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Tsvangirai dismisses draconian indigenisation bill

By Alex Bell
10 February 2010

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has dismissed a draconian indigenisation
bill, published on Tuesday, declaring the 51% black ownership regulations
'null and void.'

The Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment regulations, passed under a two
year old legislation adopted by the ZANU PF government, requires businesses
to inform the government of the racial make-up of their shareholders by
mid-April. From there, the unity government would determine how much of
their shareholding would need to be ceded to 'indigenous' Zimbabweans. The
government would make this choice from a pre-decided list of 'suitable'
indigenous shareholders, and business owners could face jail time if they
don't comply.
But the Prime Minister and MDC leader on Tuesday immediately dismissed the
bill as being of no force, sar 'were gazetted without consultation' of the
unity government. The Prime Minister, who is responsible for the formulation
of all Government policy by Cabinet and the implementation of them, said
that neither he nor Cabinet had reviewed the regulations before they were
"They were published without due process as detailed in the Global Political
Agreement (GPA) and the Constitution and they are therefore null and void,"
the Prime Minister said.
The Regulations were published by the Ministry of Youth Development,
Indigenisation and Empowerment, Saviour Kasukuwere and were due to come into
force on 1 March 2010. A maximum penalty of five years in jail faces any
business owner that misses the mid-April deadline to declare the racial
composition of their companies to the government. The same penalty awaits
whites employers who use black employees as 'fronts,' while Minister
Kasukuwere will keep a list of 'suitable candidates' pre-approved by the
government as indigenous shareholders.
Tsvangirai's spokesman James Maridadi said the Prime Minister "totally
disowns the bill," arguing it doesn't reflect the beliefs and wishes of the
unity government. Maridadi explained that while the Prime Minister is not
against indigenisation policies, he does not support any policy that has the
potential to scare away investors.
"There is need for a balance of policies, between attracting investors and
supporting indigenisation. But this bill does not have that balance,"
Maridadi explained.
Businesses with assets of more than US$500 000 would be affected by the law,
which many believed had been shelved after the ZANU PF government proposed
and drafted it in 2008. Multinational mining companies, like South Africa's
Impala Platinum and Rio Tinto, are seen as most at risk of such
'indigenisation' plans. Last week, Rio Tinto diamonds and minerals chief
executive Harry Kenyon-Slaney, said that "the only threat to our operations
are indigenisation programmes." Such a bill would also further hamper
efforts to encourage foreign investment in the country, efforts already
undermined by the ongoing seizure of commercial land under the guise of land
Economic analyst John Robertson said the bill would see a "massive down-turn
in investment," arguing that "potential donors would prefer to place their
money elsewhere." He explained that this bill has nothing to do with
empowerment of the people, but more to do with 'disempowering' the business
Some observers have argued that this law, targeting businesses, is an
extension of the land grab campaign, a political weapon Robert Mugabe has
used over the years to secure voter support. It is being widely speculated
that the list of 'suitable candidates' for indigenous shareholding under the
law will be a list of cronies and supporters loyal to the Mugabe regime.
Such a list would likely mirror the list of mainly well-connected
beneficiaries of the land grab campaign, which has seen ZANU PF loyalists
secure multiple pieces of farm land.
Robertson echoed these sentiments saying those who "support the government's
policies will be rewarded."
"This bill will achieve disempowerment by taking businesses away from people
who do not support the government and giving power to those who do,"
Robertson said.


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Saviour Kasukuwere’s indigenisation law is racist

Jewish business marked with a Star of David in Nazi Germany

Jewish businesses marked with a Star of David in Nazi Germany

“What do we do when the farms run out?”: this is a big question for Zanu PF and one can understand what a dilemma it is for a party that has few reasonable policies and is forced to buy loyalty and support by apportioning state assets. Legitimising theft has become Zanu PF’s key survival strategy. The orgy of greed has reached utterly disgraceful proportions.

Yesterday, Zanu-PF’s mouthpiece (yes, still speaking for Zanu PF even though there is a power-sharing government) The Herald announced that

Government has gazetted the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment (General) Regulations 2010, which spell out the country’s indigenisation policy and take effect on March 1 this year.

The regulations’ main objective is to achieve 51 percent indigenous shareholding in existing businesses with the owners given a five-year period to comply. [...]

The regulations require that all existing businesses with a threshold of US$500 000 should within 45 days from March 1 2010, declare their shareholding status to the responsible minister through a prescribed form. New businesses will also be required to comply within 60 days. [...]

The article goes on to elaborate on exclusions. According to Saviour Kasukuwere this is not going to scare away investors in Zimbabwe:

Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere has repeatedly told stakeholders that the law was not against foreign investment and neither was it designed to scare away investors.

It had widely been misinterpreted as a way of chasing away foreign investors from Zimbabwe with others saying that it was nationalisation or expropriation of foreign-owned businesses.

Perhaps not appropriation of foreign owned business, but it does look like “appropriation” of white-Zimbabwean owned businesses.

I should say that the word ‘white’ was not been explicitly stated in The Horrid’s article. The only specific reference has been to ‘indigenous groups’ – black Zimbabweans – suggesting that all minority groups in the country are going to be compelled to give up the controlling share of their businesses. Most will assume this policy is mostly geared towards white business though, because we know what Zanu PF’s attitude is towards white minority rights: it doesn’t support them at all.

Our country is turning into a nation where we have ‘Zimbabweans’ and we have ‘White Zimbabweans’. This second category of Zimbabwean citizenship does not have wholesale access to human rights – look at Zanu PF’s recent look at their constitution strategy: caveats and limitations abound. A white Zimbabwean in a Zanu-world will never be allowed to farm in Zimbabwe and now it seems that a white Zimbabwean will never be allowed to have 100% ownership of their own business.

I assume that a black Zimbabwean will not be expected to hand over a controlling share of his or her business to other people? That, you see, would not be politically popular! Besides, is Saviour Kasukuwere likely to support any policy that would strip him of the controlling interest in his personal business empire; note, one specialising in the kind of areas that you do very well in if you have two feet firmly planted on the Zanu gravy train: transport, fuel supplies and banking.

I didn’t sleep last night I was so angry about the blatant racism in this. In the course of an outraged conversation I had today, I asked my non-Zimbabwean friend: “What happens when the businesses run out?”

He very quietly said: “When that happens, they’re going to want to take white-owened houses”. The quietness of his tone made me want to weep.

No matter what Saviour’s public rhetoric is to justify this policy, Zimbabweans know how it works in practice at a grassroots level.

The farm invasions were elaborately draped with language about historical injustices etc and this seduced many good people around the world into believing the Zanu government had a moral agenda. But the reality is that land reform is actually extremely immoral – it turned into a glut-fest among Zanu-elite loyalists: ‘Roll up, roll up: Multiple farms for the big wigs. Come grab yours now!’

Zimbabwe’s experience has been that the people who line up for the Zanu PF brand of so-called empowerment do not expect to pay or contribute or even work for their enrichment.

I imagine the same model will be applied to business-grabbing, and that fills me with horror. In practice, what I imagine and what I fear will happen is the following: a big wig/policeman/judge loyal to Zanu PF will be walking down the pavement and think, ‘Nice business – I want some of that’.

What will follow will be unspeakable harassment: possible violence with Zanu PF youth militia being bussed in to bray and chant on the pavement; violence and destruction of property chucked in for good measure; threats of jail sentences; fear that you and your family will be targeted with reprisals if you resist; court cases that go nowhere; and a loss of everything (after all, why settle for 49% when the Zanu-controlled judiciary and police turn a blind eye to the niceties of the detail of the legislation)?

I spent most of last night thinking about the impact of Zanu policies on minority groups and their human rights, and how our nation is really starting to stink of nasty racism. I also started wondering how the business-grabbers were going to distinguish between the ‘good whites’ – the foreign investors who may also have white skins; and the ‘bad whites’ – the ones who are Zimbabwean.

Maybe, I thought, they’ll need to stick signs on the windows so the business-grabbers know who they can target and who they can’t; after all, its not good for foreign investment if the ‘good whites’ get harrassed by a baying mob, is it? With that thought, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up and I remembered Nazi Germany – the Nazi’s also had a little problem with publically distinguishing between the ‘good Germans’ and the ‘bad Germans’ – the bad Germans, by Nazi logic, being  the Jews.

But Saviour Kasukuwere has already thought of this:

The Ministry of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment will keep a database of persons wishing to identify any indigenous Zimbabwean to acquire a controlling interest or lesser interest in his or her business and indigenous Zimbabweans wishing to partner a non-indigenous investor.

Let’s be clear: this is not a database to show who is willing to yield 51% of their business. It’s not optional: failure to comply means jail. This is a database to publically show the grabbers who to target.

“Yes”, I thought to myself, “if the Nazi’s had had computers, they’d probably have done this too!”

Saviour Kasukuwere is not a man many would respect – fear maybe – but not respect. As far back as 2000 he was involved in orchestrating violence in Mt Darwin. This extract from a human rights report in 2000:

On 25 March, Edward from Pfura Location in Mount Darwin was assaulted. He said he was one of the first victims in his area to be attacked and that over 200 Zanu (PF) youths and war veterans, led by Jacob Juma, were responsible. According to Edward, the attackers had been “grouped at Madondo” by Saviour Kasukuwere, the Zanu (PF) candidate for Mount Darwin. He said: “they had the house numbers of the MDC people” and two others were attacked that day. Edward sustained bruises on the face, whip lashes on the back among other injuries according to his medical report.

He was a member of the feared CIO, and apparently made no effort to conceal that fact. At one point he was vice-president of the Affirmative Action Group (AAG):

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

In July last year, Saviour Kasukuwere was a ringleader involved in leading a revolt against a constitutional conference:

Our witness reported that when Lovemore Moyo started his speech it was none other than Saviour Kasukuwere (see a profile on Kasukuwere here) along with another MP, who started the riotous singing that drowned out the Speaker’s address. ZimOnline have a report corroborating involvement of youths loyal to Kasukuwere and also to Patrick Zhuwawo, Robert Mugabe’s nephew.

In Shona they started singing Zanu PF songs and slogans which include inflammatory words like,

“We are doing what we did in June, winning”
“We are doing away with the Prime Minister”
“Zimbabwe is liberated with blood”

Minister Moyo’s attempts to calm the crowd resulted in him being showered with water, beer and alcohol.

And in December last year, what we all knew already was formally noted when the fact that Saviour Kasukuwere was involved in illegal payments to youth militia in the run up to the 2008 elections was revealed to parliament’s public accounts committee (the militia essentially function as Zanu PF’s version of the ‘Hitler youth’). What were the youth doing then? Torturing, beating and murdering Zimbabwean civilians.

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Talks adjourned to Monday

By Violet Gonda
10 February 2010

The negotiations between ZANU PF and the two MDC formations have been
adjourned to Monday and there is still no official statement on the progress
of the talks.

MDC-M negotiator Welshman Ncube told SW Radio Africa on Wednesday that the
next meeting will be held on Monday because Finance Minister and MDC-T
negotiator Tendai Biti has travelled to Tunisia.

We could not reach the Finance Minister or the ZANU PF negotiators for

The South African facilitation team that has been in Harare since Monday
left on Wednesday after holding meetings with the rivals in government about
the progress of the talks and to evaluate the areas in disagreement.

Ncube would not comment on the outcome of the meetings with the South
Africans or the negotiations, which have been going on for more than a year.
The MDC-M negotiator said he could only say progress has been made on 'some
issues', but that there is no movement on 'other issues'.
Meanwhile, Radio VOP said that the negotiations stalled on Tuesday after the
ZANU PF negotiators refused to make any concessions, claiming that they were
under strict instructions from their party 'not to co-operate,' until
sanctions and foreign radio stations are removed.
On Tuesday, MDC Spokesperson Nelson Chamisa told SW Radio Africa his party
is insisting on a conclusion of these talks, and that the parties either
have to 'agree to move forward or agree to disagree'. He said the South
African facilitation has to either help break the impasse or pronounce the
negotiations deadlocked, and that if there is disagreement, an electoral
framework should therefore be put in place.


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Zimbabwe PM Tsvangirai's MDC Demands Conclusion to Unity Negotiations

Tsvangirai MDC negotiator Elton Mangoma, who is also minister of economic
planning, told VOA that negotiations among the three governing parties were
to resume late Tuesday, but said his party wants to see the a conclusion to
the discussions

Blessing Zulu | Washington 09 February 2010

Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's formation of the Movement for
Democratic said Tuesday that there must be closure soon to talks on the
issues troubling the power-sharing government, has urged that the Southern
African Development Community intervene if there is a deadlock.

Tsvangirai MDC negotiators stated this position to South African
facilitators who arrived in Harare on Monday representing President Jacob
Zuma, the mediator in Zimbabwe on behalf of the regional grouping.

The facilitators met party negotiators on Monday and continued marathon
discussions Tuesday in an effort to break the impasse.

Tsvangirai MDC negotiator Elton Mangoma, minister of economic planning, told
VOA that negotiations among the three governing parties will resume this
evening but said that his grouping wants to see the talks concluded.

Sources in the ZANU-PF party of President Robert Mugabe said however that
they do not want to declare a deadlock, arguing that the MDC must have more
time to work with Western governments to obtain the lifting of sanctions on
President Mugabe and about 200 top ZANU-PF officials and supporters.

ZANU-PF hardliners also want broadcasts from outside the country, such as by
VOA's Studio 7 program, which they call "pirate" radios, to be stopped.

Then there are the core governing issues which have eluded settlement, in
particular who runs the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and the Office of the
Attorney General, and appointments of provincial governors.

Political analyst Charles Mangongera told VOA reporter Blessing Zulu that
Zimbabweans are becoming impatient with nonstop political bickering.

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Zimbabwe Government Workers Strike Draws 75% Participation, Unions Say

Zimbabwe Teachers Association Chief Executive Officer Sifiso Ndlovu said
public servants had urged the government to raise funds for salary increases
by marketing the diamonds coming out of the controversial Marange field

Gibbs Dube & Patience Rusere | Washington 09 February 2010

Representatives of Zimbabwe's striking civil servants said Tuesday that at
least 75 percent of the work force has joined the industrial action since

Deputy Executive Secretary Jeremiah Bvirindi of the Public Service
Association of Zimbabwe said the majority of striking workers were in
Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare, Masvingo, Gweru and a number of smaller towns.

