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Top African court urged to tackle SADC breach of human rights

By Alex Bell
16 February 2012

Two dispossessed farmers in Zimbabwe are set to take their case against the
Southern African Development Community (SADC) to Africa’s top human rights
body, after the suspension of the regional rights court last year.

All 15 SADC leaders have been cited as respondents in the landmark legal
case, launched by farmers Luke Tembani and Ben Freeth, in place of his late
father-in-law Mike Campbell. The application was originally made to the SADC
Tribunal last year and is the first time in legal history that a group of
heads of state is being cited by an individual as the respondent in an
application to an international court.

The application to SADC was the last legal challenge that Campbell would
make, after spearheading an historic legal battle in the Tribunal against
Robert Mugabe and his land grab campaign. The Tribunal ruled in 2008 that
the land grab scheme was unlawful, and ordered Mugabe’s government to
compensate farmers who lost land, and protect the remaining farmers from
future illegal seizures. That year, just months before the Tribunal ruled in
his favour, Campbell, his wife and Freeth were abducted and severely beaten.
Their homes were then burned down in 2009 and Campbell eventually died in
April last year, as a result of the serious injuries he had received.

The Mugabe regime meanwhile ignored the Tribunal’s rulings and was
repeatedly held in contempt because of ongoing land seizures and threats
against the remaining commercial farming community. But the biggest shock
was yet to come when SADC leaders last year suspended the court, instead of
taking Mugabe to task.

Freeth and Tembani, who was evicted from his farm in 2009, are now taking
their case against SADC leaders to the African Commission on Human and
People’s Rights, in the hope the case will be handed to the Commission’s
human rights court.

Freeth told SW Radio Africa on Thursday that the Commission is meeting in
The Gambia next week, where their challenge is set to be debated. He
explained that if the Commission agrees, the case will then be handed to the
African Court on Human and People’s Rights. The Court forms part of the
Commission’s protective mandate, in that it makes final and binding
decisions on human rights violations. However, only twenty six African
states have ratified the Protocol that established the court, and this does
not include Zimbabwe.

“What SADC leaders did in closing the Tribunal was a breach of international
law and a breach of the SADC Treaty, and, essentially, a breach of human
rights. We have seen in Zimbabwe how, when the rule of law fails, everything
fails and this does not bode well for Southern Africa,” Freeth explained.

He added: “We are not just making this challenge as individuals or even just
on behalf of farmers. We are representing all Southern African citizens
whose human rights have been infringed by the closure of the Tribunal.”

The Commission will be gathering in The Gambia for its 11th Extra Ordinary
session from next Tuesday.

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Ministers and MPs fail to account for constituency funds

Tererai Karimakwenda
16 February 2012

The state run Herald newspaper has implicated two cabinet ministers and
seven members of parliament in alleged corruption, involving money that was
allocated to them under the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

According to the report Parliamentary Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga on
Wednesday said his ministry had approached the Anti-Corruption Commission
and the police to investigate how the money had been used in each of the

Government set aside a budget of $8 million for the CDF in 2010 and the
money was to be used for development projects by the legislators. Each
constituency received $50 000, but some have failed to account for it.

Among them are the Minister of State for National Healing, Reconciliation
and Integration, Sekai Holland, Public Service Minister Lucia Matibenga and
Health and Child Welfare Deputy Minister Douglas Mombeshora.

Minister Matibenga, who is also the MP for Kuwadzana constituency, admitted
she had failed to submit documents accounting for the funds she was given
before the deadline.

“For all purposes Minister Matinenga is right. But I can confirm that I sent
my returns to the ministry on Monday,” Matibenga explained. She told SW
Radio Africa that she accounted for nearly $45,000 and the balance is still
in the bank account.

Mai Matibenga said Kuwadzana residents know that the money was used to dig
eight boreholes and to finish the construction of a clinic, which was
started by the council. She added that the delay in accounting was due to
time spent dealing with the civil servants’ salaries crisis.

Unfortunately we were not able to contact the other cabinet members named by
the Herald.

The list includes Marvelous Khumalo (St Mary’s), Peter Chanetsa (Hurungwe
North), Edward Chindori-Chininga (Guruve South), Naison Nemadziva (Buhera
South), Franco Ndambakuwa (Magunje), Abraham Sithole (Chiredzi East) and
Lawrence Mavima (Zvishavane-Runde).

Minister Matinenga reportedly said he had notified the Office of the
President and Cabinet and the Prime Minister’s Office on the developments.
He said an audit of the CDF projects currently underway had completed 65 out
of 210 constituencies.

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KP slammed for ‘silence’ over Zim diamond trade

By Alex Bell
16 February 2012

The international diamond trade watchdog has been slammed for its silence on
Zimbabwe’s local trade, which a leading human rights group has warned could
be financing ZANU PF violence.

UK based Global Witness this week said the Kimberley Process (KP) has been
silent on key issues affecting Zimbabwe’s diamond trade, most importantly
the involvement of senior military and police officials. Global Witness also
said the KP silence has extended to the dubious flow of diamond revenues in
Zimbabwe, amid warnings that these revenues could finance a ZANU PF
pre-election violence campaign.

Global Witness used to be a civil society member of the KP until late last
year, when the KP cleared Zimbabwe to sell diamonds from the controversial
Chiadzwa alluvial fields. That decision has been widely criticised because
of ongoing concerns around human rights abuses and smuggling operations at

The KP decision has this week faced even more condemnation after Global
Witness revealed how top military and police officials in Zimbabwe are
listed as ‘directors’ in one of the firms mining at Chiadzwa, Anjin. The
report, Diamonds: A Good Deal for Zimbabwe? was released on Tuesday and
names several officials with known ZANU PF loyalties.

This includes; Martin Rushwaya, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of
Defense, Oliver Chibage and Nonkosi M. Ncube, both police commissioners and
Munyaradzi Machacha, a ZANU PF director of publications and former ZBC
member. Also listed as non executive board members are, Morris Masunungure,
a former army officer and Romeo Daniel Mutsvunguma, a retired army Colonel
in the Zimbabwe Defence Force.

The Global Witness report goes on to reveal that 25% the Mbada mining firm
has been given to a company linked with Robert Mhlanga, a known ally and
former employee of Robert Mugabe’s. Mhlanga was allegedly appointed by
Mugabe to head the company, which is said to have silent Chinese military
partners. In 2010, it was alleged by the UK Daily Mail that the Mbada firm
was the public face of a diamonds-for-arms deal between Zimbabwe and China,
with China in effect funding Mugabe’s war chest.

The Global Witness report says that Mbada’s ownership details are far more
‘opaque’ that Anjin’s, with a ‘complex structure’. The report adds that
Mbada’s associated companies are located in ‘secrecy jurisdictions’ or tax
havens including Mauritius, Hong Kong, British Virgin Islands and Dubai.

Global Witness said that the KP’s silence on these ownership details, and
its silence on where the revenues of the diamonds sales are going, supports
the belief that the KP “is not fit for purpose.”

“In Zimbabwe the concern is no longer just smuggling and violent attacks on
diamond panners but also the risk that diamond revenues may be used to
finance violence committed by state security forces in the run up to an
election in 2012 or 2013,” Global Witness said in its report, adding that it
believes “that consumers should not buy diamonds originating from the
(Chiadzwa) mines until they can be certain they will not fund human rights

Poltiical analyst Clifford Mashiri told SW Radio Africa on Thursday that the
KP has a serious case to answer now, saying that the KP’s shortcomings have
been totally exposed in the Global Witness report.

“The KP is in the most awkward of situations now and their credibility has
never been so low,” Mashiri said.

Meanwhile, the Mines Ministry has reportedly barred Global Witness from
touring Chiadzwa, after they boycotted a KP session last year. The group,
together with other civil society organizations, boycotted the session over
the KP’s failings to prevent the trade in blood diamonds.

Mines Minister Obert Mpofu is now using this action as an excuse to bar
civil society from touring the controversial area. He told the ZBC that
civic society demonstrated “their unwillingness to cooperate with the rest
of the KP family.”

Mashiri meanwhile said this decision is “an act of vindictiveness over the
report by Global Witness.”

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Zimbabwe needs diamond money: PM

(AFP) – 2 hours ago

MARANGE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said Thursday
the government desperately needs revenue from diamond sales, after the
lifting of a global ban imposed over military abuses.

"You are aware that the government needs resources, and we regard diamond
revenue as a major contributor to the fiscus," Tsvangirai told journalists
after a tour of four mines operating in the Marange region, about 200
kilometres (125 miles) east of the capital Harare.

"We hope that as we appreciate the operations, government is able to
formulate policies that will contribute largely to the fiscus."

After contracting for years, Zimbabwe's economy has begun growing again
since the formation of a power-sharing government in 2009 by Tsvangirai and
veteran President Robert Mugabe.

The government is struggling to increase salaries for its workers, who
staged stayaway protests last month to push for a doubling of their wages
and improved working conditions.

Mines Minister Obert Mpofu, who was accompanying Tsvangirai on the tour,
said he was impressed with operations by diamond mining companies in

"Just yesterday I got a report from DMC (Diamond Mining Company) that they
have sold in excess of $30 million since they were approved two weeks ago,"
he said.

Human Rights Watch alleges that Mugabe's army killed more than 200 people
two years after the 2006 discovery of the diamond fields in an operation to
clear small-scale miners from the area.

The Kimberley Process, founded to stop the trade in so-called "blood
diamonds", confirmed widespread abuses and has come under fire from
activists for being soft on Zimbabwe.

The United States in 2008 slapped sanctions on two firms mining in the
eastern region, Marange Resources and Mbada, which are mining at the scene
of the abuses while powerful US-based diamond trading group Rapaport has
boycotted all Marange gems.

All the firms are jointly owned by the Zimbabwean government and foreign

Zimbabwe says it expects to rake in $600 million (466 million euros) from
diamond sales this year.

On Friday, Tsvangirai will visit villagers who were relocated to make way
for the diamond mines.

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Civic groups dismiss charity groups ban

Associated Press

Feb 16, 8:31 AM EST

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) -- Civic activists say moves to ban 29 humanitarian
organizations in southern Zimbabwe are a breach of the nation's laws and
affected groups need to ignore banning orders by the president's party.

In a new crackdown of non-governmental organizations, a provincial governor
appointed by President Robert Mugabe suspended the activities of the groups
on Wednesday, alleging they did not clear their operations with his office.

An alliance of independent civic groups said in a statement Thursday the
governor did not have legal powers to wage "this fresh onslaught" against
humanitarian work providing food, medication, water and vital services in
the drought-prone Masvingo province.

