By Tichaona Sibanda
12 February 2010
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has given the clearest indication that his
party is preparing for fresh elections when he hinted they were prepared to
‘park’ outstanding issues in the GPA and go for a poll.
The MDC leader told the Zimbabwe Independent that outstanding issues should
not inhibit progress and that they were waiting for a report from the
negotiators to brief them on the status of the talks.
“If there are any outstanding issues we will park them and proceed,”
Tsvangirai said in an interview with the weekly paper. SW Radio Africa
understands that party negotiators Tendai Biti and Elton Mangoma presented
their report to the party’s national executive this week confirming the
talks have not progressed since last year, and were as good as dead.
Tsvangirai’s position on elections was reiterated by party spokesman Nelson
Chamisa at a press conference in Harare on Friday. Chamisa said the MDC
wants fresh elections if the current logjam in talks between their party and
ZANU PF persist.
“In our view it’s a deadlock. We realise there is disenchantment among the
people. The people would want to see finality to these issues. If the
deadlock persists then our trajectory is to have free and fair elections,”
He added; “ZANU-PF are trying to employ the tool of delaying so that we
continue to talk about talks until Christmas. We need to put a full-stop to
Following a series of consultations between SADC member states, President
Jacob Zuma of South Africa reportedly told Tsvangirai, Robert Mugabe and
Arthur Mutambara that regional leaders were in favour of having an election
to end the country’s political impasse.
A source told us the MDC was ready to temporarily ‘park’ pursuing the issues
of Attorney-General Johannes Tomana and Reserve bank Governor Gideon Gono if
the three principals could expedite the implementation of issues already
agreed upon by the three parties to the GPA.
“The MDC are not going to ditch their demands for Roy Bennett to be sworn
into government, but they are simply saying lets implement what has been
agreed to allow the government to move forward,” our source said.
Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Mutambara in May last year reached an agreement on
the appointment of governors and ambassadors from the two MDC formations.
They agreed that the governors would be appointed on the basis of the March
2008 House of Assembly election results.
MDC-T would appoint governors in Bulawayo, Matabeleland North, Masvingo,
Harare and Manicaland, while MDC-M would have a resident minister in
Matabeleland South and ZANU PF would retain governors in Midlands,
Mashonaland West, Mashonaland East and Mashonaland Central.
The MDC-T announced in May that it would appoint former women’s assembly
Chairperson Lucia Matibenga as governor of Masvingo, while Seiso Moyo will
become Governor of Bulawayo. Former trade unionist and senator James Makore
was to become governor of Harare, Tose Sansole would be governor of
Matabeleland North, while Mutare businessman Julius Magarangoma would be the
new governor for Manicaland.
MDC-M has not yet named its candidate for Matabeleland South, but former MP
for Gwanda Paul Themba Nyathi is still tipped to occupy the office.
Meanwhile, the five ambassadors nominated by the MDC formations to represent
the country abroad have been assigned mission stations and were to be
deployed to their bases in December last year. But they’re still stuck in
Harare waiting for the implementation of their postings, which is part of
Ambassadors Hebson Makuvise, Hilda Suka-Mafudze, Jacqueline Nomhla Zwambila,
Mabed Khumbulani from MDC-T and MDC’s Getrude Stevenson-Dickey completed a
three months diplomatic training in October last year. Makuvise has been
assigned to Germany, Zwambila to Australia, Mafudze will be in Sudan, and
Khumbulani has been posted to Nigeria, while Stevenson is going to Senegal.
Eyewitness News | 5 Hours Ago
A state newspaper in Zimbabwe said on Friday the government had taken a
radical move of banning all food handouts by NGOs.
The decision was announced by Agriculture Minister Joseph Made and will
arouse suspicion that it is politically motivated.
The official Manica Post newspaper said NGOs would no longer be allowed to
doll out free food despite more than 2 million people requiring food aid,
according to a forecast last month by the US-funded Famine Early Warning
Made said the government was reintroducing food for work programmes.
He said the main motivation was to ensure the rehabilitation of farmland.
The MDC's agricultural spokesperson Renson Gasela told Eyewitness News the
decision, if true, was inhuman.
Made is from President Robert Mugabe's party, which in the past claimed NGOs
were campaigning for MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
NGOs were banned from operating in the rural areas during the 2008 elections
and both Zanu-PF and the MDC hinted another poll could be held sooner rather
By Violet Gonda
12 February 2010
Saviour Kasukuwere, the Minister of Indigenisation, in charge of the new
regulation that requires businesses to hand over at least 51 per cent
ownership to indigenous Zimbabweans, has said the regulation will not be
This follows statements by the MDC on Thursday calling upon the coalition
government to reverse what it said were 'destructive policies.' The MDC said
the regulation was railroaded through, and should be withdrawn in the
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is also quoted in the media saying the
gazette had been made without his knowledge. He told the UK Daily Telegraph:
"I am in charge of all policy formulations by cabinet and these regulations
were gazetted without being seen by either myself or cabinet."
But Kasukuwere told SW Radio Africa on Friday that the inclusive government
had discussed this. He said the law went through Parliament and claimed it
was discussed by the Council of Ministers, which is chaired by the Prime
Minister. The ZANU PF Minister said now the government's position was 'dry
cleaning' the regulation to improve on the law.
"There is no way we can even start talking about reversing these regulations
because the Act is already taking place. and the regulations are to
facilitate the administration of the Act. So you can't talk about the
reversal of the regulations without even talking about that," said the
The controversial Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment bill was passed
through Parliament in 2008 after tough resistance by MDC legislators, when
the former ZANU PF government had a majority in Parliament. It had been on
hold since then and was only gazetted last week.
Some say this move sends a very worrying message to potential investors who
might already be concerned about government interference and that the
process could easily lead to the chaos that followed the seizure of
commercial farms. The MDC also accused ZANU PF of trying to create a new
arena for looting and abuse. The party pointed out: "The so-called
'indigenous people' who are set to benefit from this criminal Bill are not
the ordinary man and woman, but the well-connected elite and the ZANU PF
But Kasukuwere insists: "We are not going to extort from anybody. It is not
about trying to take anybody's business. Secondly it's not about
nationalisation, and anyone who wants to participate as Zimbabweans will
have to pay for their shares. But we are very clear about the need to
empower our people."
When asked why it has taken 30 years to do so, Kasukuwere responded by
saying: "Today we find it is the correct moment in time for us to really
address issues that affected our people and we have to remove the barriers
that affected our people for a very long time."
"So if one says it's a racial issue, I am sorry, all I am dealing with is a
historical issue that negated our people to become house-girls and
house-boys," he said.
By Lance Guma
12 February 2010
Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo has moved to protect 23 MDC-T
councillors in Chitungwiza who were sacked by their party on Thursday over
corruption allegations. Chombo reacted to the dismissal by saying he will
continue to work with the councillors because 'internal differences do not
matter to us. As far as we are concerned, this remains a party affair. It is
not a local government issue.'
But on Friday Newsreel had information that Chombo himself was implicated in
the corruption that led to the dismissal of the councillors and the former
Chitungwiza Mayor Israel Marange. A committee led by MDC-T Deputy Secretary
General Tapiwa Mashakada came up with a dossier containing information that
Chombo was corruptly allocated a stand to build a hotel in Chitungwiza by
the same officials he is now protecting.
The close relationship between Chombo and the dismissed councillors is also
evidenced by the fact that the current town clerk Godfrey Tanyanyiwa was at
one time Chombo's campaign manager for parliamentary elections in Zvimba
North. A source said there was now a very real possibility that ZANU PF
would try and reach out to the councillors and have them join their ranks.
In 2004 ZANU PF enticed former MDC Harare Deputy Mayor Sekesai Makwavarara
to join their ranks after she fell out with her party.
It might be early days yet but Chombo gave some indication as to their
possible strategy when he said the fired individuals will remain as
'councillors without a party.' Chombo also insisted, 'there is nothing at
law that says once a political party disowns its own councillors, they
should cease to represent their wards in council. We will recognise them. It
is unfortunate their party cannot remove them from council.'
This however is in stark contrast to previous meddling from the Minister who
illegally removed Elias Mudzuri the first opposition mayor in the country.
The Minister also has a long history of replacing MDC run councils with his
own commissions stuffed with ZANU PF apologists. An MDC official told us the
latest developments put the differences between the MDC and ZANU PF in
perspective. "In the MDC we punish corrupt officials but in ZANU PF it's the
other way round, they are rewarded."
On Friday Mashakada told Newsreel there was a general misconception that
only MDC councillors were involved in the corruption that rocked
Chitungwiza. He said in the run up to the one man presidential run-off in
2008, ZANU PF officials illegally grabbed council land which they are now
sub dividing into residential stands. "Our councillors then joined in the
fray, sub dividing and selling stands outside council resolutions."
Asked if they did not fear the prospect of their former councillors joining
ZANU PF Mashakada said, "We can afford to sacrifice those bad apples to
protect our residents." He also said they had several options including the
calling of by-elections to replace the councillors or forwarding a caretaker
council composed of members from the MDC to run Chitungwiza council affairs.
Meanwhile party spokesman Nelson Chamisa told us the party had adopted the
'Real Change Charter,' which would guide members on how to conduct
themselves and stay clear of corruption.
February 12, 2010
By Munyaradzi Mutidzwa
JOHANNESBURG - Hundreds of Zimbabweans were on Friday evicted from Chambers
Building in Johannesburg central after the property was condemned as
unsuitable for human habitation.
The residents, most them Zimbabweans, were left stranded after a sheriff,
wielding an eviction order granted two weeks ago, ordered them to vacate the
The building is at corner Angle and Van Beek Streets.
It also emerged that the owners of the bulding might not have been
receiving payment for use of the building. However, the residents insist
they had been paying rent to certain persons, without fail, each month. The
relationship between persons who collected the money and owners of the
building remained unclear.
The residents said the eviction took them by total surprise.
"They just came here this morning, said we were all being evicted and must
vacate the building immediately without giving us any time to pack our
property," said Nyaradzai Mutambanengwe, one of the residents.
"They should have given us notice of two or more days. Look what is this
now? What does it mean? My mother is blind. Where can I go?"
An eviction team of men in red uniforms, helmets and shields descended on
the buidling unannounced and ordered the residents out. The victims were
"We were paying rent here every month and I was sure that every last day of
the month I pay my rent," said Monica Mtombeni. "I was paying R500 every
month; its now three years and I didn't expect this cruelty in South Africa.
My hope is all gone."
Red-uniformed team hired for the eviction recieves instructions outside the
The sheriff at the scene, who identified himself as Mr Burger, told The
Zimbabwe Times: 'The person who was claiming to be the owner of the building
was given an eviction notice two weeks ago after another one he had been
given six months ago.
