by Staff Reporter
MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, will Saturday launch a ‘Vote Yes’ campaign
for the draft new constitution although a planned referendum remains
uncertain as the GPA parties bicker over the document.
“The campaign is meant to sensitise, inform, educate and engage the people
of Zimbabwe on the new constitution,” the party said in a statement Friday,
adding the campaign launch would be held at The Harare Show Grounds.
The MDC-T has since endorsed the draft which was released by COPAC in July
but the process has stalled over major amendments proposed by Zanu PF which
have been rejected by the MDC formations.
“The launch comes at a time when Zanu PF is dithering and trying to stop the
Constitution making process, by bringing a totally new draft constitution,
which disregards the people’s views,” the MDC-T said.
Zanu PF claims the COPAC document ignored views contributed by members of
the public during the national outreach programme and wants GPA principals
to discuss its amendments which the party claims align the draft with the
wishes of the people.
The MDC parties have urged the regional SADC grouping to intervene and
Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete, the block’s Troika on politics, defence
and security would discuss the stalemate at a meeting scheduled for next
early next month.
The draft charter was expected to be put to a referendum leading to fresh
polls next year for a substantive government.
The MDC formations had pinned hopes for free and fair elections on the new
Violet Gonda, Blessing Zulu
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe will Monday call for the first time
Professor Welshman Ncube of the Movement for Democratic Change and Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai for a crucial meeting in a last ditch attempt to
persuade them to re-open discussions on the draft constitution.
Mr. Ncube and Tsvangirai, leader of the other MDC formation, have already
declared a deadlock and are pushing for the intervention of the Southern
African Development Community (SADC).
But Mugabe is still insisting on trying to find an internal solution. SADC
leaders have expressed frustration with the delays as they are pushing for a
referendum in October and elections mid next year.
SADC Troika chairman Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete has indicated that
the regional body is expected to tackle the Zimbabwe question next month in
Dar es Salaam.
In a wide-ranging interview with VOA, Mr. Tsvangirai said he was still to
formally meet Mr. Mugabe and discuss the president’s reasons for rejecting
the draft constitution.
He accused Zanu PF of "holding the country to ransom” by refusing to endorse
the final draft constitution that was signed recently by the three political
parties in the coalition government.
Tsvangirai's party has come under pressure to articulate its own position or
options on a way forward in the event that the parties fail to come up with
a lasting solution to the constitution crisis.
The prime minister insists that the parties will soon agree some provisions
of the constituton.
Mr. Tsvangirai said SADC, the guarantors of Zimbabwe’s Global Political
Agreement, will not allow a stalemate but will find a way of resolving the
deadlock over the draft charter.
University of Zimbabwe law lecturer and leader of the International
Socialist Organization Munyaradzi Gwisai said the MDC formations must resist
Zanu-PF’s attempt to unilaterally alter Zimbabwe’s draft constitution.
Saturday, 08 September 2012 12:58
HARARE - Eddy Ndirayire, MDC Mashonaland West deputy chairperson has been
arrested for allegedly provoking Zanu PF youths when he addressed a rally at
Nyamakate Business Centre in Hurungwe North Constituency on September 2.
Ndirayire was arrested together with another MDC youth assembly member
Luxmore Zintambila. The duo is currently detained at Chinhoyi Police Station’s
law and order section.
Officer commanding Mashonaland West province assistant commissioner Murwira
confirmed the arrests.
The party’s provincial organising secretary for the province Wilson
Makanyaire told the Daily News that the two were summoned to the provincial
law and order section in Chinhoyi yesterday where they were charged for
provoking Zanu PF youths.
He said the charges were trumped-up. He accused Zanu PF of being desperately
jealous after the successful staging of the rally despite attempts by the
police to ban it.
“The illegal arrests are a sign of desperation on the part of both the
police and Zanu PF,” Makanyaire said.
“They are jealous as they held a poorly- attended rally on the same day just
500m away from us which was addressed by Jabulani Sibanda to intimidate our
members but it did not work. They were shocked by the attendance at our
rally as our members braved the intimidation that characterised our
preparations. That is why they are now resorting to creating unfounded
allegations such as these.”
By Gifted Phiri, Chief Writer
Saturday, 08 September 2012 12:56
HARARE - Zimbabwe is short of $10 million to pay enumerators who carried out
the once-a-decade national census.