Mugabe's party accuses private charities of supporting its opponents and has
repeatedly threatened to shut them down.

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Cabinet fully behind drafting of new constitution

By Tichaona Sibanda
16 February 2012

Despite protestations from ZANU PF that a draft constitution recently
‘leaked’ to the media seeks to bar Robert Mugabe from seeking re-election, a
recent cabinet meeting gave the process its full backing.

Eric Matinenga, the Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, told
SW Radio Africa on Thursday that they don’t have a deadlock in the drafting
of a new constitution and it’s business as usual.

‘I presented a report on the whole process to cabinet recently and it was
well received. I wouldn’t want to refer to the leaked document as a draft
but a working document,’ Matinenga said.

He continued: ‘It’s still a mere working document that needs to be
interrogated by the select committee before they engage the three drafters.
And only at the end of that exercise can we hopefully have the first draft.’

He added: ‘There are going to be many changes, compromises, alterations and
additions, so people should not make noise before reading a complete draft.’

Tempers have already flared from within the ZANU PF camp, with accusations
that the process is specifically targeting its leader from standing as a
presidential candidate.

They claim that one of the clauses in the draft was inserted with the ageing
Mugabe in mind. The clause in question says ‘a person is disqualified for
election as President if he or she has already held office for one or more
periods, whether continuous or not, amounting to 10 years.’

As a result ZANU PF officials want the constitution-making exercise
abandoned, claiming it has failed. Didymus Mutasa, the ZANU PF secretary for
administration, claimed representatives from their party in COPAC who
allowed that clause to sail through have gone off the party route.

He chastised them for acting in bad faith, saying they ‘are not bigger than
ZANU PF’ according to an interview with the Daily News.

‘Why do they want to block our president from standing? Who do they think
they are? Why are they trying to play around with the constitution? Those
people are not doing what ZANU PF agreed on. Please, make it very clear that
ZANU PF is greater than them,’ Mutasa told the paper.

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Zim Diamond Mining Company To Be Slapped With US Sanctions

Harare, - February 16, 2011 - The newly certified diamond company, Diamond
Mining Company (DMC), 50% owned by the government through the Zimbabwe
Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC), is going to be slapped with
sanctions, the US Ambassador to Zimbabwe Charles Ray has said.

DMC was recently certified to sell gemstones under the Kimberly Process
Certification Scheme (KPCS), bringing to four the number of compliant
companies in Marange.50 percent of the shares are owned by a foreign
investor in the company.

Speaking to journalists in side interviews after the Signing Ceremony for
2012 Self-Help projects, Ray said the move was consistent with their
policies and they are going to place DMC on the list of sanctions.

He said the DMC was “going to be (put) on our list of companies that are
already” on the United States’ sanctions list.

The US and European Union have already hinted on extending the sanctions
targeted at President Robert Mugabe, his close allies and companies
perceived to be behind Zanu (PF)'s continued grip on power.

Ambassador Ray also added his voice on the on-going debate to increase of
teacher’s salaries saying that it is unfortunate that around the world,
teachers are among the least paid professionals yet they need to be given
more money.

“Anywhere in the world even in the US teachers are among the least paid.
Education is important hence it is supposed to be prioritised,” he said.

Addressing the audience Ray said the projects were selected because they
have what it takes-“strong leadership, dedication, hardworking and
contributing community members…to bring projects to a successful

The small grants have a total cost of US$62,000 to five Zimbabwean
community-based groups.  The grants are part of the 32-year-old U.S.
Ambassador’s Self Help Fund, a U.S. government grass-roots assistance
program for small, community-based development projects.

The recipient organisations are involved in various community income and
service projects, including a dormitory for girls, two classroom blocks, a
borehole, a grinding mill and a garden project.

The combined projects will assist over 3,000 children, their families and
communities to improve their lives and economic opportunities.

The four Self Help grants were given to four schools. Manjolo Secondary
School in Binga, received $15,000,Dombodzuku School in Murehwa, received
$8,000,Vungu Secondary School in Gweru, received $10,000,Maranyika Primary
School in Bindura received $9,000.

Zimkids, a Bulawayo based organisation working with 170 HIV/AIDS orphaned
and vulnerable children, youth and their caretakers also received $20,000.

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Mugabe ouster plot: "Heads to roll" - Cde Diesel

By Thelma Chikwanha, 7 hours 14 minutes ago

HARARE - Zanu PF representatives in the Constitution Select Committee
(Copac) who allowed a clause effectively barring President Robert Mugabe
from running in next elections have gone off the party route, Zanu PF
secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa has said.

Party members who gave a green light for the clause to pass through a first
draft recently made public “are not bigger than Zanu PF” and the party has
begun taking steps to ensure the clause is reversed, Mutasa, who is number
five in Zanu PF’s hierarchy, said.

Mutasa is also Minister of State working in Mugabe’s office.

Copac is a parliamentary body driving the crafting of a new constitution.
Zanu PF’s Paul Mangwana co-chairs Copac with Douglas Mwonzora of Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC and Edward Mkhosi of the smaller MDC

Mutasa, whose public stance on perceived “sell outs” is that they should be
punished in accordance with the party’s constitution, said Zanu PF
representatives in the Select Committee had acted in bad faith.

“Why do they want to block our president from standing? Who do they think
they are? Why are they trying to play around with the constitution? Those
people are not doing what Zanu PF agreed on.

“Please, make it very clear that Zanu PF is greater than them,” Mutasa said.

Mutasa spoke as reports indicated that Mugabe summoned Zanu PF Copac
co-chair Paul Mangwana to explain how party Select Committee members are
allowing his arch-rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party to
dictate the pace on issues regarded as key by Zanu PF.

But Mangwana denied that he had been summoned and is threatening legal
action against the Daily News over publication of the story.

The issues that have unsettled Mugabe and his hardliners include
homosexuality, the land and presidential powers and term limits.

Yet, Mangwana and other Zanu PF Select Committee members allowed a clause
that bars anyone who would have served as president for two five-year terms
to run in future elections.

On homosexuality, Zanu PF is fighting against the inclusion of gay and
lesbian rights in the constitution yet the Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act (Aippa) which was masterminded by serial political
flip-flopper Jonathan Moyo protects gay rights.

Zanu PF has 10 Select Committee members, the same number as Tsvangirai’s
MDC. Professor Welshman Ncube’s smaller MDC faction has two members.

The clause that has angered Zanu PF hardliners reads: “A person is
disqualified for election as President if he or she has already held office
for one or more periods, whether continuous or not, amounting to 10 years.”

Mutasa and other fierce Mugabe loyalists view the clause as meant to target
Mugabe, who has been the country’s president since 1987 and has been
endorsed by his party to stand again in the next elections.

Coalition government partners still disagree on the timing of the elections
but Mutasa said Mugabe would remain the party’s choice.

“Our party has already resolved during its congress as well as the
conference last year that President Mugabe is our candidate, come rain or
thunder, come anything Mugabe will contest in those elections. If people
devise methods of preventing him from standing then they are looking for
something else other than elections,” Mutasa said.

The fight over Mugabe’s future has left Zanu PF officials at each other’s

On Monday Mangwana’s Copac technical advisor Goodwills Masimirembwa walked
out of a Copac co-chairpersons meeting after his suggestion to start the
process afresh was rejected.

He also accused Mangwana of being a “sell-out” before walking out. Recent
information suggests that many within Mugabe’s inner cabal support him only
in public but secretly are working on ways to force him out.

Secret meetings between Zanu PF and United States diplomats exposed by
whistle blower website WikiLeaks suggested that top party members who
publicly claim to be Mugabe’s biggest backers no longer had confidence in
his leadership and want him out.

Several high-ranking politburo members met with US diplomats and talked
about the possibility of a post-Mugabe Zimbabwe.

Some, such as Moyo who was later described by US diplomats as a “useful
messenger”, told the diplomats that Mugabe was suffering from throat cancer
and was therefore unfit to remain as President.

The actions of these party members forced Mugabe to tell Tsvangirai that he
felt betrayed, according to an account of the Prime Minister.

Mugabe, who claims he lost the 2008 election first round voting to
Tsvangirai because of divisions within Zanu PF, has previously spoken
publicly about this betrayal by people he considered loyal.

During a cross party anti-violence indaba last year, Mugabe warned party
officials not to repeat an internal 2008 plot code named “bhora musango”.

The plot saw Mugabe getting fewer votes than his MPs and councillors in some
areas after officials campaigning on the ground advised supporters to vote
for a Zanu PF candidate for the MPs and councillors but not for Mugabe.

Mangwana has denied being part of a Zanu PF gang pushing for Mugabe’s ouster
through the constitution. In a letter to the Daily News from his lawyers,
Musunga and Associates, Mangwana denies plotting against Mugabe.

“Contrary to your publication, the President never summoned the Honourable
Minister over the alleged issue neither is the Minister involved in or is
part of elements attempting to ouster the President. Moreso, the alleged
clause imposing limitations on presidential terms never came from the
outreach programme nor was it inserted by the Copac Select Committee on the
constitution but was inserted by the drafters on their own initiative,”
reads part of the letter from Mangwana’s lawyers.

The letter also refers to Mangwana as a minister when he is not. - Daily

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Mugabe urges foreign firms to join with locals

AFP – 2 hrs 2 mins ago

    Mimosa Mining Company Managing Director Winston Chitando (R) and the
Indigenisation Board Chairman David Chapfika (L) hold a giant cheque above
Zimabwe's President Robert Mugabe (C) at the official launch of the
Zvishavane Community Share Ownership Trust. Mugabe told foreign firms to
form partnerships with Zimbabweans to secure their investments. (AFP
Photo/Jekesai Njikizana)Enlarge Photo

    Mimosa Mining Company Managing Director Winston Chitando (R) and the
Indigenisation …

President Robert Mugabe told foreign firms Thursday to form partnerships
with Zimbabweans to secure their investments under new rules requiring them
to cede majority stakes to locals.

"It's our vision to see partnerships between rural communities and
non-indigenous investors to guarantee the security of foreign investment and
the establishment of up and downstream industries," Mugabe said.

He was speaking at a function where platinum producer Mimosa Mine gave 10
percent of its shares to the community in the mining town of Zvishavane,
about 300 kilometres (190 miles) southwest of the capital Harare.

Mimosa donated $2 million to the Zvishavane community trust fund, which will
use its funds to repair roads and provide clean water.

All foreign companies in Zimbabwe are required to cede 51 percent of their
shares to local blacks under a law that has been criticised by firms at a
time when the country is looking for investment.

Mugabe said the equity law was meant to reverse imbalances caused by
colonial laws which gave advantage to businesses owned by a white minority.

