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Police detain white commercial farmer

by Nokuthula Sibanda Wednesday 22 April 2009

HARARE - Zimbabwean police on Tuesday detained a white commercial farmer -- 
who is embroiled in a farm ownership wrangle with a high ranking government
official - allegedly for disorderly conduct.

Peter Etheredge, who owns Stockdale Farm in the south western farming town
of Chegutu that Zimbabwe's Speaker of Parliament Edna Madzongwe wants to
take over, was detained by police in the morning.

Two of his employees were shot and injured allegedly by police guarding the
farm on behalf of Madzongwe. They were taken to the Avenues Clinic in the

A lawyer who was in Chegutu confirmed that Etheredge was detained at Chegutu
police station. "He has been detained for disorderly conduct," said the
lawyer who did not want her name to be published.

"What is surprising is that that the police are saying it's disorderly
conduct but no one is elaborating as to what actually happened. Two of his
employees have been taken to Harare after they had been shot in the
morning," the lawyer added.

Another farmer at the scene also confirmed the detention of Etheredge. "He
has been detained by the police since morning, and we have not been told
what is the problem or what the police intend to charge him with," said the

"We are completely in the dark, but two of his workers have been shot, one
through the knee and another somewhere in the leg."

No comment could be obtained from the police last night.

Violence has intensified on farms across Zimbabwe in recent weeks, with farm
invaders attacking workers and owners, effectively paralysing operations on

Commercial farmers' organisations say invaders have since February raided at
least 100 of the about 300 remaining white-owned commercial farms, a
development that has intensified doubts over whether the unity government
will withstand attempts by ZANU PF hardliners to sabotage it.

The International Monetary Fund and Western countries have - on top of other
conditions - made it clear that hey would not consider giving aid to the
Harare government while farm invasion continue.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Thursday appointed a team of senior
government ministers to probe continuing violence on the country's few
remaining white-owned commercial farms.

The team that visited selected farms was led by Deputy Prime Minister Arthur
Mutambara and included joint-Home Affairs Ministers Kembo Mohadi and Giles
Mutsekwa, Agriculture Minister Joseph Made, Lands Minister Hebert Murerwa
and Minister of State in Tsvangirai's office Gorden Moyo.

Zimbabwe, also grappling with its worst ever economic crisis, has since 2000
when land reforms began, relied on food imports and handouts from
international food agencies mainly due to failure by resettled black
peasants to maintain production on former white farms.

Poor performance in the mainstay agricultural sector has also had far
reaching consequences as hundreds of thousands of people have lost jobs
while the manufacturing sector, starved of inputs from the sector, is
operating at around 10 percent of capacity. - ZimOnline

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JAG - farm situations communique - dated 21st  April 2009

Email: :

JAG Hotlines: +263 (011) 610 073, +263 (04) 799410.  If you are in
trouble or need advice, please don't hesitate to contact us - we're here
to help!


1. Stockdale Farm

2. Mount Carmel Farm


1. Stockdale Farm

21st April 2009.

This morning at about 8.30 a.m. James and Peter Etheredge drove onto
Stockdale with some of their employees to have a look at the farm.

As they drove through the entrance they noticed that a water tank had
been put across the road to block access to the farm. James drove through
one way and Peter another.  A policeman armed with an 7.62 calibre rifle
was standing there and tried to stop Peter from going in.  They went
through into the packshed and saw people running.

They then drove around the farm and found one of their tractors mowing
grass - James ordered him to take the tractor back to the workshop.   On
arrival at the workshop at approximately 9 o'clock two ZRP details came
running round the corner armed with 7.62 calibre rifles and fired four
random shots at them.  The one shot hit James' vehicle and hit
two workers who were sitting in the back of the truck. One is in a
serious condition and may lose his leg.  The other has an injury in his

The attack was totally unprovoked and we are given to understand that it
was orchestrated by Senator Edna Madzongwe who reported to the police
station, yesterday, that James and Peter had gone onto their farm the day
before.  The police will not respond to any complaint made by the
Etheredges at all, especially with regard to the theft etc. that is
currently happening on Stockdale.  We understand that the police are told
not to respond to any complaints by them, but nevertheless there were two
truck loads of police responding to Edna Madzongwes' report to them.

As soon as the first shot was fired, James took off and drove straight to
Harare in order that his injured workers could get treatment in hospital
as they were losing blood.

Peter tried to drive out through the main gate but was stopped by two
truckloads of ZRP and was told to get out his driver's seat and get
into the passenger seat whereby a policeman drove him and the others in
the back of his vehicle to the police station where they have been
arrested without charge.

They have not been granted access to their lawyer despite the fact that
she is there at the Chegutu police station.

As we speak Peter is still in Chegutu Police Station.

James, who is an insulin dependent diabetic is staying with friends in


2. Mount Carmel

Dear All,

Here on Mount Carmel we still have the rotting mangos in the packshed
that has been broken into;  and my parents in laws house remains broken
into with all their belongings inside and none of us able to get anywhere
near; and the beaten workers remain without justice.

Minister Shamuyariras men are still denying us access to the house and
packshed and workshops and orchards; and the mangos continue to be stolen
by the vehicle load.  Police continue to refuse to do anything despite
the SADC Tribunal Judgement that compels them to act.