Zimbabwe completed its fourth population census since independence from
Britain in 1980 on August 27.
The first, second and third censuses were conducted in 1982, 1992 and 2002
The Zimbabwe National Statical Office (Zimstat) will publish the first
findings from its once-a-decade national headcount, based on a survey of all
households. Experts believe it will show that the population has decreased.
Biti said the 2012 population census had a funding requirement of around
US$40 million, money needed to train and pay 1 320 district level
supervisors, 6 000 enumeration area supervisors and about 31 000
“By the time the exercise commenced, Treasury had availed about US$16,1
million,” Biti told a news conference on Thursday. “On the other hand, out
of the US$12,6 million pledged by development partners, only US$3,4 million
had actually been disbursed.
“During the past week, Treasury availed to Zimstat US$8,5 million, bringing
the total disbursements to US$24,6 million. Clearly, there is still a
funding gap of at least US$10 million with regards to enumerators’ expenses
which Zimstat has been able to pay only partially.”
The population census will provide data on the demographic and related
socio-economic characteristic of the population at national and sub-national
It is also used for planning and implementing development programmes such as
housing, provision of water and sanitation.
WASHINGTON DC — The mop up exercise to conclude Zimbabwe’s national
population census ended Friday with some people still claiming they have not
Enumerators were redeployed to some areas after the counting official ended
last month following an outcry by hundreds of households.
The census took off on a shaky start August 17 amid meddling by soldiers,
Central Intelligence Organization operatives and suspected Zanu PF
functionaries who were threatened to take over the process.
Problems mounted during the counting phase as enumerators ran out of data
collection material and some people claimed that they were being counted by
officers who did not clearly understand local languages.
Some Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency workers also claimed they were left
out of the process as top agency officials employed their girlfriends,
relatives and colleagues.
Some analysts accused Zanu PF of trying to hijack the process in order to
rig the next crucial general election.
Despite all the problems, Zimstats director Mutasa Dzinotizei told Studio 7
the process went well.
“We are expecting the results before the end of the year. We are curently
collating the data,” he said.
Spokesman Nhlanhla Dube of the Movement for Democratic Change faction of
Industry Minister Welshman Ncube, is one of the people who were still left
Dube said his party is collecting the names of people in a similar situation
in order to file a class action. “We know of a lot of people who were left
out,” he said.
Bulawayo, September 08, 2012- Zimbabwe industry and farmers have urged
government to adopt Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) production to
ensure food security in the wake of ravaging drought in the country.
The Confederations of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) and Zimbabwe Farmers Union
(ZFU) said Zimbabwe should do away with a GMO ban to attain food security.
“We will continue pushing for the embracing of GMO’s production using GMO
technology for exports to be a starting point.
“We are to organise a seminar on agro-manufacturing that will focus on
increasing grain reserves coverage in a bid to improve agricultural
production locally,’’ said CZI in the statement.
The ZFU information officer, Tinashe Kairiza weighed in saying Zimbabwe
stands to benefit more by adopting GMO production.
“At the moment, we as a union are lobbying for any research that justifies
the adoption of GMOs. Other countries have boosted their yields by adopting
“For example, Burkina Faso is now producing genetically modified cotton and
that has boosted yields,” Kaizira added.
The Zimbabwe government, like most African countries, rejects genetically
modified foods over safety fears.
President Robert Mugabe has condemned GMO’s as bad for Africa.
Mugabe says while GMOs were cheaper to produce, they were costly in the
long-term as they contaminated the environment and harmed biodiversity.
Humanitarian organisations have said at least a quarter of the country's
populations are in urgent need of food aid between now and the next harvest
in April or they will starve.
Zimbabweans have virtually survived on food handouts from international
relief agencies after Mugabe disrupted the key agriculture sector through
his often violent land reforms six years ago.
Mugabe denies his land reforms caused the food shortages blaming the crisis
on persistent droughts.
Harare, September 08, 2012 - Professor Welshman Ncube, the leader of the
smaller faction of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), subject of a
possible parliamentary probe pertaining to the US$700 million Essar steel
deal, says his fellow legislators in ZANU-PF and the MDC-T are on an
ill-advised fishing expedition.
Last Tuesday ZANU-PF and MDC-T legislators ganged-up against Ncube, an
in-law to South African president Jacob Zuma, and accused him of corruptly
benefiting from the multi-million dollar project he said with Indian
investors as the minister of Industry and Commerce to revive the ailing
Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (ZISCO).