"It boggles the mind that while Zimbabwe is endowed with natural resources
that are of a finite nature, particularly in the mining sector, since the
onset of colonialism Zimbabweans have not benefitted from the exploitation
of these resources," he said.

"Instead, they continue to be under threat, not to benefit now, but in the
future -- mainly because of neo-colonial forces."

He urged foreign companies operating in Zimbabwe to follow the examples of
Zimplats, Unki and Mimosa mines and form partnerships with local

Several foreign firms are still discussing with government their plans to
comply with the law.

The indigenisation programme is at the centre of a dispute between Mugabe
and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who formed a coalition government
three years ago.

Tsvangirai has said the indigenisation drive will drive away foreign
investment, just as the country is recovering from a decade-long economic

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Zimbabwe Denies Human Rights Abuses at Marange Diamond Fields

February 16, 2012, 1:34 PM EST

    By Brian Latham and Godfrey Marawanyika

Feb. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Zimbabwean Mines Minister Obert Mpofu said there had
been no human rights abuses in the country’s Marange diamond fields.

“You won’t find any graves here, there are no human rights violations,”
Mpofu told reporters today at the site.

The minister said he hadn’t yet decided whether to allow civil society
observers to visit the gem-rich area in eastern Zimbabwe, denying an earlier
report on the state-owned Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corp. that cited him as
saying they would be barred.

“I received their application last night and I’ll look at it, but they
boycotted a Kimberley Process meeting in the Democratic Republic of Congo,”
Mpofu said.

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Botswana defense chief denies praising Mugabe

by Staff Reporter

1. The Sunday Standard Newspaper of Sunday 12th February 2012 carried a
story entitled "The BDF Boss Slams the West, Praises Mugabe Regime' in which
it purported that the Commander of the Botswana Defence Force Lt Gen THC
Masire had made statements attacking Mugabe critics, especially the Western
countries, about Zimbabwe policies on governance, democracy and the Kimberly

2. The Commander has indicated that his comments were confined to how the
media in Africa and elsewhere has the tendency to misrepresent events or
situations in Africa, including distorting the obvious and positive results
such as the use of the diamonds for development and the Kimberly Process.

3. The Commander had travelled to Zimbabwe in the normal course of his duty
as the Commander of the Botswana Defence Force and as the guest of his
counterpart, the Commander of the Armed Forces of Zimbabwe. The visit was
under the auspices of the Botswana/Zimbabwe Joint Permanent Commission to
discuss matters of mutual interest relating to security, training and
general cooperation between the two agencies in the interest of bilateral
and regional peace and security. The cooperation between the two military
organs in the two countries is exclusive of any political or business
agenda. Therefore it would have been inappropriate for the Commander of the
Botswana Defence Force to make any statement political or otherwise that
would have been contrary to expressed opinions of the Government of

4. Botswana has taken a proactive stand concerning Zimbabwe in a bid to
compliment regional efforts aimed at helping Zimbabwe to return to
democracy, economic prosperity, the rule of law and respect for human
rights. Botswana wants Zimbabwe to assume her rightful place in the region
and thus contribute to regional and international efforts towards achieving
greater integration and economic prosperity.

5. Regrettably, the political situation in Zimbabwe has not improved
sufficiently, despite repeated calls by the SADC Summits urging the Parties
to the Global Political Agreement (GPA) to honour their commitments in order
to ensure the full implementation of the Agreement. Such commitments
include, among others, the drafting of a new Constitution and its adoption
through a referendum. Botswana will thus continue to urge SADC to bring
pressure to bear on the Parties to the GPA to honour their commitments.

6. As a country that largely depends on diamond revenues for economic
development, Botswana continues to play a key role in the Kimberly Process,
which serves as an important vehicle for protecting the diamond market
against trading on illicit or conflict diamonds. Botswana continues to
condemn any action taken by any country in violation of the Kimberly

7. Botswana currently chairs the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Reform of the
Kimberly Process. The United States of America has assumed the Chairmanship
of the Kimberly Process, while South Africa serves as the Deputy
Chairperson. Botswana fully supports the review of the Kimberly Process,
which mainly aims at improving the functioning and working methods of the
Kimberly Process.

8. With regard to Zimbabwe's diamonds at Marange, there has been a divergent
view on whether or not Zimbabwe should be allowed to join the Kimberly
process in order to export them. Botswana subscribes to the compromise
solution reached which allows Zimbabwe to export her diamonds, but only
after they have been certified by two monitors, namely: Belgium and South
Africa. The Ministry of Defence, Justice and Security reiterates that any
statements that may have been made by the Commander of the Botswana Defence
Force while in Zimbabwe do not change the Botswana position on the political
situation in Zimbabwe.

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Police bar protest march in Mutare

By Tichaona sibanda
16 February 2012

Residents in Mutare have been barred by the police from protesting against
the unilateral suspension of Mayor Brian James.

The police said it was’ improper’ to stage a demonstration ahead of Robert
Mugabe’s 21st February birthday celebrations.

Members of the Mutare Residents and Ratepayers Association had last week
applied to the police for permission to stage a peaceful demonstration in
the city centre and march to the civic centre to express dismay over James’

Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo last month suspended James from
the Mutare council citing alleged misconduct. But it is widely believed he
was suspended as he wanted an investigation into financial mismanagement and
alleged fraud amongst councillors.

David Mukunda, the organising secretary of the Mutare Residents and
Ratepayers Association, is quoted by the media saying police denied them
permission to demonstrate on Thursday.
Police accused the residents association of being used by James and his
‘white community counterparts.’ Pishai Muchauraya, the MDC-T spokesman for
Manicaland confirmed the ban and promised to issue a full statement by

‘What I can say now is yes, we have been told the protest has been banned,
but we will sit as a party and decide what course of action to take,’
Muchauraya said.

The Residents in Mutare had also petitioned the MDC-T to explain the
suspension of the Mayor by Chombo. James was elected councillor for ward 12
of the eastern border city on an MDC-T ticket and was subsequently chosen as
Mayor by the councilors, following the 2008 harmonized elections.

But two weeks ago he was suspended by Chombo for alleged misconduct. The
MDC-T described the suspension as ‘ridiculous’ and threatened to disregard
Chombo’s action.

Muchauraya reiterated that that James was suspended for fighting corruption
and that over 20,000 people in Mutare have since signed a petition calling
for his reinstatement.

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NGO’s urged to defy suspension by Masvingo governor

By Tererai Karimakwenda
16 February 2012

This week’s suspension of 29 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) operating
in Masvingo province had no basis in law and was done by an individual with
no authority, a lawyer’s group announced in Harare on Thursday.

The statement was made in response to Masvingo governor Titus Maluleke, who
on Tuesday summoned NGOs in the province to a meeting, where he said 29 of
them had been suspended, after failing to submit memoranda of understanding
(MOUs) to the local authorities.

At a media briefing at the offices of the Zimbabwe Lawyers For Human Rights
(ZLHR), Professor Lovemore Madhuku described the suspensions as “a mere
statement” made by an “ordinary man” with no power to regulate NGOs.

The lawyers issued a defiant statement that said Masvingo Governor Maluleke
had violated section 21 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, which guarantees
freedom of assembly and association. They urged NGOs that were suspended to
ignore the ban.

The director of the ZLHR, Irene Petras, expressed concern that Governor
Maluleke had chosen to announce the suspensions in the presence of senior
officials from the army, police and prison services.

All local and international charity groups operating in Zimbabwe are
registered with the Ministry of Social Welfare. Many are providing
humanitarian aid in areas where the government has failed to assist.

But the Mugabe regime accuses them of cooperating with the MDC formations
and other “enemies of the state”. Foreign NGOs were temporarily banned from
operating in the country ahead of the elections in 2008.

It is feared the move by the Masvingo governor is just the beginning of a
new crackdown on NGOs, ahead of any new election.

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NGO Ban To Distribute Food To Hungry Villagers Dismissed

Harare, February 16, 2012 - A coalition of influential civil society
organisations (CSO)’s on Thursday dismissed as a nullity the purported
banning of some non governmental organisations (NGO)’s by Masvingo
Provincial Governor, Titus Maluleke and vowed to press ahead with their
programmes in the communities.

Maluleke on Tuesday ordered the suspension of the activities of 29 NGOs for
allegedly failing to register their operations with his office.

But in a joint statement issued at a press conference convened in Harare
Thursday the coalition of the influential civil society organisations made
up of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA),

Crisis In Zimbabwe Coalition, Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, the National
Association of Non Governmental Organisations (NANGO), the Zimbabwe Election
Support Network and the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said Maluleke’s
actions were unlawful.

“The Governor’s actions were illegal and are a nullity at law. The law in
this country clearly shows that he has no regulatory authority; nor does he
have the power to register or de-register NGOs. Even the Provincial Council
that he heads in terms of the Provincial Councils and Administration Act
does not have regulatory powers over NGOs.  The council exists solely to
foster developmental projects initiated and carried out by central
government and local government,” reads part of the joint statement.

The organisations said in terms of the law, Maluleke’s functions must be
exercised through the process of consultation and suggestion with the
various organs of government and not NGOs.

“As such he has no executive powers to suspend, disrupt or hinder the
activities of NGO’s and there is no legal obligation for an NGO to register
with his office or any other Provincial Governor’s Office.”

The influential organisations said the Masvingo Governor’s ill-advised
utterances merely sought to confuse matters and are regrettably likely to
worsen the humanitarian crisis prevailing in the Masvingo Province.

“This is because the list of organisations he seeks to ban include NGOs that
are currently providing food, medication and water and other social economic
support to the community – something the state itself has failed to do due
to its misplaced priorities,” the statement said.

The actions of the Governor, the NGO’s said were irresponsible considering
that the government and NGOs should be coming together to fight the
socio-economic ills bedevilling Zimbabwe rather than frustrating the efforts
of individuals and organisations trying their best to help out fellow

The civil society organisations said Maluleke violated section 21 (a) of the
Constitution of Zimbabwe which guarantees freedom of assembly and
association, in that all the members and beneficiaries of the suspended NGOs
are effectively being hindered from enjoying the benefits of such
association and membership.

The CSO’s said the inclusion of security agents from both the Zimbabwe
Republic Police as well as the Zimbabwe Defence Forces in the press
conference where Maluleke made the pronouncement suspending the NGOs was
designed to cower and intimidate the NGOs.

“We wonder why this was so. We reiterate that the role of the security
forces in terms of the constitution is to preserve security during times of
war and, for the police, to maintain law and order in Zimbabwe. ……This fresh
onslaught on NGOs does not surprise anyone, as it was already hinted at by
ZANU PF at its annual conference held in Bulawayo in December last year.
NGOs have weathered such attacks before, and shall do so again,” the NGO’s

The CSO’s said NGOs affected by the ban should ignore the order by Maluleke
and continue to carry out their life saving interventions in the province
and all others in the country.