In desperation we decided to go to the High Court and we managed to get a
High Court order yesterday declaring their whole invasion illegal and
ordering them off;  but the police are so far refusing to come out with
the deputy sheriff to effect the eviction.

Arthur Mutambara was interviewed last night and apparently said that the
invaders would be put behind bars if they refused to comply with the
law.  I do not know of a single invader that has been put behind bars for
invading a farm in the last 9 years even where there have been court
orders.  Perhaps the rule of law will come back?

The Etheredges tried to go on to their Stockdale farm this morning.  The
farm is protected by the SADC Tribunal Judgement which orders that they
should be allowed to farm in peace.  However the Speaker of the Senate
Edna Madzongwe has taken a fancy to the 6000 ton citrus crop that is
currently hanging on the trees and has taken over the farm for herself.

Within about half an hour of the Etheredges coming onto the farm police
arrived firing live ammunition.  Two of their workers on the back of the
pickup were hit - one very badly - and they drove off the farm very fast
to get them to a hospital.  I saw the wound and it was the size of
my fist.  Most of his lower leg had been shot away.

Also in Chegutu the Visagies on Wantage Fram have had people sleeping in
their garden all night.  The invaders have broken the locks on the gates
and put their own ones there. they have been trying to break into the
house this morning with the Visagies and their children all inside.  They
are also protected by the Tribunal and have a final order from the High
Court that makes the invasion illegal.

On Twyford Farm Senator Jamaya continues to act with complete impunity.
Like his senator friend, Edna Madzongwe he has several farms under his
belt now.  Twyford has lots of crops to take so it is a profitable
enterprise to march in just before harvest time.

On Reydon farm the Chegutu lands officer, Mr. Kunonga, had his men smash
the locks and throw Mr. de Boils things out yesterday.  This was captured
on film.  Mr. du Boil has a recent High Court order protecting him but
Zimbabwe Government officials continue to act with impunity.  When he
went to police they served him with papers telling him that his trial was
to start in 3 days time for being in his home illegally.

On Dodhill farm Simon Keevil is in court today starting a trial for being
on his farm illegally as well.  All white farmers are facing similar

And so the lawlessness continues.  It is only a few thugs on each farm;
but the losses are tremendous.  Productivity; employment; forex
generating capacity; are all being systematically destroyed through the
police actions in refusing to uphold the law.

All the best,


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Zim leaders meet again over unity govt's outstanding issues

by Patricia Mpofu Wednesday 22 April 2009

HARARE - Leaders of Zimbabwe's power-sharing government meet tomorrow after
failing on Monday to resolve several outstanding issues and alleged
unilateralism by President Robert Mugabe that is threatening the smooth
running of the nascent unity government.

"They are meeting on Thursday after an inconclusive meeting on Monday,"
James Maridadi, spokesman of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said.

Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara's meeting will
be the third inside two weeks to try to find a lasting solution to the
outstanding issues and other differences that emerged after the formation of
the inclusive government on February 13.

Among the outstanding issues of the power-sharing agreement are the
appointment of provincial governors, permanent secretaries and diplomats,
the rehiring of Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono and the appointment of
Johannes Tomana as Attorney General by Mugabe in January.

Tsvangirai and Mutambara want the appointments of Gono, Tomana and
provincial governors rescinded and the recruitment of new ambassadors and
permanent secretaries - moves Mugabe and hardliners from his ZANU PF party
have adamantly opposed.

Mugabe last week also raised the ire of his coalition partners with a
unilateral decision to transfer a major portfolio from MDC-T minister Nelson
Chamisa to one of his ZANU PF hardliners, Nicholas Goche.

Another bone of contention between Mugabe on the one hand and Tsvangirai and
Mutambara on the other is the refusal by the 85-year-old President to swear
in MDC-T Senator Roy Bennett as deputy agriculture minister.

According to sources Mugabe's two vice presidents, Joseph Msika and Joice
Mujuru, also attended the principals' meeting on Monday. Tsvangirai's other
deputy Thokozani Khupe attended.

Also present were Welshman Ncube, a lawyer and secretary general of
Mutambara's MDC party and Emmerson Mnangagwa, legal secretary for ZANU PF.

The two men, who participated in the South African-led negotiations that led
to the signing of the power-sharing agreement, are said to have used the
meeting to explain to the principals the legal interpretations of the
political agreement regarding powers of President Mugabe and those of the
Prime Minister.

The coalition government is seen as offering Zimbabwe the best opportunity
in a decade to restore stability and end a devastating economic crisis.

But an international political think-tank said in report released on Monday
that the unity government was at risk of being toppled by military generals
unhappy that any political transition could leave them powerless and
vulnerable to prosecution for past crimes.

The Brussels-based International Crisis Group blamed the deadlock over
issues such as the appointment of a new Attorney General or central bank
chief on the hardliners in the military and in ZANU PF it said wanted to
derail the unity government. - ZimOnline

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Zimbabwe Central Banker Gono Seen Under Mounting Pressure to Resign

By Gibbs Dube and Jonga Kandemiiri
21 April 2009

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono is under mounting pressure to
step down after acknowledging this week that private foreign exchange
accounts at the Reserve Bank were raided under his tenure to keep the former
government afloat.

A statement issued by Gono on Monday concerning the unauthorized use of
private funds to finance operations of the government of President Robert
Mugabe was seen as an attempt to preempt a parliamentary inquiry into
improper operations at the central bank.

