Harare - The
fate of a Zimbabwean high court judge who angered authorities by ordering
the release of a prominent rights lawyer will now be decided by President
Robert Mugabe, state media said on Wednesday.
Citing unnamed sources, the
government controlled Herald newspaper said the case of Justice Charles
Hungwe will be referred to the president by the head of the high
Hungwe has been under fire since his decision last month to order
the release of lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa, who was detained during a police raid
on the offices of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
initially ignored Hungwe's order, although Mtetwa was later freed on
Hungwe is also said to have ordered an investigation of corruption
on the part of government ministers from Mugabe's Zanu-PF party and to have
delayed sentencing of a man convicted for armed robbery and murder after the
case file went missing.
The judge was subsequently charged with
misconduct in relation to a case he handled 10 years ago.
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and the Law Society of Zimbabwe have
described the charges as a ploy to silence Hungwe and instil fear in lawyers
and other judicial officers.
According to the Zimbabwean
constitution, Mugabe can now order an investigation on Hungwe and appoints a
tribunal to hear the case against him.
Judges in Zimbabwe are
appointed by the president at the recommendation of the Judicial Services
By Orla Ryan |
Financial Times, Published: April 10
LONDON — Zimbabwean Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai has ruled out another unity government with President
Robert Mugabe and is optimistic that he will win an election due to be held
later this year, ending more than 30 years of Mugabe rule in the southern
Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and
Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) formed a
unity government after violent and disputed elections in 2008. But although
the economy has since stabilized, relations between the parties have
remained fraught, and this year’s general election is expected to be hotly
The arrest of a human rights lawyer and MDC officials clouded
a recent referendum on a new constitution, and activist groups such as Human
Rights Watch say they fear tensions may rise before the election.
European Union last month suspended sanctions against scores of Zimbabweans
after the new constitution was approved. Sanctions will, however, remain in
place for 10 people, including Mugabe, and two companies, including the
state-run diamond-mining company Zimbabwe Mining Development Corp., whose
assets will remain frozen.
Despite criticism from some MDC supporters
that the party has not used its position effectively in coalition with
Mugabe’s party, Tsvangirai remains optimistic that he will secure enough
votes to win this year’s presidential poll.
“I won the last one. The
only difference is that I did not win power. But I won an election. I have
always said: What makes people think that I will not win another one? So I
am very confident that the support of the people is unwavering,” he told the
Financial Times in an interview.
And if he wins, he said, he will manage
the transition from joint rule. “I don’t think it would be helpful for the
country to go into another unity government,” he said. “A unity government
just creates paralysis,” he added, citing the slow pace of reform as a
Asked whether Mugabe, who still dominates the
political scene, would step down if Tsvangirai wins, he said: “Mugabe is
[almost] 90 years. The thing is that I am sure for him the most important
motivating factor is legacy.”
The once acrimonious relations between the
two parties have improved over the course of the past four years, he
Asked what would happen if Mugabe refused to leave power in the
event of an MDC victory, he said: “I don’t see that playing out . . . that
is a chaos scenario. The country will go back to what it was in 2008,
and . . . no one wants that.”
Parliament’s current term expires at
the end of June, and a general election must be held by the end of October.
A poll immediately after parliament’s term ends is unlikely, Tsvangirai
said, because the new constitution needs to be signed into law and voter
registration must take place. He dismissed suggestions that Mugabe’s allies
want an earlier poll because of the president’s age.
“He is a frail
man, he is an old man, but I don’t think he is in that state of health where
you would think that he would collapse tomorrow,” he said. A graceful
acceptance of defeat would allow Mugabe to enjoy the status of a retired
founding father, he said.
Three former MPs who have been fighting Robert
Mugabe’s refusal to call by-elections in constituencies they used to
represent, have filed an urgent application in the Supreme Court challenging
a ruling by the High Court allowing the President to prolong the
The ex-legislators Norman Mpofu, Abednico Bhebhe and Njabuliso
Mguni lost their seats after being fired by the Welshman Ncube led MDC four
years ago. But they successfully approached the courts in July 2011 in a bid
to force Mugabe to call for by-elections in their areas.
appealed against High Court Judge Justice Nicholas Ndou’s order to ensure
the by-elections were held. That appeal was dismissed by a full bench of the
Supreme Court that ordered new elections to fill the vacancies as soon as
possible, but by no later than 30th August 2012.
However Mugabe once
again appealed and was granted a reprieve when he was given a March 31st
2013 deadline for him to pronounce the date for the by-elections. This
ruling was ignored at the dates were never set.
High Court Judge George
Chiweshe last week then moved to allow Mugabe to ignore the Supreme Court
order, ruling in his favour that the by-elections be further postponed.
Mugabe now has until June 29th to set a date.
Chiweshe said in his
reasoning that the holding of the by-elections now would be costly and
unnecessary because the life of Parliament would end by June
The former MPs, who also plan to contest as parliamentarians on an
MDC-T ticket, are now appealing this decision arguing that the High Court
had no jurisdiction in this matter.
There are currently 40 vacant
constituencies in the country but lawyer Thabani Mpofu said the application
is only for by-elections in Bulilima East, Lupane East and Nkayi
“We believe there is still time and if a favorable judgment is
rendered the elections will be conducted and they will be able to serve the
people in their respective constituencies,” Mpofu told SW Radio
President Mugabe has said there is no money and time to hold
separate by-elections on top of preparing for harmonized elections. “The
counter argument to that question is how practical is it for the court to
condone disobedience with its own orders?” Mpofu asked.
said his clients should be in parliament and “at the end of the day there is
no one in this country who is obliged to go for one day without adequate
representation simply because the President does not want to comply with an
order of the court.”
Three members from the National Youth
Development Trust in Bulawayo were arrested on Wednesday for mobilising
residents in Pumula to register as voters.
Two of the arrested have
been named as Garikai Mhendo and Lucky Mutiti, while the third has only been
identified as Mayibongwe. A fourth member of the group, Kelvin Ncube managed
to evade capture and is reportedly on the run.
arrests, lawyer Nontokozo Dube-Tachiwona told our correspondent in Bulawayo
Lionel Saungweme that the three members of the NYDT were picked up outside
the Pumula Housing office.
Speaking on SW Radio Africa’s Hidden Story
program, Saungweme told us the offices are also used as an outpost of the
Registrar-General’s office, where residents in Pumula and surrounding
surburbs can go and register to vote.
However, many tenants in the
surburb were facing problems getting their landlords to help by providing
letters confirming their status as tenants.
Therefore, members of the
NYDT had devised a simple plan where they were urging people with Econet
phone lines to register using their sim card receipts, which contains proof
of where they reside.
‘They told their lawyer that when police stopped
them they were in the process of helping residents to register as voters.
The three said they had taken it upon themselves to help because many people
are not registered to vote in Pumula.
‘They also complained that many
landlords are not helping their tenants by supplying information confirming
their status, a requirement needed when one is registering to vote,’
But police in the country have mounted a crackdown on
anyone not from ZANU PF seen helping or mobilising people to register as
Party spokesman Rugare Gumbo is quoted in the Herald saying his
party is mobilising supporters and new members to register ahead of the
‘What is worrisome to many people is the fact
that ZANU PF has a free reign in registering its supporters whilst those
perceived to be against the party are blocked or arrested for attempting a
similar exercise,’ Saungweme added.
Central bank governor Gideon Gono this week moved to quell
panic within the sector, saying there were no plans to withdraw the
operating licence of Standard Chartered Bank (Stanchart).
statement by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s chief will be welcomed by both
stakeholders and depositors alike, after weekend threats by the National
Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board (NIEEB) to close Stanchart,
unless it complied with empowerment regulations.
In the statement, seen
by the NewsDay newspaper, Gono’s stated: “It has come to the attention of
the Reserve Bank that there are signs of instability and anxiety among
stakeholders, especially depositors who do business with Standard Chartered
Bank Zimbabwe Limited.
“All stakeholders of the bank and indeed, of other
banks are hereby advised not to panic or wantonly withdraw their funds from
the bank as the central bank, which is the sole authority which issues and
withdraws banking licences from players in the Zimbabwean financial sector,
has not signaled any move in the direction intimated by NIEEB nor in any
other way suggesting that Standard Chartered Bank will lose its business
licence for any reason in the near future.”
Gono went further to say
that the central bank had no plans of violating the RBZ Act especially that
of fostering liquidity, solvency, stability and proper functioning of
Zimbabwe’s financial system.
In what will be seen by many as efforts to
put the indigenisation body in its place, Gono wrote: “We have not and have
no intention of violating any of the above statutory functions and
specifically, we have not given any advice to the State which supports the
position announced by NIEEB officials other than that whatever we do as the
government, the action(s) must be legal, measured and for the benefit of the
broad-based majority of Zimbabweans,” according to NewsDay.
governor’s statement was copied to Finance minister Tendai Biti, chief
secretary to the President and Cabinet, Misheck Sibanda, and NIEEB chairman
Political analyst Rejoice Ngwenya said Indigenisation
minister Saviour Kasukuwere, who is championing the crusade against
foreign-owned firms through the NIEEB, should stop treating entities like
tuck-shops and equated the minister’s threats to close withdraw Stanchart’s
licence to “ministerial bullying”.