"But did not give it or inform these people. He knew all this was going to
come but was not honest to them. Now they can't even see him. Where is he
"There's no more I can tell you. You just talk to the owners of this
building. I just came here with eviction order from the court. I am doing my
job; so they must go"
"The place is unfit for people live," said a man dressed in AFHCO Property
Management Company T-shirt who was present during the eviction. He only
identified himself as a manager at the company. He said AFHCO owned the
"We are going to renovate it for residential purposes," he said. "They never
paid rent to us for the past years; they were paying it to someone I don't
"This building was hijacked; that's the bottom line." He would not give
further details. It is unclear why the building had been used for
residential purposes for such a long time.
About three million Zimbabweans are said to be living outside the country,
the majority of them in South Africa, having fled political repression and
poverty after a decade-long economic crisis blamed on President Robert
Mugabe's controversial policies.
A coalition government formed by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Mugabe
last year has failed to resuscitate the country's shattered economy. Many
people in the country have relied on money or commodities sent to them my
family members outside the country.
"All is gone," said Simangele Sibanda. "My groceries which I bought just
yesterday for R950 and some new clothes for my brothers at home in Zimbabwe.
They were expecting this because I had told them I would send the food on
"I have lost all my important documents, passport, Zimbabwe ID and birth
certificates for my children. It's like fire has consumed the whole
building. These people are very rough; they are even saying 'we don't want
you here; go back to Mugabe.'
"Who are they to say that?"
Most of the victims had moved to the building from the Central Methodist
Church which was accommodating more than 3 500 refugees and asylum seekers,
mostly from Zimbabwe.
The church has had its own problems with surrounding businesses complaining
residents at the church were spoiling the vicinity.
The residents evicted Friday said they had been paying rent since 2005.
"This is my fourth year here and I was paying rent every month," said
Felesia Mpofu. "We paid our rent to the security people who came collecting
it every last day of the month in our rooms.
"All the money is given to a man called Doubt who says he passes the money
on to the landlord."
An officer, identified as D Louw, who was part of the eviction team, said:
"I am just doing my job. They must find accommodation elsewhere.
The evicted residents said it was hopeless to seek assistance from
Zimbabwean embassy in South Africa.
"It's useless to contact the Zimbabwean embassy when we have problem like
this .it's 'indoda iyazibonela' (each man for himself),"said Chamunorwa
Kangara. "The embassy has nothing to do with us; it is not even concerned
"They say we are enemies; we are MDC ".
But Manhla Sibindi said: "We want Khaya Moyo here. He is our ambassador; he
must be here. He must know what is happening. What will he report back home
if he doesn't want to see or confront our problems?"
Kudzanai Chikandiwa, another victim, said despite the troubles, he was not
considering returning to Zimbabwe at the moment.
"We want to go back home but we will also be confronted by misery," said
Chikandiwa. "This problem can come to an end when we have one government;
this current government is divided.
"How can we go back if Mugabe is refusing to have a new constitution? We
must have a new constitution that will prepare for new elections. Even if
things get bad, we will never go back.
"New constitution first."
By Alex Bell
12 February 2010
A refugee rights group in South Africa has accused the United Nations
refugee agency of ‘xenophobia,’ for not affording Zimbabwean refugees the
same treatment as other refugees in South Africa.
The group, People against Suffering, Suppression, Oppression and Poverty
(PASSOP) has this week said that Zimbabwean refugees in South Africa are
victims of a form of ‘selective assistance’ by organisations meant to help
them. The group’s Braam Hanekom said that these organisations, often funded
or mandated by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), have refused
to help Zimbabweans, who have been accused of being ‘opportunistic.’ Hanekom
said, because Zimbabweans are usually classed as ‘economic migrants,’ they
are not afforded the same rights as other refugees. He said such prejudice
is “just another form of xenophobia.”
Hanekom further accused the UNHCR of being deliberately ‘malicious’ towards
a group of Zimbabweans still living in a refugee camp in the Western Cape.
Last year, almost 2000 Zimbabweans from the De Doorns farming town were
forced to flee their homes after angry locals went on the rampage, burning
down shacks belonging to foreigners. The Zimbabweans fled to a makeshift
refugee camp that was set up to house them, but more than three months later
than camp is still at full capacity.
Research by migration experts has recently shown how the ‘humanitarian
nature’ of the exodus of Zimbabweans to neighbouring Southern African
countries has blurred the distinction between a ‘refugee’ and an ‘economic
migrant.’ According to a report released late last year by the Forced
Migration Studies Programme at the University of the Witwatersrand in
Johannesburg, Zimbabweans fit neither category perfectly and instead fall
between the cracks.
“Official responses to Zimbabwean migration in Botswana, Malawi, Zambia and
Mozambique are still premised on this distinction, and so are failing to
protect both Zimbabweans and [their own] citizens,” noted Zimbabwean
Migration into Southern Africa: New Trends and Responses, a report released
last December. The report detailed how those crossing the border were not
refugees as most did not even apply for refugee status while, given the
extent of economic collapse in Zimbabwe, were not considered to be
‘voluntary’ economic migrants either.
“Lack of protection of migrants in the region is based on a false
distinction between a forced and an economic migrant, instead of focusing on
the real and urgent needs some of these migrants have,” the report said.
The report suggested that a better term would be ‘forced humanitarian
migrants,’ who moved for the purpose of their and their dependents’ basic
February 12, 2010
By Raymond Maingire
HARARE - National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) chairman Lovemore Madhuku
has accused the mainstream MDC led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai of
attempts to influence the opinions of its supporters by authoring a draft
constitution to counter the Kariba draft document favoured by Zanu-PF.
"The MDC is also going around the country with a constitution that they have
developed very quickly," Madhuku told journalists during the Quill speak
The Quill speak is a regular talk forum in which journalists in Harare find
occasion to discuss topical issues with public officials.
He continued, "No member of the MDC was consulted, no one. They just
developed the document and are now taking it to the grassroots.
"The MDC is competing with Zanu-PF which is coaching its people to accept
the Kariba document."
The Kariba draft is a compromise document authored 2007 by Zanu-PF and the
two MDC parties to minimise conflict in national elections that were due the
The document leaves Mugabe's powers intact.
Madhuku is a fierce critic of the current constitution making process led by
"How can the MDC, of all parties, tell the people of what to say? These are
people who will tell you that they founded the NCA and yet they break these
principles," he said.
The current constitution process comes after an agreement signed in
September 2008 by Zanu-PF and the two MDC parties.
The MDC is adamant the resultant document will incorporate the views of the
But Madhuku said the MDC has conceded too much to Zanu-PF and can no longer
be trusted to continue championing the aspirations of its own supporters and
those of traditional allies in civic society.
"I don't think the MDC can fight for the kind of constitution we want," he
"We would really be better off if all the people were there and the MDC
would easily give up in terms of the constitution."
Madhuku said the bad blood between his NCA and the MDC has weakened the
strong alliance that existed among the traditional partners.
"As NCA, we have no power," he said. "Part of our power was taken away by
the MDC going into the inclusive government.
"When we went together as an alliance - NCA, ZCTU, ZINASU, MDC, civil
society - we were so much wary and there were no strategies to exist apart
from each other.
"We were stronger together and our thought process was as one movement. So,
clearly when this difference occurred, it weakened us. We were not prepared
for this division in terms of our forces."
Madhuku said the NCA was working hard to disentangle itself from the MDC and
start creating "a very strong independent force".
Madhuku further criticized Western donors for pouring money into the
process, saying this was tantamount to interfering with what should be a
normal discourse among Zimbabweans.
"Donors are interfering with the arguments of the Zimbabweans," he said,
"Donors are not part of our country.
"How can anyone come, listen to what we are saying, listen to what the
government is saying and then say 'ah this is constructive'. They do not
have any role in this country except to pour money.
"They are not going to be affected by the constitution; they have never been
governed by Mugabe and do not know how painful it was to be governed by
Mugabe, to live in an oppressive political system.
"These are self appointed judges of our struggle here. They have appointed
themselves into adjudicators of our own struggle. The fact that we go out
there to look for resources does not mean that we have no cause.
"But our cause must not be determined by who has money. They are interfering
in the sense of funding and funding and funding the kind of nonsense we are
seeing and the only reason why this nonsense will continue is because there
is money for it."
He said the NCA had taken its struggle to block the current constitution
making process to the donors.
"We are engaging these donors and saying that if they don't want to be
objective, our plea is that they should not be arbitrary," he said, "they
should not interfere in this country to the extent that they cause divisions
on the basis of who they decide to fund."
February 12, 2010
By Our Correspondent
HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC party has said it hopes the
two heads of constitutional commissions that will run elections and oversee
human rights will do their jobs professionally.
MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa told reporters at a press briefing at Harvet
House, the party headquarters in Harare, Friday that the appointments - both
of them critical in laying the groundwork for next year's elections - were
products of negotiation and compromise.
Justice Simpson Mutambanengwe was named the chairman of the Independent
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission while Professor Reg Austin was appointed
chairman of the human rights commission.
The appointments were announced at a joint press conference held by three
principals in the inclusive government, President Robbert Mugabe, Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his deputy, Prof Arthur Mutambara two Fridays
ago after a seven-hour meeting.
Both Mtambanengwe and Austin were actively involved with the political and
armed struggle of the Zimbabwean nationalist movement during the 1960s and
1970s before Zimbabwe became independent, and their association with Mugabe
is a matter of public record.
The two have in the past been special appointees by Mugabe, with
Mutambanengwe serving in on High Court bench while Austin was appointed to
head the Law Faculty at the University of Zimbabwe just after independence.
Mutambanengwe was appointed by Mugabe to serve as a Judge of the High Court
of Zimbabwe in November 1986. He served in that capacity until he quit in
1994, to join the Namibian High Court bench where he rose to be Ombudsman
before he was appointed Chief Justice by Namibia President Sam Nujoma, a
close ally of President Mugabe in 2004.
At 77, Mutambanengwe is of an advanced age, and questions are being raised
whether he has the stamina needed to overhaul the country's highly
compromised electoral system.
Mutambanengwe told The Zimbabwe Times in a telephone interview from
Windhoek: "I have accepted the position in principle and I am awaiting
further notifications because they are still in the process of finalizing
"I shall be working from here because I have a fulltime job but if the need
arises needing my attention then we will see."
This scenario makes the necessary oversight over the electoral body
On the other hand Austin served in the Law Faculty at the University of
Zimbabwe just after Zimbabwe attained independence in 1980. He was appointed
by Mugabe to head the UZ Law Faculty. During the liberation struggle, he
backed guerrilla fighters.
During the internal settlement just before independence, he was aligned to
Zapu and was involved in the Lancaster House talks on an advisory level to
the Joshua Nkomo team.
Professor Austin served as the UN chief electoral officer in Cambodia and
Afghanistan. Between 2005 and early 2008. He undertook electoral and
governance related work as an independent consultant with the UN and other
agencies in Cambodia, the Solomon Islands, Ghana and Timor Leste.