Gono has also backtracked on an offer to give cars to new members of
parliament, this under pressure from Finance Minister Tendai Biti of the
Movement for Democratic Change. He urged lawmakers Monday to turn over cars
they had received to the Ministry of Finance.

Meanwhile, Economic Planning Minister Elton Mangoma hinted at a conference
in Pretoria early this week that Gono's days at the central bank were

President Robert Mugabe has resisted calls from his Movement for Democratic
Change partners in government for a new Reserve Bank governor to be
appointed. Finance Minister  Biti has made no secret of his wish to see Gono
depart and be replaced.

Most economists fault Gono for fueling massive hyperinflation by printing
huge amounts of Zimbabwe dollars to fund government operations and procure
hard currency. Only a shift to a mixed hard-currency monetary regime this
year restored price stability in the country.

Harare political analyst George Mkwananzi told reporter Gibbs Dube of VOA's
Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that Gono's best option at this point is to tender his

Economist Godfrey Kanyenze of the trade union-funded Labor and Economic
Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri
that an independent forensic audit of central bank operations under Gono's
tenure should be carried out.

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Farm supplying cabbages to army rescued

April 22, 2009

By Owen Chikari

MASVINGO - The president of the Council of Chiefs, Fortune Charumbira, has
been ordered to keep his hands off Mitchell Farm in Masvingo.

The chief had grabbed the farm in the latest wave of farm invasions which
were launched after the formation of the inclusive government in February.

The Ministry of Agriculture and the Masvingo provincial land allocation
committee have instructed Charumbira not to interfere with operations on the
farm owned by Antony Mitchell, a commercial farmer.

The decision to block Charumbira, who was already preparing to move onto the
farm, was reached after it emerged that the farm was had a contract to
supply both Four Brigade and 41 Infantry Battalion in Masvingo with

In a letter to Charumbira, the Ministry of Agriculture said if production on
the property was disrupted, soldiers at the two barracks would not be
guaranteed of their supply of cabbages.

"Please be advised that Mitchell Farm has not been acquired for
resettlement; after all, the farmer is producing (food) for the army," reads
the letter in part.

"You should, therefore, put your hands off from the property."

Governor Titus Maluleke who chairs the land allocation committee here
yesterday confirmed the development.

"We have asked anyone who wants to take over Mitchell Farm to stop it
because it is being utilised to our satisfaction", said Maluleke.

Apart from cabbages, Mitchell Farm produces tomatoes, day old chicks and
live chickens.

The bulk of the tomatoes and cabbages produced on the property are supplied
to the army.

The invasion of Mitchell Farm by Charumbira, who is a staunch Zanu-PF
supporter, did not go down well with officials here who felt that the
Mitchells were doing a good job of producing for the nation and should be
allowed to continue to do so.

Although Charumbira could not be reached for comment Tuesday, The Zimbabwe
Times has it on good authority that the chief had made several attempts to
evict Mitchell from the farm.

Charumbira appears intent on joining the list of several senior Zanu-PF
officials who are now multiple farm-owners. He already owns Acton Farm about
25 kilometres south of Masvingo city.

Charumbira angered the people of the Charumbira area in 2007 when he
publicly announced that supporters of the opposition Movement for Democratic
Change should not receive food handouts because of their political

It was subsequently reported in sections of the media that Charumbira was,
in fact, of Zambian origin and, in terms of tradition, should not hold the
title of chief in Zimbabwe. Charumbira is a common enough name in Masvingo
and the chief could have been born in Zambia of Zimbabwean parents.

Some of the people in the Charumbira area were reported to have said they do
not recognise his chieftainship, let alone his presidency of the Council of

Born in 1962, Charumbira must be one of Zimbabwe's youngest and, possibly,
the most educated chief. He holds a BSc Honours degree in Political
Administration, an Institute of Personnel Management Diploma and a Master of
Business Administration (MBA).

Charumbira stood up at a Zanu-PF conference and urged the party to extend
President Robert Mugabe's term off office for life.

"We are not for succession as long as the one who holds that position is
still alive," he said.

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Constitutional committee chairmen named

April 22, 2009

By Raymond Maingire

HARARE - Two legislators, one from Zanu-PF and the other from the mainstream
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), have been appointed to co-chair the
parliamentary select committee recently established to write Zimbabwe's new

Lovemore Moyo, the Speaker of the House of Assembly told The Zimbabwe Times
Tuesday Nyanga North legislator Douglas Mwonzora (MDC) and Zanu-PF's Paul
Mangwana, who represents Chivi Central, have been appointed to head the
25-member committee on an interim basis.

President Robert Mugabe and MDC leaders Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur
Mutambara, who heads the smaller MDC, are still to decide whether to appoint
a non-legislator to lead the crucial process.

This follows recommendations by Parliament last week for the three political
leaders to second a non-Member of Parliament to head the committee.

"The committee met on Monday and appointed the two legislators to co-chair
the select committee," Moyo said.

"This is still very much a temporary arrangement until the three principals
decide on whether the committee should be co-chaired or they have come up
with a common choice of an independent candidate."

The desire to have a non-legislator to head the group is an apparent bid by
the legislative assembly to pacify a restive section of civic society that
wants government to relinquish the project in place of a people-driven

The Global Political Agreement signed by Zimbabwe's three main political
parties last September binds the government of national unity to produce a
new constitution within the first 18 months of its formation.