VOA was unable to reach Public Service Minister Eliphas Mukonoweshuro or any
other government official qualified to comment on the situation.

Bvirindi told VOA Studio 7 reporter Gibbs Dube that the government has not
tabled new salary offers since the strike was declared.

Zimbabwe Teachers Association Chief Executive Officer Sifiso Ndlovu said
public servants had urged the government to raise funds for salary increases
by marketing the diamonds coming out of the controversial Marange field in
Manicaland province, scene of alleged rights abuses and corruption.

"The government should not tell us that it does not have money, instead they
have to tell us that they are in the process of looking for buyers of
diamonds in order to finance the civil service salary bill," said Ndlovu.

Analysts said strike threatened the economy and the fragile unity

Civil Society Monitoring Mechanism Coordinator Dzimbabwe Chimbga told VOA
Studio 7 reporter Patience Rusere that the strike could scare away investors
and further delay the process of constitutional revision.

Chimbga, whose organization was constituted to monitor the government's
performance, said the strike reflected its failure to deliver results.

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Zimbabwe's MDC Charges Continued Police Harassment Under Unity Gov't

Tsvangirai MDC Legal Affairs Secretary Innocent Gonese said the complaint
was filed because police are still misinterpreting provisions of the Public
Order and Security Act, also known as POSA

Jonga Kandemiiri | Washington 09 February 2010

Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change
has filed a complaint with the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee
intended to follow compliance with the country's power-sharing agreement,
charging "wanton arrests and harassment" of its members.

The party said more than 50 of its members were arrested in January.

JOMIC Communications Manager Joram Nyathi said the panel's current chairman,
Industry Minister Welshman Ncube of the MDC formation led by Deputy Prime
Minister Arthur Mutambara, had received the complaint.

Tsvangirai MDC Legal Affairs Secretary Innocent Gonese, the party's chief
whip in the House of Assembly, told VOA Studio 7 reporter Jonga Kandemiiri
that the party filed the complaint because the police are still
misinterpreting provisions of the Public Order and Security Act, also known
as POSA.

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Army chaplain turns funeral into anti-Tsvangirai rally

By Tichaona Sibanda
10 February 2010

 An army chaplain from the Presidential Guard last week turned a funeral
held for one of his soldiers into an anti-MDC protest, chanting slogans in
support of ZANU PF and denouncing Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

What started as a solemn and sombre service at Corporal Clever Huruve's
burial was interrupted by a torrent of denounciations of the MDC and its
leader. Tsvangirai was notified of the incident at a golf match in Harare
last Saturday and has promised to look into the matter.

This incident took place at the homestaed of the Huruve family at Madamombe
village near Mandamambwe business centre in Chivi, Masvingo province.

Many among those gathered to say farewell to the Presidential Guard soldier
were left shocked at the manner in which the military police and chaplain
openly displayed menacing attitudes towards MDC supporters. One of them,
Ephert Chikozha wore an MDC T-shirt which did not go down well with the
chaplain, a warrant officer by rank.

"Pamberi neZANU PF," (forward with ZANU PF), "pasi naTsvangirai," (down with
Tsvangirai) is how the chaplain began his funeral rites. His chants were
greeted with a frosty silence and a few jeers from those gathered.

Headman Isiah Pfenemene told SW Radio Africa on Wednesday it was at this
juncture that the chaplain asked the red beret military police to eject
Chikozha from the funeral. Pfenemene bore the full brunt of the chaplain's
expletive-laden rant when he vehemently protested to the orders.

"His ranting provoked a huge backlash from the mourners who argued they had
come to a funeral, and not a political rally. The chaplain went into a rage
and launched a kung-fu style kick at my head, knocking off my hat in the
process. I was saved from further harm by the corporal's family who came to
my aid," Pfenemeni said.

As the situation degenerated into chaos, other soldiers present drew their
weapons and pointed them at the mourners in an apparent show of force.
Headman Pfenemene claimed the heavy handedness behaviour of the military
left villagers traumatised.

"To my and everyone's astonishment, the chaplain, an ordained member of the
clergy, who is supposed to provide religious services and support to armed
forces members and their families in difficult periods, promised vengeance
against the people of Chivi,' Pfenemene said.

"With incredible boldness he told everyone at the funeral they were only
waiting for the World Cup finals to be done with in South Africa before they
unleash another wave of terror. I will tell you, people are terrified here
in Chivi. We know what they're capable of and we've seen it all here in the
province. But we didn't expect that kind of language in this day and age of
an inclusive government," the headman added.

Pfenemene said they made a report to police at Mandamabwe. He said if an
investigation was to be carried out, he would be happy to identify the
chaplain as well as the soldiers who drew their guns at the funeral.

The country's military, which has strong ties to Robert Mugabe and ZANU PF,
is known to initiate coordinated election violence to eliminate perceived
supporters of the MDC in the country.  Aided by ZANU-PF youth militia and
war veterans, the soldiers have in the past run a campaign of terror to
violently crush the MDC party in rural areas, while also silencing any
dissent or support in the major cities and towns.


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CIO splash out US$5 million on 200 vehicles

By Lance Guma
10 February 2010

The country's notorious Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) is reported
to have purchased an unspecified number of Nissan twincab trucks for as yet
unexplained reasons. Lionel Saungweme our correspondent in Bulawayo reports
that each CIO 'district' was given 5 vehicles to use in their operations.
Initial estimates put the number of cars bought at around 200, meaning the
agency splashed out approximately US$5 million, at US$25 000 per car.

Such expenditure would have been enough to pay each of the country's 230 000
civil servants an extra US$22 each for one month. Saungweme reports that 4
of these trucks (3 white and 1 grey), whose registration numbers start with
ABM, are already in use and parked outside the CIO provincial headquarters
at Magnet House in Bulawayo. Information remains sketchy but sources with
links in the agency confirmed the vehicles were assembled in South Africa
and the CIO took delivery of them in January.
Coincidentally, South African Police Services National Commissioner Bheki
Cele was in Zimbabwe in January. During his visit he met Police Commissioner
Augustine Chihuri in Harare, and spoke about the need for all forces in
Africa to work together to weed out crime. Many linked Cele's visit with
security preparations for the World Cup in South Africa and our source says
it was even thought the cars given to the CIO were meant to be part of some
joint security project between the two countries.
Co-Home Affairs Minister Giles Mutsekwa denied any knowledge of the vehicle
purchases. He however said the CIO budget fell under the Presidents Office
and was not subject to any parliamentary scrutiny or audit. "These are some
of the things we need to change," he added.
The developments will worry members of the MDC and other activists in civil
society who have been subject to abductions and torture by the CIO using
similar trucks. With the coalition government having run into a deadlock
over the way forward and talk of a possible election in 2011 the purchase of
these cars will fuel suspicions. This has also not been helped by the
gradual deployment of youth militia and the maintenance of torture bases
around the country by elements loyal to Mugabe's regime.

Meanwhile, expenditure by the CIO remains shrouded in secrecy. Recently a
Sunday Times report disclosed how members of the spy agency guarding Mugabe
on his overseas trip rake in US$5000 a day in allowances. When Mugabe
traveled to Switzerland last year in October a CIO team of 6 men and 1 woman
were paid the huge allowances to keep him safe. For 10 days in Switzerland
they accumulated a total of US$50 000 each in cash allowances.

A similar trip by Mugabe to Italy saw his security guards receive the same
amount of money, while other members from the 60-strong delegation raked in
US$2000 each per day. The trip to Italy cost taxpayers a total of US$1,4
million. The reports said large sums of money are still being extracted from
the budget and placed at Mugabe's disposal, using all sorts of scams to
circumvent the Finance Minister Tendai Biti. Biti meanwhile called for
restraint after revealing that £18m was spent on foreign travel alone in 10


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Zimbabwe government appeals court ruling

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Staff Writer

The Zimbabwe government is appealing a Monday court ruling in which a
Magistrate's court dropped two of the three counts that Botswana wildlife
officers were facing in the country.

The officers were facing charges of entering the country illegally,
smuggling a vehicle into the country, and possession of firearms and
ammunition without a licence. They were fined USD100 each for illegal entry
into the country, while the other charges were dropped.

The three officers were released yesterday but the vehicle and firearms were
confiscated so they could be used as evidence in the appeal case, said
Botswana Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Gladys Kokorwe. The three officers spent
their last night in jail on Monday after the acquittal, as they had to wait
for immigration officials to escort them to the border. They were arrested
on January 19, after they accidentally crossed into the country while
tracking lions that had been terrorising farmers at Lesoma village along the

Speaking on the issue yesterday principal public relations officer for the
Department of Wildlife and National Parks, Archibald Ngakaagae said that the
three officers are expected in Gaborone in the next two days where they will
undergo counseling, medical checkups and be given days off.

Meanwhile the Zimbabwe Minister of Home Affairs, Kembo Mohadi told a press
conference this week that Botswana was overreacting to the issue, which he
said was an administrative one.

An online news agency said that the minister cited two police officers from
their country who were arrested last year for accidentally crossing into the
country and they were tried and acquitted by the court here. He stated that
they wanted to allow their courts to do their work without interference from

"As the Zimbabwean government, we have no intentions of straining relations
between ourselves and Botswana because we share the same border and we
belong to the same continent," the agency quoted Mohadi as saying.

"That is a good statement and I hope it could be followed in action,"
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Phandu Skelemani
responded. He said that the Botswana government still has faith that
relations could be normalised through dialogue.

He confirmed that the two governments will engage in talks on the 22nd of
this month at Victoria Falls during which "all security matters including
the border issue" will be discussed. He stated that they have not reported
the matter to the Southern Africa Development Community because of the
belief that things could still be normalised.

The Botswana government has already recalled its military and intelligence
officers attached to its embassy in Harare and announced that it expects
Zimbabwe to do the same before end of this month.

Skelemani said that the outcome of the talks will determine whether the two
governments can reinstate the military, and intelligence attachZs to the


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Treaty will protect South African investors in Zimbabwe

February 10, 2010

A bilateral investment treaty signed recently between SA and Zimbabwe will
protect future investors where expropriation and compensation are involved,
a law firm said on Wednesday.

"The treaty offers South Africans with investments in Zimbabwe the best
protection yet," Werksmans Attorneys director Roger Wakefield said in a

"There is no doubt that this provision gives South African investors much
more clout to protect their assets in Zimbabwe."

The treaty protected investors affected by expropriation after November 27,
2009, the date on which the agreement was signed.

"Although it does not assist South Africans who have already lost
investments in Zimbabwe, the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection
Agreement does at least provide protection [in future]."

According to the treaty investments may not be nationalised or expropriated,
except for public purposes, under due process of the law, on a
non-discriminatory basis and for prompt, adequate and effective

"Secondly, any investor affected by expropriation will have the right to
state their case in a court of law or other independent and impartial

It also gives investors the right to settle disputes with the government of
the host country by turning to the Washington-based International Centre for
the Settlement of Investment Disputes.

On Friday the High Court in Johannesburg ordered the South African
government to compensate Free State farmer Crawford von Abo for property
seized from him in Zimbabwe.

Local authorities had failed to provide diplomatic protection when Mugabe's
government seized 11 of Von Abo's farms in Zimbabwe.

Although damages had yet to be calculated, they could amount to R500

Von Abo, who began farming in Zimbabwe 50 years ago, was arrested for
"trespassing" on his main farm in 1997. He spent time in a Zimbabwean jail
as ruling party Zanu-PF cracked down on white farmers and expropriated their

Wakefield said a bilateral treaty, legally binding on two governments,
carried much more weight than other mechanisms, such as the SADC tribunal,
"which have to date proved toothless in enforcing compensation orders".

In November 2008, the tribunal ruled the Zimbabwean government had
wrongfully removed 78 white farmers from their land. It ordered the
government to compensate the farmers for their losses.

The Zimbabwean government however refused to comply, saying the tribunal had
no authority over Zimbabwe. In September last year Zimbabwe formally
withdrew from the tribunal's jurisdiction. - Sapa

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Health system in 'high dependence unit': Minister

by Sebastian Nyamhangambiri Wednesday 10 February 2010

HARARE - Zimbabwe's Health Minister Henry Madzorera on Tuesday acknowledged
improvements in the country's health delivery system but said it is still in
"high dependence unit" and would remain so until the international community
chips in with more funding.

"Our health delivery system is no longer in comma. It came out of the comma,
the ICU (intensive care unit), and it is now out of hospital. It is in the
streets," Madzorera told ZimOnline after receiving radio communication
system from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and funded by
the European Commission Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO) to help
Zimbabwean rural health centres combat cholera.

"But it remains in high dependence unit. We still have some areas that we
still need to work on such as effective reduction of epidemiology diseases
and improving primary health care system," he added.

Zimbabwe's health delivery system is, like most social services in the
country, is still recovering since formation of a fragile coalition
government last year following a decade of crippling economic decline under
President Robert Mugabe's previous administration.

Nurses and doctors earn below $200 a month and use mostly sub-standard
equipment, while public hospitals do not have adequate stocks of medicines.

These conditions have shattered the health personnel's morale and the
government has said it does not have money to raise civil service salaries
by a substantial amount.

Receiving the equipment from IOM, Madzorera said the government had
contained the cholera outbreak in the 2009/2010 rainy season better than the
previous season with only five lives lost and 149 people affected to date.

Last year the cholera epidemic - that the World Health Organisation (WHO)
labelled the worst in Africa in more than 15 years - killed 4 288
Zimbabweans out of 98 592 infections.

The situation could have been worse had it not been for international aid
agencies which moved in to rescue the situation.

IOM said one of the major challenges encountered in the 2008/2009 cholera
outbreak in Zimbabwe was inadequate communication between rural health
centres and the district level.

This resulted in slow reporting, slow responses, and diminished capacity at
the rural health facility level to respond and treat cases, due to the
difficulty of relaying their supply needs to the district level given the
poor communication network in Zimbabwe.

