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Constitutional committee established

April 12, 2009

By Raymond Maingire

HARARE - Zimbabwe's unity government has set up a 25-member parliamentary
committee to spearhead the drafting of the country's first post-independence

This is in line with a political agreement signed on September 15, 2008, by
Zanu-PF and the two Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) parties, which
prescribes the drafting of a new constitution within the first 18 months of
the formation of the unity government.

The political agreement stipulates that the establishment of the
parliamentary committee should be executed within the first two months of
the inception of the new government. April 13 is the deadline for such

The next stage shall be the convening of the all-stakeholders conference
which should be within three months of the appointment of the Select
Committee. This should end on July 13, 2009.

From then, the team shall embark on a four month consultation process after
which the draft constitution shall be tabled to an all-stakeholders
conference not later than February 13, 2010.

The draft constitution and the accompanying report shall be tabled in
Parliament within a month of the second all stakeholders conference whose
deadline shall be March 13, 2010.

There shall be subsequent debate on the draft constitution and the
accompanying report concluded in Parliament within one month whose deadline
shall be April 13, 2010.

The draft constitution emerging from Parliament shall be gazetted before the
holding of a referendum which would be within three months of the conclusion
of the debate. This shall be done between the period between April 13 and
July 13, 2010.

If the draft constitution is approved by the referendum, it shall be
gazetted within one month of the date of the referendum, that is between
July 13 and August 13, 2010.

The draft constitution shall finally be introduced to Parliament not later
than one month after the expiration of the period of 30 days from the date
of its gazetting, that is October 12, 2010.

Currently, Zimbabwe is still using the Lancaster House Constitution
negotiated between the rebel Rhodesian government of Ian Smith and the two
liberation movements, Zanu-PF of Robert Mugabe and PF-Zapu led by the late
Joshua Nkomo. It was signed in December 1979 leading to independence on
April 18, 1980 and has since been amended a record 19 times.

The absence of a home grown constitution is seen as the cause of Zimbabwe's
political paralysis that has seen the country grappling with the excesses of
a long serving executive president with multiple terms of office.

Addressing journalists at Parliament Sunday afternoon, the Speaker of the
House of Assembly, Lovemore Moyo appealed for donor funding to see through
the expensive process.

He said, "Let us all take this challenge head on and pool our resources
together for the good of Zimbabweans.

"It is my fervent hope that development agencies and other foreign
organisations will take as much interest, if not more, as they took in the
challenges that our country has been facing and contribute financial and
material resources in support of the work of the select committee."

He however declined to attach a figure to the process saying Parliament was
still finalizing a budget for the select committee and its sub-committees.

The drafting of a new constitution is the first such process to be supported
by Zimbabwe's two political rivals.

A 2000 draft constitution led by government was rejected by the Zimbabwean
electorate after a vigorous campaign for its rejection by the MDC and civic

At its first meeting on Monday, March 30, 2009, the recently established
parliamentary committee on standing rules and orders resolved to select the
25 member select committee that will see Zanu-PF and MDC both contributing
nine of its parliamentarians to the committee.

The Arthur Mutambara-led MDC, the smaller of the two MDCs shall second three
of its members with the chiefs appointing one member.

The remaining three MPs were appointed by presiding officers.

Members selected into the committee include, Flora Buka (Zanu-PF); Senator
Fortune Charumbira, the President of the Chiefs Council; Amos Chibaya
(MDC-T); Walter Chidakwa (Zanu-PF); Senator David Coltart (MDC-M);  Senator
Gladys Gombani Dube (MDC-T); Joram Gumbo (Zanu- PF) and  Ian Kay (MDC-T).

The others are Martin Khumalo (Zanu-PF); Senator Dalumuzi Khumalo (MDC-M);
Cephas Makuyana (MDC-M); Paul Mangwana (Zanu-PF); Evelyn Masaiti (MDC-T);
Editor Matamisa (MDC-T); Senator Tambudzai Mohadi (Zanu-PF); Edward
Tsholotsho Mkhosi (MDC-M); Olivia Muchena (Zanu-PF); Senator Monica
Mutsvangwa (Zanu-PF); Douglas Mwonzora (MDC-T); Senator Jabulani Ndlovu
Ndlovu (MDC-T) and Brian Tshuma (MDC-T).