Although giving Parliament the responsibility of leading the writing of a
new constitution, the agreement is, however, silent on who should chair the
parliamentary select committee, which comprises both Zanu-PF and MDC

Parliament is expected to unveil on Friday a budget for the 18-month-long

The cash-strapped government has courted the donor community to volunteer
financial support to see it through the drafting of what should become
post-independence Zimbabwe's first ever home-grown constitution.

Moyo last week called on the international community to help sponsor the
project that is expected to stretch up to mid-October next year. The process
is the first such project to receive support from both Zanu-PF and the two
MDC parties.

Meanwhile, the parliamentary select committee is scheduled to hold its
induction course next Monday.

According to the Speaker of Parliament, the members will then be divided
into a yet to be decided number of thematic committees.

The committee is also set to decide on appropriate dates for the holding of
its public consultation process and events such as the holding of the two
all stakeholders' conferences as set out in the inter-party agreement.

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Think-tank sees coup possibility in Zim, fears for PM's life

by James Mombe Wednesday 22 April 2009

JOHANNESBURG - There is a "real risk" of a military coup in Zimbabwe or
assassination of the country's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai by military
generals disgruntled by an unfolding political transition that is
threatening their power and security, an international political think-tank
has said.

The International Crisis Group (ICG) warned that a military coup could
trigger infighting between factions within the divided armed forces to
plunge Zimbabwe into chaos and armed conflict.

"There is a real risk of a coup, initiated by military leaders whose
influence is beginning to wane and whose patronage system is being eroded,"
the Brussels-based ICG said in its latest report on Zimbabwe released on

"The unwillingness of some army generals to publicly recognise the inclusive
government's authority, and especially Tsvangirai's role, lends credence to
the threat. An assassination attempt on Tsvangirai also cannot be ruled
 out," the group added.

The ICG is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation
covering over 50 crisis-affected countries and territories across four
continents, working through field-based analysis and high-level advocacy to
prevent and resolve deadly conflict.

The think-tank said assassination of Tsvangirai or a coup by senior officers
to forestall the shaky political transition process may not have backing of
all in the military particularly among lower ranking soldiers and could open
up a new phase of anarchy and bloodletting in Zimbabwe between rival
military factions.

"A coup by senior security hardliners would probably lead to fractures
within the army and infighting within and between the ranks, possibly even
on ethnic lines, and would likely plunge the country into chaos," the group

To counter the threat of a coup the Southern African Development Community
(SADC) and regional powerbroker South Africa should step in urgently to
neutralise the military sector by persuading the hardline senior military
leadership to retire, the ICG said.

To get the generals to agree to step down, the ICG advised the carrot and
stick method with offers of immunity from prosecution for past political
crimes (excluding crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide) in
return for retirement.

There was also need to assure the generals they would be able to keep at
least some of their ill-gotten wealth and to further sweeten the deal
Western governments should lift visa and financial sanctions against
officers agreeing top step down.

The ICG said to those who refuse the offer to retire it should be
"emphasised that refusal to step aside before the end of the inclusive
government's term will lead to development of cases for prosecution,"
including before an international criminal tribunal.

The group also called for the creation of a panel tasked to recommend the
modalities for setting up transitional justice mechanisms such as a truth
commission as part of security sector and other administrative reforms.

Under the power-sharing agreement brokered by the SADC, Mugabe remains an
executive President while Tsvangirai also enjoys executive powers as Prime

The unity government deal that was clinched after several months of tense
and sometimes acrimonious negotiations says that Tsvangirai will be in
charge of the day-to-day running of government business. But the former
trade unionist is required to keep Mugabe, who still chairs the Cabinet,
"fully informed".

The ICG said Tsvangirai and his MDC's entry into government was a landmark
development that had inspired hope that Zimbabwe could at last end its long
running economic crisis.

The ICG noted that Western countries remained skeptic about the durability
of the unity government and its ability to implement reforms.

But the group urged the donor community to step in with "humanitarian plus"
aid that covers the priority areas such as revival of the education, health
and water sanitation sectors, as well as ensuring a functioning civil
service and reconstruction of basic infrastructure. (Please see full ICG
report on this website) - ZimOnline

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Gono must be arrested and put on trial

April 22, 2009

By Jakaya Goremusandu

IF a person anywhere in the world makes a voluntary confession that he/she
committed a crime, the police are expected to move in, open a docket and
submit it to the criminal justice system for the law to take its course.

Monday's public disclosure by Gideon "Chikonamombe" Gono, the governor of
the central bank, that he illegally raided private bank accounts and stole
millions to prop-up a beleaguered Mugabe regime must have attracted a
natural interest to the Zimbabwe Republic Police, exercising their
constitutional mandate, to get the ball rolling on behalf of the State as
required by law and by the people of Zimbabwe as a whole.

A thief, murderer, rapist or any other wrong-doer cannot escape basic
criminal or judicial scrutiny for such an earth-shaking admission of guilt.
Instead, Chikonamombe goes further to instruct Zimbabweans to let "bygones
be bygones" and few seem to see anything amiss about that.

Yes, a quick admission of guilt is indeed a mitigatory factor in court, but
for a felon to insist on an amnesty can only happen in Zimbabwe where both
the old journalists and the new generation of "computer citizens" on various
websites spend hours attacking the views of those with the courage to
unravel contentious issues without examining any glaringly pertinent
transgressions and suggesting constructive remedies.

