The fight between two Zanu-PF factions and owners of the Save Conservancy
has now spilled into the courts despite attempts by Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai and Vice President Joyce Mujuru to diffuse the tension.
The European Union has warned that the latest invasion has the potential of
tarnishing Zimbabwe’s image ahead of next year’s congress of the World
Tourism Organization to be hosted by Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Environment Minister Francis Nhema drew fire from cabinet colleagues after
he handed land and hunting leases to 25 individuals, mostly senior Zanu-PF
officials, who also benefited from the country’s controversial land reforms
and other empowerment initiatives.
But Ttourism Minister Walter Mzembi accused his colleagues of “promoting
greed” and undermining one of the sectors credited with helping the country’s
Founded in 1991 and running along the Save Rriver, the conservancy is a
habitat for elephant, zebra, giraffe as well as the country’s second largest
surviving population of endangered black rhinoceros.
Nhema told VOA that the warring parties are now counter-suing each other.
E-U Ambassador to Zimbabwe Aldo Dell’Arricia said they are disturbed by the
Economist and former president of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of
Ccommerce, Luxson Zembe, said the latest invasion would affect Zimbabwe’s
Meanwhile, the Mr. Tsvangirai's party says police in Harare are trying to
block their rallies in the city claiming that a member of the MDC-T was
involved in violent activities targeting Zanu-PF supporters.
But, MDC organizing secretary Nelson Chamisa said the rally is going ahead
August 31, 2012
HARARE, Zimbabwe — In Zimbabwe, two new surveys show the popularity of
President Robert Mugabe’s party is surging while that of Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai and his Movement for Democratic Change [MDC] is going
down. Analysts say supporters of Tsvangirai have not been happy with his
efforts in a fragile power-sharing government he formed three years ago with
Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party.
Two surveys released by Freedom House and Afrobarometer on Friday said
Mugabe’s ZANU-PF would win polls ahead of Tsvangirai’s MDC. The decline of
the MDC party, which won the violence-marred 2008 elections, does not
surprise Pedzisai Ruhanya, a media and democracy doctorate student at
University of Westminster in London.
“When the MDC got into government their message was a message of change,"
said Ruhanya. "Change against what? Against bad leadership… against poor
service… against corruption. But now there is corruption, there is bad
leadership that we see in those that are in government on the side of the
MDC. People are beginning to think, 'Is this the qualitative change we were
looking at?' And they withdraw.”
The survey released by the Afrobarometer survey research project found that
an election in Zimbabwe today would result in another coalition government,
since there would be no outright winner.
In a telephone interview Rugare Gumbo, the spokesperson for ZANU-PF, said
his party was empowering people, hence its swelling popularity.
“The resources of the country, which we are giving to our people… positively
impact on ZANU-PF to [with] support,” said Gumbo.
The comment by Gumbo is a reference to the policies of "indigenizing"
foreign-owned companies and seizing white-owned farmland that Mugabe’s party
The Afrobarometer survey - entitled “Voting Intentions in Zimbabwe: A Margin
of Terror?” - said the violence that marred the 2008 polls remains an issue
in the African country.
Douglas Mwonzora, the spokesperson for the MDC, said his party would defy
findings of both the Freedom House and the Afrobarometer surveys.
“Yes, we have a number of disappointed people who thought that change was
coming, who thought our getting into power with ZANU-PF was synonymous to
running our government on our own. Those people will give us a chance to run
the government on our own,” said Mwonzora.
Mwonzora was referring to the next government that will be determined after
voting next year in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe is due to have general elections
sometime in 2013, once ZANU-PF and the MDC sort out differences over a new
constitution. Tsvangirai and the MDC have said the elections cannot take
place until the new constitution has been adopted, in order to ensure free
and fair elections.
Zimbabwe's last elections in 2008 were deeply marred by violence, most of it
by ZANU-PF supporters against perceived supporters of the MDC. Regional
leaders nullified a presidential run-off in which Mugabe claimed victory and
then was forced into a coalition with Tsvangirai, then the opposition
Tsvangirai and MDC had won the first round of the elections, the first time
in Zimbabwe’s history that the ZANU-PF lost its majority in parliament.
Harare, September 01, 2012 - A recent survey conducted by the Afrobarometer
revealed that an instant presidential race pitting President Mugabe and
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai would again be decided by a run-off poll
after the two political rivals emerged neck and neck during the survey.
According to the study, 32 percent of the 2400 Zimbabweans sampled said if
an election had been called in July this year, they were going to vote for
President Mugabe of Zanu PF, while 31 percent said they would go with the
MDC T leader.
The survey further gives Professor Welshman Ncube, leader of the smaller
formation of MDC a paltry 1 percent.
“Any future election in Zimbabwe remains too close a call,” says the report,
“No political party in Zimbabwe can afford to be complacent about an easy
“The Afrobarometer survey of popular voting intentions in July 2012 strongly
suggests that, at present, neither Zanu PF nor MDC-T could secure the
presidency without a second round run-off election.”
The survey, which had the input of the Mass Public Opinion Institute,
further, says 22 percent of those spoken to refused to disclose their
In terms of party support, the survey reveals that Zanu PF and MDC-T were
tied on 31 percent while 22 percent again refused to disclose its
Compared to the 2008 survey, the MDC-T plunged from the 57 percent support
it enjoyed then to 31 percent while Zanu PF ascended significantly from 10
percent to 31.
In terms of the individual parties’ perceived performance while in
government, a greater majority say they are happier with what Zanu PF has
achieved in stirring the country forward.
This was based on the party’s efforts in addressing issues to do with the
economy and their educational needs.
