TEXT only 8 September 2013

  • Anxiety over new Cabinet
  • Biti accuses Membe of misrepresenting SADC Observer Mission
  • MDC remains intact: Mwonzora
  • Police shut down operations at Nugget Mine as ownership dispute hots up
  • Scores of aspiring temporary teachers turned away
  • Zimbabwe Sanctions Continue to Divide European Union
  • Zim urged to enact tougher poaching penalties
  • Zimbabweans denied refugee status in SA amid fears of policy change
  • National Defence College a response to security threats
  • When Zesa cables bring sorrow
  • BILL WATCH 44/2013
  • KWS accuses the rich of poaching

Anxiety over new Cabinet by ZimSitRep – 09-07-2013
via Anxiety over new Cabinet – DailyNews Live by John Kachembere Mugabe’s continued delay in announcing a new Cabinet has caused anxiety in the economy. Mugabe (89), who won the disputed July 31 election with a 61 percent vote, is yet to appoint a new Cabinet — a move which analysts say intensifies economic stagnation. The southern African nation’s economy — which showed signs of life, growing by an average of seven percent annually under the government of national unity that was formed in 2008 after a contested election — has begun to wean off. Respected economist John Robertson said Mugabe’s failure to initiate investor-friendly policies as well as announcing a new Cabinet has caused apprehension in the economy. “At the moment, no one is aware of where the economy is going. There hasn’t been a clear enunciation of policies that will take the economy forward,” he said. Robertson noted that the current economic inertia is being caused by the people’s disappointment in the election results. “All investors were expecting that the MDC will win and bring with it new policies that are friendly to business. “However, we still have a hostile business climate and no one is willing to put their money in an environment full of uncertainty,” he said. Zimbabwe’s equities market, which plunged 11 percent immediately after the announcement of election results — its biggest one-day decline since 2009 — has failed to find direction since then as foreign investors are taking a wait-and-see approach. Government was recently forced to slash this year’s economic growth forecast from 5 percent to 3,4 percent due to elections, low aggregate demand in the economy, falling metals prices and drought among other factors. With the country’s economic indicators painting a gloomy picture, analysts say Zanu PF seems more determined to worsen an already messy situation as opposed to coming up with the correct economic remedies that could take us forward. Last month, Zimbabwe’s long-serving president threatened to expel foreign-owned companies over what he said was the West’s interference in the politics of the country he has led since 1980. Economist Christopher Mugaga said the wait-and-see approach obtaining in the country is now more of a culture than anything. “People were waiting for the referendum, elections, and results and now they are still waiting for the cabinet. “I don’t think a new Cabinet will change anything because we all know that it’s going to be an all Zanu-PF Cabinet,” he said. “I think the same old guard will be reshuffled but the indigenisation policy will take centre stage. So really, I don’t foresee the announcement of Cabinet changing anything in the economy,” said Mugaga. Since winning another term, Mugabe has vowed to push ahead with a black empowerment programme to force foreign and white-owned businesses to cede 51 percent ownership to black Zimbabweans. Some economists warn that the programme will trigger another economic downturn similar to what Zimbabwe suffered after the Zanu PF government violently seized white-owned farms in 2000. Mugabe, however, says the economic plan to force black control of companies will create jobs and economic growth that had been hindered by what he called “a tenuous and fraught coalition with uneasy partners” in the opposition led by former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. The MDC leader favoured attracting Western investment during the five-year coalition forged by regional leaders after the last disputed elections in 2008. Mugabe says Britain has opposed black empowerment because he forced thousands of white farmers to surrender their land. Critics of the programme say it disrupted Zimbabwe’s agriculture-based economy, shut down industries and scared away foreign investment in mining and other businesses.

Biti accuses Membe of misrepresenting SADC Observer Mission by ZimSitRep – 09-07-2013
via Biti accuses Membe of misrepresenting SADC Observer Mission | The Zimbabwean by Tererai Karimakwenda The Foreign Minister of Tanzania, Bernard Membe, was on Thursday accused of misrepresenting SADC by presenting what he claimed to be a summary of the final SADC Election Observer Mission report, which has not yet been produced. The accusation was made by the MDC-T secretary general and outgoing Finance Minster, Tendai Biti, who addressed journalists at the party headquarters Thursday, appealing to Membe to withdraw his statement. Biti said the Tanzanian Foreign Minister had on Monday September 2nd, presented what he “purported” to be the summary statement to SADC’s final report on the July 31st elections. “That summary statement is not a summary statement of the final report of the SADC Observer Mission. The final report of the Observer Mission has not been produced and all Zimbabweans and SADC itself are still awaiting and are still demanding the production of that final report,” Biti said. He stressed that it is important that the final report be produced “so that there is an honest and fuller analysis of the omissions and commissions that surrounded the 31st of July election”. Biti said that Membe’s statement actually contained findings and conclusions which were derived from a SADC interim report that was presented a few days after the July 31st elections, on the 2nd August. Biti explained that the interim report included findings that questioned the credibility of the elections, particularly issues to do with the voter registration exercise, the number of assisted voters, the media and more significantly, the voters roll. “Even now, more than a month after the holding of elections, no-one in Zimbabwe, except the powers that be, has got a copy of the electronic voters’ roll. That was picked up in the interim report,” Biti told reporters. The MDC-T also released a statement accusing Membe of misrepresenting SADC. “We have inquired with a number of SADC countries and the SADC Secretariat, who have professed ignorance to the existence of this report. Further, Mr. Membe makes reference to a full report of SADC which he was summarizing from. However, this full report is still to be produced,” the statement said. The MDC-T described Membe’s statement as “self contradictory, inconsistent and incoherent”, saying it raised “issues that render the 31 July 2013 election unfair and not credible and at the same time concludes and elevates the election to a credible one”. “We know that this report has not been universally endorsed by all SADC member states and that there were dissenting voices even in the Observer Mission itself,” the statement concluded. – SW Radio Africa News

