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

Supreme Court Faults State Agents Over Mukoko's Torture

http://www.radiovop.com

Harare, September 23, 2012-Zimbabwe’s Supreme Court has chastised state
security agents for torturing prominent human rights campaigner Jestina
Mukoko four years ago in a bid to induce some confessions implicating her in
a plot to unseat President Robert Mugabe’s previous administration.
In a full judgment delivered Thursday by Deputy Chief Justice Luke Malaba,
and which was unanimously endorsed by Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku,
Justices of Appeal, Wilson Sandura, Vernanda Ziyambi and Paddington Garwe,
the Supreme Court ruled that compelling Mukoko to kneel on pebbles and
holding her in solitary detention for long periods constituted torture.

“Forcing the applicant (Mukoko) to kneel for a long time on mounds of gravel
whilst being interrogated falls within the meaning of torture. The severe
pain and suffering she was forced to endure was intentionally inflicted.

“It was in aid of the interrogation the purpose of which was the extraction
from her of information on the assistance her organisation was suspected of
having given to Ricardo Hwasheni to enable him to undergo military training
outside the country.

“The prolonged periods of solitary confinement incommunicado on the
occasions she was not being interrogated constitutes inhuman and degrading
treatment,” reads part of the 41 page judgment which also outlined the court’s
reasons.

The release of the full judgment came three years after the Supreme Court
ordered a permanent stay of the criminal proceedings against Mukoko in
September 2009.

Mukoko, the director of the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) was abducted from
her Norton home in December 2008 and was held incommunicado and tortured for
several weeks before being charged with recruiting persons for training as
insurgents or saboteurs to topple Mugabe’s administration.

Apart from Mukoko, the state security agents also abducted about 20 other
people including a two year old minor Nigel Mutemagawu who together with his
parents were held incommunicado and tortured for several months before being
charged with plotting to unseat Mugabe and his Zanu (PF) administration.

The other abductees’ application seeking a stay of prosecution until a
determination is made on the violation of their constitutional rights is
pending in the Supreme Court.


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zanu PF Youths Divert Empowermentt Funds: ZYC Reveals

http://www.radiovop.com

Nyanga, September 23, 2012 -Three quarters of the youths who benefited from
the Old Mutual Youth empowerment fund diverted the loans, Zimbabwe Youth
Council has revealed.
“Some of you are now asking the reason why we are have resorted to paying
for what one would have applied to get for his or her project because the
money is being diverted,” Livingston Dzikira Zimbabwe Youth Council Director
told reporters Friday here in Nyanga at the UNICEF organised workshop,

“So far from the people who have benefited, 70% of them have diverted the
funds. Some have taken the loans to pay lobola and those are the same people
you seem at public forums denouncing the program”.

Old Mutual late last year issued US$11 million for youth empowerment
programmes.

The fund is being administered by CABS.

Asked by reporters his affiliation to Zanu (PF) which has raised concerns by
the public over how deserving youths benefit from youth empowerment
programme Dzikira said he follows orders given to him by Seviour Kasukuwere,
the minister of Youth Empowerment Minister who is Zanu (PF).

“I am an employee, who reports to the board and when the body is not present
I give reports directly to the responsible Minister and it is impossible for
you to separate me from that otherwise I get fired, “he said.

“This same applies to you guys you have your employers and if you tow the
opposite line you will not survive, that is the same situation which I am
in,” he said.

Journalists asked the actual number of youths who have so far benefited from
the Old Mutual Youth Empowerment fund, but Dzikira said he did not have the
number off head.

“What I can say is that we are targeting 2 000 youths, and as you can see
the number is very small compared to the number of the youths we have
nationwide. What is worrying from all those applying for the funds is that
they are all submitting chicken rearing project proposals. We have since
stopped accepting such proposals.

The Zimbabwe Youth Council since the blaming CABS for denying project
proposals.

CABS said they were receiving non bankable project proposals and vowed not
to process them.


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Locardia, Tsvangirai in peace talks

http://www.dailynews.co.zw/

By Chengetayi Zvauya, Parliamentary Editor
Sunday, 23 September 2012 12:51

PM Tsvangirai's ex-lover Locardia Karimatsenga (centre).
HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and “wife” Locardia Karimatsenga
have agreed to settle their divorce outside the courts and public scrutiny.

In an exclusive interview with the Daily News on Sunday, Manasa Tsvangirai,
the younger brother to the PM and the Tsvangirai family spokesperson
confirmed he had started the traditional proceedings which they hope will
culminate in an out-of-court settlement.

Manasa spoke for the first time on the marriage issue between PM and
Locardia, agreeing that he was involved in the matter and paid money to the
Karimatsenga family on behalf of Tsvangirai last November, which the
magistrate court interpreted as lobola.

Manasa said when they went to the Karimatsengas’ Christon Bank home in
November, everything was done above board in terms of paying damages.

“We wanted to legitimise everything and this is why we went to the
Karimatsenga home last year. Taida kuchenura Locardia (we wanted to
legitimise Locardia).

“The family cannot now claim that I am bothering them or Locardia because
they know me from last year since I came to them to pay damage money,” said
Manasa.

Manasa confirmed that he had visited Locardia’s auntie, a Mrs Mafaro at her
home in Borrowdale last Thursday together with his uncle Innocent Zvaipa as
emissaries of the PM to start negotiations.

“We went to Mai Mafaro’s home on Thursday so that we could talk. I
understand that the two parties — the PM and Locardia want this matter to be
settled out of court and have left the matter in the hands of their lawyers.

“As the Tsvangirai family, we welcome this move as it is good for everyone
involved because we were seeing a third force behind all these matters,
which was turning out to be political,” said Manasa.

He said when the matter started they did not anticipate “all this publicity”.

“We feel that it is better to resolve this matter outside the courts.

When we went to Locardia’s home last week on Tuesday, we were looking for
her, wanting to talk to her rather than intimidate or harass her.

“We were acting on the instructions of our lawyers, that we should try to
negotiate with her,” he said.

Tsvangirai is being represented by Innocent Chagonda, and Thabani Mpofu,
while Locardia is being represented by Jonathan and Everson Samukange.

Tsvangirai and Locardia are locked up in a legal battle with the spurned
“wife” claiming maintenance from the PM.

Flanked by her sister, Biata Nyamupinga, Locardia confirmed a peace
initiative was underway, adding she was tired of fighting.

“I have always wanted peace with the PM and we want him to come and we can
discuss about this matter. My family wants him to come and meet the rather
having many people involved . Everyone one of us wants peace, this media war
is not necessary,” said Locardia.

“Manasa and Zvaipa are looking for me in town, they came to my home Tuesday
and on Thursday they visited my auntie in Borrowdale, they threw some
objects into my property and hurled some abuse to people who were present
and I do not know why they are doing it.

“They are misbehaving a lot. I am now living in fear of them and it is not
the way to divorce a person, when you do that. I have always wanted peace
with them from the beginning of this issue, until today,” said Locardia.

Locardia claims she was customarily married to Tsvangirai, and was the
senior wife with Elizabeth Macheka being the second wife. She was also
comfortable with being in a polygamous marriage.

“I am still married to him and he is still my husband,” she said.


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Harare, Chitungwiza health time bombs

http://www.dailynews.co.zw

By Fungai Kwaramba, Staff Writer
Sunday, 23 September 2012 12:46
HARARE - A time bomb is ticking in some of Zimbabwe’s biggest urban areas
such as Harare and Chitungwiza, where city fathers continue to disconnect
water and refuse is piling.

With the onset of the rainy season usually characterised by communicable
disease outbreaks, residents in urban areas find themselves relying on
unsafe water sources.

In Chitungwiza, the country’s third largest populated urban area, the
million plus residents are lucky to get water two days-a-week.

Taps are dry most of the time.

Boreholes drilled by well-wishers such as UN agency, Unicef, after a
ravaging cholera outbreak in 2008 are now derelict due to vandalism and
overuse.

Four years ago Chitungwiza was the epicentre of a deadly cholera outbreak
that killed at least 4 000 people and affected 100 000, according to aid
agencies that moved to contain the situation.

Even though conditions have improved, the state of affairs is far from ideal
as residents sometimes sleep in queues hunting for safe drinking borehole
water.

Precious Shumba, chairperson of residents’ representative group Harare
Residents Trust said cutting water supply to punish residents for
non-payment of steep rates could spark a disease outbreak.