The report says more than 78 percent of people who say they are MDC-T are
still afraid of political intimidation while 47 percent of Zanu PF
supporters are among the fearful.
Although Zanu PF has a narrow advantage in terms of support, the report says
those who fear disclosing their political affiliation would however choose
to vote for MDC-T on a scale of 49 percent to Zanu PF’s 45.
MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said, unlike the Freedom House survey
which claimed his party had been upstaged by Zanu PF in terms of support,
the Afrobarometer report was a fair assessment of the situation on the
“It is a very, very good report in our view. The first difference it has
with the Freedom House report is that it deals with the issue of violence
and places sufficient weight on the effect of violence on the poll itself.
“To us as MDC-T, it tells us that we must work harder than we are currently
Mwonzora attributed the loss of voter confidence in the MDC-T’s overall
performance in government to continued sabotage by Zanu PF each time his
party tried to implement its ideas.
“They (Zimbabweans) did not anticipate the stubbornness and the
intransigence of Mugabe. They did not expect that Zanu PF would make the
implementation of the policies impossible," he said.
Afrobarometer is an independent, non partisan social science research
project organised as an African led International collaboration.
Harare, September 01, 2012 - Zimbabwe and Botswana will on Monday sign a
memorandum of agreement that will see Gaborone opening up 500 million pula
in lines of credit to revive its neighbour’s comatose industry.
Botswana pledged the lines of credit four years ago after President Robert
Mugabe formed the inclusive government with his archrival and now Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) extra-ordinary summit in
2009 urged member states to support Zimbabwe’s Short Term Emergency Recovery
Botswana’s Finance and Development Planning minister Kenneth Matambo will
visit Harare to seal the agreement.
Tshwaragano Mmereki, the spokesperson for Matamabo’s ministry said the
release of the money had been delayed by budgetary constraints.
“It was agreed that 70 percent of the facility would be earmarked for the
manufacturing sector whilst the remaining 30 percent would go towards other
sectors,” he said.
“However, some flexibility would be allowed on some projects depending on
“The two governments agreed on the principle of mutual benefit in the
implementation of the credit line facility.”
Botswana hopes to benefit by exporting goods and service to Zimbabwe.
The facility would also support joint ventures between Botswana and
Zimbabwean companies as well as investments by its nationals in Zimbabwe.
The credit facility would be a once off deal although it would be reviewed
after five years.
Zimbabwe’s manufacturing sector collapsed under the weight of the 10 year
long economic and political crisis.
The formation of the inclusive government has failed to reverse the trend
because of the continued bickering by coalition partners.
Companies in the second city of Bulawayo continue to close down due to
competition posed by cheap imports and lack of finance.
Foreign direct investment has also been low due to the uncertainty about
impending elections and a referendum on the new elections.
President Robert Mugabe wants elections held this year but SADC leaders are
insisting on credible reforms before the polls.
NEW YORK, Sept. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC called the 120-member
Non-Aligned Movement's unqualified and unanimous support for Iran's nuclear
program "a dark day for humankind that will further undermine the UN
Security Council and endanger global security."
Endorsement of Iran's right to a full nuclear fuel cycle to enrich uranium
was included in the lengthy NAM summit final declaration, adopted yesterday.
The heads of state from at least 29 countries, including Afghanistan, India,
Iraq, Pakistan, Qatar and Zimbabwe, participated, as well as UN Secretary
General Ban Ki-moon. Other countries were represented at lower levels.
"There are no two ways about it. NAM essentially endorsed an Iranian regime
that, despite repeated and binding UN Security Council resolutions, has
relentlessly pursued the capability to produce nuclear weapons," said AJC
Executive Director David Harris.
"Adding to the shock, NAM stood with Iran just a day after the UN's
International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed that Iran has accelerated its
program, installing many more enrichment centrifuges in recent months, and
refusing to disclose details on current and planned activities at nuclear
research and development sites across the country," said Harris.
AJC reiterated its deep misgivings about Secretary General Ban's decision to
attend the NAM summit in Tehran. Moreover, while the UN leader condemned
threats to destroy another UN member state, he missed a golden opportunity
while on Iranian soil by not citing Iran by name as the author of the
"But most telling of all was the stark, sobering fact that not a single NAM
member -- not one -- walked out of the hall when Iran's leaders again
threatened to annihilate Israel," said Harris. "To the contrary, they
unanimously endorsed a nuclear program that, if left unimpeded, will provide
Iran the means to achieve its genocidal goals. Shame!"
SOURCE American Jewish Committee
PR Newswire (http://s.tt/1mh04)
Zimbabwe's Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku has called on political leaders
to preach peace and shun violence ahead of general elections widely expected
sometime next year.
Addressing a police pass-out parade in Harare Thursday, the chief justice
also urged ordinary members of the public to live in harmony despite their
Chidyausiku was quoted by state radio as saying: “Let me take this
opportunity to sincerely appeal to all Zimbabweans to demonstrate that we
are a united people by shunning all forms of violence in the forthcoming
The country is still traumatized by the 2008 election violence that left
more than 400 people dead - most of them supporters of the Movement for
Democratic Change. A few Zanu PF members were also killed.
In recent months, President Robert Mugabe has spoken strongly against
violence - at one time joining his rivals, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
and Industry Minister Welshman Ncube in a peace rally.
But simmering tensions have persisted, resulting in an outbreak of sporadic
violence in several parts of the country over the past months, including the
Mr. Mugabe had insisted on early elections this year, citing the
dysfunctional unity government. But he has since scaled back his push after
meeting stiff resistance from both the MDC and regional leaders.
