Johannesburg - Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi is headed for Zimbabwean or
Angolan exile following a deal brokered by SA, Al Jazeera reported on
Gaddafi, it appears, is not on his way to SA itself.
If Gaddafi is to go to Zimbabwe, he would not be the lone African leader in
exile there. Former Ethiopian president Mengistu Haile Mariam, referred to
in some parts as the "Butcher of Addis", has been in exile in Harare since
being driven from power in 1991
Earlier, the department of international relations and co-operation said it
had not made an offer of asylum to the Libyan dictator who might flee his
country at any time.
It was reported by AFP that the sound of heavy fighting had been heard on
Monday near Gaddafi's residence in central Tripoli after rebel forces surged
into the capital on Sunday, taking over many districts.
"The strongman's whereabouts are unknown although he broadcast three audio
messages on Sunday as rebel forces were sweeping through the capital and
taking over the symbolic Green Square in the heart of the city," AFP added.
Bulawayo, August 22,2011—-The mainstream Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC-T) youths led by Prime Minister Tsvangirai said they will not allow
outsted Libyan leader Colonel Moammar Gadhafi to settle in Zimbabwe adding
that he is criminal who should be hanged.
Aljazeera reported this morning that there is a possibility that Gadhafi
will settle in Zimbabwe or Angola.
However speaking to Radio VOP Clifford Hlatswayo the spokesperson for MDC-T
youth assembly said there are not going to allow another dictator to settle
in Zimbabwe adding that the country is already under dictatorship.
“We will not allow that. He was rejected, dejected, defeated and he is a
criminal. He has caused harm to his own people, killing them because of
power. We will not tolerate such nonsense. We are already occupied by one
dictator here in Zimbabwe.
Hlatswayo said the MDC-T is greatly shocked by such reports; saying they are
detrimental to peace and security of in Zimbabwe. “Gadhafi is a security
threat. We don’t want him. Zimbabwe is not a haven for criminals let him
stay in his own country and face the music.”
Libya revolutionist swept into Tripoli Gadhafi stronghold on Monday and
arrested his two sons. Gadhafi has been in power for nearly 42 years and
that have made him the fourth longest serving on royal leader since 1900, as
well as the longest-serving Arab leader.
Gadhafi became head of state by removing King Idris in a bloodless coup in
1970. The United Nations called Libya under Gaddafi pariah state and the
United States held Libya on its list of states sponsoring terrorism from
1979 to 2006.
22/08/2011 11:43:00 MOSES MATENGA/ OBEY MANAYITI
MUTARE - Zanu PF is responsible for the demise of the first black military
commander Retired General Solomon Mujuru, who died last Tuesday in a
mysterious inferno at his Alamein Farm, MDC-T secretary-general Tendai Biti
told about 20 000 party supporters at a campaign rally at Sakubva Stadium,
Mujuru, who was buried on Saturday, became the 94th national hero to be
interred at the National Heroes’ Acre in Harare.
Biti said the former liberation movement — Zanu PF — was renowned for its
record of unleashing violence on opposition supporters and its own followers
seen as defying party policy.
“We hold Zanu PF responsible for the killing of General Solomon Mujuru. Zanu
PF invests in violence and they now engage in (burning) people. That’s the
Zanu PF we know. Violence is in their DNA. That’s what they know best and
their fingerprints show violence,” the MDC-T secretary said.
Biti’s statements came as emotions were running high over the unexplained
death of Mujuru in a mysterious fire, whose cause is still subject to police
Although Zanu PF has ruled out foul play and condemned swelling speculation
over the cause of the fire, Mujuru’s death will shake Zimbabwe’s political
landscape and will rock the former ruling party, which is becoming
increasingly fractious because of internecine clashes over who will succeed
President Robert Mugabe.
Before Biti addressed the same gathering, MDC-T leader Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai asked party supporters to observe a minute of silence in honour
of the late General Mujuru whose burial united Zimbabweans from across the
“It’s rare, very rare for one to be a people’s hero,” said Tsvangirai.
“You don’t need a Zanu PF politburo to bestow that on you. It’s the people
that bestow that recognition. People came at the National Heroes’ Acre in
their numbers to bury the people’s hero. The struggle for people’s freedom
is not a private or party affair.”
Turning to the just-ended Sadc Summit in Angola, Tsvangirai said he was
convinced the regional bloc would not go back on ensuring the creation of a
conducive atmosphere for free and fair elections in Zimbabwe.
“I want to tell you that the whole Sadc is not going back. They want
suitable conditions before the elections. This includes a new constitution
and a referendum on that constitution. And, for anyone who is dreaming of
elections this year, it remains a dream. Elections can only be held next
year according to Sadc,” he said.
Tsvangirai added Sadc was working on mechanisms to bring additional people
to work with Jomic to monitor implementation of the Global Political
He said attempts by Zanu PF to have the Sadc-appointed facilitator to the
Zimbabwe crisis, South Africa President Jacob Zuma removed from his role had
hit a brick wall after the regional bloc rallied behind the South African
leader and gave him a new impetus to end the stalemate.
On violence, Tsvangirai said: “Yesterday, (President) Mugabe spoke on
violence and I said to him his party organs must respect his statements,
otherwise his call would be irrelevant.
We told him that if he wants he can stop it. We in the MDC-T are not
violent, but victims. We say no more to being victims of violence. Don’t
start violence and we are sending the same message to Zanu PF. Stop
He urged the government to ensure diamonds extracted from Chiadzwa are
processed in Manicaland to benefit locals.
Tsvangirai rapped the indigenisation policy saying it was tantamount to
“destroying the goose that lay the eggs”.
“We are no longer in a political war but an economic one. That’s the
Zimbabwe we look forward to. There is nothing bad with empowering people,
but the problem is to grab from people who are working.
I have been to almost all provinces and companies are closing down — even
black-owned companies, hence the policy is ill-timed and destroying the
goose that’s laying the eggs.
“Important, yes, but empowerment based on Zanu PF patronage, No! Grabbing is
not empowerment because you will cut your nose to spite your face. It scares
away investors,” he added. - NewsDay
By Lance Guma
22 August 2011
The death of retired army General Solomon Mujuru has thrown ZANU PF into
turmoil, with speculation over the death threatening to tear the party
apart. Different faction members are pointing fingers over the suspicious
farm house fire in Beatrice last week Tuesday, sparking calls for calm from
his widow Joice Mujuru.
An ominous sign of things to come was played out during Mujuru’s burial at
the National Heroes Acre on Saturday. Two Air Force of Zimbabwe jets nearly
collided midair during the flypast and with ZANU PF divided into the
so-called Mujuru and Emmerson Mnangagwa camps, the party is desperate to
preempt the possibility of the factions heading on a similar collision
Mugabe’s spokesman George Charamba accused independent newspapers of trying
to ‘create violence’ using unfounded speculation. Commenting on the
different conspiracy theories Charamba said: “There is politics that thrives
on mischief. Why are these questions being raised? Why ahead of the results
of a forensic investigation?”
“We are getting to a situation where a little-informed media run by
uneducated people build foolish ideas to create violence in society.
Everyone is mourning the death of this enormous figure in our history; and
here they are, stoking the fire of hatred,” Charamba told the ZANU
PF-supporting, state owned, Sunday Mail newspaper.
But behind the bravado is a genuine nervousness within ZANU PF that the
death of Mujuru and the subsequent speculation has to be handled carefully.
Already the party has barred senior officials from commenting on the
stories, directing instead that only ZANU PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo should
Last Friday SW Radio Africa reported how the state owned Herald newspaper
was last Wednesday evening forced to remove, before publication, a story on
the death of Mujuru. Sources claimed editors at the paper were told to bin a
story containing important details of what happened on the night the General
Huge crowds had thronged the National Heroes Acre Saturday to witness the
burial of Mujuru. The crowd included Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, his
two deputies Thokozani Khupe and Arthur Mutambara, and musician Oliver
Mtukudzi. A small crowd of ZANU PF youths booed Tsvangirai, but were quickly
and surprisingly reprimanded by Mugabe.
Our reporter Simon Muchemwa, who was at the National Heroes Acre, told us
Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa cut an isolated and ‘worried looking’
figure at the shrine. He arrived at the venue on his own and for a while sat
alone. Most fingers are pointing at Mnangagwa, given he is perceived as the
biggest beneficiary (or at least his faction is) of the death of General
ZANU PF will be worried at some of the talk coming from restless youths,
angry at the manner in which Mujuru died. Hundreds of ZANU PF youths had
marched to the Mujuru house in Chisipite, demanding answers about the death.
Jim Kunaka, the Harare leader of ZANU PF’s youth wing, reportedly said: “As
youths we want to get to the bottom of it and find out whether it was a
normal death; an electrical fault or whether it was the work of enemies.”
Meanwhile it’s reported the police have since questioned the maid, farm
workers and policemen based at Mujuru’s farm. Also being questioned are
employees from ZESA. As SW Radio Africa reported last week Mujuru’s house
was connected directly to the ZESA grid and rarely went without electricity.
This would throw into doubt the theory that the fire was caused by a candle
left burning in the house.
The importance of managing unity within any organization was played out in
Libya Monday, where rebel forces opposed to Dictator Muammar Gaddafi appear
to have taken over most of the capital and are on the verge of toppling the
It’s being reported in the international media that the head of that country’s
Presidential Guard gave free passage to the rebels to enter the capital
Tripoli unopposed. Apparently his brother was killed several years ago by
Gaddafi and he struck a deal with the rebels which, could be assumed,
provided him with an opportunity for revenge.
Infighting and unhappiness within a regime or repressive grouping is often
the way a regime is finally brought to its knees.
By Nkululeko Sibanda, Senior Writer
Monday, 22 August 2011 12:26
HARARE - Police have questioned cops, farm workers, a maid and Zesa
employees as investigations into the death of Retired General Solomon Mujuru
at his Beatrice farm last week, intensify.
Mujuru was husband to Vice President Joice Mujuru.
The police officers who were questioned were guarding Mujuru’s property, 60
kilometres from Harare when he was reportedly burnt beyond recognition with
some body parts dismembered.
Police are also keen to understand how power went off at the Mujuru farm
house when he reportedly has a direct uninterrupted connection, a privilege
While police have decided to keep a tight lid on the investigation amid
swelling speculation that Mujuru could have been murdered, the Daily News
has been told that more than 20 people have been interrogated with the
police officers guarding the premises on the tragic day being among the
first to be questioned.
Police spokesperson, senior assistant commissioner, Wayne Bvudzijena told
the Daily News yesterday that several people had been “interviewed” and said
this was part of routine investigations.
“We are taking statements from anyone who had or has anything to say with
regard to this particular incident. Any material witness will help in our
“As we have said, we are conducting investigations into the death. Those
investigations are still on at the moment,” said Bvudzijena.
Asked if the police investigations have also included the family maid and
police officers who were on duty at the farm on the fateful day, Bvudzijena
said they had been “interviewed”.
“We interviewed them because we thought they might have something they could
say which could help us in the whole investigation. It is not that they have
been arrested or anything, but this is part of the investigations,” he said.
Bvudzijena refused to disclose if police had made any arrests.
Last week, he revealed that police had made headway in the Mujuru probe,
saying the results would be made public once they are concluded.
Mujuru was buried at the National Heroes Acre at the weekend. President
Robert Mugabe described the fire at Mujuru’s house as “inexplicable and
Zimbabweans have been questioning several suspicious circumstances around
Mujuru’s death and this has been worsened by some family members who have
decided to enlist the services of foreign experts to investigate the death
of the popular Retired General.