He was later to join the Commonwealth secretariat as an election expert.
Chamisa told reporters the MDC hoped both officials would perform their
"It's a product of compromise and negotiation," Chamisa said of the two
"As a product of compromise, that was the equilibrium. It's not like they
came from Zanu-PF or the MDC. We have no reason to doubt the sincerity of
these individuals. We believe they will bring integrity to the process."
The commissions are part of the reforms proposed under the global political
agreement (GPA) signed by the three Zimbabwean leaders in 2008, which paved
the way for the formation of a coalition government in February this year.
However, a few issues remain where no agreement has been reached; these will
now be referred to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) for
The issues of the appointment of the central bank governor and attorney
general continue to evade resolution.
SADC is trying to broker a deal among the three Zimbabwean political parties
and save the coalition government.
Chiredzi, February 12, 2010 - The Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park
Initiative involving Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa is under threat
as villagers staying in the Zimbabwe's Gonarezhou National Park are refusing
to pave way for the project, which will see an influx of tourists to the
Creation of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier park brings together three game
parks of the three countries to create one big common park. The project has
stalled over the years due to recurrent problems on the Zimbabwe side. At
least 1000 families of the Chitsa clan illegally staying in Gonarezhou
National Park, have vowed to stay put in the mega-park demanding
compensation first from Zanu PF for broken promises.
The families, who have been staying in Gonarezhou for the past three years,
have accused Zanu PF of abusing them for political gain after initially
allowing them to stay in the park before the 2008 harmonised polls only to
shift goalposts afterwards.
Chief Chitsa, Andrew Hahlani, told Radio VOP that Zanu PF through the then
party's National Chairman John Nkomo visited them at the park in 2007 and
assured them that government not going to remove them from their ancestral
He charged that now that elections were over Zanu PF no longer cared about
''John Nkomo came to three years ago and told us that we were not going to
be moved but now they are efforts to relocate us. We will not move unless we
get compensation from Zanu PF otherwise they are wasting their time. They
assured us that we will stay in the park for good now that elections are
over they want to chase us just like that,''fumed Chief Chitsa.
Contacted for comment Masvingo Governor Titus Maluleke said the Chitsa
families were going to be relocated only when the right time comes.
''We will only resettle them when we see it fit, what has their relocation
got to do with you?, that talk of compensation is utter rubish,''said
JASON MOYO | HARARE, ZIMBABWE - Feb 12 2010 15:29
Who's running Zimbabwe's government of national unity? Jason Moyo has a look
at the key power players and attempts to unravel their tenuous hold on a
President Rober Mugabe
With his hand firmly on many of the political levers, Mugabe has still had
to balance the need to keep his top supporters happy, while appearing keen
on reform. When addressing supporters, he puts on a defiant act. And when
timing demands, Mugabe warmly holds hands with Morgan Tsvangirai.
But the president has spent the past year plotting a path back to full power
and his plays are becoming bolder.
Last month he sent out a memo to ministers ordering them to stop reporting
to Tsvangirai; Tsvangirai wrote his own memo, telling ministers to reject
Mugabe has skilfully steered debate away from reforms, bogging his opponents
down in a debate about sanctions.
Vice President Joyce Mujuru
Mujuru, still known among her supporters by her war name Teurai Ropa (Spill
Blood), has long been touted as a possible successor to Mugabe.
She was 25 years old when she became a Cabinet minister at independence in
1980. She rose to prominence when, as women's affairs minister, she banned
beauty pageants, saying they degraded women.
Her fortunes have see-sawed in the past six years. In 2004 she looked a dead
certainty for higher office after Mugabe eased her into her current position
by sacking six provincial party chairpeople.
But wary of Mujuru's ambition, it was rival Emmerson Mnangagwa that Mugabe
chose as a close confidant. Mujuru worked her way back to Mugabe's side and
her faction took control of key levers of Zanu-PF at its congress in
December, where she cast herself as a reformer.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
A former trade unionist, Tsvangirai still derives support largely from the
urban poor. His participation in the unity government alienated some of his
more radical backers, while his failure to press quickly for reform has
disillusioned some unionists.
However, there are no real threats to his leadership of the 11-year-old MDC.
While his support base remains grassroots, he also retains the critical
support of big business and the international community, a lever he has over
Tsvangirai faced criticism that he allowed himself to be outplayed by
Mugabe, a contention that grew last October when, in a rage, he announced
his party was "disengaging" from the coalition.
Weeks later Tsvangirai was back in government and nothing really changed. He
has refused to join mud-fights, even while Zanu-PF turned up the rhetoric
His failure to convince Western allies to provide real economic aid to
Zimbabwe has, however, left him vulnerable.
Defence Miniser Emmerson Mnangagwa
A head of a rival Zanu-PF faction, Mnangagwa has not had a very public role,
but is deeply involved with his party's team in interparty negotiations. He
has publicly supported the military's role in land reforms, while Zanu-PF
has declared it will not negotiate reforms for the "sacred and sacrosanct"
Much feared, Mnangagwa has solid ties in the military and in intelligence,
having served as security minister during the first years of the
Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara
Mutambara remains an outsider in the coalition. His smaller faction of the
MDC holds a deciding minority in Parliament, but neither of the two main
rivals can rely on his support.
Mutambara has sought to cast himself as the middle-man between the two more
Finance Minister Tendai Biti
The unity agreement handed control of economic reform to the MDC, an
acknowledgement of Mugabe's failures. And Biti, the MDC's secretary general,
has revelled in the spotlight of economic success, seizing power from the
country's central bank governor Gideon Gono.
Biti waged endless public wars with Gono, which served to win him
admiration, but only widened divisions within the coalition.
Revenues have risen steadily under Biti's strict regime, inflation eased and
Zimbabwe's relations with international lenders are on the mend. But he has
often appeared stranded and unsure.
Early in his job he drew criticism after he failed to state what policies he
had planned to kick-start growth, saying he would have to go by "hook and
He also fumbled over the use of special International Monetary Fund money,
drawing criticism from business.
The roar that greeted Jonathan Moyo as his name was called out at the
Zanu-PF congress in December said much about how parched the party is for
anything new. While nobody has mentioned his name as a candidate for top
office, he is a talker and he is useful for observers looking to gauge the
pulse of the hardliners within Zanu-PF.
Moyo was sacked from the party in 2005 and became as acerbic in his
criticism of Mugabe as he had been in defending his rule as information
Moyo gained infamy in a crusade against a free press, using his sharp wit
as he shut down newspapers. None of it has worn off.
He claimed recently that "every Zimbabwean is Zanu-PF at heart" and in a
typical article in a state weekly recently he brazenly claimed Zanu-PF's
policies had "done wonders in the economy".
But Moyo can be depended on to reveal the anxiety of hardliners with
reformists within the party, whom he says are "doubting Thomases" who are
"flirting with the other side."
Unity or a poll
There was a moment at Zanu-PF's congress late last year when the party's
anxiety under the coalition was laid bare.
In a session discussing "the state of the party", one supporter rose from
"Mr Chairman," he shouted. "We have a problem. Where I live, when they come
and fill in the potholes, the people say it is the MDC's work. When water
supply is restored, it's the MDC. When they repair pipes, it is the MDC."
It was a popular view -- progress was hurting the party. And so by the end
of congress, Zanu-PF had decided to toughen up. According to a poll by the
Mass Public Opinion Institute, support for the unity government fell from
80% in March last year to 66% in December last year.
But many observers believe the unity government will survive. Collapse would
trigger a fresh election and, despite the rhetoric, neither party is ready
for a new poll.
Friday, 12 February 2010 08:15
MOVEMENT for Democratic Change (MDC) transport manager Pasco Gwezere says he
is a “dead” man. “They have killed me already,” were the first words he
uttered to the Zimbabwe Independent when asked about his ordeal at the hands
of security agents. He says he was tortured. Gwezere, a former MDC head of
security, was abducted by suspected state security agents on October 27 2009
at his Mufakose home in full view of his wife and children. He was later
accused of conniving with army officers and stealing 20 AK 47 rifles and a
shotgun from an armory at Pomona Barracks.
A soldier, Baureni Mafara, has already been jailed for 35 years while a
civilian, Emmanuel Mashiri, was sentenced to 15 years for the theft of the
arms. Gwezere today is a free man as the state failed to provide a trial
date. His lawyer, Alec Muchadehama, said the state’s case against his client
was weak hence the state was told to proceed by way of summons.
Describing the torturers, Gwezere said the men were invariably drunk during
interrogation and used a variety of methods from tying his genitals in a
strong cotton thread and pulling them in all directions to burying him
“They damaged my manhood; they tied my genitals with cotton strings and
would pull them from all sides. When that didn’t work they wanted to bury me
alive. I can never forget the pain and humiliation for a crime I did not
commit,” he narrated this week.
A medical expert who examined Gwezere last November confirmed to the
Independent that Gwezere had wounds consistent with torture.
“Both of his feet were swollen and he had a septic wound on the lateral side
of his left leg. He had a scar on his genital organs that could have been
caused by a thick cotton thread. He has scratch marks on his left lower back
and suspension scars on both wrists,” the doctor said.
The wound on his leg was a result of the torturers pulling flesh from his
shin with pincers.
Gwezere says the torture adversely affected his sex life but the medical
expert said that might be a psychological after-effect he did not notice
rather than a direct result of the physical torture.
Gwezere is the second defendant to allege drunkenness among security agents
during interrogation. Key state witness in the trial of MDC-T
treasurer-general and deputy Agriculture minister-designate Roy Bennett,
Peter Michael Hitschmann told the High Court last month that his torturers
forgot to get his signature for an affidavit that would have made the state’s
case against Bennett stronger because they were drunk on the job.
Gwezere’s ordeal now suggests agents boozing on duty could be a common
practice, particularly during interrogation.
“They caused extensive damage to me for no apparent reason,” Gwezwere said.
“I told them several times despite their beatings that I did not steal the
firearms and did not know where they were.”
He said: “When they took me it was a Hollywood movie-style arrest. The door
was just opened without a knock and within a few seconds the small room was
filled with men in plain clothes, wielding pistols.
“They asked me who I was and I told them my full name and they said I was
the one they wanted. They didn’t tell me the nature of my charges; they had
no papers on them to show me that they had the right to be invading my
He said outside the house police in riot gear and more state agents had
barricaded the road from both ends.
He was taken away in a silver Isuzu KB250, which had no identification
plates. During the abduction the agents repeatedly threatened him with
death. He was never sure where he was being driven to but remembers that
they passed through Marimba police station in Mufakose. They stopped for
just a minute before blind-folding him and proceeding to where-he-knew-not.
On the way to their destination he claims to have been beaten with the butt
of a pistol while being pinched all over the body including on the ears.