A criminal by choice who, with ample pre-meditation, commits various acts
against the law and, by extension, against the people, should be the last
person to demand of a nation that it considers granting him an amnesty,
arguing that he committed a "patriotic" crime.

Thousands of Zimbabweans are languishing in prison for petty crimes, ranging
from stealing a cob of maize, pick-pocketing, for hunger-induced
prostitution, or spurious charges of terrorism, yet here Zimbabwe has
somebody who openly confesses to nation-destroying day-light bank robbery
and nobody seems to give a damn!

Gono made the important first step in any amnesty-seeking process - the
volunteering of information. But what Zimbabwe needs, in order to grant him
and many others such a privilege, is that he must go further and fulfill the
universal requirements of national amnesties in the name of national healing
and the search for reconciliation.

The main yardstick in use for regrettable, past misdeeds is a full and an
unfettered disclosure of the truth about a culprit's total behavior while in
and out of office. "Bygones" can easily become "bygones" but that does not
mean the process is dictated to the wronged by the offender. Neither can the
nation - while forgiving in most cases, for progress - be expected to

Gono claims he committed the crimes while acting on instructions from
President Robert Mugabe, but there is a universal ethic which decrees that
anybody who takes an unlawful order becomes personally liable for his/her

Gono's lame defence must therefore be dismissed outright because as a bank
governor Chikonamombe cannot claim to be a mere simpleton who succumbed to
pressure to commit a crime. The latest cry for an amnesty vindicates the
recent censure of Gono by the International Monetary Fund and the MDC, for
driving Zimbabwe onto the edge of a precipice.

If Gono bankrolled the executive in this way, while claiming the central
bank was broke how come he could still manage to procure more than 1 000
luxury vehicles for selective disbursement as trinkets of patronage?

If the government is the main shareholder in the central bank, holding a
stake on behalf of the people, why was Gono allowed to buy and distribute
suits, ball-point pens, computers, luxury cars, agriculture equipment,
generators, television sets, fertilizers and chemicals as well as many other
items to judges, farmers, local councils and other selected beneficiaries,
including known journalists at a local newspaper stable? A business editor
and two political editors, including one who sought temporary refuge outside
Zimbabwe before he was kicked back, are said to have been allocated vehicles
directly and corruptly from the Reserve Bank.

Even the police, the army and the Ministry of Information benefited from the
ill-gotten proceeds of the RBZ's adventures. Receiving stolen property is a
crime anywhere.

"Your governor" clearly has a case to answer and his statement on Monday
provides sufficient grounds for his immediate suspension or arrest or both,
if the government of national unity is serious about the business in hand.

The Gono story is much deeper and calls for a thorough inquiry into the
affairs of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe as a matter of extreme urgency.
Having volunteered the disclosure on Monday, it is no longer legitimate for
Gono to claim any obscene severance package from the reserve bank and leave,
as demanded by the MDC.

If Gono's exotic Bygones Theory is taken to its logical conclusion it could
spawn an interesting litany of cases of amnesty.

Charges would immediately be dropped against Gandhi Mudzingwa, Roy Bennett
and others.

Chegutu commercial farmer Ben Freeth would immediately and legitimately
refuse to be held accountable for the alleged misdeeds of his ancestors on
the land question.

"Let colonial bygones be bygones," he would say to Zanu-PF secretary for
information Nathan Shamuyarira who recently seized his farm, while
neighbouring farmer, Peter Etheridge, would say the same to Senate President
Edna Madzongwe who took over his fruit farm just as the oranges were

Can any sane individual expect the people of Matabeland, clamouring to this
day for restorative justice and some form of compensation for the human
created tragedy that befell their beloved ones in the 1980s, to simply say,
"Well, we will let bygones be bygones"?

How about the rest of the country placed under siege after the February 2000
referendum and forced to taste the worst of dictatorship, including the
death of hundreds of innocent people? Should the families and relatives of
Tichaona Chiminya, Talent Mabika, David Stevens, Martin Olds and thousands
of others just shrug their shoulders, consoled by Gono's new "Bygones

National healing is an essential recipe for reconciliation and nation
building. That recipe contains, among other issues, public openness,
perpetrator remorse and comprehensive truth-telling, and victim or survivor
therapy so that they come to terms with discomfort, trauma and stress and
loss of either individual or communal compensation.

Total justice may be difficult to dispense in toto but there must be a
semblance of regret and positive intent through a full disclosure on the
part of the perpetrator.

The matter then is left to victims or survivors to pronounce a way forward -
usually in the spirit of fostering forgiveness.

By propping up an exclusive and corrupt regime, Zimbabwe's national identity
was put at risk. A large swathe of territory - from Manicaland, Masvingo,
Matabeleland, all urban areas and growth points - have difficulty in the
kind of exclusive, latter day Zimbabwe that conferred full citizenship only
to Zanu-PF party loyalists at the expense of a single national identity.

Without a sense of belonging and of being needed in their own motherland,
millions left the country for economic safety elsewhere.

Come on Chikonamombe, tell the nation more! There are serious allegations
that you are the main banker of the Mugabe family, an allegation you have
never attempted to deny, despite the obvious conflict of interest inherent
in this mutually beneficial arrangement. Why is this so?