Some family members suspect foul play.
Yesterday, a specialist in home fires who spoke from South Africa questioned
how authorities immediately identified Mujuru’s “charred remains” before any
forensic tests had been done.
“It is dangerous in such situations to assume that because the house belongs
to the late general, it means the charred remains are his.
Yes, 90 percent chances are that it was the general whose remains were found
but that can only be certified after several tests are done. Maybe they are
100 percent sure that it was the general but they need to explain how they
reached that conclusion without scientific evidence.
“They said he was burnt beyond recognition, so how did they conclude it was
the general when he was not recognisable,” asked the expert.
Some of the property that survived complete extinction by the fire was
reportedly removed from the house as the search for Mujuru’s body
intensified which could mean that part of evidence could have been tampered
Mujuru’s death was met with anger by members of his faction who have for
years been plotting to succeed Mugabe ahead of the other factions, notably
the one led by the minister of Defence, Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Vice President Joice Mujuru, who was acting president when the tragedy
struck the family, called for calm amongst relatives and colleagues who had
been raising pertinent questions over the incident.
She said those querying the circumstances in which her husband died, should
wait for investigations being conducted by the police before they can say
Family members and colleagues in Zanu PF are, however of the view that there
is need for an independent investigation into the incident.
They believe that it was not true that Mujuru had slept to a point that he
could not hear any signs of a fire breakout in his house. They said the room
he was sleeping had windows without burglar bars and say it is strange that
he could not escape through them.
Speaking at the national shrine on Saturday at Mujuru’s burial, Mugabe
expressed “shock” that Mujuru could have been killed by a fire when he
survived snake poison and being devoured by lions in the bush during the
“Rex Nhongo. We believed in you yesterday when you led the trouncing of the
whites. We celebrated with you. You played a great part in politics, you
executed your role well as a Member of Parliament. You were a farmer of
“You ducked bullets and landmines during the liberation war. Even lions and
snakes failed or hated to get you. But how did you allow this one (the fire
incident) to take you away like that? I was afraid that Rex would be shot
and killed during the war of liberation.
“I did not think that a fire would take you away in such a painful way. Go
well, son of the soil. The very soil that you liberated in 1980 is the very
soil that will consume you today. Rest in dear peace beloved commander of
commanders,” said Mugabe.
A capacity crowd thronged the national shrine to bid the former army
general, a befitting send-off which captured the imagination of the nation.
The crowd that attended the burial rivalled the one that witnessed the
burial of the late Vice President, veteran nationalist, Joshua Mqabuko
Nkomo died on July 1, 1999.
Among those who came to witness Mujuru’s burial were Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai who suspended his boycott of Zanu PF heroes events saying Mujuru
was a true hero.
Also in attendance was music superstar Oliver Mtukudzi and several
musicians, businessmen and politicians from different political parties.
Suspicious ... A police officer guards farmhouse where Solomon Mujuru's remains found
|by Violet Gonda I VOA|
Guy Watson-Smith was a successful tobacco farmer in Beatrice when one day in 2001 gun-toting goons he claims were sent by the late Rtd General Solomon Mujuru arrived and gave him two hours to leave.
Last week, Watson-Smith, now living in France, watched in shock as Mujuru’s badly-burnt remains were removed from the 14-roomed farmhouse at Almein Farm which he once called home.
While he is still bitter about the way he was forced off the farm, Watson-Smith says he found his conversations with the liberation war hero “enjoyable”.
GUY WATSON-SMITH: It’s a big sprawling 14 room farmhouse. It’s all on one level and every room is peppered with doors and windows. No windows had burglar bars – they were all big double windows. The main bedroom where I understand he may have finally been found has three exit doors just from that one bedroom alone, plus four double windows. So it seemed to me improbable that anybody could be trapped in such an open home.
Asbestos as everybody knows is fireproof and the roof was made of asbestos sheeting. The walls of the whole house were made of fired brick and cement so they were completely fire proof. The ceiling and roofing timbers would have been able to be burnt but the fire couldn’t spread quickly through those ceilings and roofing timbers without the walls and the roof burning and the walls and roof could not burn. So it was a pretty safe house from the point of fire.
VIOLET GONDA: It’s reported his body was burnt to ashes and questions are being asked about how this could have happened, especially to that extent, without people coming to his aid. Can you tell us about the surrounding area? Was the house within view?
SMITH: Assuming that the lay-out was similar to when we were there and no major changes had been made, then the front gate to the property is 40 metres from the house. There were a lot of buildings around. There were three other houses, presumably those houses remained occupied and just a couple of 100 yards back, there was an entire village where the farm personnel lived – a whole village of some 80 to 100 houses. I find it implausible that there could have been a major fire in the main house and nobody saw it. That seems very implausible. There were many people around.
GONDA: Can you tell us a bit about the eviction in 2001. I understand you were given one hour to vacate the property?
SMITH: Yes. We were visited by three people, one of whom I already knew. His name was Cde Zhou and he worked for General Mujuru. After the war of liberation he became a Colonel in the 5TH Brigade - implicated I believe in some atrocities in Matabeleland. Then he worked for Mujuru in Mashonaland East during the 1990s and early 2000.
They arrived in mid-morning, they were clearly armed and they told my wife and myself to leave the farm. I said let’s sit down and have a cup of tea to talk about this and Cde Zhou said to me: ‘Look, you are not listening to me. We said you go and you go now we don’t want to happen here as happened to Mr (Alan) Dunn.” Dunn was our great friend and neighbour who had recently been murdered.
So we took the threats pretty seriously – we took some clothes and some photographs and we left. We never went back into that house again.
The next three months we spent in Harare trying to negotiate our way back to the farm. During that period, Mujuru pretended to me that he was not behind the eviction and that it was somebody else and that he might be able to help me. So I established a relationship with him for the next three months based on trickery on his part.
He persuaded me to continue farming, to continue fertilizing crops, to irrigate the tobacco and get the necessary inputs on to the farm. I continued farming through my managers without being allowed to the farm myself but encouraged to do so by Mujuru, never suspecting that he was behind it. When it became clear that he was behind it, and I was issued very serious threats to my life and to my family, we left the country quickly on legal advise.
SMITH: No. The farm was 1,300 hectares and we were not able to take anything off the farm. We got a court order to enable us to move our movable assets – tractors, vehicles, irrigation equipment, cattle, game, stocks of valuable fertilizers, chemicals, fuel and so forth.
In light of the court case in our favour, instructing us to move our movable assets from the farm, we sent agents to the farm with trucks accompanied by the Sheriff of the High Court. They were driven off the farm by Cde Zhou in a very violent way.
The Sheriff’s car was actually manhandled. It was picked up, turned around and faced in the direction from which it had come. The drivers of the trucks and the Sheriff were all told that if they came back they would be killed. So they never came back.
We never got any of our assets back. Nothing. None of the cattle – 460 head of pedigree breeding stock. Six hundred head of game – everything from giraffe to eland, sables, all commercial game herds. None of that came off that farm. Neither any of our vehicles or equipment and not to mention the crop in the ground. We had 85 hectares of irrigated tobacco, which was at reaping stage. The investment in that 85 hectare crop was 95% done. We didn’t get anything off Violet.
SMITH: When I first went to court about it and did the sums, I estimated the movable assets – not the farm, not the buildings, dams and so forth which are fixed improvements – the movable assets which we could have taken off in trucks I estimated that to be US$2,5million at the time. But for the court we had professional valuation by the premier agricultural valuation company in the country – then known as Redfern Mallet. They valued those movable assets at US$1,7million. So that was the figure that was accepted legally.
SMITH: We are not actively trying to get the farm back at this stage. It has gone beyond that point with 4,000 farms having been acquired. We have been trying to get compensation from General Mujuru personally for the movable assets, which he stole from us – which we were forced to leave behind. That US$1,7million we have been suing him in the civil court for that. Now that he has died I need to take legal advice. Do we continue with the court action against his estate? I am not sure what the legal position is going to be now.
As far as the land goes, that’s a different issue which is being dealt with by the Commercial Farmers’ Union in negotiations with the government and donor agencies, and foreign governments. The land is a political issue but the movable assets issue was between me and General Mujuru.
GONDA: Many are mourning the death of General Mujuru who was a decorated liberation hero and many say he was a people person. In your dealings with him, what sort of a person was he like?
SMITH: I actually enjoyed talking to him. He was a very quiet man. A big guy but quiet, clearly intelligent. He had a huge amount of experience and he was happy to talk – he was quite a story teller in a quiet way. I met him many times, spoke with him and listened to him with a lot of interest. So he was an impressive guy. Yes he was also a leader of the ZANLA forces in the war of liberation and responsible for bringing Mugabe to power. He was seriously an important liberation hero and I don’t take that away from him.
Trouble is after independence he became a very serious businessman and he had the reputation – I can’t vouch for it – but he had the reputation of being the biggest businessman and the richest person in the country. Diamonds, farming and goodness knows what else. I think there was an enormous amount of wealth there. So there were two sides to his personality. He was a liberation hero and a very, very, very shrewd rich businessman.
SMITH: I just cannot imagine the circumstances for a natural death by being trapped in a fire it’s hard to believe because I know the house so well. Anyone can walk out of any of those doors. They don’t appear to have been barred, there were no burglar bars on those windows. So I suspect that something happened to him and the house and he were burnt to destroy evidence. Probably that evidence will never come out but it seems to me that there is some funny business going on there.
My immediate reaction was one of surprise. He was one of the two main contenders – sort of main presidential challengers – him and Emmerson Mnangagwa. So it really came as a surprise and a shock. And my first reaction is if it generates publicity, I hope it is good publicity in the sense that I hope it increases awareness of people around the world and in the corridors that matter that there are huge injustices to be addressed in Zimbabwe particularly with regard to law and order and property rights. With those two elements in place, I feel that Zimbabwe can flourish again and we can all go home. So that is my immediate reaction. I hope it leads to some good.
VLADIMIR MZACA | 21 August, 2011 22:36
A BBC radio report that alleges that the Zanu-PF government has sent spies
to infiltrate expatriate communities in the United Kingdom has led to a call
to have aid to Zimbabwe cut.
The British Broadcasting Cooperation (BBC) current affairs Channel 4
programme Exiles in Fear aired last Sunday.
The presenter Jenny Cuffe said: "Rwanda and Zimbabwe are sending spies to
the UK to stifle opposition, sometimes even to kill. We also hear claims
they are using the asylum system to infiltrate refugee communities here.
Both countries receive huge amounts of aid from Britain."
The aid to Zimbabwe is channelled through various charities. And now a
minister in the UK government has suggested that it may be time to cut off
that financial support.
Former Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Kim
Howells, responded by saying that if there was a grain of truth in the
allegations Britain would have no choice but to stop its funding of
programmes in Zimbabwe.
"If there is any hint at all that these people are threatening British
citizens or residents or they've been allowed to stay here, then we must say
to them: 'I'm sorry, this aid is going to be cut off immediately,'" he said.
Cuffe said the reason aid was being sent through charities was largely
because there were gross human rights violations in the country.
"Another country (other than Rwanda) that receives generous financial
support from Britain is Zimbabwe. Though in this case, because of concerns
about the lack of democracy and human rights, the £88-million of aid is
directed through non-governmental organisations. Zimbabwe too stands accused
of sending secret agents to spy on the refugee community and report back to
President Robert Mugabe," she said.