MDC remains intact: Mwonzora by ZimSitRep – 09-07-2013
via MDC remains intact: Mwonzora – DailyNews Live by Chengetai Zvauya and Xolisani Ncube Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC says it remains intact and strong even after its failure to dislodge Zanu PF during the July 31 harmonised elections. MDC spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said although his party was disappointed with the outcome of the harmonised elections claiming they were rigged in favour of Zanu PF, it faced no prospects of mass defections. He said he was unaware that Tsvangirai’s adviser Alex Magaisa was resigning and returning to the United Kingdom to continue his work as lecturer. Magaisa a lawyer, was head of the political and legal affairs department in the Prime Minister’s office and with Ian Makone heading the administrative unit. “I have not heard anything about any of our members resigning. I am on good talking terms with Magaisa and he has not hinted that he is going to resign. “Everyone is determined to work for the party and we endorsed our leader Tsvangirai to lead us in the democratic fight,” said Mwonzora. The MDC spokesperson said the party was still operating in full force and was going to be defending the political space it gained in the elections after its members of Parliament participated in the swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday. He said the MPs will attend the official opening of the 8th Parliament by President Robert Mugabe. Two weeks ago, Tsvangirai held a two-day seminar with his top leadership to review the July election and map the way forward. Meanwhile, staff who worked in the abolished Prime Minister’s office, have vowed not to join the public service saying they are going back home to Harvest House, the MDC headquarters. Responding to a story that was carried by the State-controlled media yesterday, Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka said those who think he was ever a civil servant are living in dreamland. According to the report, Tamborinyoka along with top officials who served under Tsvangirai during the tenure of the inclusive government should report to the civil service offices. But yesterday Tamborinyoka, said he was never employed as a civil servant. “In 2010, I joined the Prime Minister’s Office from Harvest House, where I had worked for six years as its Director of Information and Publicity,” Tamborinyoka said adding that “upon joining the PM’s Office, I was never attested into the civil service ostensibly because they said I was a party activist, only to read in today’s (yesterday’s) newspaper that I am a civil servant.” Yesterday, the State-controlled media quoted Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba warning Tamborinyoka together with other ex-Tsvangirai staffers not to make public pronouncements on national issues since there are mere civil servants. “If he (Tamborinyoka) wanted to pursue a career in the civil service, he is better advised to report to the Civil Service Commission. “But also for him to know that he can no longer just speak, there are rules,” said Charamba. “He is not in the president’s office, he is not a presidential spokesperson, he is not a ministerial spokesperson, so he cannot just speak as if he does not know that July 31 (election date) has come and gone. “You do not just open your mouth in the service. He must resign and then he can become a spokesperson of whoever he pleases and no one will ask questions. “He must not pronounce himself as long as he is a civil servant on behalf of a politician. He must resign,” Charamba said. Tamborinyoka brushed Charamba’s assertions saying: “I have never been attested into government service, I don’t have an EC number and have never received any salary from my purported employer. If this fiction is anything to go by, then this government owes me a salary for three full years!” he said. “It is a status that only Charamba knows about and not me, the purported civil servant. “He should tell and show the world any evidence they have that I am a civil servant including any documents and/or contracts that I signed when I joined the civil service,” he stated.