IOM donated radio communications system worth R1,2 million which will be
used at 10 border posts and approximately 50 health centres throughout eight
border area districts in fighting cholera.

IOM chief of mission in Zimbabwe Marcelo Pisani said his organisation was
committed to partner the government and other stakeholders "to grapple with
the multi-faceted migration challenges facing Zimbabwe".

"As high population mobility has the potential to lead to widespread
transmission of certain infectious diseases, it is therefore essential to
incorporate strong public health interventions targeting this vulnerable
population into the overall national strategy in order to mitigate potential
risks and to allow for efficient and effective response and control efforts
addressing the emergence of diseases of public health concern," said Pisani.

"In recent years Zimbabwe has experienced an influx in population mobility
with people travelling throughout the country and across borders in search
of employment and livelihood opportunities. Irregular migrants and other
mobile populations often lack adequate access to health services, and
therefore generally only receive emergency medical assistance and may be
overlooked for communicable diseases and chronic conditions."

Madzorera said he hoped that IOM would also chip-in with assistance for TB
analysis at Zimbabwe's border posts adding; "A highly mobile population has
plenty of health problems."

The donated communication equipment will be distributed in border areas
including Hurungwe, Mbire, Mt Darwin, Mudzi, Mutare, Chipinge, Chimanimani
and Chiredzi.

Each district will get the equipment it needs to bridge the communication
gap between rural health centres and district hospitals.

The equipment will help the public health system to respond faster to
cholera and other disease outbreaks, and to control their spread. -

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Industrialists urge full implementation of GPA

by Andrew Moyo Wednesday 10 February 2010

HARARE - Zimbabwe's apex industrial body, the Business Council of Zimbabwe
(BCZ) called on President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's
12-month-old coalition government to resolve sticking points to the shaky
power-sharing agreement to reignite foreign investor confidence in the
country's ailing economy.

The BCZ, which includes the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe, the Chamber of
Mines of Zimbabwe, the Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) and the Zimbabwe
Council for Tourism said it was both worried and surprised that one year
after the agreement was sealed promising to institute reforms, farm
invasions had hit alarming levels, controversial mining laws were still to
be finalised and government was pinning hopes on a soccer tournament in
another country to revive its own economy.

It said critical offshore capital was still on hold for the
capital-intensive mining sector, while investor confidence in farming had
remained low because the three political parties in the power-sharing
government appeared to be putting self-interest ahead of national interest.

"The economy now requires significant investment across the board for the
next phase to increase GDP," the BCZ said on Monday in a report compiled
after its first 2010 meeting on January 20.

"It is going to be difficult to grow the economy without capital injections.
Capital will flow into the country once a stable political and economic
environment is put in place. To reduce the perceived risk of Zimbabwe as an
investment destination, the political parties are urged to put interest of
the nation ahead of their own interests and conclude the matters related to
the full implementation of the GPA so that they can start talking with one
voice," the BCZ said.

Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Deputy Premier Arthur Mutambara signed the global
political agreement (GPA) in September 2008 leading to the formation of the
government of national unity last February. The administration has done well
to halt rampant inflation and set the economy on the recovery path but its
efforts continue to be hampered by unending squabbles over full
implementation of the GPA and failure to attract direct foreign investment.

"Council noted the uncertainties generated by the delayed finalisation of
the amendments to the Mines and Minerals Act and workable indegenisation and
economic empowerment framework for the capital intensive mining industry.
The view expressed was that the benefits of the 2010 World Cup are over
exaggerated. The tournament is happening in South Africa and not in
Zimbabwe. Council felt there should be more energy put into attending to the
more fundamental issues such as infrastructure, education and agriculture,
added the statement.

"Council urges all those involved in the finalisation of indegenisation and
economic empowerment to be pragmatic and realistic in view of the need to
attract capital into the industry," it added.

In the past few weeks, fresh farm invasions have been reported in Zimbabwe's
volatile commercial farming sector with the Zimbabwe Tobacco Association
saying in January at least 50 of its remaining 150 members in Zimbabwe faced
eviction by the end of April if government presses ahead with its

The BCZ, in its first full report following its formation in mid-2009, said
it was surprised that a government publicly showing thirst for investments
would continue to evict farmers.

"Council expressed surprise and worry at the continued reported farm
disturbances. This affects confidence building for both local and foreign
investors. It was observed that confidence among farmers, including new
farmers, remains low."

The industrial body said substantial efforts had to be put in place during
2010 to improve power supply and it would be working with ZESA Holdings in
planning and implementing an investment programme for the power sector. -

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The rot started many years ago: Gubbay

by Justice Anthony Gubbay Wednesday 10 February 2010

The progressive erosion of the rule of law in independent Zimbabwe, Third
International Rule of Law Lecture:

Bar of England and Wales, Inner Temple Hall, London

Wednesday 9 December 2009

The Honourable Justice Anthony R Gubbay

When several months ago I received an invitation to deliver the third annual
International Rule of Law lecture, I was not only surprised, but extremely
delighted. It is an honour and a privilege for one whose career in the law
began, and ended, in a country many thousands of miles away, whose system of
law is founded on old Roman Dutch principles, to have been chosen to grace
this auspicious occasion. Yet, it is an undeniable fact that whatever system
of law is applicable, whether it is the English common law, the Napoleonic
Code, my own, or that of other countries, the rule of law forms an essential
foundation in any democratic system of governance. It is a concept of
universal validity and application. It embraces those institutions and
principles of justice which are considered minimal to the assurance of human
rights, and the dignity of man.

Although there is a wide variety of jurisprudential thought on the complex
concept of the rule of law, it is generally accepted that a society in which
the rule of law prevails is one in which a climate of legality, observance
of the law and an effective judiciary, are evident. It is a society in which
no man is punishable, or can be made to suffer bodily or proprietary loss,
except for a breach of the law as established by ordinary courts of the
land. It does not mean the protection of vested interests, or unfair
exploitation in society. It means the emancipation of the spirit of
humankind from coercive constraints of fear, inequality and want. It
requires that everyone should be subject to the law equally, and that no one
should be above the law; that law enforcement agencies and the courts
enforce and apply the law impartially.

Rule of law

The rule of law is the antithesis of the existence of wide, arbitrary and
discretionary powers in the hands of the executive. It is a celebration of
individual rights and liberties, and all the values of a constitutional
democracy, characterised by the absence of unregulated executive or
legislative power. It is a society in which the rule of law is observed,
through the mechanism of judicial review. Executive decisions and
legislative enactments, outside the framework of the law, are declared
invalid, thereby compelling both the executive and the legislature to submit
to enjoyment, by the individual, of all rights and liberties guaranteed by
the constitution.

An independent judiciary and legal profession are critical elements of the
rule of law. The bedrock of a constitutional democracy is an independent
judiciary. A judiciary which is not independent from the executive and
legislature renders the checks and balances inherent in the concept of
separation of powers ineffective.

Avowed policy

It is a matter of concern that during the eight-year period preceding the
recent formation of the coalition government in Zimbabwe, the avowed policy
of the executive was to appoint as judges to both the Supreme and High
Courts, persons known to be sympathetic to its political ideology. In this
it has been successful. The Supreme Court soon lost four of its five judges,
with its composition being increased to eight; it is now six. The High Court
lost eight of its judges, most of who resigned in the face of personal
adversity. The vast majority of all the judges, including the Chief Justice,
perceiving the unending land invasions as a political and not a legal issue,
have gratefully accepted free occupation of large tracts of the most
productive agricultural land, expropriated from white commercial farmers. In
so doing they have compromised their judicial independence, seemingly
pre-judged the legality of the fast-track land programme and associated
issues, and seriously breached the rule of law, which they are oath bound to
protect and enforce.

Moreover, about two years ago, it was widely reported that the Reserve Bank
of Zimbabwe had supplied judges with flat screen television sets, satellite
decoders and generators, at no charge. A payment or perquisite accepted by a
judge from any source other than the treasury inevitably raises the taint of
undue influence. (Political interference with the judiciary was confirmed in
the 2004 report to the International Council of Advocates and Barristers,
entitled 'The State of Justice in Zimbabwe', by a team of eminent jurists,
chaired by Stephen Irwin QC. At the end of October 2009, Desmond Browne QC
led a fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe on the ability of lawyers and judges
to exercise their professional duties independently. The report is due

Constitution of Zimbabwe

The Constitution of Zimbabwe places particular significance on the rule of
law, specifically in the context of Chapter III rights. So, for instance,
the rule of law is encapsulated in the preamble to the Declaration of
Rights. Section eleven, which constitutes the 'the key or umbrella provision'
of Chapter III, provides:

"Whereas persons in Zimbabwe are entitled, subject to the provisions of this
Constitution, to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual
specified in this Chapter, and whereas it is the duty of every person to
respect and abide by the Constitution and the laws of Zimbabwe, the
provisions of the Chapter shall have effect for the purpose of affording
protection of those rights and freedoms subject to such limitations on that
protection as are contained herein, being limitations designed to ensure
that the enjoyment of the said rights and freedoms by any person does not
prejudice the public interest or the rights and freedoms of other persons."

This means that conduct negatively impacting on the constitutional rights of
an individual may only be embarked upon in so far as such impacting is
constitutionally permitted, and subject to the Constitution and other laws
of Zimbabwe. Conduct that infringes constitutional rights, but which is not
constitutionally authorised is, therefore, unlawful.

Zimbabwean law

The importance of curial supervision and compliance with court orders is
likewise deeply entrenched in Zimbabwean law. As the Supreme Court held over
two decades ago:

"When the executive ignores the orders and judgments of the courts there is
the inevitable breakdown of law and order, resulting in uncivilised chaos
because the courts cannot enforce their own orders. Their jurisdiction and
duty end after the delivery of judgment. The history of this case leans more
towards that which is undesirable than that which is desirable in order to
uphold the rule of law."

In Rhodesia (as Zimbabwe was known prior to independence), especially under
the Smith government, the rule of law was often not observed. The
declaration of rights, in a series of constitutional enactments, was not
justiciable. Fundamental human rights were violated with impunity. The
legislature and the executive were able to deny indigenous people their
political rights. A system of inequality, similar to apartheid, was in
existence. Many legislative enactments were instruments of violation of
human rights. Elaborate legislation, which seriously infringed rights,
freedoms and liberties, was in place. The law lacked legitimacy in that it
was not enacted by representatives of the population as a whole. Although
judicial review existed, its reach and significance were limited. The
legislature, not the law, was supreme. It was not rooted in democratic
values. Accordingly, the fundamental basis for a constitutional democracy
and observance of the rule of law was absent.

Zimbabwe attained legitimate independence from Britain, and became a
Republic in the British Commonwealth, on 18 April 1980. On the same day the
Constitution (created at the Lancaster House Conference, towards the end of
the previous year) came into force. It contains a justiciable Declaration of
Rights. Chief among the rights protected are the right to life; the right to
personal liberty; the right to freedom of conscience, expression, assembly
and association; the right not to be subjected to torture or inhuman or
degrading punishment or treatment; the right to be afforded a fair trial
within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial court; the right to
freedom from discrimination on the ground of race; and the right to
protection from deprivation of property.

Early years of independence

In the early years of independence the main area of conflict between the
judiciary and the executive involved cases of detention without trial; that
is, a deprivation of liberty permitted, subject to certain conditions under
the law of Zimbabwe, during a declared period of public emergency. The state
of emergency, which had been declared by the Smith government at its
unilateral declaration of independence on 11 November 1965 and extended
repeatedly every six months, was kept in force by the new government for 10

The first blatant failure to comply with court orders occurred in the case
of the York brothers. In January 1982, two farmers, the York brothers, were
arrested and charged with the illegal possession of arms of war. The state's
most important witness left the country before the trial. A statement made
by one of the accused to the police, apparently admitting the crime, was
ruled by the trial court to be inadmissible, because it had been made as a
result of police threats to arrest his family. The state case collapsed and
the brothers were acquitted. The government, however, ordered their
immediate detention. The High Court held that the detention was illegal as
the state had failed to comply with the conditions of detention. The
brothers were then re-detained on fresh detention orders, but had to be
released a second time as the orders still did not comply with the necessary
conditions. Again they were re-detained in terms of new orders.

It was only after this third attempt that the High Court ruled that the
detention orders were validly made. The spurious reasoning advanced was that
they were being held under 'investigative' detention as opposed to
"preventive" detention. Hence those rights guaranteed by the Constitution as
applicable to preventive detention were not available to the detainees. Not
unexpectedly this decision was criticised as being an exercise in semantics.

Series of mistakes

On the plain facts there was no conflict between the executive and the
judiciary. The Minister of Home Affairs, responsible for the police, had
made a series of mistakes, and the courts were unable to uphold the
detentions until those mistakes had been rectified. However, a statement
made by the minister to the court during the second detention hearing,
declaring that no information would be forthcoming as to where the detainees
were being held, even in the face of a court order to that effect, was
indicative of just such a conflict. The same minister, speaking in
Parliament, accused the judiciary of dispensing 'injustice by handing down
perverted pieces of judgment which smack of subverting the people's
government'. He went on to attack the legal profession as a whole in the
following paranoid terms:

"We are aware that certain legal practitioners are in receipt of moneys as
paid hirelings, from governments hostile to our own order, in the process of
seeking to destabilise us, to create a state of anarchy through the
inherited legal apparatus. We promise to handle such lawyers using the
appropriate technology that exists in our law and order section. This should
succeed in breaking up the unholy alliance between the negative bench, the
reactionary legal practitioners and governments hostile to us, some of whose
representatives are in this country."

The statement clearly represented a threat to both the independence of the
judiciary and the rule of law. Members of the law society met the Minister
of Justice to express their concern. The Chief Justice, after consulting the
Minister of Justice, also issued a statement expressing concern at the
attack upon the judiciary and the legal profession. The Minister of Justice
himself put out a press release to the effect that the government recognised
the role which an independent judiciary is to play in the sustenance of
democratic order; and that it was government's belief that the executive and
judiciary should complement each other in the fulfilment of their functions.

