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Zim/SA in diplomatic tiff

by Tobias Manyuchi     Monday 04 April 2011

HARARE – South Africa has angrily rejected attacks on President Jacob Zuma
by Zimbabwean official media, which on Sunday labeled him duplicitous and
questioned his suitability to mediate between Zimbabwe’s squabbling ruling

In the clearest sign yet of growing tensions between Pretoria and Harare,
the Zimbabwean government mouthpiece Sunday Mail said Zuma was erratic and
an undesirable facilitator in the talks between President Robert Mugabe and
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

"President Jacob Zuma's erratic behaviour is the stuff of legends," the
Sunday Mail said in an unusually harsh editorial by an official paper on
Zuma, whose South Africa is Zimbabwe’s biggest trading partner and has
helped Mugabe weather international pressure.

"The problem with Mr Zuma now is that his disconcerting behaviour has become
a huge liability, not only to South Africa but also to the rest of the
continent. Mr Zuma's duplicity is astounding. With such leaders, Africa is
in mortal danger," the paper said.

The paper also accused Pretoria of supporting the West’s regime change
agenda in Libya when it backed UN Resoultion 1973 that authorised NATO’s
ongoing campaign against Muammar Gaddafi.

The comments that the Sundial Mail would not have dared publish without
first seeking government approval came after Zuma and other regional leaders
strongly condemned political violence in Zimbabwe.

Zuma’s office promptly hit back rejecting assertions by the Sunday Mail that
Pretoria had by supported the toppling of Gaddafi or foreign occupation of
Libya and while maintaining relations between South Africa and Zimbabwe
remain warm and cordial subtly told Harare to shut-up or observe diplomatic
etiquette by communicating through official channels.

"Governments have their own channels of communication, and relations with
Zimbabwe remain warm and cordial," Zuma’s office said Sunday. "Should the
Zimbabwean government wish to understand our position on Libya or any other,
they will contact the South African government through the normal channels
as they always do."

Zuma last Thursday briefed a summit of the Southern African Development
Community (SADC)’s security organ on Zimbabwe’s political deadlock.

The regional organ that comprises the leaders of Zambia, Mozambique and
Namibia later issued a statement strongly condemning a political violence by
Mugabe’s allies in the security forces against Tsvangirai’s supporters.

Reacting to the organ’s statement Mugabe on Friday said neither it, SADC nor
the African Union could prescribe solutions to Zimbabwe.

He also made it clear that he would reject a roadmap to free and fair
elections that Zuma as mediator was crafting for Zimbabwe, saying elections
would be held in accordance only with the country’s Constitution and laws.

The Sunday Mail in its editorial questioned Zuma’s suitability to continue
as mediator in Zimbabwe while a top member of Mugabe’s ZANU PF party,
Jonathan Moyo, virtually called for his sacking as facilitator.

Moyo writing in the same paper said: “(the mere fact that President Zuma of
South Africa voted for the atrocities that the US and its NATO allies are
committing in Libya under UN Resolution 1973 makes him an undesirable SADC
facilitator on the political and security situation in Zimbabwe.

"Zuma can no longer be trusted if ever he was. The way that the SADC Troika
is behaving on the Zimbabwean situation against the backdrop of how South
Africa, Nigeria and Gabon voted with the African enemy on the UN Resolution
1973 against Libya, shows beyond doubt that the time has come for a major
rethink in Zimbabwe on who are our friends are or should be.”

Analysts say without backing from the SADC and other African countries
Mugabe would not have been able to resist international pressure for so

But it remains to be seen whether the diplomatic tiff between Harare and
Pretoria is sign that neighbouring countries are fed up with the veteran
Zimbabwean leader and now considering withholding their crucial backing for
him. -- ZimOnline

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Mugabe must retire - Sadc

By Stanley Gama, News Editor
Monday, 04 April 2011 09:14

HARARE - SADC is determined to persuade President Robert Mugabe to retire,
in a twin bid to avert a catastrophic political and economic meltdown in
Zimbabwe, as well as preserve vestiges of the octagenarian leader's legacy.

High level diplomatic sources told the Daily News at the weekend that
emissaries from the region would be sent to Harare in the next few weeks, to
further pursue “a possible and desirable clean departure” for Mugabe.

However, the sources acknowledged that Sadc knew it  would continue to face
stiff resistance from Harare, especially from “securocrats” and
others close to him – as these disparate groups’ future and welfare depended
on the president’s continued leadership of the country.