National Constitution Assembly Chairman Dr Lovemore Madhuku dismissed the
ban as “completely stupid” as it is not supported by any laws of Zimbabwe.

Madhuku said: “The statement doesn’t make sense it is a completely stupid
statement from a governor in Masvingo. The affected organisations should
ignore the order by the governor, they should not respect that. We should
stick by what we believe in, let’s defy. We will be respecting him too much
he can’t have that power and we will not respect that. He is only one aspect
of government and we want to see the next action by government.”

Madhuku warned that if the banned organisations are to abide by the
governors ruling it will put pressure on other governors around the country
to follow suit.

He added, “Nothing has happened and we want to stick to that, let's continue
working together and   let’s move on…we can’t have a law for Masvingo only.
We will be around to deal with the next step and that’s when we will know if
he is the commander of the defense forces.”

Irene Petras the director for Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said they
cannot take at this   stage, “because the action by the governor is a
nullity (and), “if they (banned NGOs) are arrested ZHLR will intervene,” she

Machida Marongwe the programme’s Director of NANGO said the move is a big
political question that need to be addressed at the highest level of

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Police commission not yet in place

By Gift Phiri, Senior Writer
Thursday, 16 February 2012 15:05

HARARE - Zimbabwe's two Home Affairs ministers have so far  reportedly not
assented to the extension of the term of office of the Police Service
Commission (PSC), which is supposed to advise the President to extend or
terminate commissioner-general Augustine Chihuri’s contract.

This revelation puts the legality of President Robert Mugabe’s actions into
question if he has indeed unilaterally extended Chihuri’s contract to 2014
as stated by his spokesperson, George Charamba.

Legally, Mugabe needs to work with the PSC and, according to the power
sharing Global Political Agreement (GPA), should consult coalition partner
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

Investigations by the Daily News show that Theresa Makone and Kembo Mohadi,
co-Home Affairs ministers, had by yesterday not acceded to a proposal by the
chief secretary to the President and Cabinet Misheck Sibanda to extend the
term of office of the Police Service Commission (PSC) to December 14, 2014.

According to documents in our possession, the chief secretary’s letter was
only signed by permanent secretary in the Home Affairs ministry Melusi
Matshiya and the director of human resources in the ministry, Alouis
Dambudzo Matongo on January 23 this year.

But Makone and Mohadi are yet to sign the letter, essentially grid-locking
the extension of the term of the PSC.

The memo was supposed to be signed by the four before its submission to

But Makone and Mohadi have reportedly not yet appended their signatures.

Authoritative official sources said yesterday the net effect of all this was
that there was currently no PSC in Zimbabwe, with the previous commission’s
term having expired on December 31, 2011.

This could mean Chihuri is still in office illegally, even if Mugabe
“extended” his contract, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC argues.

The President in terms of Section 94 (1) (b) of the Constitution, as read
with Section 52 of the Police Act (Chapter 11:10) is required to reappoint
members of the PSC, but that extension must be assented to by the ministers
of Home Affairs and the permanent secretary.

But documents in our possession reveal that a request by the chief secretary
to extend the term of the commission from January 1, 2012 to December 31,
2014 has been mothballed for want of ministerial approval.

“Accordingly, it is hereby recommended to his Excellency, the President, the
reappointment of Mr M Ncube, Mr J T Mahachi, Mr F Msutu and Ms R Muchemenyi,
as members of the Police Service Commission for the period from 1 January,
2012 to 31 December 2014,” the chief secretary wrote  to Makone and Mohadi.

“We recommend approval.”

But Mohadi and Makone are still to sign, reports say. Mohadi could neither
confirm nor deny that he had not yet signed the chief secretary’s letter
when contacted by the Daily News yesterday.

“Why are you trying to interfere with the administration of my ministry?”
said a high-charged Mohadi before hanging up the phone.

Makone was not immediately available for comment on Tuesday and yesterday.

Tsvangirai’s office confirmed our findings.

“The co-ministers of Home Affairs and the permanent secretary met the Prime
Minister last week to discuss a whole range of issues in the ministry,” the
PM’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka told the Daily News yesterday.

“It is true that all of them in their brief to the PM made it clear that the
Police Service Commission was not constituted.”

Tamborinyoka’s statement and documents at hand fly in the face of Charamba’s
claims that Chihuri’s term has been extended.

The functions of the PSC are to tender advice and do such other things in
relation to the police force as provided for by the Constitution and the
Police Act.

The term of office of the PSC — which is headed by the chairperson of the
Public Service Commission Mariyawanda Nzuwa — is five years.

The Daily News understands a heated two-and-half-hour February 8 meeting of
principals at State House agreed that the PSC be regularised first before a
new police chief is decided on.

At a joint press conference immediately after the meeting, Tsvangirai and
Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara confirmed the development.

But Charamba made a shock announcement after the principals’ meeting
suggesting Mugabe had unilaterally extended Chihuri’s term.

“When CG Chihuri’s term of office expired, President Mugabe solicited the
views of the necessary commission as provided for in the Constitution,”
Charamba told the state press.

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Busted: Mugabe's criminal cabal selling diamonds at half price in looting spree

By Staff Reporter 15/02/2012 19:08:00

AS questions mount over the proceeds from Zimbabwean diamonds sales, Indian
traders have revealed a looting spree whereby Zimbabwean diamonds are being
sold at knocked-down prices of 50% cheaper than those from other sources in
a looting spree industry sources said amount to unprecedented looting
carried out by Robert Mugabe's criminal cabal.

"Diamonds from Zimbabwe have brought stiff competition to the international
market, causing prices to fall sharply," said Santosh Desai, diamond trader
at Mumbai's Zaveri Bazaar. "An immediate consequence of their arrival was
that diamond prices have crashed by 25% in the markets of Mumbai and Surat
since November 2011," he added.

Zimbabwe diamonds are available at $40 per carat, which is very cheap as
compared to other mining giants whose diamonds are sold above $100 per

A group monitoring blood diamonds said on Wednesday that mining officials
loyal to the authoritarian president are stashing profits from Zimbabwe's
diamond fields, and cited fears the money could be used for political
violence ahead of proposed elections.

Global Witness said in a report circulated on Wednesday that its
investigations show unspecified amounts of diamond earnings are being hidden
in the tax-free havens of Mauritius, Hong Kong and the British Virgin

The mining executives include retired and serving police and military
officers, the group said, raising fears the money could be used to finance
violence and intimidation.

"If the next election is accompanied by violence there is a real risk that
any bloodshed will be funded by diamond revenue," said Nick Donovan, a
senior researcher for Global Witness.

The group said diamond money is "desperately needed" to rebuild the
shattered economy and should not be used as an "off-budget cash cow" for
loyalists of President Robert Mugabe.

Mugabe's party has denied hoarding diamond earnings.

Diamonds from Zimbabwe made a comeback in the world's biggest diamond
cutting and polishing hub in Surat, India, from November 2011 after the
international diamond regulatory body Kimberly Process (KP) allowed their
exports from the controversial Marange fields.

Desai added that Zimbabwe was all set to influence prices and demand for
rough diamonds in 2012, backed by rising demand from India. Traders added
that around 11 million carats of Marange diamonds were expected to flood the
Indian market this year.

In 2010-11, India imported rough diamonds worth $11 billion, out of which
more than 50% were of low range quality. Exports of gems and jewellery for
the same period jumped 47% to $43 billion from $29.4 billion.

Globally, global diamond production fell by 4% to 122 million carats in
2011, though the value of production rose to 25% to $14 billion. Zimbabwe's
production does not figure in the global count, since the country was banned
by KP.

De Beers, Alrosa, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton account for 70% of the total
production of rough diamonds in the world. Though De Beers benefited from
rising demand in India in 2011, with rough diamond prices rising an average
15% in India when the KP ban was still in place, diamond giants have been
forced to look elsewhere given the slide in their earnings.

Rio Tinto reported a minuscule 7% increase in diamond sales recording $727
million in 2011, with production at 11.7 million carats which was a 15% drop
on the previous year's production levels. Similarly, BHP's revenue from
diamond operations for 2011 was $357 million, down 16% on its 2010 revenue.

Prices of rough diamonds from De Beers and Alrosa have also slipped by
around 10% per month in Surat as a result of the diamonds from Zimbabwe
entering the market. About 30% of the diamond pieces currently manufactured
in Surat are Zimbabwean stones.

"Zimbabwe has a stock pile of 4.5 million carats of diamonds valued at
anything between $4 and $5 billion. Since India consumed about 80% of rough
diamonds produced by Alrosa in 2011, Zimbabwe is bound to take away a large
chunk of this consignment this year," said Uday Mahandale, diamond trader.

He added that in 2010, out of the total $5077 million worth of rough goods
sold annually by Alrosa, around $3859 million worth of goods came to India
through direct and indirect channels.

The move by Indian diamond cutters to choose roughs from Zimbabwe has also
impacted the second online auction of the Surat Rough Diamond Sourcing India
Limited held earlier this month. The firm has been able to sell only 51%
goods to small and medium diamantaires.

Though the Indian firm presented about 300,000 carats of low range goods
valued at more than $6 million during the auction process, it managed to
sell only 21 of the 31 lots for $3 million. In January, when the same Indian
firm had held its first online rough auction, it had managed to achieve
sales of $17.2 million.

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Zimbabwe caps local banks' offshore funds due to dlr crunch

Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:09am EST

* Banks may only keep up to 25 pct of balances offshore from March 1

* says about $450 mln held in offshore accounts

* Zimbabwe mulls $50 mln infrastructure bond, analysts cautious

By Nelson Banya

HARARE, Feb 16 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe will limit the amount of cash local
banks can hold in offshore accounts, Finance Minister Tendai Biti said on
Thursday, in its latest move to ease a dollar crunch in the wake of the
collapse of its own currency.

The southern African country has been battling a dollar shortage since the
start of 2012 due to a lack of dollar inflows on foreign investor concerns
over government policies.

The country gave up using the Zimbabwe dollar in February 2009 after it was
destroyed by hyperinflation that peaked at 500 billion percent. It switched
to using foreign currencies instead, mostly the U.S. dollar.

Biti said on Thursday that banks will have to repatriate from March the bulk
of funds they hold in so-called Nostro Accounts, or offshore accounts used
for international payments and forex trades.

"With effect from March 1, 2012, banks will, therefore, be required to
maintain in their Nostro Accounts a maximum of 25 percent of their balances
off-shore," Biti said in a statement, adding that the ratio of offshore
balances would be raised to 30 percent from June 1.