Police shut down operations at Nugget Mine as ownership dispute hots up by ZimSitRep – 09-07-2013
via Police shut down operations at Nugget Mine as ownership dispute hots up — Nehanda Radio Police on Wednesday ordered the suspension of operations at Nugget Mine in Matobo District following a renewed fight between Bulawayo businessmen and a consortium of youths over control of the gold mine. MINERS at Nugget Mine were left stranded after police stopped operations on Wednesday Officers from the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Minerals Unit visited the mine, situated about 18km from Bulawayo to conduct their own investigations following the dispute. Detectives were interviewing the responsible personnel and later convened a meeting with the mine management. One of the investigating officers who refused to be named, confirmed that operations had been suspended at the mine. “We have resolved to suspend mining activities at Nugget Mine as we continue with our investigations following the dispute over the ownership of the mining claims,” said the detective. Soon after police had ordered the suspension of operations, a contracted mining expert only identified as Mr Smith immediately complied by switching off the machinery at the cyanide plant and the workers left the site. “We were ordered to stop mining activities forthwith and as a law abiding citizen I could not defy a police directive. I was just hired on a tributary contract basis to offer my expertise and once the dispute is resolved we will resume the operations,” said Mr Smith. The dispute involves Mining Investment Syndicate whose directors include two politicians, Isaac Dakamela and Charles Isaiah Chiponda and reportedly a senior police officer against a group of youths trading as Duive Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd. Duive is made up of a group of youths who benefited from the Government indigenisation and empowerment programme and have alleged that the politicians are using their political muscle to evict them from the mine. The mine is situated on Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (PWMA) land in Matopos. One of the directors of Duive, Mr Themba Maphosa accused Mining Investment Syndicate of stealing their ore. “Nugget Mine was allocated to us by the mining commissioner for Bulawayo District after Mining Investment Syndicate failed to apply for renewal of the Special Grant. We are the new owners and we have documents to prove that. “We have decided to rope in the police because we tried to resolve the issue with the directors of Mining Investment Syndicate but failed,” he said. According to a letter from the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, Mining Investment Syndicate’s Special Grant expired in March 2013. The document was signed by the mining commissioner for Bulawayo District, Ms Florence Lindiwe Thusi on 28 August 2013. According to one document, a Special Grant (Number 5835), was issued to Duive Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd in terms of Part XIX of the Mines and Minerals Act, Chapter 21:05. The document, which is valid for 12 months, empowers the holder to carry out mining operations for gold on the designated land. The holder pays an annual rental of $5 000 to the mining commissioner. In the event that the rental remains unpaid for 14 days from the date of the mining commissioner’s demand, it shall be deemed to have been cancelled as at the date of issue. The area measuring 250 hectares is within RA 1091 in the Mining District of Bulawayo. The two parties met at the mine on Monday to try and resolve the dispute but failed. According to the permit, which expires in April 2014, Cde Chiponda’s company made its first payment of $1 000 to the PWMA on 15 April 2013. “We are the rightful owners of mining claims because we have a permit from Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and we are now waiting to be issued with a Special Grant by the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development. Duive Enterprises do not have that permit and there is no way you can get a Special Grant without permit from the Matopo National Park who are the owners of land,” he said. Chiponda said their mining activities were legal at Nugget Mine. He said he invested about $25 000 in terms of machinery. “They (Duive Enterprises) have 250 hectares, which is open to them for prospecting and ours is only nine hectares but surprisingly they also want to grab our claims just because we have invested in a lot in the mine and we know that these youths are only after my machinery,” he said. Mr Maphosa is accusing Chiponda of manipulating the parks to issue his company with a permit because he sits on its board. Ms Thuli reiterated that she was not aware of the dispute and declined to comment on the issue. The two companies first clashed in June last year.

Scores of aspiring temporary teachers turned away by ZimSitRep – 09-07-2013
via Scores of aspiring temporary teachers turned away — Nehanda Radio Scores of Ordinary and Advanced level certificate holders looking for jobs as temporary teachers were turned away at Bulilima and Mangwe education offices in Plumtree Town. This was because preference is being given to college and university graduates. Scores of aspiring temporary teachers turned away The development comes after the Civil Service Commission has assumed responsibility over the administration of the country’s civil service, including the recruitment of teachers as stated in the new constitution. The majority of job seekers who were turned away on Wednesday after milling around the offices since Monday expressed dissatisfaction with the new recruitment procedure. “I have been queuing at the education offices for the past three days and we were always being told to keep on checking with the office. It was only today that we were finally dismissed with the officials telling us that we will not get any posts. “We were told that the only people who will be given temporary teaching jobs are college and university graduates which is not fair after spending three days at the offices with the hope of being considered for employment,” said a job seeker, Miss Miriam Ndlovu. The Civil Service Commission has since nullified some of the appointments which were made by the education officers last week. Miss Nyarai Nyabadza, who had been offered a temporary teaching post, said her contract which was renewed by education officers last week was nullified on Monday. “I have been teaching in one of the primary schools in Bulilima District. My appointment contract was renewed last week but I was later told that it has been nullified as it was not done procedurally. “I am currently studying at Bindura University of Science and all along we have always been considered for temporary teaching posts but this time around it has changed,” she said. Education officers from the two districts have also raised concern with the new recruitment process, saying it was slow. “The recruitment process is very slow. Two days have gone by since the opening of schools and there are still a number of teaching posts that have to be filled within the two districts. “To make matters worse some of the college and university graduates that have been given posts have not been issued with appointment forms. In actual fact their appointment has not been fully confirmed which means a number of pupils are not learning at the moment,” said an official. The commission has announced that eligible applicants for teaching posts include college and university graduates with teaching and non-teaching diplomas and degrees, retired personnel, re-appointee teachers aged below 50, Ordinary and Advanced level holders. Education officials were advised to stop engaging temporary teachers while some of those who had been engaged were dismissed. The recruitment of teachers is under way in districts across the country.