The government signed the US$750 million deal a few years ago allowing Essar
to take over beleaguered ZISCO in which the Indian firm assumed an 80
percent share-holding of NewZim Minerals with government of Zimbabwe taking
up the remaining 20 percent.
But since the signing of the deal, the project to resuscitate ZISCO has been
in limbo with accusations that the deal was not above board and was fraught
The legislators on Tuesday alleged Ncube was using proceeds from kick-backs
from the Essar deal to bank-roll his party’s activities in and around the
country, particularly in Matabeleland and some parts of the Midlands.
But Ncube, who has been exonerated by President Robert Mugabe’s cabinet
after on Tuesday it authorised him to proceed with the deal with the Indian
investors despite flat opposition from his opponents, lashed out at his
Through his party spokesman Nhlanhla Dube, Ncube said on Friday his fellow
parliamentarians were ‘misguided’ for recommending that government institute
a probe into his alleged misconduct and corruption in the awarding of the
“It is not only nonsensical, false, defamatory, scandalous and malicious but
a desperate act by those who have been out thought, out organised and out
articulated and are now resorting to unorthodox means as they cannot stop
the green machine,” said Dube, on behalf of his boss.
Green machine refers to the colours of the party which split from Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s formation of the MDC in 2005.
Dube added that the MDC wanted to state it clearly that Ncube, like all
other party deployments to government, has discharged his duties with the
highest level of prudency and honesty.
“Our political party always demands the most stringent adherence to best
practice and regard for transparency in the discharge of public affairs from
all its officials in all arms of government.
We wish to unequivocally and without any prevarication place it on record
that the accusations being leveled against Professor Ncube are not only
spurious but pejorative and profane, sorely aimed at injuring both the
person and political credibility of Prof. Ncube as both a public servant and
leader of the MDC,” he said.
Dube said his party believed that parliamentary oversight should not be used
as a forum for displaying petty jealousies, adding that parliamentary
privilege should not be abused to make unsubstantiated accusations against
The MDC spokesperson warned parliamentarians that moved the motion to probe
Ncube from making reckless and careless statement under the disguise of
It is understood the Indian investors wanted to wrinkle out of the deal due
to bickering and squabbling in the coalition government over the project.
By Fungai Kwaramba, Staff Writer
Saturday, 08 September 2012 12:52
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday said he suspected there
was a covert political hand behind attempts by his ex-fiancée Locadia
Karimatsenga to scuttle his wedding ceremony.
Karimatsenga’s application filed in the Harare High Court yesterday seeking
an interdict to stop the Prime Minister’s planned wedding to Elizabeth
Macheka at the Rain Tree Gardens in Umwinsdale on September 15 is causing
one giant headache for Tsvangirai as he attempts to plan the perfect
She first tried to overshadow the bride by insisting she was still married
to Tsvangirai, and now Karimatsenga is threatening to veto the ceremony
The 39-year-old commodity broker wants a final order interdicting Morgan and
Elizabeth from marrying each other in terms of the Marriages Act (Chapter
5:11) on September 15 or any other day.
The matter has been set down for hearing on Tuesday before Justice Antonio
Guvava at 1430hrs in the High Court chambers.
Curiously one of the respondents in the case is registrar general Tobaiwa
The curvaceous businesswoman says she still loves the PM and does not object
to him taking a second wife, but added that she has been advised by her
lawyer Jonathan Samukange that she will suffer “irreparable prejudice” and
there will be a number of other disadvantages if Tsvangirai married Macheka.
Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka said yesterday all this was part
of two concurrent intelligence plots dubbed Operation Blackhawk and
State Security minister Sydney Sekeramayi in charge of intelligence could
not immediately respond to the allegations yesterday as a man who picked up
his phone said he was unavailable to take our call.
Senior MDC sources allege Zanu PF coaxed Karimatsenga to mount the civil
action after finding out he was walking out on their one-month marriage. The
Harare businesswoman begged Tsvangirai not to end their marriage last
November and later miscarried. The “baby heartbreak” left her “traumatised”.
Sources said the civil action plot, allegedly engineered by a top Zanu PF
Women’s League official (name withheld on legal advice), contains text
messages and other damning details of the PM’s short liaison with
Tamborinyoka said yesterday all this was part of Operation Blackhawk and
Operation Spiderweb which he said was financed to the tune of $100 million
to cause maximum damage to the person of Tsvangirai.