“We denounce local authorities that use water to make money. Water remains a
human right and we are aware that Chitungwiza and Harare municipalities and
other authorities have resorted to disconnecting residents who will be
failing to pay,” said Shumba.

Even those who pay their rates are not spared, as water shortages have
become the norm. Chitungwiza Residents and Ratepayers Association
chairperson Arthur Taderera said residents had given up hope council would
fix water shortage problems.

“Conditions are pathetic. We have areas where people have not received water
for the past three years. Boreholes built by MPs using constituency
development funds are now down and those that are functioning are
overwhelmed,” he said.

“We are still aware of the cholera outbreak that killed hundreds of people
here and there are some pockets in the town that still has the disease. With
the water cuts we are going to see another outbreak which will spread like a
veld fire. Council is insensitive to the plight of the people,” said
Taderera.

In the capital, Harare, more than 800 cases of typhoid have been reported
this year alone, while the city’s health department has warned that poor
sanitation conditions could also lead to a cholera outbreak.

Piled up garbage is not just an eyesore in Zimbabwe’s rundown cities but
also diffuse a smell that pollutes the air and also offers perfect breeding
ground for bacteria that causes diseases such as malaria.

Diseases such as typhoid, cholera, diarrhoea and malaria are spread through
insects, food, water and the threat of further spread, fueled by chronically
unsanitary conditions is still very real for residents in Chitungwiza and
other towns.

Overpopulation is worsening the situation. Urban planners say most towns and
cities are failing to cope with massive rural to urban migration.

Some of the city fathers claim to be acutely aware of the problem, but
action has been slow. Emmanuel Chiroto, Harare’s deputy mayor says the city
is suffering from a resource shortage to match the population boom.

Chiroto says there is need for rapid infrastructure expansion.

“Harare is the worst affected town by urbanisation. You find more than 10
people sharing a single toilet and as a town we are overwhelmed by demand.
We must upgrade our infrastructure in order to cope but unfortunately we do
not have the money,” said Chiroto.


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Bulawayo orders 'big flush' amid water rationing

http://mg.co.za/

23 SEP 2012 07:09 - AFP

Bulawayo has ordered its residents to flush toilets at the same time once a
week to prevent blockages during frequent periods of water rationing.

"We are going to have a big flush every Monday to push all the waste that
would have accumulated during the water rationing," Thaba Moyo, mayor of
Bulawayo, told Agence France-Presse.

"It means everybody has to flush their toilet at the stipulated time which
will be 7.30pm. This is done to prevent any sewer blockages as we anticipate
longer periods without water" in the sewer system, he said.

He said residents could also flush their toilets at other times of day.

Bulawayo's chronic water shortages force the city authorities to order
rationing, which reduces the amount of water getting into the sewer system.

Currently the city rations water for 72 hours each week.

Moyo said Bulawayo's chief engineer suggested the simultaneous flush.

"We are urging residents to bear with us as this is nobody's fault," Moyo
said.

"It's a national problem. Most cities are having water shortages, and we are
hoping that the supplies will last until the rainy season and pray that we
have good rains."

Poor hygiene and sanitation have caused numerous disease outbreaks in
Zimbabwe in recent years.

The problem is especially acute in suburbs, some of which go for weeks
without running water as cities battle to maintain services.

Last October, more than 6 000 cases of diarrhoea were reported in the
southern towns of Masvingo and Kadoma, with children the worst affected.

Four years ago more than 4 000 people died of cholera during an outbreak
that affected nearly 100 000 people. - AFP


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

‘Damn the environment, I need food’

http://www.dailynews.co.zw

Sunday, 23 September 2012 12:37
HARARE - Environment is the buzz word globally, and in Zimbabwe, government
and lobby groups are not being left out.

Massive campaigns gobbling millions of dollars are running to sensitise
citizens.

But in a country where at least eight in 10 adults lack formal employment,
such campaigns come as nagging voices only out to disturb a people’s sources
of income.

Sand miners, gold panners and firewood demand make up the list of people
largely responsible for Zimbabwe’s land degradation.

Yet, struggling to access basic needs, many are shocked when government
campaigns against activities they consider a source of livelihood, hence the
dearth of Zimbabwe’s green campaign.

My family first and the environment later, seems to be the motto as Zimbabwe
goes off the radar in its environment campaign.

Take the case of sand miners in Harare’s dormitory town of Chitungwiza for
example.

The Environmental Management Agency (Ema), a statutory body mandated with
environmental issues, is constantly at war with illegal sand miners at the
borders of Chitungwiza and Manyame rural areas but the miners will not go
away.

This is where they get money to pay rent and school fees and even the
occasional arrests will not deter them as this is where their bread is
buttered.

During a recent field trip, Ema takes journalists to the area. Sand miners
grab their shovels and flee at the sight of the group from Ema and
journalists.

But one dares and is willing to talk to the group on how the community has
benefitted from a business deemed treasonous in environment circles.

“This trade has in a way reduced crime around this area because it has
provided a source of income to many,” he says.

“This area used to be known for cattle and goat thieving but because of the
sand mining this has become something rare because people are now employed,”
he says.

“Gweja” is the special name given to the illegal miners. It means one who
digs the soil for wealth, they say.

The term gweja gained traction during the diamond rush in Manicaland’s
Marange area when over 30 000 illegal panners descended on the area.

Sand miners here are proud to be referred to as gwejas, not least because
their trade brings food on the table.

According to the gwejas, they get $5 from digging a five-tonne heap of sand
which they sell to transporters who will sell the same load for around $40
in urban areas.

With housing cooperatives sprouting all over, finding a market is the least
of their problems for sand miners.

The Daily News on Sunday returned to the area after the EMA visit and
discovered that even college students are earning a livelihood here.

“On a good day I get around $20 after hours and hours of digging. It is not
an easy job,” says a 28-year-old who claims to be studying for an accounting
course.

“We know it is illegal but what else can I do? The industries are dead. I
actually pay my school fees, buy books and stationery and save a little to
help at home,” he says, shovel in hand.

Laws do not really matter.

Ema stipulates the transporters be holders of a special license which costs
$173 quarterly and provide proof of vehicle roadworthiness.

Yet, a regular transporter of the sand says he is aware of such
requirements.

However, his vehicle is a smoking ramshackle which surprisingly makes past
several police roadblocks.

“Sand is our diamond here and I would want to comply with the law but on the
other hand the money that Ema wants is too much,” he says.

The sand miners are just part of the chain, Ema says.

Local councillors, desperate to gain popularity, have been dishing land
without regard to environmental consequences, Ema says.“They should allocate
places where sand can be extracted and then the place can be rehabilitated
after it has served its purpose,” says Astas Mabwe, the Ema education and
publicity officer for Mashonaland East province. - Bridget Mananavire


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

‘Mummy, Daddy’ politics – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 22nd September 2012

Description: Description: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8306/8013183691_7e36c009fc_n.jpg Description: Description: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8450/8013194609_e9a2efd1c9_n.jpg

The Vigil has repeatedly warned of the danger to the region of allowing a gangster state to take root in Zimbabwe. News that the South African government is now taking legal action against the Zanu PF crony and ANC rabble rouser Julius Malema confirms that this warning was justified.

We reported recently that ‘Bling’ Malema had made a mysterious visit to the UK – mysterious partly because the objective was opaque and partly because it appeared to be promoted by Zanu PF elements, who have a strong presence in the UK.

The Vigil is not surprised that the South African authorities are looking into Malema’s astonishing affluence – not that he is alone among South African and Zimbabwean politicians who brazenly parade their wealth. No doubt the CIO is looking into the ownership of the Bentleys and other expensive cars parked at Tsvangirai’s glitzy wedding – if they didn’t supply them in the first place! (See: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/sep22a_2012.html#Z7 – Tsvangirai’s wedding: A new life of luxury.)

But the Vigil is heartened that relations are clearly fracturing between the ANC and Zanu PF. We note the reported warning by an ANC National Executive Committee member: ‘It’s time we took some serious and decisive action, if only to teach these spoilt brats a lesson, because we can do that’ (see; http://nehandaradio.com/2012/09/21/anc-furious-with-zanu-pf-over-malema/ – ANC furious with Zanu PF over Malema).