Zimbabwe Sanctions Continue to Divide European Union by ZimSitRep – 09-07-2013
via Zimbabwe Sanctions Continue to Divide European Union by Blessing  Zulu The European Union is facing fresh divisions over Zimbabwe with Belgium and Britain at loggerheads over sanctions imposed on Harare, especially over the controversial Marange Diamonds in Chiyadzwa, Manicaland Province, east of the capital. Diamond trade epicentre, Belgium, is pushing for the removal of sanctions on the state run Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) saying Europe agreed to lift sanctions against Harare after the July 31 elections, especially if regional bodies like the Southern African Development Community and the African Union endorsed the polls. But the 28-member EU states are differing over how to interpret an agreement by its foreign ministers in February to lift sanctions on the ZMDC within a month of the election unless EU governments unanimously agreed the July 31 election in Zimbabwe was not “peaceful, transparent and credible.” EU diplomats told VOA Studio 7 that Britain is leading the charge against lifting the so-called targeted measures saying it will be tantamount to rewarding president Robert Mugabe who Britain alleges has not reformed, adding the election did not represent the will of the Zimbabwean people. SADC has also called on the West to lift the sanctions saying the people of Zimbabwe have suffered enough under the so-called targeted measures. The regional group, in its report on the elections, said the polls were generally credible but could not rule on fairness saying this was affected by a number of issues, including the late release of the voters role and biased reporting. EU ambassador to Zimbabwe Aldo Dell’ Ariccia told VOA’s Studio 7  for Zimbabwe  that it’s still too early to call for the lifting of sanctions on Zimbabwe. He said the EU is yet to get a full report on the Zimbabwe elections from SADC adding that “we are also waiting to see what kind of government is established by President Robert Mugabe and what kind of policies the government will adopt as a start, so the review is ongoing.” International relations expert David Monyae told VOA the Zimbabwe issue will continue to divide the West. He added that it is time Western nations reviewed their sanctions regime against Harare.

Zim urged to enact tougher poaching penalties by ZimSitRep – 09-07-2013
via Zim urged to enact tougher poaching penalties after mass elephant poisoning | SW Radio Africa By Alex Bell The deliberate poisoning of more than 40 elephants in the Hwange National Park has sparked outcry across the world, with a growing chorus of voices demanding that stricter poaching penalties be implemented. The elephants died after members of a suspected poaching syndicate laced salt with the toxic chemical cyanide and distributed the salt in a drinking pool used by elephants in Hwange. The carcasses of the animals were discovered late last month after park rangers heard gunshots within the park. Investigations by the police resulted in the grisly discovery of the elephants, with their tusks removed. Further investigations led the police to nearby Mafu homestead, where six suspected members of the poaching gang were arrested and 17 elephant tusks were recovered. The story has made international news headlines and around the world people have been calling for tough measures to be taken to punish the poachers and prevent a further incident like this from happening. Johnny Rodrigues, the Chairman of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, said that current poaching penalties are “very lenient,” and often “nothing more than a slap on the wrist.” He told SW Radio Africa that while stricter anti-poaching laws are necessary, this was only part of a much bigger problem. “The main problem we have is with high unemployment. There is a market for people to be paid by syndicates to kill the animals, in return for ready money,” Rodrigues said. He explained that it is desperation more than criminality that is fuelling the poaching crisis, with even National Parks staff (who have not been paid in many months) sometimes being implicated in providing poachers with information, in return for cash. “There’s a thriving market in Zimbabwe for poaching syndicates and it is disgusting. This (the incident in Hwange) will have a huge impact on other animals, especially your scavengers like vultures who eat the meat and then also die,” Rodrigues said. He added: “There is also a human side, because people, if they find it, will take the meat and eat it. So it’s not just the animals at risk here.” Although it cannot be confirmed where this syndicate accessed the cyanide, observers who spoke to SW Radio Africa said it was no coincidence that many of the gold mining firms in Zimbabwe are Chinese run and cyanide has been used for years in Zimbabwe’s gold mining industry. The highly toxic substance is used to separate the gold from the ore it is contained in. And, as Rodrigues said: “There are so many Chinese in Zimbabwe with ready money who are interested in getting their hands on the ivory.” .

