ministry of Justice David Mangota yesterday
professed ignorance over the issue but vowed to investigate the case.

"I am not aware of that but right now I am going to institute investigations
so that a full report is forwarded to me within two days", said Mangota.

Zimbabwe's prisons are overcrowded. Last week President Robert Mugabe
pardoned about 1500 prisoners.

Cases of inmates escaping from custody after paying bribes to prison
officials are on the increase in the country.

According to reliable sources this has prompted the ministry to deploy
military police at its main prisons to curb cases of indiscipline.

"The military police have been deployed in all the country's prisons to
instill discipline among officers", said the source.

"However, in some cases some of the military police personnel beat people
severely hence the incident at Mutimurefu".

Last year about six inmates, most of them facing serious criminal charges,
escaped from Masvingo Remand Prison after allegedly paying cash in return
for their freedom.

Two of the inmates were re-arrested while the rest are still at large. Four
prison officers were later arrested while the officer in charge has since
been fired.

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Classes Go Ahead In Some Zimbabwe Schools As Zimta Teachers Continue Strike

By Sandra Nyaira
07 September 2009

Classes went ahead in some of Zimbabwe's schools today depending on the
union affiliation of teachers and school administrators, sources said.

School heads tied to the Zimbabwe Teachers Assocaition were said to be
turning away pupils, while classes went ahead at schools where the main
labor affiliation was with the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, they

Zimta acting chief executive officer Sifiso Ndlovu tells Studio Seven's
Sandra Nyaira that members of his organization won't go back to work until
the government agrees to raise salaries.

Progressive Teachers Union president Takavafira Zhou accused Zimta of
misleading teachers saying a South African group has invited both unions to
a strategic meeting aimed at unification.

Zhou says the meeting will be held on the 17th of this month in South
Africa. He adds it is embarrasing that teachers in Zimbabwe are divided
between Zimta and the PTUZ and it now appeared as the unions are competing
to be heard.

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Party loyalties disrupt education

Photo: C-SAFE
Schools facing more disruptions
HARARE, 7 September 2009 (IRIN) - The fault lines between Zimbabwe's political parties are causing disruption at the opening of the third term in public schools, continuing years of decline in a sector once regarded as sub-Saharan Africa's finest.

It was hoped the formation of the unity government in February 2009 would resurrect the ailing schooling system, but lack of finance, teacher shortages and political spats between teachers' unions are stalling the sector's recovery.

The country ditched its own currency, the Zimbabwe dollar, to tame rampant hyperinflation. In a bid to revitalize public services, employees across the board are paid a similar wage in US dollars, which was initially welcomed but has since been derided as paltry by recipients.

The 40,000-member Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA), seen as having strong ties to President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party, is calling for a national strike, which some teachers are already heeding. The union said the current US$140 salary was inadequate and has demanded a US$500 monthly wage.

The usually militant Progressive Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), aligned to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), is urging its 20,000 members to refrain from strike action.

"Our position as PTUZ is that the government has no money; going on strike now would not solve anything because there just isn't any. So what we are saying is that teachers are not going on strike - we are in talks with the ministers responsible for education and finance, and we believe that something positive is going to come out of those deliberations."

A teacher at a public school in the capital, Harare, told IRIN: "We are getting tired and confused by conflicting statements from our union leaders, and we get the feeling that we are being used in political games."

The allocation of portfolios in the unity government gave the MDC responsibility for many of the social services ministries, while ZANU-PF maintained their grip on the security ministries.

Western donors have adopted a wait-and-see approach to Zimbabwe's unity government as they are deeply uncertain of the extent of ZANU-PF's commitment to democracy, so billions of dollars of support remain on hold.
''I would like to appeal to the teachers to return to school because the third term is quite crucial ... public examinations like the Ordinary and Advanced Levels are just round the corner''

David Coltart, minister of education, sport and culture, and a member of a breakaway MDC party led by deputy prime minister Arthur Mutumbara, has called on teachers to appreciate the country's precarious financial situation and the importance of the third term to pupils.

"I would like to appeal to the teachers to return to school because the third term is quite crucial ... public examinations like the Ordinary and Advanced Levels are just round the corner," he said.

Teachers already not teaching

ZIMTA secretary-general Richard Gundani told IRIN: "It is actually not possible for teachers to continue because of inadequate incomes. We have done our assessments and established that a large number of teachers are not teaching - the few teachers still at work are in affluent suburbs, where parents and guardians have offered them extra incentives."

Secretary-general of the MDC, Tendai Biti, who, as Zimbabwe's finance minister is also responsible for coordinating the payment of public servants, told the state-controlled daily newspaper, The Herald, that the unity government could not afford any wage increases.

"Unless there is a dramatic improvement in the economy and revenue improves by 300 percent we have no extra fiscal space for a salary increment at the moment; there is no money, and government is currently operating on a cash budget."

He said the unity government had realized its largest revenue so far in July 2009, but the bulk of it went towards paying the country's 236,000 public servants.

"We paid around US$52 million for civil servants' salaries and the rest has gone to the hospitals for drugs, the various embassies across the world, food, and inputs for agricultural activities, among other expenses."


[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

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HOT SEAT: MDC says there are no sanctions on Zimbabwe


HOT SEAT: MDC says there are no sanctions on Zimbabwe .

According to ZANU PF the “sanctions against Zimbabwe ” are preventing the success of the GNU. They have insisted that the MDC join the campaign to have them lifted and recently the MDC have been making noises in this direction. On Hot Seat Violet Gonda talks to the Minister of State in Prime Minister Tsvangirai’s office, Gorden Moyo, who clarifies that there are “no sanctions” on Zimbabwe . The Minister also reveals that neither the Prime Minister nor the cabinet were consulted on the issue of Zimbabwe pulling out of the SADC Tribunal (which has made rulings in support of white commercial farmers).

Broadcast: – 4 September, 2009

Violet Gonda: My guest on the Hot Seat programme is Gordon Moyo, the minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office. Hallo Mr Moyo.

Gorden Moyo: Hallo, how are you?

Gonda: I’m OK. I’d like to start by talking with you about the issue of sanctions. It’s reported or it appears that pressure is mounting on the two MDC formations to fulfil agreed concessions to the inclusive government and chief among them, is actively advocating the lifting of what Zanu-PF says are economic sanctions imposed by the west. Now first of all can you describe for us the measures in place?

Minister of State in Prime Minister office, Gorden Moyo

Moyo: Let me start by making a disclaimer here. It is not the responsibility of the MDC to deal with the issue of sanctions. It is the responsibility of the inclusive government which is composed of three political parties, the MDC -T, the MDC -M and Zanu-PF. So it is not an exclusive issue of two parties into the inclusive government. It is the inclusive government in its totality because the issues that led to restrictive measures or sanctions as it were; are issues that are related very strongly to the former government of Zimbabwe .

But to come back to your question, there are various narratives about the issue of sanctions/restrictive measures. There is one narrative from Zanu-PF which I call nationalistic narrative. This narrative or this discourse from Zanu-PF claims that Zimbabwe was imposed some sanctions by the west. The west imposed these sanctions, economic and trade sanctions to Zimbabwe because of the land redistribution programme. That the west was against the land redistribution programme – that’s what Zanu-PF believe. They say that was punishment to Zanu-PF.