Ngwenya said the minister had no
mandate to meddle in the financial services sector: “Kasukuwere needs to be
reined in. Mugabe should explain to him that a bank is not a corner shop
that can be closed at the whim of a ministerial bully.”
He added that
Kasukuwe and the NIEEB “are singularly responsible for defeating the
trajectory of foreign-direct-investment in the country”, and it was time
someone curbed the minister’s misplaced enthusiasm.
Twenty-one Bulawayo protesters who spent two nights in custody
despite being bailed by a magistrate on Tuesday were finally released
Wednesday afternoon following the intervention of well-wishers.
21 are part of a group of 23 members of a combined youth lobby group
arrested on Monday and charged with taking part in an ‘illegal
The group, protesting under the banner of the Mthwakazi
Youth Joint Resolution, was on its way to hand in a petition challenging the
hiring policy at national energy supplier, ZESA.
The youths, most of
whom are jobless, accuse the ZESA authorities in Bulawayo of only hiring
staff from Mashonaland and not from Matebeleland.
They appeared in court
late Tuesday afternoon, where their lawyer Nosimilo Chanayiwa, successfully
argued for bail.
As part of their bail conditions, the youths were asked
to pay $50, and not to interfere with investigations, report to the police
every Friday until their next court appearance on April
However, only the leaders of the group, Mqondisi Moyo and Busani
Sibindi, managed to raise the fee Tuesday, with the rest spending the night
at Khami Prison.
Ray Ncube, an official at FOZAPU, one of the groups
whose members were detained, said well-wishers clubbed together and raised
the required fee, leading to the release of all the activists
The 23, who include two women, are facing ‘criminal nuisance’
charges, while Moyo and Sibindi — who were singled out as the ringleaders —
are also accused of breaching the country’s harsh security law, the Public
Order and Security Act.
The criminal charges stem from the petition
that the youths intended to deliver to the ZESA authorities, which the state
argued was meant to ‘incite hatred towards people of a particular ethnic
origin’. The youths deny the charges.
Innocent Ndibali, who heads the
national Zimbabwe Unemployed People’s Association, said to accuse the
arrested youth activists of ethnic bias is to miss the point, as there was
“nothing tribalistic in the make-up of those arrested, and the issues they
Speaking to SW Radio Africa Wednesday, Ndibali said those
arrested were part of the 10,000 unemployed people from various ethnic
backgrounds who are official members of ZUPA’s Bulawayo branch. And the
figure could be higher.
“This is not an issue about Ndebeles and Shonas:
this is about unemployed people in Bulawayo and the Matabeleland region
asking to be considered for job opportunities that arise where they
“The region’s youth have a right under the principle of devolution
to demand to be considered for opportunities ahead of people from other
regions – and the same is true of our members based either in Mutare,
Masvingo or Zhombe.
“Bulawayo is home to all ethnic backgrounds, and it
is wrong to suggest that they are fanning ethnic hatred when they demand
fair treatment and access to opportunities,” Ndibali added.
blamed the de-industrialisation of Bulawayo for the large number of jobless
people. With more firms either closing or relocating to other areas, the
figure is set to keep rising and with it, the level of competition for the
few opportunities that arise in the city.
WASHINGTON — In a show of unity among the three
main political parties and the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee
(JOMIC), officials in Mashonaland East on Tuesday launched a peace building
campaign to promote non-violent campaigning among their
Held today in Wedza, members of Zanu-PF and the Movement for
Democratic Change formations of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and
Professor Welshman Ncube kicked off their program with a clean-up of the
Officials said the exercise is designed to curb political violence
at a time of growing political tensions as Zimbabweans prepare for a general
election expected before the end of the year.
chairman Piniel Denga told VOA that the program is intended to show
solidarity among the parties.
MDC-N provincial chairman Tangisai Mandaza
said the peace campaign may be a good start, but political party officials
must walk the talk.
VOA asked a Zanu-PF party representative at the
campaign and a Zanu-PF representative to JOMIC to comment on Tuesday’s
program, but both said they would not speak with VOA.
VOA reached out
to Zanu-PF deputy director of information, Psychology Maziwisa, who said his
party welcomes the joint campaign as it promotes the calls for non-violence
made by the president.
JOMIC’s campaign continues Wednesday in
Murehwa, where the parties said they will help the chief with the harvest.
But the question now lies on if the campaign can succeed or will it reduce
VOA reporter Sithandekile Mhlanga put the questions to JOMIC
co-chairperson, Thabitha Khumalo, who said the community initiative programs
the government initiated last year have helped reduce cases of political
violence throughout the country.
The peace campaign is expected
to round out at Friday will a football match among supporters.
The MDC is
extremely disturbed by current activities involving massive rigging by Zanu
PF ahead of the watershed election sometime this year. The panic stricken
party is currently involved in an odd exercise of illegally loading voters
from the Zanu PF’s so-called anti-sanctions petition list into the official
The MDC has it on good authority that the desperate
party is actually forcing hapless citizens to provide personal information
with regard to identity numbers, residential addresses, ward, district,
province, and telephone numbers.
We are aware that this electoral
fraud is being master minded and orchestrated by a team of about 3 000 from
the army personnel who are following up on all the unsuspecting citizens
appearing on the anti-sanctions petition list with a view to intimidating
them to provide further details for registration and ultimately vote for
Zanu PF in the coming election.
Zanu PF has built a war chest with 2
200 new vehicles sourced from China by one Chris Mutsvangwa illegally using
revenue from diamonds mined from Chiadzwa. The looted funds should through
the Treasury be used into paying civil servants and on infrastructural
development, but is being diverted by Zanu PF.
Zanu PF is heavily
engaged in clandestine and nefarious activities in the cruel exploitation
and plunder of the Marange resource and has committed a huge financial
resource for the purchase of the 700 hundred vehicles parked at the Zanu PF
headquarters plus a further 1 500 vehicles stored at Manica Freight along
Coventry Rd, in the Willowvale Industries along the Road from
We view this action as a serious affront to popular will and
an indictment of the people of Zimbabwe’s freedoms and rights to a decent
The intended manipulation of the voter’s roll by Zanu PF is a
clear sign of panic in Zanu PF and calls on every serious minded Zimbabwean
and the international community to condemn this barbaric action in the
It should dawn to all merchants of political
terrorism within Zanu PF that Zimbabwe will no longer be a Zanu PF
HARARE - Zimbabwe says it is
prepared for any aggression from Mozambique’s Renamo rebels who are seeking to
overthrow a constitutionally elected government amid reports of intensified
joint military cooperation between the two
Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa
said Zimbabwe is prepared to defend its territorial integrity in the event that
the rebel insurgency in Mozambique spills into the country.
rebel leader, Afonso Dhlakama’s rebel movement, Renamo has been on a rampage of
late attacking civilians and setting up military camps in protest against what
he said are unmet demands since the end of the country’s civil
Meanwhile President Mugabe's loyalists have said Dhlakama is acting
in collusion with the Americans and western countries who want to effect what
they regime change by removing the Mozambican government from
In November last year, Zimbabwe
deployed troops to its border with Mozambique as concern over military
ZANU PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo has
described recent reports suggesting that former Mozambican rebel group Renamo
was contemplating going back to war as worrisome.
“We are very worried about possible
instability in the region if war breaks out in Mozambique,” said
“Our position as a party is very
clear. We support national unity in Mozambique. We work with Frelimo as one of
the liberation movements and we obviously will not entertain any rebellion in
Mozambique,” Gumbo said last week in a telephone interview.
Said Gumbo:“As far as we are
concerned, we want continued peace in Mozambique. We are not going to entertain
a situation that will be against the interests of Mozambique and the region. We
will not support rebels and a movement which we think will be detrimental to
Mozambique and the region.”
Dhlakama has been quoted by AFP as
saying he was prepared to go to war to achieve his demands.
“If it is necessary, we can go
backwards. We prefer a poor country than to have people eating from our
“I am training my men up and, if we
need to, we will leave here and destroy Mozambique,” he was quoted
The party led by Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangira MDC T has also raised fears against instability in the region
if war breaks out in Mozambique, saying the African Union and the regional bloc
should intervene urgently.