The region also believed that Mugabe, 87, was troubled by health problems,
something expected considering his advanced age.

Given this reality, the sources added, many leaders in the region were
baffled by Mugabe’s “appetite to hang on to power”.

The presidency has fiercely and consistently denied international media and
diplomatic reports that he is suffering from prostate cancer.

The sources also espoused the fears recently expressed by Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai – that Mugabe, who has been in power for 31 years, was no
longer in charge of the country and that it was the military that now held

“There have been discussions around the issue of President Mugabe quitting
to save the little legacy he has left. It’s amazing that at his age and his
state of health, he still wants to go on and this is what Sadc heads have
been telling him jointly and at times separately,” one of the top level
sources said.

“Every Sadc leader, and indeed those from the African Union, want President
Mugabe to rest.  We are doing it for the sake of Zimbabwe, for Mugabe’s own
sake and for his family and children.

“We have told him that Julius Nyerere left a legacy, Samora Machel left a
legacy and so did Seretse Khama and Ketumile Masire , while Nelson Mandela
is a living legend.

“Mugabe must not end up being an enemy of the people like Kamuzu Banda,
Mobutu Sese Seko and Idi Amin. He still has time to correct the situation
and to resign honourably, and this is what we have been telling him,”
another said.

“President Mugabe has been reminded that his friends like Kenneth Kaunda are
still respected around the world because they lost elections and accepted
the results.

“We have told him that he needs to rest for the sake of his health. We all
saw him arriving at the summit (the Sadc troika on defence meeting that was
held in Zambia on Thursday) and he does not look well at all. If anything,
his presence here with his physical outlook actually intensified calls for
him to step aside.

“When you talk to President Mugabe, he understands and at times accepts that
his time has come, but as soon as he gets back home he suddenly becomes a
changed man and makes public statements which are exactly the opposite of
what we will have discussed,” another highly placed regional diplomat said.

Mugabe, who was always surrounded by bodyguards, was visibly walking with
difficulties at the Livingstone troika meeting – and was ferried to and from
his room at the Zambezi Sun Hotel by a golf cart.

Said the regional diplomat:  “It is clear that President Mugabe is being
abused by people around him, who do not want him to go for their own
political survival and selfish agendas.

“Sadc is putting this across to him and he generally agrees but fails to
implement this when he gets back home. Even former South African presidents
Thabo Mbeki and Nelson Mandela tried and failed to convince the old man to

“Three years ago, the elders, led by Mandela tried and failed to convince
Mugabe to retire, not only because of his advanced age, but also to save
Zimbabwe from total collapse.”

The Elders is an independent group of eminent global leaders, brought
together by Nelson Mandela to offer their collective influence, experience
and wisdom to support peace building efforts and to help mitigate major
causes of human suffering, as well as to promote the shared interests of

Besides Mandela, other members of the group are Kofi Annan, Desmond Tutu,
Jimmy Carter, Graca Machel, Mary Robinson, Fernando H Cardoso, Gro
Brunftland, Lakhdar Brahimi, Ela Bhatt and Martti Ahtisaari.

According to another Sadc diplomat, the elders are expected to renew their
pressure on Mugabe to retire.

Contacted for comment yesterday, Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo said: “I don’t
know about that discussion. Sadc leaders have no right to choose  a person
to lead us in our country. We have our own rules and way of doing it when
choosing leaders. We know that President Mugabe is our party candidate for
the election and he has been chosen by the people of Zimbabwe in every
election we have held since 1980.

“We are focusing on the anti-sanctions campaign and preparations for the
general elections under the leadership of President Mugabe and we are
looking forward to winning in both the anti-sanctions war and the elections
programme under his leadership”.

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"Mugabe’s SADC comprehensive humiliation signals end of era"

04 April, 2011 02:55:00    Cape Times

THE tougher line which the Zuma administration has for some time been
promising to take against Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe at last emerged
on Thursday at the summit in Livingstone of the SADC’s security troika.

The communiqué issued by the troika – Zuma, Zambia’s Rupiah Banda and
Mozambique’s Armando Guebuza – was a remarkably forthright statement by the
normally mealy-mouthed standards of the SADC (Southern African Development

In all but name, it condemned Mugabe’s Zanu-PF for the political violence
once again rising in the country and the arrests, intimidation and hate

It also rejected his evident intention to rush into elections as soon as
possible, which he could win by hook or by crook. Instead, the troika
insisted that Zanu-PF and its Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) partners
in the troubled unity government should properly implement all the agreed
steps towards elections, mainly drafting a new constitution – which would
level the political playing field – and putting this to a referendum.