An unidentified source from Zimbabwe interviewed on the show gave graphic
details of how a "spy" was sent into the community in the UK.
"His mission there was to spy and provide intelligence about the source of
funding for the MDC here back home, to spy on asylum-seekers, to spy on the
Home Office, to spy on the British government, its interaction with MDC
activists in the UK and everything. So he had a very big budget to do that,"
said the unidentified source.
Exiled Zimbabwean journalist Admore Tshuma, said people are no longer safe
in the UK because they are being watched. "It is something really shocking.
It is something which will send genuine exiles and asylum-seekers
underground. We don't trust each other anymore, " he said.
Morgan Mutasa, the chairman of the Bristol branch of the MDC-T, said: "We
have been calling up the authorities telling them that the MDC in the UK is
infiltrated by the CIO and there is great danger for our people if they are
returned to Zimbabwe, because they have been exposed to these people and
their lives have been put at risk."
Monday, 22 August 2011 16:16
Air Zimbabwe has bought two new A340-200 Airbus passenger planes from France
in a deal bankrolled by one of the mining firms licensed to mine at the
controversial Marange diamond fields.
Mbada Diamonds, which has a joint venture with the state owned Zimbabwe
Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC), financed the deal. It is expected to
cost US$500 million.
The company's involvement, although a welcome relief for Air Zimbabwe, which
was struggling to replace its ageing aircraft, is likely to fuel speculation
that President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF is running a parallel structure since
the money was not channeled through treasury.
Finance Minister Tendai Biti says diamond revenue from the Marange fields
has not been accounted for and suspects Zanu PF appointees at ZMDC are
abusing the money.
Last month ZMDC also provided money to increase salaries of civil servants
without Biti’s knowledge.
Aviation sources said Eads, the French aircraft manufacturer was the
supplier of the planes.
AirZimbabwe chairperson Jonathan Kadzura was reluctant to divulge details of
the deal saying he would do so later this week.
“Mbada Diamonds are the financial muscle behind the planes deal as Air
Zimbabwe is broke.
“However, the diamond company’s interest in the whole arrangement is still
not clear” said an aviation source.
Air Zimbabwe which has an obsolete fleet of three Boeing 737-200 planes has
not flown commercial flights since July 29 when the airline’s 49 pilots
walked out over outstanding salaries and allowances.
Pilots earn between US$1200 and US$2 500 a month.
The troubled state-owned airline’s bosses say they need US$7 million to
settle the dispute, but the government says it is too broke to help.
The strike, the second work stoppage this year, has disrupted the travel
plans of thousands of people.
To prepare to take delivery of the new planes, the Air Zimbabwe's staff is
A team of pilots and air stewards was last week dispatched to Madrid, Spain
for a month long intensive training on the new aircraft.
In July a team of pilots and stewards was dispatched to Toulouse, France,
for training on the new aircraft.
The new aircraft will service Air Zimbabwe’s long-haul routes – mainly to
China and the United Kingdom.
By Alex Bell
22 August 2011
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) is facing a possible split,
after serious infighting led to one faction boycotting this weekend’s annual
The congress in Bulawayo ended on Saturday night with the election of George
Nkiwane as the new leader of the union grouping. Nkiwane now takes over from
Lovemore Matombo, who boycotted the congress along with his supporters from
eight ZCTU affiliates.
The groups, led by the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), are
opposed by a faction said to support Lucia Matibenga, the MDC-T MP for
Kuwadzana. Matibenga has since been elected as the new vice-president of the
The Matombo faction last week tried to get the congress halted by taking the
fight to court. They argued in court papers last Monday that the outgoing
ZCTU Secretary General, Wellington Chibebe, had nominated ‘individuals’ with
no affiliation to the trade union confederation, to vote at the congress;
clear reference to Matibenga being nominated. But the court last Friday
dismissed the case, allowing the congress to go ahead.
SW Radio Africa’s Bulawayo correspondent Lionel Saungweme told SW Radio
Africa on Monday that the Matombo faction now has two options: either to
appeal the High Court’s decision and take their legal challenge over the
legitimacy of the weekend congress to the Supreme Court. Or, they will split
from the ZCTU and form a rival trade union grouping.
“The court case was the only arsenal they had up their sleeve. So it seems
most likely that a split will be what happens now,” Saungweme said.
Japhet Moyo will take over from Wellington Chibebe as the new ZCTU Secretary
General, with Chibebe heading for Brussels after he was appointed deputy
General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).
Moyo is deputised by Gideon Shoko and Dickson Tarusenga, while new leader
Nkiwane is deputised by three vice presidents, namely Thoko Siwela,
Rwatipedza Chigwagwa and Lucia Matibenga.
Enock Mahari was elected treasurer general.
August 22nd, 2011
Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA)
Twenty members have been arrested in Bulawayo around noon on 22 August 2011.
These arrests followed protests to the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Company
over poor service. Five hundred members, in four separate protests managed
to converge on the Power station to deliver 63 000 signatures that remained
after police seized the million signatures on the ‘anti abuse of power’
petition signatures. As they marched they distributed flyers. They also
delivered ‘red cards’ and 4 mock coffins symbolising the need for
‘parliament to bury ZESA’ or remove the monopoly.
Town looked perfectly normal until 11:30 am when large contingent of police
were deployed. Over one hundred police officers, many in full Riot police
gear conducted arbitrary ‘stop and search’ of anyone walking. Other officers
stopped every commuter omnibuses enroute into the CDB and searched handbags
and people’s pockets. The police officers told some members that they were
looking for WOZA material.
Plain clothed Criminal Investigating Officers were also present in their
large numbers in the vicinity of the protest. This dragnet resulted in 10
members from one area were arrested as they waited for their demonstration
to start. Due to heavy presence of police around town, two of the four
processions had to relocate members to their plan B beginning points. These
last minute changes resulted in some members being too frightened to March
or getting lost in the relocation.
As the 3 protests arrived at the Power stations officers, they dropped off
the coffin and red cards and the petitions before dispersing. The fourth
protest arrived as the ZESA office staff, were taking in the petitions and
coffin, as the peaceful activists arrived carrying the 4th coffin, the staff
actually thanked them for the coffin and took it into the office. Passersby
commended the activists for dealing ‘with ZESA’ and said at least the police
‘allowed’ them time to dance at the ZESA office.
After the protests two more groups, bringing the number of arrests to 20,
with at least two members being handcuffed. Lawyers have been deployed.
WOZA national coordinator, Jenni Williams who participated in the procession
issued this comment: ‘I wish to pay tribute to WOZA members for showing
determination to deliver a strong telling off to ZESA despite being searched
and intimidated’. With the huge presence of police, who were thoroughly
searching each person, I did not expect any procession to get started, but
members strategised. They sneaked into town all their reds cards, flyers,
petitions with 63 000 signatures on petitions, 4 huge cardboard Coffins and
placards and managed to march and deliver their message.
WOZA would also like to thank members of the public for saving at least 5
members from arrest by plain clothed police officers by tipping them off
that the officers were talking about arresting them. A similar protest on 10
May 2011, to the power station resulted in over 50 members being beaten.
Members of WOZA and MOZA did research on 1434 households last year and found
The average home spends 101 hours per month without ELECTRICITY that is
over 15% of the hours in one month. This year power cuts have doubled.
Most people spend 3/4 of the cost of the ZESA bill buying alternative
fuel so they can cook food!
More than 50% of homes pay a fixed charge, if they don’t pay they are
cut off, they don’t get any discount for power cuts and are charged interest
on back bills and estimate bills.
Of the 1434 homes, only 42 homes had prepaid meters.
These are some of the reasons WOZA are giving ZESA a red card – they are a
danger to our pockets and they don’t have customer care or improve their
service. Millions of Zimbabweans are being robbed. ZESA is abusing POWER
and parliament must remove the power monopoly. WOZA members want prepaid
meters and affordable, fair electricity service, with actual bills and
proper load shedding timetables.
For more information, please call Jenni Williams +263 772 898 110 or +263
712 213 885 or Magodonga Mahlangu +263 772 362 668 or
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit our website atwww.wozazimbabwe.org. You
can also follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/wozazimbabwe or find us on
Editors note: WOZA leaders Williams and Mahlangu won a Supreme Court ruling
that found they were unlawfully arrested in 2008 during a peaceful protest.
This ruling has resulted in members arrested in 4 separate incidents to win
discharge from the courts, the recent one on 15 August 2011. Although
winning discharge in the courts, police continue to arrest the activists
with impunity. Anti Abuse of Power Petition – Working together to say HOKOYO
(be warned) to Zimbabwe Electricity Holdings and Subsidiary Companies. WOZA
and MOZA will submit these petition signatures the Anti corruption and
Monopolies Committee of Parliament to demand prepaid meters and more
affordable and efficient electricity supply for all Zimbabweans.
This entry was posted by Sokwanele on Monday, August 22nd, 2011 at 4:51 pm
by Irene Madongo
22 August, 2011
Twenty-eight members of Women and Men of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) were arrested
when they took to the streets in Bulawayo to protest the Zimbabwe
Electricity Supply company’s (ZESA) controversial billing system and poor
Up to 600 WOZA members took part in the demonstration, which came up against
a strong police presence.
As part of its campaign for a fairer system for residents the group is
calling on ZESA to install pre-paid meters for residents, who complain that
they are being slapped with ridiculously high bills.
“The protest is to demand ZESA stop cutting off defaulters while they are
unable to provide a full affordable service. Members also feel that they
could be better off with prepaid meters than paying a full bill for a part
service. Members with a fixed system of electricity which works on amps, are
given a fixed charge which does not cater for the power cuts,” a statement
On Monday, WOZA co-leader Magodonga Mahlangu said police were stopping and
searching commuter transport for WOZA material, but their members still
managed to arrive at the meeting-up spots. Four protests started
simultaneously from different points in the city and converged at the power
suppliers offices in Lobengula Street.
“It was difficult to start on time because the officers were all over. I
think there was over 100 uniformed police officers, riot and plain clothes
[officers]” Mahlangu said. “We realised they were starting to arrest
Of the 28 arrested, Mahlangu said 15 were later released. Despite the
problems with the police, the protestors managed to deliver 63,000
‘anti-abuse of power’ petition signatures to ZESA, she said.
She explained that WOZA had managed to collect 1.5million signatures from
Bulawayo’s high density suburbs, but many of these were confiscated by the
police in June when they raided a house WOZA operates from, leaving them
with the 63,000.
In May, WOZA members in Bulawayo were arrested following another
demonstration against ZESA over its continued power cuts and tariffs. One of
the women was detained with her baby in the cells.
Monday, 22 August 2011
MDC Youth Assembly deputy president, Costa Machingauta under attack
Costa Machingauta, MDC Youth Assembly deputy president was arrested by
police yesterday and is being held at Glenview police station. Charges are
While still at the police station, a notorious Zanu Pf group has forced
itself in. The group is suspected to be led by one Jim Kunaka who has
tormented innocent vendors, residents and travellers in Mbare. They are
chanting Zanu Pf slogans and demanding to have Machingauta released to them.
They are politicising the police officers.
As MDC Youth Assembly we condemn such an act. It is unthinkable, unyouthful,
unpeople and above all it is unZimbabwean, it is an animalistic behaviour.
We call upon the police to immediately arrest them.
Building a nation full of Jobs, food, good living standards, investments,
peace and freedom...
