by Nokuthula Sibanda Thursday 23 April 2009
HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Wednesday called on Zimbabwe's
political leaders to conclude discussions on implementation of the country's
power-sharing agreement, in a sign he may be losing patience with talks that
have dragged on for days with little progress.
Tsvangirai, President Robert Mugabe and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur
Mutambara - the three principals to Zimbabwe's power-sharing agreement - are
expected to meet today to try to resolve several outstanding issues and
alleged unilateralism by Mugabe that is threatening the smooth running of
the nascent unity government.
Today's meeting will be the third time inside two weeks that the three
leaders will be meeting 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 and that have hindered full
implementation of the power-sharing agreement.
"They will be addressed and we are in the process of addressing them. We
cannot go on for ever and ever, we have to address those issues," Tsvangirai
told journalists after officiating at an International Labour Organisation
function in Harare.
"We have no specific date but we cannot go on with outstanding issues always
hanging over our heads," he said.
Among the outstanding issues of the power sharing agreement the leaders will
discuss 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provincial governors rescinded and the recruitment of new ambassadors and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 has 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.
Meanwhile Tsvangirai's spokesman, James Maridadi, discounted reports that
Zimbabwean political leaders had called for former South African President
Thabo Mbeki, who mediated in the power sharing talks, to return to oversee
dialogue on the outstanding issues.
Maridadi said there had been no stalemate in the talks yet and therefore
there was no need to call in outside helpers.
"The Principals only resort to mediation in the event of a stalemate and in
this case no stalemate was declared," he said.
The coalition government is seen as offering Zimbabwe the best opportunity
in a decade to restore stability and end a devastating economic crisis.
But international political think-tank, the International Crisis Group, said
in report released on Monday that the unity government was at risk of being
toppled while Tsvangirai himself could be assassinated by military generals
unhappy that the unfolding political transition could leave them powerless
and vulnerable to prosecution for past crimes. - ZimOnline.
April 23, 2009
By Our Correspondent
HARARE - President Robert Mugabe and his partners in the government of
national unity are scheduled to hold yet another crucial meeting on Thursday
to iron our differences over outstanding issues threatening the progress of
the coalition government.
The leaders held a meeting on Monday which was described as heated.
Sources in the inclusive government told The Zimbabwe Times that Thursday's
meeting would be the last round of talks seeking to resolve contentious
issues. If the meeting failed to produce any positive results, then the
original talks mediator Thabo Mbeki, the former South African president,
would be recalled.
"The meeting will probably be the last in a series that has failed to
produce any agreement on the litany of issues yet to be agreed on. If this
meeting fails to resolve the outstanding issues then the mediator Thabo
Mbeki will have to be re-called," said the source who requested anonymity.
The Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office Gorden Moyo confirmed
that a meeting was scheduled for Thursday.
"I can confirm that the meeting is on tomorrow," said Moyo. "It is basically
a continuation of the previous meeting."
Asked what course of action was likely to be taken if Thursday's meeting
failed to produce the desired result, Moyo said, "I don't want to anticipate
anything or speculate."
The meeting will be the third to be held in two weeks by the three
principals of the parties to the Global Political Agreement (GPA).
It appears, however, that the rift continues to widen between President
Robert Mugabe, representing Zanu-PF on the one side and Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, both
representing the two MDC parties, on the other.
A case in point is the unilateral decision by President Mugabe to strip MDC
Minister Nelson Chamisa's Information and Technology portfolio of its
communications function, and leaving out Tsvangirai from full participation
at the independence celebrations on Saturday.
Tsvangirai is reported to have requested to speak at the ceremony but was
sidelined at the last minute.
Media reports say the six representatives who negotiated the agreement which
gave birth to the coalition government were summoned to the meeting last
week after the principals failed to resolve differences.
The negotiators were called in to explain the terms and references as spelt
out in the GPA.
This happened after Tsvangirai and his deputy Mutambara had expressed
displeasure at Mugabe for taking unilateral decisions.
Among the main issues awaiting resolution are the controversial appointments
of provincial governors, permanent secretaries and diplomats, Reserve Bank
Governor Gideon Gono and Johannes Tomana as Attorney General by Mugabe,
Also outstanding is the alleged refusal by Mugabe to swear in MDC Senator
Roy Bennett as deputy agriculture minister and the continuing farm
invasions. Despite the setting up of a ministerial committee to look into
the ongoing farm disturbances, the chaos seems far from over with reports
that a commercial farmer was on Tuesday arrested following a shoot-out at a
The re-arrest of MDC members Gandhi Mudzingwa and Chris Dlamini, who are now
under police guard again despite being granted bail last Friday, might also
come under discussion.
Sources say the re-arrests of the two, now recovering in hospital from
injuries sustained during torture while in detention, was at the instigation
of security chiefs, reportedly opposed to the coalition government.
Wednesday, 22 April 2009
Zimbabwe's all-inclusive government is under siege. Already, doomsday
exponents have taken out their daggers and the new government is literally
being torn apart; like a lamb to the slaughter.
Recent events in Zimbabwe have not helped matters either. The
continued and unabated land invasions have lent credence to the argument
that the new all-inclusive government is pretty powerless when it comes to
matters pertaining to the observance and enforcement of the rule of law and
the protection of private property rights
The apparently illegal and thoroughly provocative demotion of the
young and firebrand Nelson Chamisa by Robert Mugabe has solidified the
notion that the die-hard elements in Zanu (PF) are hell bent on ensuring
that the new political dispensation collapses.
Post February 13, 2009, Zimbabwe's political landscape will never be
the same again. The days of Zanu (PF) political hegemony are over.
These are the people who cannot accept the simple fact that on March
29 the majority of the voters voted for change and also that they chose
Morgan Tsvangirai as their leader.
As I have already stated, the MDC is not a naive political party. We
are capable of deducing good from bad; God from Lucifer.
The argument has been put forward by some writers and political
commentators that the MDC has since adopted the policy of ''quiet
diplomacy'' - Thabo Mbeki style. We are being blamed for not crying out
loudly against the obvious and apparent violations of the global political
agreement (GPA) such as the two examples that I have referred to above.
Unfortunately and with due respect, this argument is premised on the
assumption that the leadership of the MDC is no longer concerned by the
total observance of the terms and conditions of the GPA simply because we
are now part of government and some of our colleagues are now driving
Mercedes Benz limousines accompanied by the usual trappings of power.
This argument is as fallacious as it is ludicrous. We did not enter
into the all-inclusive government to get posh cars and the other perks of
high office. Some of us feel pretty insulted if it is argued that we no
longer care about the plight of the majority of the people simply because we
are now legislators and some of us have been appointed ministers.