That would push back the elections which Mugabe hoped to have soon, to a
year from now, Zimbabwe-watchers predict, and make it far less likely he
would win them.

The troika leaders also chided the Zimbabweans – and again this was clearly
aimed mainly at Mugabe and Zanu-PF – for their tardiness in implementing all
such commitments, and imposed a new level of supervision to ensure they did

This supervision is clearly intended to be more onerous; the new team to be
appointed for this task will set terms and timetables for the Zimbabweans.

In all of this the troika was clearly just adopting Zuma’s recommendations,
as South African officials made clear.

The troika communiqué was also remarkable for what it omitted – the
inevitable call on Western nations to lift their targeted sanctions against
Mugabe and his Zanu-PF cronies. So the troika meeting was clearly a
comprehensive defeat for Mugabe, as he made clear when addressed Zanu-PF’s
Central Committee on Friday, railing against the SADC and South African
interference in Zimbabwe’s sovereignty.

He expressed particular dislike of the troika decision to appoint officials
to set terms and timetables for the Zimbabwean parties to stick to in
implementing their commitments in the unity government and in their road map
to proper new elections.

Mugabe’s spokesman, George Charamba, in his weekly column under the pen name
Nathaniel Manheru in the pro-Zanu Herald newspaper, also noted with dismay
the absence of the usual condemnation of sanctions, suggesting that this
meant that Zuma and the SADC had now fallen under the influence of the
dreaded Western imperialists.

He saw the troika communiqué as the continuation of a trend in South African
foreign policy more starkly illustrated in its decision to back a no-fly
zone and military action against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s forces.

Zuma’s tough report on Zimbabwe to the troika, which clearly shaped the
strong communiqué, adds another interesting piece to the puzzle of where
South Africa’s foreign policy is going now.

Probably most commentators have seen confusion and inconsistency, citing,
for example, contradictory positions on the post-election crisis in Ivory
Coast and on Libya.

They especially note Zuma’s strong criticism of the coalition forces for
their attack on Gaddafi, just two days after South Africa had voted for such
attacks at the UN.

There was food for the proponents of the chaos theory in the SADC troika
communiqué too, as it condemned the “obtrusive measures” taken by come
countries in Libya and called for “adherence to the political track that was
initiated by the AU”.

But one can also see the troika meeting outcome instead as further
confirmation of an emerging trend towards a stronger, more independent
foreign policy.

What the SADC will do next, now that Mugabe seems to have rejected its
tougher line, though, will be telling.

Jakkie Cilliers, head of the Institute for Security Studies in Pretoria, is
not too impressed, believing the troika communiqué was more rhetorical than
substantive and that Pretoria and the SADC are not yet ready to get really
tough with Mugabe.

But it’s hard to deny that they seem at least to have taken the first step,
by making their displeasure clearly felt.

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"Shut-up, you're talking nonsense" - Zambian President told Mugabe

04 April, 2011 07:30:00    By Fortune Tazvida

ZAMBIAN President Rupiah Banda told Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe to ‘shut up’
during a heated SADC Troika Summit held in Livingstone, Zambia last week.
The 87 year old Zanu PF leader was attempting to pile on the excuses for his
violent crackdown back home but Banda told him he was talking ‘nonsense’.

Fresh from the humiliation of his Zanu PF party losing the election for the
much coveted Speaker of Parliament post, Mugabe arrived in Zambia expecting
the usual softly soft approach from his peers in the SADC grouping. But even
his closest ally, South African President Jacob Zuma, was uncompromising.

A regional diplomatic offensive by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai just
shortly before the summit seemed to have paid dividends. Tsvangirai
travelled to and met the leaders of Zambia, Mozambique, Botswana, Swaziland,
South Africa and Namibia respectively, briefing them on Mugabe’s crackdown.

During the summit in Livingstone, Zuma and other leaders cornered Mugabe
over his refusal to implement sections of his political agreement with MDC
leader Morgan Tsvangirai. The summit also took place just days after Zuma
held a private meeting with Tsvangirai at his Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal, home.