22 August 2011
Soldiers are reported to have set alight two houses belonging to an MDC-T
official in Hurungwe, after allegedly confronting him for organising a party
rally in the area.
The Standard newspaper reports that MDC-T Hurungwe district organising
secretary, Edmore Chinanzvavana, has said soldiers were behind the arson
attack on his property.
Chinanzvavana said they accused him of organising a rally that was addressed
by the chairperson of the MDC-T’s women’s assembly, Theresa Makone, and
executive member Jessie Majome.
“When we arrived at my homestead at Magunje Growth Point from the rally at
Mudzimu Township we were threatened by soldiers and some ZANU PF activists,”
“The houses were already on fire,” he explained. “Everything was burnt in
the house including a welding machine, grinding machine, fishing rods, two
tonnes of maize, six bags of fertliser, door frames and a table.”
The newspaper also said that a senior army officer reportedly threatened
MDC-T Hurungwe district secretary Tonderai Kusemamuriwo with unspecified
action for organising the rally.
“The senior army officer threatened me saying I should not lead MDC-T
activities within a 2km radius of the 2.3 Infantry barracks,” he said.
MDC-T members continue to be harassed by the security sector, despite calls
for it to stop. Local civic society groups and international groups like
Amnesty International have joined the MDC-T in condemning the army and
police brutality on political activists.
By Alex Bell
22 August 2011
India’s Ministry of Commerce has cleared for import a shipment of diamonds
from the controversial Chiadzwa diamond fields, despite ongoing concern of
human rights abuses there.
The stockpile, worth an estimated US$153 million, was purchased by diamond
dealers from Surat at an auction in November 2010. The stones were then
shipped to Dubai where they were held after the international diamond
watchdog, the Kimberly Process (KP), reinstated its embargo against trade in
Zimbabwean diamonds. That ban was put in place amid ongoing reports of
smuggling and human rights abuses, and Zimbabwe’s failure to fall in line
with international trade standards.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) then released the shipment of diamonds in
June this year, with KP approval, shortly after the shock unilateral
decision by the group’s Chairman to allow Zimbabwe to resume trade. This
decision has been widely condemned by human rights groups and mainly western
member states of the KP, because it clears the diamonds for sale without the
proper standards being met in Zim.
This confusion then led to the Indian bound diamond stockpile being held by
the Indian government, who at first appeared reluctant to get involved in
But according to Chandrakant Sanghavi, regional chairman of the Gems and
Jewellery Export Promotion Council, the diamonds have been released and as
many as 13 Surat diamond centres have already received parcels of the rough
by Own Corespondent Monday 22 August 2011
JOHANNESBURG – Hunger and chronic malnutrition are on the rise in Zimbabwe,
the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has said.
The UN organisation said significant crop loses in four of Zimbabwe’s 10
provinces would see the lean period setting in much earlier than usual in
the affected provinces, a development it said could see nutrition levels
further dropping especially among children and other vulnerable groups.
"Of particular concern at this time are reports of significant crop losses
in the Masvingo, Manicaland, Matebeleland South and Midlands provinces of
Zimbabwe," the UN organisation said at the weekend.
The OCHA said funding was well below needs but added that work to raise more
resources was progressing well.
Meanwhile the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare is looking to complete by
year-end drafting a three-year policy to tackle the food and nutrition
strategy situation in the country.
The ministry is working in conjunction with the nutrition cluster of
organisations in the country that include UN Children's Fund, International
Organisation for Migration, Goal, World Vision, the World Food Programme and
Beneficiaries of the nutrition cluster include 4.95 million children and
women of reproductive age.
A UNICEF official Tobias Stillman said that the cluster had appealed for
nearly US$15 million in humanitarian support for this year but has so far
only received 14 percent of the requested funds.
News of rising malnutrition in Zimbabwe comes three weeks after the UN
humanitarian coordinator in Harare, Alain Noudehou, and government officials
jointly launched an appeal for $488 million in humanitarian support for the
southern African nation.
Launching the appeal Noudehou said the country had not achieved its desired
food security levels after a mid-season drought destroyed crops in southern
and south-western Zimbabwe.
Nearly 1.7 million Zimbabweans need food assistance this year, according to
Zimbabwe is a former major regional agricultural producer but the troubled
southern African state has struggled to feed itself since President Robert
Mugabe embarked on his controversial drive to seize white-owned commercial
farms in 2000, which knocked farming production.
Finance Minister Tendai Biti said last month in a mid-term budget review
that Zimbabwe's production of maize grain would rise this year to 1.45
million tonnes from 1.32 million tonnes last year. Maize is Zimbabwe is main
staple food and the country requires about two million tonnes of the grain
per year. -- ZimOnline
By Nkululeko Sibanda, Senior Writer
Monday, 22 August 2011 19:06
HARARE - Finance Minister, Tendai Biti has refused to answer questions
relating to the circumstances leading to the purchase of luxury vehicles for
Biti, who was reportedly out of the country when the Daily News first
reported the matter, reacted angrily when he was asked to explain how
Treasury had arrived at the decision to splash millions of dollars on luxury
Despite high levels of poverty in the country, where people live on less
than one US dollar a day, critics have said it is ridiculous that government
plunders money on luxury vehicles.
The purchase of the Hollywood-style vehicles has been met with fierce
criticism from the public.
Government ministers in Zimbabwe have at least three luxury cars each and
they include latest Mercedes Benzes, Jeep Cherokees, Land Cruiser V8
vehicles and the 2011 Landrover Discovery 4 vehicles.
Each minister in Zimbabwe is believed to have vehicles worth $500 000.
Biti has often said government is broke and cannot afford any new
expenditures including raising salaries for public workers.
“Why do you want me to respond to that issue? I am not the minister of
transport. Look for (Nicholas) Goche and ask him. I am not at liberty to
talk about that,” said a visibly angry Biti."
Biti’s refusal to discuss the matter comes as revelations emerge that the
money could have been availed from the $103 million realised by the
government from the sale of diamonds.
In his budgetary statement presented in July, Biti blasted the failure by
the state to realise maximum benefits from the trade of the precious stones,
saying the revenues recorded by government and the diamond carats sold do
“Mr Speaker Sir, it is worrying to note that there is no connection
whatsoever between diamond exports made by Zimbabwe and the revenues
“It is worth noting that out of 716 958, 90 diamond carats exported from
Zimbabwe in the period under review, only US$103, 9 million was accounted
for through forms submitted through CD1 forms at the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe,” said Biti.
Government sources told the Daily News that the move to acquire the
state-of-the-art vehicles was agreed upon by the whole inclusive government.
Biti, the sources said, was tasked to provide resources for the acquisition
of the luxury vehicles that now fill up government car parks.
“Cabinet took a position that ministers needed to get state-of-the-art
vehicles as ministers argued they cannot continue using only Mercedes Benz
“No reason was proffered for that position,” a source said.
“After discussion, it was agreed that there should be new vehicles that
would be procured through a State Procurement Board advertised tender where
these new vehicles would be acquired.
“Biti was given that task to ensure that the money for those vehicles is
available,” the source added.
Biti was however left in a fix as it was obvious to him that making such a
decision will invite public criticism given that he had turned down numerous
pay rise requests by government employees.
“To extricate himself from the crisis, Biti made a proposal that government
could get the money from the $103 million that was realised from the sale of
diamonds last year for the purchase of the said vehicles.
“He also proposed that the money would be taken from the votes that he had
made to particular ministries during the 2010-2011 budget. A cap of $150 000
for a vehicle was put and agreed to."
“This means that government expended about $450 000 on every ministry as the
allowance to buy vehicles for the minister, deputy minister, and permanent
secretaries, at other instances,” another source added.
Simple calculations show that for the 38 ministries that form the government
and at three vehicles per ministry, government extended $17,1 million.
The remainder, about $2, 9 million was used to pamper the 10 provincial
governors with similar top-of-the-range vehicles.
It is reported that some other government departments had also forwarded
demands to cabinet for lavish vehicles.
Another government arm is also said to have been one of the institutions
that requested for the purchase of luxury vehicles, with reports indicating
it had placed a bid for 10 Jaguar vehicles for its senior directors.
MDC spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora said his party would demand explanations
from Biti over the latest “Luxurygate” scandal.
“We will meet with minister Biti when he comes back. He will explain to us
what has happened and we believe that after he has explained, we will be in
a position to discuss further,” said Mwonzora.
Companies that are reported to have supplied the multi-million-dollar cars
are refusing to co-operate with the Daily News with one official from a
major supplier claiming, “We can’t give you the facts because we will lose
By Tonderai Kwenda, Deputy News Editor
Monday, 22 August 2011 19:00
HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday challenged President
Robert Mugabe to follow through his call for peace by ensuring that elements
in his Zanu PF party stop their acts of violence in the country.
Mugabe made a passionate plea for peace in his address at the National
Heroes Acre, during the burial of the late former army commander General
Solomon Mujuru on Saturday.
“We don’t want any violence. Please, no violence, no violence. Let’s
organise ourselves and campaign in our different parties peacefully,” Mugabe
said while addressing the mourners.
But Tsvangirai said anything short of personally ensuring an end to violence
will render Mugabe’s words for peace mere rhetoric.
The MDC parties blame the violence on elements in Zanu PF who often do so
with the assistance of state apparatus.
The elements commit crimes with impunity because they are often protected by
law enforcement agents. Many known perpetrators of violence are often let
off despite overwhelming evidence against them.
Tsvangirai, who was addressing a vuvuzela-blowing bumper crowd at Mutare’s
Sakubva Stadium, said Mugabe should ensure that his party stops violence if
he was sincere.
“If you say there should be no violence then your structures should respect
your leadership otherwise it becomes rhetoric not substantiated with action
on the ground. We know there is violence, we know people are harassing MDC
supporters. That must stop and if you want it to stop, you can stop it,”
said Tsvangirai to the applause of his supporters.
“The MDC has no violence but we are saying no more to be victims of violence
and we will not harass people. We are saying to our opponents stop violence
so that there could be development in the country.”
Tsvangirai castigated his Zanu PF counterpart for refusing to implement the
Global Political Agreement (GPA) accusing him and his Zanu PF colleagues of
hatching a plan to force his party out of the coalition government so that
elections can be held on the former ruling party’s own conditions.
The Prime Minister said it was not easy to harness a donkey and an ox adding
it was very frustrating.
“We know that you are not following the agreements and everything that
should be done. We know you want to push MDC out of government so that we
can have elections based on Zanu PF conditions,” said the MDC leader.
He said desperate attempts by Zanu PF will fail because the regional Sadc
body has insisted on the full implementation of the GPA before elections can
“We came back from Angola just yesterday for the Sadc summit.
“The whole Sadc is not going back on the issue. It has four things that it
has said must be done before we go to elections."
“There must be a new constitution for Zimbabwe, a referendum of the
constitution and what this means is that, even to those dreaming, they must
know that there won’t be an election this year,” said Tsvangirai.
“Sadc said the Zimbabwe election must be done according to the Sadc
electoral guidelines. There shall be Sadc monitors to monitor the full
implementation of the GPA and President Zuma shall remain mediator.”
The Sadc guidelines on elections mandates states to ensure that there is
full participation of the citizens in the political process, freedom of
association, political tolerance, regular intervals for elections as
provided for by the respective national constitutions, equal access to the
media for all political parties, equal opportunity to exercise the right to
vote and be voted for and impartiality of judiciary and impartiality of the
electoral institutions among others.