Our own Mercedes Benz
For the record, many MDC politicians, and that includes myself,
acquired our own Mercedes Benz vehicles long before the all-inclusive
government was formed. We joined this struggle because we love Zimbabwe and
we could not just stand by and watch whilst our beloved motherland burnt to
Although we could easily have escaped into the relative ''comfort'' of
the Diaspora, there are those of us who chose to fight on the home front;
literally taking the bull by the horns. And we do not at all regret taking
We should understand that Prime Minister Tsvangirai has had an
unfortunate spat of family tragedies recently and quite honestly, we should
give our leader the benefit of the doubt. Prime Minister Tsvangirai is a
very humble man who is genuinely concerned about the continued suffering of
the majority of the people. I know him and this is why I am making these
bold statements of the kind of man that he is.
Farm invasion context
The recent farm invasions should be seen in their proper context. The
MDC does not condone these acts of thuggery and lawlessness. Finance
Minister Tendai Biti recently publicly stated that we cannot dream of
attracting outside help and financial assistance when farms are being
invaded and innocent farmers and their workers are being arrested and locked
up wily nilly.
Better still, we cannot cry out loudly for the lifting of
''sanctions'' when we continue to behave as if the whole world owes Zimbabwe
a favour. If we are unable to change our wayward and renegade conduct of
running affairs of State we might as well forget about obtaining a bail-out
package from those countries that have got the money.
In the same breath, I humbly urge my compatriots to be patient and to
appreciate that the all-inclusive government is not the most ideal form of
government that Zimbabwe should have. But then we all know the history
behind its formation and it shall not be the agenda of this writer to seek
to open old wounds. Suffice to re-state that Zanu (PF) is mortally wounded
and that only a miracle will save it from total political annihilation come
the next general elections.
Going forward, in the unlikely event that the all-inclusive government
collapses, then people should always be able to deduce that the MDC will not
be to blame for such a collapse. Change is inevitable in Zimbabwe. Whether
or the so-called securocrats like it or not, the MDC, led by Morgan Richard
Tsvangirai, is here to stay.
The MDC has not adopted Mbeki's so-called ''quiet diplomacy''. Watch
BY OBERT GUTU
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1. Stockdale Farm
2. Mount Carmel Farm
3. Twyford Farm
1. Stockdale Farm
A group a local orange buyers went to Stockdale to go and speak to
Madzongwe about orange theft and had 4 shots fired at them by the armed
police they dispersed. The Local are not happy about this
20th April We have information that Madzongwe has got 6 Zambian buyers,
who are going to get labour from Bindura, 200km away to come and pick
oranges this week, the locals refuse to work for her
other information is that Edna Madzongwe is trying to get an offer letter
for her Daughter Farri for Stockdale as she has been embarrassed by
recent media reports about multi farm owners!
Edna is also trying to get someone to help her get the packshed ready for
packing (electronic sizing machine) there is only one person who can fix
that machine in Africa and that is me.
The local Fupougena police caught 4 thieves today about R2000 worth of
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------It is now 4 p.m. and Peter Etheredge has been made to sign a Warn andCaution Statement, basically charging him with theft of oranges andinciting a violent attack on Edna Madzongwe on Stockdale by workers fromChegutu.The police say that he was responsible for the many workers who went toStockdale, after the orange thief was beaten to death by her guards, whenthey spent some hours outside the house that she has commandeered forherself, shouting that she must leave Chegutu and take responsibility forthe family of the deceased.The lawyer is battling to get the police in Chegutu to release Peter butthey say they want to lock him up.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------It would appear that the reason the Chegutu Police decided to put Peterin jail is because there were too many reporters hanging around! Theysaid that too much information was being put out by the farmers.However, it also appears that the Chegutu Police were about to releasePeter when they got a directive from "the top" telling them to keep himinside. I will let the general public decide who they think that mightbe!-------------------------------------------------------------------------------2. Mount Carmel FarmOn 20 April 2009 in High Court Case number 1612/09 Interim relief wasobtained for Mike Campbell of Mount Carmel farm in Chegutu. The terms ofthe relief were:[a] That it be and is hereby ordered that the status quo ante toapplicants [Mike Campbell] possession, control, and occupation of theproperty prior to 2nd April 2009 be and hereby is restored.[b] That 2nd respondent [Nathan Shamuyarira] and all other personsclaiming occupation and possession of the property and/or all otherpersons not being representatives, employees or invitees of applicant[Mike Campbell] are directed to forthwith vacate the property removingall movable property that may have been introduced by them onto theproperty.[c] To the extent that it becomes necessary or expedient, the DeputySherriff is hereby authorised and empowered to attend to the removal of2nd respondent [Nathan Shamuyarira] and/or all other persons not beingrepresentatives, employees or invitees of applicant are directed toforthwith vacate the property. Pursuant to this the Deputy Sheriff beand is hereby authorised and empowered to enlist the assistance of anymember of the Zimbabwe Republic Police force, who are directed to provideto the Deputy Sheriff such assistance, so that the provisions of theOrder are executed and implemented in full."The Deputy Sherriff served the papers on Mount Carmel Farm on the 21April 2009. So far the invaders have continued to steal mangos and usetractors with impunity and Chegutu police have refused to accompanythe Deputy Sheriff so that the court order be complied with.In the meantime Mike Campbell is losing his home, his possessions,his annual income and his life's work because the Zimbabwe RepublicPolice remain reluctant to uphold the law.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------THERE IS ONLY ONE FARM IN ZIMBABWE THAT STILL HAS MANGOS HANGING ON THETREES. THE CROPS ON MOUNT CARMEL FARM ARE CURRENTLY BEING LOOTED WITHIMPUNITY BY MINISTER SHAMUYARIRA'S MEN. ANY MANGO SEEN IN ANY SUPERMARKETOR AT ANY ROAD SIDE STORE IS A STOLEN MANGO. PLEASE DO NOT BECOMECOMPLICIT WITH THEFT. PLEASE POINT OUT TO THE SHOP OWNER THAT THEY AREDEALING IN STOLEN PROPERTY!-------------------------------------------------------------------------------3. Twyford FarmDear all,Yesterday, 21st April 2009, all my male workers were rounded byMuduvuri's men (18 of them) and one of them was severely beaten.Today, 22nd April, they beat up 4 more, one of them being 65 yearsold. The police said that it was Muduvuri's farm and that I must phonehim if I have a problem with him (!). They refused to intervene (Insp.Manyika is the Member in Charge in Chegutu, 0912919665, and SergeantBepura 0912640542).At 13.30pm today, his men have climbed over my electric fence (Muduvurigave the keys to my gate back to my gardener when the Ministerialdelegation came to the farm last Friday) and they are now ransacking mypersonal storeroom and house. I have 2 dogs there still, a Germanshepherd and a 16 year old Labrador who can't walk properly.The police in Chegutu is not responding again.The situation on the farm is unbearable with blatant looting, theft,violence (they brought in some firearms on the farm on Sunday), beatings,break-in into private properties, total disrespect of the law etc...Twyford Farm is meant to be protected by a BIPPA, a Provisional Orderfollowed by a Final Order obtained in 2006 and 2007, and a ProvisionalOrder from Justice Gowora dated 9th March 2009 in a spoliation caseagainst Muduvuri. The reality today does not reflect any of this.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
By Blessing Zulu
22 April 2009
Tensions in Chegutu district of Zimbabwe's Mashonaland West province, where
a number of white-owned commercial farms remain under siege by war veterans
and loyalists of President Robert Mugabe, have deepened rather than
subsiding following a visit to the area late last week by a ministerial
delegation led by Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara.