The Vigil is confident that the ANC will start by rejecting Zanu PF’s demand that South Africa should take a ‘political decision’ to overturn the ruling by the South African Supreme Court over the land seizures in Zimbabwe. A ‘political decision’? To us at the Vigil that is Zanu PF talk, not an option open to a law-abiding democracy (see: Zimbabwe asks ANC to block property auction – http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/sep22_2012.html#Z9).

The Vigil’s efforts to alert SADC to the poison of Zanu PF continued today with demonstrations outside the High Commissions in London of Tanzania and Botswana. We delivered letters for President Kikwete of Tanzania, the new leader of the SADC security Troika, and others for President Khama of Botswana (for text of letterssee our diary of 15/09/2012: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/441-stop-da-circus--zimbabwe-vigil-diary-15th-september-2012).

Our message was shown in posters such as: ‘Zimbabwe: Stop Mugabe stealing election’, ‘Zimbabwe: No more fake elections’, ‘Zimbabwe: No to election violence’, Zimbabwe: Election monitors now’, ‘Zimbabwe Voters’ Roll: Let the 16,800 born on 01/01/1901 vote first’, Tanzania: Save Zimbabwe ‘jewel of Africa’, Botswana: ‘Nothing less than free and fair elections in Zimbabwe’, ‘Tanzania, SADC – Zimbabwe needs you . . . ‘ and ‘Zimbabweans demand a people’s constitution . . .’

Arnold Magwanyata of Zimbabwe We Can and Gladys Hellen Meck, Vice Chair of the Women’s Assembly of MDC South East District, spoke of the horrors of what was happening in Zimbabwe and the importance of the diaspora’s fight against it. Martin Chinyanga reiterated what they said in song. The letters to President Kikwete were delivered on behalf of the MDC by David Kudzutu and the Vigil by Kelvin Kamupira and the letters to President Khama by Gladys Meck for the MDC and Linnet Moyo for the Vigil.

Our demonstration was part of the global diaspora 21st movement protests (see: http://www.mdcukandireland.org.uk/
index.php?option=com_k2&view=itemlist&task=date&month=9&year=20120
Press Statement from the 21st Movement Global Free Zimbabwe Protest: September 22 Mugabe must dig a hole to hide in). Our singing attracted people from nearby Oxford Street. Thanks to Josephine Zhuga, Louisa Musaerenge and Ellen Gonyora who stayed behind to maintain the Vigil.

Other points

The vigil received an email from the MDC Youth Assembly professing their slavish admiration for Mummy, Daddy (see; http://www.mdc-youthassembly.blogspot.co.uk/ - Congratulations Dad, welcome Mummy . . .). We at the Vigil despair at the culture in the MDC which results in this infantile attitude.

One of our members has contacted her relatives in Bulawayo to find out how they are getting on with synchronized toilet flushing. We have asked them to let us know when it’s happening so we can flush our toilets in sympathy. See: http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/sep22_2012.html#Z14 – Bulawayo asks residents to flush toilets at same time).

We received the following message from Jeff Sango of the MDC about our late member Bernard Hukwa: ‘I wish to thank all the brothers and sisters who assisted, in different ways, in facilitating the repatriation of our beloved brother`s remains to Zimbabwe. The family has been in touch and have asked me to pass their gratitude to you all. The late brother was laid to rest yesterday 20/09/12. May his soul rest in peace. Allow me to applaud your efforts in sustaining a real beacon of hope for many of our most vulnerable brothers and sisters. Well done everybody and be blessed.’

For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/. Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website – they cannot be downloaded from the slideshow on the front page of the Zimvigil website.

FOR THE RECORD: 67 signed the register.

EVENTS AND NOTICES:

ROHR Cambridge Branch Relaunch: Saturday 29th September from 1 – 4 pm. Contact: Memory Simbi 07584759284, Deon Matora 077866674066, Richard Zvinoira 07810592390. Venue: To be advised.

Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 6th October from 10 am – 1 pm. Venue: Swazi High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB. Please support our Swazi friends. Nearest stations: St James’s Park and Victoria. www.swazilandvigil.co.uk.

The Rain that Washes showing at the Lounge, Leicester Square Theatre, until Saturday 6th October at 7 pm. Check: http://leicestersquaretheatre.ticketsolve.com/shows/126523428/events or phone the booking line: 08448733433 for specific dates and to book tickets, ‘Instantly plunged into a young man’s compelling story of growing up in turbulent Zimbabwe, we live and breathe his extraordinary journey from innocence to escape, finally returning to his homeland to witness the greatest betrayal of all . . . Inspired by a series of interviews between Zimbabwean Christopher Maphosa and writer Dave Carey, The Rain That Washes is a true story that is poignant, political and most of all, personal’.

10th Anniversary of the Zimbabwe Vigil / Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 13th October from 6.30 – 9.30 pm. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. Directions: The Strand is the same road as the Vigil. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a big sign high above and a sign for its famous Indian restaurant at street level. It's next to a newsagent. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn. Future special ZAF meeting: Saturday 10th November when our special guest will be Ben Freeth. This meeting will take the place of the regular ZAF meeting in November at 6.30 pm at Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. For directions see above.

Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2011 can be viewed on this link: http://www.zimvigil.co.uk/the-vigil-diary/363-vigil-highlights-2011. Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2011 Highlights page.

The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organisation based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organisation on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is http://www.rohrzimbabwe.org/. Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents the views and opinions of ROHR.

ZBN News. The Vigil management team wishes to make it clear that the Zimbabwe Vigil is not responsible for Zimbabwe Broadcasting Network News (ZBN News). We are happy that they attend our activities and provide television coverage but we have no control over them. All enquiries about ZBN News should be addressed to ZBN News.

The Zim Vigil band (Farai Marema and Dumi Tutani) has launched its theme song ‘Vigil Yedu (our Vigil)’ to raise awareness through music. To download this single, visit: www.imusicafrica.com and to watch the video check: http://ourvigil.notlong.com. To watch other Zim Vigil band protest songs, check: http://Shungurudza.notlong.com and http://blooddiamonds.notlong.com.

Vigil Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8157345519&ref=ts.

Vigil Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/zimbabwevigil.

To sponsor the Mike Campbell Foundation expedition ‘Sailing across the Makgadikgadi Pans’ which will raise money for the work of the Foundation, go to www.justgiving.com/Mike-Campbell-Foundation.

Useful websites: www.zanupfcrime.com which reports on Zanu PF abuses and www.ipaidabribe.org.zw where people can report corruption in Zimbabwe.

Vigil co-ordinators

The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe. http://www.zimvigil.co.uk.


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Soldiers arrested for extorting rank marshals

http://www.thestandard.co.zw

September 23, 2012 in Local
AT least 10 soldiers were arrested last week on allegations of assaulting
and demanding money from rank marshals and touts in Harare’s central
business district (CBD).

REPORT BY OUR STAFF
Soldiers and touts have been fighting running battles in the past few weeks
after touts, known as mandimbandima, assaulted some soldiers in the capital.

In response, soldiers were deployed at commuter omnibus termini across the
capital where they unleashed a reign of terror, in revenge for the beating
of their colleagues.

The soldiers indiscriminately assaulted touts, commuters and bystanders.

It has since emerged that after the crackdown, the soldiers were ordered by
their superiors to stop the operation, but others continued going to taxi
ranks where they demanded money from drivers and touts.

“There was an order from army headquarters that soldiers should stop going
to the ranks, but some soldiers defied the order leading to their arrest by
military police,” a source said.
The soldiers were arrested on Wednesday evening and the source said they had
since been detained for 40 days with hard labour.

The source added that those who were arrested included lance corporals and
corporals.

A vendor at Copacabana terminus confirmed seeing a group of soldiers being
rounded up by military police.

“We saw them being called and they all got into a truck, but we were not
sure what was happening,” the vendor said.

However, army spokesman Alphios Makotore said he was unaware of any such
arrests.

“We do not know anything about that,” he said.

Meanwhile, Police had by last week arrested close to 400 rank marshals and
touts as they intensified efforts to bring sanity in the city.

Some of the touts are linked to the Mbare-based Zanu PF militia group,
Chipangano, which has for years, terrorised Harare residents and commuters
with impunity.

The touts and rank marshals charge kombi drivers at least US$3 per trip,
part of which they pass on to mandimbandimba, who are an offshoot of
Chipangano.


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Underfunding cripples Education ministry

http://www.thestandard.co.zw

September 23, 2012 in Local
Attempts to introduce monetary incentives for rural school teachers have hit
a snag because the Education ministry has not received enough funds from
Treasury, a Cabinet minister has said.