Government's position

Although the statement of the Minister of Justice contained much that could
be seen as recognising and supporting the independence and effectiveness of
the judiciary, confusion remained as to the exact nature of the government's
position on the issue. This was because a few days earlier Prime Minister
Mugabe had said in Parliament:

"The government cannot allow the technicalities of the law to fetter its
hands in what is a very clear task before it, to preserve law and order in
the country. We shall, therefore, proceed as government in a manner we feel
as fitting; and some of the measurers we shall take are measures which will
be extra legal."

Taking extra-legal measures meant disobeying the law. The words clearly
conveyed that it was government's policy to disobey the law whenever it
considered such disobedience necessary for the preservation of law and

With the knowledge of hindsight, I do not believe that this criticism and
disobedience of the judiciary by the executive can be dismissed as mere
teething trouble - as the manifestation of a newly elected government
flexing its muscles after emerging from a lengthy period of oppression under
white minority rule.

A further controversial episode occurred in 1983, when six white officers of
the Zimbabwe air force were charged with being involved in a serious
sabotage attack on an air force base. The only evidence against them was
signed confessions which they alleged were obtained as a result of torture.
The trial judge found that all the accused were denied access to their legal
representatives prior to making the confessions; and also that the
confessions were made as a result of fear after sustained physical and
mental torture. Accordingly, he held that the confessions were inadmissible,
and the accused were acquitted. They were placed in preventive detention
immediately upon release, but only for a short period. They were then
deported from the country.

An appeal by the Attorney-General to the Supreme Court which, as it
happened, was comprised of three white judges, all appointed prior to 1980
(I was one of them), was dismissed. That decision was condemned by the
Minister of Home Affairs. He accused the judges of "class bias and racism".
No contradiction of that false statement was made by any other minister, or
by the Attorney-General.

Detention without trial

There is little doubt that during this early period the frequent use of
detention without trial, both in instances where the courts had previously
acquitted the detainees, and to circumvent the judicial process, amounted to
an erosion of the rule of law. So did the government's stance in simply
ignoring court orders to pay damages to victims (considered to be political
enemies) of human rights violations. Since the State Liabilities Act
prohibits execution, or attachment or process in the nature thereof, against
state property, there is no legal remedy against such refusal. Furthermore,
damage awards cannot be enforced through contempt orders. Thus, whether or
not to compensate is left to the state's discretion.

In 1988 the case that brought the judiciary into conflict with the
legislature was that involving the former prime minister of Rhodesia, Ian
Smith. The facts were simply that, as a member of Parliament, Smith had been
found guilty of contempt of Parliament in respect of utterances he had made
in South Africa in support of apartheid policies, and in opposition to the
imposition of economic sanctions against South Africa. He was suspended from
service of Parliament for one year and, in addition, declared disentitled to
receive salary and allowances during that period. Smith applied to the High
Court for an order declaring unlawful the punishment depriving him of his
remuneration. At the hearing, the Speaker produced a certificate which
sought to stay the proceedings on the ground of parliamentary privilege. The
High Court came to the conclusion that the Speaker's certificate was
conclusive and stayed the proceedings. On appeal, the Supreme Court had no
hesitation in holding the decision to be wrong. First, it was pointed out
that when a certificate from the Speaker is produced, stating that the
matter is one of parliamentary privilege, the court must examine the
certificate in order to establish the legitimacy of the privilege claimed;
and secondly, that the monetary deprivation imposed was illegal and in
conflict with the Constitution. That part of the punishment (but not the
suspension) was set aside.

Legislature is supreme

The Speaker was furious. He refused to recognise and give effect to the
Supreme Court judgment. He maintained that no court of law can question a
decision made by Parliament. He said that he would not pay Smith unless
Parliament reversed its decision to suspend him without pay. He suggested
that Parliament might have to "liberate itself from the Supreme Court
judges; that the judiciary should not interfere with the legislature because
the legislature in all Commonwealth countries is supreme". These statements
could not be allowed to go unchallenged. The Supreme Court judges, the Bar
Council and the Law Society, expressed concern at the attitude of the
Speaker which sought to undermine the authority of the court. It was said:

"The judiciary is the watchdog of the country's constitution. If the
legislature or the executive can disregard it at will, there is no way that
the people's rights can be guaranteed. We may as well tear up that document
we call our constitution."

It was only after he had sought and obtained the authority of Parliament
that the Speaker paid Smith. He refused to back down. So the conflict was
finally resolved.

Clearly, the gravest abuse of law and order, during the first decade of the
country's independence, occurred in the Matabeleland and Midlands provinces.
A purported threat of "dissident" ex-guerrilla fighters led to a
counter-insurgency war, commonly known as the "Gukurahundi" (the word refers
to the first rain of summer that washes away the chaff from the previous
season). In official operations by the national army's notorious North
Korean trained fifth brigade, which was directly responsible to Robert
Mugabe, several thousands of innocent civilians were massacred or simply
disappeared. Some estimates put the number at up to 10 000 civilians.
Thousands more were arbitrarily detained, brutally assaulted and often
tortured. In a 1982 speech to Parliament, Mugabe accurately presaged the
violence in these words:

"An eye for an eye and an ear for an ear may not be adequate in our
circumstances. We might very well demand two ears for one ear and two eyes
for one eye."

Unanimous vote in Parliament

For the initial 10 years of its life the Declaration of Rights in the
Constitution of Zimbabwe could only amended by a unanimous vote in
Parliament. Not surprisingly there were no amendments to any of the rights
provisions. From 11 May 1990, however, amendments to the Declaration of
Rights, as well as any other provision of the Constitution, may be passed
upon a vote by two-thirds of the members of Parliament.

During the period 1991-2000 the Parliament of Zimbabwe passed several
amendments to the Declaration of Rights to the disadvantage of the
individual. In early 1991 Parliament passed Constitution of Zimbabwe
Amendment (No.11). Two saving provisions were added to section 15 (1) (the
protection against inhuman or degrading punishment or other such treatment).
The first enacts that corporal punishment inflicted upon a male under the
age of 18 years shall not be held to be inhuman or degrading. This amendment
effectively overruled the decision of the Supreme Court. It also runs
counter to article 5 of the African Charter of Human and People's rights and
to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The second
provision specifically allows sentence of death to be carried out by the
method of hanging. The reason for this amendment was that the Supreme Court
had been due to hear a test case in which argument was to be presented on
the question of whether execution by hanging was a violation of section 15
(1). Both the State and the defence had been required to adduce evidence as
to the reliability of the various procedures and precautions adopted in
execution by hanging; and to address the physical pain and mental anguish to
which the condemned person is subjected by such method. The amendment
pre-empted the court from deciding the controversial issue. The Minister of
Justice announced to Parliament that the amendment was necessary "in order
to prevent the Supreme Court from doing away with the death sentence (a
punishment sanctioned under the Constitution) via the back door".

Eleventh amendment

The eleventh amendment also altered section 16, the protection against
deprivation of property without compensation. It reduced the amount payable
in the event of expropriation from "adequate compensation payable promptly"
to "fair compensation payable within a reasonable time". It also removed the
right of an expropriatee to challenge in a court of law the fairness of any
compensation awarded.

In 1993 Parliament passed a further amendment to section 15 (1) in order to
overcome the Supreme Court judgment that an inordinate delay in carrying out
a death sentence amounted to inhuman treatment.

Constitutional Amendment Act (No. 14), promulgated on 6 December 1996,
amends section 22 (which had been interpreted by the Supreme Court to permit
the foreign husband of a Zimbabwean citizen to reside permanently in the
country, and engage in employment or other gainful activity), so as to grant
neither foreign husbands nor foreign wives, of citizens, residence as of
right in Zimbabwe by virtue of marriage.

On 19 April 2000, just two months before the general election was due to be
held, Constitutional Amendment Act (No. 16) was passed. Whereas previously
the owner of agricultural land compulsorily acquired for resettlement of
people had to be compensated, the amendment spelt out that such obligation
no longer pertained; it was the exclusive responsibility of the former
colonial power to do so. This provision, read in context, refers to
compensation with respect to the soil. It does not absolve the government
from liability to compensate for improvements effected upon the land,
though, unfairly, such compensation may be paid in instalments over a period
of time.

But the ultimate prohibition of access by commercial farmers to the courts
came in the form of Constitutional Amendment Act (No.17), promulgated on 14
September 2005. It effectively vests the ownership of agricultural land,
compulsorily acquired for resettlement purposes in conformity with the land
reform programme, in the state; and ousts the jurisdiction of the courts to
entertain any challenge concerning such acquisition.

Constitutional Amendments 16 &17 have been roundly, and aptly, condemned as

 " . . . without modern parallel in any constitutional democracy worthy of
its name. They set Zimbabwe apart from all member states of SADC, the
British Commonwealth and the African Union, which function as constitutional
democracies. They violate Zimbabwe's international law obligations, most
immediately through its membership of the African Union. They entail the
abrogation of constitutionalism and elevate the fiat of the executive and
legislature over the entrenched core provisions of the Constitution. They
certify the existence of a totalitarian state."

Essence of a constitution

The essence of a constitution is that it should, among other things, lay
down the rules of conduct for state organs. Parliament, which is established
and exists in terms of the constitution, should be subordinate to it. It
should not be able to change the constitution and diminish or dilute the
scope of a fundamental right or protection, whenever it considers it
politically expedient to do so.

Another manner in which the rule of law has been undermined, is by the
unreasonable utilisation of the Presidential Pardon. In terms of section 31I
of the Constitution, the President has a right to grant a pardon, amnesty or
clemency, to convicted prisoners. There are no set criteria upon which this
power is exercised, and in the absence of such, abuse has been inevitable.
What has been happening over the years is that the President has been using
this pardon to free those of his political party, or members of the Central
Intelligence Organisation (CIO), convicted of politically motivated crimes.

An instance of the flagrant abuse of the Presidential Pardon is the Kombayi
case. Patrick Kombayi, a flamboyant businessman, contested as an opposition
political candidate for the City of Gweru constituency in the 1990 general
election. During the run up to the election, there were indications that his
opponent, the ruling party's candidate and Vice President, could be
embarrassed. As a result there was much violence and tension in Gweru, the
culmination of which was the almost fatal shooting of Kombayi, by a member
of the CIO and a party loyalist. These two men were ultimately convicted and
sentenced to long terms of imprisonment by a magistrate's court. Their
appeal to the Supreme Court was dismissed. Within a day of that order, the
President published a proclamation pardoning the two criminals.

Gross breach of rule of law

More unforgivably, Clemency Order of 1998 pardoned all human rights
violations and atrocities perpetrated during the so-called Gukurahundi war.

A gross breach of the rule of law, absent any hint of legitimacy, occurred
in January 1999, with the arrest, detention, interrogation and torture, by
the army's military police of two journalists over an article they published
in a daily newspaper about an alleged coup plot by a few officers. The
journalists were held for over a week before being placed in the custody of
the police. Neither the President, nor any minister, nor the commissioner of
police, openly complained that the action of the military authority was in
violation of the law. There was no expression that the power to arrest and
detain civilians vested solely in the police working with the courts. The
perception was, therefore, that the military authority may operate beyond
the reach of the law; this more especially when the President announced
publicly that the journalists had forfeited their right to legal protection
by having acted in such a grossly dishonest manner. The reason for
non-intervention professed by the commissioner of police was "because the
nature of the enquiry involved highly sensitive matters of national security
which could not be dealt with by my officers". To complete the scenario: The
journalists laid criminal charges against the perpetrators of their illegal
detentions and torture. Both the Attorney-General and the commissioner of
police exhibited not the slightest interest in investigating the complaints.
In the event, the journalists sought, and were granted, an order from the
Supreme Court directing the commissioner of police to institute a
comprehensive and diligent investigation of the offences alleged to have
been committed with a view to the prosecution of all persons against whom
there was a reasonable suspicion of complicity. Regretfully, nothing was
done to bring the offenders to justice. The commissioner of police simply
refused to perform a duty imposed upon the police force by the law of the

Government sponsored draft constitution

Undoubtedly the pivotal event of the year 2000 was the rejection of the
government sponsored draft constitution, in mid February, by 54 percent of
the voters in a referendum. It sparked off a series of extreme responses
from government that all but destroyed the rule of law, and has had ruinous
international and economic consequences for the country.

A few days after the referendum results were announced, there were
large-scale, synchronised invasions of white owned agricultural land, 86
percent of which had changed hands since independence, and only after
government  declined to exercise options to purchase and issued certificates
of "no present interest".

The initial invasions were followed by a massive and rapid expansion of the
process, which required considerable pre-planning and logistical support.
There was substantial government involvement in carrying out the invasions.
Prospective occupiers were transported in an assortment of government
vehicles to the farms which had been targeted. Once in place, the occupiers
received monthly payments and regular food supplies which were delivered in
government vehicles.

Only a small number of the invaders were actually war veterans; most were
too young to have taken part in the liberation struggle. Many probably
participated in the exercise primarily because they were unemployed and had
been offered payment; although some did so because they wished to obtain
land. There is little doubt that government orchestrated the initial farm
invasions, and once underway, condoned and supported them.

The unlawful countrywide occupation of white owned productive agricultural
land resulted in an application being brought before the High Court by the
Commercial Farmers Union. The order sought was against the chairman of the
War Veterans Association and the commissioner of police. It was granted by
consent on 17 March 2000. It declared that the occupation of farms by
persons claiming a right to do so, in pursuit of an entitlement to
demonstrate against the iniquity of land distribution, was unlawful. All
such persons were ordered to vacate within 24 hours. The commissioner of
police was directed to instruct his officers and members to enforce the law.

Right of occupation

Despite having agreed to the order, the commissioner of police applied
within a few days to amend it on the ground that he did not have the
manpower to effect the removal of those in unlawful occupation; and that, in
any event, their right of occupation merited a political and not a legal
solution; and as such, was not promotive of the rule of law. The amendment
was refused. The order stood. It was not, however, obeyed. The President
criticised it as nonsensical. This it clearly was not. To have ruled any
other way would have amounted to a violation of the law. The unlawful
occupations, with the encouragement of government, proceeded at an
accelerated pace.