Sources said a combination of war veterans, youth militia and security
forces have stepped up violence against workers on farms of white farmers
resisting the takeovers.
The ministers and other top officials from all parties in the country's
unity government were sent to the area by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai,
who has had little success convincing Mr. Mugabe that the latest wave of
farm invasions is hurting Zimbabwe's reputation with international donors to
whom the country is looking for reconstruction funds.
Mr. Tsvangirai revealed some impatience with this and other unresolved
issues in comments to journalists at a Harare meeting marking the 90th
anniversary of the International Labor Organization. Such issues "will be
addressed and we are in the process of addressing them. We cannot go on
forever and ever" with such issues "hanging over our heads."
Such issues include political prisoners - two MDC party officials and a
freelance photographer were released late last week only to be placed under
guard again this week in a Harare private hospital - and appointments to top
posts including central bank governor.
But the farm invasions, which bring back memories of years of traumatic
takeovers in the earlier part of this decade, have generated the most
Since the unity government's launch in February, President Mugabe has
encouraged what his ZANU-PF party calls are "mop-up" operations to complete
the land reform drive Mr. Mugabe began in 2000, by most accounts also
tipping the country into economic decline.
The president has put his personal stamp on the latest round of farm
invasions: campaign-style posters of Mr. Mugabe and slogans around the theme
of national sovereignty are displayed everywhere on the farms occupied by
militants and guarded by police.
Southern African Development Community sources say the farms crisis has
hampered their efforts to convince the international community to go beyond
humanitarian assistance to the country to funding government operations and
financing economic recovery.
Some farm invasions fly in the face of a November 2008 ruling by a SADC
tribunal in Namibia saying 78 white Zimbabwean farmers could keep their land
because they were unable to avail themselves of the due process of law. The
previous government, headed by Mr. Mugabe with a cabinet comprised entirely
of ZANU-PF stalwarts, dismissed the tribunal's ruling.
SADC sources said plans to send finance ministers from the region to
Washington, London and Brussels have been revised to include Mr.
Tsvangirai - this in response to what SADC sources describe as growing
concern about Mr. Mugabe's intransigence on the farms.
Meanwhile the standoffs in Chegutu and other agricultural areas continue.
Commercial Farmers Union Vice President Deon Theron told reporter Blessing
Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that many farmers around the country are
Attorney General Johannes Tomana has come under fire for allegedly condoning
the fresh violence on the farms, but Tomana told VOA he has been trying to
April 23, 2009
By Our Correspondent
HARARE - The government was Wednesday forced to postpone an all stakeholders'
national media conference set for this weekend in Nyanga after journalists
protested against limited participation at the meeting.
The conference was scheduled for this weekend at the Troutbeck Inn in
Initially it was to be held in Harare but was moved to Nyanga under unclear
The journalists claimed the decision to move the conference to Nyanga was as
an attempt to exclude them from participating.
In rescinding its decision, the ministry sent out new invitations to
speakers Wednesday advising of the change of dates.
The national media conference which will be held under the theme "Towards an
Open, Tolerant and Responsible Media Environment" will now be held from May
6 to 9 in the resort town.
According to the Ministry of Information and Publicity, the objective of the
conference is to review Zimbabwe's current media environment in order to
guide the government's media policy.
Webster Shamu, the Minister of Media, Information and Publicity, will give
the opening address.
Members of the Joint Implementation and Monitoring Committee (JOMIC)
Professor Welshman Ncube, Patrick Chinamasa and lawyer Innocent Chagonda are
expected to outline articles relevant to freedom of expression in the Global
The meeting is, among other things, expected to map the way forward for the
media and would include discussions about media reforms and the registration
of journalists, media houses and the licensing of new media organisations.
The media industry has had to contend with hostile legislation since the
closure of the popular Daily News and Daily News on Sunday in 2003. Other
newspapers have subsequently been shut down by the government.
The need to reform the media featured prominently during talks between
Zanu-PF and the two MDC parties which led to the formation of the coalition
The Ministry of Information had announced through a provisional programme
issued to participants but leaked to the media Wednesday that a conference
was to take place this weekend in Nyanga.
The document contained names of speakers on several topics, and the
But the five-page document did not mention journalists save for a few
representatives from the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ), Media
Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) and an unknown pair of freelance
Among some of the speakers are former Media and Information Commission (MIC)
chairperson Tafataona Mahoso, former Minister of Information and Publicity
Jonathan Moyo, infamously credited with crafting the notorious Access to
Information and Privacy Act (AIPPA).
Journalists have fought the repressive law since its promulgation.
Surprisingly, the list prominently features the name of the late Zimbabwe
Media Commission (ZMC) chairperson Chinondidyachii Mararike, who died of
The only other representatives from newspapers were editors and chief
executive officers from The Herald, Zimbabwe Independent and Financial
Gazette. The journalists are agitating for consultation, wider participation
The Ministry of Information is said to have limited participants from all
media representatives to only three delegates.
Journalists who spoke to The Zimbabwe Times Wednesday expressed outrage at
the manner in which the conference had been organised.
"We thought this was our event but if we are being sidelined like this, then
it's a non-event," said one journalist who requested anonymity. "How can the
government seek to discuss the media without involving the stakeholders?"
Another journalist who spoke on behalf of members of the Quill Club, a press
club in Harare, described the actions of the government as a joke.
"It's a joke," he said. "How could they celebrate a birthday party for
journalists in their absence? As it is now, if you look at the line-up of
speakers, it is a conference of media hangmen."
Wednesday, 22 April 2009
HARARE - A summit of Africa's largest trading bloc, the Common Market
for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), will finally take place in June
after being postponed twice because of Zimbabwe's disputed presidential
The summit of heads of State and Government will now take place from
June 7-8 in the Victoria Falls resort, COMESA secretary general, Sindiso
Ngwenya, told a news conference in Harare Friday.
"We shall have the launching of the COMESA customs union during the
summit," said Ngwenya.
He said the crucial summit will also look at ways of helping Zimbabwe
raise the US$8billion it requires to kick-start the moribund economy.
Handing over the reigns
The summit, which was supposed to take place in Victoria Falls in
December, was called off because of fears of handing the chairmanship over
to President Robert Mugabe whose legitimacy was still under dispute.