The other narrative is the narrative of the democrats or reformers in government who believe that, no we do not have sanctions in the country, what we have are restrictive measures which came into life because the government of Zimbabwe was not respecting human rights, the government of Zimbabwe had no respect for the rule of law and good governance and as a result many of the countries around the world could not relate with the Zanu-PF government which did not respect the norms and values of good governance. So they then imposed targeted measures or some restrictive measures to some individuals in government who were seen as perpetuators, as merchants of violence in the country.

So those are the two broad perspectives in as far as the interpretation of the sanctions and restrictive measures are concerned. But there are official positions from the international community itself. The World Bank and IMF have not imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe . What they have imposed are financial penalties because Zimbabwe had failed to honour its obligations to the World Bank and to the IMF. We did not pay our arrears to the World Bank and to the International Monetary Fund. Now according to their standards, according to their regulations, if a country fails to pay their arrears, that country has to be in one way or the other be punished. Hence the credit lines were stopped by the World Bank and IMF in 1997, 1998, 1999, some grants that were provided to Zimbabwe from those two Bretton institutions were blocked and stopped, not because of the land but because Zimbabwe had failed only to honour its obligations.

So we can’t say we are failing to get credit lines, to get grants, to get loans from the World Bank and the IMF because of the land issue. In fact I’d like to let your listeners know that it was in 1997 and 1998 that these two institutions started imposing some penalties, financial penalties in Zimbabwe , two years before the formation of the MDC . It is not true that the MDC invited sanctions to Zimbabwe or they promoted sanctions into the country because financial penalties by the World Bank and by the IMF were imposed onto Zimbabwe in 1997, 1998, two years before the formation of the MDC . So it’s not possible for MDC to have invited sanctions in to the country when they were not yet formed, when the MDC was not yet conceived in 1997, 1998. So I therefore say to you it is not true that the MDC is responsible for sanctions or restrictive measures in the country, it was because Zimbabwe failed to pay its arrears to the World Bank and to the IMF.

Gonda: So Mr Moyo are you saying there are no illegal sanctions at all in Zimbabwe because according to Zanu-PF, there’s the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act or Z’DERA and Zanu-PF says the Act which was enacted by the US introduced economic sanctions on Zimbabwe, sanctions which they say have harmed the country?

Moyo: I would like to peel folklore from history and from fact. Z’DERA which was enacted in 2001 by the United States government indeed imposes some restrictive measures on Zimbabwe . It says the United States will oppose the granting of loans, of credit lines or grants by any financial institution to Zimbabwe and they give their reason. Their reason is that the government of Zimbabwe was not respecting the rule of law, the norms and values of good governance. As a result the government of the United States could not relate as usual with the government of Zimbabwe, but I must make it clear that the United States has got only 16.7% of the voting powers within the IMF and the World Bank which means the World Bank can still give loans to Zimbabwe even if the United States is against, even if the United States votes against the granting of those loans, so it is not Z’DERA that has stopped the credit lines coming from the World Bank or from the IMF because the US has no majority, it has only 16.7%.

So it is a lie, a pathological lie, it is propagandism to peddle the information that Z’DERA has caused so much harm in the country. It is us as government of Zimbabwe that has failed to deal with the issues of human rights, with the issues of rule of law, issues of good governance. But let me tell you this, Z’DERA states it very clearly that if the government of Zimbabwe respects, if it changes and respects these norms and values of human rights, the President of the United States reserves the right to immediately repeal the Act so the ball is in our court as Zimbabweans to make the Z’DERA repealed, to make Z’DERA irrelevant. If we simply implement the Global Political Agreement, Z’DERA will be irrelevant tomorrow, it won’t take even a day - if we implement fully the Global Political Agreement as we have signed it, there will be no need for Z’DERA. Even the international community in terms of its multilateral institutions will mellow to Zimbabwe overnight. So we shouldn’t be crying about sanctions, we should be reflecting and we should be looking at ourselves, subjecting ourselves into critical appraisal and say let’s implement what we agreed to implement on the 15 th of September 2008 .

Gonda: Can you briefly outline for us what’s left to be implemented or what needs to be implemented because there seems to be this confusion: On the one hand, you as the MDC you say there are several issues that are still unresolved but Zanu-PF say the only two outstanding issues are the issue of the sanctions and also the issue of so-called pirate radio stations. So in your view as the MDC and also speaking from the Prime Minister’s Office, what are the unresolved issues?

Moyo: Let me divide the problematic issues into three categories. The first category is the category of the outstanding issues of the Global Political Agreement. The outstanding issues are issues of the Reserve Bank governor and the attorney general. The SADC in 2008 made a statement, made a ruling that the new government, the inclusive government should deal with the matters of the Reserve Bank governor and the attorney general. Now those issues have not been resolved, a deadlock has been reached so they become outstanding in the sense that the Principals in the inclusive government have failed to reach an agreement on how to proceed. Now those issues have been taken to the SADC, a document was prepared and given over to the chairman of SADC, President Zuma. So that’s one category.

Category two is the category that includes issues of implementation where we have stalled implementation of the political agreement. Now within that category we have the provincial governors, we have the Deputy Minister of Agriculture and we have the issues around the ambassadors. Those issues have been resolved. The Principals in the inclusive government met and came up with the resolution; they agreed that there shall be new governors with effect from 1 st September 2009 and that they were going to be sworn in together with the Deputy Minister of Agriculture – that has not happened. It means implementation has been stalled, it’s not taken place. That’s a difficult issue and we need to resolve those matters because the inclusive government is a power sharing government, we need to share power. If those matters are not resolved, it means there is no power sharing across all structures of government.

Now the third category involves the issues of the breach of the Global Political Agreement where we continue to see selective application of law. Where the members of MDC , specifically members of parliament are selectively prosecuted, selectively arrested, selectively sentenced and we continue to see some violence taking place and disruptions in the farms. Now these are critical issues of violation of the Global Political Agreement.

So the world is saying, you agreed to share the governors, the provincial governors, you agreed to bring order in the farms and in the communities, you agreed to respect the rule of law, you agreed to sanitise the political space in the country but this is not happening and we are not going to do these things and we are not demanding them for the international community, they are good for ourselves, Zimbabweans, even without international community, we still need order in the country, we still need to share power equitably according to our agreement in the Global Political Agreement.

Now for Zanu-PF to say there are only two issues, that’s being in my view, unrealistic because the issue of pirate radio stations is very simple to deal with – open up the media in the country, let’s allow for other players to operate in the country. We would have yourselves, we will have all the other radio stations, all other newspapers operating in the country, no-one would like to stay outside their country, and people want to come home. They want to be with their families, they want to be with their friends, they want to be in their land of birth so everybody will come home as soon as there is demonstration by our government that we are truly opening up space for media for engagement.

So the problem is not with one party of the inclusive government, the problem is within the ministries that are supposed to do that. That Ministry which is supposed to open up the airwaves, open up the press and everything like that is part of the purview of Zanu-PF ministries. So we can’t blame the MDC for that. We are supposed to do it together as a government, opening up the air spaces.