Those appointed by presiding officers are Senator Thokozani Mathuthu, Gift
Chimanikire and Jessie Majome

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Zimbabwe shelves own currency for a year

Sun Apr 12, 2009 12:00pm BST

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe will not use its own local currency for at least
a year, a state newspaper reported on Sunday, while it tries to repair an
economy which critics say was destroyed by President Robert Mugabe.

The southern African state has allowed the use of multiple foreign
currencies since January to stem hyperinflation which had rocketed to over
230 million percent and left the Zimbabwe dollar almost worthless.

The state-controlled Sunday Mail said the unity government of Mugabe and
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai decided the Zimbabwe dollar should only
be reintroduced when industrial output reaches about 60 percent of capacity
from the current 20 percent average.

"The Zimbabwe dollar will be out for at least a year. We resolved that there
will be no immediate plans to (re)introduce the money because there is
nothing to support and hold its value," the newspaper quoted Economic
Planning and Development Minister Elton Mangoma as saying.

"Our focus is to first ensure that we have a vibrant industry. If we try to
reintroduce the local currency now, it will face the same fate of being
wiped out of its value within weeks."

On Thursday, Zimbabwe's Central Statistical Office (CSO) said consumer
prices fell for a third straight month in March after the government
abandoned its worthless currency.

The CSO said inflation stood at -3.0 percent month-on-month in March
compared with -3.1 percent in February, as food prices fell.

Critics say Mugabe, who has led Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in
1980, has destroyed one of Africa's most promising economies through
controversial policies, including the seizure of white-owned commercial
farms for redistribution to inexperienced black farmers.

Mugabe, 85, denies the charge and says the economy has been sabotaged by
enemies opposed to his nationalist policies.

Zimbabwe is seeking an urgent cash injection of $2 billion to stabilise an
economy suffering unemployment above 90 percent and a severe shortage of
foreign currency.

Western donors have held back aid, demanding the unity government in which
Tsvangirai is the prime minister undertakes political and other reforms.

(Reporting by Cris Chinaka; Editing by Sophie Hares)

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Tsvangirai says movement of Communications portfolio null and void

11 April 2009

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has declared it "null and void" the recent
announcement by Dr Misheck Sibanda of the movement of the portfolio of
Communication from the Ministry of Information Communication Technology to
the Ministry of Transport."This does not only fly in the face of the letter
and spirit of the Global Political Agreement but is also an illegality as
the GPA has legal effect " said the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister said the allocation of mandates to Ministries came into
effect via a process of negotiation by the three political parties to the
GPA and as such no one party to that negotiating process unillaterally alter
suuch mandates without effecting the due process of negotiation. The Prime
Minister addded that such "blatant violations of the GPA to suit
individuals" were a cause for grave concern as they had the effect of taking
people of the course of restoration and reconstruction.

In response to the call about sanctions with one voice, Prime Minister said
there was a more urgent need to condem farm invasions with one voice. He
said farm invasion were desruptive and counter productive and had the effect
to condemn the country to perpetual hunger.

 On the allocation of motor vehicles to Members of Parliament by the RBZ,
the Prime Minister said, there was no policy framework or legal intrument
that permitted the RBZ to undertake such distribution of vehicles and that
unless that was in place MPs may not accept the vehicles.

James Maridadi
Prime Minister's spokesperson

SW Radio Africa Zimbabwe news

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Gono's fate to be decided next week

April 12, 2009

By Our Correspondent

HARARE - A meeting between principals of Zimbabwe's inclusive government to
determine the fate of Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono has been
scheduled for April 20, The Zimbabwe Times can report.

The crucial meeting was initially scheduled for Monday last week but was
deferred following the death of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's grandson.

The meeting, planned at the Victoria Falls retreat last weekend, was also
scheduled to iron out other outstanding issues such as the continued tenure
of Attorney-General Johannes Tomana, appointments of permanent secretaries
and 10 provincial governors and the swearing in of deputy minister of
Agriculture designate, Roy Bennett.