“The MDC is extremely worried about
the political and security developments in Mozambique, especially the
possibility of another civil war in that country
“The war in Mozambique will bring
untold suffering to the people of Mozambique and beyond. Further, it will
reverse all the economic, social and political gains that have been made so
“We urge the international community,
especially Sadc and the African Union, to deal with the disturbing developments
in Mozambique as a matter of urgency,” the MDC T’s standing committee
There are fears that Dhlakama’s
troops could terrorise Zimbabwean citizens in the Manicaland border province
with Mozambique. Concerns have also been raised over the possibility that the
troops could attack facilities like the Feruka oil pipeline.
his nearly 800 troops are camped at the Casa Banana base on the foot of Mount
Knowledgeable sources in Zimbabwe have confirmed to
defenceWeb that troops have been deployed to keep watch over the activities of
Dhlakama and his troops. The Zimbabwean troops will likely intervene should
Renamo dissident soldiers cause problems inside Zimbabwe’s territory.
particular concern is the pipeline. Troops will be guarding the pipeline because
it is an important property,” said one source privy to the
Colonel Everson Mugwizi, the Zimbabwean Defence Forces
spokesperson, would not comment on the deployment of troops to the border with
Mozambique. However, sources have confirmed the development comes in the wake of
a recent discussion between the Zimbabwean and Mozambique military.
two countries are said to have close military ties and information at hand
suggests that Zimbabwe is openly willing to assist the Mozambique government
should Renamo embark on a civil war campaign that could plunge the Southern
African region into instability.
Diplomatic sources said this week that
Zimbabwe requires a Southern African Development Community (SADC) mandate to
send troops into Mozambique although no green light would be required for
Zimbabwe to deploy troops to maintain stability in its territory. If the need to
send troops into Mozambique arises, said the diplomats, President Robert Mugabe
would have to seek a SADC mandate – which can be granted by the troika on peace,
politics and security.
The mandate will clearly outline the course of
action to be taken. There is also the possibility that Mozambique’s other
neighbouring countries will intervene, although political analysts said an SADC
brokered and peaceful settlement will likely yield results and end differences
between Renamo and Frelimo.
“It’s not easy to send in troops to another
country, whatever the situation. In this case, a SADC mandate would have to be
sought and granted. But if the troops are deployed inside Zimbabwe, then I don’t
see any problem because it’s just to maintain peace in local territory,” said
one of the diplomats.
The Mozambican National Resistance
(RENAMO) opposition party has renewed attacks in Mozambique following a deadly
attack against Mozambican security forces last week.
Several other attacks have followed,
including an attack on a South African bus liner on 6 April, but the accused
party, RENAMO, has denied the reported attacks, saying that it is the government
troops trying to create an unfavourable impression of RENAMO militants, whose
stronghold is Muxungue province, where the attacks reportedly
The militant group turned political
party, which adhered to a ceasefire that ended a bloody civil war with the
ruling Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO) more than 20 years ago, has taken
up arms again, purportedly in retaliation to a police raid on one of the
The renewed flare-up of violence
casts a shadow on the country’s next elections, scheduled for
Since last year, RENAMO leader,
Afonso Dhlakama, has been threatening that he and his followers might reinstate
attacks if the government did not implement significant changes in the electoral
system as well as in the allocation of wealth, created by Mozambique’s abundance
of resources. Mozambique has seen a huge economic upturn as it lured many
international investors after the end of the civil war.
The first elections took place in
1994 with FRELIMO winning a narrow majority. Mozambicans, who had not
experienced much more than bloody violence over the 16 years of civil war, were
satisfied with the politics of their government over the following elections as
the ruling party gained more and more votes. At the same time the Mozambican
National Resistance was losing its support. From about 33% in 1994 its share of
the vote dropped down to about 16% in 2009.
Years after the end of the war,
RENAMO remains tightly militarised with its ageing rebel leader, Dhlakama at the
top. The party appears to have missed an opportunity to reinvent itself and
contribute to modern Mozambique, which is full of economic opportunities.
Recently the BBC asked if Mozambique would end up like Norway or Nigeria,
implicating the great chances of the vast oil and coal discoveries, may yield
great economic returns.
However RENAMO still sticks to its
rivalry with the ruling party andthis does not only increase the likelihood of
violence during the elections next year, but could also have significant
implications for the country’s economy.
So Dhlakama and his fighters, though
lacking support of broad Mozambican society which fears a return to violence,
could harm the country in the long-term.
Meanwhile Mozambique’s armed forces
are ready to respond to a series of attacks by militia sympathetic to the
country’s main opposition party, the head of the country’s armed forces
“We are ready waiting for the head of
state to respond to Renamo’s initiative,” Paulino Macaringue, chief of the armed
forces, told reporters after a Womens’ Day ceremony in Maputo, the capital,
Renamo, formerly backed by South
Africa’s apartheid government, fought a 15-year civil war against the ruling
Front for the Liberation of Mozambique, or Frelimo, that ended in 1992 with a
peace agreement brokered by church groups. The party last year said it could
resume conflict and complained that elections in 2009, won by Frelimo, were
The fighting last week occurred in
the district of Muxungwe after Renamo militiamen attacked members of the Rapid
Intervention Force, the police said in a statement. Renamo said it was
retaliating for a police raid on its office the day before.
“We want to inform the national and
international community that we are tired of being oppressed by the Frelimo
government and will retaliate for each attack with all our power,” Renamo
Secretary-General Ussufo Momade told reporters in Maputo last
Cape Town-based Intercape, a
long-haul bus service, said one of its coaches was attacked by armed men near
Beira on April 6. Two passengers were injured and there were no fatalities, it
said in an e-mailed statement. The daily service from Beira to Maputo has been
suspended, it said.
President Armando Guebuza called
yesterday for talks with Renamo.
“Renamo must stop their attacks and
come to dialog,” Guebuza said. “The government is always open to talks to
preserve the peace and stability in Mozambique.”
Public transport operators have
ceased traveling at night in some parts of Mozambique.
Mozambique is the site of an aluminum
smelter operated by BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) while Rio Tinto Group (RIO) and Vale
SA (VALE5) have coal operations in the country. Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (APC)
and Eni SpA (ENI) have discovered natural gas off its coast while Sasol Ltd.
operates a gas field.
“We are monitoring the situation
closely as the priority is the safety of our employees,” Johannesburg-Sasol said
in an e-mailed response to questions.
HARARE - Zimbabwe's upcoming watershed polls will be a defining
moment for relations between the country and the European Union (EU), a head
of the EU delegation has said.
EU ambassador Aldo Dell’Ariccia said
the successful holding of credible elections will be a crucial step in the
strengthening of Zimbabwe-EU relations.
He said the normalisation of
relations was a long road that started with the establishment of the
Government of National Unity (GNU).
“Based on that, the European Union
decided to launch what I would call the normalisation process,” he
said “And now we expect that the election itself is as peaceful, transparent
and credible and that the winning party is empowered; then we can take a
great leap and fully normalise relations,” Dell’Ariccia
Relations between Zimbabwe and western countries have been sour for
over a decade but the past months has seen an improvement in relations with
travel restrictions on Zanu PF officials being lifted or
“The EU considered that the agreement would indeed permit to
put the country back on track of a sound political development,” he
“And so we declared that we are ready to respond to the progress of
the implementation of the GPA and the normalisation of the situation in the
country with our re-engagement, in particular for what refers to the
restrictive measures on individuals and on the companies which they own or
to which they are linked.
“So if you look at the evolution during the
last two and half years you really have the image of the normalisation
process that has been going on," he said.
Only 10 persons and two
companies remain on the restrictive measures out of over 150 people and 10
companies present on the list at the end of 2010.
Dell’Ariccia said the
period leading to the elections will be crucial, as there should be an
environment suitable for a peaceful election.
“And if indeed we can have
elections that are not marred by violence and intimidation, whose
preparation can correspond with what should be a normal election, with
proper access to media, with freedom of assembly being respected; with
proper voters education, with the voters roll that reflects on the
population, then the process could be considered credible.
“I would like
to specify that these elements I’m mentioning are not a European Union
benchmark, these are the criteria that the African Union and the Southern
Africa Development Community (Sadc) consider as the necessary elements for a
He said the EU will not gate-crash to observe the
election but, if invited, could field an Election Observation
The EU head of delegation in Zimbabwe said the meeting in London
last month between Zimbabwe and “Friends of Zimbabwe” was a positive step by
the development partners towards normalisation of relations. - Bridget
Wednesday, 10 April 2013 12:25 HARARE - Dumiso
Dabengwa has established new Zapu youth and women committees that he hopes
will help him win the forthcoming polls.
Zapu’s new women’s wing, the
Zimbabwe African Women’s Union (Zawu) led by Getrude Makwila and the Mehluli
Moyo-led national youth front were selected on Sunday at Pelandaba Hall in
Bulawayo, and will be in office for 24 months.
“The leadership to be
elected today is interim and Zapu is looking at the Zawu and youth to take
it to power, come elections this year,” Dabengwa said.