That aside, Chikonamombe, you must declare to Zimbabweans your own financial
and business interests in Russia, in Dubai, in Malaysia, Switzerland in
Zimbabwe and wherever else it has been alleged you have investments. What
other services, outside quasi-fiscal operations, did you perform for either
your No.1 client or for his regime when it was under stress?

Zimbabwe must brace itself for an interesting period as Gono and many others
attempt to clear their names. The tragedy is that Zimbabweans with the
details seem reluctant or too scared to volunteer information, at least, at
the moment.

Time and the available digital tools look set to clear the air.

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Panicking Gono is blackmailing his Zanu PF friends

21 April 2009

By Denford Magora

I can honestly say that I have never done an article on this blog that
generated as much "live" feedback as the story, in which I told you all
about Gono trying to take the fight to Tsvangirai and Biti by drawing in a
large number of people into his battle with the two men.

Most of the feedback was in the form of phone calls from Zimbabweans within
Zimbabwe. (After a while I started asking myself why so many people seemed
to know my cellphone number!)

Several of the callers (all of whom were, in the traditional Zimbabwe style,
very friendly) complained that I update the blog late. They want their
analysis and scoops first thing in the morning!

I shall try harder!

But the reason for the excitement against Gideon Gono is understandable.

In my article below, I explained to you that Gono had cornered Biti and
Tsvangirai by extending the vehicle scandal to touch on the Farm
Mechanisation Programme (which saw a vast number of MPs and ordinary
supporters of both MDCs, as well as ZANU PF, Mugabe's party, receive free
tractors, ploughs, pick-up trucks, combine harvesters, Cultivators, disc
harrows, seed, fertiliser and a whole lot of other stuff.

Gono also warned that companies that had been given BACCOSSI money (US
dollars mostly, given to Zimbabwean manufacturers of basic commodities to
allow them to buy raw materials and spare parts at vastly state-subsidised
rates) should be ready to return the millions of dollars advanced to them at
a moment's notice.

The Governor sought to draw in the army, ministry of fact,
everybody who has ever benefited from the programmes of the Reserve Bank of

Most of these are ZANU PF people.

But now for the really interesting background that I did not have before.

It appears that Tendai Biti and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai,
especially, are very cool customers in all of this.

Tsvangirai is doggedly pursuing Gono with a strategy of stubborn,
unrelenting pressure, which he is applying to Mugabe at every single Monday
meeting the two men have. (You will recall that Tsvangirai reports on his
business to Mugabe every Monday).

Refusing to be rebuffed, Tsvangirai is pressing home the need to re-look at
the Governor's role in any future fortunes of Zimbabwe. Consistently, he is
telling the dictator that Gono is a stumbling block to Zimbabwe receiving
money from donors and the Bretton Woods institutions and hence, to recovery.

So, Gono is panicking.

What Tsvangirai is not aware of yet is that, even within ZANU PF, Gono is
fast losing friends. He has alienated some very influential party leaders
who are now quietly stocking up the fire under Gono by urging MDC
parliamentarians to go ahead and propose a parliamentary investigation into
the governor.

So far, the numbers I am told of seem to indicate that any parliamentary
action against Gono would get bi-partisan support and garner a two-thirds

Claims that have been passed on to me that Gono has also fallen out of
favour with Grace Mugabe can not be confirmed. It is said that the speech
given by Grace Mugabe earlier this year in which she demanded that those in
ZANU PF who were engaged in corruption should be investigated was directed
at the Governor.

Gono's document, apparently, is a challenge to his former friends in
Mugabe's ZANU PF party. He is bitter at what he sees as "being sacrificed by
my comrades." He feels hard done by, that people whom he sought to bribe
with all these goodies now appear willing to sacrifice him to Tsvangirai and

The call to return all the stuff he gave them should be seen in that light.
He is looking for sympathy and support.

The Reserve Bank Governor still has another ace up his sleeve (although it
appears as though this will not help him), and that is to come out publicly
and name people who benefited from such schemes as the buying of foreign
currency on the black market by the Reserve Bank.

For instance, some of the people who benefited from this include a sitting
MP from ZANU PF, a former Zimbabwe Television reporter who made his fortune
through the scheme of being given freshly printed Zimbabwe dollars to source
foreign currency on the black market for Gono and the Central Bank.

The lack of transparency with this black market forex scheme meant that a
lot of people were left with "change" running into tens of thousands of US
dollars from the black market after changing the "hard to come by" Zimbabwe
dollars on the black market.

You will recall that during that period, Gono squeezed ordinary Zimbabweans,
refusing them access to their own Zimbabwe dollars from their bank accounts,
so hard Zimbabwe dollar cash was in very short supply and yet was what was
used in day-to-day trading.

The Governor is now threatening to let all of these things become public
unless ZANU PF parliamentarians ( most of whom got money from Gono for their
general election campaigns in March 2008) protect him from the MDC in

Ultimately, though, Gono is looking directly to Robert Mugabe, who, it is a
well-known fact, does not take the embarrassment of ZANU PF as a party

By threatening to open this can of worms, which has the potential to bring
ZANU PF crashing down in the legislature especially (although perhaps not at
the courts, knowing what we know about the Attorney General), Gono is trying
to force Mugabe's hand, to get him to move unilaterally to quash all
investigations and protect his banker from scrutiny.

Tellingly, Gono, in that document he released yesterday, says his activities
should not be seen in the context of normal central banking operations,
saying that the real problem he faced was "political in nature", even before
the Inclusive Government and hence, he had to act in a "political manner" in
responding to the "challenges."