REPORT BY SOFIA MAPURANGA
David Coltart , the Minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture said he
had only received 6% of the US$5 million that his ministry was allocated by
Treasury.

He said lack of funding had crippled implementation of most projects his
ministry had planned.

“We are financially crippled and cannot implement any projects because of
failure by Treasury to disburse funds,” said Coltart. “Rural schools are
mostly affected because most of our projects were supposed to be implemented
there.”

He said the ministry was committed to reducing the existing gaps between
rural and urban schools but such efforts were being hampered by lack of
financial resources and failure by Treasury to release funds on time.

Coltart said most rural schools lagged behind in terms of technological
advancement and had no adequate learning material as well as furniture.

“The pass rate in the rural schools is low because of poor infrastructure,
poor human resources and the only way to address this is if the ministry of
finance avails funds,” he said.

Zimbabwe’s Education minister has decried government’s decision to spend
more of the national budget on defence than education, saying the country’s
leaders needed to change their priorities.

In the current budget, the Ministry of Defence got a whopping US$35 million,
seven times higher than what the Ministry of Education received.

Higher Education minister Stan Mudenge has also raised concern that only a
small percentage of the money budgeted for his sector had been released so
far this year.

Efforts to get a comment from the Finance minister, Tendai Biti were futile
last week.

Government missed the projected revenue target by US$244 million by the end
of June 2012, forcing the Finance ministry to review the budget downwards.
Biti had previously attributed failure to realise projected revenue inflows
mainly to the shortfall on revenue inflows from diamond dividends.

The minister of Finance in June reviewed the budget downwards to US$3,6
billion from the initial US$4 billion.

He also reviewed this year’s Gross Domestic Product growth projection from
9,4% to 5,6%.


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Myths surrounding Chinese investment exposed

http://www.thestandard.co.zw

September 23, 2012 in Local
Most Chinese companies in Zimbabwe violate local regulations and abuse
workers with impunity because they are protected by the country’s leaders, a
new book has revealed.

REPORT BY PATRICE MAKOVA
The book, Win-Win Partnership? China, Southern Africa and Extractive
Industries, said although such activities have been exposed by a government
audit into the mining sector, it remained to be seen what the authorities
would do.

“The reaction of the Zimbabwe government will be a real test of the
all-weather friendship that has characterised China-Zimbabwe relations in
the recent years,” said the book by Southern Africa Resource Watch (SRW).

The book said Chinese investment in Africa did not promote a win-win
scenario, as it was skewed in favour of the Asian country, blaming this on
the continent’s leaders, while noting that China was simply pursuing its
national interests, seeking opportunities where they existed.

It said China could not be held accountable for the absence of appropriate
mechanisms and administrative issues.

But in Zimbabwe, the book said despite violating regulations, it was grossly
exaggerated to label China’s engagement in Sadc’s extractive industry as
conforming to a neo-colonial exploitative approach.

Investment appeared geared to the longer-term, with large Chinese
corporations having entered into win-win joint venture operations with
Zimbabwean state enterprises and private investors.

It also concluded that Chinese companies in Zimbabwe did not adopt a “one
size fits all” approach, as there were both large operations and small-scale
individual investors who were capitalising on the good bilateral relations
between Harare and Beijing, to establish themselves into the mining sector.

Economist Itai Zimunya told The Standard that there were a lot of myths
about China’s involvement in Zimbabwe, one of them being that the Chinese
are a blessing to the country.

“At the heart of Chinese investment in the country is not Zimbabwe’s but
Chinese development, with benefits of infrastructure and employment being
peripheral benefits,” he said. “Do we want to celebrate secondary benefits?”

Zimunya said another myth originating mostly from Western scholars was that
China was Africa’s new coloniser.

“This notion must be dismissed with the contempt it deserves,” he said. “The
Chinese are exploiting Africa just like Europe has been doing for over 300
years.”

He said it was necessary for Zimbabwe to develop programmes that guarded the
country’s wealth for the benefit of all citizens.

Zimunya said the problem with the current Sino-Zimbabwe relationships was
that, it was only benefiting a political elite with the majority being
marginalised.

He said the construction of Chinese hotels in Mutare, Harare and the defence
college in Mazowe was of no benefit to the majority of Zimbabweans.

“Zimbabwe needs education, health and other social necessities and not a
defence college,” he said. “We need to ask the Chinese why they do not have
a fund to support Zimbabwe’s colleges and universities, in order to
facilitate technology transfer?”

Zimunya said Zimbabweans were failing to negotiate international contracts
in a win-win situation because they did not have what Professor Jonathan
Moyo called “crafty competency and statecraft”.

Zimunya cited the case of De Beers which mined diamonds in Marange in the
1990s, but pulled out claiming that they were of poor quality and could not
be extracted commercially, yet current events on the grounds pointed
otherwise.

Business ethics and strategic leadership expert, Professor Mufaro Gunduza
said the book revealed that when China was dealing with Africa, Europe or
the United States, the country had no uniform approach and relied on local
legislation.

He said the reason why Zimbabwe and most African countries were not getting
maximum benefits from their engagement with China was weak legislation and
wrong priorities by leaders.

“China makes it clear that it has a business approach and only responds to
what African governments want,” said Gunduza. “If you tell them to build the
African Union headquarters or the Defence College or provide arms, they will
do that as long as it advances their interests.”

He said Africa must put its house in order to leverage its affairs with
China and engage the country from a clear policy framework.

He said most of the abuses of workers by Chinese employers were swept under
the carpet by an African political elite ready to protect them.

Gunduza said the Chinese respected labour laws in countries such as the USA,
where they were a major player in the textile sector, but faced allegations
of abusing and exploiting workers in Burma and Vietnam, where the laws were
lax.


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Corruption behind people’s failure to get identity documents— Report

http://www.thestandard.co.zw

September 23, 2012 in Local
SEVERAL people are failing to get identity documents due to endemic
corruption and bureaucratic bungling at the Registrar General’s Office, a
recent survey has said.

REPORT BY OUR STAFF
The Research and Advocacy Unit, in a report entitled Identity, Citizenship
and the Registrar-General, said because of these problems, some people did
not have identity and travel documents.

“The forms of corruption reported ranged from individuals selling queue
positions, selling access to a registration officer, and selling even the
right to be acknowledged and served within the RG’s Office,” reads part of
the report.

“Most of the corruption was linked to individuals promising swift and speedy
processing of documents.

“The women’s assertions substantiated previous reports in the media about
the levels of corruption witnessed at the RG’s Office.”

Respondents, drawn from nine of the 10 provinces, said they had to pay a
minimum of US$3 to bribe officials if they did not have proof of residency,
a requirement for a person to obtain a passport.

In rural areas, the respondents said some youths failed to get identity
documents as some chiefs would demand payment before writing a letter
confirming that the person was indeed a villager in that area.

The situation is much worse for people who reside outside the country, who
found it difficult to replace expired documents.

Some respondents said they had to pay US$50 or more to get passports, a
princely sum, considering they would have incurred transport and
accommodation expenses.

Others who responded to the survey said single women had difficulties in
obtaining birth certificates for their children, yet the law allowed them to
do so.

“As a result, some single mothers cannot acquire birth certificates for
their children without the father, leaving the children vulnerable and
likely to go for prolonged periods in life without birth certificates,” the
report continued.

RAU called on the government to ensure that the Registrar General made it
easy for people to obtain identity documents, as failure to secure them
meant that others were denied citizenship.

In recent days there have been reports of bungling at the Registrar General’s
office, with reports that the late Ian Smith is still on the voters’ roll.

Efforts to get a comment from Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede were
fruitless last week.


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

UN official urges Zim to work for peace

http://www.thestandard.co.zw

September 23, 2012 in Community News
A top United Nations official has challenged Zimbabweans to work for peace.
REPORT BY TATENDA KUNAKA & MICHAEL CHINGARANDE
Addressing delegates at the International Day of Peace commemorations in
Harare, UN resident coordinator and UNFPA representative, Basile O Tambashe
said the UN supported the strengthening of a national mechanism for
peace-building in Zimbabwe.

“United Nations is doing a great job in Zimbabwe of supporting the
strengthening of national mechanism for peace-building and for prevention,
management and conflict under the Zimbabwe UN development assistance
framework for 2012-2015,” said Tambashe.

Tambashe said the UN supported the promotion of peace and tolerance for the
betterment of society.

“Peace has to be embraced at all levels of society if development is to be
successful, leading to a sustained reduction in poverty and higher levels of
human development, “said Tambashe.
He said the organisation would remain committed in supporting Zimbabwe.

Tambashe also delivered the message of the day on behalf of the UN
secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon.

The Minister of information and Publicity, Webster Shamu, who was standing
for the guest of honour, vice-president John Nkomo, urged political leaders
to champion peace in the country.

“I am urging political leaders in Zimbabwe and across the globe to champion
peace for national development and support the work done by the UN,” said
Shamu.

Co-minister of the organ for national healing, reconciliation and
integration, Sekai Holland, said people should embrace tolerance before
challenging the local leadership to be exemplary.

The commemorations were graced by government officials, people from across
the political divide and schoolchildren.

The international day of peace was held under the theme: sustainable peace
for a sustainable future.


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Access to healthcare still a nightmare

http://www.thestandard.co.zw

September 23, 2012 in Community News
Healthcare has remained inaccessible for the majority of Zimbabweans,
although it is a basic human right.

REPORT BY DAVISON MARUZIVA
The Deputy Minister of Health and Child Welfare, Douglas Mombeshora, said
empirical evidence showed that access to vital treatment is compromised when
patients have to foot the medical bills out of their pockets.

Mombeshora made the remark during his keynote address to delegates to the
recent Association of Healthcare Funders of Zimbabwe (AHFoZ) Annual All
Stakeholders’ Conference in Victoria Falls.

“I would like to put it on record that as Government, we appreciate the
complementary efforts made by AHFoZ member societies by enabling access to
quality healthcare for the majority of the country’s workforce,” he said.

AHFoZ is not only assisting by complementing Government in making quality
healthcare accessible, it is also training medical professionals as well as
imparting skills to employees of public institutions on claims billing as an
on-going project.

The theme of the conference, held at the Elephant Hills Resort in Victoria
Falls, was Healthcare Puzzle — Finding the missing pieces.

Mombeshora said the issue of access was a cause for concern to the Ministry
of Health, adding: “As a Minister of Health, I am naturally concerned by
reports that Zimbabweans are now opting to fly to India and Malawi to access
more affordable healthcare services.”

He asked why there was such a huge discrepancy, whether there was something
wrong with the current pricing as well as how this could be corrected so
that Zimbabwe does not continue to suffer financial outflows since the
country has the relevant skills and facilities.

Samson Mugumisi, the Vice-President of the Institute of People’s Management
of Zimbabwe argued that the consumer felt cheated.

“No one is prepared to pinpoint the missing puzzle. It would be a tragedy if
at the end of your conference you do not come up with a resolution… You need
a reality check to see whether you have resolved the problem. If you have
not, then next year please do not invite anyone from our organisation,” he
said.

Roseland Jena, the Managing Director of the National Healthcare Trust of
Zimbabwe spoke on Fostering Strategic Partnerships in Healthcare. She argued
that such partnerships were critical because, from a business perspective,
successful corporations need healthy societies.

Shylet Sanyanga, the Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Health
Funders of Zimbabwe (AHFoZ), in her presentation on the Medical Aid Industry
in Zimbabwe, looked at the background of the industry, the relationship with
stakeholders, the regulatory framework, funders in service provision, the
statistics and the concerns.

Sanyanga said the majority of the population did not have insurance but that
AHFoZ was committed to be part of a process that seeks coverage of the
majority.

Authorities should consider amending the regulations to make them more
reflective of the current environment.

In the meantime, they should enforce compliance of current regulations, for
example: Section 16A (a) (b) and (c) of Statutory Instrument 35 of 2004
prohibits providers from denying service to any member carrying a valid
medical aid card or demanding advance payments from patients carrying valid
cards.

Section 14 (3) allows medical aid societies to invest in health-related
activities but prohibits them from directing patients to their own
facilities.


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Poor households get lifeline from FAO

http://www.thestandard.co.zw

September 23, 2012 in Community News
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in conjunction with the
Department For International Development (DFID) and Australian AID have
launched a US$11,5 million relief programme which will help poor households
with farming inputs.

Report By Tawanda Marwizi and Kundai Marunya
Running under the theme Improving food and nutrition security of vulnerable
households in Zimbabwe through market-based input assistance, the programme
will see small-scale farmers receiving inputs.

Speaking at the launch ceremony in the capital last week, FAO representative
in Zimbabwe, Gaoju Han said the move was aimed at contributing towards
generating income security.

“This programme intends to contribute to poverty and chronic malnutrition
reduction, increased production and productivity, and improved
commercialisation of smallholder agriculture,” said Han.

“The targeted beneficiaries of this programme are vulnerable households,
mostly based in Natural Farming regions III, IV and V”.

“A total of 60 000 smallholder farmers will be assisted during the 2012/13
agricultural season. 40 000 of these farmers will receive cropping support
with each receiving assistance valued at US$128 to which they will
contribute US$32 (20%), bringing the total value of inputs to US$160.

“The other 20 000 farmers will access livestock assistance through livestock
fairs and paper vouchers for the purchase of livestock and livestock
inputs,” said Han.

Speaking at the same occasion, DFID head Jane Rintoul said they were still
engaging the corporate world and that the famers would start receiving the
aid in October.

“A number of farmers usually complain about the time they receive farming
inputs, so for now we are working with the corporate world, then by October
we will start delivering to them,” said Rintoul.


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

‘There is no alternative to Copac draft’

http://www.thestandard.co.zw

September 23, 2012 in Politics
THE outcome of the constitution- making process is not what all Zimbabweans
are singularly happy about. It was never going to be possible to craft a
document that appeals to personal and individual interests of each of the 12
million Zimbabweans, yet it was necessary to produce a document that will
take care of the interests of all Zimbabweans as a collective.

REPORT BY QHUBANI MOYO

Coming with a document that would take care of the interests of the
collective was not going to be easy due to conflicting interests at
ideological level of political parties involved, different interests of key
stakeholders and most importantly, internal party conflicts and relations
that defined how some of the people in the crafting process behaved.

It therefore required extreme craftsmanship and national resolve to produce
a document that was ultimately signed by all the parties on July 18 2012.
For some of us who were intimately involved in the process when in wee hours
of that day the management committee members began the long but final
journey of signing each page of the 164 page draft, it was a sweet long
journey because it was signalling the end of a tumultuous three years and
marking a very new beginning.

Finally, after the years of conflicts, disagreements and compromises, the
drafting team had put aside their partisan and personal interests to pursue
the national goals. This spirit of unwavering commitment to the nation was a
sign of great patriotism that characterised the constitution-making process.

Even in deep disagreements and tough parallel positions, it was the spirit
of nationalism that guided the team. Where there was an extreme
disagreement, it was the spirit of patriotism that guided the team in
resolving the disagreements. Simply put, the working relations of the team
signalled an unwavering commitment to the nation and a clear appetite for
producing a constitution that will undoubtedly transform the lives of our
people for the best.

It is for this reason that some of us believe that despite the new
challenges facing the nation, sooner than later, sobriety will prevail,
especially among those who know the amount of commitment and sincerity that
guided the work on the draft constitution. I have no doubt that even in the
darkest hour of humanity, evil can never triumph against good.

What is desirable now is for the people of this country to go through the
draft so that they get an intimate understanding of what is contained in it.
It is our belief, as the MDC led by Professor Welshman Ncube, that if the
citizens of this country get an uninterrupted opportunity to scrutinise the
draft, they will be able to identify the good, the bad and the ugly in the
document and make informed decisions about moving forward.

This is the unalienable right of the people of this country because no
individual group can claim to be endowed with better thinking faculties than
the people of Zimbabwe combined. This is not practically possible and anyone
who thinks they are better thinkers than all the people of this country are
fooling themselves because the collective wisdom of our people will
ultimately prevail.
This is why the people of this country should get into the travelling gear
in preparation for the stakeholders conference and ultimately a referendum.
Both of these events are long overdue and the constitution-making process
has to be put back on track by allowing the last two stages to come to
fruition.

But what are the fears in our coalition partners — Zanu PF — that has caused
them to work tirelessly to try and suffocate the document which they
partially mothered?

First and foremost, it was always never the interest of Zanu PF hardliners
to embrace any form of reforms and in all times that they have participated
in the constitution-making process, they have done so because of extreme
pressure from the democratic forces of this country.