Kenya, which is the current holder of the rotating COMESA
chairmanship, cancelled the meeting, extending Kenyan President Mwai
Kibaki's tenure in heading the 20-member country organisation.
Kibaki is now expected to hand over the chairmanship to President
Mugabe when the presidents of COMESA countries meet.
Officials in December claimed that the summit had been called off to
allow more time for the member countries to negotiate the harmonisation of
tariffs within the planned customs union, which was agreed at a summit in
Kenya in 2007.
But diplomatic sources said this was a "blue lie" insisting that the
postponement was over Mugabe's legitimacy crisis and the absence of an
acceptable government in Zimbabwe.
The summit is expected to finalise steps towards forming the customs
union, after the member countries agreed to allow free movement of capital
goods with a 10 per cent tax on intermediate products and a 25 per cent tax
for finished goods.
COMESA said it would finance the summit, as Zimbabwe's new unity
government struggles to find money to feed the population and pay public
Ngwenya revealed that the bloc was seriously considering providing aid
'We are not going to talk numbers," he said. "We are working with the
ministries, governments and industry (of COMESA member states) to discuss
Wednesday, 22 April 2009
BULAWAYO - Zimbabwe's Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, will
officially open an annual international business conference that runs
concurrently with the yearly Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF), The
Zimbabwean can report.
The conference, organized by the ZITF Company and the National
Economic Consultative Forum (NECF), is an annual business forum for decision
makers both in the public and private sectors, both local, regional and
international, to discuss pertinent economic and political issues and map
the way forward.
This year's International Business Conference will be held under the
theme "Facilitating Business as the Engine of Growth in the Reconstruction
of the Zimbabwean Economy."
The conference will be held on April 29 in Hall three at the ZITF
Exhibition Centre in Bulawayo. Daniel Chigaru, the ZITF manager, confirmed
that Tsvangirai will issue a keynote address.
"In light of recent developments in the political and economic
spheres, this year's conference will focus on the following objectives: the
future Economic Road Map for Zimbabwe, the reconstruction of the economy and
integration into the international arena, Confidence and Image building and
Integration into the International Arena," said Chigaru.
Topics to be covered
The country's Finance Minister, Tendai Biti's, address at the business
conference will be on "The Zimbabwean Economic outlook: Achieving Stability
in a recovering economy."
Tourism Minister, Walter Mzembi will touch on the "Business
Opportunities presented by the FIFA 2010 World Cup and its impetus as a
stimulus to economic take-off."
Mines and Mining Development minister, Obert Mpofu will articulate the
government's position on 'Revitalizing the Mining Sector as a key factor in
the recovery of the economy."
Priscilla Misihairambwi-Mushongwa, the Regional and International
Integration Minister is also lined up as one of the speakers and her address
will be "Zimbabwe's approach to the regional and international integration:
What is the main thrust and what are our objectives."
Nelson Chamisa, the ICT Minister, Samuel Undenge, the Deputy Minister
of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion and Welshman Ncube, the
Industry and Commerce Minister are some of the government Minister's that
have been lined up to address the ZITF business conference.
The 50th edition of the country's 2009 ZITF will run from April 28 to
May 2 under the theme "Golden Platform for Dynamic Take-Off".
Zambian President, Rupiah Banda, is set to officially open this year's
ZITF. Only seven countries from the region have confirmed participation. As
in previous years, there are no international exhibitors. - STAFF REPORTER
23 April 2009
FINANCE Minister Trevor Manuel headed for Washington yesterday in a bid to
lobby finance ministers attending the World Bank-/International Monetary
Fund (IMF) spring meeting to drop sanctions against Zimbabwe and support its
In his capacity as chairman of finance ministers of the Southern African
Development Community (Sadc), Trevor Manuel is leading a regional
fund-raising initiative to use the sidelines of the international meeting to
lobby support for Zimbabwe.
Zimbabweans are struggling to revive their collapsed economy in the face of
the world's persistent scepticism about the unity government under President
Ayanda Ntsaluba, foreign deputy director general, said Manuel would consult
with the finance ministers of various countries in a bid to again exchange
ideas on what other steps to take to assist with Zimbabwe's reconstruction.
"There is some sort of recognition that, in a sense, the inclusive
government seems to be holding, and is holding more than anybody had
expected it to."
The meeting also coincides with the 15th Commonwealth Ministerial Debt
Sustainability Forum in Washington, which will also present a rare
opportunity to present Sadc's case on behalf of Zimbabwe.
The delegation, which will include Zimbabwean Finance Minister Tendai Biti,
is expected to meet with senior management of the World Bank, IMF,
International Finance Corporation and the US Treasury.
Each spring, the joint World Bank/IMF Development Committee and the IMF's
International Monetary and Financial Committee hold meetings to discuss
progress of the institutions' work.
According to Ntsaluba, this would be the first of several trips planned by
the Zimbabwean leadership, which has decided that the country's prime
minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, should lead a team of ministers to "a number of
western countries to solicit support for the reconstruction of Zimbabwe".
"Washington actually provides a best possible platform for engagements with
the finance ministers of different countries around the issues of Zimbabwe
," Ntsaluba said.
April 23, 2009
Sekeramayi, Dr Sydney Tigere (Zanu-PF): Minister of State Security
ONE of President Robert Mugabe’s longest serving ministers and allies, Dr Sidney Sekeramayi, who has been presented as a medical doctor since independence and has served as Minister of Health is, in fact, not a qualified medical doctor.
Sekeramayi spent nine years in a medical school in Sweden but did not qualify. He therefore does not hold a certificate to practice as a medical doctor. He cannot be registered to practice as a doctor in Zimbabwe or anywhere else in the world. He tried in Zambia but did not succeed. He then went to join the liberation struggle in Mozambique.
Born in Chihota on March 30, 1944 Sekeramayi, one of the more respected of Mugabe’s senior lieutenants, is married to Tsitsi.
He was educated at Waddilove Institute and then at Goromonzi Secondary School. He was expelled from Goromonzi after taking a leading role in a demonstration against the Rhodesian government.
Sekeramayi was one of the first students to be sponsored to study abroad. Aged 17, he went to Czechoslovakia to study on a National Democratic Party (NDP) scholarship. He then moved to Lund, Sweden, in 1964 where he studied for a degree in medicine. He however did not qualify. He went to Sweden with the help of Rupiah Banda, now the president of Zambia. Banda was born in Zimbabwe.
Sekeramayi said in one interview, “The party - then NDP and later ZAPU - organized scholarships for me and four others to go and study in Czechoslovakia, and when we had a few problems there we left.
“At that time, Rupiah Banda, who was the International Secretary of the Zambia Students’ Union, facilitated my coming to Sweden. He established a contact between me and NIB - later SIDA - which resulted in a scholarship to study in Sweden.”