Then there was another order by consent, this time granted by the Supreme
Court. The order again declared that the entry of uninvited persons on
commercial farming properties was unlawful. It required the respondents, who
were the ministers most closely concerned with agricultural land reform, the
commissioner of police, and those under their control, not to give sanction
to the entry, or continued occupation, of farms, by persons involved in
resettlement, until all legal requirements and procedures had been
fulfilled. The order was not meant to prevent the government from pursuing
land resettlement. Certainly, that was neither the objective nor the policy
of the courts. The effect of the order was that land resettlement should be
carried out within the framework of the Constitution, and in compliance with
the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act; and not by unlawful invasion.

Finally, in this regrettable saga, the Supreme Court once more declared that
the relevant ministers and the commissioner of police should comply
immediately with the prior orders. It was said:

"Wicked things have been done, and continue to be done. They must be
stopped. Common law crimes have been, and are being, committed with
impunity. Laws made by Parliament have been flouted by the government. The
activities of the past months must be condemned."

In elucidation it was pointed out that:

"The settling of people on farms has been entirely haphazard and unlawful. A
network of organisations, operating with complete disregard for the law, has
been allowed to take over from government. War veterans, villagers and
unemployed townspeople, have simply moved on to farms. They have been
supported, encouraged, transported and financed, by party official, public
servants, the CIO and the army. The rule of law has been overthrown in the
commercial farming areas and farmers and farm workers on occupied farms have
been denied the protection of the law."

Land distribution is political

The order made was, likewise, ignored. The official stance taken up was that
land distribution is a political and not a legal matter, which cannot be
resolved by the application of "the little law of trespass". The courts were
to keep out of the arena. The President said that he would not allow the
police to move against the farm invaders, who are merely taking over land
which was "stolen" from blacks by whites.

It is completely unacceptable to qualify the rule of law in this way. Rulers
who pick and choose which laws they wish to obey by defining certain matters
as "political", because it suites them, thereby vitiate the principle of
equality before the law, setting one standard for themselves and another for
the people they govern. That is at variance with elementary justice as well
as international norms.

In October 2000 the President issued Clemency Order No.1. It granted an
amnesty to those who kidnapped, tortured and assaulted people and burnt
people's houses and other possessions, as a way of politically intimidating
them during the period from 1 January to 31 July 2000; (that is, in
connection with 12 and 13 February Constitutional Referendum, and 24 and 25
June elections). The amnesty meant that those arrested and facing trial for
such serious offences were released, and no new investigations and
prosecutions may take place into their crimes.

In the main, these crimes were committed by loyalists of the ruling party
against supporters, actual or perceived, of opposition political parties.
The effect of the amnesty created the belief that political violence will be
condoned and those responsible for it are above the law, and will go
unpunished. This is extremely dangerous. It sends the wrong signal,
suggesting that election related violence will be tolerated - a bad
precedent for future elections. There are reports of persons who have
benefited from the amnesty taking violent action against those who reported
them to the police.  In the words of Amnesty International:

"This pardon represents a lost chance for justice and the possibility of
breaking the cycle of impunity that has riddled Zimbabwe. By failing to
tackle impunity for gross human rights abuses, the order provides no
deterrent either to continuing human rights abuses or contempt for
international human rights law."

Other disturbing conduct

Other disturbing conduct at about this time was the harassment of the High
Court and Supreme Court judges by war veterans and followers. They called
upon judges to resign or face removal by force. The Minister of Information
spearheaded this campaign by accusing the Supreme Court of being biased in
favour of white landowners at the expense of the landless majority. He
called on me to resign.

Such attacks show total disrespect for the rule of law and the process of
the Constitution which guarantees judicial independence. Judges should not
be made to feel apprehensive of their personal safety. They should not be
subjected to government intimidation in the hope that they would become more
compliant, and rule in favour of the executive. They should not face
anything other than legitimate criticism arising from what was done in the
discharge of judicial duty.

The invasion of the Supreme Court building on the morning of 24 November
2000, by close to two hundred war veterans and followers, was nothing but
disgraceful. In the course of entry the policeman on guard was assaulted.
The mob rushed from the main entrance through the building to the courtroom,
where the judges were about to hear a constitutional application brought by
the Commercial Farmers Union. They shouted political slogans and even called
for the judges to be killed. They stood on chairs, benches and tables, in a
gesture of absolute contempt for the institution of the courts as the third
essential organ of a democratic government. Such deplorable behaviour sent
the clearest message that the rule of law was not to be adhered to. The
invasion lasted an hour. It disrupted, as it was intended to do, the
proceedings of the court. There is good reason to believe that it had been
instigated and organised by the Minister of Information.

Unfounded criticism

Disappointingly, yet expectedly, there was no official condemnation of the
incident. Not a word was heard from the President, the Minister of Justice,
or the Attorney-General. Only the president of the law society spoke out
boldly against it, as he had done on previous occasions when the judiciary
and been the subject of threats or unfounded criticism. To him, and the
legal profession he represents, got much appreciation for the support shown
to the judiciary.

On 14 December 2000, President Mugabe, speaking at his party's congress,
disowned the courts. With reference to the land issue he said:

"The courts can do what they want. They are not courts for our people and we
shall not even be defending ourselves in these courts."

One year later the present Chief Justice, with the concurrence of three
newly appointed judges, predictably set aside the Supreme Court's earlier
judgment, and endorsed the government land acquisition policy. There was one
dissention. The majority found that the government had taken sufficient
steps to restore the rule of law on commercial farms. It had achieved this
by passing the Rural Land Occupiers (Protection from Eviction) Act, which
legalised the unlawful occupations of land that had taken place; and the
facts established that the police were adopting adequate measures to prevent
crime in the commercial farming areas. The ratio for this volte face is
highly questionable. Non-the-less, the majority decision provided the legal
legitimacy from the highest court that the government had been seeking for
its "land" programme. It allowed the government to claim that the entire
programme is lawful, constitutional and in accordance with the rule of law.
This is blatantly not so.

Historical imbalances

The fast-track land reform programme remains much in force today. In theory
it was meant to correct "historical imbalances", and to hand land to
landless black Zimbabweans, through a one-man one farm policy. Pursued in a
most chaotic, ruthless, uncontrolled and violent manner, it has resulted in
about 4 500 white commercial farmers being forced off their land, and 350
000 farm labourers being deprived of their livelihood. The grave atrocities
committed against white farmers are legend. In 2000 alone seven suffered
violent deaths at the hands of the invaders (the deaths now total 16). Many
others have been suffered acts of attempted murder, grievous assaults,
torture, abduction and trauma; their homesteads looted and often set on
fire, valuable farm equipment and crops stolen or destroyed, and productive
land senselessly ravaged. Farm labourers have been intimidated, threatened
and beaten mercilessly. The victims have been denied the protection of the
police; the pretext being that the occupation of land is a political and not
a legal issue. Any intervention provided is solely to enable the invaders
assume control of land. The reality is that in commercial farming areas
throughout the country, the rule of law has become a myth.

There has been little improvement in the country's steep economic decline,
wide spread food shortages, high unemployment and politically motivated
violence, since the formation of the unity government on 11 February this
year. And this, notwithstanding, that the Global Political Agreement,
reached on 15 September 2008, committed the opposing political parties to a
cessation of violence, the conduct of a comprehensive, transparent and
nonpartisan land audit (which was not to reverse the land-reform programme,
but to do away with multiple farm ownership), and to ensuring security of
tenure for all landholders, with land to be given irrespective of race.

Yet, in a document, dated as recently as 27 August 2009, the Ministry of
Lands and Resettlement effectively withdrew from the undertaking to compile
a land audit, citing an insufficiency of funding. It now recommends that:

    (a). land acquisition and redistribution should continue given the
incremental demand for land;

    (b). no foreigner should be allowed to own rural agricultural land;

    (c). agricultural land should be excluded from the protection afforded
by Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection agreements;

    (d). prosecutions of farmers resisting to move off acquired land should

In this year alone more than 80 commercial farms have been forcibly seized,
in accord with the stated objective of the ZANU PF party that every white
farmer is to be removed from agricultural land. Over 6 600 farm workers have
been made homeless by new occupiers, who are not engaged in productive
farming. Violence is rife, with little done to eradicate it. The number of
white commercial farmers has shrunk to about 250. They are occupying land
greatly reduced in size, and under constant and violent pressure of
eviction. At a conference held in Pretoria at the end of September, the
president of the Commercial Farmers Union, said:

"The situation is that we're receiving an even bigger hiding than before.
Although everything seems to be fine on the outside, the rule of law just is
not there. It's applied very selectively."

Valuable personal possessions

Despite enduring constant threats, intimidation, harassment, assaults,
arrests and much more, many commercial farmers have fearlessly continued to
engage the government in legal proceedings in an endeavour either to retain,
or regain, occupation of agricultural land, or their valuable personal

On 11 October 2007, and only after the courts in Zimbabwe had refused them
relief, Mike Campbell (Private) Limited and William Michael Campbell, filed
an application before the Southern African Development Community (SADC)
Tribunal, contesting the acquisition by the Republic of Zimbabwe of
agricultural land, pursuant to the country's "fast-track" land reform
exercise. The challenge was based on the ground that the land reform policy,
and compulsory acquisitions in terms thereof, breached the SADC Treaty,
signed by President Mugabe on 17 August 1992, ratified by Parliament on 17
November 1992, and operational as from 30 September 1993. The Tribunal
comprised the former Chief Justice of Mauritius, as President, and four
other eminent judges of the region.

The challenge gave rise to several interlocutory applications. The first
concerned a successful claim for interim relief pending the final disposal
of the matter. The second involved the interventions of 77 additional
individuals who faced similar interferences with agricultural land. That
application was granted and interim relief extended also to those

In its judgment of 28 November 2008, the Tribunal found that it had
jurisdiction to entertain the application. It further held, unanimously,
that the applicants had been denied access to the courts of Zimbabwe, and
that fair compensation was payable for the expropriation of the land. It was

"It is difficult for us to understand the rationale behind excluding
compensation for such land, given the clear legal position in international
law. It is the right of the applicants under international law to be paid,
and the correlative duty of the respondent to pay, fair compensation.
Moreover, the respondent cannot rely on its national law, or its
constitution, to avoid an international law obligation to pay compensation."

Majority of four to one

By a majority of four to one, the Tribunal ruled that the applicants had
been discriminated against on the ground of race, in breach of article 6(2)
of the Treaty. It unanimously directed that the government take:

"all necessary measures, through its agents, to protect the possession,
occupation and ownership of the land of the applicants . . . and to take all
appropriate measures to ensure that no action is taken, pursuant to
Amendment 17, directly or indirectly, whether by its agents or by others, to
evict from, or interfere with, the peaceful residence on, and of those farms
by, the applicants."

And that those applicants, whose property had already been expropriated,
were to be paid fair compensation by the government, on or before 30 June

Despite the fact that in terms of article 32 (3) of the Treaty the judgment
is final and binding, the government refuses to comply with it.

On 18 December 2008, the deputy attorney-general stated in writing that:

"the policy decision taken by the government to the judgment is that all
prosecutions of defaulting farmers . . . should now be resumed."

The minister responsible for land reform and resettlement said that the
Tribunal was "day dreaming", and that the government was "not going to
reverse the land reform exercise".

A speech delivered by the Deputy Chief Justice on 12 January 2009, at the
opening of the legal year, sought to impugn the judgment on the basis that
the Tribunal lacked jurisdiction to hear and determine the case. The
following month, in the course of his birthday celebrations, the President
denigrated the Tribunal's decision as "nonsense" and "of no consequence".
Prosecutors and magistrates were coached by the ministry of justice and the
attorney-general's office, at various workshops around the country, on how
to react to the judgment, which was disparaged as "not binding". Eviction
orders issued against white farmers were to be complied with, as in the

Serious and persistent threats

In the wake of the continued seizure of more land from the remaining few
white farmers, and numerous serious and persistent threats to their very
lives, some of the beneficiaries of the judgment again turned to the
Tribunal for legal protection. (The Campbell family were badly assaulted
after the Tribunal had granted them an interim protection order, before the
final hearing, in the course of which brutality they were given papers to
sign seeking the abandonment of their case before the Tribunal).

On 5 June 2009, the Tribunal, recognising the urgency of the matter, issued
an ex tempore order directing the government's failure to comply with the
judgment, to the SADC Summit for its attention, and granted an order for
costs in favour of the applicants.

Prior to the holding of the SADC Summit in early September 2009, at
Kinshasa, the government decided to pull out of the SADC Tribunal after the
Minister of Justice declared it "unlawful". In a letter delivered to the
Tribunal on 10 August 2009, the minister wrote:

"The purported application of the provisions of the Protocol on Zimbabwe is
a serious violation of international law. There was never any basis upon
which the Tribunal could seek or purport to found jurisdiction on Zimbabwe
based on the Protocol which has not yet been ratified by two-thirds of the
total membership of SADC. As we are unaware of any other basis upon which
the Tribunal can exercise jurisdiction over Zimbabwe, we hereby advise that,
henceforth, we will not appear before the Tribunal and neither will we
respond to any action or suit instituted or be pending against the Republic
of Zimbabwe before the Tribunal. For the same reasons, any decisions that
the Tribunal may have or may make in future against the Republic of
Zimbabwe, are null and void."

The validity of the minister's opinion has been contested strongly by senior
counsel who appeared before the Tribunal on behalf of the applicants, on the
following grounds:

a) Zimbabwe is a signatory to the SADC Treaty.

b) Zimbabwe is bound to the Protocol despite not ratifying it.

c) Zimbabwe has conceded the SADC Tribunal's jurisdiction.

d) The SADC Tribunal has held that Zimbabwe is subject to its jurisdiction.
It is the designated SADC organ conferred by the Treaty with the authority
to interpret the provisions of the Treaty; hence it is the body to decide
whether a State is bound by the Treaty and the Protocol, and subject to its

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights

This view of the controversy is shared unequivocally by the organisation
known as Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights. It points out that articles 35
and 38 of the Tribunal Protocol, upon which the minister relied for the
averment that the Tribunal was not properly constituted because it was not
ratified by two-thirds of SADC members, were both repealed by article 16(2)
of the Treaty. The effect was to make the Tribunal an integral part of both
the Treaty and the Institution of SADC. The repeal specifically excluded the
Tribunal Protocol from the usual requirement for ratification before it
could come into force and effect.