On arrival at a base he did not know, Gwezere said he was taken to a room
where the beating continued. This time his interrogators used booted feet,
clinched fists and open palms. One of the torturers used a broomstick to
On the first night he claims he was not asked anything in connection with
the stolen firearms, instead they asked about his powers as an MDC employee
and where he got the powers from.
The state implicated him in the arms theft through a text message that was
in his phone warning him to be careful because the Central Intelligence
Organisation had plans to take him in over the firearms.
“I told them that I had no control of the messages that got into my phone
and that I did not know what had happened to the firearms. But this made
them very happy and they said they had got their thief.”
Asked why in the first place he alone of all the people in the MDC-T had
been implicated in the arms theft, Gwezere said he thought he had been
framed by someone within the MDC-T itself.
“I was implicated by fellow workmates who could not stand the idea of being
taken in by the security agents.”
While in detention Gwezere alleges intense torture using inhuman tactics.
He said at one time they tied his arms and legs together and put a tow bar
beneath his knees and suspended him between two tables and began to beat
him. They codenamed this torture method “Birchenough Bridge” after the
suspension bridge over the Save river in Chipinge, Manicaland.
Just before his first appearance in court on Saturday, October 31 he says
the interrogators used another method of torture: they threw him into a
shallow grave and began to shovel earth on top of him until only the head
was left exposed. They said they would only dig him out when he revealed
where the stolen arms were hidden. They called this the “undertaker method”.
“They told me that I was a stubborn man and that all levels of interrogation
had almost been complete yet I had not said anything, so they were going to
use the ‘undertaker method’.”
But before using the “undertaker method” they had showed him a report they
said they would send to the editor of a state newspaper which stated that he
had escaped from police custody and was feared to have skipped the border
into neighbouring Mozambique.
This ploy, Gwezere claimed, was intended to instill maximum fear in him for
he would feel that he was really going to be killed. He said the torturers
said they would give the media the statement after he failed to cooperate
and they had killed him.
But this did not soften him. In the end they gave up.
Friday, 12 February 2010 08:19
WATER Resources, Development and Management minister Samuel Nkomo has
accused two mining companies and Zesa of discharging toxic waste in a Hwange
river, posing a serious health hazard to villagers and animals. Responding
to questions put forward by Hwange East MP Wesley Sansole during question
time in parliament on Wednesday, Nkomo said Hwange Colliery Company, South
Mining and the power utility were discharging toxic substances into Deka
River in Matabeleland North.
Nkomo said: "I understand that mining companies are discharging acidic
effluent and Zesa is discharging alkaline substances. I have been assured by
Hwange that they will look into the situation."
Despite not disclosing when the pollution started or what actions government
would take on the companies, Nkomo said the Environmental Management
Authority and the Zimbabwe National Water Authority would continue to
"monitor" the situation.
Under Statutory Instrument 6 of 2007- effluent and waste disposal -
companies and individuals could face a fine or jail term or both for
polluting the environment.
When asked by Sansole what "remedial action" was required to ensure that
this practice is discontinued, Nkomo advised the companies to implement
pretreatment measures at the point of discharge.
Deka River also supports flora and fauna at Hwange National Park, one of the
country's largest conservancies.
This development is likely to catch the eye of conservationists and
environmentalists alike at a time when the Convention on Trade in Endangered
Species secretary-general Willen Wijnsters is in the country to assess its
The Zimbabwe Environment Law Association (Zela) last December sought an
interdict against mining companies in Chiadzwa from conducting their mining
explorations and operations, and construction of an airport, until they were
granted Environmental Impact Assessment Certificates in accordance with
Zela was representing more than 40 families that were relocated to make way
for the full exploration of the controversial gems.
The mining companies according to media reports have since received approval
from the environmental agency.
Friday, 12 February 2010 08:23
FIVE suspended Zapu members have vowed to lead the ouster of the party's
interim chairperson, Dumiso Dabengwa, while some party members are lobbying
Roman Catholic church Archbishop Pius Ncube to contest for the party's top
position at the forthcoming congress. The five suspended members are
accusing Dabengwa of working against the interests of the revived party.
The five suspended members are former police provincial spokesperson Smile
Dube, former airline boss Evans Ndebele, former Bulawayo councillor Charles
Mpofu, Retired Colonel Ray Ncube, and Nhlanhla Ncube.
Mpofu, speaking on behalf of the five, accused Dabengwa of hoodwinking
people into believing that he has left Zanu PF when in actual fact he was
still working with them.
He said they were planning to oust Dabengwa at the party's congress expected
to be held in May this year.
"We have been watching developments in the party and what continues to
incense us is the manner in which Dabengwa continues to be part and parcel
of Zanu-PF," Mpofu said.
"We have questioned him over his stance to remain in Zanu PF and he attends
all funerals of former Zanu PF members and is not treated like someone who
has left the party and we have discovered that he is part of plans to divide
the people of Zimbabwe after successfully completing another Zanu PF project
under the Mavambo/Kusile project."
Dabengwa has been under fire from party members since he was elected interim
chairperson of Zapu during last year's extraordinary annual conference.
Mpofu said party members have become suspicious of Dabengwa after he refused
to address rallies saying he was not yet ready.
"What further surprises members is that when we organise rallies Dabengwa
sends youths to disrupt the meetings and this shows that he is not
interested in having Zapu becoming a strong opposition party and we will not
have a leader like him so at the forthcoming congress we will go and
campaign against him," Mpofu said.
In response, Zapu spokesperson, Methuseli Moyo, said there was nothing amiss
about what Dabengwa was doing and accused the suspended members of being
bitter after their expulsion from the party.
"These are sour grapes from those expelled, everything in Zapu is in order
and all members are happy except for the five suspended members," Moyo said.
However, party sources told the Zimbabwe Independent this week that there
were plans within the party to rope in Archbishop Ncube to take over from
"There are plans to bring Archbishop Pius Ncube into the leadership of the
party because many people feel that Dabengwa is not taking the party's
agenda forward," said one party source.
The sources said those lobbying for Archbishop Ncube believe that the cleric
commands a lot of respect in the country despite the sex scandals that he is
alleged to have been involved in.
"Pius Ncube commands a lot of respect in the country, he has been outspoken
against President Mugabe and has stood steadfast when attacked by the state
for his position on human rights issues and many feel that with what he has
been through in the last years he will take up the offer of leading Zapu,"
said one source.
The sources said some of the party's council of elders have threatened to
resign in the coming weeks in protest against the way the party was being
The party spokesperson said members were free to campaign for any positions
at the party congress and said he was not aware that Archbishop Ncube had
been approached by some Zapu members.
"As a party we are not aware who is interested to contest which positions at
the congress and everyone is free to contest any position but if anyone
thinks that Pius Ncube can lead any party they are wrong and if Pius Ncube
is elected to lead Zapu that would be the end of Zapu," Moyo said.
He said Ncube was disgraced over the alleged sex scandal and those calling
for him to lead the party were not serious.
However, efforts to contact Archbishop Ncube in Hwange, where he is now
based, were fruitless.
Friday, 12 February 2010 08:25
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has withdrawn a directive to ministers and permanent
secretaries to report to his deputies, Joice Mujuru and John Nkomo, after
protests by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his deputy Arthur Mutambara
when they met last Friday. The directive was made through a circular dated
January 25 by the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Misheck
Mutambara yesterday confirmed the withdrawal of the directive.
"The directive from Sibanda was discussed by the three principals and there
was debate on how it was issued and it was later withdrawn after there was
consensus that it was issued un-procedurally," Mutambara told the Zimbabwe
Independent. "The decision (to withdraw the circular) was not an individual
one but a government decision. The directive has been thrown out of the
Tsvangirai and Mutambara told Mugabe during the Friday meeting that the
circular was unprocedural and was against the global political agreement
(GPA), which is captured in the constitution and stipulates that ministers
should report to the premier.
Sibanda's circular directed ministers to report to Mujuru and Nkomo who
would assist the president in their "supervision and management".
The MDC-T interpreted the directive as undermining Tsvangirai's authority
and position in government.
Under Article 20 of the GPA as enshrined in Constitutional Amendment No 19,
the premier "shall oversee the formulation of government policies by the
cabinet" and "shall ensure that the policies so formulated are implemented
by the entirety of government".
The MDC-T rejected the circular as "null and void".
The withdrawal of the directive lessens the burden of items still under
dispute in the GPA.
Sibanda's circular read in part: "I am directed to inform you that in the
inclusive government, Honourable Vice Presidents will continue to assist His
Excellency the President in the general supervision and management of the
administration of government business just as the Honourable Prime Minister
is assisted by deputy prime ministers."
The circular compelled permanent secretaries in government ministries to
report to the two vice presidents. Permanent secretaries are the chief
executives of government ministries and have tremendous influence in shaping
government policies and executing policy issues in the ministries that they
The directive from Sibanda's circular had indicated that Vice-President
Mujuru would supervise all social and agricultural ministries, in addition
to overseeing the implementation of programmes to enhance productivity in
the agricultural sector, and implementation of the indigenisation and
empowerment programmes, including women's empowerment in gender equity
The circular further indicated that Mujuru would also supervise Zimbabwe's
strategic public utilities and continue to chair the cabinet committees on
honours and awards, state occasions and national monuments, and parastatals.
Nkomo, according to Sibanda's circular, was to take charge of ministries
dealing with the economy, finance, mines, industry, energy, international
cooperation, tourism and natural resources management.
Sibanda's letter had stirred a hornet's nest as the premier's office
immediately rejected it as an attempt to strip Tsvangirai of his powers.
Tsvangirai's secretary Ian Makone wrote a memorandum to Sibanda accusing him
of attempting to usurp Tsvangirai's powers.
Friday, 12 February 2010 08:29
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe will today announce members of the politburo, with
Zanu PF insiders saying that Professor Jonathan Moyo's nomination has faced
serious resistance from members of the presidium who still view him with
suspicion. Senior Zanu PF sources close to the presidium, comprising Mugabe,
his deputies Joice Mujuru and John Nkomo, and chairperson Simon Khaya Moyo,
say Prof Moyo's appointment to a senior post in the politburo, if made, was
not as automatic as widely believed.
They said he might not get the support of Mujuru, or Nkomo, his long-time
rival, and the chairperson, SK Moyo.
The three, the insiders said, still do not trust him and would not want to
give him a senior post.
They were however quick to point out that Mugabe might bow to pressure and
appoint him at a junior level as deputy secretary for information or the
"(Prof) Moyo is more of a contract worker and I don't see him getting the
endorsement of Mai Mujuru, John Nkomo and SK Moyo. These three will be
united on that issue because they just don't trust the man," said the source
close to Vice-President Mujuru.
"General Solomon Mujuru made his suspicion very clear at a politburo meeting
that accepted his readmission (into the party) and warned the president not
to forget his articles aivaisa mumadhaka (in which he attacked Mugabe) after
he left Zanu PF in 2005."