Zimbabweans denied refugee status in SA amid fears of policy change by ZimSitRep – 09-07-2013
via Zimbabweans denied refugee status in SA amid fears of policy change | SW Radio Africa  by Alex Bell A growing number of Zimbabwean asylum seekers in South Africa are reporting being refused refugee protection, amid fears that the decision to endorse the Zim elections has resulted in a change of immigration policy across the border. South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma was one of the first regional leaders to openly congratulate Robert Mugabe’s highly contested electoral ‘victory’ last month. This show of support paved the way for the rest of the SADC region to also embrace Mugabe and endorse the elections. In the weeks since the elections, an influx of Zimbabweans have been crossing the border into South Africa, with many said to be fleeing retribution for voting against Mugabe’s ZANU PF. Others have said they are fleeing a potential economic meltdown, such as the one witnessed during the last ZANU PF government, before the coalition that was formed in 2009 with the MDC. In South Africa, there are concerns that an unofficial change of policy regarding Zimbabwean asylum seekers is being implemented. The refugee rights group PASSOP has said it is receiving more and more reports about Zim refugees whose statuses have been reviewed and rejected by the South Africa Department of Home Affairs. New asylum seekers are also being turned away. Langton Miriyoga of PASSOP told SW Radio Africa that they have had “very high volumes’ of people contacting the organisation, after being told that their applications for refugee status would not be considered, on the basis that “there is no crisis in Zimbabwe.” “We have also been told by people who have previously been granted refugee status that they are now being told to come in for a review of their status, in light of the political development in Zimbabwe,” Miriyoga said. Miriyoga added: “We see it as unlawful in terms of the Refugees Act in South Africa and in terms of international law. South Africa can’t unilaterally revoke refugee protection without consulting the UN refugee agency.” He said there are “very serious anxieties” among Zimbabweans in South Africa, mainly because of concern that mass deportations will be the next step. “Zimbabweans are in a state of limbo now because they don’t know what is going to happen next,” Miriyoga said.

National Defence College a response to security threats by ZimSitRep – 09-07-2013
via National Defence College a response to security threats: President | The Herald Construction of the National Defence College in 2010 was a direct response to national security threats posed by the imposition of illegal sanctions by Western countries and the need to preserve the country’s independence, President Mugabe has said. The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces was speaking at the inaugural graduation of 23 senior army officers from the NDC in Harare yesterday. Officers, who completed the 11-month long Course 01/2012, graduated with certificates. President Mugabe said illegal sanctions imposed by the West on Zimbabwe were causing unwarranted suffering to ordinary people. “The illegal sanctions imposed on us after we embarked on our land reform programme caused untold suffering to the generality of ordinary Zimbabweans,” he said. “When our country faced a plethora of complex national security challenges, a situation deliberately stirred by agents of regime change with our people also facing many hardships, our independence was indeed threatened. “After thorough consultations and deliberations, the establishment of the National Defence College was conceived as one way of effectively dealing with the externally-induced threats to our national security. “The construction of the National Defence College, therefore, became part of the answer to our problems.” President Mugabe said although construction of a defence college was seen as the panacea to the externally-induced security threats, funding of that project remained a challenge. The President paid tribute to China for extending an unconditional loan to Zimbabwe to undertake the initiative. “Although our own Treasury coffers were almost dry, we were convinced that establishing an institution that would bring together senior officers and officials of diverse experiences and backgrounds to study national security was imperative. “The Chinese government readily supported us in establishing an institution that would immensely contribute towards safeguarding our national sovereignty and territorial integrity. “They (Chinese) unconditionally extended an interest-free loan of US$98 million for the construction of the college. I wish to sincerely thank the Government and the people of the People’s Republic of China for their unwavering support to Zimbabwe.” President Mugabe hailed the Chinese Government for assisting the college with various learning materials during its initial stages. “Although today is an occasion for celebration, I wish to note that in addition to its normal teething problems, the programme’s difficulties were compounded by the illegal sanctions induced economic challenges,” he said. “During the initial phases, for example, there was a shortage of furniture and teaching aids. The shortage of computers, projectors and printers presented a challenge to efficient conduct of the teaching and learning. “It is against this background that I once again want to thank the Chinese government for coming to our rescue by donating the requisite furniture, teaching equipment and aids, state-of-the art information and communication technology equipment, buses, solar equipment to augment electricity supplies during periods of rationing and an ambulance.” President Mugabe said it was his fervent hope that courses offered at the NDC would be unique and had a direct bearing on the field of national security. He said the graduation of the 23 officers was a clear attestation of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces’ commitment to safe guard the country’s independence and territorial integrity. The enrolment at the National Defence College, President Mugabe said, was a concurrent study of the National Defence Course and the Master of Science Degree Course. President Mugabe said the graduates completed 11 months of intense study aimed at developing participants’ leadership competencies and analytical skills. He said the certificate offered by the NDC was well recognised because of the college’s cooperation with institutions such as the University of Zimbabwe and engagement of experts from other countries. “Further to cooperation with the University of Zimbabwe, the National Defence College sought other local and international cooperating partners,” said President Mugabe. “In this regard, international military and civilian experts participated in the delivery of instruction on courses. Notable among the experts are Pakistani and Chinese professors.” President Mugabe said it was heartening to note that the college’s plans to graduate into a National Defence University by 2015 were well on course. The graduation was attended by out-going Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, out-going Minister of State Security Sydney Sekeramayi and several senior Government officials.

