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Mugabe to weigh case against Zim judge

2013-04-10 14:10

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 court.

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.

The authorities initially ignored Hungwe's order, although Mtetwa was later
freed on bail.

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.

The 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

Judges in Zimbabwe are appointed by the president at the recommendation of
the Judicial Services Commission.


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Tsvangirai rules out joining another unity government with Mugabe

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 African state.

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 contested.

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.

The 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

“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 particular frustration.

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 said.

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.

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Ex-MPs take poll dates appeal to Supreme Court

By Alex Bell & Violet Gonda
10 April 2013

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 process.

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.

Mugabe then 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 29th.

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 South.

“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 Africa.

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.

The lawyer 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.”

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Three arrested in Bulawayo over voter mobilisation exercise

By Tichaona Sibanda
10 April 2013

Three members from the National Youth Development Trust in Bulawayo were
arrested on Wednesday for mobilising residents in Pumula to register as

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

Confirming the 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,’ Saungweme said.

But police in the country have mounted a crackdown on anyone not from ZANU
PF seen helping or mobilising people to register as voters.

Party spokesman Rugare Gumbo is quoted in the Herald saying his party is
mobilising supporters and new members to register ahead of the harmonized

‘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.

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Gono overrules Kasukuwere on Stanchart licence

By Nomalanga Moyo
10 April 2013

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).

The 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.

The governor’s statement was copied to Finance minister Tendai Biti, chief
secretary to the President and Cabinet, Misheck Sibanda, and NIEEB chairman
Mike Nyambuya.

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

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

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.

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Well-wishers rescue detained Bulawayo youth protesters

By Nomalanga Moyo
10 April 2013

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.

The 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 demonstration’.

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 23rd.

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

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 Wednesday.

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

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 were raising”.

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 live.

“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.

Many have 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.

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Political Parties Launch Peace Building Campaign

Tatenda Gumbo, Sithandekile Mhlanga

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 supporters.

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 area.

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.

MDC-T provincial 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 violence?

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.

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Zanu PF in massive rigging jamboree

Zanu PF in massive rigging jamboree

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

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 voter registration.

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 leaving.

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 strongest

It should dawn to all merchants of political terrorism within Zanu PF that
Zimbabwe will no longer be a Zanu PF protectorate again.

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Zimbabwe mulls troops deployment in Mozambique

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 neighbours.

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.

Mozambican 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 war.

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 power.

In November last year, Zimbabwe deployed troops to its border with Mozambique as concern over military instability escalated.

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 Gumbo.

“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 pot.

“I am training my men up and, if we need to, we will leave here and destroy Mozambique,” he was quoted saying.

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 far.

“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 said.

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.

Dhlakama and his nearly 800 troops are camped at the Casa Banana base on the foot of Mount Gorongossa.

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.

“Of particular concern is the pipeline. Troops will be guarding the pipeline because it is an important property,” said one source privy to the developments.

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.

The 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 happened.

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 party’s quarters.

The renewed flare-up of violence casts a shadow on the country’s next elections, scheduled for 2014.

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 said.

“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, yesterday.

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 unfair.

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.

Bus Services

“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 week.

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.


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‘Credible poll will normalise Zim/EU relations’

Wednesday, 10 April 2013 12:51

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

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 said.

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 suspended.

“The EU considered that the agreement would indeed permit to put the country
back on track of a sound political development,” he said.

“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 credible election.”

He said the EU will not gate-crash to observe the election but, if invited,
could field an Election Observation Mission.

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

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Zapu step up election fight

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

“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

“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 funds.

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 elections.

Makoni is also a former Zanu PF Politburo member and Finance minister in
President Robert Mugabe’s government.

Dabengwa later 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 create democracy.

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 properly.

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 Editor

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No UNWTO clashes, ZTA boss

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 $250 000.

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 international

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

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Zimbabwe Power Utility Guilty of Violating Salary Agreement

Irwin Chifera

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 year.

Employees now say they will do everything possible to recover more than $60
million the power utility owes them in backpay.

The criminal 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 workers.

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.

Charlie said 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.

ZEWU deputy 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 court.