One diplomat told a Zimbabwean publication Nehanda Radio that SADC leaders
showed their impatience with Mugabe’s antics and were demanding that he
abide by their decisions. It was little wonder after the summit SADC issued
a strongly worded statement expressing its impatience with the impasse in

“The summit noted with grave concern the polarisation of the political
environment as characterized by, inter alia, resurgence of violence, arrest
and intimidation in Zimbabwe,” the statement said.

“There must be an immediate end of violence, intimidation, hate speech,
harassment, and any other form of action that contradicts the letter and
spirit” of the unity accord,’ it added.

But an angry Mugabe on Friday accused the SADC grouping of trying to
interfere in Zimbabwe’s internal affairs. On Friday he told a Zanu-PF
central committee meeting in Harare:

“The facilitator is the facilitator and must facilitate dialogue. (Zuma)
cannot prescribe anything. We prescribe what we should do in accordance with
our own laws and our agreement. The (opposition) MDC thinks SADC or the
African Union can prescribe to us how we run our things.”  - Nehanda Radio

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SADC leaders cited in landmark Zim legal case

By Alex Bell
04 April 2011

All 15 leaders in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) have
been cited as respondents in a landmark legal case, launched by Zimbabwean

The application, made to the SADC Tribunal last week, is the first time in
legal history that a group of heads of state is being cited by an individual
as the respondent in an application to an international court.

Jeremy Gauntlett, a leading South African advocate, filed the urgent
application on behalf of two dispossessed Zimbabwean commercial farmers,
both of whom ran highly successful farming enterprises, and both of whom are

This includes Michael Campbell of “Mount Carmel” farm in Chegutu, who led an
historic legal battle in the Tribunal against Robert Mugabe and his land
grab campaign. The Tribunal ruled in 2008 that the land grab scheme was
unlawful, and ordered Mugabe’s government to compensate farmers who lost
land, and protect the remaining farmers from future illegal seizures.

That has not happened, and Campbell was eventually forced off his property,
along with his family, when land invaders burnt the farm down in 2009. In
reaction to the Tribunal’s findings the government said rulings of the
international court were ‘null and void’ and held no sway in Zimbabwe. Land
seizures have continued ever since, and last month Campbell’s son was forced
of his farm after a week long ‘jambanja’.

Also involved in this new case is Luke Tembani from the “Remainder of
Minverwag” farm in Nyazura district, who took his case to the SADC Tribunal
in June 2009. This was after the farm he bought with a loan in 1983 was sold
by the Agricultural Bank of Zimbabwe in 2000, without any court hearings. In
August 2009, the Tribunal ruled that the repossession and sale of Tembani’s
farm to recoup an outstanding loan was “illegal and void”. The judges ruled
that he should remain on the farm.

But in defiance of the Tribunal ruling Tembani and his family were evicted
two months later.

Zimbabwe’s refusal to honour the Tribunal’s rulings was eventually brought
before SADC leaders last year, who were urged to take action against it’s
errant member. But instead of rebuking Zimbabwe or forcing Mugabe to honour
the Tribunal, the court was suspended. A SADC summit resolved last year to
‘review’ the role and functions of the Tribunal, a review that has
reportedly been conducted.

Campbell’s son-in-law Ben Freeth, who now heads the SADC Tribunal Rights
Watch group, told SW Radio Africa on Monday that this new legal case holds
the 15 SADC leaders to account, by asking them to fully reinstate the
workings of the Tribunal. The application asks for an order that ensures
“the Tribunal continues to function in all respects as established by the
Treaty, which all the leaders are signatory to.”

“African leaders must acknowledge that they have a responsibility to their
people,” Freeth stressed, adding: “If they unilaterally decide to abandon
them to a continent devoid of institutions through which justice can be
sought, injustice and evil will continue to prevail, ordinary people will
continue to suffer and the continent will regress.”

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New application to SADC Tribunal makes legal history

MEDIA RELEASE                                                                                                FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


SADC Tribunal Rights Watch


4 April 2011

New application to SADC Tribunal makes legal history


For the first time in legal history, a group of heads of state is being cited by an individual as the respondent in an application to an international court – in this case the Southern Development Community (SADC) Tribunal - located in Windhoek, Namibia.


 Jeremy Gauntlett, SC, a leading South African advocate, filed the urgent application on behalf of two dispossessed Zimbabwean commercial farmers, both of whom ran highly successful farming enterprises, and both of whom are elderly.