“Zawu are the
wings, the youth are the legs and without that Zapu cannot move. People in
the country are saying they do not see Zapu because there are no wings and
legs. Assistance will be provided both in cash and kind early this month to
see the party moving,” he said without stating the source of the
A former Home Affairs minister, Dabengwa and several senior Zanu
PF officials resigned from Zanu PF ahead of the 2008 vote to back Simba
Makoni, leader of an opposition splinter group, in the presidential
Makoni is also a former Zanu PF Politburo member and Finance
minister in President Robert Mugabe’s government.
confessed that the Mavambo project was aimed at preventing the MDC led by
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai — then an opposition leader, from beating
Mugabe out rightly.
After Makoni came third in the 2008 presidential
race, polling 8,3 percent of the presidential vote, Dabengwa severed ties
with the former minister and revived Zapu with war veterans largely from his
Ndebele ethnic group.
Dabengwa is now the interim president of Zapu, and
told the Pelandaba meeting the challenge bedevilling the country was to
The ex-Zipra intelligence supremo said his party
strongly wants the country reverting to the five provinces namely
Manicaland, Mashonaland, Masvingo, Midlands and Matabeleland and with the
central government making sure these provinces are functioning
He bemoaned what is happening in Marange where he said
“diamonds are mined to fatten people’s pockets and the revenue collected
does not get to the minister of Finance”.
He said he was confident of
winning the forthcoming polls.
Zapu vice president Emelia Mukaratirwa
urged women to stand up and work for the party. - Gift Phiri, Political
Wednesday, 10 April 2013 12:21 HARARE - Zimbabwe
Tourism Authority (ZTA) chief executive Karikoga Kaseke says relations
between him and the Tourism ministry over preparations for the United
Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) are cordial.
This comes as the
ex-Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe boss’ name has been dragged into an
alleged fight with Tourism minister Walter Mzembi over the use of $2,5
million donated by Mbada Diamonds (Mbada) towards the hosting of the world
event by Zimbabwe, and Zambia in August.
“We are not at loggerheads. I
was not there when Mbada and Mzembi signed the deal,” he said, adding that
he only got to know about the UNWTO facility after approaching the
Borrowdale-based company for funds to stage the Sanganai/Hlanganani
Conference last year.
In his request for $100 000, Kaseke was then told
he could not get any help as the miner had already given or committed to his
parent ministry nearly $3 million — to be given in monthly instalments of
While there have been widespread allegations of abuse of the
funds — to an extent that police have allegedly investigated the matter —
the ZTA boss also said there have been some misconceptions about the
application of the Mbada funds after they had visited Spain for a major
Instead, Kaseke disclosed, Treasury funded
the entire Madrid jaunt.
“I am hearing all this (presumed clashes) for
the first time.
“This is speculation (and) it’s not fair to just rope in
other people’s names,” he said. - Staff Writer
HARARE — A Harare Magistrate Court on Tuesday found
the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) guilty of violating a
salary agreement it entered with its workers some time last
Employees now say they will do everything possible to recover more
than $60 million the power utility owes them in backpay.
case against ZESA ended with magistrate Anita Tshuma fining the utility $400
for failing to pay the wages the power utility agreed to pay its
Zimbabwe Energy Workers Union organizing secretary Joseph
Charlie welcomed the court ruling, saying the guilty verdict helps pave the
way for workers to collect backpay through civil court.
the union, which represents ZESA workers, is prepared to take whatever steps
necessary to ensure workers get the money ZESA owes them. According to
Charlie, the salary arrears total around $60 million.
secretary general, Mbonisi Sibanda, said ZESA agreed in March last year to a
contract that would see the lowest-paid worker get $275 a
After the agreement, the new terms were then registered as
required by statutory instrument 50 of 2012, the law that compels firms to
gazette employment terms.
But, the court found, ZESA never complied
with the new agreement, which prompted workers to take ZESA to
ZESA continues to pay workers at levels set before last year’s
union agreement, so the lowest paid worker is getting $190 per
Sibanda said he does not understand why ZESA has not complied with
the new pay terms, as the company is surpassing its monthly revenue
According to Sibanda, ZESA has used the revenue to pay off most
of its foreign debts to countries, like Mozambique, that had previously
exported power to Zimbabwe.
The power utility has more than 7,000
employees countrywide. Studio 7 called ZESA spokesman Fullard Gwasira for
the company’s reaction to Tuesday’s court ruling, but he did not answer his
A Zimbabwean bus
operator was recently fined R190 000 after the crew caught with 19
passengers attempting to enter South Africa illegally.
This follows a
crackdown by the South African government on errant bus companies who carry
travellers without requisite travelling documents to that
The South African government is imposing a 10 000 rand fine per
passenger. Pretoria has now invoked a section of the Immigration Act that
punish bus operators caught carrying foreigners without travelling documents
by imposing heavy penalties on those who fail to comply with the law of that
country. Several bus operators have incurred heavy losses in the last few
weeks after being caught on the wrong side of the law.
plying Harare-Johannesburg is one of the companies that was slapped with a
R190 000 fine after its crew was caught with 19 passengers without
passports. Coach and Bus Operators Association has since written to its
members warning them to desist from carrying people with no valid
“Kindly be advised that the South African Department of
Home Affairs has been issuing notices of fines to all operators whose buses
bound for Zimbabwe were found with passengers without passports,” said the
association’s chief executive officer, Mr Alex Kautsiro. One of the tickets
issued to one bus operator read as follows:
“You are hereby informed
that in terms of section 50 (3) of the (Immigration) Act you have incurred a
fine to the amount of ––– depending with persons found on the vehicle — for
contravening section 35 (7) of the Act.”
Said Mr Kautsiro: “We are
therefore calling on all operators who have been issued with notices to pay
these fines to bring these to our attention so that we may lodge a formal
appeal with the South African embassy in Zimbabwe and hopefully we might
have these reversed or reduced.” Mr Kautsiro has since warned their members
not to carry people with no valid documents.
“In the interim, kindly
advise all managers and bus crews both in South Africa and Zimbabwe to stop
issuing tickets to persons not holding legitimate travel documents.
Affidavits highlighting that a travel document has been stolen are not going
to suffice — be warned,” read a statement sent to members.
interview on Monday, Mr Kautsiro said their members had in the past been
carrying passengers with affidavits from South African Police indicating
that they lost their travelling documents.
“South African authorities
want a supporting letter from the Zimbabwean embassy in Pretoria confirming
that the passenger was a holder of a passport. So possession of an affidavit
from the police is not enough as the feeling is that one can secure that
affidavit when he has never possessed a passport at all,” said Mr
Kautsiro. He said they had since appealed to South Africa Home Affairs as
provided by that country’s legal statutes.
The move by Pretoria is
likely to affect several Zimbabweans and other people from various other
Outgoing Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki expressed
faith in the new generation of leaders who are taking over his country’s new
government. He was speaking at an inauguration ceremony for Uhuru Kenyatta
that was attended by some of Africa’s longest serving presidents.
his final speech on Tuesday as he retires from the political scene after 50
years of service, Kibaki said he is confident he is leaving Kenya in “good
hands” under the leadership of youthful leaders. He described Kenyatta and
his deputy William Ruto as, “dynamic and able.”
The outgoing president
said he is “happy to pass the torch of leadership to the new generation of
51 year old Kenyatta’s swearing in ceremony was attended by
several long-serving African leaders including Ismail Omar Guelleh, the
handpicked President of Djibouti who has been in power for 14 years and
Yoweri Museveni, who has ruled Uganda since 1986 and spoke on behalf of the
Heads of State at the ceremony.
Kibaki, whose election to a second
term in 2007 was marred by accusations of vote rigging and violence leading
to the formation of a coalition government, said he was happy that his unity
government provided better roads, access to clean water, electricity to the
rural areas and brought services closer to the people during his 10 years as
President, including leaving a growing private sector.
“I wish to
state that as I exit the stage of leadership, I have no doubt in my mind
that the country is in good hands. Kenyans and the international community
should give them space and support to enable them to exercise their
Presidential mandate,” Kibaki said.
His successor is facing charges at
the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity over his
alleged role in the 2007 election violence which left at least 1,000 people
Talking of long term Africa leaders, none of them comes close to
President Robert Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe since independence in 1980
and is even now at the age of 89 preparing to contest in this year’s
election. He is accused of having ‘stolen’ the last election in 2008, which
blocked any chance of new leadership or meaningful change in the country and
led to the formation of the coalition government with the Movement for
Democratic Change formations.
Five MP’s who last year deserted
Welshman Ncube to support Arthur Mutambara in the intra-party feud have now
deserted the Deputy Prime Minister to join the larger MDC led by Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
The five MP’s including Deputy Speaker of
Parliament Nomalanga Khumalo (Umzingwane), Maxwell Dube (Tsholotsho South),
Thandeko Mnkandla (Gwanda North) and Senators Dalumuzi Khumalo (Lupane) and
Kembo Dube (Senator for Umzingwane) were sacked by the smaller MDC led by
They however did not lose their parliamentary seats after
Mutambara claimed they belonged to his faction. It now means from the March
2008 parliamentary elections, a total of 8 legislators from the Ncube and
Mutambara’s factions have now gone full circle and gone back to the larger
MDC led by Tsvangirai.