As regards to the sanctions, I’ve already said it is the inclusive government that is supposed to implement. Once we’ve implemented all these issues that we’ve agreed, there will be no reason for United States to continue to hang on to Z’DERA. In fact the Prime Minister has already taken a move, a grand step. He went to the United States and ten other countries in Europe to engage the world, to say things are happening in Zimbabwe , to say to them look this is time to re-engage Zimbabwe , and you need to come to Zimbabwe . You will recall that he even came to the United Kingdom where he engaged even the Zimbabweans themselves and he said they should come back home. So the Prime Minister has done his best, in fact as cabinet, we came up with a committee of engagement which is made up of six ministers, two from each of the political parties into the Agreement, to engage the EU. It is the Prime Minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe , Morgan Tsvangirai who went to Brussels to launch the Zimbabwe/EU dialogue for the purposes of engaging EU, to deal with restrictive measures so that we can have our companies operating freely, or engaging the EU. You could have some assistance, international development assistance coming to Zimbabwe , we could have even direct budgetary support into the country through that dialogue and that dialogue at the moment is not moving at the pace that we expected. The pace is painstakingly slow and that pace is determined by the Chairperson of the Committee and the Chairperson of the Committee is the Minister of Foreign Affairs. If the Minister of Foreign Affairs was to reignite the process of engagement, give it more life, give it more power, give it the wings to fly and the feet to run and jump, the process of engaging the EU would lead to the lifting of these restrictive measures. That cannot be blamed onto the MDC . It is the Minister of Foreign Affairs who should be driving that process of engagement.

Gonda: But Mr Moyo, is it really enough for the MDC to say that the Prime Minister has been doing a lot of talking, trying to re-engage the west? What is the MDC doing to put pressure on the Mugabe regime, on Zanu-PF to change because your critics are saying you are relying on the international community and especially on SADC to fight your battles? Are you going to rush to SADC every single time you have a problem in cabinet?

Moyo: We are not going to do that. We have done it once and in my view, it is part of the Global Political Agreement to refer issues to SADC. SADC is the guarantor to the Global Political Agreement; African Union is the guarantor to the Global Political Agreement. We have been pushing for six months, every Monday and every Friday, the Prime Minister meeting with the President to discuss these matters. I think six months if is was a pregnancy by now it would be seen by everybody that surely there is a success curve there and a child is coming. So I think it is proper for the issues be taken to the SADC, it is a legal, it is a legitimate, it is a proper route to take those issues because SADC is a guarantor and we have gone there only once so it is not true that every time issues are raised, we go to the SADC. We have been engaging, the Principals have been engaging. When there was a problem with the constitutional process, the Principals engaged. We have been engaging, every Monday and every Friday Principals meet to engage but at times we realise that we are hitting a brick wall, we are not moving any way, we are idling, we are like a treadmill, cycling and cycling but not going anywhere, only gathering moss. We need to do something and that something has been done. We have called Zuma, Zuma came to Zimbabwe to engage the parties into the inclusive government and we expect some kind of action to take place after this engagement. The most logical thing to do is to engage.

Gonda: But what do you think SADC is actually going to do about this because it is widely believed that Mugabe does not listen to anyone especially those in SADC and especially as the new Chair of SADC is going to be the DRC leader, Joseph Kabila who has a special relationship with Robert Mugabe? And some even say you’ve been talking about the appointment of people like Gideon Gono and you know that Mugabe is not going to budge on issues like that; so how would you respond to people who say you’ve already stripped so many powers off Gono, the Reserve Bank governor, why don’t you just let it go for the sake of progress and move on to other issues? How do you respond to that?

Moyo: Look here, I can’t and we can’t prejudge what SADC is going to do. That would be premature. We are giving SADC a chance, it has got a new chairperson, we have not seen how effective he is, so I think that the best we can do as government is to give SADC a chance, we must give them the responsibility and let’s give them the opportunity to deal with the matters and we can only analyse and we can only make a statement about their effectiveness after they have put their own bite onto that cherry. So I can’t comment further than in terms of what SADC can do, we want to give it a chance. T

he critics, whoever they are, but I’m not aware of them, the critics who are saying we should leave these matters because Mugabe is not going to change anyway, I think it would be naïve for government to do that, for us as parties in government to do that. There is an agreement, an agreement which says the issues of Gono and Tomana must be resolved. We are determined, we are government, we are not a social club where we simply say OK let’s forget about that. These are issues of power, these are issues of principle, and we need to deal with issues of principle with the high moral latitude that they deserve. So we need to deal with that and Mugabe must bend and Mugabe must respect the Agreement so we are not going to stop, we are not going to say no.

Yes, a lot has been done as far as sanitising the Reserve Bank is concerned. A Bill has gone through and the principles of the Bill have gone through cabinet and the committee of legislation - and is now waiting to go parliament to sanitise the RBZ - but that is not enough. There is an Agreement signed on the 15 th of September to deal with the matters of both Gono and Tomana and we shall stick to that. We are principled, we are not going to be swayed, we are not going to dissuaded - we believe in principles so we are going to stick to that. That Mugabe is not going to accept, is not going to change, we don’t know that he’s not going to change, he should change because that’s what the Agreement says.

Gonda : And earlier on you talked a bit about the disruption of farms in the country and this week the Herald reported that Zimbabwe has pulled out of the SADC Tribunal claiming that the regional court has not been properly constituted and that the country will no longer take part in or respect any decisions from the Tribunal. Now is this something that the MDC is aware of and also something that you support?

Moyo: Now look here, we only read about that on the press, we heard about it from the streets. But in the government you don’t operate like that. I can’t say that it’s true because I don’t know about that and something that I don’t know about I don’t comment on. The proper procedure of government - if a decision of that nature and of that gravity has to be taken, that decision has to be taken either through the Council of Ministers or through cabinet and I was in the last cabinet, the last two, three cabinets, I was there and nothing of that nature was brought to the attention of cabinet to make a decision. And neither was it brought to the Council of Ministers, so it’s something that I’ve read about and I don’t know its authenticity and I don’t believe that is true; because anything of that nature, you are talking about the policy of government in relation to other countries, more so in relation to the sub-region and all members of government should be aware of that and should be consulted on such issues and we are not aware of that ourselves.

Gonda: Now according to the Herald, the Justice Minister actually wrote a letter to the SADC Tribunal last month telling them that Zimbabwe was pulling out of the Tribunal, so what does it mean, that the Minister would actually make these unilateral decisions on fundamental issues like this without talking to partners in the GNU, in the coalition government?

Moyo: Like I said, it will be difficult for me to comment on that because until we get proper communication as far as that the matter is concerned to me it remains something that is not true. It’s something that you are reading from the press and you don’t believe everything that is on the press, so I don’t believe that a Minister, a seasoned Minister like the Minister of Justice would do something like that, I don’t believe it. So until we get that proper communication it’s something that I will not believe on now.

Gonda: But what if it turns out to be true? What will happen?

Moyo: I can’t be making conjectures on such issues. These are serious matters, they mean a lot. You are talking about Zimbabwe’s relationship with the SADC. SADC is the guarantor of our Political Agreement. SADC is the womb in the sub-region that we have - so we can’t be making such statements or such decisions against our own region, it would be against ourselves. So I don’t want again to make a premature statement because perhaps it’s one of those creatures of imagination of one of the journalists. I don’t believe that is true. It’s too ghastly to be true. It can’t be believable.