For the post of secretary for information, the sources said, the choice was
likely to be between Information minister Webster Shamu and the current
deputy information secretary Ephraim Masawi.
However, the insiders said Shamu was more likely to get the post after the
current secretary for information Nathan Shamuyarira recommended him to the
"Shamuyarira has indicated to the president that he is not interested in any
position and would prefer to retire. He then strongly recommended Shamu to
take over from him and it looks like Shamu is the most likely person to get
it," said one insider.
Shamu, insiders said, was also being tipped to replace the late national
commissar Elliot Manyika if he can fight off stiff competition from Nicholas
Goche, Masawi, General Mike Nyambuya, Sydney Sekeramayi, Martin Dinha and
retired Air Commodore Mike Karakadzai, who are also eyeing that powerful
post whose main responsibility would be to reorganise the party and
rationalise its structures.
For the powerful secretary for administration post, the choice will be
between Emmerson Mnangagwa, Rugare Gumbo and Didymus Mutasa.
However, some insiders said Mutasa might be demoted because he is accused of
imposing candidates in Manicaland in the 2008 elections, resulting in the
party's major loss in that province.
His involvement in the recent farm occupations is not helping him,
compounded by the way he threw his hat into the ring in the race for the
Two names, Oppah Muchinguri and Olivia Muchena, have been mentioned for the
post of secretary for women's affairs.
Saviour Kasukuwere or Sekeremayi or Elias Kanengoni might get the post of
secretary for security.
Kasukuwere's name has also been mentioned for the post of secretary for
youth, together with the current youth leader Absolom Sikhosana.
However, some insiders said there are doubts about Kasukuwere's comeback
because he fell out with Vice-President Mujuru and has clashed with her at
While there is a strong feeling that David Karimanzira might retain his post
as secretary for finance, names like Mnangagwa, Ignatius Chombo and Goche
have been linked to that post.
Zanu PF might see the elevation of deputy secretary for lands Dzikamai
Likely to be retired due to poor health or old age, the insiders said, are
Naison Ndlovu, Shamuyarira and Khantibal Patel.
Zanu PF's politburo has 49 members who include the party leader, two
deputies, a chairperson, 19 heads of department and their 19 deputies, as
well as 10 committee members.
Mugabe appoints the politburo although there have been muted calls for them
to be elected. The politburo's main function is to act as the administrative
organ of the 245-member central committee which is meeting today.
Mugabe is likely to make a series of new politburo appointments -- including
at least 10 changes to fill vacancies left by those who quit the politburo
or who died -- and other planned replacements to rejuvenate his ageing team.
Those who quit Zanu PF and the politburo citing the party's leadership and
policy failures include Dumiso Dabengwa and Simba Makoni. Thenjiwe Lesabe
has also reportedly left or is considering leaving.
Other politburo members, who have died and will be replaced today, include
Vice-President Joseph Msika, General Vitalis Zvinavashe, Air Marshal Josiah
Tungamirai, Ruth Chinamano, Richard Hove and Elliot Manyika.
Friday, 12 February 2010 08:44
ZIMBABWE Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) acting secretary-general Japhet
Moyo said this week the civil servants’ strike was likely to spread to the
private sector to force employers to pay salaries above US$450, which is in
line with the poverty datum line. “Employers have to pay,” Moyo said. “We
cannot continue having employers pay workers 28% of the poverty datum line
and expect them to survive. I foresee a situation where the civil servants’
strike will spread to the private sector.”
Civil servants went on strike last week demanding a minimum wage of US$630.
This has paralysed government institutions such as the courts and schools.
Civil servants are currently earning about US$150 a month.
Negotiations broke down last week Tuesday after the Apex Council, a union
for civil servants, rejected a 10% wage increase effective from April, which
had been offered by government. The government says it has no money to foot
the bill for the kind of increases being demanded by the unions.
The government revealed on Wednesday that they would put another offer on
the table in a bid to end the strike. However, yesterday the Apex Council
chairperson Tendai Chikowore told the Zimbabwe Independent that they had not
received any communication from the government.
“We have not received any communication from the government about a new
offer; we have just heard it in the press,” Chikowore said “The ball remains
in their court and we will continue with our activities.”
She said that there had been a positive response to the strike with 90% of
civil servants heeding their call for mass action.
The strike has however received mixed responses with teachers whose salaries
are boosted by incentives from parents and nurses whose salaries were topped
up by donors not responding to the call to go on strike.
Some government workers at Kaguvi and Makombe buildings said they did not
join the strike after the Public Service Commission had ordered the
introduction of a register of attendance to weed out those who did not
report for work. This, they said, had instilled fear of reprisals if they
did not report for duty.
Moyo accused the Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe (Emcoz), which groups
private sector employers, of trying to persuade the government not to pay
civil servants as this would force employees in the private sector to call
for increased wages.
He said the ZCTU was organising labour forums in which they would hold
meetings with workers from various sectors with the aim of organising
protests to force employers to increase wages to equal the poverty datum
line currently pegged at $454.
He said a committee had been set up to come up with the best form of
protests ranging from marches to stayaways.
“The forums will decide what form the protest should take. Organising a
march has usually been met with brute force by the police and we would not
want to have workers injured. This means we have to decide what the best
form of protest is,” Moyo said.
The employers, Moyo said, should pay the lowest workers between US$450 and
US$500 a month.
Meanwhile, wage negotiations for the first quarter within the various
national employment councils have stalled due to previous protracted
disputes which have not been resolved, Emcoz has said. Emcoz director John
Mufukare said only a handful of the NECs had concluded negotiations with
most disputes going for arbitration or spilling into the courts.
“Many of the wage negotiations are still carrying on from last year. There
are a still a lot of disagreements,” Mufukare said. “Many NECs are still
battling to agree on wages for the second quarter of last year with some of
the cases going to arbitration and in other cases to the Supreme Court,” he
Friday, 12 February 2010 07:41
A FORTNIGHT ago it was reported that the Sadc-appointed negotiator in the
GPA talks, South African president Jacob Zuma, wanted parties to the GPA to
“park” outstanding issues in the protracted battle and proceed with the
constitution-making process and then elections. We voiced our scepticism at
Zuma’s call to “park” these issues and proceed to implement facets of the
Global Political Agreement in which the parties had a common position.
This approach, the MDC formation led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
said, resonated with that of Zanu PF as illustrated at the party’s congress
last December. We shared their concern that this was a position which would
leave the GPA not fully consummated and one that awards victory to the
loser, hence betrayal of the spirit of the power-sharing deal as agreed in
This week we carry the story of the deadlock in the talks which resumed at
the beginning of the week. Zanu PF is not willing to drop its entrenched
position regarding the appointment of RBZ governor Gideon Gono and
Attorney-General Johannes Tomana.
The party has also remained steadfast against the appointment of governors
despite an announcement last year that there had been a breakthrough on the
issue. Zuma’s emissaries who were in Harare for the greater part of the week
to unlock the logjam have failed. Zanu PF is digging in and there is
As a way forward, the parties now believe their contestation can be ended by
an early election. As it stands, this is the same project that Zuma two
weeks ago said was the best way forward. It is the same route that the MDC
has condemned many times.
But “park and proceed” is now the new game in town. Tsvangirai in a story
we carry elsewhere in the paper has adopted the Zuma phrase of “park and
proceed”. He believes that after the failure of the talks, an early election
can bring the required change to Zimbabwe.
Our worry in this matter is the naivety being displayed by the MDC-T that
the constitution-making process, the referendum and then election can be
executed by a unity government that has made it its business to squabble at
every process of governance. As it stands, the unity government cannot be
trusted to execute policy that benefits the general populace, more so with
the parties having failed to execute a power-sharing deal as per agreement.
The breakdown in the dialogue could just be the beginning of a process of
gradual disengagement by the parties with disastrous consequences. Last week
we reported on President Mugabe’s attempts to wrest supervisory powers from
Tsvangirai and cede them to the VPs, Joice Mujuru and John Nkomo. The
unconstitutional manoeuvre has been challenged by the MDC but we should
expect to see more such maladroit policies from Zanu PF in its bid to
maintain its dead man’s grip on power. Mugabe sees the current deadlock in
the talks as an opportunity to consolidate power and paralyse the MDC ahead
of the referendum slated for October.
The period leading to that referendum will be critical. Zanu PF and the
MDC-T, who have fought over every small thing in their year-long marriage of
convenience, will soon be opening a new chapter of conflict as the
constitution-making process gathers pace. Zanu PF has already started
campaigns to push for the adoption of the Kariba Draft as the anchor of the
new constitution. There are reports of physical force being administered by
party hoodlums to push through this agenda. On the other hand, the MDC-T is
also on the road with its set of proposals. The parallel processes are going
to take the parties further apart. The fight will not just be about content,
but will also encompass the process of gathering information and collating
it. The constitution-making process in our view is the beginning of the
dogfight for elections expected to take place in the first half of next
year. The competition will be intense. With no tractors and land to give as
inducements to voters, Zanu PF can be trusted to do what it knows best:
rolling out instruments of coercion to bludgeon voters into compliance.
But the constitution will have to be adopted first. Mugabe’s sentiments at a
central committee meeting last year regarding the constitution should be
taken seriously. If Zanu PF fails to push through the Kariba Draft, and also
fails in the referendum, it would try to frustrate the process in parliament
where the MDC does not have a two-thirds majority.
The “park and proceed” option which Tsvangirai is warming up to should be
regarded with extreme caution as the PM could be leading his party up a
nasty cul de sac. It leaves Johannes Tomana in situ where he can inflict
maximum damage. It is worth noting that the “park and proceed” plan can only
work if Zanu PF adheres to democratic tenets to win power. The party does
not look keen to go that route. After the March 2008 poll, Zanu PF made
known the violence it is prepared to unleash to retain power. In a
deadlocked situation the same formula could be employed. To the MDC-T the
issue of the 2008 violence should be an outstanding issue. Or is it “park
and proceed” again on this one?
Friday, 12 February 2010 07:43
WHEN Vice-President Joice Mujuru launched a Zanu PF constitution-making
outreach programme last month in Mount Darwin many people smelt a rat given
that a national non-partisan exercise of that nature was on the cards in
fulfilment of the global political agreement (GPA). Their suspicions were
copper-bottomed given that we live in a surreal country where Zanu PF has
over the past three decades reduced citizens to prisoners by using
extra-judicial measures to suppress their rights.
Mujuru’s outreach programme, according to what is reportedly happening
across the country, was meant to outflank the national exercise to be driven
by the Constitutional Parliament Committee (Copac): intimidate,
indoctrinate, and hoodwink Zimbabweans into coming up with a new
constitution that would be a replica of the despised Kariba Draft which
would allow President Mugabe to serve two more terms.