“Yesterday it’s a lawsuit. Today, they have filed an urgent application to
stop the wedding,” Tamborinyoka said. “But the people’s resilient dream will
not die. The embodiment of that dream will march this country to the
Karimatsenga however, insists in court papers that Tsvangirai is still her
husband “who is married to me in terms of our customary law which marriage
She acknowledged that Macheka is Tsvangirai’s second wife, “whom he has
married in terms of African Customary Law but whom 1st respondent is
proposing to marry in terms of the Marriages Act, Chapter 5:11.”
“This forms the basis of the present application,” says the papers lodged in
the High Court yesterday.
Samukange of Venturas and Samukange, a top Harare lawyer who is also eying a
Zanu PF parliamentary seat in Mudzi, says the court application was delayed
because his client was not sure of the wedding plans.
“Unless this honourable court stops the marriage, the 1st and 2nd
respondents will be married within the next seven days,” the court
“It is for this reason that this matter is very urgent. I have no other
remedy other than to approach this honourable court for the relief I seek.”
She says she has tried to engage her “husband” in the hope that these issues
can be resolved amicably.
“My husband, I believe is still angry with me for the miscarriage,” she
“My husband, I believe could be suffering from a psychological and mental
problem as a result of this miscarriage.”
She says the miscarriage has “mentally devastated him and is using me as a
“I have not blamed him for the miscarriage,” she says. “I have accepted it
as God’s will. My husband has not come to terms with this. He is mentally
unstable in that he has gone to marry the 2nd Respondent whom he met a few
months ago, whom he had not even introduced to his family and his family
still considers me as his wife.
“This shows his mental state and that is why I question his mental ability
to even engage in this marriage. I believe that he is taking his
frustrations of the miscarriage by marrying the 2nd Respondent. I believe my
husband needs psychological evaluation and assistance.”
Despite all this, she claims “I love him very much and would want to remain
married to him.”
“I believe that his psychological problems can be resolved by him seeking
counselling from qualified psychologists or mental specialists,” she says.
She says if Tsvangirai marries Macheka next week, “by operation of law, I
will cease to be his wife.”
“I will not be entitled to any of the privileges and rights that I have been
entitled to as a spouse, such as conjugal rights, love, affection and
companionship,” she says.
“The marriage I have contracted with my husband in terms of African
Customary Law and Tradition is potentially polygamous and this is the reason
why when he married the 2nd Respondent I did not complain or protest. If my
husband married the 2nd Respondent, it means I can no longer have sexual
intercourse with him as this would mean if I were to do so I would be
Marriage doubts ... Morgan Tsvangirai and new love Elizabeth Macheka
by Staff Reporter
MORGAN Tsvangirai is “mentally unstable” and needs urgent “psychological
evaluation”, his estranged wife Locardia Karimatsenga sensationally claimed
on Friday as she launched a court bid to stop the Prime Minister’s marriage
to his new love, Elizabeth Macheka.
Karimatsenga, whose marriage to Tsvangirai lasted 12 days last November
before the MDC-T leader publicly announced they were splitting, insists in
court papers that their marriage is still subsisting.
She claims in court papers that Tsvangirai “has never said it in my face
that he no longer loves me”, while admitting that the 60-year-old stopped
all communication with her after she miscarried their baby.
Locardia, who is represented by top lawyer Jonathan Samukange, says
Tsvangirai’s decision to get engaged to Elizabeth barely six months after
marrying her during a customary ceremony in Mt Darwin points to someone who
“My husband, I believe, is still angry with me for the miscarriage (and)
could be suffering from a psychological and mental problem as a result,” she
“My husband has been looking forward to having a child with me and the issue
of the child had bonded us very close and he has not accepted the fact that
I have had a miscarriage. The miscarriage has mentally devastated him and he
is using me as a scapegoat.
“My husband has not come to terms with this. He is mentally unstable in that
he has gone to marry Elizabeth whom he met a few months ago, whom he had not
even introduced to his family and his family still considers me as his wife.
“This shows his mental state and that is why I question his mental ability
to even engage in this marriage. I believe that he is taking his
frustrations of the miscarriage by marrying Macheka. I believe my husband
needs psychological evaluation and assistance.”
Tsvangirai’s lawyer, Innocent Chagonda, dismissed the application, claiming
it was driven by politics.