Gonda: But it’s not something that would be surprising given that Zanu-PF has in the past made such unilateral decisions and many analysts, legal experts feel this is happening because of the decisions, the rulings that have been made by the Tribunal in recent months concerning the activities on white commercial farms.

Moyo: It would be surprising because I expect all members of the inclusive government to act in unison, to act with one accord, to sing from the same hymn book. I’m not saying that we should be homogenous but we should have a shared understanding. Issues are brought to cabinet, issues are discussed by the members of the cabinet and decisions are made. If there are any other issues that are done outside cabinet they are done through the Principals into the inclusive government. The Principal that I work with is not aware of that, so if he is not aware of that and I am not aware of it because I am a member of cabinet, therefore I find it very difficult to comment on and to believe it and we expect everyone to be working together. We have been working together, we have problems, we have challenges but most of the time we try to consult each other and I still expect that.

Gonda: The Zimbabwe Times reported recently that the Prime Minister has agreed to the crafting of a definite course of action that will be sold to cabinet as a national strategy to fight the ‘sanctions’. Can you tell us about this?

Moyo: Indeed, we are producing or preparing a document, a discussion document on tackling international isolation. For the document we outline various key policy options that government should adopt and implement to end international isolation, to end the challenges that we are having so again I cannot pre-empt what the details of the document are but indeed a document is being prepared, it shall be debated by government through the Council of Ministers and taken to cabinet for adoption.

It’s not about sanctions per se; it’s about ending international isolation. There is international isolation in this country for a number of reasons. We are having international isolation in terms of failing to get credit lines into the country because of financial penalties, those are not sanctions, they are financial penalties. The targeted measures, those are not trade sanctions, they are not economic sanctions, those are measures against individuals in government - so we need to come up with various strategies to deal with this, to re-brand the country, to implement our political agreement, to engage the European Union, to engage Z’DERA so that we can move forward as a country. So that is going to be tabled to the Council of Ministers in route to cabinet for adoption and for policy.

Gonda: So as government are you going to be campaigning for the removal of the restrictions that affect the country only or also that affect individuals?

Moyo: I tell you that it’s not about campaigning, it’s not about what you say - it’s about what you do. So the question is we have a responsibility as government to make sure that we deal with the international isolation so there are certain things that we should do as government, it’s not about what we should say. We can stand the whole year shouting every day to say to hell with sanctions, remove your sanctions - that will not solve the problem. It would be nice to say it but those who will be saying that will be enjoying listening to themselves because no-one will be listening to them. People don’t want to just listen, people want to see things happening so our policy will be a policy that will deal with the concrete matters that will lead to making sure that the restrictive measures or sanctions are not irrelevant. So that’s what the government should do and that’s what we will be pushing government to adopt.

Gonda: And finally Mr Moyo, as MDC and in your view, are there sanctions or restrictions and what is the difference?

Moyo: In our view we have restrictive measures. Restrictive measures are different from sanctions. Sanctions mainly are economic sanctions meaning that trade between Zimbabwe and the international community is stalled, is stopped, is restricted. Trade between Zimbabwe and the United States and the United Kingdom has not been restricted at all. In fact over the past decade we have had positive trade between Zimbabwe and the United States. We have been exporting more goods to the United States than importing from them. So we do not have trade sanctions with the United States. The companies in Zimbabwe are free to trade with any country in Europe, in the European Union and the United States, so that’s not sanctions.

If we had sanctions, Zimbabwe would not be selling any of those flowers to Australia, would not be selling any of those products that we are selling to the rest of the world. But we are selling which means we do not have trade sanctions or economic sanctions. What we have are restrictive measures where individuals cannot travel to the United Kingdom, to United States or to the European Union. They have been banned. That’s what we have so those are the differences between restrictive measures and sanctions. So we need to peel off, like I said, mythology from fact so that we sort these matters and deal with them directly rather than using politics and propagandism to deal with the issues that are affecting the people. We need to go beyond rhetoric and deal factually with matters because it is factually incorrect to claim that the international community imposed trade sanctions on Zimbabwe because we are trading with them.

Gonda: You are in the same government and yet the political parties in this inclusive government see things so totally differently. Why do you think Zanu-PF says there are sanctions on Zimbabwe?

Moyo: I think your listeners should appreciate the benefit for Zanu-PF for using sanctions. If they flag sanctions every day it means they are able to condemn the west, they are able to condemn the MDC , they are able to mobilise themselves around the issues of sanctions because that’s the only thing that brings them together. So people are using sanctions. In fact it is paradoxical, by claiming that there are sanctions in Zimbabwe and not dealing with the issues that led to those sanctions it means we actually want the sanctions to stay or to remain. If truly Zanu-PF, if truly government was clear that restrictive measures or sanctions should go, we should simply implement the Global Political Agreement and there will be no sanctions. But we are not implementing. It means there are some sections of the inclusive government that are benefiting from the continued existence of these restrictive measures. They can use them to acquire either land or either farms or some companies by using this rhetoric of sanctions. That’s the paradox that we have.

Gonda: Mr Gordon Moyo thank you very much for talking on the programme Hot Seat.

Moyo: OK, thank you.

Feedback can be sent to

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Zimbabwe’s new state newspaper hits the street amid criticism
September 07 2009 , 4:46:00

Thulasizwe Simelane, Harare-Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe's newest State newspaper has hit the streets today amid complaints by media activists that government is using its dominance of the market to disadvantage any potential new players. The launch of the new publication H-Metro, comes as independent newspaper publishers await the green light from government to launch dailies to compete with state publications.

“You cannot have an expansion of state media control without having an expansion of private players, as well as diversity of voices. You cannot have government trying to take advantage of its primary role in print media in Zimbabwe, the sole publisher of daily newspapers,” says Zimbabwe`s Media Monitoring Institute of Southern Africa's ( Misa) Takura Zhangazha.

In its defence Zimpapers - the state media stable, says there is nothing sinister about the new daily's entry. Zimpapers Editor in Chief, Pikirayi Deketeke says: “People would be concerned if our opinions or analysis were a little bit hard or not favourable to other political parties, but I don't believe we're supporters of the State or any particular political party.”

Media freedom took a battering during the decade-long political crisis in Zimbabwe which saw stringent regulation and accreditation criteria introduced for independent media. The new inclusive government has set itself the benchmark of freeing up the media space. But the slow pace of media reform has helped fuel tensions in the unity government with Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, saying that vicious propaganda emanates from State media.

Meanwhile, parliament has already forwarded the names of proposed candidates for the envisaged Zimbabwe Media Commission to President Robert Mugabe. He is expected to give his stamp of approval soon.  

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Zimbabwe Inclusive Government Watch : Issue 8

September 7th, 2009

Arson on Mount Carmel farm

August saw the continuation of the chaos in Zimbabwe, with ever more breaches of the GPA being recorded, the majority of which fell into the following categories:

  • wanton politically motivated violence, or violence driven by politicians or petty officials,
  • harassment, and deprivation of freedom, of individuals through contrived arrests on spurious charges,
  • widespread corruption involving senior public and uniformed figures,
  • the deprivation of the right to Freedom of Expression, and the abuse thereof,
  • violent, unconstitutional, invasions and seizures of property and farms, and
  • deliberate attempts to derail the Constitution-making process.