Last month the central bank set limits on cash withdrawals and urged banks
to inject some of their foreign cash holdings into the economy to help avert
a dollar crunch. It also warned them that the government could compel them
to do so if they did not comply.

The central bank says local lenders, mostly those with international holding
companies, have about $450 million in offshore accounts. Barclays Bank Plc,
Standard Chartered Plc and the Standard Bank groups are some of the major
international firms operating in Zimbabwe.

Last month, Biti said Zimbabwe would draw down $110 million from its
allocation of a 2009 $500 million IMF emergency fund in a bid to ease the
foreign exchange shortage and bolster the country's $4 billion 2012 budget.

Biti also said the government would soon launch a $50 million bond to raise
funds for infrastructure projects.

Since 2009, Zimbabwe has toyed with the idea of issuing bonds to raise funds
for projects it cannot fund through its meagre budget, but it has not
followed through. Analysts say such plans would have limited success mainly
due to the country's risk profile.

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Diamond Monitors Barred From Zimbabwe Gem Field

By Brian Latham - Feb 17, 2012 1:14 AM GMT+1000

Members of the Kimberley Process Civil Society Coalition have been barred
from visiting Zimbabwe’s Marange diamond fields, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corp.
said, citing Mines Minister Obert Mpofu.

The coalition, which includes Partnership Africa Canada, won’t be allowed
into the area because it boycotted a Kimberley Process meeting in the
Democratic Republic of Congo last year, state-owned ZBC said.

Marange diamonds are mined by four companies, all in partnership with the
state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corp. Global Witness and other human
rights organizations have accused the Zimbabwe government of abusing people
living in Marange and of gem smuggling.

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Chinese Companies Evade Tax

Harare, February 16, 2012 - Some Chinese companies operating in the country
indigenous business people are evading tax, a Zimbabwe Revenue Authority
senior official has divulged.

“One of the challenges we face in tax collection is in us. There are also
our friends from the east who are investing in this country ...but if you
ask for tax, their Ambassadors of say China will come to our offices saying
you are harassing our people and it’s unfortunate. That is the culture which
we want to eliminate now that we are going to indigenous with us taking 51%
of business ownership,”ZIMRA Chief Investigations Officer Siyathaba Muremba
told a mining meeting organised by civil society in Harare Wednesday.

Under the look East Policy, put in place as a counter to Western sanctions
imposed on senior Zanu (PF) party members a decade ago, thousands of Chinese
nationals have invested in the country.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti recently directed the Zimbabwe Revenue
Authority (ZIMRA) to enforce tax laws and ad hoc tax remittance measures,
including seizing the assets of tax evaders and auctioning them to recover
lost revenue.

He did this through revising the Finance Bill and added a clause providing
for the seizure and auctioning of the assets of tax offenders.


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Africom bosses court case postponed

16/02/2012 00:00:00
    by Phyllis Mbanje

A HARARE magistrate has postponed to the end of the month a case in which
the bosses of telecoms firm, Africom Holdings, are facing charges of
contravening the country’s telecommunications regulations.

Africom acting CEO Simba Mangwende, non-executive Director Farai Rwodzi and
Oliver Chiku, the director of Global Satellite Systems, were initially
charged with espionage when they were arrested on October 28 last year.

The state claimed they had illegally set up satellite communication
equipment and leaked state secrets to Canada, the United States and

The espionage case later collapsed resulting in the state preferring the
lesser charge of contravening sections of the Postal and Telecommunications

The three men are now accused of illegally installing communications
equipment at Africom Harare head office.

The trio, prosecutors allege, connived with Canadian firm Juch Tech to
install satellite dishes and other equipment capable of transmitting
internet voice over the internet protocol.

Prosecutors claim they failed to seek authorisation for the installations
from the Post and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe
(Potraz) as the law demands.

Defence lawyers Lewis Uriri, Innocent Musimbe and Nikita Madya, dismissed
the allegations on Wednesday arguing that there was no evidence the three
were in possession and in control of the said equipment.
The magistrate postponed the case to February 27.

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Air Zimbabwe To Resume Flights

Thursday, 16 February 2012 06:18

Zimbabwe’s troubled national airline, Air Zimbabwe announced the resumption
of domestic flights with effect from Monday, February 20, 2012.
African Aviation NewsThe move follows the suspension of all its domestic
flights after one of its two operational Boeing 737-200 aircraft developed
technical problems leaving scores of passengers stranded in various cities.

However, Air Zimbabwe acting chief executive officer Innocent Mavhunga
announced the resumption of limited services for four days a week, on the
Harare-Bulawayo-Victoria Falls route. In a press release issued by the
airline, Mr. Mavhunga said: "Air Zimbabwe sincerely apologises to its valued
customers and stakeholders for inconveniences caused by the disruption of
flights. The Board, Management & Staff would like to reaffirm their
commitment to providing reliable service."

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Mutasa threatens violence

Political violence raised its ugly head at Biriwiri business centre in
Chimanimani East last week when youths tried to force villagers to attend a
Zanu (PF) rally addressed by Didymus Mutasa.
by Zwanai Sithole Harare

This comes less than a week after the three principals to the GPA declared
that all party provincial chairmen and secretary generals should hold
rallies to preach an end to political violence.

A villager who attended the meeting said Mutasa, Zanu (PF) secretary for
administration, threatened them with a repeat of the 2008 election violence
if they did not vote for his party at the next election.

“He said we should all claim to be illiterate and ask for assistance from
presiding officers who he said will be Zanu (PF) members. He said anyone
going into a polling station alone will be presumed to be an MDC supporter
and the party will deal with him or her after the elections,” said the

Zimbabwe has one of the highest literacy rates in Africa.

Observers pointed out that ballot papers show the party symbols, which are
well recognised by the electorate. So there is actually no need for a voter
to be functionally literate in order to vote. They simply need to put their
X next to the symbol of the party they want to vote for.

All shops and churches at the centre were forced to close by the youths, who
came from Mutare in hired buses belonging to well-known business man and
Zanu (PF) central committee member, Isau Mupfumi. “The group ordered the
closure of shops and forced villagers to attend the meeting at the
Manicaland Development Association training centre.

They appeared to be drunk, and demanded free beer from local bottle store
owners,” said a businessman at the centre, who declined to be named for fear
of victimisation.

During the meeting, attended by local chiefs and headmen, Mutasa also
allegedly called for MDC supporters to be denied farming inputs and grain
loan schemes. He claimed these were only meant for President Robert Mugabe’s
followers . The meeting was also attended by Zanu (PF) senator for the area,
Monica Mutsvangwa, Samuel Undenge and the party’s perennial election loser
Munacho Mutezo. Mutasa could not be reached for comment.

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UK – UNICEF Partnership on support to Zimbabwe’s health sector set to expand

Harare, 16 February 2012 - Zimbabwe’s health sector today received a major
boost after the United Kingdom announced a new contribution of 74 million
pounds (around 120 million USD) to support maternal and child health. Around
80 million USD is earmarked to support the Health Transition Fund (HTF), an
innovative  multi-donor fund launched in November 2011 and managed by
UNICEF.  The HTF has four main components: i) Support for Maternal, Newborn
and Child Health and Nutrition Services; ii) Provision of Medicines and
Basic Equipment; iii) Human Resources for Health; and iv) Health Policy,
Planning and Finance.  The objective is to eliminate user fees for women and
children and ultimately save more than 30,000 lives among children under
five and pregnant women.  This grant represents the largest contribution to
date for the Heath Transition Fund, with the United Kingdom joining the
Governments of Norway, Sweden, and Ireland in the first tranche of
supporters of the programme.

In the last decade, Zimbabwe has witnessed a dramatic decline in the
delivery of primary health care services that has led to a major increase in
maternal and child mortality.  Maternal mortality has doubled since 1990 and
now stands at 790 per 100,000 live births; this means that 8 women are dying
every day while giving life. In addition, 100 children are dying every day,
mainly due to preventable diseases, and around one-third of children are

“There is no doubt that the poorest women and children have borne the brunt
of the decline in health service delivery over the past decade,” said UNICEF
Representative, Dr Peter Salama. ‘However, significant progress has been
made in recent years. Abolishing user fees for pregnant women and children
under 5 and strengthening the quality and reach of services will save even
more lives.”

Over the past 3 years, efforts made by the Inclusive Government, combined
with investments by international donor partners, have already made a
tangible difference to stabilizing the health sector. Schemes to supplement
health worker salaries and supply the basic package of essential medicines
have shown a significant impact in re-establishing primary health care
services across the country. Latest data show that there are virtually no
major stock-outs of drugs and vaccines across the country and more than 90%
of the 1400 facilities have the majority of required commodities.

“Many challenges still remain in our efforts to provide access to quality
health services across the country,” said Minister of Health and Child
Welfare, Dr. Henry Madzorera. “The Health Transition Fund will accelerate
our efforts to bring Zimbabwe’s Health Sector back on its feet; I am
confident that this significant grant from the UK government will accelerate
progress on the health-related MDGs.”

The new announcement builds on a strong existing partnership between the
United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and UNICEF
in Zimbabwe. Over the past 4 years, the UK has invested more than 100
million USD through UNICEF in Zimbabwe. This support has contributed to
major national results such as ensuring every child in the country has a
full set of core textbooks, ensuring a guaranteed national supply of
essential medicines, providing multi-sectoral support to over 500,000
orphans and vulnerable children and payment for school fees for an
additional 500,000, and helping to prevent another major cholera outbreak.

“This contribution from the United Kingdom is a clear demonstration of our
commitment to rebuilding the health sector and expanding our support to the
social services in Zimbabwe,” said Dave Fish, Head of DFID Zimbabwe.” We are
confident that our partnership with the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare
and UNICEF will continue to deliver for the most vulnerable people in

UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to help children survive and
thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest
provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health
and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all
boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation,
and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of
individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information
about UNICEF and its work visit:

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Minister Biti: Press Statement on Improving Financial Market Liquidity


1. Introduction

1.1. In line with commitments outlined during the pre-Budget consultative
process and in my January 25, 2012 Press Statement, Treasury will
periodically be communicating on some of the major developments within the

1.2. A major challenge I highlighted on January 25, 2012 was the on-going
liquidity challenges being experienced in the financial system and
throughout the entire economy.

1.3. While most of the measures I announced in the January 25, 2012 Press
Statement and complemented by the Reserve Bank Monetary Policy Statement of
January 31, 2012 are beginning to bear fruit, it is necessary that these be
buttressed by additional measures.

1.4. Stakeholders would have witnessed notable improvement in the processing
of RTGS transactions throughout the financial system.