The first applicant is William Michael Campbell of Mount Carmel farm in the Chegutu district of Mashonaland West province, and the second applicant is his company, Mike Campbell (Pvt) Ltd. 


The third applicant is Luke Tembani of the Remainder of Minverwag farm at Clare Estate Ranch in the Nyazura district of Manicaland province.


The first respondent is the “Summit of the Heads of State or Government of SADC” and the Presidents of 15 countries, including Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe.


The second respondent is the Council of Ministers of SADC and the third is the Republic of Zimbabwe.


The application asks for an order that ensures “the [SADC] Tribunal continues to function in all respects as established by Article 16 of the Treaty.”


In the Preamble to the Declaration and Treaty of SADC, the SADC Heads of State agreed to be  Mindful of the need to involve the people of the Region centrally in the process of development and integration, particularly through the guarantee of democratic rights, observance of human rights and the rule of law…”


According to the protocol establishing the Tribunal, a person can bring a case after exhausting all available remedies or when unable to proceed under domestic jurisdiction.

Despite this commitment, in August last year at the two-day SADC Summit in Windhoek, the SADC heads of state decided “that a review of the role functions and terms of reference of the SADC Tribunal should be undertaken and concluded within six months.” 

The terms of the judges presiding over the SADC Tribunal were not renewed and the Tribunal was effectively disbanded pending the outcome of the review.


Responding to widespread criticism, SADC executive secretary Tomaz Salamao claimed that the Tribunal had not been suspended and that it could “deal with those cases at hand” although it “could not entertain any new cases.”


For the Mugabe government, the decision was of major significance as the Tribunal would no longer be able to hear controversial cases regarding Zimbabwe’s conduct with respect to human rights abuses and the disastrous land reform programme which the Tribunal had judged to be unlawful.


The Campbell case

In October 2007, after exhausting all legal remedies under domestic jurisdiction, Mike Campbell filed a case with the Tribunal contesting the acquisition of his farm which had been transferred legally in 1999 with a “certificate of no interest” from the Zimbabwean government.

In March 2008, 77 additional Zimbabwean commercial farmers were granted leave to intervene.  Interim relief similar to that given to Campbell on December 13, 2007 was granted to 74 of the farmers since three were no longer residing on their farms.

Eight months later, on November 28, 2008, the Tribunal ruled that the land reform programme was racist and unlawful and that the Zimbabwe government had violated the SADC treaty by attempting to seize the 77 white-owned commercial farms.


In response, Lands and Land Reform Minister, Didymus Mutasa said the government would not recognise the ruling.

The Luke Tembani case


Luke Tembani, a successful black commercial farmer, took his case to the SADC Tribunal in June 2009 after the farm he bought in 1983 was sold by the Agricultural Bank of Zimbabwe in 2000 without any court hearings.


In August 2009, the Tribunal ruled that the repossession and sale of Tembani’s farm to recoup an outstanding loan during a period of soaring interest rates - to which the bank was unable to put an exact figure - was “illegal and void”.  The judges ruled that he should remain on the farm.


In defiance of the Tribunal ruling, Tembani and his family were evicted two months later and Tembani’s  two primary school-going children were forced out of the school he had built personally on the farm at significant cost for children in the area.


Commenting on the decision to suspend the Tribunal, the group legal representative of South African civil rights initiative AfriForum, Willie Spies, said it was cause for serious concern.  He warned that it was very bad news for the Southern African region if disregard for the rule of law was supported in this way.

“We do not want to be sending a message from Africa that we are disregarding human rights. We do not want to send a message that the rule of law is being trampled on when it does not suit the rulers in power,” Spies said.

In the Founding Affidavit for this new case, Campbell stated that the application was being brought on behalf of the commercial farmers who joined his case in March 2008 and their employees and their families.

“Many have been forced from their farms and are scattered around Zimbabwe….. With us they have suffered evictions, destruction of their homes and possessions, assaults, torture and other gross human rights violations,” Campbell said.

He said it had also not been possible to join hundreds of thousands of similarly affected farm workers, or to obtain separate affidavits from them. 

“They live in daily fear of further attacks and dispossession, and of reprisals.  Many now live hand-to-mouth, scattered near relief centres and across the country.”