The month of August has seen a notable increase in breaches in these two areas:

  • open subversion of legal or administrative processes for political benefit, and
  • deliberate non-cooperation with the other parties to the GPA agreement, or the deliberate undermining - or abuse of - other persons or parties for political ends.

Cumulative share of breaches - Issue 8Zanu PF’s favourite political tool - violence - stills plagues Zimbabwe’s populace to the extent that it is almost accepted as a norm by the majority. Our first listed breach in Issue 8 reveals that the government has turned deaf ears to the warnings by the Kimberly Process that the sales of Zimbabwean diamonds may be suspended internationally after the international body directed that Zimbabwe’s diamond fields should be demilitiarised. The troops are still there, and rights abuses and smuggling continue unabated.

On a more local level, a young man was murdered by seven Zanu PF thugs in Macheke after going to the home of a local Zanu PF chairman to ask for his outstanding wages. He was subjected to a brutal beating and torture before he died, and his body dumped on a road to make it look like an accident. One wonders how an ‘accident’ explains wounds made by redhot iron rods through the stomach. It is alleged that Minister Didymus Mutasa aided the release of the perpetrators, who only received a fine as their punishment.

Arrest and harassment of non-Zanu PF leaders continued through August, with the trial of MDC-T official Thamsanqa Mahlangu starting in earnest. He is facing allegations of stealing a cell phone from war veteran Joseph Chinotimba - allegations he denies. The trial was postponed to August 26th after the State said it needed more time. The High Court threw out an application by MDC official Roy Bennett to have his bail conditions relaxed so he can travel on business. Bennett’s application was thrown out on the grounds that he is facing a criminal charge. It is controversial charge; the State claims to have the evidence required to get a conviction, but keeps putting off the trial date and thereby postponing the need to produce their evidence.

Looking now at the ever-present corruption in Zimbabwe, villagers in the area under Chief Chundu in Hurungwe are being told that they face eviction from their homes after nearly three decades. This is to pave the way towards creating a game park for a safari operations partnership between a Chinese company and Chief Chundu. A local councillor confirmed the villagers’ fears but said council had no plans to evict the villagers, many of whom are too old to start a new life. Efforts to talk with or get further information out of the Chief were met with complete indifference: he said that he is Chief and can do as he wants in “his” area.

Total breaches - Issue 8

Issue 8 features one clear cut example of the abuse of freedom of expression, with Zimbabwe’s state-controlled media being ordered to attack Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara for his anti-Mugabe utterances at the weekend. These remarks resulted in Zanu PF boycotting a Ministerial Retreat in Nyanga. Mutambara had described last year’s Presidential run-off elections  as “fraudulent, a nullity and a farce”. Media sources said they were ordered to run an anti-Mutambara story for the whole day, with the same story appearing on the front page of Monday’s Herald newspaper. On August 10th, the state controlled media was used to controversially promulgate Patrick Chinamasa and Zanu PF’s view that the SADC Tribunal does not exist, statements that arguably led to arson attacks on two farmers using the the Tribunal in their pursuit for justice.

Chegutu farmer Ben Freeth, after months of intimidation and attacks by land invaders, lost his home after his farmhouse, the homes of some of his workers and a factory for the farm produce, were burned down in an arson attack on Sunday, which started while he was at Church. It was impossible to fight the fire as land invaders had previously stolen all their equipment, including tractors and irrigation pipes, and the family was unable to put out the fire. They were left alone to battle the blaze, while land invaders drove around watching. His family and staff are virtually left with the clothes on their backs. Three days later, the home of Mike and Angela Campbell, a short distance from the Freeth’s, was also burned to the ground.

In this Issue we also highlight the Parliament’s Constitutional Select Committee co-chairman Paul Mangwana (Zanu-PF) indicating that the lifespan of Zimbabwe’s current inclusive government will likely be five years. He said this was because the majority of legislators across the political divide want to serve their full term of five years. This conflicts with the public perception that the duration of the hybrid government was two years, with the specific objective of writing a constitution for the country before fresh, free and fair elections are held. Mangwana is of the firm opinion that linking the constitution-making process to elections was attracting resistance from Zimbabwean legislators who want to stay in power as long as possible: “Power is so sweet that no one wants to leave it”, Mangwana said.

Turning to the subversion of legal or administrative processes for political benefit: it was reported that mysterious changes to the list of candidates for the Zimbabwe Media Commission have come about with the list undergoing changes on its way from the selection board to the President. Two Zanu-PF supporters who were not on the first list released, are now on the Media Commission list and the names of two independent candidates were dropped from the list. Speaker of Parliament, Lovemore Moyo’s response when queried? The list published was ‘not the official one.’

August also witnessed breaches of the GPA which consitituted deliberate non-cooperation for political ends. In fact, 32% of articles recorded during the month of August reflect this tactic, indicating a new trend of predominantly Zanu PF resistance to the power-sharing government. Our first sample article relates to the deadlock over the appointment of Zimbabwe’s central bank chief and attorney general. A Zanu PF official said the dispute was merely “an internal matter for Zimbabwe’s unity government to resolve”, and there was no need for regional help. He said the party considered the issue of Western sanctions a more urgent matter. The importance to the country of the need to reverse these two appointments is being deliberately underplayed to ward off pressure from Jacob Zuma and the SADC, purely for Zanu PF’s survival.

In another GPA-defying move, President Mugabe signed into Law a doctored version of Constitutional Amendment Number 19, which might jeopardize the constitutional referendum expected next year. The version approved by parliament has been whittled down from 36 pages to only 18. The important changes were the removal of two clauses linked to the current constitution-writing process. In the absence of these clauses being enacted into law, control of any future referendums remains legally vested in the President, to the detriment of the whole Constitution-making process.

Yet another instance of non-cooperation was the controversy surrounding the appointment of provincial governors from the two MDC formations. Although previously agreed to, Government sources said Zanu PF had since reneged on the deal, stating that the issue of governors was not negotiable, as their appointment is the constitutional prerogative of the President.

President Mugabe showed his lead in Zanu PF’s stancenon-cooperation. He was expected to attend a meeting of the three signatories to Zimbabwe’s national unity government to seek resolution of divisive outstanding issues - as urged by South African President Jacob Zuma during his two-day visit last week. However the meeting failed to take place on Monday because President Robert Mugabe had left the country for an African Union summit in Tripoli, Libya.

The volume of articles detailing breaches of the provisions of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) last month was so great that we cannot do them justice in this short document. For further relevant information, readers are encouraged to visit

Abuses continue as military grip on diamond fields tightens
SW Radio Africa (ZW): 10/08/2009

The government has ignored directives made by the Kimberley Process to completely demilitarise the diamond fields, in order to end ongoing human rights abuses there. Human Rights Watch reports that the one army brigade was rotated out of the diamonds fields only to be replaced by another. Calls to immediately suspend Zimbabwe are gathering momentum. Human Rights Watch said that rights abuses and smuggling are continuing, and witnesses to earlier abuses carried out in Chiadzwa, who gave evidence to the Kimberley Process are being harassed and threatened.


Zanu thugs in gruesome murder
Zimbabwean, The (ZW): 12/08/2009

Arnold Mosterd was murdered by Zanu(PF) thugs in Macheke after going to the home of local Zanu(PF) chairman, Harry Munetsi to ask for his outstanding wages. He was accused of supporting MDC, and was attacked and killed by seven suspects (names provided) who assaulted him with logs, tied him up with ropes, cut his chin with a knife, and pierced his stomach with red hot iron bars before his body was carried and dumped on a road. Minister Didymus Mutasa reportedly ordered the release of the suspects after three days in Marondera remand prison.