2. Bank Deposits

2.1. In its Monetary Policy Statement of January 31, 2012, the Reserve Bank
reiterated the need to ensure liquidity and fluidity in our domestic
financial system.

2.2. As part of dealing with this, it has become necessary that we address
this issue in support of boosting domestic market liquidity and lending to
the productive sectors of the economy.

2.3. In doing this, Government and the Reserve Bank will remain fully
cognisant of the need to ensure that the capacity of our banks to deal with
their day-to-day international payment obligations, and ability to take
positions in international markets is preserved.

2.4. Hence, dispensations will be given to allow banks’ Nostro Account
balances to meet commitments towards meeting such obligations as lines of
credit, trade and project finance support.

2.5. After consultations with the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe,
Government and the Reserve Bank concluded on the need for the repatriation
of all other Nostro Account balances in excess of banks’ needs, pending
international payment obligations and for the purposes of taking positions
in the international market.

2.6. This does not, however, affect the existing liberalised exchange
control policy.

2.7. With effect from March 1, 2012, banks will, therefore, be required to
maintain in their Nostro Accounts a maximum of 25% of their balances

2.8. The maximum rises to 30% from June 1, 2012. This would also be in
acknowledgement of the absence of a prudent statutory liquidity ratio.

2.9. Any amounts in excess of these thresholds will have to correspond to a
bank’s demonstrable pending international payment obligations.

3. Banks’ Statutory Reserves owed by the Reserve Bank

3.1. Stakeholders will recall that in my Press Statement of January 25,
2012, I advised that, as part of the measures in support of improved market
liquidity, Treasury would issue Discountable and Tradable Instruments to
willing participant banks against Reserve Bank Statutory Reserve liabilities
amounting to US$83.583 million.

3.2. The issuance of discountable paper instruments against the Reserve Bank
Statutory Reserve liabilities is against the background of our limited
fiscal space.

3.3. The maturity of the Instruments will range over 2 – 4 years as
indicated in the Table below: –

Description Amount (US$)
Tenor Interest Rate
Per Annum
30% of Outstanding balance 25 million 2 years
(1 Jan 2012 – 31 Dec 2013)
30% of Outstanding balance 25 million 3 years
(1 Jan 2012 – 31 Dec 2014)
40% of Outstanding balance 33.6 million 4 years
(1 Jan 2012 – 31 Dec 2015)

3.4. The Instruments will have the following features: –

• Prescribed asset status;
• Liquid asset status;
• Half yearly coupon;
• Tax exemption;
• Tradable; and
• Lender of Last Resort security status.

3.5. The Reserve Bank already allows banks’ Statutory Reserve balances to
count towards the capital adequacy requirement.

3.6. Institutions not willing to participate in the above Scheme will have
the option of being issued with 15 year Bonds at 3% per annum.

3.7. Treasury will immediately establish a Sinking Fund to cater for
servicing of interest payments and maturities.

4. Infrastructure Development Bonds

4.1. I have already alluded to the challenges on the Budget with regard to
meaningful interventions towards supporting infrastructure rehabilitation
and development.

4.2. The large infrastructure funding requirements cannot be met from the
current levels of fiscal revenues. This is more so, given the
disproportionate demands on Government arising from both discretionary and
non discretionary recurrent expenditures.

4.3. However, the state of some of our infrastructural facilities requires
or calls for immediate interventions.

4.4. Hence, notwithstanding the prevailing challenges in the financial
system, Treasury will be issuing Infrastructure Development Bonds to
complement Budget resources set aside for the financing of the
rehabilitation of infrastructure.

4.5. Given the need to abide by our cash budgeting principles, the
Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe will be mandated to issue
Infrastructure Development Bonds to the tune of US$50 million.

4.6. The Infrastructure Development Bonds to finance identified commercially
viable quick win priority infrastructure projects will have the following
features: –

• 5 year tenor;
• 10% interest rate per annum;
• Government guarantee;
• Prescribed asset status;
• Liquid asset status;
• Half yearly coupon;
• Tax exemption;
• Tradable; and
• Lender of Last Resort security status.

4.7. A Sinking Fund will also be established to facilitate interest and
principal payments.

5. Lender of Last Resort

5.1. With regards to the build up towards the US$100 million Lender of Last
Resort Facility at the Reserve Bank, in my Press Statement of January 25,
2012 I announced the provision of an additional US$20 million to the initial
US$7 million.

5.2. I am pleased to announce that Treasury should be able to disburse this
US$20 million during the course of the coming week.

5.3. Treasury is earnestly working with local and international financial
institutions to finalise the mobilisation of the balance of US$73 million.

5.4. Once an agreement has been reached, I will announce the operational
framework for the disbursement of these funds.

6. Cash Withdrawal Limits

6.1. Stakeholders will note that both myself in my Press Statement of
January 25, 2012 and the Governor of the Reserve Bank in his Monetary Policy
Statement of January 31, 2012 had instituted measures with regards to cash
withdrawal limits as part of our efforts to deal with some of the liquidity
challenges in the banking system.

6.2. I have already alluded to some of the positive effects the measures
that I announced and those that the Central Bank announced are having with
regards to the improving liquidity situation in the overall financial

6.3. Mindful of this, Government has noted that we move with circumspection
with regards to the restrictive limits on withdrawals, that way also
avoiding inculcating cultures that could see some persons shunning the
banking sector.

6.4. In this regard, the Reserve Bank will, therefore, be reviewing the
policy of limiting cash withdrawals with immediate effect.

7. Withdrawal Notices

7.1. In line with the improving liquidity situation, the Reserve Bank will
also be reviewing the Withdrawal Notice Requirements that would not be
deemed in line with support for orderly business and commercial

7.2. Stakeholders would, however, need to note that such reviews will be
consistent with our regional and international obligations towards money
laundering and countering the financing of terrorism.

7.3. With regard to Government transactions, Treasury will, however,
continue to coordinate with line Ministries, also in support of orderly
financial transactions within the banking system.

8. Plastic Money

8.1. In order to complement the above measures meant to support improved
liquidity in the market, it will be necessary that businessmen and the
general public broaden use of plastic money and that way reducing reliance
on cash.

8.2. Government is, in consultation with the Reserve Bank and the Bankers
Association, considering introduction of measures and fiscal incentives
deemed necessary to promote broader use of plastic money.

9. Bank Accounts

9.1. Furthermore, all tax-paying traders and businessmen are being
encouraged to open accounts with banks through which they will conduct their
financial and tax transactions.

10. Financial Sector Legislative Reforms

10.1. In order to strengthen and deepen the financial sector, Treasury, the
Reserve Bank, the Insurance and Pensions Commission and the Securities
Commission will be reviewing the existing legislation governing the various
financial sub-sectors.

10.2. This review will cover the following legislation:-

• Banking Act;
• Securities Act;
• Microfinance Bill;
• Insurance Act; and
• Pension and Provident Funds Act.

10.3. The review of the Banking Act will focus on capital adequacy of banks
and governance deficiencies which have characterised the banking sector.

10.4. Notable examples include the need to ensure that shareholders have no
role to play in the management of financial institutions.

10.5. This limits the prevalence of incidences of insider loans, abuse of
depositors’ funds and conflicts of interest.

10.6. The review on capital adequacy requirements should result in
streamlining of the number of banks operating in the economy through mergers
and the injection of new capital by investors.

11. Banking Sector Mergers

11.1. In its Monetary Policy Statement of January 31, 2012, the Reserve Bank
indicated that 20 of the 25 operational banking institutions comply with the
capital requirements. It is regrettable that 5 banks still remain
under-capitalised in spite of moving the deadlines for compliance several

11.2. Given the importance of having a strong and secure banking sector that
is immune to systemic risk, I have mandated the Reserve Bank to develop a
framework for mergers between the banking institutions.

11.3. Modalities of this Framework will be announced in due course.

12. Conclusion

12.1. The above measures should significantly improve and alleviate the
existing market liquidity challenges, and I should be updating stakeholders
of any major developments.

Hon. T. Biti (M.P.)

15 February 2012

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CSO’S joint press statement on the purported ban of NGO’s in Masvingo

We note with concern the blatantly illegal actions of Masvingo Provincial
Governor, Titus Maluleke in purporting to ban some Non Governmental
Organisations (NGO’s) operating in Masvingo. On 14 February 2012, at a press
conference convened in Masvingo, Governor Maluleke ordered the suspension of
the activities of 29 NGOs for allegedly failing to register their operations
with his office.
by The Zimbabwean Harare

The Governor’s actions were illegal and are a nullity at law.

The law in this country clearly shows that he has no regulatory authority;
nor does he have the power to register or de-register NGOs.

Even the Provincial Council that he heads in terms of the Provincial
Councils and Administration Act does not have regulatory powers over NGOs.
The council exists solely to foster developmental projects initiated and
carried out by central government and local government.

In fact in terms of the law, the Governor’s functions must be exercised
through the process of consultation and suggestion with the various organs
of government and not NGOs. As such he has no executive powers to suspend,
disrupt or hinder the activities of NGO’s and there is no legal obligation
for an NGO to register with his office or any other Provincial Governor’s

The Governor’s rash and ill-advised utterances merely seek to confuse
matters and are regrettably likely to worsen the humanitarian crisis
prevailing in the Masvingo Province. This is because the list of
organisations he seeks to ban include NGOs that are currently providing
food, medication and water and other social economic support to the
community – something the state itself has failed to do due to its misplaced

The actions of the Governor are also irresponsible considering that the
government and NGOs should be coming together to fight the Socio-Economic
ills bedevilling Zimbabwe rather than him frustrating the efforts of
individuals and organisations trying their best to help out fellow

Governor Maluleke has also violated section 21 (a) of the Constitution of
Zimbabwe which guarantees freedom of assembly and association, in that all
the members and beneficiaries of the suspended NGOs are effectively being
hindered from enjoying the benefits of such association and membership.
Furthermore by illegally seeking to suspend the activities of NGOs, the
Governor has violated their rights to freedom of movement as enshrined in
Section 22 of the Constitution.

Lastly, he as a public officer, has a duty to exercise his functions in
accordance with the law and to observe and uphold the rule of law in terms
of section 18 (1a) of the Constitution. Therefore he is also in violation of
this provision as he acted illegally and beyond the scope of his authority.

We also note that there are reports that Governor Maluleke made the
pronouncement suspending the NGOs flanked by security forces from both the
Zimbabwe Republic Police as well as the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.

We wonder why this was so. We reiterate that the role of the security forces
in terms of the constitution is to preserve security during times of war
and, for the police, to maintain law and order in Zimbabwe. Their inclusion
in the press conference is therefore curious and misplaced and it is
difficult for us not to conclude that their presence was a strategy designed
to cower and intimidate the NGOs.