Last year the Ncube-led MDC fired eight
legislators and 49 councillors on allegations of defecting to the
“We have fired 49 councillors, 33 in Matabeleland North, 15 in
Matabeleland South and one in Bulawayo. The party has also officially fired
the already expelled legislators Abdenico Bhebhe (Nkayi South), Njabuliso
Mguni (Bulilima East) and Norman Mpofu (Lupane East),” the party said at the
This meant the party was left with 6 legislators in National
Healing co-minister Moses Mzila-Ndlovu, Education minister David Coltart,
Foreign Affairs deputy minister Robert Makhula, Siyabonga Malandu Ncube (MP)
Patrick Dube and Edward Mkhosi (MP).
Professor Ncube and Professor
Mutambara are engaged in a fierce battle for control of the party and the
case has spilled into the courts. Mutambara and 13 other officials of the
original smaller MDC are challenging the validity of the January 2011
congress that elected Ncube as party president.
FNB LAUNCHED a cellphone-based instant money transfer
service from South Africa to Zimbabwe yesterday.
“We have done
extensive research into the cross-border remittance market and devised a
service that is readily accessible to the people who need it most,” Yolande
van Wyk, the head of digital and alternative banking for FNB Africa,
“People don’t always have the time to travel to the bank during
working hours, and often need to send money home instantly and easily,” she
Van Wyk said the service had a tiered pricing structure, with a
minimum 4.5 percent fee. Sending between R100 and R1 000 would cost R45.
From R1 001 to R1 500 the fee was R70, with a maximum of R3 000 a
Recipients could collect their money at OK retail stores in Harare
and Bulawayo, with more outlets to follow.
FNB said that according to
the World Bank, 20 percent of money sent to Zimbabwe from South Africa was
spent on the cost of getting it there. The bank also found that an estimated
1.9 million Zimbabweans living and working in South Africa sent an average
R6.7 billion a year to Zimbabwe.
According to a World Bank chart of
remittance percentages, FNB, Nedbank and Standard Bank charged more than 18
percent to send money to Zimbabwe, while Absa charged 15 percent for online
services. Bank of Athens charged 39 percent and Bidvest 32 percent. Western
Union charged 8.7 percent for cash transfers.
FNB said there were no
currency conversion rates for the sender and zero transaction fees for
recipients, who did not have to be pre-registered.
Van Wyk said the
sender had to be an FNB accountholder who had complied with all the
Financial Intelligence Centre Act requirements and must be a permanent
resident of South Africa.
WASHINGTON DC — Parliament’s Liaison and
Coordination Committee is meeting in Bulawayo for three days to review the
strategic plan of parliament and update its work.
The meeting started
Tuesday and is expected to end Thursday.
The committee is made up of the
three chief whips from the parties in parliament and portfolio and thematic
committee chairpersons from the House of Assembly and Senate.
attending are Speaker of Parliament Lovemore Moyo and Senate leader Edna
Madzongwe, senior managers of parliament, United Nations Development Program
representatives, presiding officers and an expert from Kenya invited to
Moyo told VOA Studio 7 they will take this opportunity to review
the 7th parliament’s achievements and failures since its inception in
The term of parliament is expected to expire on June 29, with
elections expected between June 29 and October.
Moyo said parliament
suffered from a lack of funds that saw it failing to complete some of its
By Fungai Kwaramba, Staff Writer Wednesday, 10
April 2013 12:51
HARARE - Water woes, potholed roads and uncollected
refuse in the bustling city of Harare can be traced to Local Government
minister Ignatius Chombo — at least according to the MDC led by Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
For good measure, residents accuse their
councillors of being corrupt — but the MDC’s Harare province says the party
has weeded out corrupt elements in order to bring sanity to the
Obert Gutu, the MDC Harare province spokesperson told
the Daily News that there has been a general improvement in fortunes of
Harare, where water is flowing intermittently in some suburbs while
boreholes have been drilled to cater for those who are caught in the dry
“We do not tolerate corruption and that is the reason why some MDC
councillors deemed to be corrupt have either been fired or suspended from
the party. The MDC-run council has performed extremely well in ensuring that
most areas in Harare receive an uninterrupted supply of clean and safe
water,” said Gutu.
Although the MDC has expelled several councillors,
including deputy mayor Emmanuel Chiroto, Chombo has refused to expel them
Zanu PF has upped the ante against the MDC, attacking
councils run by the former opposition party as havens of corruption. But
Gutu says the problem can be traced to Chombo, whom he said interfered in
the appointment of key council employees and also special
“The situation has not been made any better through the
improper and irregular interference in the operations of the council by the
minister of Local Government.
“In order to protect his Zanu PF
cronies who occupy strategic positions within the administrative structure
of the city council, the minister has misused and abused the wide powers
that he has in terms of the Urban Councils Act, to virtually usurp the
functions of the council as well as sabotaging any progressive work that the
council may be embarking upon,” said Gutu.
When contacted for
comment, Chombo said was in a meeting and promised to call back.
had not done so by the time of going to print.
Before the formation of
the unity government in 2009, water, a universal right, became a privilege
that was accessed by just a few and a cholera outbreak wreaked havoc in the
city spreading to other parts of the country as the then Zanu PF government
failed to provide essentials.
However, the establishment of a coalition
government between Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe in 2009 breathed
some life into vital sectors such as health and service delivery, but still
the situation is far from ideal.
“While we accept that residents of
Harare have every right to expect efficient service delivery from their
elected council, it is also important for the people to understand and
appreciate the challenges that the city council is facing.
of Harare, like most government and quasi-governmental organisations in the
country, suffers from a severe cash flow problem that makes it virtually
impossible to efficiently provide clean and safe water to all the three
million residents of metropolitan Harare,” said Gutu.
attempts by councillors to bring sanity in the city like closing illegal car
sales which have sprouted around the city have been stymied by Zanu PF.
A group of Zanu (PF) supporters aligned to Murehwa North Member of
Parliament, David Parirenyatwa, has reportedly launched a terror campaign
The group has been holding meetings and threatening villagers with a
repeat of the June 2008 violence if they vote for the MDC-T in the forthcoming
elections. MDC-T Provincial spokesperson for Mashonaland East, Graham
Nyahada, told The Zimbabwean that Parirenyatwa was behind the terror
campaign. He said that last week, Parirenyatwa held two rallies at Dandara
and Chingwaru Business Centres in Wards two and three respectively where he
reportedly warned villagers present that voting for the MDC-T in the next
elections would attract serious repercussions.
“Intimidation is rife in Murehwa North and Parirenyatwa has been
threatening people not to vote for any other party besides Zanu (PF) in the
elections. He held two rallies at Dandara and Chingwaru Business
Centers and warned villagers that his party would be monitoring who people are
voting for. He also told those present that they should avoid a repeat of the
June 2008 violence by voting for Zanu (PF),” said Nyahada.
Nyahada said that at Parirenyatwa’s rally held at Chingwaru
Business Centre, a Zanu (PF) Councillor, identified as Felix Munyukwi,
pointed out villagers who he accused of being behind the “No Vote” campaign
and threatened to deal with them.
“All these events have resulted in widespread fear among the villagers.
They have lost hope that the next elections will be violence-free,”
He said that some supporters of Parirenyatwa last week addressed a party
meeting at Bidhi dip tank in Ward 2 where they warned villagers that they
risked losing their lives if they campaigned for the MDC-T. Nyahada said
that the Zanu (PF) activists, among them Knowledge Matsika, Simbarashe Kurida,
Nyika Musonza, and Abraham Dongo, were behind the murder of MDC-T activist,
Moses Nyahada, on June 9, 2008.
“This intimidation is taking place in the presence of the police and
members of the Zimbabwe National Army. People here are concerned that calls for
peace by principals in the GNU are not being heeded,” said Nyahada.
When contacted for comment over the issue, Parirenyatwa denied the
“The environment here is peaceful and we have been preaching peace
messages. Those are absolute lies and there is nothing like that taking place
On the 18
April 2013, it will be 33 years since Zimbabwe attained her independence.
One is tempted to say the nation will be celebrating its birthday but to be
quite honest there is very little to celebrate, at least for the
overwhelming majority. Only Mugabe and his Zanu PF friends and their
relatives, constituting 5 to 10% of the population will have something to be
glad about. They have enjoyed the absolute power of a dictatorship and all
the material benefits they have accumulated from decades of corruption and
looting. Still even they cannot ignore the suffering and misery of millions
of ordinary people in the country. The suffering is largely the result of
the economic melt-down and the political oppression which alone has sent
30,000 Zimbabweans to an early grave.