By Roadwin Chirara, Business Writer
Monday, 22 August 2011 19:11
HARARE - The local unit of global food and nutrition company Nestlé says it
has “always complied” with Zimbabwean company and business laws in its
The statement comes after President Robert Mugabe’s government has upped the
ante in its quest to seize foreign-owned companies under its fast-track
indigenisation programme — marked by Friday’s issuance of a 14-day ultimatum
by Empowerment minister Saviour Kasukuwere on several multinationals to come
up with acceptable localisation plans.
“Nestlé always complies with the rules and regulations of the countries in
which it operates and will continue to do so,” said Brinda Chiniah,
corporate communication and public affairs manager.
As required by law and new Zimbabwean empowerment regulations, Kumbirai
Katsande’s Nestlé Zimbabwe in December submitted its proposal to the
relevant authorities, but the company received a letter from Kasukuwere’s
department on August 18 reminding it of the need to reform, Chiniah said.
In recent months, the Swiss-backed foods processor has been under Mugabe’s
spotlight and threats after a spat with the veteran leader over the
rejection of a consignment of milk from his Gushungo dairy amid charges that
it was substandard or contaminated.
In the aftermath of the bilateral squabble, the Zimbabwean ruler went on to
publicly assign Kasukuwere to nationalise the company and Impala-owned
Zimbabwe Platinum Mines (Zimplats).
This week, the Australian-listed white metals producer — listed among the
noncompliant companies and those ordered to respond within two weeks — says
it will continue with its negotiations with the Harare administration over
“We will continue our engagements with the government to find an appropriate
solution in accordance with the law,” company spokesperson Busi Chindove
said on Friday.
She said the company like most foreign owned firms had been advised to
revise its proposals in an official communication received from the
“We confirm that we have received a formal response to the proposals that we
submitted to the Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and
“In his letter, the minister advised that we need to review our proposals
and communicate our position to him within 14 days,” Chindove said.
Zimplats, like most Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines members, argues that it has
forwarded an empowerment plan based on mix of direct equity and social
Murowa Diamonds, 78 percent-owned by Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto plc
and one of the companies also under attack, recently put advanced the same
argument when asked by businessdaily.
Kasukuwere says he has embarked on the latest actions after government
rejected about 175 applications by mining companies to only release 26
percent in direct equity and the rest offset by investments in social
infrastructure such as clinics, roads and other essential services.
The minister said a total of 700 proposals have been forwarded to his
office, but any company or enterprise hoping to fulfil his March 2011
general notice and guidelines can only ink tie-ups with employee or
community trusts, a proposed sovereign wealth fund and any other designated
However, Kasukuwere’s plans — to takeover banks as well — have elicited
heavy fire from Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono, who has
branded the machinations “irrational exuberance”.
“Experts in the field of banking and finance… deserve to be listened to when
they give sound advice. This is necessary in order to avoid fly-by-night,
reckless and excitable flexing of muscles and decisions that overlook
certain fundamentals that could irreparably harm the nerve-centre of our
recovering economy,” he said after Barclays and Standard Chartered Bank were
listed among stubborn firms.
“To this end, tendencies towards firing harmful verbal economic-gunpowder
must be minimised by all stakeholders in the interest of the economy and the
RBZ board forewarns people playing with economic gunpowder to leave the game
to those well-trained in its use and safe custody, lest the unintended will
happen, to everyone’s future regret,” Gono said, adding his position,
though, must not be construed as an endorsement for noncompliance with the
law in general.
“We are battling to stabilise indigenous-owned financial institutions that
are not adequately capitalised and which are experiencing liquidity
challenges due to a variety of factors. To this end… the timing of any move
that we may take or intent to take is important. May all stakeholders… be
guided accordingly and take heed before it’s too late.”
About three weeks ago, the central bank chief said Zimbabwe’s indigenisation
programme must be tackled in a manner, which promotes economic recovery and
Although Kasukuwere said at the weekend that they would not relent on the
new thrust, Toronto-listed Caledonia Mining has set the tone and signal that
the international firms would take the fight to government through the
Companies instructed to comply with Indigenisation stipulations are
determined to continue negotiations.
VLADIMIR MZACA | 21 August, 2011 22:36
Zanu-PF is on the wrong side of history, as other political parties are
feasting on it to gain support in the Matabeleland region.
They are calling for a truth and reconciliation commission on the
Most of the constituencies in Matabeleland North and South and Bulawayo
provinces are under the control of MDC-T and MDC-N, while the revived Zapu
is trying to cash in on Zanu-PF's unpopularity because of the Gukurahundi
atroci-ties of the '80s that left more than 20000 either dead or missing.
Over the past two months, the Gukurahundi issue has come back to haunt
Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party. It has sparked a heated debate in political
circles, with opposition politicians saying that Zanu-PF should own up to
the violent crackdown that analysts say gave birth to the underdevelopment
of the southern part of the country.
Zanu-PF officials who have spoken on the issue in recent weeks have only
added salt to the wounds.
Defence Minister and Zanu-PF politburo member Emmerson Mnangagwa sparked the
controversy recently when he said the issue was a closed chapter. He was
heavily criticised from all quarters.
Opposition politicians responded with anger, saying the people of
Matabeleland were still hurting.
Zapu had its say on the matter: "Even though we did not go to school that
much because we were deprived of our privileges, we do not want to be
provoked. I believe they know what we are capable of doing if we are
provoked beyond resistance. So, we ask not to be provoked," said Zapu's
national security boss Ekam Nkala.
MDC-T spokesman Douglas Mwonzora said the Gukurahundi issue should be laid
to rest only if it is addressed as a matter of urgency and victims and their
families are compensated. "It was gross human rights violations. Many
innocent people died and some are still traumatised. For the development of
Zimbabwe it should be addressed."
Welshman Ncube's MDC-N shared the same view. "A lot of things are not right
because of Gukurahundi. Other than lives lost there are memories still
lingering. Gukurahundi should be dealt with," said spokesman Nhlanhla Dube.
In Joburg last week, a memorial service was held for the massacre's victims
organised by the Gukurahundi Genocide Victims for Justice. The call by
political parties and civic groups for the issue to be addressed will cast
Zanu-PF in a bad light because the party actually perpetrated the
If discussed in a public forum, people will learn how their relatives were
killed or disappeared.
Within Zanu-PF, there have been increasing calls for the issue to be
addressed, the highest-pitched voice being that of politburo member and
former information minister Professor Jonathan Moyo.
Moyo is the MP for Tsholotsho North, one of the regions seriously affected
by the atrocities.
However, Moyo's opinion, published in the state-run weekly The Sunday Mail
last week, warned that the issue was being used against his party and only
Zanu-PF could bring the matter to a close.
"The Gukurahundi issue is not a closed chapter. But calls from some
destructive quarters for a fresh probe are as irresponsible and unacceptable
as the claims from our own ranks that the matter is now a closed chapter,
whose discussion will open old wounds," he said.
"(Gukurahundi) was a dark point in our history ... which not only involved
dissidents who committed atrocities and wantonly destroyed property but also
the State, whose response to the dissident menace was so outrageously
disproportionate as to cause unnecessary suffering among ordinary people
which could have been avoided."
by Ann Tomoko Rosen
2011 August 22 20:39:09
The trial of Munyaradzi Gwisai and five other social, economic justice and
human rights activists, accused of plotting to topple President Robert
Mugabe using "Egyptian style" revolts, was on Monday 22 August 2011
postponed to Wednesday 24 August 2011.
The activists' trial was scheduled to commence on Monday 22 August 2011 at
the Harare Regional Court. But it was postponed to Wednesday 24 August 2011
because no Magistrate had been assigned to preside over the trial and
replace Regional Magistrate Morgan Nemadire, who recused himself from
presiding over the trial as he is known of one of the activists.
The trial has now been tentatively set for Wednesday 24 August 2011 for
This is the second time that the trial has been deferred after the initial
postponement on Monday 18 July 2011.
The activists namely Gwisai, anti-debt campaigner Hopewell Gumbo, Antonater
Choto, the director of the Zimbabwe Labour Centre, student leader Welcome
Zimuto, Eddson Chakuma and Tatenda Mombeyarara who were initially charged
with committing treason upon their arrest in February are now facing a
revised charge of contravening Section 36 of the Criminal Law (Codification
and Reform) Act for allegedly conspiring to commit public violence and three
other alternative charges.
Gwisai, Gumbo, Choto, Zimuto, Chakuma and Mombeyarara face alternative
charges of contravening section 187 as read with section 36 of the Criminal
Law (Codification and Reform) Act for allegedly inciting public violence,
contravening section 37 (1) (a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and
Reform) Act for allegedly participating in a gathering with intent to
promote public violence, breaches of peace or bigotry and contravening
section 37 (1) (c) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act for
allegedly participating in a gathering with intent to promote violence,
breaches of peace or bigotry.
Gwisai and the five social justice and human rights activists were arrested
on Saturday 19 February 2011 together with 39 other activists during a
constitutional and democracy lecture held in Harare. Harare Magistrate
Munamato Mutevedzi freed 39 of the activists.
Prosecutor Edmore Nyazamba alleges that the activists delivered speeches
during the lecture encouraging participants to mobilize Zimbabweans to
revolt against President Mugabe and his government.
By Charles Mugari
Monday, 22 August 2011 18:52
IT has been interesting to watch the criticism that has been levelled
against Econet Wireless Zimbabwe over the last few weeks, in the matter in
which the company is suing Alpha Media for defamation.
From where I sit, it appears as if many of the media experts who disapprove
of Econet’s action have concluded erroneously that the company wants to gag
the media from making fair comment about its business activities.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
I also fear that those scribes who have reached this conclusion have done so
without even bothering to read any of the papers that Econet has filed in
the High Court — which papers are publicly available.
That is a very sad indictment of those critics indeed.
It is also instructive to note that while these people are now accusing
Econet of attacking freedom of expression, they have, at the same time,
conveniently forgotten that only three weeks earlier Econet Wireless had
steadfastly refused to be railroaded by the police into releasing
information on the private telephone records of Finance Minister Tendai
As far as I am aware, there is no record that any of Econet’s critics,
including media representative bodies such as the Voluntary Media Council of
Zimbabwe, ever commented or supported the company on this crucial rights’
matter. Yes, all have been conspicuously silent.
Yet, one of the media houses was so convinced that it ran with the
sensational headline Econet trampling freedom of expression for which it
fought when the Alpha defamation suit was triggered. Nothing could be more
All these would-be critics do not seem to understand that, firstly, the
media are not above reproach — and that, secondly, our constitution has many
more equally important rights than just freedom of expression.
In its court papers, Econet says that the Zimbabwe Independent newspaper,
had over a number of weeks, published verbatim highly defamatory interviews
by one Nicholas Van Hoogstraten.
And just in case your readers do not know, this elderly and controversial
British gentleman was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison in the
UK for the manslaughter of a business rival in 2002 — although the verdict
was overturned on appeal, leading to his release in 2005, and upon which he
was ordered to pay the victim's family £6 million in a civil case. But I
Van Hoogstraten’s rantings, which had been directed at Econet, had been
based on an incident which, as everyone knows, occurred well before Econet
was even a shareholder in the business concerned. And the newspaper
concerned never at any time sought Econet’s position on the subject matter.
Under these untenable circumstances, Econet has done what most corporates or
individuals would do: It is suing Van Hoogstraten and the newspaper — to
stop them from continuing further defamatory publications until the court
has ruled on the matter.