“There is absolutely no basis at law for the order sought. The only thing we
can think of when looking at the papers, is that it is meant to either
politically harass the PM or settle personal issues through abusing the
court process,” he said.
In her affidavit, Karimatsenga said the September 15 wedding would
effectively deny her “privileges and rights that I have been entitled to as
a spouse, such as conjugal rights, love, affection and companionship.”
“If my husband married Elizabeth, it would mean I can no longer have sexual
intercourse with him as this would mean I would be committing adultery.”
Karimatsenga says she is customarily married to Tsvangirai – the most common
form of marriage in Zimbabwe in which the man pays lobola (bride price) for
the woman and is effectively married.
Zimbabwean law recognises three types of marriages – civil, registered
customary union and unregistered customary unions.
Unregistered customary unions – the most common in Zimbabwe – are not
considered as valid marriages for the purposes of sharing property acquired
during the existence of the union, although they are applied in inheritance
The law obliges a man in a customary union to have the marriage registered,
with the threat of prosecution for those who fail to comply. But legal
experts say there is no record of such prosecutions.
If Tsvangirai marries Elizabeth under the Marriages Act (Chapter 5:11), his
new marriage – a civil union under the law – would supersede any other
marriage and forbid him from engaging in a romantic relationship with any
Chagonda said: “The Prime Minister says no to the claims that Karimatsenga
is his wife. Even if what she claims is correct, there is no basis for the
“If such applications are granted, then no-one will ever wed in Zimbabwe.
Even girlfriends will stop legitimate weddings.”
Tsvangirai initiated traditional marriage rites with Locardia last November
but announced they were splitting within days, claiming state security
agents and political rivals had hijacked the intended nuptials to damage his
By then, Karimatsenga had moved in with Tsvangirai’s mum in rural Buhera to
complete the marriage rites. She stayed there for two months before
returning to Harare where she claims Tsvangirai leased a pad for her.
Karimatsenga insists Tsvangirai never formally divorced her, adding the
MDC-T leader was just upset after she lost their baby through a miscarriage.
She said she still loved Tsvangirai and had no objection to him taking a
second wife under customary law.
“I have no objection to him being married in terms of the African Customary
Law as Elizabeth is his second wife,” she said.
“That I am prepared to live with and to condone, but I am not prepared to
allow my husband to marry her in terms of the Marriages Act Chapter 5:11 and
thereby rendering my marriage to him, which still subsists, void.
“I must also point out that I will not give up my right to be my husband’s
first wife. I believe I am entitled to protect my interests and rights and I
can only do so by coming to this Honourable Court.”
She is seeking an order from the High Court stopping Tsvangirai from
marrying Elizabeth; an order directing a Methodist bishop from marrying the
couple and an interdict against the Registrar General from issuing the
couple with a marriage certificate.
In a separate lawsuit filed Wednesday, Karimatsenga is demanding US$15,000
in monthly spousal maintenance from Tsvangirai, who is known to pay
maintenance to Bulawayo woman Loreta Nyathi, with whom he had a child in
2010 – a result of brief fling.
WASHINGTON DC — An estranged lover of Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai has filed an urgent court application seeking an interdict to
stop his pending wedding with another woman.
Mr. Tsvangirai is set to tie the knot on September 15 with his wife,
Elizabeth Macheka, at the glamorous Rain Tree Café in Harare.
But seeking to prevent the ceremony, the prime minister's former partner
Locardia Karimatsenga argues that if Mr. Tsvangirai marries Macheka, she
will no longer enjoy her conjugal rights "as this would mean we are
In an application filed with the High Court Friday, the woman argued that
she is still married to the prime minister under customary law.
She noted that the wedding will "effectively divorce me by operation of
"I will not be entitled to any of the privileges and rights that I have been
entitled to as a spouse, such as conjugal rights, love, affection and
companionship," Karimatsenga stated.
The matter has been set down for hearing in court chambers Tuesday before
The respondents are Mr. Tsvangirai, Macheka, Bishop Levy Kadenge, who is set
to preside over the marriage, and the Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede whose
office is responsible for the issuance of marriage certificates.
The four were served with the court papers by the litigant's lawyer,
Jonathan Samkange, early Friday.
Karimatsenga also questions Tsvangirai's mental stability, saying that he
has acted out of order since she had a miscarriage and lost his unborn
“My husband, I believe, could be suffering from psychological and mental
problems as a result of this miscarriage,” she claimed in the court papers.