It is therefore their view that any major reform in the form of the draft
constitution, is a heavy loss to their party and the only way they can
maintain self-preservation is by setting the process on fire, in preparation
for the ultimate burning of the whole country through the Gukurahundi and
June 2008 style.

This is a group that believes in the scorched earth policy and only believes
in order out of chaos. It is this group that is bastardising the document
and deliberately misinforming the nation on the contents, including such
ridiculous claims that the draft promotes homosexuality when in fact it
protects the sanctity of the institution of marriage of men to women and
women to men.

Such blatant lies aimed at diversionary tactics by Zanu PF are a glaring
sign of how much Zanu PF disrespects the people of this country.

Truths about the draft

The fundamental truth about the new draft constitution is that it provides
the much-needed checks and balances in the exercise of state power. The
tragedy with this country’s politics is that we have given out power to one
individual with hope that they will exercise it responsibly but human nature
is not like that. Remember the old but classic adage, power corrupts and
absolute power corrupts absolutely.

So given a free reign and blank cheque in management of state affairs, human
beings can be damn dangerous. It is thus important to put in place all the
safeguards to protect both the leadership from possible gluttonous use of
power and citizens from abuse by the leadership.

The Copac draft provides a healthy balance in the exercise of executive
power between the President and Cabinet. It further provides for clearly
defined separation of powers. The era of imperial presidents with all the
powers is over and this constitution provides this much-needed balance. Most
importantly, the draft provides for a defined term of office.

The new draft constitution provides a workable and a clear frame-work for
redefinition of the social relations in our society. It provides the
legalistic framework on the im-portant subject of gender equality, in
particular how to uplift the status of women in decision-making without
creating conflict and suspicion and undermining the important role played by
their male counterparts.

It clearly provides for a future on how men and women can all be equally
represented in the governance architecture of the country, so that they are
collectively able to assist each other in the running of state affairs.

The new draft constitution pro-vides for devolution of power which addresses
the issues of equitable distribution of power, resources and national
opportunities. The issue of concentration of power on one individual and
deliberate margina-lisation of other regions has been a cause of disunity in
the country.

The only way of addressing the explosive national malaise is to empower the
local communities to run their affairs, in particular what development
priorities they want.

This constitution, through the creation of the provincial councils and
provision of appointment of a governor from a party with a majority in the
region, provides for local communities to have a say in running of the
state. This addresses the problem of some regions which for many years have
been thrown out of having a bite from the national cake.

The issue of promotion and recognition of all Zimbabwe’s languages as
national official languages given the same status is a positive state in the
right direction. For years some languages, cultures and customs have been
subject to systematic domination and annihilation.

Some communities have been looked down upon because of the undermining of
their languages, culture and customs. The definition of some languages as
official and some as peripheral have created discrimination on the basis of
language and led to marginalisation of some Zimbabwean nationals. The new
constitution thus fosters the spirit of nationalism by recognising the
diversity of the people of this country by placing equal importance on all
our languages and cultures.

There are so many clauses that make this constitution better than any other
that has been crafted before in the country. It is a perfect document for
moving Zimbabwe to new heights and as such deserves the support of all the
citizens.

As a party we remain resolutely clear that there should be no altering of
any clause, paragraph, comma or full stop in this constitutional draft. Any
changes will distort everything. For now, there is need for work to start
towards the all stakeholder’s conference and referendum. The Copac draft is
the only game in town and there is no alternative to it!


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Biti unpacks Zanu PF amendments

http://www.thestandard.co.zw

September 23, 2012 in Politics
The tragedy with the counter proposals from Zanu PF to the agreed Copac
draft of July 18 2012 is that they are legally and morally unacceptable as a
law. Never mind the basic law of a country.
They seek to perpetuate the ideology of subversion of the people’s rights,
aspirations and will. In short, they constitute judicial fascism and fascism
by any name will always be fascism.

Report By Tendai Biti
At the epicentre of the Zanu PF constitutional expurgation are three false
jurisprudential premises. The first one is that a constitution is being made
for one individual, the incumbent president Robert Mugabe. It is tragic and
blasphemous to craft a constitution for and around an individual.

The second false premise is to make a constitution based on the assumption
that the status quo ante will always be the same and that Zanu PF will
always be in power. Thus, every provision has been crafted on the basis that
Zanu PF will be here forever and has a God-given right to rule us forever.

The third premise of the Zanu PF constitution is the superimposition of
internal party positions and policies on the rest of the country. Thus, the
internal party issue of indigenisation, compulsory youth training programme,
homophobia and the hatred towards the principle of devolution. Private Zanu
PF policies were now surreptitiously being imposed on the people of
Zimbabwe. A constitution is not a battleground for party policy issues.

In my first article on the constitution published in the Zimbabwe
Independent, I posited the position that there are six principles that we
must use to judge the Copac draft of July 18. These principles are:

does it create a break with the past and establish a new order?
does it protect the people against imperial power?
does it establish and protect a clear separation of power and authority
in state structures?
does it create independent institutions, particularly, those bulking
against power and big government?
does it articulate the developmental aspirations of the people?
does it create mechanisms for state and generational succession and
regeneration?
To do justice to the Zanu PF draft, it is also important to subject the same
to the scrutiny of the above principles.

Before doing so, let me just descriptively summarise 30 major amendments
that are contained in the Zanu PF revisionist document.

1. Removed devolution entirely from the draft.
2. Re-inserted provisions proscribing the re-establishment of an elected
executive mayor.
3. Re-inserted the provisions authorising the dismissal of elected
councillors by a minister.
4. Removed the Peace and Reconciliation Commission.
5. Removed all indigenous languages from being official languages.
6. Introduced mandatory National Youth Service.
7. Removed the open, transparent and public interview process for the
appointment of judges and replaced it with a presidential appointment system
8. Done away with a Constitutional Court so the Supreme Court doubles up as
a Constitutional Court.
9. Removed the key provisions in the Copac draft providing for an
Independent Prosecuting authority and retained the office of the Attorney
General as presently constituted.
10. Banned dual citizenship for those who are Zimbabwean citizens by descent
or registration.
11. Took away citizenship granted by the Copac draft to so- called “aliens”
from the Sadc region.
12. Mutilated the Bill of Rights in many places by deleting all references
to democratic society.
13. Redefined agricultural land to include any land used for poultry and
apiculture so that they would be able to take any property used to rear
chickens or pigeons.
14. Took away the important Copac provision that restated the right of every
Zimbabwean, black, white, yellow and green, of owning any agricultural land.
15. Removed the important Land Commission whose functions were, among other
things, to audit all agricultural land and to regulate the sale or use of
any agricultural land.
16. Taken out the presidential running mate provisions and replaced them
with the current system with the new provision that in the event of the
office becoming vacant, the replacement will be chosen by the party to which
the president belonged.
17. Reposed all executive authority in the president by deleting the
provision which vested it in the president and cabinet.
18. Removed provisions in the Copac draft limiting the terms of office of
parastatal heads, service chiefs and army commanders and heads of other
government controlled institutions.
19. Restored the current presidential immunity provisions.
20. Restored the presidential power to declare war without any restraint or
constraint.
21. Made all state institutions subject to the obligation to promote and
defend the values of the liberation struggle.
22. Stripped the Speaker of the National Assembly of all administrative
powers and vested these in the Clerk of Parliament.
23. Introduced unfettered powers of the president to dissolve parliament at
his or her whim.
24. Removed provisions limiting permanent secretaries to two five-year
terms.
25. Taken out the provisions requiring a law to regulate the Central
Intelligence Organisation (CIO) and requiring the CIO to be non-partisan,
professional and national in character.
26. Inserted provisions which require independent commissions and the
judiciary as well to promote and to be guided by the ideals and values of
the liberation struggle.
27. Reintroduced the useless and failed Office of Public Protector.
28. Removed the democratic provisions for the appointment of the
Anti-Corruption Commission.
29. Put a proscription on foreign funding of political parties.
30. Put provisions that specifically criminalise homosexuality.

I now present the heresy and infamy presented by the Zanu PF amendments to
the agreed Copac draft constitution.

Does it create a break with the past and establish a new order?
With great respect, the Zanu PF draft does not in anyway create a break with
the past nor seek to establish a new legal order. On the contrary, it is
even worse than the current constitution. Its connection with the past is
that it is pre-dating the past. The current legal order in Zimbabwe is
characterised by weak institutions, predation and the concentration of power
in one office and individual.