This is Econet’s core constitutional right — and it is a pity that I cannot
get deep into the merits of the case as it is sub judice.
Just one final insight into Econet, for the benefit of your readers. In
2000, when the company’s founder Strive Masiyiwa had long emigrated to South
Africa, the privately-owned media in Zimbabwe came under intense pressure
from the government.
The leading private media publisher at the time, a gentleman called Clive
Wilson — having suffered yet more harassment at the hands of authorities —
decided it was time to throw in the towel.
Unfortunately for him, no bank was willing to finance any potential buyers
of his media house because of fear of reprisal.
Wilson and his then editor, one Trevor Ncube, went to the only man who they
believed could help them; the only man they also knew understood the need to
preserve the independent press.
Indeed, that man had fought for freedom of expression when many people did
not even know what it meant — and that man was Strive Masiyiwa.
Although the two men knew that Masiyiwa did not have an interest in and did
not need to own newspapers, they knew that he “would do the right thing” and
come to their assistance.
It is now a matter of history that Masiyiwa did in fact agree to finance
Clive Wilson’s exit from the Independent — and duly went on to “warehouse”
the shares until Ncube could take over the newspaper. And that is how Trevor
got his head-start as a media owner.
A few weeks after Masiyiwa bailed out the Independent, a newly established
daily paper, the only one in the country then, was on the verge of collapse
because banks would not assist it.
The owners of this new newspaper also made the great trek to South Africa to
see Masiyiwa, who as history will again record, bailed them out and kept
Given this background, is it not only proper for the media to
self-introspect and ask the question, for once, why a company owned by the
same said Masiyiwa would now go to the extent of suing for defamation
against the very same businesses that are in existence today only because of
his assistance? Food for thought.
by Paul Okumu Monday 22 August 2011
On Saturday 11 August 2011, The Angola Government manhandled, detained and
later deported the only Civil Society Apex Body mandated to work and advise
the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) process.?
In a joint statement by the SADC Civil Society Apex Body (made up of
Fellowship of Christian Councils in Southern Africa, SADC council of NGOs
(SADC-CNGO) and Southern African Trade Union Coordination Countries) and the
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.
Those detained and subsequently deported include the Executive Director of
SADC-CNGO Abie Ditlhake, Executive Secretary of SATUCC Austin Muneku and
Executive Director of FOCCISA Malcolm Damon among others.??
The CSO leaders were in Angola to participate in the 7th Southern Africa
Civil Society Forum, which is an event held by civil society organisations
annually in the SADC country that will be hosting the SADC Heads of State
Summit, and for which permission had been granted by the Angolan
The SADC Heads of States Summit opened in Angola on Aug 11 and ends on Aug
18. This detention and deportation comes only days after the Apex body was
forced to move its Conference to Johannesburg following the decision by the
Angola Government to deny visas to several CSOs who were to attend the
And that is not all.??
Even after the killing of 19 CSO leaders and citizens in Malawi on 20-21
July, the Malawi Government is not yet done with CSOs.??
In an interview broadcast on the BBC last week, the President of Malawi sent
out a chilling warning to a second planned rally by CSOs on 19th August.??
"Let them come. I will meet them there..these NGOs... I am the elected
President of Malawi. 2.9 million people voted for me; I alone have the right
to lead these people, not these NGOs... who elected them?...Let them come on
the 19th. They will find me there!"??
Subsequently, a great number of local civil society leaders and labour
leaders have gone into hiding, as they fear for their lives after having
And if you thought that is all, here is what happened on August 1 at a Civil
Society meeting on Governance and Democracy in Cameroon:??
"...besides rejecting a few suspicious uninvited members, we intercepted
three individuals that gave false names and fake associations and recovered
one hidden camera.The hidden Camera was put between the stacks of paper on
the registration desk....some (government)agents had come in to influence
and frustrated a free debate..."??
And only a day later, on August 2, the colleague who sent us this distress
call from Cameroon was desperately trying to save another CSO colleague
whose life was hanging on the balance in Gabon following a government crack
down on CSOs in that country.??
The attack on Civil Society is now increasingly becoming bolder, broader and
more dangerous. And it is going beyond governments to include regional
bodies such as SADC.??
The Civil Society-both in the North and the South-must decide what it really
wants to to about this trend.??
While Africa CSO Platform welcomes the ongoing debate and discussions about
CSO space and Enabling Environment, we call upon our colleagues to remember
that for the CSO leaders above and many more suffering RIGHT NOW, every new
day is a life lost, a child orphaned, a lady/man widowed, a CSO individuals
shattered either by detention, destruction of their travel records, or as is
being seen in many countries, a career lost through multiple blacklisting in
All because they have decided to stand up raise a voice for good governance
We welcome the concern.??
We welcome all the ongoing analysis, and studies and documentation on CSO
They are good in that they provide us with a frame of mind and clarity of
the extent of battle ahead of us.??
But we plead that we move beyond these.??There is concern and a growing
frustration, that apart from "statements of concern", African CSOs seem
abandoned by their colleagues with head quarters in the North, who consider
the space for CSOs as "outside the thematic focus" of their work, and prefer
to continue working with their traditional partners in ongoing programs,
even as they see the door increasingly closing in on their colleagues.??
We have received these concerns from Rwanda, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Sudan,
Burundi, Liberia, DRC, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Somalia Puntland, Ghana, Malawi
and most recently Swaziland.??
We have also received information on very good friends, but they are few,
and far outnumbered by the loud silence of many of their colleagues.??
We must strengthen and support the solidarity effort as a matter or urgency.
We must move beyond our Thematic lenses, Geographical eyes and "Partners"
approach to realize that every day the space is not only getting smaller and
more dangerous, but we are increasingly leaving CSO leaders to the mercy of
governments while the situation gets worse by the day.??
Before long there will be no space for advocacy work for any NGOs in Africa.
Before long there will be no credible "Partners" to work with. Before long
all the intelligent and critical minds within the CSO sector will either be
dead, languishing in jail, or holding worthless passports for which they
cannot use for any meaningful work.??We urge ALL of us to stop this
Only we can.??Only we have the power to do it.??
*Paul Okumu is head of secretariat at th Africa CSO Platform for Principled
Partnership. The Africa CSO Platform for Principled Partnership is a
Platform for African CSOs to rally behind one another in response to the
narrowing development space of civil society organisations (CSOs). ACPPP is
primarily aimed at addressing the enabling environment of CSOs, with a
specific focus on Laws, policies and other legislation that threaten the
space for development.
22 August 2011
John Austin on the day the former ZANLA commander arrived at Customs &
A meeting with General Rex Nhongo
General Solomon Mujuru (known in exile as Rex Nhongo) was the foremost
military commander of the Zimbabawe National Liberation Army (ZANLA), the
military wing of the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) in its war
against the white regime of Ian Smith in Zimbabawe. General Mujuru took
command of the Zimbabwe National Army at independence in 1980, retiring ten
years later to go into business.
He died on the night of 15 August following a fire at his house on the farm
Alamein, a productive and high-value operation illegally requisitioned as
part of a "landgrab" from Guy Watson-Smith in 2001.
General Mujuru's wife, Joyce Mujuru, became Vice-President of Zimbabwe in
John Austin, a former senior Zimbabwean customs officer who was detained in
Zimbabwe for two years with his colleague Neil Harper between 1986 and 1988,
has written the reminiscence below of a professional encounter with General
Mujuru (Rex Nhongo).
Interestingly, both John Austin & Rex Nhongo are Zimbabweans born in 1949,
both career officials for their country, both fully retired but in VERY
My meeting with the General
LONDON - I only encountered Rex Nhongo once in my Customs career and it was
not unpleasant at all. This is how I remember the incident....
It was 1985 or 1986 as I was by then Collector of Customs & Excise i/c
Harare. My staff of about 250 then had few whites as I was only one of five
left (the other four all mostly junior admin support staff of long service).
Indeed, my four senior managers were each and all of them political
appointees ("PD's" - appointed by Presidential Directive after Independence,
or "Cadre Deployees" - and they included the likes of Cdes Wiridzayi
Kwedza, George W T Mhiribidi, Alex Mavunga, Jephat Mujuru (a relative of Gen
Rex) and the now notorious Obert Moses Mpofu, an acolyte of and relative by
marriage of Emmerson Mnangagwa, the head of State Security at the time which
included in particular the Central Intelligence Organisation, or secret
police. Mpofu told me this himself prior to his leaving Harare Customs where
he was my 2 i/c, to go into politics under a ZANU ticket in Tjolotsho).
The Harare Custom House in Angwa Street/South Avenue was abuzz one morning
when Gen Nhongo came in to the Motor Traffic & Private Imports section in
the banking hall to clear a case of Scotch he had imported from South
Africa. None of the black counter officers (ex-comrades or others) could or
would deal with the General's clearance. They were all in awe (or fear?) of
his presence and were simply at a mental crossroads of suspended animation
whilst unable to decide whether or not to do their duty and go about
assessing and collecting his import dues, or not, or what ?
Internal phones rang hot as the buck was passed to the line manager (Festus
Ngcebetsha), I think..... then to one of my senior management team of
"upstairs comrades" (Kwedza or Mhiribidi), I think..... then to me. My
advice was simple - the general was not exempt from paying import dues, so
just get the officer or manager to make out a receipt for the amount and
take the money. To a man and woman (comrade or otherwise), they all turned
coy on me, expressing amazement that I could even think of charging this
particular high-ranking "chef" import duty (on his case of Scotch).
In order to demonstrate both leadership and the "without fear or favour"
slogan popular at the time, I said if they liked to bring a receipt book and
a date stamp to my office, and invite the general upstairs, I would attend
to it myself. Quick as a flash it was arranged and General Rex was ushered
into the Collector's office with his accompanying staff officer - a colonel,
carrying the General's briefcase. You could have heard a pin drop in the
executive wing of the Harare Custom House.
Whilst I was attending to the General's papers and clearance he looked
around my office and noticed my Territorial Army Commissioning Parchment and
three medal ribbons in a frame on the wall. He was interested in them, liked
them, and mentioned that he didn't have a Parchment.
I joked with him that he was fortunate, for his own Parchment would
commission him into the new Zimbabwe National Army at the rank of General
and thus become unique..... for the ex-Rhodesian Army officers in the ZNA
had all been commissioned 2nd Lieutenants (ex-Sandhurst or Gweru School of
Infantry) or Lieutenants if commissioned from the ranks - excluding the odd
professionals, such as doctors who might be commissioned as Captains.
This is because the Commissioning Parchment records the officer's rank on
date of issue, with the added words "or in such higher rank as I or the
Minister of Defence may from time to time hereafter promote or appoint you",
and it was signed off by both the Head of State (the President) and the
Minister of Defence. He seemed to like this notion and asked his Colonel to
take note, whilst commenting too that one of my three ribbons included the
Zimbabwe Independence Medal (ZIM) - a medal he also had. I explained that I
was in the Territorial Army Corps of Engineers and had been mobilised on
call-up before, during and after the elections in 1980 which brought
majority rule to Zimbabwe and ZANU to power.