Lawyer Matshobana Ncube of the Bulawayo-based human rights lawyers' group,
Abammeli, told VOA remarks by Chidyausiku should be taken seriously to avoid
another bloody election.
SATURDAY, 01 SEPTEMBER 2012 13:55
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has scoffed at statements by Zanu PF Copac
co-chairperson Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana that he did not sign the draft
constitution but only put his initials, saying Mangwana was trying to
mislead the nation and Sadc.
Speaking at a civic society meeting in Harare on Thursday, Tsvangirai said
even though Mangwana argues that he only put initials, the under-fire Zanu
PF Copac co-chairperson actually signed the draft that was later presented
to Speaker of the House of Assembly Lovemore Moyo, Senate President Edna
Madzongwe and then to Tsvangirai, President Robert Mugabe and MDC leader
“An initial is a signature and we have a signed document — not an initialled
document — that all the parties even took to the Speaker of Parliament,” he
“What I know is that there is a signed document and not an initialled one as
he is alleging.
“What we know is we have a document signed by the three parties.”
Zanu PF sources said Mangwana succumbed to pressure from party hardliners
who were lighting fire under his chair, accusing him of selling out to the
His fierce critics include politburo member Jonathan Moyo, who has labelled
Copac “a mafia”.
Mangwana recently referred to Moyo and Zanu PF technical adviser in Copac
Godwills Masimirembwa as “angels of the devil” for claiming people’s views
were ignored in the draft.
The sudden U-turn by the former minister has also exposed sharp divisions in
the party over the draft constitution.
Speaking at a Crisis Coalition in Zimbabwe-sponsored dialogue in the capital
on Thursday, Mangwana surprised all by saying he never signed the draft.
“We never signed the draft constitution. We merely initialled to say this is
how far we have come,” he said.
“The people said something and the statistics came out, but my colleague
(MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora) could not sign to make the statistics
“Zanu PF did not come up with a fresh new document. It has suggested
amendments to the Copac draft."
“What the President presented to the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime
Minister is the Copac draft incorporating Zanu PF amendments."
“So we have one draft, but what Zanu PF will not agree to is to ignore the
views of the people. On the issue of devolution, 71% of the people said they
wanted a unitary state, 33% said they wanted governors appointed by the
President whilst 19,9% said they wanted governors directly elected.”
Saturday, 01 September 2012 14:26
BULAWAYO - Zapu President Dumiso Dabengwa said the late Vice President
Joshua Nkomo would be very happy with the Constitutional Select Committee
(Copac) draft constitution although it needs to be polished up.
“There are several positive formulations in the current draft. Actually from
a Zapu point of view this draft has captured many issues covered in the
manifesto under which Dr Joshua Nkomo campaigned in 1980 such as the land
question and livelihoods of Zimbabweans.
“Other areas in which we note positives are provisions for proportional
representation, possibility of dual citizenship, neutrality and
professionalism of the civil service, guaranteeing free and fair elections,
promotion and increased protection of human rights and freedoms. These areas
need strengthening through the inputs of stakeholders in the next round,”
Dabengwa told journalists in Bulawayo on Wednesday.
Dabengwa blasted Zanu PF for rejecting the Copac draft constitution at the
last minute and for trying to block the inclusion of “devolution of power”
in the new constitution.
“On devolution, Zanu PF has instead stuck to variations of decentralisation,
essentially emphasising the control of the centre which is Harare.
“In the outreach exercise the majority of Zimbabwe pronounced in favour of
devolved structure of government,” he said.
The Zapu president said he has high hopes on the Sadc facilitation team’s
ability to resolve the current impasse between the Zanu PF and the MDCs over
the Copac draft constitution and allow a referendum to go ahead.
Despite putting their signature to a draft constitution agreed to by
negotiators from all three parties in Copac, Zanu PF politburo carried out
its own “audit” and is now seeking to amend the draft.
According to Justice minister and Zanu PF negotiator Patrick Chinamasa the
proposed amendments by his party seek to clarify the “grey areas” left by
the Copac Management Committee.
Saturday, 01 September 2012 14:28
HARARE - Operators of minibuses in Zimbabwe’s capital have officially lodged
a police report against Zanu PF Harare youth chairperson Jimu Kunaka and his
Chipangano militia for allegedly extorting money from minibus drivers.
The Greater Harare Commuter Omnibus Operators Association are convening a
meeting at 4th Street terminus today to find ways of forcing authorities to
order a crackdown on members of the deadly Chipangano militia.
There are suggestions to withdraw their vehicles to protest an escalation of
extortion activities by the outlawed Chipangano sect members using ruthless
Every minibus departing a terminus under Chipangano is required to pay $2 to
the mafia-like gang while those going to far-flung places such as Ruwa are
required to fork out $3.
In a day, the militia is said to be raking over $30 000.
The multi-million dollar minibus taxi industry carries over 60 percent of
Zimbabwe’s commuters and the industry is almost entirely made up of
16-seater buses called “kombi” which are sometimes unsafe or not roadworthy.
The minibus operators approached Zanu PF secretary for administration
Didymus Mutasa two weeks ago who reportedly told them that the former ruling
party was not running the extortion ring, and told them the party made its
money from selling membership cards not from bus termini.
Mutasa reportedly disowned Chipangano. That is when the operators decided to
approach the police.
Brian Zindere, vice chairperson of the operators’ association, confirmed to
the Daily News that they lodged a police report at the Harare Central Police
Station on Tuesday, under reference number RRB 151.
Zindere said they wanted police to help them stop Chipangano from extorting
money from kombi drivers.
The Chipangano militia has been blamed for macabre beatings and extortion
and also controls all minibus ranks in Mbare and in the city.