President Robert Mugabe is said to have refused to swear in Bennett.

A source said the stand-off over attempts to strip Information Communication
Technology Minister Nelson Chamisa's powers would also be up for discussion.

But the three principals Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy
Prime Minister Professor Arthur Mutambara called off the meeting to allow
Tsvangirai to mourn his four-year-old grandson, Sean who drowned in a
swimming pool at the family's home in Harare last week Saturday.

The Prime Minister attended the ministerial meeting in Victoria Falls at the
time of the drowning, but left to be with his family.

He had only recently returned to work after mourning his wife's death.

According to the Prime Minister's spokesman James Maridadi, Tsvangirai and
the President meet every Monday to discuss outstanding issues.

Last Monday had been set as a date that all outstanding issues were expected
to be sorted out, especially the issue of Gono, who donors insist should go
before money can start flowing in.

The meeting to decide Gono's fate is now scheduled to take place on April 20
because the next Monday (April 13) is a public holiday, Easter Monday.

Tsvangirai told the ministerial retreat in Victoria Falls last weekend that
all outstanding issues that should have been resolved at the formation of
the inclusive government would be dealt with this week.

"As defined by both the GPA and the Constitution of Zimbabwe, these issues
must be resolved by the leadership of government, which comprises the
President and Vice Presidents, the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime
Ministers," Tsvangirai said.

"This body will meet in the coming week to address the outstanding issues
which include, but are not limited to, the swearing in of the provincial
governors, the appointment of the governor of the Reserve Bank and the
Attorney General, the appointment of permanent secretaries and ambassadors
and the ongoing land disputes and disruption of agricultural activities."

The Prime Minister said there was need to resolve the issues immediately to
"prove to the international community that we are genuine and serious about
restoring Zimbabwe to its rightful place in the family of nations."

Gono's mandate as central bank chief was unilaterally renewed by Mugabe for
a second five-year term in December 2008, sparking outrage in the MDC.

The MDC, which blames Gono for ruining the economy, insists the governor's
re-appointment went against the spirit of the September 15 power-sharing
agreement which sets out that all executive appointments must be made after
consultation between Mugabe and the Prime Minister.

Calls for the governor's removal have escalated, with the latest coming from
the G20 group of richest countries who are expected to bankroll Zimbabwe's
reconstruction. The G20 issued a statement urging the new government to take
steps to demonstrate its commitment to

reform through "the establishment of a credible and transparent central bank

Last Monday South Africa's billionaire mining magnate Patrice Motsepe with a
net worth of US$1, 3 billion told Mugabe that Gono must go before the
businessman considered sinking money into Zimbabwe, according to a top level
source who attended the meeting.

Motsepe reportedly told Mugabe that he was willing to assist Zimbabwe with
cash but said: "We don't trust the leadership of custodians of our money."

Mugabe is said to have nodded.

Britain's Africa Minister Lord Malloch-Brown has also stated there would be
no budgetary support to Zimbabwe as long as Gono remained at the helm of the
central bank.

And on Wednesday, US ambassador James McGee told a reporters' roundtable at
the US embassy in Harare that Washington did not want to tell Zimbabwe what
to do with Gono but wanted to see a good and functioning central bank.

"We do want to see central bank reforms," McGee said. "The central bank here
in Zimbabwe has been the core problem."

As pressure has mounted for Gono's removal, he has come out fighting,
launching a counter offensive to charm all through his weekly newspaper, the
Financial Gazette.

Through the paper, he sought to defuse tension over his alleged attempts to
give second-hand cars to legislators in an apparent bid to curry favour with
a legislature demanding his ouster.

Thursday's issue of the newspaper dedicated acres of front page editorial
space on Thursday seeking to exonerate him and rubbishing claims that there
was bad blood between him and Finance Minister Tendai Biti.

Gono has announced that this week he is launching a new daily newspaper, the
Daily Evening Gazette in an apparent bid to win hearts and minds amid shrill
calls for his ouster.

On Wednesday, Biti and Gono addressed a joint press briefing denying reports
that there was acrimony between them.