On 15 and 16 September 2009, representatives of the premier bar associations
and rule of law institutions on the African continent, met in Arusha, and
issued a communiqué on the status of the Tribunal. It expressed disapproval
of the reasons offered by the minister of justice justifying his contention
that the Tribunal lacked legitimacy; and supported the grounds advanced for
the opposing view. Furthermore, it observed:

"The failure of the Government of Zimbabwe to comply with a court decision,
whether of a domestic or international tribunal is consistent with its
endemic culture of defiance of court orders that it dislikes. In Zimbabwe
the Government dismantled the Supreme Court and the High Court when they
were seen as issuing decisions which the Government disliked through forcing
out judges and hiring "politically correct" individuals. Its current thrust
to destroy the SADC judicial organ is consistent with the Government's
conduct in dealing with judicial organs it dislikes."

The application of Gramara (Private) Limited v Government of Zimbabwe is
soon to be argued in the High Court. The relief sought is a declaration that
the ruling of the SADC Tribunal in the Campbell matter be registered with
the High Court for the purpose of its enforcement in Zimbabwe. The crucial
point the presiding judge will have to decide is whether the Tribunal
lawfully exercised jurisdiction over Zimbabwe based on the Tribunal
Protocol. Whatever determination is made, the overwhelming probability is an
appeal to the Supreme Court by the losing party. (The Deputy Chief Justice
has already revealed his hand, as has the High Court judge, whose nomination
as a member of the SADC Tribunal has now been withdrawn). Inevitably there
will be an inordinate delay before the issue is finally resolved. And the
longer it remains alive domestically, the more advantage is to be gained by
government. For in the situation obtaining, it is unlikely that SADC will
entertain the Tribunal's request to consider enforcement steps of its
judgment against Zimbabwe as a SADC member.

Bilateral Investment Treaty

A more definitive success was achieved by 13 Dutch nationals, whose large
commercial farms in Zimbabwe had been expropriated, despite the existence of
a Bilateral Investment Treaty concluded by Zimbabwe and the Netherlands. On
22 April 2009, they received a total award of Euros 8 220 000 as
compensatory damages from an arbitral panel, appointed by the International
Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, Washington, D.C. No appeal is
pending, but payment is still to be made.

The persistent onslaught suffered by the rule of law and democracy in
Zimbabwe cannot be underestimated. Legality and constitutionality have been
cast aside. Forces of violence, intimidation and disorder have been
unleashed, and allowed to prevail, particularly, but certainly not
exclusively, in the implementation of the fast-track land reform programme.
A programme that has all to do with power politics; and nothing to do with
the professed continuation of the liberation struggle to bring about
economic emancipation for the landless majority. The timing of its
introduction, after a delay of two decades since independence, proves the
point. The law enforcement agencies have either actively collaborated in
these lawless activities, or simply declined to afford protection, sanctuary
and good order, in the fulfilment of their fundamental duties.

There is urgent need to witness real progress on the part of the inclusive
government on critical issues like restoring the rule of law, adhering to
international treaty obligations, respecting human rights and guaranteeing
freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly and association. Law enforcement
agencies will have to be overhauled so that they may become professional,
politically neutral forces that acknowledge the human rights of all
Zimbabweans, and enforce the law on a fair and impartial basis.  Sham
politically motivated prosecutions must cease. So must the unlawful
detentions, arrests, torture, intimidation and harassment, of human rights
defenders and independent journalists. New private media should be licensed
and international journalists allowed to practice openly.

That said, it would be remiss of me were I not to acknowledge and acclaim,
the on-going courageous struggle against oppression and injustice, by local
organisations such as, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, Crisis in Zimbabwe
Coalition, Justice for Agriculture, Zimbabwe Peace Project, Women of
Zimbabwe Arise, as well as by many prominent human rights lawyers;
frequently to the detriment of their personal safety. Names that immediately
come to mind (and there are many others) are Beatrice Mtetwa, Arnold Tsunga,
Alec Muchadehama, Jestina Mukoko, Jenny Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu,
three of whom have received international awards.

In the last few months, the Supreme Court granted an order permanently
staying the prosecution of Jestina Mukoko on charges relating to terrorism.
She had been abducted from the family home at daybreak, while in her
nightgown and bare foot, and not seen for three weeks. She later testified
that she was held at secret locations while being severely tortured by state
security agents, in an attempt to extract a false confession.

Marange diamond fields

More recently, a High Court judge, ordered the government to restore to the
British company, African Consolidated Resources Limited, the right of title
to claims in the Marange diamond fields at the foot hills of the eastern
highlands, which had been seized in October 2006, and allocated to the state
owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation; and the return of 129 400
carats of diamonds confiscated by the police in January 2007. The learned
judge ended by saying:

"The papers before me paint a gloomy picture of the duty to protect our
national heritage by those constitutionally charged with that

Regrettably, the police and the army continue to deny African Consolidated
Resources access to the diamond fields (a site of grave military
atrocities), and the Mining Corporation has not halted its drilling
operations. Both activities are in breach of the judge's order that the
noting of an appeal would not suspend the operation of the judgment. ACR
reported recently that the ministry has begun to engage in ill conceived
deals with private companies with "shady backgrounds"; it has warned that
anyone purchasing Marange diamonds will be buying stolen property.

Time will tell whether these two judgments signify the beginning of a
genuine shift in judicial approach. But, at the very least, they should be
taken as an indication that Zimbabwean courts will not rule invariably in
favour of the state.

The formation of the power-sharing government was welcomed by most
right-thinking Zimbabweans. It has resulted in an end to rampant inflation
and in a small measure of economic stability. Though now threatened by
policy differences, the slow pace of reforms, and feuding over top executive
positions, it never the less, represents a glimmer of hope of a transition
to democracy, and with it international recognition and financial aid. Last
week's announcement by President Zuma of the appointment of a South African
support team to monitor the implementation of the GPA, to replace the "quiet
diplomacy" of his predecessor, is a promising hands-on approach. So, it is
critical that the unity holds together. For fragile as it is, it is a
substantial improvement from the history of the past, and is stumbling along
a road to recovery, although one beset by numerous potholes.

Zimbabwe's natural and human resources were once the envy of Africa; and
they still could be. But no one will invest in the county until they are
confident in the legal environment. It is simply basic economics. Capital is
a coward, as the saying goes. Foreign investors, not to mention Zimbabwe
businessmen, want to be assured that the rule of law will be observed and
adhered to, and that their investments will be safe, before they put money
into the economy. What this requires is positive political will to heal past
wounds. It requires political leaders who place the interest of the people
of Zimbabwe ahead of their own. Most of all it requires that all Zimbabweans
stand up for their rights; and take responsibility for, and play a role in,
the democratic changes and fundamental liberties they want to be able to
enjoy. Meanwhile, as the Portuguese say, "a luta continua": the struggle
goes on . . . - ZimOnline

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Abuse of human rights in Zimbabwe continues under unity government

10 February 2010
Amnesty International on Wednesday called on Zimbabwe's President Mugabe and
Prime Minister Tsvangirai to fulfil their promise to reform state
institutions, in a bid to end human rights violations that have continued in
the country since the formation of the unity government one year ago.

Torture, harassment and politically motivated prosecutions of human rights
defenders and perceived opponents have persisted, while villagers in parts
of Zimbabwe have suffered ceaseless intimidation by supporters of former
ruling party ZANU-PF.

"The Attorney General's office, police and army have been left to freely
violate human rights in pursuit of a political agenda," said Erwin van der
Borght, director of Amnesty International's Africa programme.

"By delaying reform, the situation in Zimbabwe remains fragile as
perpetrators continue to escape justice and are instead effectively given
the all clear to continue violating human rights."

Amnesty International called on the unity government to end on-going
harassment of human rights defenders. Several peaceful protests organized by
civic movement Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) were violently broken up by
police in 2009.

Seventeen human rights and political activists who were abducted by state
security agents in 2008 continue to face charges that are widely believed to
be trumped up. One of them, Jestina Mukoko, director of the Zimbabwe Peace
Project, had her prosecution permanently stayed by the Supreme Court in
September 2009 because of overwhelming evidence that she had been tortured.

"The government must end the incessant harassment of human rights activists
and take steps to seriously protect rights to freedom of expression,
association and peaceful assembly," said Erwin van der Borght.

The Zimbabwean army and intelligence services, as well as the Attorney
General's office, have remained under ZANU-PF control, following an
agreement brokered by the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) in
2008. The police are co-chaired by ZANU-PF and MDC-T ministers.

"The onus is on President Mugabe and ZANU-PF to ensure that key institutions
under their control are reformed to end the culture of impunity that still
threatens stability in the country," said Erwin van der Borght.

Amnesty International's call for reform comes amid reports that villagers in
parts of Zimbabwe are being threatened with violence by army backed
supporters of ZANU-PF, in an attempt to force them to endorse the heavily
criticized Kariba draft constitution.

The Kariba draft constitution, agreed by unity government parties in
September 2007, has been strongly criticized by some civil society
organizations as an attempt by the parties to impose a constitution without

Villagers in Mutoko, Muzarabani and MT Darwin are reportedly being warned
that they will face beatings unless they support the ZANU-PF position.
Similar threats were made and materialized in the run-up to the June 2008
presidential elections.

"These are early warning signs that the situation could deteriorate if no
urgent measures are taken to stop state security agents from carrying out
violent political campaigns," said Erwin van der Borght.

"Past involvement on their part has resulted in gross human rights
violations, including deaths and torture of perceived opponents."

The government has so far failed to investigate gross human rights
violations allegedly carried out by security forces during the run-up to the
second round of the 2008 presidential elections, which left at least 200
people dead, over 9,000 injured and tens of thousands displaced.

"The unity government must investigate past and present allegations of human
rights violations by state security agents, including torture and ill
treatment of detainees," said Erwin van der Borght.

Gross human rights violations have also been taking place within the army.

At least two soldiers were tortured to death in October 2009 while being
interrogated by intelligence and military police officials in Harare.
Another soldier was reported to have committed suicide while in solitary
confinement and several others are still receiving medical treatment for
injuries caused by torture.

The victims had been arrested along with at least 95 others, on suspicion of
breaking into an armoury at Pomona barracks and stealing 21 guns.

"Zimbabwean state bodies are riddled with human rights abusers that in many
cases carry out violations with impunity," said Erwin van der Borght.

"Without genuine reform of institutions this abuse is very likely to

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Zimbabweans Prefer The NCA Led Constitutional Process

09/02/2010 19:28:00

Harare, February 10, 2010 -A survey by the Mass Public Opion Institute has
shown that Zimbabweans prefer the National Constitutional Assembly(NCA) led
constitutional process.

"Signaficantly, among those who have heard about the constitution, a
plurality (42%) prefer the NCA 'people-led' approach to constitution making
compared to 28% who prefer the COPAC led one, " said the report.

COPAC is the Parliamentary led constitution process in line with the Global
Political Agreement (GPA) that brought about the country's unity government.

"Close  to  60% condemned the use  of the Kariba  draft as  a  reference
document  in drawing up a new  constitution for Zimbabwe, "reads part of the
report. The Kariba draft is a product of Zanu PF and the two Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) formations. The three parties agreed to the draft as
part of the GPA.

Zanu PF has been campaigning for the country to adopt the Kariba Draft
Constitution as it is.

NCA lchairman Dr Lovemore Madhuku argues that the parliament led
constitution should not be supported because it is not people driven. The
organization has since launched a "Take Charge campaign. It is being
supported by Student Union (ZINASU), and Zimbabwe Union of Trade Union,
(ZCTU). The NCA has dismissed the current constitutional process as a waste
of time and resources saying people were going to reject the process. In
2000 the NCA successfully campaigned for people to reject a referendum for a
draft constitution that the government had spearheaded.

Commenting on the report Zanu PF Director of Information Steven Chidawanyika
said: "COPAC should not be compared with NCA because it is driving the
process.COPAC was mandated by the law to do the constitution making process
and NCA was not and will never be."

An official of the Mass Public Opinion Institute Anyway Ndapwadza said: "We
could not ignore NCA because of the role it has played in conscitising
Zimbabwean people on constitution matters over the years."

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Zanu-PF members take Mangwana to task

February 10, 2010

By Owen Chikari

MASVINGO - Zanu-PF supporters here have accused Paul Mangwana, the
co-chairperson of the parliamentary committee on constitutional reform, of
conniving with MDC MPs to benefit from the process.

Mangwana is a member of Zanu-PF. He chairs the committee with the mainstream
MDC's Douglas Mwonzora.

At a meeting held at the Masvingo Polytechnic at the weekend, angry Zanu-PF
members accused Mangwana, who is the Chivi Central legislator, of colluding
with MDC MPs to prolong the constitutional reform debate in order to enjoy

The Zanu-PF supporters said a new constitution was unnecessary because the
Kariba draft was already available.

The MDC and Zanu-PF drafted a constitution in the town of Kariba about three
years ago. Zanu-PF favours the draft while the MDC has said the document
could only be used a reference in the creation of a new constitution.

Zanu-PF supporters at the meeting told Mangwana the exercise was a waste of

"How can you continue to agree wasting resources drafting a new constitution
when the Kariba draft one is there?" said one of the Zanu-PF supporters.

"You are conniving with MDC-T MPs so that you loot money in allowances at
the expense of the generality of this country."

One of the Zanu-PF supporters said Mangwana, as a point-man for the party in
the constitutional reform process, should use his influence by telling the
MDC that an acceptable draft had already been prepared in Kariba.

"Just go and tell them that the draft is there and there is no need to write
anything new," said another supporter.

Although journalists were later ejected from the meeting, sources, however,
told The Zimbabwe Times that Mangwana had a tough time explaining to Zanu-PF
supporters what the constitutional reform process entailed.

"He had tough time in explaining to villagers who had come for the meeting,"
said the source.

However, Mangwana downplayed the whole drama saying it was just a meeting to
teach party supporters about the process before the outreach teams were

"Like any other party we were just telling and teaching our supporters to be
ready for the outreach teams since they will be deployed anytime to gather
the people's views," said Mangwana.