Mahlangu trial postponed and judge dismisses Bennett application
SW Radio Africa (ZW): 13/08/2009

The trial of MDC-T official Thamsanqa Mahlangu, facing allegations of stealing a cell phone from war veteran Joseph Chinotimba, was postponed to August 26th after the State said it needed more time. Mahlangu faces charges of theft, together with his Personal Assistant Malven Chadamoyo, and two women who were allegedly found in possession of the phone line. Mahlangu denies the charges. Meanwhile, the High Court threw out an application by MDC official Roy Bennett to have his bail conditions relaxed so he can travel on business - because he is facing a criminal charge.


Villagers To Give Way To Game Park
RadioVOP: 13/08/2009

Villagers in the area under Chief Chundu in Hurungwe are being told they face eviction from their homes after nearly three decades – to create a game park for a safari operations partnership between a Chinese company and Chief Chundu. A local councillor confirmed the villagers’ fears but said council had no plans to evict the villagers. Many of the peasant farmers are too old to start a new life. Chief Chundu simply said that he is Chief and could do as he wanted in “his” area.


State Media Ordered To Run Anti-Mutambara Stories
RadioVOP: 25/08/2009

Zimbabwe’s state controlled media was on Monday ordered to attack Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara for his Anti- President Robert Mugabe utterances at the weekend which resulted in ZanuPF boycotting the second Ministerial Retreat held in Nyanga. Deputy Prime Minister Mutambara had described last year’s Presidential Run off elections as “fraudulent, a nullity and a farce”. ZBC sources were ordered by the “top” to run an anti-Mutambara story for the whole day, and the same story also appeared on the front page of Monday’s Herald newspaper.


Besieged farmer’s house burned down in apparent arson attack
SW Radio Africa (ZW): 31/08/2009

Chegutu farmer Ben Freeth, after months of intimidation and attack by land invaders, lost his home after his farmhouse, the homes of some of his workers and a factory for the farm produce, were burned down in an arson attack on Sunday, which started while he was at Church. Because land invaders have stolen all their equipment, including tractors and irrigation pipes, the family was unable to put out the fire. They were left alone to battle the blaze, while land invaders drove around watching. He rescued his family’s passports and his computer. Otherwise, his family and staff are left with the clothes on their backs.


Independent candidates removed from media commission list
SW Radio Africa (ZW): 19/08/2009

Two candidates to the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC), have been removed from the final list in favour of Zanu-PF loyalists. It appears that the shortlist of 12 candidates has been sent to Robert Mugabe for final selection. Reportedly Chris Mutsvangwa, a Zanu-PF activist and former ambassador, was included, although not on the first list released. Lawton Hikwa, Dean at the National University of Science and Technology, has been included, although not on the original shortlist. However, publisher Roger Stringer and broadcast journalist Douglas Dhliwayo, have been removed. Speaker of Parliament, Lovemore Moyo, said the list published was ‘not the official one.’


Idea of five-year GNU gathers momentum
Zimbabwe Times, The (ZW): 23/08/2009

Parliament’s Constitutional Select Committee co-chairman Paul Mangwana of Zanu-PF said the lifespan of Zimbabwe’s current inclusive government will likely be five years because the majority of legislators across the political divide want to serve their full term of five years. He said that linking the constitution-making process to elections was attracting resistance from legislators. Public expectation is that the duration of the hybrid government was two years, with the specific objective of writing a constitution for the country before fresh, free and fair elections are held.


Gono, Tomana issue not serious: ZANU PF
Zim Online (ZW): 12/08/2009

ZanuPF on Tuesday said it saw no need for outside help to break a deadlock with the MDC over appointment of Zimbabwe’s central bank chief and attorney general. In remarks clearly designed to show South African President and regional chairman Jacob Zuma that any attempts to push for ZanuPF and MDC to share the two key posts will be resisted, a ZanuPF official said the dispute was an internal matter for Zimbabwe’s unity government to resolve. He said the party considered the issue of Western sanctions a more urgent matter.


Mugabe signs fake document into law
ZimEye: 22/08/2009

President Robert Mugabe signed a doctored version of Constitutional Amendment Number 19, which might jeopardize the constitutional referendum expected next year. According to the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, the version approved by parliament was whittled down from 36 pages to only 18. ZLHR said the important changes were the removal of two clauses linked to the current constitution-writing process. In the absence of these clauses being enacted into law, control of any future referendums remains legally vested with the President.


Stalemate Beckons as Zanu PF Reneges on Governors
Zimbabwe Independent, The (ZW): 27/08/2009

Controversy surrounds the appointment of provincial governors from the two MDC formations. Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his deputy Arthur Mutambara agreed that the governors would be appointed on the basis of the March 2008 House of Assembly election results. Incumbents were expected to leave office next Monday. However, Government sources said Zanu PF had since reneged on the deal saying the issue of governors was not negotiable, as their appointment is the constitutional prerogative of the President.


Top-Level Zimbabwe Talks Put Off As President Mugabe Heads to African Summit
VOANews (USA): 31/08/2009

A meeting of the senior figures in Zimbabwe’s national unity government to seek resolution of divisive outstanding issues, urged by South African President Jacob Zuma during his two-day visit last week, failed to take place on Monday because President Robert Mugabe had left the country for an African Union summit in Tripoli, Libya. Mr. Zuma, told President Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara that they could resolve the issues troubling their government if they put their minds to it.


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"Indigenising Without Kicking Investors Away"

By Stanley Kwenda

HARARE, Sep 7 (IPS) - Eager to restore Zimbabwe's moribund economy, the
country's government has been soliciting investment globally. But the
troubled southern African country finds itself in an unenviable balancing
act between protecting its economic interests while attracting foreign

After several years of negative economic growth, some citizens have become
vocal about wanting control over business activities.

An organisation calling itself the Affirmative Action Group wants every
investment that comes into the country to have local representation. "We
want economic independence and that's what we are pushing for," Tafadzwa
Musarara, secretary general of the Affirmative Action Group, told IPS.

AAG regards itself as the local vanguard of black empowerment in business,
education and employment. Its demands follow in the wake of legislation
passed when the former ZANU-PF government decided to force foreign companies
to hand majority ownership to "indigenous" Zimbabweans.

"Colonisation disenfranchised the indigenous people and it is this legacy
that we wanted to change through this law," argued Musarara. "Attainment of
independence is not complete without economic independence."

The "indigenisation" law, introduced more than a year ago, was aimed at
forcing 51 percent Zimbabwean ownership of enterprises. But the law seems to
have scared off investors from outside the country, leading to what seem
like a change of tack by the current coalition government of the MDC and
ZANU-PF. The laws are being reviewed.

During a trip to Europe in June to try and mend relations with European
countries, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the MDC, told
audiences that changing the laws was "an urgent matter that needed to be
dealt with".

The minister of regional integration and international trade, Priscilla
Misihairabwi-Mushonga, told IPS that, "under the global set-up that we live
in, there is need to (strike a balance between) that which allows good
investment and that which caters for indigenous provisions because there is
always something that talks to ownership of resources by locals,"
Misihairabwi-Mushonga told IPS.