This fresh onslaught on NGOs does not surprise anyone, as it was already
hinted at by ZANU PF at its annual conference held in Bulawayo in December
last year. NGOs have weathered such attacks before, and shall do so again.

In these circumstances, the affected NGOs should ignore the order by the
Governor and continue to carry out their life saving interventions in this
province and all others in the country.

Issued on behalf of,

Crisis In Zimbabwe Coalition

National Association of Non Governmental Organisations

National Constitutional Assembly

Zimbabwe Election Support Network

Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum

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Zimbabwe's Mugabe: Worst of the worst in the world order

    Article by: JOEL BRINKLEY
    Updated: February 15, 2012 - 8:17 PM

No leader has harmed his nation more.

Trying to determine who is the world's most destructive national leader
might seem daunting. There are so many to choose from.

But look at the facts, and you'll find one obvious choice: Robert Mugabe,
president of Zimbabwe, where the unemployment rate, the CIA says, stands at
95 percent -- the highest in the world.

That's just one of many superlatives Mugabe has achieved during his three
decades in power. No leader anywhere has so assiduously destroyed a nation.

In 2000, the United Nations adopted what it called the Millennium
Declaration, urging every nation to reduce poverty and improve the lot of
its children. Almost every state I've examined, even the most impoverished
and truculent, has seen at least small improvements -- every nation but

As an example, for more than 30 years Ali Abdullah Saleh was president of
Yemen, another impoverished dictatorship. There, the number of children who
died before they reached age 5 stood at 125 per thousand in 1990 -- but 66
today. That's typical. Well, in Mugabe-land, the number went up, from 81 in
1990 to 90 today. Unicef says the rate of infant mortality has increased,

But there's more. So much more.

The seed for much of this was Mugabe's destructive land-redistribution
campaign 12 years ago, when he kicked the nation's white commercial farmers
off their land. Those farms provided the basic structure for the nation's
economy, and the farmers' departure pushed the country into destitution.

Mugabe first tried a massive stimulus/aid program, which threw the country
deep into debt. That sent the nation down the path to another superlative.
Today Zimbabwe has the highest debt ratio in the world. The national debt
stands at 231 percent of the gross domestic product.

For a good while Zimbabwe had the highest inflation rate in the world, at
one point pegged at 231 million percent. Then, three years ago, Zimbabwe
abandoned its own worthless currency and began using the U.S. dollar

But as the 2000s proceeded and the number of students leaving school
outnumbered the available jobs by nearly 10 to 1 some years, thousands of
young people fled, giving Mugabe still another "honor" -- the highest
emigration rate in the world.

His neighbor, South Africa, has been loudly complaining that Zimbabwe
émigrés are taking all the jobs. South Africa and Mozambique built border
fences, but just recently a South Africa newspaper reported that its fence
was "full of holes." The Harare Daily News reports that, to survive, more
than half of Zimbabwe's urban dwellers rely on remittances from relatives
living abroad.

Zimbabwe claims still another record: the world's highest rate of population
growth. High birth rates are usually found in countries that suffer
unusually high child mortality, like Zimbabwe.

The shame of it is that, properly managed, Zimbabwe should be prosperous.
It's home to magnificent wild life and Victoria Falls -- magnets for

But the State Department reports that Mugabe has allowed every manner of
infrastructure -- roads, trains, water systems, telephone and electric
service -- to fall into near-dysfunctional disrepair. So no one visits.

Among the deteriorating public services is health care. Typhoid is ravaging
the country, almost like a plague. The cause, according to the U.N.: fecal
matter in the dilapidated water system. Three years ago a cholera epidemic
infected 100,000 people, killing 4,000 of them.

The state also is home to rich diamond mines, but Mugabe nationalized them
and seems to be stealing all the money. Photos of his mansion show
overwrought, gold-crusted baroque splendor beyond imagining.

So can Zimbabweans hold out any hope? Maybe. On Feb. 21, Mugabe will turn
88 -- this in a country with the world's eighth-worst average life
expectancy: 49.6 years.

More likely than not, the world's most destructive national leader will soon
pass away.


Joel Brinkley, a professor of journalism at Stanford University, is a
Pulitzer Prize-winning former foreign correspondent for the New York Times.
This article was distributed by Tribune Media Services.

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Mugabe, Gaddafi and Al-Qaeda

RW Johnson
16 February 2012

RW Johnson on whether the Zimbabwean leader could've had advanced knowledge
of 9/11

I am frequently visited by foreign journalists touring South Africa. Usually
they have read my last book, South Africa's Brave New World. The Beloved
Country Since the End of Apartheid (Allan Lane/Penguin) and ask me questions
such as "Why do so many people who haven't read your book say they dislike
it?" There isn't a lot I can say to that. Normally I just laugh or shrug.
The book has, after all, sold well and more or less by definition the sort
of people I hear from are the sort who did like it.

The hostile review which is most quoted at me is one by David Beresford in
The Guardian, a curious one in that he simultaneously alleged that my book
was just unsubstantiated gossip and at the same time he was annoyed by the
fact that I had substantiated so much with a plethora of sources,
particularly newspapers and journals.

I don't know Mr Beresford but he is, of course, welcome to his opinions.
What he thought particularly fantastic, however, was my suggestion that
Robert Mugabe had quite possibly had advance notice of the events of 9/11.
This seems to have stuck in other minds and from time to time I find that
someone who is annoyed by something else I've written wheels this out in
order to show that anyone who said such an absurd thing cannot possibly be
believed about anything. So let us have a look at the evidence.

One of the great benefits of the American-led invasion or Iraq in 2003 was
Muammar Gaddafi's quick scuttle to safety: he admitted that he had been
trying to acquire WMD and essentially sued for peace with the West. Western
inspectors found a number of nuclear centrifuges, 23 tons of mustard gas and
1300 tons of precursor chemicals.

He also ceased his support for terrorist groups in Indonesia, the
Philippines, the IRA, the Red Army Fraction, the Red Brigades and even his
attempts to radicalize Australian Aborigines against the Canberra
government. He had, moreover, trained and supported both Charles Taylor and
Fode Sankoh as well as Jean-Bedel Bokassa. He had regularly hosted the
Colombian guerrillas, FARC, and had put millions of dollars into the pocket
of the Austrian ultra-rightist Jorg Halder.

He had also financed Mengistu in Ethiopia and Zimbabwe's Mugabe. In 2011 his
former Justice Minister, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, told the Swedish paper
Expressen (22 Feb.2011) that Gaddafi had also personally ordered the
Lockerbie massacre.

Naturally, he was most active of all in his support of the PLO and terrorist
groups in the Middle East. Since he was famously generous with his oil
dollars, they all came knocking at his door and he had an unrivalled
knowledge of the terrorist networks of the Muslim world. All this changed in
2003 and by 2004 he was meeting Tony Blair, but if we cast our minds back to
2001 we are dealing with the unreformed Gaddafi, the terrorist's friend.

He was also very much Robert Mugabe's friend. Mugabe's programme of violent
land seizures, together with his use of mass torture and intimidation to win
the 2000 election, had seen Zimbabwe enter a period of extreme diplomatic
isolation with only Gaddafi, Thabo Mbeki and a few other extremely flaky
Third World leaders willing to have anything to do with him.

Moreover, Gaddafi was willing to give Mugabe oil and money, which made him
the most precious ally of all. So Mugabe frequently made the pilgrimage to
Tripoli and was so impressed that he gave orders that his palatial new
residence in Harare should copy Gaddafi's home in style. Meanwhile, the
Libyan presence in Zimbabwe grew apace as Gaddafi acquired farms and
businesses and Libyan diplomats and military types proliferated in Harare.

All of which brought Mugabe into closer proximity to the world of Islamic
terrorism than he'd ever been before. This did not seem to cause Mugabe any
concern - he needed any friends he could get - and anyway he was now on
dreadful terms with the US and Britain, the most likely targets of such
terrorists. Soon the number of Libyan MIGs and other planes stationed in
Zimbabwe far outnumbered the Zimbabwean Air Force.

In fact a key moment had occurred in 1998 when Yasir Arafat, a close friend
of Mugabe, had visited Harare bringing with him six members of Islamic Jihad
wanted by the Israelis. They stayed in Harare for two weeks.

Arafat seems to have told Gaddafi about this and in September 2000 Gaddafi
asked Mugabe to receive Ayman Zawahiri, then No.2 to Osama Bin Laden and
today the head of al-Qaeda. This was the first of two visits that Zawahiri
was to make to Zimbabwe, apparently with the idea of setting up an al-Qaeda
base which would not only be far from the Middle East but far from anywhere
the Americans were likely to suspect.

This is not to suggest that Gaddafi ever controlled al-Qaeda. True, the
Libyans had trained many of the Taliban and they were particular experts in
kamikaze terrorism, but Osama Bin Laden was an independent actor. The key
point seems to have been just that Gaddafi was conversant with a huge
variety of terrorist organizations and al-Qaeda simply came to him and asked
him the favour of an introduction to Mugabe. And this in turn happened
because Mugabe had already shown a degree of tolerance towards such folk.

Haroun Fazil, the architect of the al-Qaeda bombings of the US embassies in
Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam in August 1998, which killed 258 and injured over
5,000, flew into Nairobi to carry out these acts on a Zimbabwe passport and
from a base inside Zimbabwe. Later, Wanted notices for Hazil were posted all
round Harare by the Americans who clearly thought he might have returned
there to hide.

Just 18 days after the embassy bombings came the bombing of the Planet
Hollywood restaurant in Cape Town, killing one and injuring 27. Again, the
main suspect had arrived from a base inside Zimbabwe. Anyone with experience
of African politics will surmise that Mugabe would have been well paid for
this extraordinary tolerance of Islamic terrorism.

Mugabe's intimacy with Gaddafi led him to be one of a very select few
invited to Tripoli in September 2001 to celebrate the 32nd anniversary of
Libya's "national revolution". Gaddafi delivered a major address in which he
called upon his followers "to support the hero, President Mugabe, since
Zimbabwe is a strategic country". None of the other dignitaries invited -
for example, Sudan's President Moar Bashir - tolerated a free press but by
great good luck Gaddafi's otherwise obscure address was recorded by the
Zimbabwe Herald. It is from their account that I quote.