But informed top government sources said despite Wednesday's public display
of solidarity, the push for Gono's ouster was gathering momentum.

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Minister vows to depoliticise civil service

April 12, 2009

By Raymond Maingire

HARARE - Public Service minister, Professor Eliphas Mukonoweshuro has vowed
to depoliticise the country's civil service saying the rot has grossly
affected professionalism in the public sector.

Mukonoweshuro has also "encouraged" former civil servants who were forced
off their jobs through political victimisation by their superiors during the
past few years to approach his ministry for possible redress.

"The total immunisation of the public sector from political manipulation is
one area which is very close to my heart," Mukonoweshuro said during a
recent exclusive interview with The Zimbabwe Times.

"Of course they are citizens of this country. They have got their own
political preferences but they should only be able to demonstrate them on
the ballot.

"There should only be two people in a ministry who are known by their
political colour and that should be the minister and his deputy because
their entry route is through politics.

"But for those whose entry route is through merit, we would take a very dim
view of any attempt to parade a political colour."

President Robert Mugabe has in the past 10 years reduced the country's civil
servants to virtual Zanu-PF tools, with many civil servants forced to openly
carry out party functions.

This has resulted in some incompetent personnel with unquestionable loyalty
to Zanu-PF being elevated to senior positions both in parastatals and the
uniformed forces at the expense of those either perceived to be neutral or
sympathetic to the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Some have been purged while thousands have also been frustrated into leaving
employment as they could not stand being turned into Zanu-PF functionaries
in exchange for favours.

Said Mukonoweshuro, "The law is not very clear at the moment. It says a
civil servant should not hold a political position.

"You cannot be seen shouting a political slogan in public and then in the
next hour you are sitting behind a civil service desk and you are saying I
am impartial. It's unhealthy for society.

"We should come up with equally good regulations for the conduct of
ministers within ministries so that they know their bounds when they are
demanding service in the civil service.

"You cannot ask a permanent secretary to write you a speech for your own
political rally.

"We should also come up with a code which demands that civil servants of all
ranks execute their duties in a palpably impartial manner.

"We will have to bring an entire code in the public service. It's going into
our books very, very soon. It would come as a statutory instrument. We don't
want the whole political paralysis in the country to be reflected in the
public service.

"If you don't control it, it will degenerate to absurd levels. I don't want
us to put remedial measures when we are at the bottom of the trough. That
would be irresponsible. I think that as a normal people we must be able to
detect a negative trend and be able to keep it in check before it destroys
us all."

Asked if there were any plans to reintegrate civil servants who were forced
off their jobs through political victimisation, he said his ministry was
prepared to investigate each individual case to establish the facts.

"If anybody has been victimised on the basis of political affiliation let me
have the facts," he said.

"I have not yet met somebody who has come out to say I have been victimised
on the basis of my political affiliation.

"If there are any they should come out. I am encouraging them to. I have
heard of allegations but I have to see the aggrieved people. Let them come
forward and I will take their cases.

"My ministry has a clear policy on those who left their jobs because of
economic hardships. They are free to come back for as long as they did not
steal. We are also going to look at this category of victims of political

The former University of Zimbabwe lecturer, who was appointed minister on a
Movement for Democratic Change ticket in February, said he will raise the
contentious issue with his party leader.

"It's simply not going to be an issue of ministerial procedure," he said.

"I am going to raise the issue with my principal as it is a political matter
so that the principals can agree and then request us to work out a mechanism
for their attention.

"Once that has been done we will then make an announcement that those who
feel that they have been victimised on political reasons should come

Turning to rampant corruption in the civic service, Mukonoweshuro said his
ministry will soon establish an internal department to deal with the cancer.

"We will also be working with a very broad definition of corruption," he

"The easier definition of corruption is exchange of favours for material
rewards such as money. That is the most visible one.

"Corruption is also an abuse of public office even if it is not for any
financial gain. That one we have also to identify and root out.

"If you use your position for instance to spite or to stage revenge or just
to fix a junior officer that is a corrupt way of running an office."