Sekeramayi had become an activist in the youth wing of the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) at its inception in 1963. While at the University of Lund he became ZANU’s representative in Sweden.
Sekeramayi official profile says he went to Great Britain to specialise in surgery but ZANU, however, recalled him to Mozambique before he had completed his studies.
Sekeramayi joined the ZANU Central Committee in 1977.
He has been a Member of Parliament since 1980, serving as Minister of Health, Minister of Transport and Welfare, Minister of Defence and Minister of State Security.
In 2000 he was elected Member of Parliament for Marondera East Constituency. A year later, Defence Minister Moven Mahachi died in a car crash, and Sekeramayi took over his portfolio.
Sekeramayi won the seat for Marondera East constituency in Mashonaland East Province as the Zanu-PF candidate in the March 2005 parliamentary election.
He defeated Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) candidate Iain Kay with 19 912 votes against Kay’s 10 066 votes. Sekeramayi was re-appointed Minister of Defence.
Before the Zanu-PF primaries for the March 2008 parliamentary election, Sekeramayi again sought the party’s nomination as its candidate for Marondera East, but was defeated.
He was instead nominated as Zanu-PF’s senatorial candidate for Marondera-Hwedza constituency.
He won, receiving 24 571 votes against 17 370 for Jane Chifamba of the MDC-Tsvangirai and 6 994 won by Penelope Molai of the MDC-Mutambara faction.
In January, Sekeramayi was appointed acting Minister of Mines and Mining Development, following the dismissal of Amos Midzi, who failed to win a seat in the 2008 election.
When the coalition government was sworn in on February 13, Sekeramayi became Minister of State Security. His ministry is in charge of the dreaded Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO).
This is the last of the ministerial profiles that The Zimbabwe Times has published on the past three weeks.
Wednesday, 22 April 2009
MDC members of parliament should be careful not to mimic their Zanu
(PF) counterparts. Zanu MPs are well known for their profligacy. For years
they have been milking the state for their personal gain. They are there for
no other reason than to grab whatever they can for their enrichment -
vehicles, farms, farming equipment, foreign exchange privileges - you name
it, they grabbed it
Anywhere else in the world this is known as corruption. It is exposed
and the perpetrators brought to book before the courts. Not so in Zimbabwe.
The MDC stands for change. Chinja! The people expect to see a
different way of doing things.
It is therefore disappointing in the extreme to read media reports of
MDC MPs "scrambling" for vehicles offered by the Reserve Bank - which has no
business dishing out cars to MPs in the first place.
Yes, we know that MPs need transport. Yes, we know that they need 4x4s
because of the appalling state of the roads. But - obtaining vehicles
through a corrupt system is not the way forward. They have been assured that
vehicles will be available to them through proper channels. They have
managed to cope thus far - why can they not wait a little longer and do
At this formative stage of the new Zimbabwe it is vital that the MDC
does not allow itself to be tainted in any way by Zanu (PF)'s corrupt ways.
The MDC should not lose sight of the fact that there will be an election
within the next 18 months. Their hands must remain clean, if they are to
win the respect of their constituents.
Members of Parliament are in parliament to articulate the needs and
aspirations of the people who voted for them - not to demand privileges for
themselves, in order that they can live a cushy lifestyle. They were sent to
parliament by the people and their role there is to serve the people.
The trouble is that in the past 30 years we have moved so far from
government for the people that few remember what it is supposed to look
like. Our nation's moral compass has been trampled underfoot by Zanu (PF) in
its scramble for power and the riches that accompany it.
The MDC has an opportunity to get us back on course. They must not
fail us. The people are watching.
By Marvellous Mhlanga-Nyahuye, Gibbs Dube, Patience Rusere
22 April 2009
The appointment of lawmakers from Zimbabwe's co-governing Movement For
Democratic Change and ZANU-PF parties to lead a constitutional revision
process could further polarize public opinion on how best to forge a new
basic document, observers said Wednesday.
Political analysts said public opinion is swinging against the
constitution-making process led by a 25-member parliamentary committee
co-chaired by Douglas Mwonzora of the majority Movement For Democratic
Change and Paul Mangwana of the former ruling ZANU-PF.
Mwonzora and Mangwana were named Tuesday by Parliament to head the revision
process as it is spelled out in the global political agreement that is the
basis of the unity government led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, head
of the dominant MDC formation.
Analysts said the appointments could sharpen discord between the political
class and civic activists who want a constitutional commission to draft a
Political analyst Brilliant Mhlanga told reporter Gibbs Dube of VOA's Studio
7 for Zimbabwe that voters could reject a constitution drafted under the
Meanwhile, a senior official of the National Constitutional Assembly, one of
the leading voices in the debate over revision of the constitution, said
that following discussions with Tsvangirai the organization will submit
recommendations to the prime minister on how the new constitution should be
drafted, potentially marking out common ground.
NCA Director Ernest Mudzengi told reporter Marvellous Mhlanga-Nyahuye of
VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that he hopes for a compromise though the camps
are "worlds apart."
Elsewhere, civil society groups in a meeting chaired by the Zimbabwe Lawyers
for Human Rights urged the government to promote public participation in the
formation of a human rights commission provided for by a recent
Civic activists demanded transparency in the selection of commissioners and
said that the panel should be given powers to investigate human rights
Other organizations represented at the session in the offices Of the rights
lawyers included the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions - the country's
largest union - and the Law Society, among others. Civic sources said
activists will now commence lobbying parliament.
Spokesman Fambai Ngirande of the National Association Of Non-Governmental
Organizations said the meeting was called because although reports said the
commission would be formed soon the government had not called for comment,
raising concerns among civic groups that the process would not be as open as
it should be.
22 April 2009
By Pedzisai Ruhanya
University of Minnesota Law School, USA
The Constitutional making process currently going on in Zimbabwe require
serious interrogation in terms of the process and the outcome that
Zimbabweans envisage from this critical national assignment.
In this opinion, I want to posit that the writing of the new constitution of
Zimbabwe is beyond the province of the Parliament of Zimbabwe as I shall
attempt to argue and demonstrate. This is irrespective of the idea that the
combined formations of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) have a
sizeable number of legislators in both Houses.
The writing of a new constitution should not be a partisan exercise so it
doesn't matter whether Parliament is controlled by the MDC or whether the
opposition agrees with ZANU PF. What matters in my view is that the process
must be independently administered and all political parties, members of
civil society and ordinary Zimbabweans approach the process on an equal
If Zimbabweans fail to have a transparent, independent and representative
body to drive this process then the outcome will not be legitimate. I argue
that the process determines the outcome. A flawed process as currently
constituted cannot produce a constitution agreeable to majority of Zimbabwe.
In this regard I would want to point to a widely held but misguided view by
the opposition especially the MDC and some members of civil society that it
would not be wise to oppose the Parliament led process because such attempts
will fail allegedly because MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai has a lot of
support such that attempts to campaign for a no vote will not succeed.