Campbell’s son-in-law, Ben Freeth, who has supported him in his quest to gain justice through the SADC Tribunal, was also abducted and tortured with Campbell and his wife immediately after the Presidential run-off election in June 2008.  They were forced to sign a paper stating they would withdraw their case, which was due to be heard by the Tribunal the following month.

Although Freeth has recovered fully from his injuries, which resulted in major brain surgery, the serious head injuries Campbell sustained have left him severely incapacitated.

“Despite this, Mike remains resolute and was able to sign the application - which will have far reaching implications for the sub-continent - with a quivering hand,” said Freeth.

                “African leaders must acknowledge that they have a responsibility to their people,” Freeth stressed.   If they unilaterally decide to abandon them to a continent devoid of institutions through which justice can be sought, injustice and evil will continue to prevail, ordinary people will continue to suffer and the continent will regress.”

                “There are encouraging signs though,” continued Freeth.  “Zambian President Rupiah Banda, who chaired the SADC double troika summit in Livingstone on Friday, said:  If there is anything that we must learn from the upheavals going on in the northern part of our continent , it is that the legitimate expectations of the citizens of our countries cannot be taken for granted. 

‘We must therefore continue at the SADC level to consolidate democracy through the establishment of institutions that uphold the tenets of good governance for human rights and the rule of law,’ he concluded.


Background information:

The Declaration and Treaty of SADC, Article 16 – The Tribunal, reads:

1. The Tribunal shall be constituted to ensure adherence to and the proper interpretation of the provisions of this Treaty and subsidiary instruments and to adjudicate upon such disputes as may be referred to it.

2. The composition, powers, functions, procedures and other related matters governing the Tribunal shall be prescribed in a Protocol adopted by the Summit.

3. Members of the Tribunal shall be appointed for a specified period.

4. The Tribunal shall give advisory opinions on such matters as the Summit or the Council may refer to it.

5. The decisions of the Tribunal shall be final and binding.


For further information:


Ben Freeth – SADC Tribunal Rights Watch

Cell:  +263 773 929 138 (Zimbabwe)


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Zimbabwe minister released on bail after controversial arrest

Apr 4, 2011, 17:07 GMT

Harare - Zimbabwe's energy minister, a close ally of premier Morgan
Tsvangirai, was released on bail Monday after a high court judge dismissed
attempts by state prosecutors to keep him in jail before he goes on trial on
corruption charges.

Elton Mangoma is facing what Tsvangirai describes as a 'malicious
prosecution' by the police and state lawyers, which are controlled by
President Robert Mugabe's arm of the country's coalition government.

Mangoma, who was first arrested on March 15, is accused of violating state
rules in connection with a multi-million dollar procurement to relieve a
national fuel shortage.

He was granted bail but arrested again on March 25, this time for allegedly
fixing tenders for electricity meters for the state power utility.

A high court judge had ordered him released on bail the first time, but the
state invoked controversial legislation allowing suspects to be detained
while it appeals bail decisions.

High court judge Joseph Musakwa on Monday dismissed the state's right to
appeal and ordered Mangoma's immediate release, said lawyer Selby Hwacha.

Mangoma also acts as a top negotiator on behalf of Tsvangirai's Movement for
Democratic Change during talks with Mugabe's ZANU(PF) party.

A meeting between party negotiators took place without him Monday.

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Courts chaos as magistrates strike

04/04/2011 00:00:00
    by Lindie Whiz

ZIMBABWE’S court system ground to a halt on Monday as magistrates went on
strike pressing for better pay.

Magistrates currently earn between US$206 and US$300 but they want the
lowest paid magistrate on US$1,000 per month, rising to US$3,300 for the
Chief Magistrate.

The Zimbabwe Magistrates’ Association (ZMA) gave a 14-day ultimatum to the
Judicial Services Commission in February this year, but the government
insists that it is broke.
Before Monday’s walk-out, the magistrates had been on a go-slow for a week.

Douglas Vakai Chikwekwe, the president of the ZMA said on Monday that the
government had requested a meeting in Harare on Tuesday to discuss the pay

“We have been invited to come to Harare but we do not know the agenda,”
Chikwekwe told journalists. “If there is no traction on our demands, then
our members will not go back to work.
“We have been patient for long but now they have over stretched us and there
is no going back until they meet our demands.”

But Rex Shana, the deputy secretary of the Judicial Services Commission,
claimed they had not been given notice prior to the strike.