We all had a clear idea where
we were going when we started: we were fighting to end white colonial
exploitation and oppression which had denied blacks their human rights and
dignity. We were fighting for freedom, liberty, having a meaningful say in
the running of the country and a fair share of the country’s
Today millions of Zimbabweans live into abject poverty. Life
expectancy, the ultimate qualitative and quantitative standard of living
test, has plummeted from 68 years in 1980 to a misery 34 years in 2012. Some
3 millions have since left the country to escape the economic hardship
and/or political repression.
Mugabe and his Zanu PF wanted
independent Zimbabwe to be a one-party state because that was the only
system to guarantee his monopoly on power. The very fact that the system
trampled the people’s right to have a meaningful say in the governance of
the country, their freedoms and liberties, did not bother Mugabe and his
Zanu PF friends in the very least.
Mugabe did not get his wish. The
Lancaster House Constitution called for multi-party democracy in Zimbabwe,
so he had to settle for a de facto Zanu PF one-party state. The new COPAC
constitution has not changed this political reality.
Mugabe and Zanu
PF will certainly win the presidency in the coming elections. They will let
MDC win some parliamentary seats but not the presidency. Mugabe and Zanu PF
have fought hard and paid a heavy price to ensure there is no regime change.
They will certain not allow that to happen now, at least not through an
electoral process over which they have control over every aspect
How Mugabe has managed to drag the whole nation into such depths of
depravity and despair over three long decades is itself a measure of the
man’s cunning and cold heartedness. He used the carrot and the iron fist to
achieve his goal of holding on to power at all cost.
In my rural home
there lived this devilish old man, Chomugore. He was a mischievous monkey,
the Oliver Twist’s Fagan of the village. For example, he would ask you to do
something for him promising to give you five mangoes in return. When the
task is done he would give you one mango and tell you to come back tomorrow
for the rest, except that his tomorrow never came and was always a day
Mugabe has been the modern day Chomugore. He has paid pittance to
wet his victim’s appetite and make them slave away for him for a rich reward
tomorrow and 33 years later many of them are still waiting for that tomorrow
and the rich reward. They are waiting in vain.
Mugabe hardly ever talked about freedom, justice and human rights. What he
did talk about and readily promised the masses was mass-prosperity or gutsa
ruzhinji. His government provided free education to primary school level,
free medical care, heavily subsidised food prices. Every Worker’s Day, he
announced hefty but completely arbitrary wage increases. This was indeed
mass prosperity, at least whilst it lasted.
By 1990 the Zimbabwe economy
was on its knees and the country accepted the first of two of the World Bank
and IMF sponsored five-year Economic Structural Adjustment Programme (ESAP).
The programmes called for across the board economic reforms. Mugabe took a
chainsaw to hack-off all social programmes affecting the masses but only had
a hair-cut to the programmes affecting himself and his Zanu PF
So neither the first nor second ESAP achieved its set objective
of economic recovery, indeed the economic slide into the abyss continued and
By the end of the second ESAP in 2000, the economic
hardships began biting very hard and getting worse by the day. For the
masses it meant their mango season was certain over. However, their efforts
to vote Mugabe and Zanu PF out of office came to nothing. The dictatorship
denied them a free vote and even coerced them to vote for Zanu
Mugabe was able to entice the black intelligentsia and middle class
into supporting his regime in the 1980s by introducing black advancement
schemes in which the education qualifications, work experience, etc.
requirements were lowered ostensibly to “help disadvantaged blacks”. In
practice the regime used this loop hole to appoint party loyalists ahead of
better qualified blacks but with no political connections. Having taken the
gene out of the bottle, there was no putting it back. So it was in
Zimbabwe. It was not what you know that matted but who you know and
mismanagement and corruption became rampant in all sectors.
and Zanu PF’s continued rule depended on a powerful cabal keeping faith to
their dictatorial commitment to retain political power regardless the human
suffering and even the deaths it cost. Mugabe’s task, as the leader of this
cabal, was to ensure the members were kept sweet with bribes and fully
committed to himself as the dictator in power at all costs for all times.
The bribes came in the form of ministerial posts for life for those in the
inner circle and for the rest lucrative patronage positions in the Army,
civil service, parastatals, generous contracts for those who wanted to go
into business, and so on and so forth.
Whilst the ESAP called for serious
cuts and reforms to reduce the bloated cabinet, civil service, Army which
would have affected the Zanu PF ruling elite, Mugabe simply refused to carry
out the cuts and reforms. He agreed to cuts affecting the ordinary people
but not his cabal of supporters and the changes that did emerge were not
enough to impact the economy.
The continued economic decline in the 1990s
did not stop the Zanu PF cabal from going back to Mugabe demanding even more
hand outs to pay for their insatiable appetite for extravagant lifestyles.
By the end of the second ESAP in 2000 the national economy was in serious
trouble and there was nothing left for Mugabe to give away except the
Mugabe knew the importance of the agricultural sector in Zimbabwe’s
economy, especially at a time when the economy was tittering on the edge of
colapse. He also knew taking the land from the white farmers to give to his
cronies would disrupt farming and food production for not just one season
but for many years to come. And yet, to please his cronies he still went
ahead to disrupt farming pushing the economy into total economic
The Zimbabwe economy shrunk by a staggering 84% in the
six-year period 2002 to 2008 alone, a position from which the nation has yet
to recovery. As far as Mugabe is concerned, crippling the national economy
was a price well worth paying to retain his hold on political power. He is
still president and that was all he cared about.
have since found out that having the large farms is one thing but putting
them into productive use is another. They would like to hold on to the
farms, yes, but they still want something else that would generate ready
cash to pay for their lifestyles. Mugabe has already promised that they can
have 100% ownership of the mines, banks and whatever private industry is
still left in the nation. This is Mugabe’s last throw of the dice. After
indigenisation there will be nothing left for Zanu PF to loot.
country with an 80% plus unemployment rate, it would make more sense to
start new mining operations, new banks and create the much needed jobs
instead of using the available resources buying off existing mines and
banks. Mugabe is not interested going down that route because it is not the
suffering masses he is concerned about but his ever demanding and wasteful
Zanu PF cronies who are keeping him in power. The cronies are not interested
in starting new companies, or improving old ones, especially if they have to
compete commercially and prove themselves. They want the cash without the
Thanks to Mugabe’s 33 years of ruthless dictatorial rule, the
nation has forfeited its chance of democratic evolutionary change and what
we have left is the certainty of very uncertain revolutionary change. There
is no telling how much destruction it will cause and where it will take us.
So the nation is not just in a serious economic and political mess but is
sitting on a ticking time bomb, some birthday present.
Nehanda Radio, shall be publishing a
three part story installment on the controversial succession of President Robert
Mugabe, which is all but reaching its climax in the wake of presidential and
parliamentary elections in a few months.
The assessment and reading of the
explosive issue, is based on information from sources inside Zanu PF. The
reports are intended to trigger positive debate in the public sphere and allow
you to make your own conclusions using new details, which hitherto might not
have been known.
The Battle For Zimbabwe Part 1: Joice
Mujuru’s last hurdle
By Itai Mushekwe
The European Union (EU) has now removed
Vice President Joice Mujuru, on its list of sanctions against targeted
individuals and companies blamed for instigating human rights abuses and
political oppression in the country.
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe (R) is greeted by Vice
President Joice Mujuru (L) as he returns home to Harare, April 12, 2012, after a
trip to Singapore that had ignited speculation the veteran leader was seriously
Alongside her chief nemesis, defence
minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, also struck off the sanctions list, a new political
paradigm to succeed Mugabe as leader of Zanu PF and the nation is
Mujuru, who is largely favoured by the
West and seen as a reformer, not immediately tainted with political violence and
deaths, is now just facing the last hurdle for romping into
On paper and according to the Zanu PF
constitution, she is definitely in line to takeover from Mugabe, since she is
number two in the party’s organogram, the major problem could be that she
appears not to have Mugabe’s full support and the faction she is said to lead
Furthermore, the current coalition has
put Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s star in a tailspin thus making it
unlikely that the country will embrace another coalition administration, which
observers say was going to favour Mujuru as its leader.
It has always been thought that Mujuru
and Tsvangirai were likely to pen a coalition pact, if Zimbabwe went into
another electoral stalemate.
“If we were to have another Government
of National Unity, Amai Mujuru would beat off all her competitors to the throne
hands down,” said a senior politburo member to us this month.
“That’s because, she would strategically
appoint Tsvangirai as Vice President and give away the premiership to Simon
Khaya Moyo, who could become the second vice president in a new pure Zanu PF
administration as expected later this year.