This kind of political thinking is naïve and dangerous in a democratic state
and if that is the view of Tsvangirai and the MDC which I hope it's not then
Zimbabwe has a long way to go in the democratization of the State. I say so
because Tsvangirai should refuse to use his popularity and majority support
to undermine the views of other Zimbabweans who do not agree with this
Those who are of this weird view should also appreciate that majority rule
is not necessarily democratic. We have cases in the history of many
countries Zimbabwe included where those in power abused human rights by
committing acts of genocide, trampling upon the rights of minorities under
the misguided view that they were the majority. This process is not about
the majority dominating others but about equity in the exercise of power and
the protection of fundamental rights as well as the rights of minorities
among other values.
It should be instructive especially to the MDC that those who attempt to
abuse Tsvangirai's popularity assuming he is not endorsing these moves to
undermine a democratic process realize that constitutions are not made for
the angels we know but for both the angels and devils we don't know. So as a
people Zimbabweans should desist from seeing politicians no matter how
popular as angels because they are mortal beings.
The country requires a democratic people not parliament driven process that
treats both angels and devils equally. Zimbabwe is in this monumental crisis
because of some misguided elements in our society who thought Mugabe was an
angel beyond criticism and the results of this are there for everyone to
see; a failing state.
So the idea of a Parliamentary Committee led by the MDC and ZANU PF shows
political infidelity and dishonest especially on the part of the opposition
who in the past has been fighting on the side of civil society to have a
people driven process that is devoid of political manipulation.
The endorsement by some civil society organizations of this process clearly
shows lack of appreciation of their role. Some of these groups have
developed a 'grab mentality' where they are running to the GNU in droves
looking for political appointments in a shocking patron-client relationship
that the opposition is promoting. It would be crucial if these organizations
and individuals stay out of the GNU political fray and work hard to make
sure we have a transparent process that can lead to a legitimate and
I want to point out that if Zimbabweans are not careful with this ZANU
PF/MDC unholy alliance in the constitutional process the country will end up
with another flawed agreement such as the currently prevailing so-called
Global Political Agreement (GPA) between the two parties that was framed
without the broad participation of Zimbabweans.
But the situation is now different because we are now dealing with a
critical document that is supposed to govern every citizen, define the
structures of government, the rights of citizens and the power to be
accorded to the branches of government including Parliament that is so
unashamed to attempt to define its own role and power and not the people.
If Parliament was not the right body to organize the process in 1999 what
makes it legitimate today. The idea that the MDC is largely represented in
the Parliament does not make Parliament the right body to undertake such a
national process. It was wrong then and it remains wrong today.
The MDC is not made up of political angels but human beings who are also
showing that they can be corrupted by power and they should not be trusted
at whatever cost to misled Zimbabweans into believing that because it is in
the corridors of limited power then all the evils associated with a
parliamentary and elitist constitutional making process are gone.
There are arguments suggesting that in the case of South Africa after the
1994 elections, the South African Parliament sat as a Constituent Assembly
to spear head the writing of the Constitution so why should this not be the
case in Zimbabwe. That is true but one should appreciate the political
culture in these two countries which is very different.
We had former President Nelson Mandela in South Africa, a man whose
democratic credentials cannot be compared to the political chameleons we
have in Zimbabwe. The clergy, students, labour and civil society groups as
well as the vanquished were involved in the process.
But in the case of Zimbabwe the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) a
body that has been fighting to democratize politics in Zimbabwe is opposed
to the process for legitimate reasons and the politicians are busy trashing
the union, the Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU), the National
Constitutional Assembly (NCA) which is started the process in the late 1990s
and youth groups are also opposed to the process. If these voices are not
enough for politicians to listen and change course then Zimbabwe is heading
for political constitutional disaster.
The outcome of this flawed process will remain contested just like the
Lancaster House ceasefire document is today. It is my argument that a
constitution simply put is a frame of government and protector of rights. As
a frame of government, it delineates the basic structure, institutions, and
procedures of the polity; and as protector of citizens, it declares certain
rights to be basic and provides means for their protection in civil society.
It is not a code. Hence it is not designed to be highly specific and is only
explicit in connection with those elements essential to the framing of a
This is why I argue that Parliament should not lead a process that also
seeks to define its role. There is a clear partisan conflict of interests
that can only be ignored by political opportunists who are now drunk with
the limited ZANU PF political alcohol they are being given under the
misguided view that they are sharing power when Mugabe and his party remain
autocratic as before.
In my view, the basic processes for constitutional change are shaped by the
fundamental form or character of the polity. The Zimbabwean polity cannot be
understood in the ZANU PF/MDC dichotomy. It is far beyond this misguided and
limited dichotomy. Zimbabweans are not either ZANU PF or MDC. That's why
even in Parliament we have Professor Jonathan Moyo who is neither of the
two. He is not represented, the people he represents do not matter in this
political marriage between the MDC and ZANU PF. A people driven process
would surely make sure that all interests, interest groups political or
otherwise would be represented.
What also boggles the mind is that both the MDC and ZANU PF claim that they
represent the people; they have the interests of the people at heart. If
they are true to their claims what is their problem with a people driven
independent constitutional process.
There is also an argument that the NCA way is not the only people driven
process. The NCA talks of a transparent, non-partisan and independent body
chaired by a neutral person in the form of a retired judge to lead a people
driven process. This is the major difference with the Monzora / Mangwana
chaired body. More so the NCA is not claiming that it wants to lead the
process but the MDC and ZANU PF have shameless appointed a partisan
committee to lead the process when we all know that it will boil down to
negotiations among the political elite in these two parties.
The ZANU PF/MDC process can be compared to what happens in hierarchical
polities, where constitution-making is essentially a process of handing down
a constitution from the top, the way medieval kings granted charters. But
because Zimbabwe is not a medieval society, this process should be
discredited, resisted and rejected. The MDC and ZANU PF through their unholy
alliance may win for now using the misguided understanding of democracy but
that outcome will not survive the test of time.
Pedzisai Ruhanya is a former Daily News journalist currently studying at the
University of Minnesota Law School in the USA.
Parliament did not sit this week. Both Houses are adjourned until 12th May
Update on Legislation
No Acts or statutory instruments were gazetted last week. [The Finance Bill, the Appropriation (2009) Bill and the Appropriation (2008) (Additional) Bill, passed by Parliament two weeks ago, still await gazetting as Acts.]
Update on Inclusive Government
Last Thursday saw the inaugural meeting of the “Government Executive Committee”, comprising the President and the two Vice Presidents, the Prime Minister and the two Deputy Prime Ministers. The meeting was aimed at setting the 'ground rules' of how the top six should operate and allocate responsibilities.