Tension is high in the country ahead of the deployment of constitutional
reform outreach teams to gather the people's views.

Zanu-PF and the MDC have mounted fierce campaigns to outline their positions
concerning the new constitution.

Zanu-PF has already made it clear that it will campaign for the Kariba draft
while the MDC says it will ensure the document is rejected.

Observers say the campaigns now resemble a run-up to a presidential or
parliamentary election.

Zimbabwe is currently using the Lancaster House constitution crafted in
1979, which all parties agree has outlived its usefulness.

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ZESA threatens to black out BCC over US$2,5m debt

Posted By Own Staff Thursday, 11 February 2010 01:45

In a development that Bulawayo City Council (BCC) blames squarely on
ratepayers, among them mostly government departments failing to pay debts,
the local authority owes Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA)  US$2,
5m for power supply.

This was revealed by the council's Acting Finance Director, Kempton Ndimande
in an interview. He said the local authority was struggling to meet its
service delivery target due to failure by government departments and other
ratepayers to pay the council on time. Although residents and other private
companies also owe the council, Ndimande said the government departments'
debts to council constituted the largest amount.

"Government departments are not paying and this is impacting badly on the
council's operations. As we speak ZESA is demanding its US$560 000 that we
as a council owe them on power and about US$2m for public lighting alone.
"They are even threatening to cut us off especially our main operational
offices which are the council chambers, Tower Block
and Revenue Hall as a way of forcing us to pay," said Ndimande.

He said due to failure by council's ratepayers to pay their debts it would
be impossible for the local authority to pay ZESA. This would put council at
risk of having power being cut off at any time.He also lamented abandonment
of the local authority by the government which was supposed to bail them out
under the distressed local authorities fund.

"We have not been getting any assistance from the government. We are just
operating like a private entity yet we are the arm of government. We only
hear of Harare being given government funding here and there, but for us
nothing is forthcoming. Due to that condition our clients and residents must
not be surprised why we sometimes have problems
delivering the services they want," said Ndimande.

Government departments in Bulawayo owe the city council US$3,7m for water
and other services and this is the amount billed from February to October
2009.Ndimande said council had put more pressure on rate payers  to enable
it to settle part of the debt it owes ZESA.

Matabeleland Region ZESA general manager, Lovemore Chinaka recently told a
Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) meeting that the whole region
owed ZESA more than US$40m.

He also said the power utility would resort to cutting off power from
defaulting consumers.BCC is one of the ZESA consumers who have received
numerous threats of
being cut off, but the council revealed that it was struggling to deliver
let alone settle the ZESA and other debts such as one for the Zimbabwe
Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) which Ndimande was reluctant to disclose saying
the mind boggling debt was the one they owed ZESA.

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City Watch, 09 February 2010

CNewLog2145 Robert Mugabe Way, Exploration House, Third Floor; Website:

Contacts: Mobile: 0913 042 981, 011862012, 0733 368 107, 011756 840, 0912 864 572 or email,,


The City of Harare still has a long way to go to improve municipal service delivery. The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) notes with concern that the Council is not doing much in revamping the virtually collapsed service delivery system that has seen the city being marred with piles of uncollected refuse in the residential areas, potholed roads, dysfunctional street lights and persistent water cuts among a myriad of other mishaps.


Water supply


The water situation remains a challenge as most areas are still experiencing dry spells. Areas like Msasa Park only receive water once a week, while areas like Mabvuku-Tafara, Glen Lorne, parts of Greendale, Greystone Park and Mandara are still experiencing perennial dry spells. The New stands area in Mabvuku Tafara has not received any water supplies for more than a year now. Most of the boreholes that had been drilled in the area are no longer working. Residents have resorted to digging shallow wells at their homesteads but some of the wells have dried up due to the limited rainfall. Herentials College and the Church of Later Day Saints have been providing residents with clean water from their boreholes but the supplies are not enough to meet the high demand for water. The borehole located at the Bridge in Old Tafara is the one that is still working among the boreholes that were drilled by UNICEF in Mabvuku-Tafara. The table below shows the water situation in some of the Harare suburbs.









Sections 83 to 100 haven't been getting water for the past 3 years. However, the rest of Dzivarasekwa has been getting regular supplies.



Good but some residents are boiling water for drinking. Some residents are buying water treatment  tablets and JIK at Shops& Pharmacies

Uninterrupted and continuous water supplies for the past month but the pressure of the water is usually low.

Frequent sewer bursts near Rukudzo bar in Ward 34. The City of Harare dug a trench to fix the sewer pipes along Kufudzamombe and Mhishi Roads but the trench has been lying in state for the past six months


The quality is poor as residents usually get water from unprotected sources

-No Municipal tap water for the past 6 months while some areas have gone for a year. Most of the boreholes that were sunk in the area are not working.

-The area near Tafara District Offices has not received water supplies for the past 5 years.

-Residents wash their clothes at Gosden River. Others do their laundry at shallow wells dug near Chemanza Grounds.

Sewer burst are no longer common in the area.

Glen Norah

Residents have complained that the water leaves some brownish particles if left to settle in a container.

Water supplies are regular in some areas while some get supplies for at least four times a week.



The water has some brown particles. Cases of diarrhea have been reported and some residents are now boiling the water before drinking.

24 Hours per day during the past few weeks.







Glen View and Budiriro

The water is usually greenish in colour and residents have requested CHRA to source water treatment tablets. Cases of diarrhea have been on the increase since January 2010.

The two suburbs have been receiving water only during weekends for the past two months. Some of the boreholes that were sunk in the area are no longer working.

Glen View 3 has been experiencing sewer bursts since the festive season. Raw sewer has been flowing into household yards along 1st Drive in Glen View 3.

Kambuzuma and Rugare

The water quality is poor as it has visible brownish particles. Residents usually boil the water before drinking.

Residents get supplies almost on a daily basis but this is only for a few hours a day.

Cases of sewerage bursts have decreased since December 2009.




Areas like Glen Norah, Glen View, Highfield and Budiriro usually experience power cuts at least twice a week. However, there are times when residents in these areas can experience power cuts at least three times within a single day. Mbare, Dzivarasekwa and Avondale West is experiencing power cuts on a daily basis while areas like Msasa Park, Cranborne, Hatfield and Queensdale get power cuts at least thrice a week. There is an area in Mabvuku near Kamunhu Shopping Centre that has been without electricity since October 2009. This has been due to a faulty transformer that has not been fixed in spite of the numerous requests by residents to ZEDC to fix the transformer. However, ZEDC has been serving residents with exorbitant electricity bills despite the fact that supplies are highly limited.


Residents have complained that ZEDC's load shedding is not uniform and this has resulted in residents losing their electric appliances to short circuits that are caused by sudden power cuts. Residents have, in the past raised these concerns with ZEDC but the power utility has not done anything to rectify the problem. ZEDC once came up with a load shedding schedule that was flighted in the print media but the schedule was never adhered to.  


Refuse collection


The City of Harare is still failing to collect refuse in most suburbs around the city and this has resulted in the increased mushrooming of informal dumping sites. Areas like Mupedzanhamo in Mbare have become an eyesore and health time bomb due to the piles of uncollected refuse that have become breeding ground for flies and mosquitoes.




CHRA encourages the City of Harare and the Government to look into the issues of waste management and water provision in Harare as a matter of urgency. There is a need to come up with sustainable systems of waste management and water provision so as to curb the persistent problem of diarrheal disease outbreaks in the city. CHRA remains committed to advocating for good and transparent local governance as well as lobbying for quality municipal services.


CHRA Information, making the implicit, explicit


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How Do You Solve a Problem Like Arrears?

By Zenzele Ndebele

BULAWAYO, Feb 9, 2010 (IPS) - Faced with nearly six billion dollars of
external debt, Zimbabwe's national unity government is considering applying
for Highly Indebted Poor Country status.

According to the prime minister's office, the 5.7 billion dollars owed to
the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the African
Development Bank, and others prevents the country from borrowing more money,
urgently needed to revive its economy.

The finance minister, Tendai Biti, says that joining the Highly Indebted
Poor Countries programme is one way out.

HIPC was initiated in 1996 at least partly as a response to criticism of IMF
and World Bank economic policy by civil society. The programme provides debt
relief and low-interest loans to cancel or reduce external debt repayments.

To be considered for the initiative, countries must have an unsustainable
debt burden. Assistance is  on condition that the national governments of
these countries meet a range of economic management and performance targets.

"You should know that Zimbabwe is not a poor country. It has vast natural
resources, but these resources cannot be turned into capital," says minister
of state in the prime minister's office Gordon Moyo.

"Zimbabwe should come up with a poverty reduction strategy paper, which is a
blue print of how it is going to use the  resources which are going to be
availed to it once the debt is cancelled," continues Moyo. "It is the
responsibility of Zimbabwe, it's not the imposition of the World Bank, IMF
or the Paris Club or any other institutions."

But Dr Qhubani Moyo, a public policy analyst and activist, says Zimbabwe's
economic problems don't originate with its debt, but with the economic
sanctions intended to weaken Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National
Union-Patriotic Front party, which ruled from 1980 until 2008 when it was
joined by two factions of the rival Movement for Democratic Change in a
unity government.

"Unless we address the issue of sanctions we are not  going anywhere. We
need to ensure that we link the issue of sanctions with HIPC. Let's ensure
there is economic growth in this country by engaging in trade - that trade
can be done if the sanctions barriers are removed."

Responding to the minister's assertion - citing debt relief and economic
growth in Uganda, Mozambique, Zambia and Nigeria - that HIPC has worked well
for other African countries, Qhubani Moyo says the comparisons are mistaken.

"Countries like Mozambique were coming from a bloody civil war. Zimbabwe is
a country whose economy collapsed but there was nothing in terms of
destruction of infrastructure and superstructure. Also: if you look at
Mozambique and these other countries that have become HIPC countries, the
so-called growth is nominal. It's not being felt at the level of

Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development representative Janet Mudzwiti
criticises the HIPC plan from a different angle.

If you think that there is one formula for solving problems that hit all
African counties, then you will have a serious problem in the long run.

"We are against lender-led relief initiatives, simply because their ideology
is not pro-people; they are not people-based policies. To us the HIPC
principles still hinge on the neo-liberal policies that you have to open up
your markets, introduce user fees for social essentials such as health and
water. We are saying it's not different from the Structural Adjustment
Programme which was disastrous."

Regarding the country's debt, she raises two important issues.

"There is the issue of odious debt and the issue of illegal debt," Mudzwiti

"When you look at the issue of Zimbabwe's debt profile, there is the issue
of colonial debt (incurred by a white-only government between 1965 and
1980). And we have the issue of debt (incurred) under the economic
structural adjustment programme."

Odious debt is debt entered into by a government on behalf of the people,
but which doesn't benefit them. Much of the $500 million dollars of debt run
up by the Rhodesian state was spent on fighting a war against the black
majority; there is a strong case for that debt to be deemed odious.

Much later, Structural Adjustment Programmes were imposed by the World Bank
and IMF across Africa in the 1980s and 1990s as a condition for loans to
cover a previous debt crisis.

The conditions it imposed sharply restricted government spending on things
like healthcare and education, called for privatisation of valuable state
assets and of services like water and electricity, required the devaluation
of local currencies, and stopped governments from protecting local
production by means of import tariffs.

Zimbabwe's adoption of structural adjustment proved disastrous for the
economy and activists are concerned that the conditions for HIPC may
replicate this experience.

Once bitten, twice shy. Qhubani Moyo does not want the country to turn to
the Bretton-Woods institutions for answers.

"Zimbabwe has a way of dealing with its problems. We can't have a one fix
solution for all. Zimbabwe has to come up with its own model to use its own
resources for its own recovery and its own growth."

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Are Zimbabwean diamonds about to finance a Mugabe coup?

An examination of the ominous implications of a report in The Zimbabwean
Author: Paul Trewhela
Posted:  Wednesday , 10 Feb 2010


Last week's issue of The Zimbabwean, which is edited from Britain, leads
with a report on the possible exchange of Chinese weapons for illegally
mined diamonds in Zimbabwe (see below).

If the information in this report is proved correct, it would indicate that
the Mugabe regime is preparing a bloody coup to preserve itself in office,
in defiance of its loss of the general election last year, its subsequent
power-sharing deal with the Movement for Democratic Change, the Kimberley
Process which regulates the global gem trade and a ruling of the High Court
in Harare.

The report suggests that the Mugabe regime - believed to have been
responsible for the deaths of hundreds of independent miners when it sent
the army to seize the diamond fields at Chiadzwa in November 2008 - intends
to exchange "blood diamonds" for weapons from China . The report indicates
that a runway suitable for this kind of traffic has already been constructed
in the diamond fields and is almost ready for use.

If the report is proved correct, it would indicate a qualitative escalation
of Chinese intervention in Africa .

Armament of a resurgent Mugabe dictatorship by China , in defiance of the
power-sharing agreement, would represent the initiation of a new Cold War in
Africa , at a time when the United States and Britain are tied down in
Afghanistan and Iraq , and handicapped by a massive sovereign debt crisis.

Such a development would have immediate and immensely grave implications for
South Africa , and would represent a military-political destabilisation of
the entire region.

Construction of a mile-long runway at Chiadzwa would further present a
direct challenge to COSATU, which organised a boycott by dockers in South
Africa three years ago of Chinese arms shipments to Mugabe. - Paul Trewhela


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Zimbabwe Weekly Update – Number 5



• The three principals in the unity government reached a small breakthrough
on Friday when they agreed to appoint the chairs of two of the Commissions -
the Electoral and the Human Rights – who were named as Justice Simpson
Mtambanengwe and Professor Reg Austin respectively.

• The South African mediation team is expected to meet negotiators from the
three principal parties ahead of the resumption of inter-party talks today.

• Parliament was forced to adjourn prematurely on Wednesday after chaos
erupted between the political parties over the issue of sanctions.

• A visiting UK delegation has expressed satisfaction at Zimbabwe’s economic
progress but called for the resolution of outstanding issues in the GPA.