Last week on Monday, police questioned Kunaka in connection with a shoot-out
by the militia in a stand-off with municipal police over the demolition of
illegal car sale yards in the city.
Kunaka and the owner of the illegal car sales company, believed to be a
second wife of a senior provincial Zanu PF official, were questioned by
detectives at the Law and Order Section of the Harare Central Police Station
and freed without charge.
Police sources said head of the sect, Kunaka, has been put on a police watch
Kombi operators demanded the arrest and prosecution of Kunaka and Fanwell
Dera, a minibus operator who is alleged to be part of the extortion ring,
accusing them of inciting Chipangano members to harass and extort money from
them, which they both vehemently denied yesterday.
Dera said the allegations of extortion were being fabricated by Wilbert
Zhakata, who was deposed as chairperson of the Urban Transporters
Association of Zimbabwe, another association of minibus operators.
“Zhakata was removed through a vote of no confidence because he doesn’t own
any kombi, so he was bitter and he is fabricating all these charges,” said
Dera, who was Zhakata’s deputy.
He said he had his own fleet and was not involved in the so-called extortion
racket. He said the rank marshals were demanding money from the drivers out
of their own volition and he had nothing to do with it.
But the operators insisted Kunaka and Dera incited the dreaded Chipangano
members to harass and extort from all kombis on the road.
If police fail to act on the extortion, the operators are threatening to
paralyse transport in Harare by pulling kombis off the road until the law
enforcement agency takes action.
However, Kunaka denied the allegations. He said the operators had fabricated
the accusations and that he was not involved in any extortion ring.
“I don’t run chihwindi (the touting business), I’m a (Zanu PF) provincial
chairman,” Kunaka told the Daily News. “I deal with structures of the party.
These allegations are being made by agents of the MDC who are trying to
tarnish my image. I will not lose focus. There are ranks operated by MDC
people, Hatfield, Waterfalls, why are they not talking about them?”
Kunaka said he had protected the minibuses after Harare mayor Muchadeyi
Masunda threatened to ban kombis and introduce buses from India.
“They should be thanking me, not this,” he charged.
He said the rank marshals deserved to be paid for loading the minibuses, but
denied that he was the recipient of the cash.
“I am a businessman in my own right, handisi hwindi (I am not a tout),” he
The kombi drivers and conductors yesterday expressed concern that Kunaka and
Dera were inciting the criminal gang to harass them and extort money.
But Dera said it was foolhardy for anyone to think that rank marshals can
spend the whole day shouting themselves hoarse only to hand the money to
But one operator who sought anonymity, said: “Most of us are trying to pay
back bank loans and it is unfair to allow this lawlessness to continue where
people claiming to be in the service of Zanu PF incite Chipangano to take
our hard-earned money from us. We will pull back our vehicles until the
police deals decisively with this cartel.”
Asked what they will do if police fail to act, he retorted: “We are still
consulting and if Chipangano is allowed to harass us as police fold their
hands, then commuters should brace themselves for tough times.”
THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is finalising plans to set up an Ombudsman's
Office for the country banking industry to help curb growing irregularities
in the sector.
The country’s banking industry has been rocked by a series of scandals in
recent years, some of which have resulted in bank closures.
Two banks were closed this year alone after operational irregularities were
detected by the Central Bank, and scores of other quasi-financial services
companies were similarly shut down.
Officials said the Ombudsman's Office for the industry would mainly focus on
protecting the banking public from unscrupulous bankers and banks.
In the scandals that have rocked the sector, depositors have lost vast sums
Bankers' Association of Zimbabwe (BAZ) President George Guvamatanga said the
establishment of the Ombudsman's Office had been agreed with the Central
Bank, and would help restore the public's confidence in the industry.
Most Zimbabweans, after losing their savings, prefer to keep their money
under their mattresses at home instead of it in the country’s banks.
As a result, it is estimated that more than three quarters of money in
circulation in the country is held outside the banking system.
“The Ombudsman’s Office will be an independent body where the banking public
can go for arbitration if they are not satisfied with the outcome of their
complaints,” Guvamatanga said.
Central Bank Deputy Governor Kupikile Mlambo said the concept of the
Ombudsman's Office for the banking industry was working well in other
“It is a very good thing that gives the public some security because they
will have somewhere to report malpractices. At the Central Bank we do not
have systems to deal with such matters at the moment,” he said.
“We want the public to have confidence in the banking sector. Right now the
public does not trust the banking system."
Villagers in Chipinge South in Manicaland have complained bitterly over the
taking over of their land for the Chisumbanje Ethanol plant.
Speaking on condition of anonymity this week, one resident said many of the
villagers were displaced to make way for the sugar plantation yet the ARDA
field is not being utilized.
“Why was the war fought for? Why did we struggle? Why did we lose our
relatives? We heard that land is being redistributed for the black people,
but now the land is being taken from the blacks and given to Billy
Rautenbach. We have lost everything, including our livestock because we no
longer have the pastures or land to farm,” the irate villager said.
ARDA has 5100 hectares, which Macdom, Rautenbach’s company running the
Chisumbanje Ethanol project, should have taken over in terms of the Build,
Operate and Transfer agreement (BOT). However, only 2 400 hectares of the
available hectorage have been utilized for the sugarcane production. That
company went on to take 3 500 hectares from the surrounding communal lands
displacing hundreds of people.
Hon Mangoma, the Minister of Energy and Power Development said the issue of
Chisumbanje should not be politicised, but the law should be upheld.