The strike paralysed court business countrywide, leaving hundreds of people
in remand prison after their court appearances were cancelled.

At the Bulawayo Magistrates’ Court, prosecutors took it upon themselves to
advise suspects and witnesses of a possible next remand date.

For prisoners already in remand prison, prison officers were entering
possible next remand dates on the Warrant of Detention, but the law requires
that a magistrate appends his signature on the warrant.

Police found themselves in a bind as new suspects they were bringing to
court for the first time were being referred back to police cells which are
not designed to house suspects for more than 48 hours as they do not have
the requisite facilities.
Magistrates currently earn between $206 and $236 while regional magistrates
earn $300.

Local junior chief court interpreters earn between $147 and $163 while a
clerk of court earns around $156.

The ZMA is demanding payment of $600 for magisterial assistants, US$1,000
for junior magistrates, $1,500 for senior magistrates, $2,000 for senior
provincial magistrates, $2,500 for regional magistrates, $3,000 for senior
regional and deputy Chief Magistrate and $3,300 for the Chief Magistrate.

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Zim farmer loses case against SA govt

April 4 2011 at 04:31pm

The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) on Monday ruled against Free State
businessman Crawford von Abo, who wanted the South African government to
compensate him for farms he lost in Zimbabwe.

SABC radio news reported that the SCA set aside a judgment by a high court
that ordered the government to pay him compensation for the property he lost
during the land redistribution programme in Zimbabwe.

This was because the South African government failed to respond to his
request for diplomatic protection.

The SCA held on Monday that even though South Africa's response to Von Abo
was inappropriate, it did not give him legal rights to financial

Von Abo built up a large farming enterprise over 50 years in Zimbabwe, but
was left penniless after his 14 farms were virtually destroyed by land

He had, since 2008, tried to get the South African government to take
diplomatic steps to address the violation of his rights in Zimbabwe.

In February 2010, the High Court in Johannesburg found that the South
African government had a constitutional obligation to provide diplomatic
protection and ordered that it had 60 days to take all necessary steps to
have Von Abo's violation of rights by Zimbabwe remedied. - Sapa

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'Zimbabwe could end-up like Ivory Coast'

     April 04 2011 , 10:46:00

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite
Nkoane-Mashabane warns that Zimbabwe could end up like the Ivory Coast if it
rushes into elections, without implementing all the conditions of the
coalition agreement between the MDC and Zanu-PF.

Mashabane was speaking on a wide range of issues affecting various African
governments. She says Zimbabwe must not rush to the polls without meeting
all the essential elements of the agreement agreed upon.

"One of the preconditions is that they should conclude the processes of the
new constitution, take it through the referendum process before they go to
the next election. If we allow them to go into elections, and not advise
them  to first start  implementing that which must be implement, we'll end
up with another Ivorian situation," says the minister.

President Jacob Zuma also made it clear at a SADC summit that Zimbabwe
should adhere to the Global Political Agreement. His comments have drawn
criticism from Zimbabwean state media supporting President Robert Mugabe.

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Porous border is smugglers' paradise

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The Winds of Change

I remember attending a meeting addressed by the then Prime Minister of Britain in what was Salisbury and hearing him make a version of his famous “Winds of Change” speech. It was a seminal moment for Africa, much like Churchill saying after the Second World War that an “Iron Curtain was descending across Europe”.


Somehow those two statements went on to describe an era on each continent that lasted in Europe’s case for over 50 years and about the same length of time in Africa (Ghana came to Independence in 1958, South African transition to democracy in 1994). In 1998 a small-scale farmer took a bus from his home in the Masvingo Province of Zimbabwe, and after debussing in Mbare he walked several kilometers to the Headquarters of the Trade Union Federation where he asked to speak to the President, Mr. Morgan Tsvangirai.


Morgan is the sort of person that does not stand on protocol; his secretary went to him and he agreed to see the visitor without an appointment. The old man told Morgan that he felt he had a vision from God. He said that he had been told in that vision to tell Morgan that his Party symbol should be an open hand, palm outwards, depicting openness and non-violence and that his slogan should be “Chinga Maitero” or “Real Change”. It became the rallying cry of the MDC and in fact constitutes our vision for the period through which we are traversing at present. At our first Congress, Morgan paid for the man to come to Harare and he presented him to thousands of delegates and gave him our first T-shirt with the slogan printed on the front and back.