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Mugabe critic joins the Herald Newspaper

Published: Monday, April 13, 2009

HARARE - Bill Saidi, a veteran newspaper journalist who most recently served
as deputy editor of the Zimbabwe Standard, has been appointed deputy
editor-in-chief of the Herald newspaper.

A veteran journalist with experience spanning decades, Saidi will assume his
new role this week.
He will oversee material from assistant editors as part of the Herald's
reorganization of its reportage in the wake of the establishment of the
inclusive government.

Saidi confirmed that he had been "offered the job."

In addition to being one of the nation's most respected journalists, Saidi
is an alumnus who through the years has demonstrated a genuine commitment to
professional journalism.

His vast experience in the field, and his many contacts nationwide, will be
a tremendous asset to the Herald as the new government renews its emphasis
on professional news reportage.

Prior to Saidi's installation, the newspaper had plumped appalling depths
and was used regularly as a model of bad and dishonest journalism.

Its an ideal career opportunity for Saidi, who was recently removed from the
Standard as the newspaper installed a younger team of editors.

Saidi has an abiding affection to professional journalism.

He faces a formidable task in turning aroung the state-run newspaper which
has unleashed a propaganda war against the Mugabe regime's perceived

The Herald has been unashamedly used by Robert Mugabe's permanent secretary
George Charamba to direct vitriolic propaganda at Zanu-PF opponents that
included the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), the West, civil society
and religious organisations, inclusing neighbouring countries such as
Botswana Saidi has written extensively over the years on the Mugabe regime's
institutionalised misrepresentations and he is now expected to join that

He will reportedly be deputy to Pikirayi Deketeke, a relatively professional

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Power struggle threatens Zimbabwe's unity government

      April 12 2009 ,

      Thulasizwe Simelane, Harare

      Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change party says
President Robert Mugabe's patently unilateral re-configuration of
ministerial powers, threatens the very foundation of the unity government.
Such talk follows Mugabe's announcement that the communications function is
to be moved from the information and communications technology ministry, and
handed over to the transport portfolio, headed by one of his allies.

      However, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's office has rejected the
move. The development comes as the new government forges ahead with plans to
draft a new constitution, to be ready by the middle of next year. The MDC
has accused the veteran leader of violating the unity government's founding

      The Prime Minister's spokesperson, James Maridadi, says if mandates of
ministries are to be changed, that has to be done through negotiations. He
says none of the principals can unilaterally do this, and regards Mugabe's
unilateral action a nullity. The latest developments add to a growing tally
of unresolved issues facing the new administration including, President
Mugabe's contentious appointment of permanent secretaries, reserve bank
governor and attorney general.

      Shadow cast over Constitution
      The latest development has also cast a shadow over Parliaments'
preparations to draft a new Constitution. A 25 member select committee has
now been constituted, whose mandate is to spearhead the delivery of a new
constitution by the middle of next year. The draft Constitution will be put
to a referendum by mid-July next year.

      The fragile unity government appears to take a step back for every
stride forward it makes. While parliamentarians are preparing for the
drafting of a new Constitution, the tug-of-war for power continues among the
political principals. The new unity government of Mugabe and Tsvangirai
faces the daunting task of reversing years of economic decline marked by
hyper-inflation and severe food and fuel shortages.

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ISPs in Zimbabwe increase internet services [charges] tenfold Botswana

by Pindai Dube Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
12.04.2009 4:08:18 P

Zimbabwe's Internet services have become the most expensive in the world
following latest massive increases in monthly United States dollar rates
charged by the country's Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

ISPs in Zimbabwe increased their monthly subscription charges by more than
1000 percent, a situation which saw a drop of internet subscribers in the
country where about 800 000 Zimbabweans have access to the internet.

ISPs blame the increase the government's Tel-One of who charge exorbitant
services rates in a bid to fast raise hard currency to pay its international
bills for global links.

Zimbabwe was recently disconnected from the global links after an
international satellite firm, Intelsat, cut its international bandwidth
because it failed to pay the $700,000 fee.

An official from one of the leading ISPs in the country, Zimbabwe Online
(ZOL), told Sunday Standard that the latest move will affect their business
as clients were pulling out as they could not afford the new charges.