Copac’s exercise has been temporarily put on ice due to financial
constraints. Many Zanu PF rallies have taken place and others are lined up
throughout the country, while spin-doctors are afforded public space in
newspapers, on radio and television to sell the party’s idea in the vain
hope that the people will come up with a Kariba Draft constitution by
The draft –– drawn up by Zanu PF and the two MDC formations’ negotiators in
2007 –– has been thoroughly discredited because of its lack of
constitutionalism. The people of Zimbabwe’s right to craft their own supreme
law was sacrificed on the altar of political expedience.
The negotiators crafted the draft without the input of the people on their
aspirations and dreams for an independent and democratic country. The draft
was more of an expression of the aspirations, wishes, objectives and goals
of the power elite as represented by Zanu PF and the two MDC formations.
The draft could not be promulgated as the supreme law before the March 2008
election because of heightened squabbles between the negotiating parties.
There are questions galore as to why Zanu PF is now pushing for its adoption
when it clearly lacks constitutionalism. It has been argued that the GPA
recognises the draft and it, therefore, should be used as the major
reference document in the constitution-making process. Nothing is further
from the truth!
The GPA indeed acknowledged the existence of the draft and went further to
outline a programme to be followed in coming up with a new constitution.
That programme involves the people.
Zimbabweans should know that Zanu PF has over the years exhibited its
disdain for constitutionalism. It is a party which refuses to learn from its
past and is determined to use the state power at its disposal to have its
In February 2000, Zimbabweans rejected the country’s first post-Independence
draft constitution because the process by which it was arrived at was
flawed. The views of the people were manipulated to suit certain political
agendas and Zimbabweans could not countenance that.
The draft constitution contained some important reforms, but was not a
people’s product hence they threw it out. The same scenario awaits Zanu PF
if it goes ahead to force down our throats the Kariba Draft through
manipulation and intimidation.
Zanu PF’s intentions were made clear this week by one of its strategists,
Professor Jonathan Moyo, in an opinion piece in the Sunday Mail titled
“Inclusive govt anniversary: Taking stock.”
Moyo, a member of the party’s central committee and most likely to be
appointed to the politburo by the end of today, should be taken seriously
because what he writes is the position of the former ruling party and it
would be foolhardy to ignore him.
He argued in his piece that process issues in the current
constitution-making process are a waste of time because there is “just no
popular excitement out there about the new constitution” and that there was
a “consensus about the desirable content of a new constitution”.
Then the sucker punch.
“As such,” Moyo contemptuously wrote, “the fact that Zanu PF and the two MDC
formations in the inclusive government already have a negotiated draft
constitution, dubbed the Kariba Draft can only be ignored by the most naive
in our midst.
“Anyone who honestly believes that, if we are to have it, a new constitution
will be drafted from the views gathered through any outreach programme is
either with a hidden agenda or is just a common fool with no idea of what
is going on. There is no constitution which is going to be written by
villagers or street dwellers through an outreach programme!”
He then insinuated that the people who crafted the Kariba Draft would
certainly write the new constitution that would be the same draft in another
I wonder if Moyo was saying there is collusion and conspiracy between Zanu
PF and the two MDC formations to cheat Zimbabweans and reproduce the Kariba
Draft. If that is the case, it would be a great betrayal by the MDC
formations and the people will not forgive them. There is also an elaborate
plan in Zanu PF to sabotage the constitution-making process if a draft
constitution coming out of the Copac outreach programme does not resemble
the Kariba Draft. President Robert Mugabe told his central committee last
year that legislators from his party would have to vote against the draft in
parliament if its does not meet Zanu PF’s demands. For a constitutional
draft to sail through parliament there is need for a two thirds majority.
The MDC formations do not command that majority.
Let us hope that we will be delivered from that evil and that Moyo was
merely attempting to write on the chimney with charcoal.
Friday, 12 February 2010 07:30
RESTORATION of Human Rights (ROHR) Zimbabwe is greatly dismayed by the
uncomplimentary behaviour exhibited by the state through its law enforcement
arm, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) in denying the general public the
right to assemble and associate freely over the envisaged constitution
consultation outreach programme. It is of great concern that more than 70
political and human rights activists have been arbitrarily arrested over
what the police is alleging are "unsanctioned meetings''.
We also note that the continued existence of prohibitive legislation like
the Public Order and Security Act (Posa) and Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act (Aippa) is an anathema to the much needed
conducive environment in which the citizenry can assemble, associate and
express themselves freely towards the writing of a constitution that will
reflect the aspirations of the people.
The recent arbitrary arrests by the police show not only a disregard of the
law but are tantamount to derailing the constitutional outreach programme by
sending alarm signals among the citizenry on its role in the process.
We further challenge the ZRP to act professionally in executing its duties
in line with the international human rights standards (Universal Declaration
of Human Rights, African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights) in dealing
with the citizenry during the duration of the constitutional outreach
Cognisant of the fact that the continued existence of draconian laws like
Posa and Aippa will only yield a flawed constitutional outreach programme,
it is pertinent that the coalition government considers legal reforms that
will promote a more enabling environment to encourage the free participation
and security of participants without fear of intimidation, persecution or
victimisation ahead of the constitution outreach programme set to begin
Given the long-documented legacy of the abuse of state machinery by Zanu PF
party in its relentless efforts to harass political and human rights
activists, we strongly urge the other partners in the coalition government
to take a principled position to ensure that ZRP will not be complicit in
Zanu PF's agenda to coerce the citizenry to adopt the undemocratic Kariba
Draft constitution which gives too much executive powers to a president with
unlimited terms of office among other serious shortcomings.
Understanding that the constitution-making process is an opportune moment
for Zimbabweans to define their God-given, social, economic, civil and
political rights into a supreme law that will guide elected leaders with the
responsibility to rule and govern the country, it is critical to ensure that
the voice of the people is not lost or swayed to suit narrow egocentric
Restoration of Human Rights Zimbabwe,
This invitation circulated by email: Readers in Australia and Singapore, please make a note of these meeting dates and locations in your diaries (in table at the end of this post):
ZANE (ZIMBABWE A NATIONAL EMERGENCY), a registered charity in the UK, is embarking on a tour to Australia via Singapore in February/March 2010. The purpose of the tour is twofold: we aim to raise the profile of ZANE in that part of the world and to raise funds. If you are not familiar with the magnificent work done by ZANE over the last eight years the best source of information about its structure and the work it does can be found on ZANE's website - donations can be made at this link.
About 3000 Zimbabwean OAP's (Old Age Pensioners) are helped by various organizations. Some of these people are helped by more than one organization:
ZANE, the largest charity, focuses on individual rental payments in Old Age Homes as well as rates and utility payments for people living in private homes. It has raised over £5 million since its foundation in 2002 and provided £800,000 to fund its work in 2008/ 2009. It has distributed some 22,000 charitable grants of fuel, medicines, food and financial support to the needy in 2008/ 2009 - up from 7,000 grants the previous year. Between 2005 and 2009 ZANE distributed £1,077,667 on behalf of Services' Charities to WW2 veterans and their widows in Zimbabwe.
ZANE has lost no money through corruption since it was founded in 2002 and is the only charity operating in Zimbabwe that gives substantial aid to both the white and the black communities. It relies on private donors.
Meeting dates for your diaries:
|Itinerary - ZANE Tour|
|Saturday||20th||To be confirmed||7pm||Contact|
|Saturday||27th||Hale School||Hale Road,
|Monday||1st||Trust Company||Level 4,
35 Clarence Street
|Friday||5th||Brisbane German Club||Opposite the Gabba||5.30pm||Contact|
|Sunday||7th||Boomerang Golf Course||Gold Coast||9am||Contact|
Please click on the contact link to make enquiries about specific meetings - note, each meeting has a different contact name.
For Local Australian deposits and depositors your donation is tax deductible.
Electronic Funds Transfers (EFT) details:
Bank BSB (Bank Sort Code): 802397
Bank: Australian Defence Credit Union
A/c Name: RSL Community Care Ltd
A/c Number: 100187431
FROM WILF MBANGA, Editor/Publisher The Zimbabwean
Distribution staff charged with publishing falsehoods
The directors and staff of the company recently engaged to handle
distribution of The Zimbabwean inside the country were this morning charged
under Section 31 (a) (iii) of the Criminal Law (Codification& Reform) Act,
Chapter 9:23, with publishing falsehoods prejudicial to the State.
This followed several visits to the police station by the directors and
staff of our new distributor, Adquest. The first took place on January 17,
2010, when the directors, Barnabas Madzimure and Fortune Mutandiro, were
arrested in Mbare while distributing The Zimbabwean on Sunday. After
answering questions for a couple of hours and producing papers to show that
the newspapers had been legally imported they were released, without charge.
On February 11, 2010 Madzimure and Mutandiro were charged with writing and
publishing " with their accomplices " false statements which were published
in the edition of the newspaper of January 10, 2010 under the headline
"Mnangagwa plots fight back : talk of new splinter group".
The statements, alleged to be false, tell of a meeting held on Christmas day
by Emmerson Mnangagwa, Jonathan Moyo, and other senior Zanu (PF) officials,
and indicate that this was reminiscent of the Tsholotsho incident. It is
charged that these statements were intended to, or there was a real risk or
possibility that they would, undermine public confidence in a law
enforcement agency, the prison services or the defence forces. The charge
is, with all due respect, ludicrous and is in my view calculated to harass
and intimidate the distributors of the newspaper.
Madzimure and Mutandiro denied the charges, and in their warned and
cautioned statements stated that they had nothing to do with the
distribution of the newspaper of January 10, which was actually distributed
by our former distributor, Publications Distributors. They further denied
that they had written the article or had anything to do with the editorial
content of the newspaper, and advised that the newspaper was produced
outside Zimbabwe by my company registered in the UK.
All this is apparent from every issue of the newspaper, which clearly
indicates that it is published outside of the country. Had the police
written to me to make enquiries I would have been able to give them the
facts, but no such enquiry has been made. Nor, curiously, have the police
made any enquiries, as far as Adquest's lawyer is aware, of the previous
Although the police officers with whom the Adquest personnel have dealt have
been courteous at all times, the fact is that invitations to the police
station and particularly the Law and Order section strike fear into the
heart of the average citizen. The more often this happens the more
intimidating it becomes. I believe that the staff of our new distributor
have been harassed in a way which is calculated to intimidate them simply
because they are distributing The Zimbabwean. This has disrupted the
distribution and the sale of advertising space, while the Adquest Staff have
spent hours at Law and Order, with the police carry out a fishing expedition
in an attempt to find some tenuous link to the publication of The
This tactic of harassment, arrest and charges in connection with
publications in newspapers is reminiscent of the days when Jonathan Moyo was
the Minister of Information, and regularly made complaints to the police
culminating in the arrest and charging of many journalists on allegations of
publishing false statements. Jonathan Moyo, who has recently returned to
Zanu (PF) after years in the political wilderness, is referred to in the
story which has given rise to these charges.