When Zesa cables bring sorrow by ZimSitRep – 09-07-2013
via When Zesa cables bring sorrow by Cynthia R Matonhodze “Mum where am I? I want my school uniform; I want to go to school. Don’t forget to give me transport money.” Those were the last words Takudzwa Nyandoro (10) spoke before he passed away at Parirenyatwa Hospital in March last year. His death is one of the sad cases where Zesa is sucked in charged with negligence. The trauma emanating from his death has affected his mother’s life so much that she has become a serious hypertension victim. Medical experts fear that her condition may result in a stroke or sudden death. His mother, Constance Sinachinga, has failed to get over the loss of her son. She remembers, as if it was yesterday, the day her son fell into a pit of unprotected live Zesa cables that sent massive electricity through his small body.  The pit, situated at the corner of Samora Machel Avenue and Leitrim Crescent, had been dug and left unsealed with no warning sign for three months. Constance Sinanchinga lost her son when he fell into a pit of unprotected live Zesa cables last her. She is now suing the power utility supplier for half a million. “They (Takudzwa and his elder  brother Tafadzwa) were not going to school that day because their teachers had gone to bury a colleague so I just assumed that they were at home when I got to work,” Constance Sinachinga (45) explains the events of that fateful morning as she looks into the distance. With her hands nervously folded on her lap she continues . . .“I got a call and hurried to the scene to find a gathering and my son Tafadzwa tearing through the crowd rushing towards me crying and screaming hysterically: “Mum, Takudzwa is dead, he is dead. I just fell . . .” Takudzwa’s young body survived the electric shock for only a few hours. He underwent surgery and was given almost 13 IV drips until he breathed his last. In happier times… Takudzwa and his mother pose for a photo. “I prayed, cried and waited for him to be better. When he regained consciousness and spoke to me, I thanked God for his mercy. I told myself that even if it meant that he became paralysed I would still love him, but it wasn’t meant to be.” After the tragedy struck, Zesa quickly sealed the pit, offered $300 towards funeral expenses and only covered Takudzwa’s medical expenses after his mother produced stamp-certified receipts from the hospital. The power utility denied liability for the accident saying that they had not dug the pit in the first place. Constance, through her lawyer Belinda Chinowawa from Zimbabwe Lawyer’s for Human Rights (ZLHR), filed summons at the High Court last November demanding half a million dollars in compensation and still awaits a date to be set down for the pre-trail conference. Due to the sever emotional and psychological trauma that she suffered on hearing of her son’s accident, Constance was diagnosed with high blood pressure. Speaking on the incident Belinda Chinowawa commented:  “As the sole transmitter and distributor of electricity in Zimbabwe, Zesa owes a duty of care to the public and should be called to account when its negligence results in the loss of life.” For Constance it has been a hard 17 months of trauma. She suffered severe emotional shock and psychological and emotional trauma at the loss of her son which led to her being diagnosed with hypertension. “I cry every day when I think about my son,” she says, holding back tears. “I cry . . . it hurts . . . I wonder where he would have been . . . when I see other boys his age.” Just last week, she was hospitalised when her blood pressure shot up to 146 over 98 and her pulse shot to 110 beats per minute. A local medical doctor assessed: “If blood pressure is not lowered, she has an elevated risk of a heart attack (a leading cause of death in women), and stroke (possibly paralysis, loss of bowel/bladder function, sensory and motor functions, and change in personality. It can also cause blindness.” Constance says she often wishes that it had been her who had fallen in the pit. Even her son Tafadzwa is still traumatised by what he witnessed. He has developed sleeping disorder and constantly wakes up at night saying that he was talking to Takudzwa or that they were playing together outside. When that happens he doesn’t sleep waiting for his little brother to show up again, but obviously he does not. It is one of the sad stories of how Zesa’s negligence has left a deep scar in the lives of many Zimbabweans. A few months back we reported the story of Nyasha Koroka, a Banket woman whose left arm had to be amputated after she was electrocuted by a dangling Zesa cable in 2010. Recently, a Harare lawyer Tapiwanashe Kujinga, approached her for pro bono legal representation after NewsDay published her story. With his help the power utility has, through its insurance company, paid for her medical expenses to the tune of $1 475 on compassionate grounds. The bills are for cataracts that she claims developed due to the accident. Nyasha has also been assessed for disability, and she was diagnosed at 50%. Her lawyer is preparing to file summons to claim compensation. Zesa public relations officer Fullard Gwasira said, “It is regrettable that someone can lose an arm or even a life because of our products. However, as a power utility company we do not directly compensate individuals. We compensate through our insurers who are in turn guided by investigations to determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether to award compensation or not.”