"Zimbabwe has become the most expensive country to use internet following
the latest increase in charges by the government Tel-One. We also had to
increase our charges to clients to survive as Tel-One is charging us
thousands of US dollars now," a ZOL official spoke on condition of

A survey by the Sunday Standard revels that most Zimbabwe ISPs increased
their monthly charges to US$300 per month, up from below US$30, for both
local and international bandwidth service.

Most internet shops in Zimbabwe have also been forced to close shop
altogether since internet users find the charges beyond reach, the survey

When contacted for comment, the new Information, Communications and
Technology Minister, Nelson Chamisa, said his Ministry is working on the
issue saying the high internet charges were 'unacceptable' as they were
likely to cut most average Zimbabweans from the rest of the world.

Chamisa said ISPs should not cut off clients and clients who fail to pay the
new exorbitant monthly internet bills until the matter on tariffs is

"We are working on that. This is a matter of emergency. We can't have such
exorbitant prices charged by ISPs. It will cut most average Zimbabweans from
the world," said Chamisa.

A freelance journalist, Farai Sibanda, said he will soon stop using internet
as he cannot afford the charges by his ISP.

"I used to pay US$20 per month for a local bandwidth but they are now
demanding US$300 per month. I am not going to pay that; it's too expensive.
I would rather stop using internet," said Sibanda.

ISPs also blamed Tel-One for poor services at a time when it increases
charges. No comment could be obtained from TelOne telecommunications company's
public relations managers as there were said to be locked in meetings the
whole week.

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We have a mysterious propensity to self-destruct

April 12, 2009

By Eddie Cross

I LOOKED through a list of one of the more recent line-ups of the Zanu-PF
government and found that in the list of 58 or so Ministers were 17 PhD
graduates, many from prestigious Universities in Europe and the USA.

Mugabe himself is no slouch; he works out, drinks very little and eats

He has six university degrees in valuable skills such as law and economics
and is clearly above average in intelligence. Why then the propensity to

They know what is required to run a modern economy. We have lots of examples
of economic reform programmes adopted with great fanfare and then fudged and
abandoned. They did a lot of good things in the early 80's and yet they have
these blind spots. How could they ever have imagined they would get away
with Gukurahundi?

Murambatsvina? How could they expect to be able to destroy the commercial
agricultural system and still feed the country and keep the economy on its
feet? But they did, clearly, because that is just what they have done and
have expected to be absolved of all wrongdoing, if not by the deluded West
then by their colleagues on the African Continent.

Now, in front of the whole world they sign up to an African-brokered deal
after 18 months of tortuous negotiations and then, even before the ink is
dry, they are violating the agreement in fundamental ways and expecting to
get away with these violations. The list of violations grows every day. Farm
invasions, theft of private property, illegal detentions, false allegations
against neighboring States and agreement partners, abductions, murder,
torture, illegal appointments, failure to implement agreed reforms and now
manipulation of ministerial mandates.

Last winter, 95 per cent of the wheat crop was grown by the traditional
large-scale commercial farmers, five per cent by the so-called "new"
farmers. Last summer 97 per cent of the tobacco crop was grown by a handful
of remaining large-scale growers, the same can be said of milk, pigs,
poultry and fruit. Yet the secretive cabal that runs the security and legal
apparatus of the transitional government under Zanu-PF tutelage is, as I
write, destroying every last vestige of what was a decade ago, the most
productive agricultural community in Africa. In doing so they are using
violence, theft and extra legal methods that defy logic and any sense of

We are now just 30 days from the date by which winter crops of wheat and
barley should be planted. I can predict now, with absolute certainty, that
the winter crops will be half or less of those planted last winter. April is
the start of the new crop cycle for tobacco and if things remain as they
are, this country, which at one time ranked with Brazil and the United
States as a producer and exporter of quality flue cured tobacco, will cease
to be a significant player. The industry is about to collapse totally.
Tobacco firms will close their processing plants and the largest auctions
floors in the world will become warehouses for food aid.