Concerning those import dues, I told General Rex my calculations and
requested payment to finalise clearance. He asked if I needed cash or could
he pay by cheque. I said that normally we required "bank certified" cheques
or cash, but in his case I would have no hesitation in accepting his
cheque - if that was what he preferred. He clicked a command at his Colonel
who placed a briefcase on my desk, opened it, and took out a brand new
cheque book sitting on top of a packed briefcase completely full of brand
new Reserve Bank issue $20 notes (the highest denomination in Zim at the
time - and worth about R27 or £6 each then). I knew they were new Reserve
Bank issue notes as they still had the Reserve Bank motif paper around each
bundle (and I had seen these on the money we collected from the Reserve Bank
on staff paydays - I had just NEVER seen so MUCH money before in one
When I told General Rex the amount for the cheque, he passed the cheque book
to me and asked me to complete it for him so there would be no mistake and
he would simply sign it. I did so, noticing it was the very first cheque in
the book. When I handed it back for signature, he held the pen in his fist
which he pushed up and down a few times in the signature space. I was amazed
to witness that this powerful military man seemed actually to be
semi-literate, although his "stammer" for which he is known was barely
On leaving, he pulled out a $5 dollar note and gave it to me to thank me for
my trouble. I told him we were not allowed to accept "gifts" from the public
but that, in this case, I would accept his gift on behalf of the Harare
staff and donate the $5 to our kitty for the annual staff Christmas party.
He smiled, thanked me and left with his colonel and his clearance papers to
go and take delivery of his case of Scotch.
I never saw the general again, and the $5 was left in the cupboard behind my
desk in my office. I told my Senior Collectors of it and that it was to go
to the Christmas party funding. I do not know what became of the $5, for the
CIO under Mnangagwa had Neil Harper and me detained without trial in
Chikurubi Maximum Security prison before the next Christmas came around. I
hasten to add that I do not believe our wrongful detention had anything to
do with the General's Scotch clearance that I attended to - for Nhongo
(Solomon Mujuru) and Mnangagwa have always led opposing tribal factions.
Of course, our detention by Mnangagwa was certainly to do with drug
smuggling to South Africa (Mandrax) and luxury car smuggling north from
South Africa (BMWs and Mercs), involving among others the CIO and their
associates in the South African liberation movements, along with other cadre
controlled syndicated regional criminal activity. (With hindsight, I would
say these early criminal syndicates with control of the State machine in Zim
formed the foundation to the post-apartheid tsunami of crime and corruption
in South Africa today).
While the episode with General Rex Nhongo was all a bit a tense for me (and
especially my Harare staff), he was completely pleasant & polite throughout,
and went out of his way to put me at ease. Thinking back on it today, I can
say that I found it exciting rather than frightening, whilst my subordinates
seemed to be quaking at his presence. Whether the incident was some sort of
test or not, I'll never know. What I can say is that it impressed me
greatly - for it showed the General seeming to demonstrate great leadership
in respect for the rule of law and payment of taxes (whether intentionally
There are many others in the ZANU dung heap for whom I would be unable to
write such an un-incriminating epitaph. As is usually the case with ZANU
politicos and securocrats, their biggest enemies always come from within
their own cattle pens.
John V Austin
By Alex MagaisaPolitics Last updated on: August 22, 2011
AS AN unequalled avalanche of emotion engulfed the national landscape last
week following the shocking death of Retired General Solomon Mujuru, there
were certain discernible features that still refused to be obfuscated. The
nation would do well to take notice of them rather than to bury our
collective heads in the sand, like the proverbial ostrich.
Observing general discussions among Zimbabweans across the whole spectrum,
it became clear that the tragic incident presented a moral dilemma of great
magnitude. Recognising the immense contribution of the General toward the
achievement of Zimbabwe’s independence, the vast majority of Zimbabweans
poured their hearts out sympathising with the Mujuru family and sharing a
huge sense of loss of a man they considered a hero.
Yet there were also pockets of dissent; chambers of doubt in the midst of
the collective chorus of adulation.
It is not the purpose of this article to engage in the debate of heroism. I
believe that decision (whether or not one is a hero) lies in the hearts and
minds of the people and in this regard, events of the last few days tell a
story that is there for all to observe. What is sought to be done here is to
identify and assess the narratives that can be identified from this tragic
episode and why they are important in the ever-present nation-building
project. To refuse to acknowledge these narratives and pretend they do not
exist simply because they are less palatable at this juncture or because we
disagree with them would constitute recklessness.
The first and overwhelmingly common narrative, which we can conveniently
call the liberation hero narrative, is represented by the almost
unprecedented outpouring of emotion across large sections of Zimbabwean
society – both locally and abroad. Like Joshua Nkomo before him, Mujuru has
the distinction of having drawn an almost universal crowd of mourners who
genuinely believed in his heroism. This included people from different
political persuasions – a feat that few, if any, of the living leaders can
ever lay claim to in life as in death.
It demonstrated that Mujuru was perceived by the majority not simply as a
Zanu PF leader but as a national figure whose role and contribution
transcended party lines. It showed a man who both in life and death
possessed a rare kind of power over people. This narrative did not, however,
overlook his flaws and it should not be seen as such. It recognised that
like all people, the man had his flaws but the narrative balanced the
positives and negatives and chose to privilege the positives.
There has been a sense of unity among political leaders who otherwise spent
most of their time fighting each other in mourning the demise of a political
and military giant. Indeed, he has been hailed as a hero in particular for
his sterling contributions to the liberation struggle that brought
independence to Zimbabwe in 1980.
The second narrative, which is evidenced by three threads, emanates from
pockets of Zimbabweans who do not find favour with the hero label. This
dominant line in this narrative is that a hero can also morph into a villain
if previously heroic deeds are followed by dreadful conduct. This narrative
acknowledges the significant role played by leaders of the liberation war
but goes on to point out that this was followed by acts of betrayal in the
The first of these threads of discontent arises from the Gukurahundi
atrocities in Matabeleland and the Midlands in the 1980s. This Gukurahundi
narrative contains the common lament that authors of the atrocities, however
significant their past contributions may be, can never be regarded as
heroes. In this narrative, the authorship of Gukurahundi is invariably
attributed to the Zanu PF leadership as a collective and sometimes, in the
extreme cases it has to be said, to a more generalised and amorphous group
referred to as “Shonas” – reference to Shona-speaking people.
Where guilt is not direct, it is attributed by association. When there were
no positive acts, liability is attributed by omission, i.e. that either they
were directly involved or that they did not do enough to stop it.
In the case of General Mujuru, although his friend and comrade, Dumiso
Dabengwa, the ZAPU leader who was a prominent victim of the onslaught by the
state during that period has spoken to absolve him of responsibility for the
atrocities, a number of people using the Gukurahundi narrative are not
sufficiently persuaded. Their argument is that as head of the national army
at the time, he surely knew or ought to have known of what was happening in
Property Rights Narrative
The second thread of discontent arises from the white farming community —
that being the constituency most affected by the land reform exercise
carried out over the last ten years. Indeed, the symbolism that the fire
that consumed the General occurred at a farmhouse located on a farm from
which a white commercial farmer was forcibly evicted is too obvious to be
It is not too far-fetched to say that even though it may be considered
uncultural and morally indecent to celebrate someone’s demise, there may
have been others within the dispossessed white farming community saying the
events are an indication that ‘what goes around comes around’. Admittedly
this may be extreme but still, it is a sentiment that cannot be ignored.
Economic Decline Narrative
The third thread is both a combination of the two but includes in addition,
the more generalised view of Zanu PF’s culpability in causing the country’s
poor fortunes after independence and especially in recent years. It is a
narrative that says past heroes have negated the gains of independence
rather than ameliorate the conditions of the people. This is more a
reflection of general opposition and resentment towards Zanu PF so that
anyone who is considered part of the establishment is regarded as an
anti-hero, regardless of what they have achieved in the past. So in the
present case, it is not so much a reaction against the General in his
personal capacity but against the political party in which he was a key
There are important observations to be drawn from these narratives:
First, the nation will forever be burdened by a huge moral dilemma regarding
the champions of liberation from colonialism. Are they heroes at all? To
what extent is heroism overtaken and obfuscated by later deeds that some
people regard as un-heroic?
It seems to me the nation will almost always be divided on this question.
The reactions witnessed this week give a foretaste to the living liberation
champions of what people think of them now and how they will be viewed in
death. Commendably, Zimbabweans largely remain united by the sense of
achievement around the liberation struggle, itself a defining moment in the
country’s biography. But there is also a feeling of betrayal by the
liberation leaders who must do some self-introspection that see if they can
salvage their reputations.
Few, if any will probably manage to garner the kind of support that the
General did on his death – indeed the narratives of discontent, which were
in the minority in this case are probably and will be in the majority and
louder in respect of the remaining liberation leaders. Being alive means
they have a chance, albeit slim, to redeem themselves.
Second, the cries from sections in Matabeleland and the Midlands over the
Gukurahundi atrocities demonstrate that this sore point in the national
psyche cannot be overlooked any longer. There is a genuine feeling of anger
and grief among the people who were affected, either directly or indirectly
by the sordid events of that period. Zanu PF and the national leadership
need to confront this issue and deal with it conclusively.
My observation is that even long after the alleged authors of those events
have departed this world, this matter will forever haunt Zimbabwe. Already
there is ill-feeling among Zimbabweans of a certain generation and this is
evident in the often vitriolic attacks and serious verbal jousting that
takes place in cyberspace among other forums. It’s only a matter of time
before these clashes spill from cyberspace into the physical spaces. The
national leadership needs to take responsibility over this issue.
Third, one also observes an unhealthy tendency to generalise in our
politics, which frequently results in weak understanding and appreciation of
politics in Zimbabwe, even among the general populace. The third
sub-narrative that we have seen above has the weakness that it is too
generalised. When critics argue that the General was part of the
establishment and should have done more, they are not arguing from a
position of information but rather that of speculation and erroneous
Merely that one is in Zanu PF – they have not done enough and they are
always wrong. Conversely, with politics seen through this lens merely
because one is in the popular MDC, therefore he is doing well and is always
right. These are dangerous and disingenuous generalisations. There must be a
reason greater than his liberation war heroics why General Mujuru commanded
respect even among opposition leaders and their supporters. He was seen as a
voice of reason and restraint in the present political climate – able, we
hear, to restrain the extremists within Zanu PF. Perhaps his detractors will
come to appreciate his role more now that he’s gone.
Fourth, no matter the recognised justifications of the land redistribution
exercise there can be no doubt that there is a constituency, however small,
that will forever feel aggrieved by what happened. Despite the political
rhetoric, I do not think even the national leadership is convinced that this
matter is concluded.
Two distinct aspects of the land reform programme need highlighting: first,
there is the issue of the land itself which remains contested both legally
and politically and second is the issue of immovable and movable property on
land, clearly a legal matter that should be easily settled. Even if the
government sticks to its argument that it will not pay for the land itself,
it is impossible to find any serious justification for not adequately
compensating the farmer in respect of buildings and other movable property
such as machinery and livestock which were unjustly expropriated.
I do not see this issue dying out anytime soon and like the Gukurahundi
problem, this matter will spill over the haunt future generations just like
the colonial violations of the 19th century haunted the white settler
community a hundred years later.
Overall, the death of General Mujuru has given us deeper insights into the
psyche of our nation or more specifically, the different aspects of the
There is part of the national psyche that wants to recognise and celebrate
our heroes; an aspect of our psyche that recognises the flaws in men and
women but faithful to the age-old principle of wafawanaka, wants to retain
the beautiful parts and place them above the bad.
There is also part of our psyche that is traumatised by past episodes of
madness and deliberate violation of human freedoms. Here blameworthiness is
collectivised and placed on the shoulders of everyone deemed part of the
then establishment. This itself may not be fair on individuals but it
represents a cry for a matter that requires dealing with.