BILL WATCH 44/2013 by ZimSitRep – 09-07-2013

BILL WATCH 44/2013

[6th September 2013]

Swearing-in of MPs of 8th Parliament

The swearing-in of MPs took place on 3rd September, the date fixed by a Presidential proclamation gazetted in Statutory Instrument [SI] 128/2013 late on 30th August.  Members of the National Assembly were sworn in inthe morning.  Senators took their oaths in the afternoon.  The Clerk of Parliament presided over the proceedings until members had been sworn in and the Speaker and the President of the Senate and their deputies had been elected and been sworn in. Note: all references to the Constitution are to the new Constitution and will be in all Bill Watches from now on unless otherwise indicated.

Election of Presiding Officers

After the swearing-in proceedings, legislators elected their presiding officers.  MDC-T did not put forward candidates.   ZANU-PF’s nominees were therefore elected unopposed:

National Assembly

Speaker:                 Jacob Mudenda

Deputy Speaker:     Mabel Chinomona


President:                Ednah Madzongwe

Deputy President:   Chenhamo Chimutengwende.

Worthy of note is the observance of gender balance in these choices. The newly-elected presiding officers took the oaths of loyalty and office before the Chief Justice, as required by the Constitution.  They then addressed members, to express what Standing Orders describe as their “sense of the honour conferred” upon them.  There were brief congratulatory contributions from other members before the Houses adjourned until 17th September for the ceremonial opening of Parliament.

Ceremonial Opening of Parliament: 17th September

The same Presidential proclamation in SI 128/2013 that announced the time and date for the swearing-in of members of Parliament, also fixed 12 noon on Tuesday 17th September as the time and date for the first session of the new Parliament to begin.  Parliament has now confirmed that at this ceremonial opening the President will deliver the customary speech outlining his Government’s legislative and other intentions before ending his speech with “I declare the first Parliamentary session open.” Section 145 of the Constitution requires the President to determine the time and date of the first sitting of Parliament after a general election, which has to be within 30 days after his assumption of office on the 22nd August. From now on, however, each House will determine when it will sit and adjourn.

Vacancy in Parliament Arising from the Presiding Officer Elections

Party-list vacancy in the Senate Mrs Madzongwe was returned as a Mashonaland West party-list Senator for ZANU-PF in the harmonised elections.  Her election as President of the Senate automatically caused her Senate seat to fall vacant  [Constitution, section 129(1)(d)].  [See below for the procedure for filling this vacancy and the other party-list vacancy that has already occurred.] No Vacancy arising in Parliament from Speaker’s Election Mr Mudenda did not hold a seat in either House.  So his election as Speaker has not caused a Parliamentary vacancy.   But his place as chairperson of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission [ZHRC] falls vacant because under section 128(9) of the Constitution the Speaker cannot hold any other public office or any other employment.

Filling the Party-List Vacancies in the Senate

As already pointed out, Mrs Madzongwe’s election as President of the Senate caused a vacancy in the Senate party-list seats for Mashonaland West.  There was already one other vacancy, in the Senate party-list seats for Manicaland, caused by the death on 24th August of ZANU-PF Senator Kumbirai Kangai. As these are both party-list seats, the vacancies do not necessitate by-elections involving voting by registered voters.  Instead, according to section 157(1)(c) of the Constitution, any vacancy in a party-list seat must be filled by a person belonging to the same political party, and of the same gender, as the person who previously held the seat.  So Mrs Madzongwe’s former seat must be filled by a woman who belongs to ZANU-PF, and MrKangai’s by a man who belongs to ZANU-PF. Procedure for filling vacancy  The elaborate procedure for filling such a vacancy is laid down in section 39 of the Electoral Act.  It involves several steps:

  • ·      Mrs Madzongwe, in her capacity as President of the Senate, must as soon as possible notify the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission [ZEC] of the vacancy, in writing.
  • ·      ZEC must without delay:

o    notify the public of the vacancy by notice in the Government Gazette o    invite ZANU-PF to submit the name of a qualified person to fill the vacancy [note: one person, not a list].

  • ·      ZANU-PF must then lodge with ZEC a nomination paper, in the prescribed form and countersigned by two national office-bearers of the party, nominating a qualified person to fill the vacancy.
  • ·      ZEC’s Chief Elections Officer must then scrutinise the nomination paper to check whether it is in conformity with the Act.
  • ·      Once the Chief Elections Officer is satisfied the nomination paper is in order, ZEC must without delay:

o    give public notice of the nomination by notice in the Government Gazette, and o    specify in the notice a time within which any registered voter may lodge an objection to the nomination together with his or her reasons for the objection.

  • ·      If no objections are lodged – or if ZEC, after considering all objections lodged, finds that there are no valid grounds for objection – ZEC must notify the public by notice in the Government Gazette that the nominee has been appointed as a Senator with effect from the date of the notice.
  • ·      If an objection is lodged, and ZEC finds there are valid grounds for objection, ZEC must invite ZANU-PF to submit another nomination, and the same procedure will be followed until a qualified person is identified to fill the vacancy.