Last Friday The IPA Principals met to resolve outstanding Interparty differences, including the latest cause of contention, the President’s unilateral reassignment of responsibility for Communications matters from MDC-T Minister Nelson Chamisa to ZANU-PF Minster Goche. No agreement was reached. The full list of issues includes the sharing of provincial governorships, the appointment of the Reserve Bank Governor and Attorney-General, the appointment of permanent secretaries and ambassadors, the ongoing land disputes and disruption of agricultural activities, the freeing of the media, and the swearing in of Roy Bennett, the MDC-T Deputy Minister of Agriculture designate.
On Monday 20th the party principals met again. According to a newsflash on the Prime Minister’s official website, Welshman Ncube and Emmerson Mnangagwa, representing the chief IPA negotiators, clarified the legal implications of the IPA. It was pointed out to the principals that that no one principal has the unilateral power to alter or vary the mandates of Ministers without the consent of the other two principals and that the appointment of permanent secretaries and ambassadors can only be done through a process of negotiation.
Thursday the meeting will be continued and
the outstanding issues will be tabled. The PM’s office has said that Chief
Mediator Thabo Mbeki has not been invited to
It is regrettable that these unresolved issues between the parties to the inclusive government are dragging on so long – some of them are issues that were left unresolved at the signing of the IPA on August 15th 2008. They distract from progress on other essential government business. The inability to resolve them also casts doubt on the viability of the GNU and is an impediment to much needed foreign investment.
As yet there has been no official announcement of details of the 100-day action plan that emerged from the Retreat, with its targets and deadlines. The draft is being circulated towards the end of this week and the final document should be ready next week. Both the implementation plans and the time-frames the Ministries have set need to be made public to enable civil society and the general public to monitor the progress of the inclusive government.
Update on Legislative Reform
No information has
emerged to suggest that the Government's legislative drafters in the
Attorney-General's Office are busy
drafting Bills to give effect to the indications in the IPA, STERP and
ministerial speeches that reform of AIPPA, POSA, Broadcasting Services Act, etc.
is a priority area. Recently
Update on Parliament
Usually while Parliament is in recess the work of Parliament carries on through its Committees. But only one committee has been meeting
The Committee of Standing Rules and Orders [CSRO] seems to be the only committee that is currently active – it has appointed the Select Committee on the Constitution, and a sub-committee to work out the modalities for the carrying out of the CSRO’s functions in connection with compiling list of nominees for appointment to Constitutional Commissions and statutory bodies.
House of Assembly Portfolio Committees
 held their inaugural meetings on the 8th and 9th
The Senate committees have not yet been established. Six committees have been approved by the CSRO, and the parties have been asked to nominate committee members but are still to do so. These committees will deal with broad issues such as gender, indigenisation and economic empowerment, and Millennium Development Goals.
The Parliamentary Legal Committee [PLC] has not met since it was formed. There has been no new legislation going through Parliament for it to report on, but there is a huge backlog of statutory instruments that has built up since January 2008 which it also has to consider and report on to the House of Assembly.
The Liaison and Co-ordination Committee There is a two-day workshop for this committee at Nyanga this week. The Committee’s responsibilities include coordinating the schedules of all committee business. It consists of the chairpersons of all committees, the party whips and the chairperson and vice-chairperson of the Women’s Caucus. Details of the schedules for portfolio committee meetings can be expected to be released after this workshop.
The situation remains unchanged. There are six vacant constituency seats in Parliament [see Bill Watch 9/2009]. The long overdue by-elections cannot take place until the Government gazettes proclamations fixing dates for nomination court sittings and polling days. Why the delay? It is true that in the IPA the three parties agreed that until August 15th 2009 they would not oppose each other in by-elections, the idea being that the candidate of the party previously holding the seat would be declared elected unopposed. But this did not change the law or suspend by-elections, so by-elections must still be called if vacancies occur, and, if two or more candidates are nominated, voting must take place.
Minister without a seat in Parliament
Minister of State Gordon Sibanda [MDC-M] must be found a seat in Parliament by 19th May or forfeit his Ministerial post. MDC-M has no appointed seat to bestow on him. But ZANU-PF has two non-constituency seats in its gift, one in the House of Assembly, the other in the Senate.
Mutezo vs Karenyi – court application to unseat MDC-T MP
Munacho Mutezo [ZANU-PF] has gone to the High Court in a bid to unseat Lynette Karenyi, MDC-T MP for Chimanimani West, basing his case on her conviction in the magistrates court on allegations of forging signatures on her nomination form. Mr Mutezo claims that the forgery conviction leaves him as the only person properly nominated for the seat and therefore entitled to be declared the duly elected MP. Ms Karenyi is opposing the case. She has also appealed against her conviction. This is Mr Mutezo’s second attempt to unseat Ms Karenyi; his election petition against her last her was dismissed because it was served out of time.
High Court challenge to election of Speaker
Professor Jonathan Moyo is pressing on with his High Court application to set aside the election of Mr Lovemore Moyo as Speaker of the House of Assembly. His complaint is that Mr Moyo’s election was invalid because, contrary to Standing Orders, it was not conducted by secret ballot. He relies on the fact that many MPs displayed their marked ballot papers to colleagues before placing them in the ballot box..
Other Important Court Cases
Human Rights NGO Forum has taken the Government of Zimbabwe to the SADC tribunal
on the grounds that it has breached the SADC Treaty and its various Protocols.
The case was taken because of the lack of effective domestic remedies for
victims of violence and torture perpetrated upon the Forum's clients by state
agents, including the police and army. The Forum pursued the cases through
civil litigation in Zimbabwe, resulting in awards of monetary compensation, but
the Government failed to pay these amounts altogether, or, in the case where it
was paid, the delays were so lengthy as to render the amounts useless due to
hyperinflation. The case is set down for hearing at the Tribunal Seat in
Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied.
Wednesday, 22 April 2009
EDITOR - The National Parks & Wildlife Management Authority (NPWMA),
known as the Zambezi Valley Monsters among the local communities, has become
increasingly unpopular among the valley communities especially in the past
NPWMA is to blame for this unhealthy situation in the valley in three
Firstly the increasing population of marauding elephants has, in the
past ten years, exposed villagers to massive starvation. Even in years when
communities expect bumper harvests, elephants came and grazed from the
Secondly, elephants have been killing five people on average annually,
for 10 years, among the valley communities and NPWMA doesn't care. The
Zambezi valley communities continue to bear the brunt of these elephants
while the NPWMA boasts of huge benefits from the same animals.
Thirdly, the Zambezi Valley communities have been exposed to
unscrupulous and rogue NPWMA officials who have been milking and exorcising
the valley communities. The Zambezi Valley Watch, (a network formed in
January 2009 to monitor and document all dirty activities of NPWMA officials
in the Zambezi Valley) recently witnessed the highest levels of madness by
the NPWMA officials.