“The problem you reporters make, is that
some of you fail to discern and because of your own newsroom politics, you keep
on writing what you yourselves want to read and discuss. It is not fair for
everyone else out there without access to privileged information like you
“Gushungo (as Mugabe is affectionately
known) is having a headache over the messy succession race, because it’s no
secret there could be a bloodbath in this country.Amai Mujuru has lost all the guns,
macommander aya ndiwo vakabata chityairo chenyika, uye havatodi kutonzwa
nezvekuti Mujuru achatonga. Kupfuura kwaRex Nhongo, kwavakanganisira. Uye
hushamwari hwavo naTsvangirai hunoonekwa sekuti mutengesi anogona kuchekeresa
vakuru vemauto kumabhunu.” ( The army generals are the ones holding the
power stearing in Zimbabwe, they don’t even want to hear talk about Joice Mujuru
ruling. The passing away of Rex Nhongo, Mujuru’s husband has made her to suffer
a setback. Also her tolerable relationship with Tsvangirai, is viewed with
suspicion, the military chiefs think she’s a sell out and can immediately have
them arraigned, before Western courts).
Rex Nhongo, was the war time code-name
of Solomon Mujuru, the country’s first defence forces commander, at independence
in 1980. Mujuru was also one of the richest men in Zimbabwe, with a personal
fortune believed to be topping into billions of US dollars.
The veteran soldier who died in a
mysterious farmhouse fire, was the kingmaker of Zanu PF politics, thereby making
it pretty easy for his wife to become the new president had Mugabe called it a
day soon enough.
Solomon Mujuru’s departure from the
scene, owing to his brutal death now complicates matters for the vice
Mujuru has lost a key political muscle,
which smoothly engineered her rise to VP from a mere water development minister
in 2004, after the infamous Tsholotsho debacle, where her arch-rival Mnangagwa
was blocked from ascending into the presidency, after allegedly having plotted
with his faction for his candidature to be accepted following the death of then
vice president, Simon Muzenda.
According to fresh details, Mujuru
cannot however be written off easily because we can reveal, party chairman Simon
Khaya Moyo has thrown his weight behind her in replacing Mugabe, making him a
new Mujuru faction member bringing in the advantage of chairmanship, to push for
Mujuru’s presidency when the time comes.
Former information minister, Jonathan
Moyo has even allegedly fired salvos during a rally in Tsholotsho at Khaya-Moyo
and Mujuru accusing them of: “Using their love affair to try to ascend to the
throne of the country’s presidency,” according to speculative social network
* Joice Mujuru, also known asTeurai Ropaduring the liberation war is a decorated war
veteran. She is famed for having shot down a Rhodesian helicopter alone, an
incident which is however questioned by some.
* She became the youngest cabinet
minister, in Mugabe’s first cabinet at 1980 despite having little academic
Key faction protagonists
Simon Khaya-Moyo (Zanu PF chairman),
Didymus Mutasa (Zanu PF Secretary of administration); Rugare Gumbo (Zanu PF
spokesman); Olivia Muchena (Zanu PF politburo member); Webster Shamu (Zanu PF
political commissar); Ray Kaukonde (Zanu PF Mashonaland East chairman); Retired
Brigadier Ambrose Mutinhiri (Zanu PF politburo member); David Butau (Mujuru
advisor); Shingi Mutasa (Business advisor); Ibbo Mandaza (Media strategist and
Mutasa and Rugare Gumbo are working
round the clock, and meeting with Mujuru almost on a daily basis to make sure
the presidency does not slip away from her, according to our
Mutasa told this reporter last year,
without denying that he was a Mujuru faction heavyweight that he was not against
Mnangagwa’s ambitions to be president, and that proper party procedure and
channels should be followed.
“There is nothing wrong with Mnangagwa’s
ambition to be president, but we have procedures to be adhered to in the party.
One cannot wake up from the blues to say I want to be president; anyone aspiring
for such office will have to wait to be nominated and endorsed by congress,
simple. We have rules and a constitution that guides us,” said
*Saviour Kasukuwere (Zanu PF politburo
member), leader of Generation 40 also known as Mugabe’s faction is the only one,
we know so far who has parted ways with the Mujuru faction. Mujuru was
instrumental in leap-frogging Kasukuwere into becoming a cabinet minister,
however they seem to have fallen out with each other. Kasukuwere himself, could
be in the not so distant future bid for presidency, analysts
Strengths: Mujuru has the gender card on
her side. Statistically there are more female voters in Zimbabwe than they are
male. The vice president can easily earn most of these votes, and also ride on
the back of sympathy due to her relatively clean hands in the area of political
Mujuru is also a staunch Christian
belonging to the Salvation Army, and has over the years grown into a motherly
figure. All over the world, there is now a wind of change and positive thinking
over female presidents.
Examples are for instance in Germany,
where Angela Merkel has been leading the country and her Christian Democratic
Union Party (CDU), for many years now. Merkel faces a good chance of re-election
this September when the Germans go to the polls. In America, former Secretary of
State, Hillary Clinton has hinted at running in the 2016
A very serious blow that forms Mujuru’s
Achilles heel is her failure or misfortune in occupying the instrumental
military and intelligence machinery of the country unlike
Throughout her political career, she has
occupied weak ministries such as sports and recreation; community development
and women affairs; rural resources and water development.
The only influential ministry she held,
was the defence ministry in an acting capacity in 2001 albeit for a short
period, following the death of then incumbent Movan Mahachi, who died when his
Range Rover mysteriously collided with a “small car” along the Nyanga
From this standpoint, Mujuru lacks
significant clout within the military and secret service, further casting
concrete on her chances at power.
Depending on how her foes to the throne
play their game, Mujuru can still pull a shocker since senior Zanu PF officials
are supporting her. Take Mutasa, who is secretary for administration, he could
strategically promote her candidacy in a big way as he is said to be gunning to
be the new party chairman.
Shamu another big number, can literally
as political commissar manipulate the country’s 10 provinces to accept Mujuru,
even though his post has proved to be a dangerous appointment. Many Zanu PF
political commissar’s do not last for long.
The likes of Border Gezi and Elliot
Manyika died too soon after occupying this office. Gezi at less than 40 years of
age, was already emerging as a presidential contender due to the link which the
office has with grassroots party structures across the
Furthermore, after years of a rogue
state image, the nation might feel compelled to vote or support a likeable
person like Mujuru.
In our findings, the biggest threat to
Mujuru are the military and other security services chiefs. If they had rendered
their support to her, achieving power was going to be
Now the securocrats are standing in her
way, and what further worsens the situation is that they are still on the EU
sanctions list thus beginning to play fierce hardball politics, by openly siding
with Mnangagwa whom they reportedly fancy to preserve and protect their
Mugabe himself is also another silent
threat to Mujuru’s chances, as the reader shall find out
Back in 2004, when Mujuru ascended to
the second most powerful office in the land, Mugabe showered her with praises
and encouraged her to aim higher. The octogenarian was not well meaning in his
words to Mujuru.
The vice president then miscalculated
her boss, who was just playing politics to cool down Mnangagwa’s own hungry
ambition to deputise him, while cleverly managing to control his succession by
causing skirmishes between the Mujuru and Mnangagwa factions.
It did not take long for Mugabe to show
his true colours, and anger at Mujuru and her late husband’s impatience with the
throne after he accused them during a censored ZBC interview, to mark his 83rd
birthday of using former Zanu PF secretary general, Edgar Tekere’s autobiography
to discredit him in the hope of prematurely dethroning him.
Tekere who released his no holds barred
autobiography, A Lifetime of Struggle in 2007, told this reporter then in a
telephone interview from his Mutare home that Mugabe was a betrayer of the
liberation struggle, who was losing his brains.
“Hu83 uhu hwava kumukanganisa pfungwa
(His age of 83 is now affecting his mental faculties). His memory is truly
distorted,” Tekere said.
Here is Mugabe’s birthday interview, the
reader can jump to between 55:20mins- 59:30mins, where Mugabe shows he is
The Zanu PF strongman, suggests in the
censured part of the interview that publisher Ibbo Mandaza, another Mujuru ally
used Tekere’s book, to damage him for political goals at the behest of Mujuru’s
“The Tekere/Mandaza issue, ah they are
trying to campaign for Mujuru using the book…you can’t become a president by
using a biography. Manje vairasa (they have lost the plot). They don’t realise
they have done her more harm than good,” reported The Zimbabwe Independent after
getting hold of the censored interview.
“Now, I thought people would, if they
want to campaign, fine, campaign in the provinces. The machinery is not
biographies; the people who vote for us are ordinary people of Zimbabwe. We have
a congress that will decide. It is those people who will decide and I thought
this is the way we would go about things, not the Mandaza
Furthermore Mugabe is said to doubt
Mujuru’s ability and capability, of holding the nation together. The disclosure
was made by central bank governor, Gideon Gono during private discussions with
former United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Christopher Dell, according to one
of the many whistle-blower WikiLeaks cables.
“Gono maintained Mugabe had personally
disclosed to Gono his doubts about Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s capacity to
hold the country together. Gono confided further that Joice herself had recently
exploded to Mugabe, complaining about perceived slights and asserting her
independence from her husband, ex-army chief Solomon “Rex” Mujuru,” Dell said in
Ironically, Mugabe has not publicly
criticised Mnangagwa or evaluated his leadership qualities and capabilities. In
the same censored 83rd birthday interview, Mugabe goes on to prop up his defence
minister Mnangagwa, speaking about him in flattering light.