This subject, ladies and gentlemen, is actually too big to be covered in one
article and I expect that I will be doing another piece again tomorrow
unless something else crops up.


MEANTIME, THOUGH, I now have it on very good authority that the announcement
that Thabo Mbeki was going to come to Zimbabwe to "define Mugabe's powers in
the context of the Global Political Agreement (GPA)" was nothing but CIO and
ZANU PF disinformation.

ZANU PF wanted this to happen, absolutely certain that Mbeki would take the
(correct) legal position that Mugabe's presidential powers remain intact
and, as he heads cabinet, has the authority to make changes to ministries as
he did with Chamisa's.

But it could only happen if the Prime Minister falls into the trap and
agrees to ask Mbeki to come back to Harare to deal with the matter.

But the Prime Minister moved quickly to dismiss the disinformation. He may
have actually wisened up on this one and it appears as though, for the first
time, he has anticipated the dictator and has a wonderfully workable

Hence, he is insisting that, yes, he knows that Mugabe has all of those
LEGAL powers, but that this is not a legalistic matter, rather a moral one.

He intends to keep hammering home to Mugabe that, although he has the
"legal" powers, he must approach this whole matter from the moral viewpoint:
there are things he can do to ensure that money is unlocked by the
international community.

If Mugabe relents on some of the "smaller issues", Tsvangirai tells the
dictator, then the job of asking for donor funds to revive Zimbabwe would be
that much easier.

Tsvangirai's problem, however, is that Mugabe apparently believes that no
matter what he does, the West will not come in to help the Inclusive

He is still of the view that the fight with Britain and America is about
land and he is actually hoping that Tsvangirai fails to convince the donor
nations to help, so that he can turn around to the electorate and the
African constituency and tell them, " I told you this was about Land
Reform....they will not help us until we give back the farms to white

I think the one thing even Tsvangirai's enemies agree on is that the man has
a dogged determination.

It appears he is putting this to good use here, unrelenting even as he uses
a pinhead to poke the ZANU PF lion repeatedly.

Perhaps, just perhaps, he may irritate it into moving, even if it is just
for a bit.

I think we have entered a very interesting time in the affairs of Zimbabwe
and the next couple of weeks, while not delivering a clear verdict on
whether ZANU PF stands or falls, should indicate to us just how much moral
power the Prime Minister can wrestle from the ruling party, in the name of
asking for space to right the economy.

The only let-down may be from the West, who may indeed refuse still to
listen to him and resist all efforts to bring in money to help the economy.

If they do that and continue on that path, they may well be sabotaging the
Prime Minister at a time when he is emerging with what I personally see as
the strategy that has the best prospect for success.

It appears he has found a ZANU PF weak spot and that spot is Gideon Gono,
who is being abandoned by people with ZANU PF, although not yet by Mugabe.
If Tsvangirai succeeds on Gono, it would be correct to say he would have
badly wounded ZANU PF. Whether the wound would be fatal will then depend on
what he (Tsvangirai) does for an encore.

Brace yourselves, Zimbabwean politics is about to get even more turbulent!

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McGee, Pocock end tour of duty

Herald Reporter

United States Ambassador James D. McGee and his British counterpart, Dr
Andrew Pocock, leave Zimbabwe in two months' time after presiding over the
most strenuous period in relations between Harare and the two Western

The first secretary for political and communications at the British Embassy,
Mr Keith Scott, confirmed that Dr Pocock would leave Harare at the end of

"Dr Pocock, the British Ambassador, is leaving Harare on June 30 at the end
of his tour.

"He will be transferring to another diplomatic service appointment," he

Dr Pocock has been ambassador to Zimbabwe since February 2006.

Public affairs officer at the US Embassy in Harare Mr Tim Gerhardson said
his office would only make a comment on Mr McGee in June.

However, diplomatic sources said Mr McGee would be leaving the country in

"He has been bidding his colleagues farewell but official functions would be
held in May and June," a source said.

Another diplomat said the transfer was expected especially for Mr McGee
following the change of administration in Washington.

"There has been a major shift in the US following the formation of the
inclusive Government and election defeat of the Republicans by the
Democrats," the source said.

"What we are experiencing is a major policy shift by the new administration
which is avoiding confrontation with other states and would rather engage

Washington recently announced the lifting of travel warnings to Zimbabwe and
Cuba in a major policy shift from the previous Republican administration.

US Secretary of State Mrs Hillary Clinton also sent a congratulatory message
to Zimbabwe on the occasion of the 29th anniversary of Independence.

Mrs Clinton also commended efforts undertaken by the inclusive Government
towards reforms.

The sources said while the US Embassy would not want to say anything about
Mr McGee's imminent departure, plans for several farewell parties were at an
advanced stage.

"Things would start moving in May and you should expect Mr McGee to make an
address at Africa University where he might give a parting shot to President
Mugabe or Zanu-PF."

The sources said Mr McGee's departure would also mark his retirement from
diplomatic service.

Mr McGee arrived in Zimbabwe in November 2007 after vowing, in his speech
before the US Senate, to take a cue from his predecessor Christopher Dell
and continue pursuing the illegal regime change agenda.

The US ambassador is also blamed for the hardline stance maintained by the
US even after the political settlement between Zanu-PF and the two MDC
formations and the subsequent formation of the inclusive Government.