He was clearly aggrieved by the article because within days he had launched
several scathing attacks on The Zimbabwean, via Zanu (PF) websites, and he
made a number of threats against myself, The Zimbabwean and the two
reporters bylined on the article. That is what makes these charges even more
ludicrous, for the names of the authors of the article were on the front
page, yet now the police allege and charge that the article was written by
the staff of Adquest and a free lance sales representative!
It is therefore clear that Jonathan Moyo has instigated this investigation
and the harassment of the staff of the newspaper's distributor, and he has
made it clear that charges have to be brought against someone in Zimbabwe,
because it is impossible to charge the actual publishers, as they are in the
UK. This is not consistent with the press freedom promised by the government
of national unity and it is of considerable concern that the police have
been manipulated into harassing our distributor and bringing false charges
of this nature.
Since February 2005 The Zimbabwean has kept open a window of democratic
space in Zimbabwe by publishing a weekly tabloid newspaper containing
independent news on what has been happening on the ground beneath Robert
Mugabe's international news blackout.
In the face of a constant smear campaign in the state-controlled media,
editor Wilf Mbanga continued to publish week after week - exposing
corruption, electoral fraud, human rights abuses, land grabbing by top Zanu
(PF) officials, the military and the police, gross propaganda,
state-sponsored violence, extra-judicial killings, abuse of the justice
system and countless other crimes against humanity by the Mugabe regime.
Since its inception The Zimbabwean has been distributed inside the country
by local distributor Publications Distribution. In mid-January 2010,
distribution was switched to another local company, Adquest, which was also
contracted to source advertising from local companies.
10.01.10 Front page The Zim on Sunday - "Mnangagwa plots fightback" - story
detailing political in-fighting within Zanu, Christmas Day Gweru meeting,
chaired by July Moyo and attended by Jonathan Moyo - Mnangagwa allies.
14.01.10 - On P3 Iss 2 Thurs "Moyo denies role in Tsholotsho II, but secret
doc details plans for new party" (Zimbabwe mail.com story) the story about J
Moyo denying his role in the "Mnangagwa plots fightback". In his denial he
issued a number of threats against The Zimbawe Mail website, Wilf Mbanga and
The Zimbabwean and the two reporters bylined in the original story, Never
Chanda and Farai Shoko. For some curious reason the MDC led by PM Tsvangirai
was also brought in.
On front page of Thurs 14 Jan, Wilf Mbanga wrote under the headline "Moyo a
disgrace": "The threats have been noted and we take them seriously. Every
time Moyo issues a threat something terrible has happened. In 2001 he said
The Daily News should be silenced 'for its madness' - a few days later bombs
destroyed the newspaper's entire printing press in the Southerton Industrial
For the record Moyo threatened:
"Maybe they don't know this but the MDC-T idiots and the British
counter-intelligence agents behind Wilf Mbanga's desperately false Christmas
story are playing a dangerous disinformation game which can be played in far
better ways by revolutionary comrades to the devastation of corrupt and
incompetent MDC-T ministers, councillors, and politicians including Wilf
Mbanga and some Zimbabwean website operators whose cupboards are full of
With its British and Rhodie roots so naked, the MDC is a sitting duck for
counter-intelligence games that others can also play and even better. If
they doubt this they should continue their dirty tricks and see what will
happen to them as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow."
Avowed Zanu (PF) activist, Police Commissioner Chihuri, this week joined the
anti-Mbanga bandwagon. A report in The Herald on 10.02.10 quoting him
telling a farewell parade of police officers going for UN peacekeeping:
"There are rumours circulating on the Internet and online news especially by
(Chris) (sic) Mbanga and others about the force. Let them open their eyes
and ears and hear what I have to say, that the five officers were selected
not by Chihuri and not the ZRP but by the United Nations in New York."
17.01.10 Two directors of Adquest, Barnabas Madzimure and Fortune Mutandiro,
arrested while distributing The Zimbabwean on Sunday iss 02 in Mbare.
Questioned at Mbare Police Station, produced evidence of correct import
documentation and were released. No lawyer present.
09.02.10 Three drivers arrested while distributing The Zimbabwean on Tuesday
issue 05 in Central Harare, questioned for three hours in Law and Order
section at Harare Central and released without charge. No lawyer present.
10.02.10 Madzimure and Mutandiro asked by the Police to come down to Law and
Order at 2.30pm. Questioned and made to sign affidavits. Released and told
to come back the next morning at 9am.
11.02.10 The two directors reported to Harare Central as instructed and were
charged with Publishing falsehoods. Lawyer was called to deal with
statements. Later two other staff members slapped with the same charge.
Further legal details
On February 9, 2010 whilst distributing The Zimbabwean on Tuesday, three
Adquest drivers were arrested and taken to the Law and Order Section at
Harare Central, where they were separated and questioned for three hours.
They were made to sign statements and were then released, without charge.
The next day Madzimure and Mutandiro were summoned to the Law and Order
section at 2pm, where they were questioned for a number of hours, and then
released. I am advised that during this questioning it was made clear to the
police that Adquest took over the distribution of the newspaper on January
14, 2010 and only distributes the newspaper.
It has no input into editorial content whatsoever. However the police were
keen to make a connection between the publication of the newspaper and its
distribution, evidently so that they could hold someone in Zimbabwe
responsible for its publication and subject that person to prosecution in
respect of stories which they found unpalatable. Madzimure and Mutandiro
were told to return at 9 am the next morning with their sales representative
and a freelance sales representative, who sells advertising space for the
newspaper to Zimbabwean businesses.
Section 31, under which Madzimure and Mutandiro, are charged is currently
the subject of a number of referrals to the Supreme Court, in other criminal
cases where journalists, editors and publishers have been charged with the
publication of false statements under the same section. It is believed among
the legal fraternity that this section is unconstitutional and that when one
of these cases is eventually heard by the Supreme Court it is hoped that the
section will be struck down as such.
The two directors were released after they had made their warned and
cautioned statements and were told that the police would contact them when
they wanted them to go to court. However, within an hour the police summoned
the two sales representatives for a further session. They have now been
charged with precisely the same charge and they too have denied the charge
on the same grounds, that is they have nothing to do with the publication of
the newspaper and did not write the words which are alleged to be false.
While at the police station Adquest's lawyer asked the police officers what
had led them to have a reasonable suspicion that the directors of Adquest
had written the statements alleged to be false. They declined to answer and
said this was a matter of evidence. It is however a matter of very
considerable concern when people are arrested and charged and the police
will not disclose the grounds on which they suspect those charged to be
How can those charged answer the charges and clear themselves if the police
will not reveal why they are suspected to be guilty? It is a basic tenet of
democracy and justice that a person who is charged should be given the
reasons for the charge so that he can answer them. In this case there cannot
be any grounds whatsoever, reasonable or otherwise, for the charges. Those
charged are not employees of The Zimbabwean, and have nothing to do with the
production of stories for the newspaper or the newspaper itself. That is why
the police declined to disclose the grounds for the charges. They have no
reasonable grounds for the charges.
Why would the police bring such charges without reasonable grounds? The
answer is straightforward, it is because they are acting on orders from
above. Adquest's lawyer asked the police to disclose the identity of the
complainant, and was told it was the state. The police were requested to
identify the person who instigated the investigation and again the police
declined to answer this.
In Zimbabwe, it is part of the constitution that police officers are to be
apolitical. This is covered by the Police Act, and includes all police
officer - not just those that choose to do their own thing. But the police
chief, Augustine Chihuri, has chosen to ignore this requirement and has
hitched his star to ZANU PF's wagon.
He has threatened to dismiss any police officer found to be sympathetic to
the MDC. And he expects every officer to be a ZANU PF supporter.
Obviously, this is unacceptable to us who live in the free world, but in
Zimbabwe, ZANU PF affiliation is really the only way to be able to live from
one day to the next. I am glad that I left the Zimbabwe Republic Police when
Zimbabwe Politics In Police Uniform
"Two senior police officers and an ex-policeman have been arrested, with the
serving officers being summarily transferred to remote police stations
outside Harare, after they were accused of allegedly leaking police
information to the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
Police sources have revealed that Senior Assistant Commissioner Justice
Chengeta last week ordered the arrest of Superintendents Casper Nhepera and
another one identified only as Madiko for allegedly violating the Official
Chengeta had walked into an office which was being used by the two at the
Police General Headquarters to find them entertaining one Macmillan
Mukombachoto, whom Chengeta accused of being a secret MDC agent.
Chengeta, who has a declared incorrigible dislike for the MDC, was further
agitated by the fact that Mukombachoto had produced a computer flash disk
from which his former colleagues took delight in downloading music."
Justice Chengeta - now there is a name that I haven't heard for a very long
while. He was in my squad (9/81) in training in 1981 and won the Best
Recruit award. I think I even have a picture in an old "The Outpost"
magazine of him receiving the award.
I don't doubt for one second that Chengeta has an attitude against the MDC -
as I dimly recall, he was a man who kept to himself and when he did speak,
it was with adverse comments.
That is 29 years serve that Chengeta has pulled and to rise from a lowly
Patrol Officer to Senior Assistant Commissioner is not a bad achievement -
but we must remember that his political affiliations would never have hurt
his progress. (Please note that the rank of Patrol Officer and Section
Officer have been removed from the rank structure.)
"Chengeta immediately ordered their arrest," said a source. They spent the
weekend detained at Harare Central Police Station."
As they were languishing in custody, their transfer papers were being
Nhepera was transferred to Nkayi in Matabeleland North Province while Madiko
was moved to Nyanga in Manicaland.
Mukombachoto is a former police officer who worked for over 20 years as a
lower ranking policeman. For most of his service he worked as a photographer
for Outpost, the monthly magazine of the Zimbabwe Republic Police.
The Zimbabwe Times could not readily establish when the accused are likely
to go on trial for the alleged offence.
Chengeta who is regarded with awe in the police force is among Police
Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri's top lieutenants. He has been at the
forefront of "cleansing" Zimbabwe's heavily politicized police force of both
known and suspected MDC sympathizers."
I do question as to what crime these two officers are meant to have
committed as, if supporting a political party is an offence, then Chihuri
and Chengeta should also be charged with the same offence.
Robb WJ Ellis
The Bearded Man
A discussion paper
prepared by Rodrick Fayayo
Currently Zimbabweans are fixated with the constitution making process but
there is a need to spare a thought for the process of national healing.