Mugabe, being a cunning politician falls
short of endorsing Mnangagwa, and instead accuses “people” for peddling reports
that he supports Mnangagwa, but he does not.
The ailing ruler, goes on to trace
Mnangagwa’s political journey and history during the liberation struggle; how he
was sentenced to death by Ian Smith’s administration after he attempted to
sabotage a train but spared execution, and eventually deported to
Mugabe goes on to narrate Mnangagwa’s
political case-history dating back to the early years of the liberation
struggle; how Mnangagwa was sentenced to death by the Rhodesian regime after he
tried to sabotage a train and how he was spared execution and later deported to
Zambia because he was deemed under-age, 16 years old.
In our briefings with Zanu PF officials,
the majority point out that the biggest blunder and setback for Mujuru is her
alleged secret meeting with former US Ambassador, Charles Ray to allegedly
discuss new political dispensation in the country, with Washington seeking to be
involved in the process.
Mujuru is said to have managed to evade
secret service officers, and met at an unknown location with the American
diplomat. The meeting took place on 16 December 2009, following a facilitation
made by David Butau, who is a business partner to Mujuru under their diversified
company, Dande Holdings.
“The Vice President had managed to shed
all of her (presumably CIO-infiltrated) security. She herself poured tea. The
meeting was friendly and respectful; at the end Mujuru said she would like to
meet again and continue the conversation…” another leaked cable
(So do you see how explosive the
succession issue has turned into? Mujuru’s meeting with the Americans, is
thought to have infuriated Mugabe, and the military generals took a vow not to
allow her to seat on the throne. It’s only that you are youngsters, because some
of these things make it clear for you to see controversial and unanswered
stories, which you are afraid to write about, or maybe its
It has also come to light, that Mugabe
has been reluctant to support Mujuru and has had a change of heart after feeling
betrayed by Solomon Mujuru, who is believed to have set up the Mavambo political
party, headed by former finance minister Simba Makoni, to allegedly push Mugabe
out through the back door.
Makoni had a tense meeting with Mugabe
at State House, where he lied in Mugabe’s face that there was no political party
being set to challenge and oppose him.
The former Zanu PF politburo member even
swore allegiance, only to turn his gun at Mugabe later by contesting the 2008
elections, which were marred by gruesome violence and murder of
Mugabe has never forgiven the Mujurus
for this act, although he wears a cheerful face in public our sources said. Only
time, which is ticking very fast will tell, whether or not Mujuru will jump the
Reviews of our book keep piling in; this time prompted by
the recent publication ofZimbabwe Takes Back its
Land, a more popular summary of the main studies of Zimbabwe’s land
The latest is by
Martin Plaut – he broadly agrees with our findings, but says he is still
awaiting a ‘really authoritative’ account. His main complaint about both books,
it seems, is that authors on both are not o`nly researchers but also
resettlement farmers, and beneficiaries of the land reform. This he says has
resulted in biases in our accounts. Authorship, bias and evidence are themes I
have written about beforehere. But since they keep coming up, perhaps
they are worth returning to.
In Martin Plaut’s piece
he argues “if the backgrounds and politics of the authors intrude into the study
it lessens its objectivity”. Yes, I agree. But we equally cannot ignore our
backgrounds and politics, and that’s why I make the case for reflexivity as
essential for enhancing rigour. Just because some authors of our book, just as
the new one, come from diverse backgrounds, with different experiences and
contrasting political positions, this doesn’t mean that the data we collect and
the evidence we present is necessarily ‘biased’. In fact, I would argue, quite
In the case of our book,
the core team has worked together for 25 years, and knows the study area
intimately. That some of the team were beneficiaries of the land reform
programme allowed us particular insights. But others of course were not farmers
and not from the area, and, crucially, all of us have a passion for detailed
fieldwork, systematic data collection and careful analysis. This is why we
presented so much detail in the book (against the objections of our editors!),
so it could be scrutinized, evaluated and critiqued.
In his commentary, Martin
highlights BZ Mavendzenge in particular, the field team leader, whose farm he
visited (which was incidentally purposely not in our study area) in 2011 as part
of a BBC team. When it came out, I sent the review to BZ by email – direct to
the farm, where if you go to a small hill above the house, behind the new
chicken runs, and beyond the well you can get good service and download emails
these days. He wrote straight back. He asks, “Does authoritative mean an aerial
view from outsiders? Surely, as Chambers says, farmer first is the way
forward…”. He goes on, appreciating the rest of the piece, “Martin I think
agrees there was much to see to be proud of about accumulation from
So how should BZ, as an
author, be represented? As farmer, researcher, land reform beneficiary, former
government civil servant, born and bred in Masvingo province, or what? He is of
course all of these; and each identity helps shape his insights and
perspectives. In particular as a researcher, trained at agricultural college and
then working at Matopos research station, before taking over the lead of the
Department of Research and Specialist Services’ Farming Systems Research Unit in
Masvingo, BZ has unparalleled insights into the dynamics of farming systems in
the area. This is why I have so enjoyed – and benefitted from – working with him
all these years.
What about Martin Plaut?
How should we read his review? As someone who was born and bred in apartheid
South Africa, educated at universities with largely white students, or as
someone who was centrally involved in the anti-apartheid struggle and the 1976
Soweto uprising, or as formerly Head of the Africa section of the BBC World
Service, and a brilliant reporter on the Horn and Southern Africa, or, now
retired, and a Fellow of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies? Again, he is all
of these; and these experiences and positions allow him to carry out really
authoritative, top-notch investigative journalism and writing (just check out
bookon the early history of
the ANC to get a flavour).
All authorship is
so conditioned, but this should not imply bias. And we should avoid jumping to
conclusions just because of the author’s status or experience. Any evaluation
must come through more rigorous assessment of data and analysis. This is the
reason I have objected before to statements from the Commercial Farmers’ Union,
for example (seehereandhere) – not
because they are from the CFU, but because they are wrong! I havepreviously commentedboth on Martin’s
otherwise excellent BBC radio pieces he did in 2011 on Zimbabwe, and also when
certain information was presented on the costs of land reform, and replicated in
articles on the BBC and elsewhere as fact.
BBC balance is an article
of faith but sometimes does not serve the search for truth well. A journalistic
piece that presents all sides as equivalent sometimes ends up being unbalanced.
If equal airtime is offered to detailed, rigorous research undertaken over years
and commentaries based on figures that seem to have been plucked from the air to
suit the argument, this is not exactly balance in my view.
This is not to argue that
both our book andZimbabwe Takes
Back its Landdon’t have silences,
gaps and contestable arguments. Of course. That’s why we publish, encourage
debate and urge others to do more research. What we don’t expect is our work –
or indeed anyone else’s – to be dismissed on the basis of who they are, rather
than what they say.
As I keep pointing out,
it’s not as if we don’t have plenty of empirical evidence to go on these days.
This accumulation of insights is getting seriously ‘authoritative’ and pointing,
broadly but with important nuances, in the same direction. It’s irritating
sometimes that our book is the only one that gets mentioned (and now of course
the new one), just because we hit the limelight (not least I suspect because the
lead authors of both books are based in the UK, and are white and
But actually there
arepiles of other research, research and written by Zimbabweans, not least
the impressive district studies led by Sam Moyo and team at the African
Institute of Agrarian Studies, and thenew bookby Prosper Matondi, based
on the work by the Ruzivo trust team. The map below shows all the studies I know
about (likely a partial sample), and it’s an impressive array, both
geographically and in terms of breadth of authorship.
Across these studies, we
can triangulate, compare, synthesise and generate, yes, really authoritative
insights. So, why the reluctance to accept the findings? Why the questioning of
authors’ credibility? Why the lack of counter-data coming forward? I think some
of the answers do indeed lie in the positionality and politics of the
commentators. It is difficult accepting a new situation, and rejecting positions
long held. It is unsettling, discomfiting and challenging. But that is what good
research – and indeed good journalism – sometimes has to do if we are to seek
Just asThomas Khunargued now over 50 years
ago, settled paradigms are difficult to shift for all sorts of political, social
and institutional reasons, but when they do, then ‘normal science’ can proceed,
and the new paradigm can be unpacked, contested, unravelled, adapted and
elaborated. For most serious scholars in Zimbabwe, it is this normal science
that is unfolding now, as we do follow up surveys, new rounds of case studies,
and examine our older data in the light of new findings.
I will be sharing some of
these new field findings in the coming weeks and months on my blog. Just as all
good ‘normal science’, the new data both confirms, but also nuances and
sometimes contrasts with, the early findings. I hope that Martin and others find
our new contributions ‘authoritative’ enough!