These events are: the dubious inspection of Kapenta Fishing
Cooperatives boats by NPWMA officials in Binga, the ransacking and looting
of fishing camps in Binga, and the barbaric & dehumanising colonial-like
sijamboking of villagers, for no apparent cause, under Chief Sinamunsanga in
Tyunga area, Binga.
The dubious inspection of Kapenta Fishing Cooperatives boats, ordered
by the Area Manager, Payipayi, was one of the most barbaric ways of
fundraising. The NPWMA officials pounced on the unsuspecting Kapenta
Fishermen at night from March 17-20, 2009 and demanded to inspect the
fitness of their boats. The officials were charged exorbitant fines for
small and baseless offences. Where on earth would this be tolerated except
Payipayi also ordered the looting of Fishing Camps and confiscation of
gillnet fishing canoes from several fishing camps dotted between Binga town
and Mlibizi. These fishing camps are Siakabenge, Tobwe, Simatelele, Malala,
Bbimbi, Siamambo and Mlibizi.
The NPWMA officials accused the fishermen of fishing without permits.
They tortured them by beating them while hanging them upside down and forced
their way into the fishermen's mud & dagga huts destroying doors, ransacking
the huts and looting whatever they could find.
NPWMA officials went to the Fishermen's harbours and confiscated all
canoes belonging to the fishermen. All the loot was taken to Binga NPWMA
Office. Fishermen were told to pay a heavy fine of US$60 for each canoe or
pay three goats per canoe to recover them. Failure to pay for the canoes
would empower NPWMA to auction them. Why should the fishermen pay to recover
their stolen canoes?
Surely, the government should do something about the way the NPWMA
officials are tormenting the Zambezi Valley communities? We hoped that after
the formation of the inclusive government this exploitation, harassment, and
abuse by the NPWMA officials would cease but alas. Oh! No! NPWMA head
office should investigate these acts of madness and severely deal with those
The third incident took place in Chief Sinamunsanga's chiefdom from
March 15-20, 2009. The NPWMA officials descended on the villagers, accusing
them of fishing using fishing rods without permits. The officials ordered
scores of men and women to lie down on their stomachs and sjamboked them on
their buttocks not only in public but also in full view of their children.
What complicates this case is that the NPWMA officials did not catch these
villagers fishing, they were found at their homes and some were even
The three incidents are just the tip of the ice-berg. The Zambezi
Valley communities have been subjected to even worse treatment by NPWMA
officials but the lawlessness in the country that reigned since 2000 has
been making it difficult for these communities to raise their voices to the
relevant authorities. Who would listen to them anyway? The NPWMA officials
are known to be the most brutal people in the valley because of the way they
abuse their powers. In fact when the economic melt down was at its peak the
NPWMA officials survived mainly on looting fishermen and villagers, accusing
them of various baseless offences.
The Zambezi Valley communities particularly in Nyaminyami, Kariba and
Binga districts are bearing the brunt of NPWMA mismanagement. It should be
remembered that the valley communities were forcibly displaced by the
construction of the Kariba Dam in the 1950s. They were not compensated for
this traumatic forced displacement whose effects are still visible among
them even today.
Please NPWMA officials give us a break; we need to feel part of
Zimbabwe. We want to work together with NPWMA to protect our natural
resources but it is impossible under these circumstances. The government
should come to our rescue, we have heard enough. - ZAMBEZI VALLEY WATCH, by
|Wednesday, 22 April 2009|
Catching the flight from Harare to Hwange always provides much entertainment, since only one airline flies this route, it is really up to them to decide how and when you will arrive –it seems to have nothing to do with the date and time printed on your ticket. We boarded our beloved Zimbabwe Airways, with much apprehension; with its rickety food trolleys with no breaks, and chairs that go into recline mode and never stop reclining, it was hard to relax into the holiday mode.
Upon touch down, you are greeted with a stifling hot breeze and the absolute silence of the bush (and the semi abandoned airport). The awaiting car from the Hyde camp is a great relief, offering shade and cold drinks to placate us on the dusty ride.
The dense bush on either side makes you realise how isolated you really are in this wondrous place. Hwange is Zimbabwe’s largest park and holds the largest number of animal species in the world. It really is a place to go and see what Africa must have looked like 200 years ago. Hwange is well known for its multitude of animals- and holds possibly the largest populations of elephant and wild dog in Africa, as well as the rare Gemsbok and brown hyena.
Driving through the park you can only catch a glimpse of the expanse of this haven, the landscape is so diverse, you can be passing through desert and sparse scrubland in one section and thick forest the next. Despite the good news on the large animal population, the drive to camp was relatively uneventful, with just a few sightings of buffalo and impala.
The Hyde, was our camp for two nights, and was so aptly named, beside a small watering hole, nestled between the Mopani trees, our camp lay camouflaged in the dusty foliage. Each separate chalet was semi-circled around a muddy watering hole- which we were assured attracted numerous animals at sunset. Having showered and unpacked we decided to refresh ourselves at the bar, armed with a drink we headed up to the balcony above, allowing ourselves the best view of the bush and water below.
As dusk fell and the last splashes of pink and red were draining from the horizon, we began to see the first shadowy movements of warthog descending on the water. It was the most spectacular thing to sit in absolute silence, hidden in our space of civilisation and watch the animal world come to life at our feet. The lights from the camp created a semi circle of light off which we could see the hogs drinking, then slowly as promised an elephant and her baby lumbered into view. As we ate our dinner, the sounds of animals drinking filled the air,
We woke the next morning to a crisp sunrise and hot cup of tea, it was time to walk. Game walking is one of the most popular activities that is on offer, for the avid botanist or bird watcher this is an excellent opportunity to get hands on experience and see the African bush face to face. Despite the obvious size of any African animal it is surprising how camouflaged they actually are. It’s a terrifying type of exhilaration one gets walking up to a wild animal on foot - knowing the damage that these animals could do makes it all the more exciting. Watching a herd of buffalo 50 strong move past and the long legs of a giraffe lumber through the trees makes you really respect their space and right to this land.
Hwange can be enjoyed in a variety of ways - horse back safari, land rover rides, or viewing the animals from a secluded viewing platform, strategically situated at a water hole.
After a day of adventures, with much knowledge gained, we returned exhausted to the camp –welcomed by a cheery fire and delicious dinner, then to bed listening to the quite scratches of a squirrel out side only to be silenced by the sounds of lions moaning in the distance, and the harsh bark of a hyena. To dreams and the anticipation of another day in paradise.
As we departed in our small airplane, looking out of the window you really grasp the expanse of this place. Spread over land the size of Belgium the park occupies a variety of climate and vegetative zones, from the fossilized desert dunes linking to the Kalahari to the long savannah grasslands. With over 105 animals species and 400 bird species this place is really part of a error gone by- a reminder of a time when animals roamed freely. -