However, President Barack Obama has insisted that his government would
rather engage countries than taking a confrontational approach in diplomatic

"With this approach by President Obama, diplomatic missions like the ones
led by Mr McGee have become unnecessary hence the re-assignment," a
diplomatic source said.

While bilateral relations between Zimbabwe and Britain remain tense, Dr
Pocock who replaced Dr Rodrick Pullen who left in a huff, has kept a low
profile since arriving in Zimbabwe in 2007.

However, Britain constantly dabbled in Zimbabwean politics during Pocock's

Relations between Harare and London soured in November 1997 after the latter's
refusal to meet the costs of land reforms in Zimbabwe as per the Lancaster
House Agreement of 1979.

Britain later tried to internationalise the purely bilateral dispute and
mobilised the European Union and the United States to impose economic
sanctions on Zimbabwe as part of the quest for regime change.

The sanctions have since been condemned by progressives the world over.

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Know Your Ministers: Saviour Kasukuwere

April 22, 2009

With Conrad Nyamutata

KASUKUWERE, Saviour (Zanu-PF) - Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment

AT 39, Saviour Kasukuwere is the youngest in a Zanu-PF team of ministers in which advanced age prevails of youth. The Mount Darwin South legislator is the Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment.

Zimbabwe achieved its independence when Kasukuwere was only 10 years old. He became involved in politics at a young age and was at one time chairman of the Mashonaland Central province’s youth league. He was first elected to Parliament as representative for Mount Darwin in 2000, when he was only 30.

Since then he has never lost a parliamentary election, an achievement for which he was rewarded in February with his first ever appointment as substantive minister. Kasukuwere had originally been appointed deputy Minister of Youth in 2005

Born and bred in Mount Darwin in Mashonaland Central Province, Kasukuwere went to Chiunye Primary School and Bradley Institute, both in the same district, for his primary and secondary education.

He says he is the holder of various qualifications in the art of intelligence. He joined the then Prime Minister’s office at the age of 18 back in 1988. Nicknamed Tyson, he operated in Mutare where he did little to conceal his identity as a member of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO).

Kasukuwere left the now President’s Office in 1994 to go into business full-timee. His first business, a transport company, was launched while he was with the CIO in Mutare.

He has been vice-president of the Affirmative Action Group (AAG), an organisation set up ostensibly to press for the empowerment and advancement of black people in business.

He later left the AAG, apparently after he was fired by the then president of the organisation, businessman Phillip Chiyangwa.

In its early years the AAG was widely accused of arm-twisting bank managers to fund the businesses of some of its leadership and a few others, whose repayment records were matters of grievous concern to the cowed banking sector.

Currently, Kasukuwere is studying for his second year of a Bachelor of Political Science and Administration with the University of Zimbabwe.

As Minister of Youth he says he has set his sights on the full integration of the young into leadership positions to help end what he says is the marginalization of the youth in all facets of life in the country.

He says, “We are looking at improving the participation of our indigenous black people who yesterday were left out of the economic activities of this country.

“Empowerment is about everything. It cuts across all sectors.

“We are quite excited and enthused that there is a buy-in among our people. For the first time, people are now interested in the whole issue of indigenisation in a much more positive sense.”

Kasukuwere has business interests in the transport, fuel supply and banking sectors. Kasukuwere’s Comoil ran into problems with the law last year after it was accused of overcharging on fuel. The company allegedly sold diesel for Z$1 700 (about US$2) a litre instead of Z$200 dollars (25 US cents).

Kasukuwere says he welcomes the new unity government between Zanu-PF and the two MDC parties, which he says has managed to reduce the levels of polarisation among Zimbabweans.

“The unity government is a positive development in our country,” he says.

“The era of visible antagonism is gone. There has been a commitment to agree more than to disagree.”

Kasukuwere says there is a side of him which the public does not seem to understand. His name has been associated with violence, particularly in the Mashonaland Central Province.

“What people do not realise is that they do not understand me,” he says. “People think that I live in a world of conspiracy, that I live in a world of scheming and plotting.

“If anything goes wrong, it has to be Kasukuwere. People have preconceived notions about an individual before they understand what he is all about. But I guess if you have substance, there will always be this talk.”

Any gripe with the private media where he has often been cast in negative light?

“A big no,” he says.

“The private media is run by individuals who are just like everybody else. The private media is just like the state media. You cannot discriminate against institutions in terms of who they are.

“You must have a much better appreciation of the role that private media play in our country. The fact that they are private does not change that they are media.

“So I have no fear, I have no gripe and I have no problem with the private media.”

Kasukuwere says he is inspired by President Robert Mugabe.

“I am in Zanu PF,” he says. “My leader inspires me. He directs me.

“He is a man who has given us clarity in a number of issues. You must accept that at his age and having been in politics for this long, he must be a smart man.

“That much you have to give to him. At least he is the best around town. He has fought many battles and he has succeeded. You cannot avoid being inspired by such a man.”

Kasukuwere, who neither drinks nor smokes, is married to Barbara Kadira who runs the family’s businesses.

The couple has three children - Takudzwa (13), Natasha (13) and Christian (8).

There is a humorous side to Kasukuwere too.

“I support all football teams in the country’s Premier League,” he quips.

(Reported by Raymond Maingire)

Thursday: Sidney Sekeramayi

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