"The (Affirmative Action Group) is right to lobby for what they believe in
but discussions are taking place in government on how to accommodate
indigenisation without kicking investors away."

But Musarara argues that the laws are simply being misunderstood. "We are
entitled to the resources under the ground and over the ground, like in
Europe, the U.S. and Asia. There are unnecessary fears over the
indigenisation law. Yes, it calls for 51 percent local ownership but it is
open to negotiation like in any other business transaction," argued

"This issue has to be clarified before the investors come. The law comes at
a price but our resources are not renewable and we should use them for the
future generations."

Last month, the organisation caused a diplomatic tiff when it demanded that
German-owned international courier, DHL, cede stocks to locals in line with
the country's indigenisation law. The Germany embassy advised the Zimbabwean
government that it would reconsider its relations with the country if the
interference with DHL continued.

But the Affirmative Action Group insisted that all foreign companies have to
comply with local laws. "When we see people flouting laws then we have to
force them to comply," Musara said.

The pressure group added that it will also fight against the hiring of
expatriates by foreign-owned companies operating in Zimbabwe in situations
where there are locals who have the qualifications to run the enterprises.

"We are going to lobby the immigration department and we will oppose the
issuing of permits to foreigners flouting indigenisation laws. Foreigners
should train our local people and prepare them to take over. We are
convinced that we have enough of our own who can now run these foreign
companies in high positions," Musarara told IPS.

The organisation also lobbies for laws to protect local industries and
create employment for Zimbabweans. According to the International Labour
Organisation, Zimbabwe's unemployment rate stands at 96 percent.

The manufacturing sector is still operating at less than 20 percent capacity
and the population depends on food imports for survival.

Musarara is of the opinion that there is a need to make space for local
industries to create jobs and boost the country's economy through exports.
"We are totally against an uncontrolled influx of goods. Our people are
unnecessarily exposed to competition from unscrupulous foreign producers. We
need to protect local industries and create employment," Musarara told IPS.

"What we have at the moment are solutions that take short cuts. We are just
shooting ourselves in the foot."

There has been an influx of foreign goods from countries such as South
Africa, China, Brazil and India. Most of these goods, ranging from mineral
water, maize meal, sugar and breast feeding supplements, have been found to
be sub-standard.

The government has since banned some of these goods, including milk formula,
cordials diluted in water to make sweetened drinks, chicken and flavoured

"We opened our borders in a hurry but we now need to license foreign
producers of food and subject their goods to a quality test before they are
put on the market," insisted Musarara. (END/2009)

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Arthur Mutambara - The Accidental Leader & Stuntman

There is something conspicuously shady about Arthur Mutambara, the beleaguered and deserted leader of an increasingly irrelevant fringe political party which in essence, is closing shop. His splinter party, MDC-M, is notorious for ungraciously entering Zimbabwe's politics through the back door. But how the inclusive government incidentally ended up rewarding Mutambara as Deputy Prime Minister for representing a microscopic constituency remains a mystery.

At a recent retreat in Nyanga which brought together the bellicose parties to the inclusive government together, Mutambara engaged in feigned and belated outrage about Zimbabwe's 2008 presidential elections, months after he was politically rehabilitated. He apparently infuriated Zanu PF, the rigging party, when he described the elections as 'fraudulent and a nullity'.

It is saddening to note that Mutambara's latest stunt has been particularly misunderstood by many as sincere. For starters, we all know the election was stolen. Fair enough. But the election was surely not stolen from Mutambara. We also know that Mutambara does not speak for the original MDC. Zanu PF is aware of that fact. So for Zanu PF ministers to be seen boycotting such a meeting of national consequence because a stuntman like Mutambara enraged them is pure theatrics!

Notwithstanding that nonsensical posturing, Zanu PF must not forget that it was the taxpayer's money which funded such an excursion in the first place. Zanu PF ministers knew very well that they had nothing to offer and preempted. So, they would rather punish the whole nation because of Mutambara's so called provocation? Since the inclusive government came into existence, Zimbabwe has dragged because it is still constipated by Mugabe and his men, as expected.

It is political suicide for Zanu PF to continue to treat MDC as a nuisance rather a partner at a time Zimbabweans are fully behind MDC's efforts to help clean up the mess Mugabe and colleagues created. MDC must remain resolute in pushing the reform agenda as Mutambara's cloned party continues to self-destruct.

If anything, this latest debacle gives Zimbabweans every reason to believe that Mutambara is indeed a plant. Intriguingly, Mugabe has always acted graciously towards this restless and clumsy meddler, whom he previously described as a 'good' man. Upon Zuma's first state visit to Zimbabwe, a week after the incident, Mugabe was quick to single out Mutambara as the progressive force of the inclusive government. How ironical!

It is not in Mugabe's nature to treat those who disagree with him kindly. Any slightest provocation is guaranteed to invite scornful vilification. In recent past, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Condoleeza Rice, Jendai Frazer and US Assistant Secretary Johnnie Carson were rebuked as 'saboteur', 'slave', 'prostitute' and 'an idiot', respectively.

Mutambara's positions mirror those of Mugabe, the man behind his political fortunes. For instance, on land policy, Mutambara recently stated that there is 'no going back on our revolution' even though it is clear that the vast majority of the confiscated land now constitutes multiple farm ownership by Mugabe, his cronies and their offspring. Land grab immensely profited Mugabe's minions and sycophants. Land was used as a bounty for those who commanded brutalization of innocent civilians such as Joseph Chinotimba.

Also worrisome is the fact that Mutambara seems to wield so much political power (real or imaginary) to the extent that he has acted as GNU spokesperson on numerous occasions. The most evident and disturbing 'press release' reflected his desire to hang on to power through the GNU for an additional five years, unelected. For someone who cannot survive outside of political patronage, it's understandable.

'After the constitutional review process, the principals would then meet to decide if there is need to go for elections but I do not see us going for elections in the next five years as long as things are going well for the country,' said Mutambara, never mind his comprehension of democracy. The scariest thing is that behind Mutambara looms the specter of dictatorship, the very cause of Zimbabwe's misery.

'I am going to remove Mugabe, I promise you, with every tool available', said Mutambara, in 2006. No one knows what happened to those assurances neither has Mutambara swallowed them back considering that he now calls Mugabe a hero. 'I was asking President Mugabe, where is your biography, when are you finishing your book. What is wrong with you?' said Mutambara, recently.

It is not surprising that new dictionaries will have the face of Mutambara's hero (Mugabe) next to the word 'dictator'. Questions about mass-murders, be it Chiadzwa or Gukurahundi, have been ruthlessly muzzled. Calling Mugabe a hero is as ridiculous as calling George Bush a hero given his Katrina and Iraqi legacy. Mugabe's record is further tainted by criminally negligent homicide that caused over 4000 cholera deaths. In addition the body count of soldiers who perished during the secretive DRC war of choice and plunder remains unknown.

For now, the people of Zimbabwe are wise enough to detect Mutambara and Mugabe's simulated animosities. The Mutambara-led split from the original MDC had all the fingerprints of Mugabe whose hallmark has been the politics of infiltration or elimination. Zimbabwe would have paid a dear price if Morgan Tsvangirai had not stood firm to unify the people's party.