Our economy which just ten years ago sustained a population of 15 million
and supported an education system that was the pride of Africa together with
a health system that was able to deal with all but the most complex cases,
is down to being unable to support even the most basic of services. In
January total tax collections were equal to US$4 million, less than 2 per
cent of what we needed to run the country. Yet the men and women who did
this to us give no sign that they acknowledge their failures or even that
they were in any way responsible for our total collapse.

The irony of the fact that they have participated in the past in forums that
have yielded principled statements on human and political rights, signed up
to agreements guaranteeing those rights and giving verbal accent to them on
many occasions, then violated those same principles with impunity in the
pursuit of power, seems to be lost on them. They spent most of their lives
demanding democracy and equal rights only to brush both principles aside
when challenged at the ballot box. When faced with limited and targeted
sanctions by the very people who supported their struggle for justice in the
60's and 70's with mandatory UN sanctions against Smith, they cry foul.

They had become one of the most corrupt and greedy administrations in the
world and yet they demand to be trusted with others funds and allowed to do
as they please with aid. They flaunt their wealth before an impoverished
nation where just a month ago, 75 per cent of the entire population had to
be fed by foreign donors because the government could not do so or be
trusted to do so if empowered.

Yet these people show no shame, no understanding or even awareness of what
damage they have done, not just to the people and nation of Zimbabwe, but to
the entire continent as we all bear the consequences of the failures of
leadership in Africa. Especially when that leadership should know better,
because of their own history, their education and experience and the
relative sophistication of the society they managed.

I am afraid this propensity to self-destruct is a mystery to me. Many would
assign a racial connotation to the failure - certainly Ian Smith would crow
that he had been right about "them" not being "ready" to run their own
affairs. Who could argue with him? That is the real tragedy of this
situation; do they understand that? I see no sign that they do at present
yet it is so painfully obvious to any informed observer.

I know that countries only learn from mistakes and that if you read European
history about 500 years ago you will see the same failures, the same
shortcomings and destruction. Nevertheless we live in hope that education,
culture and communications together with centuries of experience and reform
would enable us to avoid these pitfalls. To stand on others shoulders
instead of falling into the same holes in the road they left behind. But
somehow Zanu-PF seems incapable of this and seems incapable of reform

Hundreds of people are writing and calling me every day to say that MDC is
being sucked into the Zanu-PF morass and will suffer the same fate if it
does "nothing". I will admit that if we do not make progress on rectifying
the many transgressions of the GPA and very soon, that the whole caboodle
could come tumbling down.

Right now this failure is holding back progress on all fronts and even
though international donors have doubled their aid to the country in the
first quarter of this year, both patience and time is running out.

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Bill Watch Special of 11th April 2009 [Committee on Standing Rules and Orders]


[11th April 2009]


Committee on Standing Rules and Orders

¨       The Committee on Standing Rules and Orders [CSRO] is the most important Parliamentary Committee.  

¨       It is a joint committee, with representatives from both Houses of Parliament [see names of members below].

¨       Functions are conferred on it by the Constitution, by Act of Parliament and by Parliamentary Standing Orders.

Functions of the CSRO

Functions given by the Constitution

·         “Supervising the administration of Parliament” and “considering and deciding all matters concerning Parliament”.

·         The CSRO appoints the Clerk of Parliament and other staff of Parliament, and fixes their conditions of service.

·         It appoints members of the Parliamentary Legal Committee.

·         The Public Protector, formerly called the Ombudsman, and the Deputy Public Protector are appointed by the President “after consultation” with  the CSRO and Judicial Service Commission [JSC].  [Note: “after consultation” means the President is not bound to follow the advice of the CSRO or the JSC.]

·         The CSRO also has a considerable say in the appointments of:

The four “Independent” Commissions referred to in the Constitution.

1.      Zimbabwe Electoral Commission

The chairperson is appointed by the President “after consultation with” the CSRO.

The 8 members are appointed by the President from a list of at least 12 nominees submitted by the CSRO.

The approval of the CSRO is needed before the chairperson or any other member is removed from office by the President.

2.      Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission

The chairperson is appointed by the President “after consultation with” the CSRO.