“The illegal displacement of families should stop. The villagers are
seething, because their communal lands have been taken. Yes, we authorized
the use of ethanol to blend fuel, but we cannot make it mandatory that all
fuel in Zimbabwe should be blended. Whoever wants to fill their vehicles
with blended fuel, they can do so at service stations, while those who
prefer unleaded do so as well,” he said.
Hon Mangoma said it is prudent to give the people the freedom to choose the
fuel they want to use in their vehicles.
Rautenbach is a controversial business man with strong links in Zanu PF. In
the 1990’s he was wanted in South Africa where he faced hundreds of charges
of alleged fraud, corruption and other crimes including his connection with
his own South African company named Wheels of Africa Group.
Meanwhile, the MDC will over the weekend continue with peace rallies across
the country as a way of keeping the country informed on recent developments.
The rallies are meant to update the people on what is happening concerning
the draft constitution and many other positive developments undertaken by
the MDC since the inception of the Inclusive Government as well as the
hindrances the party has faced in the same period.
Hon Tendai Biti will on Sunday address a rally at Nyamakate Shopping centre
in Hurungwe North, Mashonaland West Province.
In Masvingo, the provincial leadership will hold two rallies in Gutu North
at Chinyika Business Centre and at Zimuto sidings Business Centre in
Masvingo North Constituencies tomorrow.
Saturday, 01 September 2012 14:03
Prophet Victor Boateng (left) arrives at the Harare International Airport on
HARARE - There was commotion at the Harare International Airport as
travellers and airport officials jostled to catch a glimpse of prophets
Emmanuel Makandiwa and Uebert Angel who were at the terminal to receive
their spiritual father Prophet Victor Kusi Baoateng.
Prophet Boateng jetted into Zimbabwe on Thursday to attend the Man World
Convention co-hosted by Makandiwa’s United Family International Church
(UFIC) and Angel’s Spirit Embassy.
Clad in a floral shirt and blue jeans, Boateng waved to the bystanders as he
made his way to a blue Rolls Royce waiting for him outside the Arrivals
James Chimwale, a Malawian national who was on the same flight with Boateng
said he did not realise the kind of person he had travelled with.
“I was with him on the same plane. I should have known the kind of person I
was with and at least spoken to him,” he said.
“At least I was on the same plane with him. May be I will find another
opportunity to be close to him if we happen to be on the same flight back or
else I have to come to the conference I heard he is coming to attend.”
While Chimwale was not sure he would get another chance to be close to
Prophet Boateng, Kudakwashe Dzinorwei, said he was going to the conference.
“From here I am going to City Sports Centre for the evening service. I can
feel it that the Man of God has my word and by just being there, I will be
able to hear what God says about me,” he said.
The Man World Convention began on Wednesday and is ending today. The
convention centre has been creatively decorated with a tractor on one side
and a Range Rover and a sports car parked right next to the stage.
Prophet Makandiwa set the tone for the conference when he taunted men in a
no-holds-barred sermon titled “The Creative Man”.
In the sermon, Prophet Makandiwa told men they are to blame for every
unpalatable situation they found themselves in, adding that every person had
a solution to his problems right inside them.
“God has given you the ability to continue with the creation. Create the
world that you desire, create the environment that you want to enjoy,” he
told thousands of men who gathered at the City Sports Centre.
He also took a dig at men who hopped from one woman to the other likening
them to demons.
“There are moments when you can work as a demon in the life of your wife.
The woman is good as long as she is not yours and once she becomes yours,
she will begin to deteriorate.
“That is how demons work. They choose the fittest person as good shelter but
once they enter him, the person begins to shrink and the demon begins to
look for a better person.
“They seem not to realise that once they get into anyone, that person begins
to deteriorate. That is how some men are,” Makandiwa said.
Gweru mayor Tedius Chimombe has vehemently denied charges of corruption that
led to his dismissal from the Movement for Democratic Change party last
week, vowing he will not step down.
Chimombe was fired together with eleven other councilors from the Movement
for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in what
the party said is a crackdown on graft within its ranks.
Party secretary for local government Sesal Zvidzai told VOA that Chimombe
and Harare deputy mayor Emmanuel Chiroto and the other councilors were
dismissed for “thieving around land and seriously amassing wealth.”
But Chimombe hit back saying the committee that was set-up by Zvidzai to
probe the corruption allegations never interviewed him.
Chimombe said he was not asked to appear before a disciplinary committee.
He accused Zvidzai - a former mayor of Gweru - of causing intra-party
divisions in the Midlands city in order to gain political mileage.
He said six months ago, the councilors were probed by the local government
ministry for “everything, the same allegations which have been investigated
by the party, and we were found not guilty by the ministry.”
“It is actually politics games because we are not in good books with him,”
Chimombe said, noting that "Zvidzai wants to contest in Gweru urban but I
will say no to Zvidzai in Gweru.”
However, Zvidzai insisted that “12 bad apples have been thrown into the
rubbish pit” after thorough investigations were conducted by the party. He
defended his committee - led by former Minister Fidelis Mhashu - as
Zvidzai had no kind words for Chimombe. He said his party was shocked to
find that “a street kid, who had just become a mayor, who neither had
toothpaste nor toothbrush has got a fleet of vehicles now and expensive
He also dismissed Chimombe’s claims that he had not been notified of his
expulsion saying the mayor was informed about his sacking by phone. “He has
been invited to Harare to collect the letter notifying him of the
expulsion,” he added.
Meanwhile, the party said in a statement: “The action taken by the MDC
leadership will be intensified across the country to reclaim Zimbabwe’s
self-respect; a climate of accountability; and push for zero tolerance on
corruption and all evils.”