MDC saved Zimbabwe from total collapse even though the trauma and scars of the Mugabe tragedy remain indelibly visible economically, socially and politically. If Mugabe had vanished when the people resoundingly rejected him a long time ago, Zimbabwe would never have suffered such crises. A sustained campaign of violence powered by an everlasting supply of recruits breathed life into the dictatorship. It's almost as if unemployment was deliberately designed to create a reservoir of militias, both young and old. The long suffering people still voted him out even as militias were pointing guns to their heads.

Recently, things got very interesting when Mutambara and Moyo, the 'nutty' professors , who both fumbled their way into Zimbabwe's politics were at each other's throat. Somewhere, their godfather Mugabe, must have been laughing. Only Mugabe can resurrect Mutambara from current opprobrium and well-deserved withering of his ill-gotten political fortunes.

Mutambara's ineptness does not appear to be the only motivation for his MP's discontent. He remains a self-deluding neophyte who exudes political incompetence and immaturity. Even the unstable Job Sikhala, in spite of his volcanic temperament and crazy boisterousness, still scores more political points than Mutambara. How Mutambara is handling the ongoing crisis in his party amplifies poor leadership and political naivete. Maybe its time Mutambara rents some thinkers who know political strategy.

By-elections are likely going to be held soon for his three deposed MP's and in many other constituencies. But it is a fait accompli that the seats will go to the original MDC as long as the elections are free and fair. Even as Mutambara unscrupulously works in cahoots with Mugabe to help create a Zanu PF majority in parliament by crook, it remains a perilous political strategy for Mutambara.

This isn't just suspicion. It smacks as yet another ploy by Mugabe to expand MP base for a majority in parliament so as to ''nuke' or rape the constitutional rewriting process. The increased wanton incarcerations of MDC MP's help debunk the plot.

In all this, the hard reality is that at a national level, Mutambara and Moyo will forever grapple with unpopularity and rejection. In a democratic environment, their existence is very complicated. No matter how much Arthur Mutambara and Jonathan Moyo attempt to socially reconstruct their political relevance in Zimbabwe, public opinion will take light-years to shift in their favor.

Dr Paul Mutuzu
For Feedback email

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Nowhere to Hide

In 1983 when the Zanu PF regime in Harare launched Gukurahundi and mounted a
concerted attack on the structures and leadership of the then opposition,
Zapu, they did so behind a curtain of secrecy that kept the full extent of
what they were doing out of sight of the majority. Nothing new in that -
Hitler did the same thing 60 years ago in Germany and the ceremonies in
Poland this week brought all of those nightmares back into perspective.

When the German genocides were being conducted, a blanket of disinformation
and secrecy kept the full extent of the nightmare out of the public eye, the
authorities knew what was going on but did not take appropriate steps to
bring the German government to book. It took photographs of the camps in
1945 to finally bring the Holocaust to our attention.

The same situation applied here from 1983 to 1987 and it was only after the
Legal Resources Foundation and the Catholic Commission published their
report "Breaking the Silence" on the genocide that finally we got to see and
hear about the extent of the atrocities. The only difference between these
two episodes was time and magnitude.

Nothing illustrates the need for a free press and electronic media than
these failures of governments to protect their citizens from abuse or to
bring the authorities to account, than this sort of state abuse of power.

In the past decade as we in the MDC have fought for freedom, justice and
democracy, we have had a constant battle against secrecy and media
restrictions. The new form of communications via the internet has helped as
this is out of the control of the authorities virtually everywhere and has
empowered the individual.

The fight here can be divided into three main segments - the information and
media campaign, legal battles and the political struggle. The full story of
the work done and the success gained in each sphere need a book and they
have all contributed to whatever success we have had in the past 10 years.
But the main weapon we have had has been the use of the media and the weapon
of information.

When Mr. Mugabe was building his mansion in Borrowdale it was an MDC
volunteer who flew over the site with a camera and caught the size and
luxury of this extravaganza, I was suspected of being responsible and was
told that "if I flew my aeroplane across the site again, I would be shot
down by the air force." As I had nothing to do with the exercise at least it
told us they knew nothing of the operation.

Disappearances and violence against opponents were all carefully monitored
and brought out into the public domain; individuals went to great lengths to
collect information and often at risk to their own safety, brought the facts
to the light of media scrutiny. Restrictions and threats to media
practitioners did not stop them coming and at great risk to themselves,
recording events and abuses of human rights.

The result of all this effort and human courage is that the regime here has
had no where to hide when it committed abuses and as a result has not been
able to act with impunity. Had the veil of secrecy been effective the
violations of our rights and even physical safety would have been much more
in jeopardy than has actually been the case.

That is the position today on the eve of the SADC summit in the Congo. It is
a year since the GPA was signed and the SADC leadership must now fulfil
their obligation to act as guarantors of the agreement. This means they
should sit down and objectively examine what has transpired since the GPA
was signed and then take appropriate action to ensure full compliance if
there has been any violations.

In fact we do not even appear on the agenda! So much for African leadership;
the Kenyan deal brokered by the regional States and now the deal in
Madagascar, are by no means shining examples of continental diplomacy and
real politic. It could be argued that regional action has simply made things
worse for all parties involved.

MDC is battling to get the regional body to take its responsibilities
seriously and we hope to get a special summit to deal with the Zimbabwe
issue. One thing is for sure SADC, no more than Zanu PF, has no place to
hide. How they deal with their responsibilities will be a matter of record
and comment across the globe.

The issue of Zanu PF compliance with the terms of the GPA is now a complete
farce. They are in violation of virtually every aspect of the agreement they
signed and the list of violations grows by the day. They had no right to
"terminate" our participation in the SADC Tribunal as announced this week.
That is a matter for the government and is subject to the consensual
decision making mechanisms built into the GPA.

Media reforms have been totally stalled, POSA and AIPPA remain on the
Statute books, senior appointments made without consultation and agreement
in terms of the GPA have not been rescinded and politically motivated
violence continues. We have evidence of new militia camps and the
clandestine deployment of military units and personnel to the districts to
direct a campaign of political violence. I was personally warned last week
by a senior Zanu PF person that the hard liners are arming themselves and we
must be careful.

Zuma and his colleagues cannot say they do not know this. Since the early
part of this century, the South Africans have deployed intelligence agents
to Zimbabwe and have a well oiled system of double agents in the CIO and
other State agencies. They know this is going on, they know this is in
direct violation of the GPA; they have no place to hide on this issue.

In the meantime we struggle on with what we have - tax revenues have climbed
though the 100 million a month ceiling and the maize crop is running out -
from next month we will have to import the majority of our needs. Failure to
meet key benchmarks and to sign agreements such as the Bilateral Investment
Protection Agreement with South Africa, are holding up lines of credit from
across the globe and the region. Our leading friends in the world community
are understandably cautious and reticent about helping us until we deliver
on these key issues.

The Zanu PF argument that our economic plight is the product of "sanctions"
is pure claptrap and in any event such sanctions that we do face are the
direct result of either Zanu PF violations of human rights and norms or our
failure to meet our obligations in financial and economic terms. In many
ways they are self imposed and therefore can only be removed by putting our
affairs in order and starting to live and work in accordance with the very
standards we have espoused in previously agreed protocols and international

Eddie Cross

Harare, 6th September 2009

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