On Wednesday, she filed a suit in the Harare Magistrates Court seeking
spousal support of $15,000 per month from Mr. Tsvangirai, whose first wife,
Susan, died in a horrific 2009 car crash.
But it is the High Court application that has grabbed national attention,
and could cause the Movement for Democratic Change leader a lot of
humiliation if it is granted.
It is understood that he has already sent letters of invitation to several
local and foreign dignitaries, including heads of state, diplomats, party
members, close friends and family members.
“I must point out that I will not give up my right to be my husband’s first
wife," Karimatsenga vowed. "I believe I am entitled to protect my interests
and rights and I can only do so by coming to this honorable court.”
Her lawyer Samkange told VOA he is hopeful the judge will rule in their
But Tsvangirai's lawyer, Innocent Chagonda said the prime minister had
instructed him to file opposing papers. He said the case was nothing but an
attempt to embarrass the prime minister.
"Our view is that there is absolutely no basis upon which that application
has been filed, and we are very, very confident that the court will make
such a finding," he said.
His perspective was shared by Bulawayo-based attorney Job Sibanda who told
VOA Karimatsenga’s application has no merit.
Mr. Tsvangirai is currently believed to be paying maintenance for a young
Bulawayo woman, Loreta Nyathi, with whom he had a brief romance that ended
in the conception of a child in 2010.
Cape Town , September 08, 2012 - Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
has invited nearly a dozen African leaders and other global high-rollers to
his wedding on 15 September, in a telling show of the MDC leader’s pulling
power, a report says.
The Daily News online reported that Tsvangirai's courtiers would not release
the guest list citing security reasons and other protocols, and his
spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka would neither confirm nor deny the number of
available heads of state.
"There is a committee [working on the issue] and we are not certain yet who
is coming or not," said Tamborinyoka.
The report said about 500 invites had been sent out to friends and relatives
and it was understood that Botswana's President Ian Khama, his Tanzanian
counterpart Jakaya Kikwete and Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga were among
those who had already confirmed their attendance.
Tsvangirai is tying the knot with businesswoman Elizabeth Macheka following
the death of his first wife Susan in a March 2009 car crash.
The wedding is set to take place at the scenic and exclusive RainTree
Gardens in Umwinsdale, Harare. - News24
September 8, 2012, 1:08 am
It is sometimes difficult to tell the difference between outright corruption
and plain incompetence in Zimbabwe. There has been much speculation that the
recently completed census was being conducted with a political agenda in
mind. Constituency boundaries will after all be determined by the census
results and that factor could well explain any manipulation of the figures.
It was a quotation from Washington Mapeta the head of Population Census and
Surveys that led me to wonder if we all have the same understanding of what
is meant by the concept of a census. The dictionary defines census as: “an
official periodic count of a population, including such information as sex,
age, occupation etc.” Common sense tells you that such a count to be
accurate must necessarily cover the whole physical terrain of the country.
It was something of a surprise then to read Washinton Mapeta’s claim that
the census had been a success because “We covered almost all parts of the
country.” he said.
Having lived in remote rural outposts for most of my life in Zimbabwe
where roads are sometimes no more than dirt tracks and access to villages is
difficult, I would have expected that the parts not covered by the census
would be in remote rural areas but that appears not to be the case. The
complaints that no census enumerator had knocked on their doors came largely
from people in urban areas, especially but not exclusively in Matabeleland.
From Lupane in Matabeleland North to Mhondoro in Mashonaland West came
complaints from people that they had not been counted. So now we have what
is called a ‘census mop up’ with enumerators going round areas they had
missed the first time. It all sounds very ‘hit and miss’ and it is hard to
believe that the final population figure revealed to the country at the end
of the year will be accurate. Even now when the census is officially over
the payment of enumerators is shambolic. Again, you have to wonder whether
that is due to incompetence or corruption.