The dismissed councilors from Harare are Emmanuel Chiroto, Peter Marange,
Phumulani Musagwiza and Xavier Vengesai. From Gweru – Tedius Chimombe,
Clemence Kwaru and Holly Dzuda.
Those dismissed from Bindura are Ivory Matanhire, Vengai Mudadi and Rickson
Kaseke. Their colleagues Alois Zhou and Johannes Ngozo are from Zvishavane
and Kwekwe respectively.
Zvidzai said the party will forward its findings to the police.
Political commentator Nkululeko Sibanda of the UK-based Huddersfield
University said the MDC-T should now put pressure on Zanu PF to put in place
a much stronger anti-corruption directorate that will independently look
into rampant corruption in the country.
by Brian Paradza
ZIMBABWE has lost billions of dollars in potential revenue as government
officials give away the country’s vast mineral wealth on the cheap due to
corruption and sheer incompetence, an economic and governance expert has
Citing the stalled Essar takeover of Ziscosteel and disputes over diamond
mining concessions as well as the Green Fuel ethanol project, Titus
Gwemende, told a recent public meeting on contract transparency in Harare
that there was a “worrying lack of expertise” on contract negotiation within
Gwemende said ministers have signed-off poorly drafted investment contracts
which bring little benefit to the country, resulting in controversies which
have either ended up stalling the projects or costing the country billions
of dollars in potential revenue.
“You are as rich as your investment contract. Getting a contract right
involves having a balanced negotiating structure between investors and the
host state. Negotiation capacity is critical. In Liberia at the moment is
revising all the contracts to ensure they benefit the Liberians,” Gwemende
Despite being touted as one of the world’s biggest diamond finds in recent
years and a possible source of at least US$2 billion in annual revenues for
the country, the coalition continues to bicker over the Marange diamond
Finance Minister Tendai Biti recently cut back his revenue projects for 2012
saying about US$600 million promised from diamond sales was not forthcoming.
Biti and his MDC-T party claim that the Marange diamond mining deals in
which the government partners some private companies are murky and of little
value to the country.
Again, the US$750 million takeover of Ziscosteel by Essar Holdings has
stalled after government ministers discovered that they may have handed the
Indian company a US$30 billion asset on the cheap.
Equally, the US$600 million ethanol project teeters on the brink of collapse
as ministers haggle, among various other issues, over the company’s land
deals with the agricultural parastatal, ARDA.
Environment Law Association Director, Mutuso Dhliwayo, said it was ironic
that government officials dismiss civil society groups as “sell-outs” when
cabinet ministers were presiding over the plunder of the country’s mineral
wealth through dodgy investment deals.
“How can you possibly explain a situation where you have a deal which gives
an investor iron ore reserves worth over US$30 billion and, in return, the
government only gets US$700 million,” he said.
“We need to seriously look at these investment agreements as a country.”
African Parliamentary Network Against Corruption member, Willias Madzimure,
said major investment deals should be subjected to Parliamentary scrutiny
before they are concluded instead of the current situation where the
legislative body merely rubber-stamps decisions made by ministers.
“Parliamentary Portifolio Committees should be favoured with the draft
agreements before the deals are concluded so that they can scrutinise them
and make recommendations,” he said.
by Staff Reporters
SUPA Mandiwanzira, who was controversially awarded one of two commercial
radio licences, has said it was his democratic right to support a political
party of his choice but insisted this would not influence his station’s
Mandiwanzira’s ZiFM and Star FM, owned by the state-run Zimbabwe Newspapers
group, were awarded licences to run commercial radio stations by the
Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) in a decision critics say
entrenches Zanu PF’s control of the country’s media landscape.
Media reform activists and other political parties said BAZ’s decision flew
in the face of calls for diversity and plurality in the sector since Zanu PF
already retains a stranglehold over the Zimpapers group and the Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) while Mandiwanzira, a former president of
empowerment pressure group AAG, also has strong links with the party.
However, Mandiwanzira told a public meeting in Harare this week that it was
his right to support any political party of his choice adding the licence
was awarded to a company and not an individual.
“Many people claim I have close links with Zanu PF but those who are saying
that have not come to ask me whether I support the party or not,” he said.
“But if they think that I do, I guess the answer is that it is my democratic
right as it is with everybody else to support a political party of their
Mandiwanzira angrily denied allegations he had been awarded the licence
because of his links with Zanu PF and insisted that his supposed political
associations would not influence programming at the station.
“(The allegation) is nonsensical. I do not need to move around saying I am
this or that; I am Supa Mandiwanzira and that is my brand; that is my
identity and our presenters, on and off air, have their own identities as
individuals,” he said.
“I do not have to prove to anyone that I am not Zanu PF or MDC. I have to
prove to the public that I am running a successful commercial radio station.
I was never given the licence. AB communications won the licence in a
bidding process that was very competitive and included some of the
heavyweights in the sector.
“The identity of an individual cannot be an identity of the (radio) station.
So we make a clear distinction on what Supa Mandiwanzira represents as a
brand and what the station represents as ZiFM Stereo. The station is not
going to be influenced by an individual or political party or media group.
We are going to be independent.”
The two licences were awarded as part of reforms aimed at breaking the
monopoly of the ZBC which has dominated the country broadcast industry since
independence in 1980.
The process, however, drew fire from media reform activists who dismissed it
as a farce with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC-T party
demanding that the licences be revoked.
Still, Mandiwanzira said instead of questioning the supposed political links
of individuals associated with the two stations, activists shoud welcome the
fact that the country now had two privately owned radio stations and push
for more to be allowed to operate.
“This is the first time a privately owned radio stations has been licensed
so it is adding to diversity. This time last year you had four radio
stations and this year you have six radio stations,” he said.