Attempts to move away from the dark era of gross human rights violations to
an era of democracy have been accompanied by numerous challenges. There is
the double challenge of developing new democratic structures, processes and
culture on one hand and coming to terms with the country's violent past on
the other. It is clear that the search for equilibria that achieves justice
whilst ensuring social stability and reconciliation will remain a major
challenge. Most Zimbabweans are worried about the comprehensive movement
from a legacy of widespread and systematic human rights abuses towards
peace, democracy, rule of law and respect for human rights. The movement
from oppressive and violent regimes to peaceful and democratic systems of
governance is a worldwide phenomena and Zimbabwe has the privilege of
learning from other inspiring experiences.
The case for national healing
At the national and societal level, human rights violations in Zimbabwe have
had dire economic, political and social consequences. Economic repercussions
include disruption of industrial and agricultural activities as well as loss
of income generating activities. Political consequences include political
zonation of the country into strongholds of political parties and government
biased allocation of the national cake in terms of opportunities and
development projects. Social consequences have to do with the disintegration
of families, inter-ethnic and political tensions and the disruptions of
children's education. These abuses have yielded instructive lessons for us.
Firstly, there has been an infringement of fundamental human rights which
the country's constitution articulates. Secondly, the wanton disregard of
human rights orchestrates partisan and ethnic animosities in a nation that
was once the jewel of Africa, eroding the economic base and social fabric.
If not dealt with carefully, the subject might rewind the hands of the
political clock to the dark days of barbarism. In attempting to heal the
nation, the discourse among Zimbabweans should be directed towards
responding to critical questions.
Who should lead the process?
The current process led by government has already been marred by
controversy. Questions on the possibility to achieve credible legitimate
justice and peace, the way the organ is structured have been raised. Fears
are that it will compromise on a lot of issues resulting in a politically
pre-arranged script. It is envisioned that the government will continue to
try to manipulate this process and chances of its success are marginal.
While a few believe that half a loaf is better than nothing, the majority of
Zimbabweans contest that a process controlled by a compromise government
that has limited political will to address injustices of the past will be a
sham. In Kenya, President Mwai Kibaki set up a truth and reconciliation
commission to determine the root causes of the 2008 election violence. Most
Kenyans however continue to dismiss the commission as inadequately placed to
meet the need for justice. Of the many processes around the world, none
have proven as important in contributing to the national healing cascade as
the South African experience. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has
received near universal international acclaim. Its widespread publicity has
made it the blueprint of subsequent discussions of national healing
processes the world over. The lessons learnt are that for it to be credible
and legitimate the national healing process needs to be led by qualified,
well-trained, experienced and respected persons from diverse background that
sufficiently reflect the different interests in society. The success of the
process is dependant upon the credibility and efficiency of institutions and
individuals leading it.
What Process Should Be Used
The national healing programme in Zimbabwe should not only stop on going
human rights violations and identify those responsible but should also
promote individual and national reconciliation as way of promoting
sustainable development through peace. These objectives are usually met
through many approaches. Approaches to national healing can be both judicial
and nonjudicial and they include trials, truth commissions, lustrations,
institutional reform, reparations and rehabilitations.
It should be noted that Zimbabwe is not a homogeneous group and hence the
levels of suffering varies from one community to another. A one size fit all
approach cannot be the solution. While one strategy may work in other
communities, some communities may need to apply all strategies. The
underlying principle is that each community should be allowed to determine
its paths towards healing.
TIME FRAME FOR THE PROCESS
The various paradigms of thought on the time from which to interrogate
atrocities all has this strong points and demerits. Suggestions include the
pre-colonial era, the liberation war era and the post independence era. The
latter has been the most favoured because of the availability of both the
victims and the perpetrator and documentation that has been made available
by organisations like the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace.
Role of Civic Society
At much risk to themselves, Civic Society in Zimbabwe has worked flat out to
publicize the evidence of abuses they have collected. In the current
transitional arrangement, the role of civic society continues to be vital in
ensuring justice is attained. As key players in the process of national
healing, Civic Society will have to continue to pressure government to fully
investigate past human rights and shape healing mechanisms. For instance
human rights groups can bring legal expertise and dogged lawyers who can
press judicial systems to act upon past human rights violations and
influence the process by making sure that amnesty is excluded for gross
human rights violations. If ever a truth commission is to be put, Civic
Society should have a hand in its construction. In South Africa Civic
Society helped draft the legislation that established the Truth and
Reconciliation Commission and the selection process also involved
representatives from the Civic Society while the nominees were widely
debated amongst human rights and survivors groups. Civic Society can also
help with investigations by turning over the information they might have
collected. Civic society functionaries can also serve in the various
commissions in different capacities. Civic Society in Zimbabwe has been and
must continue providing crucial trauma- support services for victims of
human rights violations. The process of national healing will rely largely
on survivors, but seldom provide in the way of support to facilitate
physical and psychological healing. For many victims, recalling their
sufferings is a painful experience that induces post - traumatic stress.
The role of SADC
Zimbabwe is a signatory to many regional and international treaties. If
these treatises are to mean anything and parties in the government in
Zimbabwe take the regional body seriously, SADC should make sure that
Zimbabwe conforms to the dictates of these treatises. SADC should also
continue in its role as a mediator but can help further through providing
experienced adjudicators and judges and enforce warrants for fugitives
running away from justice. SADC should also provide evidence and information
of atrocities, taking into cognizance the entwined histories of liberation
movements and their countries
The role of the International Community
The international community has been playing a vital role in pressurizing
the government of Zimbabwe on the treatment of its citizens. In this
transitional period, the international community should lend much support to
local CSOs as well as fledging the government in attempts to bring back
normalcy to the nation. The international community can provide lessons and
expertise from other countries that have embarked on a similar process.
Apart from putting pressure on the government, the international community
should serve an important role in facilitating the pursuit of justice in
other venues when domestic redress is unlikely.
As decimated as Zimbabwe is by its legacy of human rights abuses, a holistic
and inclusive process is necessary to restore society. There is need for a
balancing act dealing with issues of truth, justice, forgiveness, healing,
reparations and building structures that will ensure that past abuses are
never repeated if a modicum of peace and development that will meet the
aspirations of Zimbabweans is to be achieved. Otherwise the ethnic,
political and social dichotomy will intensify and increase the simmering and
growing tensions. Ultimately, the future of Zimbabwe 's delicate transition
depends to a large extent on how well we can learn from errors from other
countries and take steps to correct them. Many of the political problems in
Zimbabwe have been caused by failure to adequately deal with problems of the
past which continue to haunt present generations.
Rodrick Fayayo is the Coordinator of Bulawayo Progressive Residents
Association, a community driven and membership based organisation. He can be
contacted at email@example.com, www.bprazim.org
OUTSIDE LOOKING IN -
A letter from the diaspora
Twenty years ago Nelson Mandela was released from prison. The South African
President de Klerk had already laid the groundwork in his landmark speech a
week earlier for the unbanning of the ANC and the release of all political
prisoners. The free and fair elections that followed four years later were
remarkable for the absence of violence and the spirit of genuine
co-operation between the races. It was a truly historic moment when Nelson
Mandela was installed as South Africa's first black President of a free
South Africa. Apartheid was dead or that's what South Africa and the world
Thirty years ago, after a long and bitter war of liberation from colonial
rule, Robert Gabriel Mugabe became the first black Prime Minister of the
independent Republic of Zimbabwe. It was also a joyous and historic moment.
The future was bright; a 'rainbow nation' had been born. The politics of
race were over, or so we hoped. It was not until Mugabe and Zanu PF's own
power base began to fail that we started to hear the ugly doctrine of racism
again. Whites, we were told, were the enemy within - and white landowners
were the obvious first target of the attack. In the name of 'righting
colonial injustices'- but in reality in a desperate attempt to distribute
patronage to his own supporters - Robert Mugabe began the violent land
seizures. Aided and abetted by war veterans in return for the huge payouts
they had received and with the help of the notorious Youth Militia, Mugabe's
'new War veterans' as he named them, the Third Chimurenga began. The hate
speech and vitriol against whites was stepped up on every possible occasion,
from national events to village funerals. Whites, said Robert Mugabe, were
not Zimbabweans, they were no better than settlers. So much for the
reconciliation he had preached at Independence: "If yesterday I fought you
as an enemy, today you are my friend."
Some two years ago, while Zanu PF still had a majority in Parliament, the
Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Bill was passed. Last week, without
consulting its MDC partners, Zanu PF quietly sneaked the law into action.
'Indigenous' is defined as "any person who prior to 1980 was disadvantaged
by unfair discrimination on the grounds of race" Clearly, by that
definition, only black Zimbabweans could be counted as 'indigenous' -
nothing about Asians or bi-racial Zimbabweans who are also an integral part
of the population. Under this patently discriminatory legislation any
business worth $500.000 or more must declare the racial origins of its
directors. Failure to do so will result in a penalty of two years in prison.
Seventy years ago, the Jews in Nazi Germany and across Nazi-occupied Europe
were forced to wear a yellow star, the Star of David, as proof of identity.
Jewish businesses were daubed with the yellow star and Jews were herded into
ghettos for ultimate transportation to the death camps. Robert Mugabe has no
death camps that we know of - unless you count the stinking prison cells in
his gaols - but his clear intention is to get rid of the whites. He is too
politically astute to expel them outright as Idi Amin did with the Asians in
Uganda, but there is no doubt that Mugabe's intention is to make life as
unbearable as possible for the remaining 20.000 whites. Unwelcome in the
land of their birth, that 20.000 will diminish even further as whites
depart, leaving behind the graves of their ancestors over three generations.
Then perhaps Mugabe will be satisfied, when there are no white faces to be
seen in 'his' country. With nearly all the farms taken, Mugabe is in
desperate need of more spoils to use for purposes of patronage. Now it is
the turn of the businesses.
What is most revealing in the response to this Indigenisation law by the
business community is the total lack of moral indignation. Perhaps they are
leaving that to the churches in their Sunday sermons? Businessmen and
economists have commented angrily about how damaging this law will be for
investment opportunities in Zimbabwe but they say nothing about the
injustice against the white minority. From all the comments I have read,
even from the MDC, I find not one word of condemnation for the sheer
immorality of this law. Does the silence indicate that black Zimbabweans
believe whites deserve to be punished in this way for their colour - or is
it revenge for the sins of the past? And what of the whites themselves, are
they so brow-beaten by the farm invasions that they say nothing in the face
of yet another depredation of their property rights?
Having to declare the racial origins of the directors of companies is
tantamount to making people wear a yellow star, but as I wrote ten years ago
when the land invasions began: "White Africans don't need a yellow star/ for
you to know just who they are/ They don't need that badge of shame/ for you
to know just who to blame/ for what they did one hundred years ago and
more.But that was then - this is now. Shall we live forever in the shadow of
Apartheid did not die with the release of Nelson Mandela, it is alive and
well in Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe.
Yours in the (continuing) struggle PH. aka Pauline Henson author of Case
Closed published in Zimbabwe by Mambo Press, Going Home and Countdown,
political detective stories set in Zimbabwe and available from lulu.com