• A US Congressional delegation will visit Zimbabwe later this month to
review the power-sharing deal and assess US humanitarian work in the

• Finance Minister Tendai Biti said in a statement last Tuesday that the MDC
is ready for an election after he accused Zanu-PF of creating conditions for
a total breakdown of the unity government.

• Echoing this, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai told the radio station
Voice of America (VOA) News that the inter-party talks would likely reach a
deadlock, and that early elections could be the only solution to the
political problems.

• The MDC has lodged an official complaint with the Joint Monitoring and
Implementation Committee (JOMIC), which oversees the power-sharing
agreement, about "unjustified arrests and harassment" of its officials and
supporters by state security agents.

• Tsvangirai has rejected a circular from President Robert Mugabe's office
directing ministers to report to his two vice-presidents instead of to the
Prime Minister.

• Members of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIO) team assigned to Mugabe
during a visit to an international telecommunications summit last October
were each paid a total of US$50 000 (US$5 000 a day) over Mugabe’s 10-day
stay. On another trip to Rome in November, his security detail was paid the
same. In Zimbabwe, most of the population lives on less than US$1 per day.


• Zimbabwe’s civil servants went on strike on Friday after last-minute
negotiations with the government failed. They are pushing for a five-fold
wage hike. Civil servants earn on average a paltry US$150 (R1 100) a month.
They are demanding up to US$630 (R4 900) a month.

• Zimbabwe and Botswana officials will hold security talks over the
detention of three Botswana game rangers who inadvertently strayed across
the border last month.

• Mines Minister Obert Mpofu has returned two expensive vehicles he
illegally took away from the Ministry of Industry and International Trade
when he changed portfolios last year. Mpofu is one of several government
officials named in a damning report to parliament on the pervasive looting
of state assets.

• The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Accounts has reported
massive irregularities and ‘gross incompetence’ in government ministries and
departments in scams that may have cost the Treasury millions of dollars.
These include payment of ghost workers and the irregular employment of 10
000 youth officers.

• The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions says it has recorded more than 2 300
cases of violation of workers' rights in 2009, most of them committed by
state security agents who have routinely assaulted and tortured union


• Major Zimbabwe mining group Rio Tinto has proposed that locals have 10
percent ownership of foreign-owned companies, and not the 51 percent the
government wants under a draft law that has scared off investors. The
Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe president said government had in principle
agreed to the proposal.

• Zimplats, which is owned by South Africa's Impala Platinum (Implats) - the
world's second biggest platinum producer - reported a US$50 million
operating profit in its quarterly report ending December 2009 released this
week. The company is also owed US$34 million by the Reserve Bank of

• The failure of Zimbabwe's coalition partners to fully implement the Global
Political Agreement (GPA) is keeping foreign investors away, according to
separate reports released last week by Renaissance Capital, a Russian
investment house, and the World Bank.


• The UK Treasury said Friday that it supports the restoration of Zimbabwe’s
voting rights in the IMF, attributing its decision to the improved
macroeconomic environment in Zimbabwe under Finance Minister Tendai Biti.

• Senior IMF director Samuel Itam said on Wednesday he was 'cautiously
optimistic' the international community would support Zimbabwe's request to
restore its IMF voting rights.

• The cost of food for a family rose 10 percent last month, according to the
Consumer Council of Zimbabwe.

• The Zimbabwe government spent nearly R86m (US$11.6m) in one year in fees
for children and relatives of mostly top Zanu PF officials who are studying
in South African universities while local universities struggle to function.


• The SADC Tribunal said ongoing land invasions in Zimbabwe were beyond its
control, that it was unable to enforce its ruling, and that it was up to the
SADC Summit to take up the matter.

• Commercial farmer Ben Freeth, who is campaigning for the implementation of
the SADC Tribunal ruling, has been accused of contempt of court after he
criticised a High Court judge's decision in January to dismiss the ruling in
Zimbabwe. The Law Society of Zimbabwe will decide if Freeth should be

• The South African government may be forced to pay up to t R100 million in
damages to South African farmer Crawford Von Abo, whose farms were seized in
Zimbabwe as part of the land grab. The North Gauteng High Court on Friday
found that the government was liable for Von Abo’s losses, as they neglected
to prevent the violation of his rights by the Zimbabwean government.

• A magistrate on Tuesday granted bail to five white commercial farmers who
were arrested in Chipinge last week for failing to vacate their properties.
Another farming family in Rusape came under siege from farm invaders last

• Zimbabwe needs to urgently import 500,000 tonnes of maize to avert
shortages. Agriculture Minister Joseph Made says the crop has been affected
by an extended dry spell. But the Commercial Farmers’ Union said that 1,8
million tonnes would be required.

• The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (Fewsnet) said in a new report
the number of Zimbabweans in need of emergency food aid now stands at 2.17
million, a huge jump from the December figure of 1.74 million.


• The court-ordered transportation of 60 kg of diamonds to the Reserve Bank
was suspended after an armed gang raided the offices of mining firm African
Consolidated Resources (ACR), the legal owners of the Chiadzwa diamond
claim, and stole the company’s computers.

• Mines Minister Obert Mpofu (Zanu PF), backed by armed police, on Thursday
night removed a 29kg consignment of Chiadzwa diamonds worth millions of
dollars from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), violating a Supreme Court
order that the diamonds remain in the custody of the central bank until the
mining rights case between ACR and the government is resolved.


• More than thirty men and women from the Bhuka area (Masvingo) were
severely beaten on Saturday by Zanu-PF youths for failing to comply with the
headman who instructed they should not attend an MDC rally the previous day.

• MDC activist Peter Magombedze, who died in December, was “killed by severe
blows during the barbaric assault” by members of the police, an autopsy
report has confirmed. Two police officers, Sergeant Zvinavashe and Sergeant
Nzori of Nembudziya police station, have reportedly since been arrested in
connection with the death.

• Villages in the remote Rushinga district north-east of Mount Darwin report
that people who want to contribute to the constitution-making process are
being threatened with death or vicious beatings comparable to the June 2008


• Zimbabwe's constitutional committee has put the outreach exercise on hold
because it cannot send teams to interview people without police backing.
Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri has demanded US$3 million in payment
to release 1 000 police officers to accompany outreach teams.

• Police on Wednesday arrested eleven students for holding a public students’
meeting on the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) campus. The Zimbabwe National
Students’ Union (ZINASU) is demanding the arrest of a security guard from
the university after one of the students was severely beaten.

• A Harare magistrate this week removed senior MDC official Pascal Gwezere,
charged with stealing weapons from an army barracks, from remand after the
state failed to produce sufficient evidence linking him to the crime.
Gwezere was abducted last October by state security agents and was severely
beaten in custody.

• Attorney General Johannes Tomana has said prosecutors are free to oppose
bail and even overrule magistrates as long as they are acting according to

• Roy Bennett treason trial: Tomana accused the defence of "caricaturing him
and demeaning his office." Bennett’s lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa had demonstrated
that false emails could easily be created, using a spoof message from Tomana

• Twenty-two members of the pressure group Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA)
were arrested while holding a structural meeting on the constitution-making
process in a private home in Bulawayo on Tuesday. They were all later
released and, in a surprising move, the police apologized.


• Bulawayo’s Mpilo Hospital is only sustaining operations through donations
because government has not released most of the promised funding since
January last year. The 1 000 bed hospital needs about US$600 000 but has so
far received only US$60 000 from government coffers and in donations.


• Zimbabwe's Co-Ministers of Home Affairs on Saturday urged thousands of
Zimbabweans living in South Africa to return home and help rebuild the
country’s economy. Addressing a gathering in Johannesburg, Ministers Kembo
Mohadi (Zanu PF) and Giles Mutsekwa (MDC-T) said the government is ready to
drop all charges against political activists and specified business people
who are currently living outside the country. Unemployment in Zimbabwe
however, remains over 90 percent.

• Fifteen Zimbabwean civic organisations in the UK met in London last
weekend to choose a taskforce to coordinate the constitutional awareness and
information-gathering process in the UK.


• Zimbabwean officials are unhappy that Convention on International Trade in
Endangered Species (CITES) chief Willem Wijnstekers will tour a top private
conservancy during his visit to Zimbabwe next week, allegedly fearful he
will learn too much about endemic poaching decimating the country’s

• Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority’s claim it has not
carried out a game census since 2008 due to a lack of funds is said by some
conservationists to be a ploy to hide the extent of poaching by officials
working in cohorts with ministers and other senior government officials.

The Good News

• Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams on Friday launched an
exhibition in the UK of photographs showcasing the work of Anglicans in
Zimbabwe. He praised their courage and faithfulness in the face of violence
from state authorities attempting to close down their services.

• The Zimbabwean government and Iran will jointly set up a helicopter
repair, maintenance and training centre in Zimbabwe. The centre will benefit
Zimbabwean technicians as well as their counterparts across Africa.

• The Zimbabwe Open golf championship has been relaunched after a nine-year
hiatus and will regain its place on the South African "Sunshine Tour" in

Source:  Zimbabwe Democracy Now


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Media statement - Zimbabwe Democracy Now

Embargo:  Thursday 11 February 2010

Saluting the Greatest Son of Africa - Former President Nelson Mandela

Zimbabwe Democracy Now and all its fellow democracy movements join together
today, February 11, 2010 to salute Nelson Mandela on the 20th anniversary of
his triumphant walk to freedom after a 27-year ordeal as a political
prisoner on Robben Island.

In his first speech to the emotional crowds outside the city hall in Cape
Town, Mandela's first words were, "I greet you all in the name of peace,
democracy and freedom for all."

He waved to the cheering mass of 50 000 South Africans, media corps,
diplomats and visitors and said, "We call on our people to seize this moment
so that the process towards democracy is rapid and uninterrupted. We have
waited too long for our freedom."

Robert Mugabe sent his formal congratulations to Nelson Mandela on that day,
too. In 1990 Mugabe had already been in power for ten years; he had an
horrific genocide on his record and was routinely imprisoning and torturing
many of his political opponents. But that didn't stop him from claiming
liberation-hero kinship with South Africa's revered icon and

Years later, at a banquet to celebrate his 90th birthday, a retired Mandela
voiced his disappointment that 'peace, democracy and freedom for all' had
not yet been achieved in Africa.  He said, "Nearer to home we had seen the
outbreak of violence against fellow Africans in our own country and the
tragic failure of leadership in our neighbouring Zimbabwe."

Madiba knows that Zimbabwe has been independent for 30 years, but it is
still waiting for its freedom.

Zimbabweans have always shared kinship with South Africans; traditionally we
consider South Africa to be our ally. Many of us have taken refuge there,
fleeing our beloved homeland where Mugabe's brutal regime has robbed us of
the means to earn a living. As Zimbabweans cheer for Nelson Mandela on this
milestone anniversary, so we also weep for our broken country and our
scattered families. As we salute the greatest son of Africa, so we urge our
own leaders to embrace Mandela's humanitarian values.

Zimbabweans wholeheartedly share Nelson Mandela's proud vision for Africa:
Peace, democracy and freedom for all. May this at last be the year that it
becomes reality in Zimbabwe.

We salute Africa's greatest statesman and, in unison with our South African
brothers and sisters, we pray for his continued health and happiness on this
day and for many years to come.



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So the Government of National Unity can't pay Zimbabwe's teachers and other civil servants decently but they can pay those who guard the elite quite lavishly. Enough!

Members of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIO) team assigned to Mugabe during a visit to an international telecommunications summit last October were each paid a total of US$50 000 (US$5 000 a day) over Mugabe's 10-day stay. On another trip to Rome in November, his security detail was paid the same. In Zimbabwe, most of the population lives on less than US$1 per day. - Published on the Zimbabwe Democracy Now web site

Also, on the same web site

The Zimbabwe government spent nearly R86m (US$11.6m) in one year in fees for children and relatives of mostly top Zanu PF officials who are studying in South African universities while local universities struggle to function.

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Band of brothers
February 10, 2010

Flowerolonga It wouldn't have the guts, but if the ICC was looking for an appropriate date to become Spirit of Cricket Day, it could not do much better than February 10.

Today marks the seventh anniversary of one of the most extraordinary and courageous events in recent cricket history, when two men on the same side, one black and one white, took a stand together against dictatorship and corruption that would almost certainly end their sporting careers and could potentially have been life-threatening.

February 10, 2003, was the day when Andy Flower and Henry Olonga donned black armbands to protest at the death of democracy in Zimbabwe.

They had been discussing the idea for a month and decided to go ahead during Zimbabwe's World Cup match against Namibia in Harare. The words of the eloquent statement that they issued before the game are heart-felt and decent, a complete antidote to the bland platitudes you get from players and administrators alike. You can read the full text here, but this is a precis:

"We cannot in good conscience take to the field and ignore the fact that millions of our compatriots are starving, unemployed and oppressed. We are aware that hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans may even die in the coming months through a combination of starvation, poverty and Aids. We are aware that many people have been unjustly imprisoned and tortured simply for expressing their opinions.

"We are aware that people have been murdered, raped, beaten and had their homes destroyed because of their beliefs. It is impossible to ignore what is happening. Although we are just professional cricketers, we do have a conscience and feelings. We believe that if we remain silent that will be taken as a sign that either we do not care or we condone what is happening.

"We have decided that we will each wear a black armband for the duration of the World Cup. In doing so we are mourning the death of democracy in our beloved Zimbabwe. In doing so we are making a silent plea to those responsible to stop the abuse of human rights in Zimbabwe. In doing so we pray that our small action may help to restore sanity and dignity to our Nation."

While Flower was white, his status as Zimbabwe's one world-class player offered him more protection. Olonga, though, knew the risks. "If guys want to take me out they can," he said. "They know where I live." Jonathan Moyo, Zimbabwe's propaganda minister, called him an "Uncle Tom" who had "a black skin and a white mask". He suggested Flower had forced Olonga to sign the statement.

Olonga, who had been Zimbabwe's first black cricketer and should have been regarded as a national hero, was ordered off the team bus, told to pay his own hotel bill and given an air ticket out of the country. It was suggested that the secret police were watching him. A warrant was issued for his arrest and he went into hiding for a while. He has family in Kenya and has also lived in England, pursuing a career in music.

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