“So don’t make noise about those who are advancing the growth of the
industry but must clamour for the opening of more stations because there is
still room for improvement.”
By Herbert Mugwagwa
Published: September 1, 2012
In the meantime, we need to momentarily remove our eyes and attention from
the constitution and project into the future and focus on nation-building.
There are issues any post-election government will have to look at and try
We shall attempt to look at these issues bit by bit until after the
elections next year.
One of these issues is that of accommodation. I shall try to look into the
past and see what lessons can be learnt and how we can do our things in
future, for our people, even for posterity.
People need decent accommodation for protection against the elements (wind,
rain and the sun) as well as to raise their families in. Good accommodation
gives one dignity and great self-esteem. Lets take a glimpse into the past
and see how the Smith regime dealt with this problem for we could possibly
draw lessons from it. If there is an area in which Ian Smith excelled, it
was in infrastructural development and the provision of decent accommodation
in spite of debilitating UN mandatory sanctions. The man built a robust
economy (second only to that of South Africa in Africa and better than
Portugal’s in Europe) and all his development programmes rode on it.
It must be mentioned that as late as 1967, places like Waterfalls and
Hatfield in Harare had thatched (grass-roofed) houses that were not
well-built. Although he was persuaded by a racist mentality(which should be
condemned), he did well in his task. Harare, for example, was demarcated
into four sections (northern for whites-when you drove to work in the
morning the sun was behind you; when you drove back in the late afternoon,
it was still behind you. Then western area-for Asians, mostly Indians;
eastern area for coloureds and southern for blacks).
Within a short space of time (fourteen years), a real backward settler
country had been transformed into a modern state. In black townships, for
example, bachelors were accommodated in hostels like Matapi but once
married, they moved to married quarters at no cost at all.
Home-ownership schemes were started and beautiful homes sprung up. In terms
of provision of houses, he did more in thirteen years than what our own
black government has done in thirty-three years! And its painful and not
At independence we had the most promising leadership in the whole world
(even Margret Thatcher in Britain could not boast such a cabinet-educated
(with doctorates), smart, cosmopolitan,etc.) As singer Gray Doby says, we
had it all. The rest is history. We failed even to service the land to give
our people stands!
So where racist Ian Smith was able to give complete houses free of charge,
we failed to give even vacant lots with piped water! In Chitungwiza, for
example, we were able to build flats at Unit B at the owners’ cost(which is
alright), Unit G Extension was the initiative of local businessmen and Unit
L Chigumba was built by local people under the auspices of Christopher
Most houses built after independence are actually illegal structures built
on unserviced stands. The picture shows a five-bedroomed house, main ensuite
with an ultra modern kitchen, dinning room, lounge and lock-up garage-but
all the same, an illegal structure! These illegal structures have sprung up
for three reasons:
-1. Lack of governmental pre-planning which means availing serviced stands
to people at cost or no cost at all.
-2. Lack of governmental control and unwillingness to discipline corrupt
councillors. Some councillors have been selling stands (il)legally for
anything between US$2500 and US$6000. Of these great amounts, only about
$250 goes to the councils for administrative purposes. The rest is pocketed
by the corrupt councillors and council officials.
- 3. People are truly desperate for land to develop and the hard-working
Zimbabweans have money. The trend all over the world, however, is not to go
spatial in terms of building but to go aerial.
This results in the economy of land which can be used for productive
purposes. For now, and even after elections, we need a feeling, sympathetic
and empathetic government that does not demolish people’s houses without
providing alternative accommodation.
In Harare, just opposite Irvine’s Farm, a certain political party, in
typical gerrymendering fashion, is encouraging the construction of shacks.
But for next year: WANTED is a government with modern intellectual
requirements, one that matches the Zimbos’ hunger and thirst for
development, that does not hamper, but facilitates development, that is
corrupt free, non-racial, non-tribal, non-corrupt and incorruptible, gives
equal opportunity, previous governmental experience not necessary,
liberation war participation not necessary.
Any Zimbo party should send in their CV’s to Zimbos before 31 March 2013.
Those who are violent and who use foul language will be disqualified. Zimbos
abroad are encouraged to apply. The address is: ZIMBOS AT HOME, P.O.
Zimbabwe, Zambezi to Limpopo, Chipinge to Plumtree
September 1, 2012, 10:33 am
Dear Family and Friends,
It’s red in Zimbabwe at the moment, all shades of cool, warm and hot red. A
fortnight earlier than last year the Musasa trees have thrown off all their
old dusty leaves and announced spring. In a perfect artists palette the
colours of the new leaves range from a soft delicate pink to shimmering
orange, hot crimson and deep earthy red. Underfoot is a carpet of Musasa
pods, curled, split, furry inside with little shiny circles where the seeds
lay before being ejected far and wide. Spring doesn’t come quietly in
Zimbabwe, our days filled with the explosions of cracking pods and shiny
brown seeds rattling on roofs and pinging against windows. The not so nice
red also filling our lives at the moment are the clouds of red dust that
lift up, rearrange themselves and then settle on everything below. No sooner
do you wipe off one layer than another one settles. Then there are the blood
red sunsets which announce the end of almost every day at this time of year.
Not long before reaching the horizon and as it sinks through the dust and
ash of countless uncontrolled fires, the sun suddenly turns bright red. You
don’t have long to watch it, less than ten minutes, before its gone leaving
a sky streaked with pink and orange and gold.
Watching a blood red sunset this week I was struck by the commonest sight at
this time of year which tells so much about life in Zimbabwe. Its taken less
than a decade of turning a blind eye by an urban municipality for a fragile
and delicate wetland to be unashamedly taken over by a couple of dozen
people. Unchecked and uncontrolled, anyone who feels like it has
apportioned themselves little plots all over the wetland. Every year the
trees and shrubs decrease and retreat as places are cleared for cultivation.
In the last four years while town authorities have squabbled over politics
and jostled for position, the last of the precious indigenous herbs, sedges
and water purifying plants have been eradicated from the wetland. Gone too
because their habitat was destroyed are the countless birds, insects,
reptiles and mammals that make up the particularly special diversity of
wetlands. Nature’s own unique water storage and purification system has been
replaced with strips and squares of kitchen gardens. Here everyone does
their own thing. One woman has dug two shallow wells from which she waters
a few lines of green vegetables. Another has scooped out a waterhole where
she does laundry for herself and others, the soapy scum draining into the
ground, seeping into what’s left of the stream. Others have chopped down
decades old Musasa trees and planted sugar cane in their place. Every day
fires are started and left to burn, consuming everything in their path,
exposing yet more land.
In front of a deep red Musasa tree and with a blood red sun setting behind
him, I watched a man bent over his hoe, turning the soil in a newly exposed
square on the outer edges of the wetland. As the sun dropped into one
horizon, a spectacular full moon rose on the other, so big and so close you
felt if you reached out you could touch it. In the same week that the first
man to walk on the moon died, another man toiled in the dust beneath it,
hardly seeming to notice the splendour around him or even realising the
damage he was doing. The tragic irony is that while fragile urban wetlands
are being destroyed, the country continues to import 80% of its food needs
and all along the country’s highways mile after endless mile of seized farms
stand underutilized, un-worked and derelict.
The colour red has infected our politics this week too. A ‘deadlock’ has
been declared over the draft constitution. Mudslinging and insults fill the
local media while SW Radio Africa broadcasts are being jammed again. For
the thirteen year in a row, political fighting has reached fever pitch at
the very time of year when every attention should be on the land: preparing
fields, stocking up on inputs, getting ready for the rains and growing
enough food to feed the country. Will we ever learn? Until next time, thanks
for reading, love cathy.
September 1, 2012, 4:30 am
We were told this week that the results of the census will be announced
at the end of the year. Those figures will show the racial composition of
Zimbabwe’s population and we will see just exactly how many whites are left
in ‘Mugabe’s Zimbabwe’ - as he likes to think of it. He and his Zanu PF have
certainly done all they can, short of actually expelling them, to ensure
that whites feel unwelcome in the land of their birth. I was still living in
Zimbabwe when the farm invasions began and I well remember driving into
Harare from my home in Murehwa and seeing one of the highly productive farms
that had been renamed ‘Black Power Farm’. It was around the same time there
were war veterans from their headquarters in Murehwa town toi toi- ing past
my house in the dead of night. Mugabe was intoning his hymn of hate even
then, the truth is that the tune has never really changed in all the years
Zimbabwe has been an independent black African country. Mugabe and Zanu PF
are no less racist than the white supremacist Smith regime; the only thing
that has changed is the colour of the dominant key.
It is no coincidence that the people who have invaded the Save Valley
Conservancy are Zanu PF supporters. They acted, they say, in the name of
‘black empowerment’ and, Mugabe’s declaration that conservancies are
‘dominated by whites’ no doubt spurred them on. It may well be true that
white people were prominent in animal conservation but there is no evidence
that those same whites enriched themselves excessively in the process. Their
motives appear to have been genuine concern for Zimbabwe’s natural resources
and a desire to conserve the animals and their environment. The same cannot
be said of the new land invaders; the 25 men who invaded the Save Valley
Conservancy led by two Zanu PF MPs whose motives are clearly political. They
have vowed that they will not move from the Conservancy; they are
‘correcting colonial imbalances’ they say. The Conservancy replies that 2/3
of their shareholders are in fact black. White or black, it is tragic that
the fate of innocent animals is caught up in this racist one-up-manship.
The invasion of the Save Valley Conservancy has caused widespread
dismay and the prediction that if it happened it would risk western business
investment in the country is proving correct. International conservation
circles have expressed their profound alarm and diplomats have said that the
invasion might lead to withdrawal of UN support for the World Tourism
Conference due to be held in Zimbabwe next year. The EU has threatened to
withdraw all aid from Zimbabwe if the invasion of the world-renowned Save
Valley Conservancy is not stopped. Money is short everywhere and, as hunger
worsens in Zimbabwe, there are already signs that the appeal to aid agencies
for funds is not yielding the anticipated results. In a related development,
it has been announced that Zimbabwe has no funds to move animals to Victoria
Falls where the conference will be held. Animal numbers in the Vic Falls
Game Park have fallen considerably owing to drought and the organisers of
the World Tourism Conference had wanted to show the international delegates
a sample of the magnificent wild life to be seen in Zimbabwe.
Instead of turning the issue into a racial slanging match, for political
purposes, it would be more to the point if Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF found
some way to make the World Tourism Conference a reality, thus giving
Zimbabwe a boost to its sadly diminished international reputation.
Preparations for the Tourism Conference have not even started apparently,
one year after the government won the bid to host it in alliance with
Zambia. As part of the deal Zimbabwe is expected to upgrade the Vic Falls
Airport, to revamp water and sewage systems in the town, to resurface the
roads and to rehabilitate the local hospital. Quite apart from all those
tasks, there is the question of Air Zimbabwe, the bankrupt national airline
which, we hear, is reduced to just one aeroplane! It’s hard to see how
visitors, be they black or white, will be transported to and from Zimbabwe
without planes to carry them!
Yours in the (continuing) struggle, Pauline Henson