The Copac draft sought to vaccinate against this ill-based on the
uncontestable founding principle of the supremacy of the constitution
predicated on human rights, good governance, orderly transfer of power and
gender equality. The Zanu PF draft seeks to reverse these founding
principles by the creation of a super constitutional principle known as “the
founding values and ideals of the liberations struggle”. To most of us, the
values and ideals of the liberation struggle are equality, democracy and the
rule of law, gender equality, good governance and orderly transfer of power.

By recognising other values and ideals that are beyond this, then Zanu PF
can only be referring to the values of predation, patrimonialism,
corruption, violence, state vandalism, patronage and exclusion. In fact, as
argued above, the people of Zimbabwe are better off with the Lancaster House
constitution than the Zanu PF draft. We certainly cannot go into the past.

Does it protect the people against imperial power?
In my previous article, I argued that the Copac draft dealt with imperial
power in four facets namely: a broadened definition of citizenship, a
comprehensive bill of rights, a democratic and accountable president with
shared and trimmed executive powers and the creation of security services
accountable to the constitution, parliament and the electorate. In all of
the above issues, the Zanu PF draft reverses the same and in some instances
creates a legal order that is even worse than the current status quo.

On citizenship, the biggest insult is the exclusion of persons born in
Zimbabwe from parents or grandparents that came from the Sadc region.
Zimbabwe, like South Africa, had thousands of immigrant workers from Malawi,
Zambia and Mozambique. To therefore deny them citizenship is not only bad
law but anti-regionalism and anti-panAfricanism. Moreover, denying dual
citizenship to Zimbabweans whose citizenship was acquired by descent or
registration is equally pretentious and malicious. More so, when that very
same constitution makes it clear that all citizens are equal irrespective of
whether your citizenship was acquired by birth descent or registration.

The bill of rights has been tempered with by removing any reference on its
interpretation to practices in other democratic countries. In addition,
women’s protection to their right to reproductive health has been removed.
Also, the general provision that gave everyone the right to information
including government information has been removed. Freedom of expression and
freedom of the press are now defined not to include what Zanu PF describes
as public indecency and morality. In the Copac draft, the right to privacy
included the right not to have one’s medical condition disclosed. Zanu PF
has removed this basic and fundamental right.

In addition, the right of every Zimbabwean to own land and agricultural
property has been removed.

Thus, the Zanu PF draft is weak and is fraught with hatred and concepts that
are foreign to modern jurisprudence. Perhaps the biggest crime of the Zanu
PF draft is the restoration and creation of a bigger and more monstrous
imperial president. Their president no longer shares power with Cabinet, can
dissolve Parliament at any time, appoints judges and appoints all members of
commissions. He can declare war without going to Parliament. In short, it is
a president that is above the law and the constitution itself.

The current constitution seeks to make us slaves and subjects of an imperial
president.

The Copac draft sought to reconstitute and redesign the state by creating
security services that were subject to and accountable to the constitution,
the people and the elected Executive. The Copac draft went even further to
create a public complaints body against the omissions and commissions of the
security sector. It went further to subject security chiefs like the
president to limited tenure of office of two five-year terms, a provision
that also applied to permanent secretaries, heads of parastatals and those
heading government bodies.

Zanu PF has removed all these provisions. It has created a security service
that is privately owned by the president as if Mugabe will live forever. It
has also removed the public complaints body as well as the terms of office
of security and civilian functionaries. In short, there is a vicious
protection and retention of the old order.

Does it establish and protect the clear separation of power and authority in
state structures?
Sadly, the Zanu PF draft fundamentally alters the Copac principle of clear
separation of power. In the Copac draft, the President cannot dissolve
parliament save for mandatory elections. Parliament appoints judges and
therefore there is a clear separation of authority. The office of the
Independent Prosecuting Authority ensures that the President cannot control
and politicise prosecutions. The Zanu PF draft retains everything on the
insatiable table of the imperial president. How sad.

Does it create independent institutions, particularly, those baulking
against power and big government?
The Copac draft constitution creates important independent institutions that
protect citizens. These include the Anti-Corruption Commission, the
Independent Prosecuting Authority, National Peace and Reconciliation
Commission, Zimbabwe Gender Commission. It also goes further to strengthen
existing commissions such as the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the Zimbabwe
Human Rights Commission and the Zimbabwe Media Commission.

The Zanu PF draft seriously assaults the appointment process of the
Anti-Corruption Commission and alters the powers of the Media Commission. By
removing the Independent Prosecuting Authority Zanu PF amendments seek to
propagate the Zanufication and politicisation of prosecutions.

Sadly the Zanu PF draft also removes the National Peace and Reconciliation
Commission which is critical in post conflict reconstruction and in
vaccinating against what I called the hard and soft genocide in this
country. This commission resonates with every right thinking person in
Zimbabwe. Sadly the chaos faction in Zanu PF which was responsible for
producing the constitution Frankenstein being discussed herein lives in the
past.

Does it create mechanisms for state and generational succession and
regeneration?
The Copac draft sought to do this by providing limits to state
functionaries, the president, security chiefs, members of independent
commissions and heads of parastatals. As indicated above, Zanu PF has
removed terms of limits from most of the above.

The issue of running mates, which has been tempered with, clearly guarantees
the superiority of the imperial president.

Furthermore by stating that a political party must choose which of the two
vice presidents will succeed a departing president, scenes of instability
are being sown.
Moreover, the proposed provision now creates discrimination against
independent presidential candidates. More importantly, is this no Zanu PF
way of ensuring that an individual vice president from a minority tribe in
Zimbabwe can never become president.

The Zanu PF counter draft must be rejected and dismissed with the contempt
it deserves.

What must a good constitution do?

A good constitution, like any good contractual document, must be based on
mistrust, the assumption that any individual holding power can abuse that
power. Thus, a negotiated constitution should thus act as a bulwark against
that power. Put differently, the Zanu PF Politburo should have had the
mindset of any ordinary opposition and defined the protections that they
would want to see in a constitution. Instead, they saw themselves as
permanent rulers.

Does the amended constitution articulate aspirations of the people?

Zimbabwe for many years has been subjected to uneven development. Without a
doubt, the state has produced itself through Harare and the Mashonaland
provinces. Life in Zimbabwe evolves around Harare from the application of
passports and the granting of liquor licences and other mundane tasks which
can be decentralised. To deal with this mischief, the Copac draft sought to
create a devolved state in clear recognition of the noble principle of equal
development. The Copac constitution sought to create powerful elected mayors
who could chat the developmental agenda of their communities and elected
councillors who could not be fired willy-nilly at the special instance of a
minister. Sadly, that has been removed.

The whole of Zimbabwe is undeveloped and will continue to suffer under the
weight of a dual enclave economy. Devolution is one important answer to
destroying the thick barriers of enclavity. Those who say it promotes
tribalism are being disingenuous. The whole world is replete with devolved
states.


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Banks in fresh bid to spur savings culture

http://www.thestandard.co.zw

September 23, 2012 in Business
THE banking sector has started promoting a saving culture by exempting
charges on savings products, as well as offering competitive interest rates,
a senior bank official has said.

REPORT BY KUDZAI CHIMHANGWA
This is expected to restore confidence in the sector, whose credibility had
dipped due to high bank account charges and the collapse of some banks in
the past few years.

In an interview with Standardbusiness, POSB chief executive officer, Admore
Kandlela, said fiscal authorities must enable the central bank’s lender of
last resort function, finalise the Zimbabwe dollar balances, foster policy
consistency and predictability to boost confidence in the banking sector.

“The absence of the lender of last resort function has exacerbated the
(liquidity crunch) situation as banks took a cautious approach with regards
to lending and participation on the interbank market,” Kandlela said.

He said the absence of lender of last resort has also negatively affected
confidence levels of the banking public, hence a sluggish growth in bank
deposits.

The financial sector, Kandlela said, also has high rates of non-performing
loans, resulting in high systematic and default risk.

The pervading high bank charges for sustaining bank accounts continue to
diminish the banking public’s confidence, effectively deterring them from
depositing their money in banks.

Zimbabwe had a low bank deposit base of US$3,64 billion as at July this year
from US$3,59 billion in June 2012, representing a marginal 3% increase.