Gaddafi had clearly been excited by the East African bombings and his
admiration for al-Qaeda was undisguised - indeed, he had clearly been in
touch with them since the bombings. In his speech he happily boasted of Bin
Laden's prowess and mocked the failure of the Americans to catch him. All
this, remember, on September 1, 2001 - just ten days before 9/11. He

"We no longer wage war with the old weapons. Now they can fight you with
electrons and viruses. The crazy world powers that have invested huge
amounts of money in weapons of mass destruction have found themselves unable
to fight the new strain of rebellion. As a simple example, the USA is unable
to fight someone called Osama bin Laden. He is a tiny man, weighing no more
than 50kg. He only has a Kalashnikov rifle in his hands. He doesn't even
wear a military uniform. He wears a jalabiyah and turban and lives in a
cavern, eating stale bread. He has driven the USA crazy, more than the
former Soviet Union did. Can you imagine that."

This is a passage of electrifying importance. Gaddafi had clearly recently
seen Osama, could talk about how he lived and dressed and ate, and he was
equally clearly excited about some stroke of unconventional warfare which
Osama was about to unleash on America. No doubt Osama had stopped short of
telling Gaddafi exactly what was intended but he had, at the very least,
sniffed what was in the wind.

This much Gaddafi was willing to say in public. One cannot but wonder how
much more he may have told Mugabe in private. After all, by then Libya was
very heavily invested in Zimbabwe and Gaddafi knew that an al-Qaeda strike
of the sort he was hinting at would have major implications for anyone who,
like Mugabe, had sheltered Muslim terrorists.

All this and more I wrote up in the American journal, The National Interest,
in Spring 2004. I stand by now entirely what I wrote then (see here - PDF).
If Mr Beresford or anyone else wishes to take issue with me about this, I
would like them to read that first. I repeat that it is entirely possible
that Robert Mugabe had fore-warning of the events of 9/11. Gaddafi clearly
knew something and it would be surprising if he didn't tell his friend and
collaborator. Today, of course, Gaddafi is dead. But Mugabe is so affected
by his friend's death that he now declares that NATO will quite likely
repeat its Libyan strike by moving to assassinate Mugabe and bring about
regime change in Zimbabwe. Thus the Third World follies, stories of the
paranoid, the deluded and the downright mad.

RW Johnson

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Revisiting Zimbabwe’s land reform exercise

February 16, 2012 12:20 am

By Dr Raymond Chamba

The land reform process was borne out of legitimate historical injustices,
but the chaotic manner of its enactment has no place in the quest to
re-establish Zimbabwe’s vaunted place as a breadbasket of Africa.
Dr Raymond Chamba

Agricultural paedophiles and land speculation perverts need to be separated
away from the real women and men committed to the full time engagement in
farming. Land is indeed an extension of our very souls, a measure of our
social and cultural rubric, and a denominator of our political and economic

It’s far too valuable and precious to be used as a political Valentine gift
to the inept and clueless denizens scarring our great landscape and feeding
on the contemptible falsehood of calling themselves “ farmers”!

True land reform involves the legal transfer of land from the powerful to
the less powerful. If it ends up creating more pockets of inequity and land
hoarding by new elite then for all purposes it becomes land replacement…the
virtual transfer of ownership from old powerful minorities to new corrupt
powerful minorities.

My administration will seek to support true single farm holders, and swiftly
move to infuse and unlock new capital, certainty, experience, and talent
from incorporating the old farmers who are still interested in farming. This
would be done by reducing farm sizes in many instances, taking away farms
from unproductive farmers, introducing a tax regime that encourages
production and penalizes multi-farm ownership and land hoarding.

Production will spike when many choose between dodgy civil service work
commitment and full-time farming. Those who can’t choose will have the
choice made for them through swift repossession. There is enough land to
accommodate serious, committed, well capitalized and experienced new and old
farmers in Zimbabwe.

My administration will quickly move to harness committed old farmers of
talent and experience and expeditiously move to offer just compensation for
all their improvements through new commitments from the international
community that equally wishes to turn a new leaf in its engagement with a
Zimbabwe that protects private property rights.

A new approach to farming and land ownership is needed in Zimbabwe and what’s
currently lacking is leadership to think through this differently. There is
need to create a new category of farm ownership beyond subsistence and
commercial. This would be new specialized designated and specialized
intensive industrial farming land.

This would be a cadre of crack farmers drawn from the available pool of our
experienced white and black farmers that would operate extensive magnet or
model farms in all the major farming regions of the country. They will
execute on the mandate that ARDA failed to live up to, through operation of
national strategic and niche farming areas supported by generous tax

This qualified tax exemption certification would also be a way to make good
on some of the outstanding compensation claims from old farmers. Yes, I am
saying compensate them for improvements as provided for by law through among
other ways giving them new farms with special tax exemptions provided they
meet set production quotas.

These magnet farms would act as a training reservoir for the many new
farmers and farms surrounding them. As full-fledged corporations the new
extensive, intensive farming operations will accommodate groups of old
farmers each. Zimbabwe as a nation wins through enhanced food security, and
unlocking of new international investment capital. We can’t let old farming
talent go to waste.

There should be an urgent stop to the agricultural nanny-state where mere
land ownership is readily abused as a looting platform through access to
cheap loans and agro-inputs. We need to move away from land-banditry to a
new land-husbandry system that creates clear and tradable security of
tenure. Farming is a capital intensive undertaking and capital loves the
comfort of security.

Without security of tenure we can forget national food security and the
eradication of rural poverty. Land is a great denominator of wealth, and
thus we need to bring dead rural assets into the economic mainstream by
crafting new tradable security instruments for communal land. This will help
break the cycle of poverty by valuing real assets in the hands of our common

There is no economic value to the perpetuation of the cultural sentimental
value of rural land as poor subsistence farming lots and favoured
traditional burial grounds, after all the existing system perpetuates false
totem-specific division between our common people!

The successful inclusion of new black small farmers into the lucrative
tobacco sector has been characterised by massive environmental degradation
of catastrophic proportions. There should be a lot more support that should
go towards their training in environmentally sustainable farming. It will
take much massive bio-remediation investment to forestall degradation.

There is no better training than can be responsibly harnessed from the
readily available pools of farming talent and experience abundantly
available in our valuable mostly white old farmers. Why kick them out and
bring the Chinese and others who are plain less able and will take many more
years to understand our farming. Zeal will never be a substitute for
competence and experience.

It’s better to shorten the learning curve by bringing in those who have
acquitted themselves well in this type of endeavour. My administration will
be open to bringing into the fold white farmers because it will be built on
the acute realization that the new Zimbabwe we deserve is not an idyllic
island of happy black natives, but a natural home for all born in it and all
those who choose to call it home.

Black supremacy is not a freeway to prosperity; our farming like our
national fabric needs to be fully cognisant of the multi-racial nature of
our make-up. We are better for it and not weaker, and farming is no
exception from this realism.

My administration will usher in a new era of great harvests as many
cell-phone farmers will certainly opt out of the new lean, mean and keen
non-partisan civil service of all talents. Many are part-time farmers
because they wish to utilize their various government positions to assure
themselves slices and crumbs from different agro-support schemes.

Many of the failed farmers are also failed politicians; they keep to their
politics to guarantee them continued tenuous access to land. These failed
farmers would also be offered a way out through open selling of their land
on the land market, thereby unlocking value to themselves and the nation.

It will also be in kind and just consideration to their many years of lost
savings working in the civil service. With these pockets of inefficiency and
failure plugged away local farming will be back in a big way.

Our farming has been a handy indicator of our type of politics. We have
hobbled from one disaster season after another to the extent that we have
become a nation of disaster creators and experts. However historically and
economically justified, our series of policing mis-steps have created some
disaster out of something so justified.

The series of farming disasters we have experienced point to a third hand of
disaster creation and management. We now have a system of government that
understands that it will not last when people thrive. It’s no accident that
agro-inputs are always availed late.

In Zimbabwe immoral, amoral and mediocre people have had the sense enough to
organize themselves into powerful cartels, and clubs of plunder. The problem
is that true people of excellence, people of faith, are quick to just
organize themselves into prayer circles and pray for things to change day in
and day out pining for divine happenstance.

In 2012 I foresee an action orientation to usher in  the manifestation of
restorative justice for a people long abused. “We are the change we seek”
and one of the first ports of call for change in my administration would
certainly be land and agricultural reform policing and implementation.

Dr. Raymond Chamba- Presidential Candidate (Independent)

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Police corruption totally out of control

February 15th, 2012

Amidst all the political verbage about Chihuri’s continued stay as Zimbabwe’s
police chief, ordinary people are reminded every day of his inability to do
his job.

A colleague of mine has stopped driving to work from her home in the high
density areas. She says that the main road she has to take into town is now
so crammed with police roadblocks you can see the next police roadblock
further down the road while you are being harrassed at the one before.

She used to be frequently late for work due to the various roadblocks and
police harrassment holding her up. So much so that she has decided it’s
better for her work situation and her pocket to take a taxi into twon. The
taxis, you see, get through the roadblocks faster. The police will leave a
driver to wait on the side of the road while they turn to the more lucrative
bribes they can solict from taxis. One example, if a taxi is “overcrowded”
(and according the the police most of them are), the driver pays a bribe and
each passanger has to hand over $1 each(that’s USD, by the way). To my
colleague, this is cheaper and faster than the bribe she has to pay – over
and over again – because her car has a tiny chip in the windscreen which she
can’t repair because it’s a Japenese import and new screen has to come in
fom outside the country.

But the extent of the harrassment, the absolute cheek of it, was best
highlighted by my colleague when she came to work one morning furious. The
policeman who had stopped her that morning had argued to her that she was
illegally operating a taxi and she had to pay a “fine”. When she pointed out
that the people in her car were her husband and her daughter, the policeman
responded that how did he know that? She had to pay a fine anyway. Since
then she has ensured that each member of her family carries with them their
IDs ( a law in Zimbabwe anyway so she was lucky they weren’t all wasn’t
fined for this too) so they can prove they are a family.

People reading this will wonder why the public don’t argue the toss, but in
Zimbabwe, the most frequent response you get from a police officer when you
question or disagree with them is “I will arrest you”. And they can. And
even if its a short stay in jail, Zimbabwe’s jails are hell and to most its
just not worth it. So the police continue to abuse their power with

There are lots of reasons why Zimbabwe is in a sad state, but the one that
worries me the most is the extent of corruption creeping like a cancer
through the nation. And while we focus on the horrors of police abuses, it
is the entrenched corrution and a growing attitude of entitlement to police
theft through bribery and corruption that is underming the most basic
fabrics of law and order in Zimbabwe.

It is an utter outrage that those in positions of power are not doing more
to stop the police ripping into the lives of decent civilians trying to do
their jobs and live their lives.

This entry was posted by Hope on Wednesday, February 15th, 2012 at 4:53 pm

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