Committee on Standing Rules and Orders

The composition and responsibilities of this large and important committee are stated in section 151 of the Constitution.Composition  The committee is chaired by the Speaker, with the President of the Senate as deputy chairperson, and includes the Deputy Speaker and the Deputy President of the Senate; the Minister of Finance and two other Ministers appointed by the President; the Leaders of Government Business and the Leaders of the Opposition in both Houses; the party chief whips in both Houses; the President of the National Council of Chiefs; two backbenchers nominated by the Speaker and the President of the Senate, respectively; and eight backbenchers elected by members, four from each House.  The committee must be set up “as soon as possible”. Functions  The committee supervises the administration of Parliament, formulates Standing Orders, considers and decides all matters concerning Parliament, and exercises other constitutional functions, such as its functions in relation to the making of constitutional appointments by the President, and functions assigned to it by Standing Orders or any other law. New Standing Orders necessary  Standing Orders regulate the proceedings in both Houses.  The new Constitution contains provisions which need to be incorporated into or will mean changes to the existing Standing Orders.  Under section 139 of the Constitution, Standing Orders are made by the Houses “individually or jointly on the recommendation of the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders.   New or amending Standing Orders will be formulated by the committee, with the assistance of Parliamentary Counsel and staff, for eventual approval by the National Assembly and the Senate.  Until this is done, the existing Standing Orders will continue in force under paragraph 12 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution.

KWS accuses the rich of poaching by ZimSitRep – 09-07-2013
via KWS accuses the rich of poaching | The Star by Raphael Mwadime Kenya Wildlife Services has linked influential business people to the illegal ivory trade in the country. KWS spokesperson Paul Mbugua told the Star during an interview that the recent seizure of 3.3 tonnes of illegal ivory in Mombasa shows the trade involves wealthy people. “Through our intelligence officers, we have managed to unravel a network of people involved in the illegal ivory trade in the country,” Mbugua said. He said most of smuggled ivories are seized at the port and no one turns up to claim them. “We cannot reveal the names of those involved in this illegal business,” Mbugua said. He said ivory and horns from elephant’s and rhinos are shipped out using illegal routes along the porous Kenyan border. “The ivory consignments we have intercepted at our airports and the Mombasa port are usually on transit,” he said. Mbugua said most border points across the country are porous and boda bodas are used to ferry smuggled goods. Mbugua defended Chinese working in construction companies in the country against claims that they have promoted poaching. He said most poachers are Kenyans. “No foreigner has so far been arrested,” he said. Kenya has lost 214 elephant’s and 36 rhinos to poachers this year. Kenya Wildlife Services has linked big influential business people from Western African countries to the Illegal ivory trade in the country. KWS spokesperson Paul Mbugua revealed to the Star during an interview that preliminary investigation have revealed a network of business people from West African Countries involved in the illegal trade. Mbugua cited the recent seizure of 3.3 tonnes of illegal ivory at Mombasa as an indication that the trade involves big moneyed people. “Through our intelligence officers we have managed to unravel a network of people involved in the illegal ivory trade in the country. Some are foreigners from West African Countries who do business in the country,” said Mbugua adding that most of the seizures made at the port, the owners have never went back to claim their goods which area worth billions of shillings thus concluding that those involved in the business are stinking rich people. When asked whether Kenyan Politicians are involved in the illegal trade, Mbugua said that those involved in the trade are rich people and soon they will zero on them. “We cannot reveal the names of those involved in this illegal business at this time. However, we have managed to unravel the mystery of those involved in the illegal trade,” he said. The KWS Spokesperson said that ivory and horns from elephant’s and Rhinos poached across the country are shipped out using illegal routes along the porous Kenyan border points without necessarily using airports and the Mombasa port. “The ivory consignments we have intercepted at our airports and the Mombasa port are usually on transit. This shows that the elephants tusks and Rhino horns poached in the country are ferried using illegal routes along the porous border points,” he said. Mbugua pointed out that most border points across the country are porous adding that bodaboda taxis are the most notorious for ferrying illegal goods. “Our border points are very porous. Bodaboda taxis are notorious for ferrying illegal goods including wildlife products outside the country,” he said. Mbugua distanced Chinese citizens working in construction companies in the country against the escalating elephant and Rhino poaching in the country. “We have arrested 10 Chinese citizens in the country involved in contraband ivory and all of them were on transit. We have also nabbed seven Vietnamese, one American, one Tanzanian and one American but were all on transit,” he said. Mbugua said that those involved in poaching are mostly local citizens. “Those people we have arrested involved in poaching are mostly local citizens. No foreigners have so far been arrested,” he said. So far, Kenya has lost 214 elephant’s and 36 rhinos to poaching this year.