Kandlela said the liquidity crunch was expected to continue throughout the
year as banks face challenges of mobilising long-term deposits for
on-lending to the productive sectors of the economy.
“We foresee the systematic and default risks continuing to cause
apprehension in the financial sector,” he said.

According to the Economic Planning and Investment Promotion Ministry,
internal savings in Zimbabwe in 2008 stood at less than 5% of investment
over Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

However, government’s blueprint, The Medium Term Plan, plans to raise the
figure from less than 10% to at least 25% of GDP over the next five years.

The latest FinScope Consumer Survey Zimbabwe 2011, which provides a synopsis
of demand for, usage of and access to financial services, noted that 31% of
adults in the country did not have a savings culture.

The survey also revealed that a substantial number of people in rural areas
only saved money outside the formal banking system due to limited banking
products being offered.

As part of efforts to tap into the consequent US$2,5 billion circulating in
the informal sector, Kandlela said POSB had introduced cellphone banking so
as to bring convenience and accessibility to reach out to the unbanked
sector.


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Poor roads inhibit tourism growth in Eastern Highlands

http://www.thestandard.co.zw

September 23, 2012 in Business
POOR road network is inhibiting the potential growth of the tourism sector
in Eastern Highlands, Nyanga, the Publicity Association vice-chairperson,
Nhemias Gurajena has said.

REPORT BY OUR CORRESPONDENT
Nyanga Publicity Association comprises hoteliers and tourism players
operating in Manicaland province.

In an interview with Standardbusiness recently, Gurajena said the Eastern
Highlands had the potential to become a hub of tourism in the country,
generating the much-needed foreign currency to revive the economy.

“We have a big challenge to have access to these sites. We have good
products, but our road network is pathetic,” said Gurajena.

“There is need for urgent rehabilitation of our road network to boost our
tourism industry.”

Gurajena said the local authority and the Department of Roads were supposed
to rehabilitate the road network, if the area was to benefit from the United
Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly to be held in Victoria
Falls next year.

Zimbabwe is co-hosting the meeting with Zambia.

It is expected that before and after the meeting, tourists would visit major
sites in the country.

Gurajena said the bad road network was making some tourist attractions such
as Mutarazi Falls, Pungwe scenic view and Nyangani Mountains, among others,
inaccessible to both domestic and international tourists.

An official from roads department in Nyanga said lack of funding and
obsolete equipment was impacting negatively on their efforts to rehabilitate
these roads.

Area manager for Parks and Wildlife Management Authority in Nyanga, Onius
Bepe, however said the Eastern Highlands continued to record an increase in
the number of tourists despite the bad state of the roads.

Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe representative in Eastern Highlands,
Tranos Moyo, said their efforts to market Nyanga as a major tourism
destination would go down the drain if roads were not rehabilitated


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

‘No deadlock in constitution-making’

http://www.thestandard.co.zw

September 23, 2012 in Politics
As the GPA constitution-making process approaches its final point whose
conclusion is made more urgent by the looming general election due within
six months under the current or a new constitution, the GPA principals
should be commended for their progressive decision to take the July 18 Copac
draft constitution and the unpublished Copac National Statistical Report to
the Second Stakeholder Conference expected to be held in the next two or so
weeks.

Report by by Prof Jonathan Moyo
The decision is significant not only because it is based on a useful
distinction between “process and content” issues surrounding the Copac draft
but also because it leaves as water under the bridge some falsehoods that
had clouded the constitution-making process with rank confusion. In this
connection, six considerations are notable.

In the first place, and notwithstanding media grandstanding by the two MDC
formations which betray their inexperience and incapacity to govern, no
deadlock has been declared in the constitution-making process by any of the
GPA parties. Everything is still on track. Indeed, all serious indications
so far are that the broad-minded amendments proposed by Zanu PF have
triggered a looming consensus among the GPA parties not least because the
amendments are supported by Copac’s unpublished National Statistical Report.

In the second place, it is now common cause that the July 18 Copac draft is
necessarily subject to amendment and that it will have to be amended if
there’s to be a referendum for a new constitution because the draft is not
only just shoddy, as has been pointed out by everyone who has read it, but
also because it does not reflect the views of the people on fundamental
issues which among others include strong support for the unitary state based
on decentralised and not devolved power; assertion of the supremacy of the
people as the makers of their constitution that serves as the supreme law of
the land; respect, promotion and defence of the values and ideals of the
liberation struggle as the most pervasive pillar of the proposed
constitution to bind all state institutions and public officials;
overwhelming opposition to homosexuality; total support for the
irreversibility of the historic land reform programme along with
indigenisation and economic empowerment; opposition to dual citizenship for
citizens by descent or registration; a meaningful and functional separation
of powers consistent with a unitary state that vests executive, legislative
and judiciary authority with the people in a manner that creates neither an
imperial nor clerical President; rejection of importing institutions such as
the so-called National Prosecuting Authority and Constitutional Court and
formidable support for traditional leaders, institutions and authority.

In third place, and even though they have the final say on whether to give
the Copac draft a green or red light, it would have been unfair and wrong
for the GPA principals to take final positions on the Copac draft
constitution without the benefit of the views of the various stakeholders
that participated in the First Stakeholder Conference out of which the
all-inclusive thematic committees were formed.

Why 2nd stakeholder conference is necessary

It is necessary for the Second Stakeholder Conference to be held in order to
enable other voices besides the GPA political parties to express their views
on the Copac draft constitution. The Second Stakeholder Conference is
therefore a very important and an unavoidable process issue that the GPA
principals must honour in terms of Article VI of the GPA regardless of their
respective positions on the content of the July 18 Copac draft constitution.
The important question about the final positions of the GPA parties on the
Copac draft will be resolved one way or the other only after and not before
or during the Second Stakeholder Conference, which will serve not as a
debating forum or decision-making body but only as a feedback platform.

GPA principals have the mandate to amend draft

By agreeing on the Second Stakeholder Conference to get feedback from
non-GPA views on the Copac draft against the background of the Copac
National Statistical Report, the GPA principals have effectively confirmed
that the July 18 Copac draft constitution is not “final” but is subject to
amendment before it goes to Parliament before and after the referendum. Only
the GPA principals can make the amendments given that Copac has finished and
submitted its draft.

In the fifth place, and arising from the foregoing and as recently confirmed
in public by the Clerk of Parliament, the constitution-making process is not
and has not been a Parliamentary process. Rather, it is and has been
entirely a GPA process. This is why its description and procedures are only
described and detailed in Article VI of the GPA signed by GPA principals and
nowhere else. There is no Standing Rule or Order of Parliament, motion in
Parliament or decision of Parliament’s Standing Rules and Orders Committee
(Sroc) establishing Copac. Indeed, it is important to note that there is no
other law establishing Copac besides Article VI of the GPA. With the
exception of Article XX, the GPA is only a political agreement between Zanu
PF and the two MDC formations and is not part of any law of the land.

The bottom line therefore is that Copac is a GPA process. This process is
accountable to the GPA principals who signed the GPA on September 15 2008.
Only the GPA principals can move the Copac process forward if and only if
there’s agreement to do that. Parliament will become involved only if the
GPA principals agree on a New Constitution Bill and when that agreed Bill is
officially tabled in Parliament by the government.

In the sixth place, and those who have jumped the gun to announce their “yes
campaigns” should take note, there is absolutely no circumstance under the
sun in which Zanu PF can be expected to support or allow the passage in
Parliament of a draft constitution that does not contain or reflect the
views of the people gathered during the Copac outreach programme as
contained in the National Statistical Report. While the two MDC formations
might have no problems with selling out as creations of foreigners, Zanu PF
is an indigenous party and has a historical duty and obligation to represent
and defend the interests and views of the people especially on something as
fundamental as a new constitution.

By the same token, only foolish people will expect President Mugabe to put
before the nation a referendum on any new constitution that he as Head of
State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces, is not
proposing. It should be clear to all and sundry that, on behalf of their
political parties, the GPA principals will have two choices after the Second
Stakeholder Conference: either to agree on some amendments to the July 18
Copac draft to incorporate the views of the people and move towards a
referendum, or agree to disagree, in which case there would be a deadlock.
If that deadlock is not resolved there will be no referendum but elections
under the current constitution.

The success of the GPA constitution-making process is still very possible
but it depends on the mutual seriousness and co-operation of the GPA
parties.

Back to the Top
Back to Index