The diamond revenue is another area where we are entitled to ask whether
the vast sums of money involved have been manipulated for political
purposes, just plain corruption and greed or arithmetical incompetence. The
claim was made last week that Zimbabwe has lost millions of dollars of
diamond revenue through corruption or incompetence. Global Witness has
revealed the involvement of the CIO in the diamond industry and the
statement by Finance Minister Biti that the treasury received only $41
million of the $456 million of diamond sales certainly suggests that the
whole question of diamond revenue is shrouded in secrecy. The truth is that
the stones may be transparent but there is no transparency when it comes to
the revenue that comes from the diamonds. Meanwhile we hear that none other
than the Zimbabwe Minister of Mines, Obert Mpofu is organising Africa’s
first international diamond conference. Biti says that billions of dollars
are needed for infrastructural development and he will appeal to SADC for
economic help. There is no money for the traditional 13th cheque for civil
servants this year and it is more than likely that there is a civil service
strike in the offing.
In short, it’s the same old same old in Zimbabwe. The country is broke
but instead of patriotism and love of country coming to the fore, it’s greed
and opportunism that has taken over. It is a bad omen for Zimbabwe’s future.
The thousands of people who are said to be returning to the country from
exile are likely to find that they have to struggle to make a decent living
while those who remained have taken all the cream off the top. Perhaps there
is a certain justice in that but the returnees are going to find a country
where corruption and greed dominate. Combined with incompetence the result
is a lowering of standards that is a depressing symptom of things to come.
Even more depressing is the lack of evidence that the opposition party
occupies higher moral ground; it seems that they are content to join in the
general smash and grab mentality that dominates life in Zimbabwe; from wild
life conservancies to land and precious minerals, have we become a nation of
thieves and looters?
Yours in the (continuing) struggle, Pauline Henson.
Dear Family and Friends,
Unbelievably, census mayhem continues in Zimbabwe a fortnight after
the conclusion of the 2012 population count. Ten days after they said
they’d finished counting us in the2012 census, the Zimbabwe National
Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT) said they were about to embark on another
mop-up operation. The original census took place from the 17th to the
27th August and Zimstat hailed it as a big success. Here and there
came a few rumblings from people who said they hadn’t been counted
and the next we heard was that a ‘mop-up’ operation was underway.
Three days later the Census Director, Washington Mapeta said the mop-
up operation had been concluded. “ I think it has gone well to cover
others who might have been missed and it ends today,” said Mapeta.
That took us to the 30th August but all was not well.
Aside from the usual, predictable complaints that there wasn’t
enough money to pay the enumerators, whispers started growing louder
that everyone in the country had still not been counted. In the first
few days of September there were reports coming in from Harare,
Bulawayo, Masvingo, Mhondoro, Lupane – all saying that people from a
number of areas hadn’t been counted. A former MP in Lupane East told
an independent radio station that 108 homesteads in his area hadn’t
been counted and no one knew why they had been left out.
By then eyebrows were really raised. Was it really possible that
30,000 enumerators hadn’t been able to count the population in ten
days? Each enumerator only had to count approximately four hundred
people which, over ten days meant an average of forty people a day;
not a lot when an average household could be expected to have five or
six people resident.
The wheels really came off when the Deputy Minister of Justice, Obert
Gutu, said his household in Harare hadn’t been counted. The MDC MP
said he lived in a Close in Harare which had seven houses in it and
none of them had been counted by census enumerators. The Deputy
Minister said he felt aggrieved, marginalized and discriminated
against and was considering taking legal action against Zimstat.
The Zimstat Census Director told everyone who hadn’t been counted in
the Census to either contact enumerators in their areas or visit
Zimstat offices so that they could be counted. An independent
newspaper reported that when people who hadn’t been counted tried to
visit the Zimstat offices in Bulawayo they were turned away. It turns
out that the Zimstat offices in Bulawayo are in the same building as
the CIO. One man said he was denied entry by security guards who said
the building was a security threat. (Yes, the building was a threat,
not the visitor!)
Then a second ‘mop-up’ operation was announced. The Zimstat
Director said they were checking reports and enumerators would be
redeployed to areas where people said they hadn’t been counted.
Those people would have to now try and remember where they were on a
night over three weeks ago. One local weekly newspaper said that the
Zimstat Director launched into a tirade when he was asked about
payment irregularities saying that journalists were hell bent on
trying to discredit the 2012 cenus. Whew, we thought Zimstat had done
a pretty good job of that all by themselves!
And lastly, just to put the record straight, there were 11.6 million
Zimbabweans counted in the 2002 census, not the 14 million that are
being quoted in recent ZBC news bulletins. As much as it might suit
their propaganda to say there were 14 million people in Zimbabwe ten
years ago, there actually were not. Until next time, thanks for
reading, love cathy 8th September 2012. Copyright � Cathy Buckle.