ZESA continues to pay workers at levels set before last year’s union
agreement, so the lowest paid worker is getting $190 per month.

Sibanda said he does not understand why ZESA has not complied with the new
pay terms, as the company is surpassing its monthly revenue targets.

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 phone.

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South Africa immigration loses patience with border jumpers

Wednesday, 10 April 2013 00:00

Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter

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 country.

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.

Bravo Tours, 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 documentation.

“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

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

“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.

In an 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 regional countries.

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Outgoing Kenyan President welcomes new generation of young leaders

By Violet Gonda
10 April 2013

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.

In 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 leaders.”

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 dead.

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.

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MP’s who deserted Ncube, desert Mutambara

on April 10, 2013 at 1:16 pm

By Lance Guma

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 Ncube.

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 MDC-T.

“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 time.

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.

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FNB launches Zimbabwe cellphone transfers

April 10 2013 at 08:00am

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, said.

“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 said.

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 day.

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

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.

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Parliamentarians Meet in Bulawayo to Review Strategic Plan

Jonga Kandemiiri

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.

Also 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 help.

Moyo told VOA Studio 7 they will take this opportunity to review the 7th
parliament’s achievements and failures since its inception in 2008.

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 projects.

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Chombo the root of Harare's woes

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 crisis-ridden city.

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 spell.

“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 from council.

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 councillors.

“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.

He 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.

“The City 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.

Gutu alleges 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.

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MDC accuses Parirenyatwa
by Edgar Gweshe
A group of Zanu (PF) supporters aligned to Murehwa North Member of Parliament, David Parirenyatwa, has reportedly launched a terror campaign here.
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 forthcoming
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,” said Nyahada.
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 allegations.
“The environment here is peaceful and we have been preaching peace messages. Those are absolute lies and there is nothing like that taking place in Murehwa.”

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Mugabe kept the nation hoping for a better tomorrow for 33 years but has now run out luck

By Wilbert Mukori
10 April 2013

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 wealth.

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

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 of.

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 away.

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.

After independence, 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 cronies.

So neither the first nor second ESAP achieved its set objective of economic
recovery, indeed the economic slide into the abyss continued and gathered

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 PF.

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.

Mugabe 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 land.

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 melt-down.

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.

Mugabe’s cronies 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.

In a 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.

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The Battle For Zimbabwe Part 1: Joice Mujuru’s last hurdle

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 ill

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 ill

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 brewing.

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 power.

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 lacks tacticians.

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 do.

“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 president.

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 leaks.


* Joice Mujuru, also known as Teurai Ropa during 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 achievements.

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 advisor).

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 sources.

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 Mutasa


*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 say.

SWOT Analysis

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 violence.

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 election.


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 Mnangagwa.

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 road.

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 country.

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 workable.

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 interests.

Mugabe himself is also another silent threat to Mujuru’s chances, as the reader shall find out below.

False flag

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 emotionally upset:

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 faction.

“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 way.”


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 the cable.

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 Zambia.

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 reveals.

Saka urikuoona here kuti nyaya yesuccession yakakora muto. Zvinofungidzirwa kuti kusangana nemaAmericans uku zvakashatirisa vaMugabe, uye vakuru vemauto ndokupika kuti Amai Mujuru havapagari. Chete muri vana vadiki nekuti zvimwe zvinhu zvinotoburitsa pachena dzimwe dzamunotya kunyora, kana toti kupofomara,” said a Politburo source.

(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 blindness).

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 activists.

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 last hurdle.


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When Is Research ‘Really Authoritative’? A Response To Martin Plaut (And Others) On Zimbabwe’s Land Reform – By Ian Scoones

Reviews of our book keep piling in; this time prompted by the recent publication of Zimbabwe Takes Back its Land, a more popular summary of the main studies of Zimbabwe’s land reform.

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 before here. 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 the opposite.

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 below”.

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 his recent book on 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 (see here and here) – not because they are from the CFU, but because they are wrong! I havepreviously commented both 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 and Zimbabwe Takes Back its Land don’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 professors).

But actually there are piles 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 the new book by 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 ways forward.

Just as Thomas Khun argued 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!

This post was written by Ian Scoones and originally appeared on Zimbabweland


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