Over the past decade or more, the forces of dictatorship in Zimbabwe have thrown everything at us – we have been beaten, tortured, killed and maimed. Thousands have been imprisoned and many have simply disappeared. In the State controlled press we are vilified every day as “revisionists”, “sell outs” and “agents of the West”. We are accused of wanting regime change – as if that is not what all politics is about! It is certainly what we set out to do in 1998, Chinga!!


In 2006, after the split that almost destroyed the MDC and saw Morgan Tsvangirai stripped of bank accounts, vehicles and staff as well as a significant number of his original leadership, we rebuilt the Party from the ground up and emerged, in my view stronger than ever. At that Congress we adopted a “road map” to real change. It was quite simple – democratic resistance, negotiations with Zanu, reforms to the electoral process and then a free and fair election.


I well recall the near panic in Zanu circles over our “Democratic Resistance” campaign. They could not understand what resistance meant, were we going for an armed struggle? Was this going to be mass action with thousands on the streets? They arrested people, tortured them and even murdered a number of key activists, never quite believing that we meant just what the title said – we would fight them with our votes, in every possible way.


We have been faithful to that old mans vision in 1998, we have not killed one person, we have not even broken a glass window, or raised a stick to a Policeman. We have been the people of the open hand, always laughing at our difficulties and facing scowls with smiles. But we have pursued change, real change in our country consistently and democratically, and slowly Zanu has been pushed back against the ropes.


Nothing represents this sea change better than the outcome of the SADC summit in Zambia last week. In 1999 when we launched our campaign, South Africa set its face against us and supported Zanu at SADC, the AU and even at the United Nations. They covertly funded the effort to restrain the forces of change in Zimbabwe, fearing that they would spill over into South Africa and destabilize the ANC Alliance. The majority of SADC leaders supported Zanu and Mr. Mugabe and felt that the MDC was also a threat to their own status as former liberation movements.


Now, suddenly, we have a regional summit where in his opening remarks, the Chairman rebukes Mr. Mugabe and demands that all leaders in the region listen to their people and allow reform and change or face the wrath of the people. Mr. Zuma, President of South Africa not only demanded that Zanu PF live up to the signatures on the Global Political Agreement signed in September 2008, but stop the flood of propaganda in the State controlled media and stop all acts of violence and intimidation. They stated that the Zimbabwean leadership would not be allowed to deviate from the GPA or the road map to free democratic elections that is contained in it.


Mr. Mugabe and Zanu responded with fury, “we will not be dictated to by the region”; “we are a sovereign State and will decide what is best for our country”. Even a veiled threat to leave the grouping, but that is all wind. Zanu is stuck with playing the final game of this series with the MDC on ground that is defined by the visions of a simple peasant from Masvingo and a carefully crafted road map that follows the guidelines set by 18 000 delegates to our 2006 Congress. It’s our game, our rules and now the referee has said you must play on until the final.


This key decision by the region was of course preceded by the reelection of Lovemore Moyo as Speaker of the House of Assembly. Again this was a strategic move by Zanu that backfired. They had the case against Moyo on the books since 2009, but only chose to use it when suddenly Mr. Mugabe looked mortal and they realized that if they stayed on the field of the GPA, defeat and worse was the only outcome. They then triggered the court case and had Moyo dismissed and set about trying to make sure they won.


They put up S K Moyo as their candidate, tried to lock up or neutralize our Members of Parliament and hurriedly swore in two new Members. Hefty bribes were paid to a number of MDC MP’s and they threatened their own MP’s with dire consequences if they went against the Party line. They were confident that they had done enough to recapture control of the central pillar of the State.


In the end they failed miserably – 106 votes for the MDC candidate (one spoiled) and 93 for the Zanu candidate – that is 13 votes for us that turned the tide and many came from the Zanu benches. Just for a laugh we nominated Jonathan Moyo as a candidate to the chagrin of Moyo himself and to the consternation of the entire Zanu front bench. Although the nomination was at first accepted it was then disallowed after a hurried appeal by the Crocodile, but if it had gone through, what a nomination speech that would have made! We would have stated how eminently suited to be the Zanu candidate he was, devious, without principle and dishonest, a hired hand who will work for the highest bidder. But we were not allowed to have our say – we responded with our votes, the very weapon we always said we would use to defeat tyranny in our country.


Eddie Cross

Bulawayo, 3rd April 2011

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