The 8 members are appointed by the President from a list of 16 nominees submitted by the CSRO

[Note: when appointing the chairpersons of these two Commissions the President also has to consult with the Judicial Service Commission but he is not bound to follow the advice of the CSRO or the JSC.  The definition in the Constitution of “after consultation” is that the President  is “required to consult before arriving at a decision but is not bound by the advice or opinion given”.]

3.      Zimbabwe Media Commission  Both the chairperson and the other 8 members are appointed by the President from a list of at least 12 nominees provided by the CSRO.

4.      Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission The Constitution states that the commission consists of at least 4 and not more than 9 members appointed by the President “in consultation” with the CSRO.  It does not mention a chairperson, so it is assumed the members will elect one.  [Note: the definition in the Constitution of “in consultation” is that the President “arrives at the decision after securing the agreement or consent” of the persons consulted.]

Functions of CSRO under Parliamentary Standing Orders

·         Deciding on the size of other Parliamentary committees and appointing their chairpersons and members.  This includes Select Committees – which means that it will appoint the Select Committee to draw up the new Constitution.

·         Framing rules for the conduct of business by committees;

·         Preparing amendments to Standing Orders for consideration by the House of Assembly and Senate;

·         The Committee’s consent is required for a proposed motion in either House for the expulsion or suspension from Parliament of an MP or Senator who has been convicted of a criminal offence.  [Note: if an MP or Senator is convicted and sentenced to death or 6 months or more imprisonment, his or seat is automatically forfeited.  A motion for expulsion applies only where a criminal conviction has resulted in a shorter sentence of imprisonment or a fine, but is nevertheless considered to render the MP or Senator concerned unfit to continue in office or as meriting suspension.]

Powers given to the CSRO by the Broadcasting Services Act

This Act gives the CSRO a role in the appointment and removal from office of members of the board of the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe:

·         the President appoints 9 of the 12 board members “after consultation with” the CSRO [the President is not obliged to follow CSRO’s recommendations] and the remaining 3 members from a list of six nominees provided by CSRO.

·         the CSRO appoints the chairperson and one other member of the Independent Disciplinary Committee to adjudicate on allegations of misconduct by BAZ board members.  

Members of Committee on Standing Rules and Orders

The composition of the CSRO is specified by the Constitution, as amended by Constitution Amendment No. 19 [Schedule 8, paragraph 2].  It is made up of 14 ex officio members, 8 members elected by the House of Assembly and 4 members elected by the Senate.  [Note there was no voting for the elected members, because the three parties had agreed on the political and gender balance to be struck and the candidates put forward by the parties were declared elected unopposed.]  The CSRO is chaired by the Speaker and the deputy chair is the President of the Senate.  The members are as follows:

14 Ex officio members

Speaker                                                              Lovemore Moyo] [MDC-T]

President of Senate                                           Ednah Madzongwe [ZANU-PF]

Deputy Speaker                                                 Nomalanga Khumalo [MDC-M]

Deputy President of Senate                             Naison Ndlovu [ZANU-PF]

Vice-President                                                    Joseph Msika [ZANU-PF]

Vice-President                                                    Joice Mujuru [ZANU-PF]

Prime Minister                                                    Morgan Tsvangirai [MDC-T]

Minister of Constitutional & Parl Affairs           Eric Matinenga] [MDC-T]

Minister of Finance                                            Tendai Biti] [MDC-T]

MDC-M Whip                                                      Edward Mkhosi

MDC-T Whip                                                       Innocent Gonese

ZANU-PF Whip                                                  Joram Gumbo

Deputy Leader of Government Business in the House of Assembly [still to be named]

Deputy Leader of Government Business in the Senate [still to be named]

8 Members elected by the House of Assembly

Njabuliso Mguni [MDC-T], Thabitha Khumalo [MDC-T], Tongai Matutu [MDC-T], Tapiwa Mashakada [MDC-T], Hon. Arthur Mutambara [MDC-M],

Emmerson Mnangagwa [ZANU-PF], Paul Mangwana [ZANU-PF], Mabel Chinomona [ZANU-PF]

4 Members elected by the Senate

Obert Gutu [MDC-T], Welshman Ncube [MDC-M], Patrick Chinamasa [ZANU-PF], Chief Charumbira


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