We have witnessed this week a moral dilemma for the nation. I for one was
swayed by the celebratory aspects not only of the liberation war hero but
also of a man who represented an important counter-balancing factor within
one of Zimbabwe’s most influential political organisations. There is a
collective sense of apprehension of how the void his loss has caused will
I have also, over the last few days, come to understand and appreciate the
narratives of discontent represented by some compartments of the nation. It
would be reckless if we did not attend to those issues. It would be clear
negligence toward future generations if we dismissed them out of hand. It
would be a great legacy if the demise of the military and political giant
caused us to think more deeply and act more decisively on these national
Alex T. Magaisa is based at Kent Law School, University of Kent, and can be
reached at email@example.com
There is a story of a candle that caused a conflagration which incinerated a
celebrated war hero in a house that could well have been fire-proof. It is a
story full of intrigue. It is a story that over the past week has been told
in hushed tones; a story that delves into the macabre details of Zimbabwe’s
political machinations. It is the story of Solomon Mujuru’s death.
Retired Zimbabwean army general Solomon Mujuru, a renowned power broker,
died in a firestorm in a farmhouse which according to its previous owner Guy
Watson-Smith was a “sprawling single-storey building, roofed entirely with
asbestos sheeting” which would have made it “absolutely fire-proof”
Furthermore, we have been told by Watson-Smith that “the walls were brick
and cement. All that could have burnt was roofing timbers and ceilings. To
imagine the fire spreading quickly without help is hard to do”.
Any structural engineer worth his salt will tell you that brick and cement
walls are rated as having high thermal properties. He or she will also be
quick to point out that despite its negative health and environmental side
effects, asbestos is a highly prized building material because of its
resistance to fire, heat, electrical and chemical damage. So under the
circumstances, to surmise that a mere candle could have caused a
conflagration in a house built to withstand the most fierce of blazes,
appears to be an exercise in stretching the truth to its most unimaginable
Then of course, there is the little matter of the bedroom windows, four of
them in total and all of them without burglars, through which the General
could have escaped with ease. One had to be drugged or already dead not to
escape from the seething firestorm.
Given all of this, are the cries among his followers of “murder most foul”
justified? There are several reasons why some are speculating that the
general was taken out. Rarely are businessmen taken out by their rivals.
Mujuru was a wealthy businessman who over the years had amassed immense
wealth in the mining and security sectors plus a portfolio of shares in
various blue chip companies. In a country where the traditional mafia have
failed to penetrate due to the existence of local stalwarts who are fierce
Mafiosos in their own right, a hit motivated by business interests seems
unlikely but cannot altogether be ruled out. The political reasons, however,
are enough to send a chill up one’s spine.
As a kingmaker, Mujuru was a man to be feared both in the flesh and in
absentia. For years he was the power behind Mugabe who owes his rise 31-year
rule to the power broking capabilities of Mujuru. However, there came a time
when the battle-hardened general grew disenchanted with Bob, threw his
energies instead into a plethora of business interests, masterminded the
ascension of his wife to the vice-presidency, and some say, began
strategising the ouster of a dictator behind the scenes.
In 2007, the General was believed to be the convener of a series of meetings
with other senior military commanders and some political leaders whose
intention was to force Mugabe to the polls in 2008 and have him replaced as
president. According to reports at the time,
the general was placed under surveillance “after the CIO handed over a
dossier to the fraud squad accusing him of numerous cases of corruption in
his vast business empire”. The reports go on to state that during this time,
the general was called in for questioning by the police and threatened with
arrest over the corruption allegations. Most people believe that all of this
was meant to intimidate Mujuru in the wake of speculation that he would be
backing Simba Makoni in the March 2008 presidential election.
Solomon Mujuru died in the early hours of August 16 2011 in a firestorm that
engulfed a sturdy and for the most part, fire-resistant farmhouse. A throng
of more than 25 000 people attended his funeral at Heroes Acre on Saturday,
August 20. He was a kingpin among Zimbabwe’s coterie of military strong men,
often referred to as “securocrats” for their role in underwriting Mugabe’s
tenure of dictatorship by guaranteeing the support of the military. That
such a powerful man should die in a random fire accident begs the question
as to whether we have overstated the power of the securocrats in Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, Mugabe continues to outsmart and outlive his “friends” and
enemies alike much to the detriment I am afraid of those who underestimate
Most of my life has been tied up one way or another with cattle and if I was
to choose a career it would be ranching in one of our semi arid regions. It
is a tough life, not very profitable and every five years or so drought
wipes you out. But for all the difficulties, providing you can afford to
sink a large amount of money into a property, it is a great way of life. I
have good memories of working cattle on my godparents ranch when I was still
a young teenager.
An integral part of ranch life is the periodic dipping of cattle to take
care of tick infestation. In the winter months you can probably slip this to
once a month, but in the wet season its every fortnight or even weekly. In
many areas the system used employs a dip tank and I have built many of these
in both tribal and commercial farming districts.
They comprise a concrete lined trench – perhaps 10 metres long and two wide,
deep at one end and then sloping up to the exit where there is a long paved
passage to allow the cattle to drip off when they have been through the dip.
The dip liquid then flows back into the trench or “dip tank” to be reused.
Various chemicals are used and in the early days we used arsenic at a
controlled strength. The objective being to kill the ticks and other
parasites on the animals but not the cattle.
On the ranches the cattle are often pretty wild and we used to have to build
a holding pen for the cattle that was pretty strong and high. A Brahman bull
or cow can clear a two metre high wall with ease if put under pressure. The
same applies to the drainage passage beyond the dip and after that another
holding pen – a bit less robust.
The situation of Zanu PF is pretty similar to the task of managing cattle on
a ranch; painstakingly we have collected them from all over the place and
brought them into a holding pen before dipping. This is what the GPA process
has been all about. In 2006 we stated that we would force Zanu PF into
negotiations, get agreement on conditions for a free and fair election and
then following such a process, supervised by the region, exercise our right
to a democratic transfer of power.
Since Livingstone, Zanu PF has discovered that it is caught in a closed pen
and the only way out is through that dip tank. They have been trying to get
out; attempts at jumping the fence have not proved successful, attempts at
breaking down the gates and getting out back into the grazing area have been
frustrated by the herdsmen outside the kraal.
Inside the kraal is one of the senior herdsmen – he is in there with a
cattle prod and he is using it to force the cattle through the dip. At some
stage one of the animals in the kraal is going to break and take the plunge
and then the others will follow. In the process, the ticks and parasites
that have been feeding on the cattle will be killed and will fall off the
animals and a new and sanitized Zanu PF will emerge on the other side.
The importance of the Livingstone Troika summit, followed by the
extraordinary summit at Sandton and now the ordinary summit of the Heads of
SADC States in Luanda has been that the region has kept Zanu in the pen.
They are not going to allow them to avoid the dip tank and despite every
maneuver, every ploy, every diplomatic effort, Zanu PF has been unable to
break the consensus in the region. I have often said that observers should
not underestimate the commitment of the region to the GPA and the process it
represents. Those of us, who are in the crisis in Zimbabwe, have little or
no choice but to work inside the GPA process in order to make progress.
Up to now, the Zanu PF leadership has believed that they could frustrate the
GPA and find an escape route. Now they know, there is no escape and they
must face up to the fact that they either go through the dip or they
negotiate. My own view is that the pressure to negotiate has been increasing
steadily and that the hard liners, who have in the past forced the
manipulation of the democratic process to stay in power, have been losing
That they are desperate is evident and the death of General Mujuru may well
be connected to this internal struggle in Zanu PF – it’s tough inside the
kraal, big animals and lots of hooves and horns, dangerous for anyone inside
with the cattle. They tried at the Luanda summit to get the senior herdsman
fired; instead the region reinforced his role. The moderates in favor of
reform and negotiations must be very careful; the hardliners are dangerous
and will stop at nothing to get their way.
What can the rest of us do? We can make sure that the dip is of just the
right strength to kill the ticks and not harm the cattle. We can stand
outside the kraal and react when an attempt is made to climb over the walls
or break down the gate. Then when the dipping is done, get the cattle dried
off as quickly as we can and take them once again out to pasture and growth.
Every day in the pens, is lost production and progress and it is the owners
of the Ranch that suffer – the people of Zimbabwe and the SADC region.
I have seen many reports of disappointment about the SADC Luanda summit –
but I think it went to script. Regional leaders stuck to their guns and
treated Morgan Tsvangirai with dignity and respect. They did the same to
Robert Mugabe, but at the same time politely told him that they were not
going to allow him out of the kraal, until dipping was complete. Quite a
scary time for the ticks.
Bulawayo, 20th August 2011
PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEES AND STATUS OF BILLS SERIES
[22nd August 2011]
Public Hearings on Electoral Amendment Bill to Begin 12th September
Parliament has this morning confirmed that its public hearings on the Electoral Amendment Bill will begin on Monday 12th September. The full programme of hearings around the country will be circulated as soon as it becomes available. [Note: Notices suggesting that the public hearings will start on 29th August are incorrect.]
The hearings will be conducted by the House of Assembly Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal Affairs, Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs [chairperson – Hon Douglas Mwonzora, MP; committee clerk – Ms Zenda].
Portfolio and Thematic Committees: No Meetings
These committees will not meet again until after the beginning of the next Session of Parliament on 6th September.
Status of Bills as at 22nd August 2011
Bills Passed and Awaiting Presidential Assent and/or Gazetting as Acts
Small Enterprises Development Corporation Amendment Bill [final reading in the Senate, 12th July]
Deposit Protection Corporation Bill [final reading in the Senate, 2nd August]
Finance Bill [final reading in the Senate, 3rd August]
Bill in the Senate
Public Order and Security Amendment Bill [H.B. 11A, 2009]
Private Member’s Bill introduced by Hon I. Gonese, MDC-T.
Passed by House of Assembly: 8th December 2010 [with amendments] [Electronic version of Bill as amended by House of Assembly available.]
Stage: Second Reading debate in progress
Bills in the House of Assembly
Electoral Amendment Bill [H.B. 3, 2011] [Electronic version available.]
Gazetted: 27th June 2011
Ministry: Justice and Legal Affairs
Portfolio Committee: Justice, Legal Affairs, Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs
Introduced: 25th July 2011
Stage: Awaiting report from Parliamentary Legal Committee
Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Bill [H.B. 2, 2011] [Electronic version available.]
Gazetted: 10th June 2011
Ministry: Justice and Legal Affairs
Portfolio Committee: Justice, Legal Affairs, Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs
Introduced: 12th July 2011
Stage: Awaiting report from Parliamentary Legal Committee
National Incomes and Pricing Commission Amendment Bill [H.B. 10, 2010]
Gazetted: 5th November 2010 [Electronic version available.]
Ministry: Industry and Commerce
Portfolio Committee: Industry and Commerce
Stage: Awaiting Second Reading
Bills Being Considered by Parliamentary Legal Committee [PLC]
Electoral Amendment Bill [H.B. 3, 2011] [Electronic version available.]
Referred to PLC: 25th July, immediately after First Reading in House of Assembly
Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Bill [H.B. 2, 2011] [Electronic version available.]
Referred to PLC: 12th July, immediately after First Reading in House of Assembly
Bill being Printed
Older Persons Bill [H.B. 1, 2011] [Electronic version NOT available.]
Ministry: Labour and Social Welfare
Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied.