By Tichaona Sibanda
23 February 2010
There was complete mayhem in Epworth on Sunday during an MDC rally when ZANU
PF supporters in a three-vehicle convoy allegedly drove at the crowd forcing
them to scatter, resulting in a mass brawl that left many injured.
The provocation has been condemned by the MDC who insisted on Tuesday that
the violence was sparked by the ZANU PF supporters who tried to disrupt
The state controlled Herald reported that six ZANU PF youths were severely
injured during the Epworth disturbances, saying the incident 'dampened the
ongoing national healing and reconciliation efforts.' Three of the ZANU PF
supporters injured in the melee have reportedly been admitted to
MDC-T spokesman for Harare province Willas Madzimure told SW Radio Africa
that ZANU PF supporters were to blame for the violence, which erupted after
they tried to stop a rally that had been authorised by the police.
"If anyone dares to check the facts, they will find out that we (MDC) had
permission to hold a rally in Epworth on Sunday from the police. Therefore,
we were left baffled when ZANU PF supporters came to our rally in three 4X4
vehicles with the intention of intimidating the crowd. This was gross
provocation and their actions sparked all the disturbances. A lot of our
supporters were injured when they were attacked during the melee," Madzimure
The MDC-T MP for Kambuzuma said they had information that ZANU PF chairman
for Harare province Amos Midzi was behind the attempts to block the MDC
"In this day and age it is very easy to trace the number plates of vehicles
used in clandestine operations. We also know that the group that came to
disrupt our rally were members of the Mbare based Chipangano group. They
were picked up from Mbare to come and cause mayhem in Epworth and we know
that Midzi was behind all that," added Madzimure.
February 23, 2010
By Our Correspondent
HARARE - President Mugabe's Zanu-PF and the mainstream Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) have traded accusations of political violence
following the disruption of rally organised by Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai's MDC says it has noticed an increase in attacks on its party
members, with a rally scheduled for Epworth Sunday violently disrupted by
Epworth MDC MP Eliah Jembere said the rally, planned for Epworth High School
, was scuttled and party supporters beaten up by militants from President
Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party.
The militants went to door-to-door, sniffing out MDC supporters before
Jembere alleged the attackers were bussed to the rally by Zanu-PF Harare
Province chairman and losing candidate for Epworth in the 2008 parliamentary
election, Amos Midzi.
He said Midzi initially trucked in logs that were used in the attack on the
eve of the rally. He said Zanu-PF youths then conducted an all-night vigil
at the rally venue, before pouncing on MDC supporters after the aborted
Zanu-PF has described the comments as cheap propaganda, saying it was the
MDC supporters who attacked Zanu-PF youths.
Zanu-PF Harare provincial secretary for security Tonga Nheta insisted the
logs were ferried to Solani in Epworth where he claimed Zanu-PF youths ran a
"The firewood delivered by Honourable Midzi was for the firewood project,
not to attack MDC supporters," he said.
While the MDC says 70 people were injured in the attack, Zanu PF says 60 MDC
youths were responsible for the violence.
While MDC says Midzi's truck was involved in the well-orchestrated attack,
Zanu-PF says its truck, a Mazda twin cab, was damaged by MDC youths.
Zanu-PF named Cecelia Chivhunga, the Youth League deputy information
secretary, and one Marbel Nzenza, who the party said were critically injured
in the violence.
On the other hand, the MDC says over and above the 70 injured, four had been
hospitalised after the attack. Both parties claim the injured were
hospitalised at Parirenyatwa Hospital .
The MDC named Ben Zvokuomba, the MDC Ward 7 chairperson, MDC activist
Patience Ziki, as some of the victims of the alleged Zanu-PF violence.
The MDC alleges that acts of violence against MDC supporters had started
happening in both urban and rural areas, amid reports inter-party violence
had also flared up in Chegutu on Monday.
The pattern of violence was reminiscent of the attacks on MDC supporters
during the 2008 elections, Jembere said.
On Monday, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC leader, expressed
exasperation at Zanu-PF's perceived failure to implement measures agreed to
as a part of the power-sharing deal, and warned that the hold-up in the
Constitution-making process was also raising tensions.
The MDC has threatened to call for fresh elections if calls for regional
bloc the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) fails to break the
Nelson Chamisa, the MDC spokesman said the violence could be the beginning
of worse things to come, and the depth of the crisis could not be
"We take this very seriously," said Chamisa, party spokesman. "We are
possibly on the brink of another storm of persecution and intimidation."
Midzi, denied the allegations he was involved in the violence.
"The barbaric act is a clear demonstration of wilful disrespect for the
national healing process that the President has been championing," said
Midzi. "It is also a direct breach of the letter and spirit of the Global
By Lance Guma
23 February 2010
A strike by civil servants appeared to be losing steam Tuesday with most
government workers interviewed by Newsreel admitting they had gone back to
work. Civil servants have been on strike for over two weeks now with
government insisting it does not have the money to pay the US$630 a month
salaries they are demanding.
Several teachers interviewed on Tuesday said most of them had gone back to
work with no progress being reported during the strike. Union leaders,
sensing the growing fatigue among their members, have since responded by
changing strategy to include the staging of sit-ins at their workplaces
starting Monday. They argue the move is designed to ensure no worker is
being threatened into defying the strike action.
Tendai Chikowore who chairs the Apex Council that represents all government
workers said the sit-in will continue until the 5th March, after which all
public service employees will meet to get feed back. 'If government remains
adamant, it must prepare itself for a more crippling and economically
damaging course of action,' he said.
There have been accusations that the strike has been politicized by elements
within the ZANU PF regime who see the industrial action as a usefull method
of undermining the MDC. Lionel Saungweme, our correspondent in Bulawayo,
reports that state security agents and ZANU PF militia have been
intimidating teachers in the rural areas to join the strike. This he says
has since put off many government workers who feel they are now being used
by ZANU PF.
The President of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, Lovemore Matombo,
condemned the politicization of the strike, arguing some of the union
leaders were shortchanging workers with genuine concerns.
'From the on-set of this job action we have been suspicious and we are
watching it very closely. It's surprising to see some of the strike drivers
who for the past decade, during the economic crisis, refused to join us in
such demonstrations but now are mobilizing civil servants to strike. We know
these people and some of them have openly declared their patronage to ZANU
PF,' Matombo said.
Last week Friday more than 2000 angry civil servants gathered in Harare and
vowed to intensify their strike action if the government did not meet their
demands. The group marched in the city centre after hearing that government
had refused to change its 10 percent wage increase offer. Just how effective
the strike has been remains up for debate. Union leaders insist most of
their members are on strike while other reports say otherwise.
February 23, 2010
By Mxolisi Ncube
JOHANNESBURG - An international human rights watchdog this week warned that
the Kimberley Process was in danger of becoming irrelevant following its
failure to ban diamonds mined from Marange in eastern Zimbabwe.
The Kimberly Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) is an eight-year-old United
Nations-backed international body founded to prevent the trade in diamonds
mined under conflict conditions that have cost lives or led to the suffering
The group, representing 75 countries, including Zimbabwe, and claims to
cover 99 per cent of the global rough-diamond industry, was formed in the
aftermath of horrific abuses committed by West African rebel groups enriched
by diamond wealth.
The KPCS has so far dilly-dallied in banning the trade in Zimbabwean
diamonds, despite international condemnation over the manner in which they
Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Friday that the group was failing in its
Tiseke Kasambala, HRW's senior researcher for Africa division, described the
Chiadzwa diamonds as having a bloody past signifying mistreatment and abuse
of civilians by the Zimbabwean army.
Kasambala said, in 2009 the American-based HRW interviewed more than 100
civilians and witnesses of horrific human rights abuses by Zimbabwe's
The witnesses unravelled the killings of hundreds of people by the
Zimbabwean military, torture, and the use of forced labour - including
children - in the diamond fields.
"People near the military-controlled fields live in constant fear and in
abject poverty, benefiting little from the diamond riches that surround
them," said Kasambala in his statement.
"The beneficiaries of this diamond wealth are largely members of the
military, government-appointed corporate entities and officials in President
Robert Mugabe's inner circle.
"They have unfettered access to the fields and seek to use diamond revenue
to maintain their grip on power, despite the targeted international
sanctions against them."
Kasambala accused Mugabe, who is now part of a government based on a
power-sharing deal with the former opposition MDC, of refusing to share
either actual power or diamond revenue.
"Global attention to these blood diamonds can be a critically important
means of curtailing Mugabe's human rights violations and securing a
genuinely inclusive government," said the HRW official.
HRW said Zimbabwe's diamonds were being mined under conditions of serious
human rights abuses, with endemic smuggling and rampant corruption. The
conditions breached KPCS standards which required members to ensure that
diamonds were lawfully mined, documented and exported, he said.
The organisation partly blamed the failure to suspend Zimbabwean diamonds on
the influence of such countries like Namibia, Russia and South Africa, which
The watchdog said that despite calls by the KPCS for Zimbabwe to remove its
military from the diamond fields and make other crucial reforms, latest
revelations were that the situation in Marange remained largely unchanged.
"Despite Zimbabwean claims that the army was withdrawing, for the most part,
the diamond fields remain under firm military control, with smuggling,
abuses, and corruption unchecked," said Kasambala.
"Zimbabwe has not taken any steps either to investigate or to hold to
account members of the army and police responsible for abuses in the diamond
"Blood diamonds continue to be mined and sold from Marange and find their
way into jewellery stores worldwide. The stones often get smuggled into
world markets via unregistered traders in neighbouring countries such as
Mozambique or South Africa.
"These countries either do not or cannot certify the origin and flow of the
stones, which then become intermingled with legitimate gems.
"We should all send a strong message to the diamond industry, the smugglers,
and those running these abusive mining operations: It is not acceptable to
trade in stones mined by children whose labour was coerced, women who have
been raped, or men who have been tortured.
"Diamond mining in Zimbabwe has inflicted great harm. We need to ask
ourselves whether that is a moral price to pay for a stone."
By Alex Bell
23 February 2010
The unity government has been criticised for failing to fulfill its promise
of media reform, in a press report that has detailed how Zimbabwe has the
most exiled journalists in Africa over the past decade.
According to the report 'Attacks on the Press 2009,' most of Zimbabwe's
exiled journalists left as a result of sustained harassment by the ZANU PF
government since 2000. In interviews with the Committee to Protect
Journalists (CPJ) many of these journalists said it took years for them to
re-establish themselves professionally and secure sound economic footings
for their families. Many have been forced to abandon journalism as a career.
"At least 48 Zimbabwean journalists have been forced into exile since 2000,
most of them in the early half of the decade during sustained harassment by
President Robert Mugabe's government," said Tom Rhodes, Africa programme
coordinator at CPJ.
The number compares to just 30 exiled journalist from civil war-torn
Somalia, and is still higher than second-placed Ethiopia where 41 media
professionals have fled to other countries to escape their government's
persecution over the past 10 years.
The report detailed how, despite the promise of media reform made by the
unity government, ZANU PF loyalists have continued to harass, detain, and
attack journalists. Since the coalition was formed in February last year,
there have been arbitrary arrests and detentions of journalists, as well the
imposition of exorbitant fees for visiting foreign journalists and local
journalists working for foreign media. According to news reports, foreign
correspondents in Zimbabwe were told to pay an application fee of US$10,000
and a further fee of US$22,000 for accreditation and permit. Local
journalists working for foreign media organisations were told to pay up to
US$4,000 in fees-an amount few Zimbabweans can afford.
A May 2009 conference organised by Minister of Information Webster Shamu was
touted as promoting 'an open, tolerant, and responsible media environment."
Instead, the government demonstrated its own intolerance. The media
conference was boycotted by members of the private press in part over the
government's harassment and detention of freelance photojournalist Andrison
Manyere. Then, while the conference was under way, police arrested Zimbabwe
Independent Editor Vincent Kahiya and News Editor Constantine Chimakure on
charges of 'publishing falsehoods.' A Harare magistrate released Kahiya and
Chimakure on bail the next day.
Most recently, a Mexican journalist was arrested this month while he was in
Masvingo, where he was gathering footage for a documentary on the upcoming
football World Cup in South Africa. He was released only after the Minister
of Tourism's intervention, despite having permission from the Minister
himself to be in the country. In January, freelancer Manyere was arrested
once again while covering a demonstration calling for better education by
the pressure group Women of Zimbabwe Arise. He was released the same day.
Earlier that same week, freelance journalist Stanley Kwenda was forced to
flee the country after receiving a death threat. The caller, allegedly a
police officer, warned Kwenda that he would not survive the weekend if he
The CPJ report also detailed how the government has failed to implement
reforms to the repressive media acts such as the Access to Information and
Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) and the Broadcasting Service Act. The
AIPPA reforms called for the creation of a new media regulator, which, with
private media representation, could act more independently than its
predecessor, the Media and Information Commission. But the new regulatory
agency had not been established by the end of 2009. The CPJ report also
detailed that in the broadcast arena, 2009 ended as it began, with the
continuing state monopoly of broadcast media.
The critical need for media reform has this week been emphasised by the
Zimbabwe Youth Forum, which said in a statement that media reform and
national development go hand in hand. The group slammed the one-sided
reporting of the state-controlled media which dominates the media space in
Zimbabwe. It also highlighted how the entire constitution reform process and
national healing process is being negatively affected by the government's
failure to free up the media.
Tue Feb 23, 2010 4:11pm GMT
DURBAN, South Africa (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's state power utility ZESA said it
would bring all the units of its Hwange power station back into operation by
the end of March after a complete power failure last week, an official said.
ZESA's Chief Executive Ben Rafemoyo said two out of six units at the power
plant, which has a total design capacity of 750 MW, were already back into
operation and a third would start producing on Wednesday.
"Two of those units are operational already, the third one should come
either today or tomorrow and progressively we will be bringing all the other
units ... we think that by the end of March we will have all six units
available for generation," he told Reuters at an African utility conference
Hwange has been hit by a series of faults on the regional power grid,
leaving the plant unable to produce any power.
The country is relying on the 750 MW Kariba hydro plant, which is producing
at full capacity, while imports, mainly from Mozambique, are dwindling as
regional demand for electricity rises.
Zambia and Democratic Republic of Congo also export to Zimbabwe, when they
have low demand at home.
The southern African country has a peak demand of 2,000 MW and needs up to
$4 billion to build planned new power stations to supply adequate
Zimbabwe's energy minister said earlier this month that the country was
willing to offer tax breaks to investors willing to put big money into power
generation projects in the country.
Rafemoyo said initial financial committments, including an $81 million loan
from the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) and a $51 million grant
from the African Development Bank (ADB), would help kick-start other money
"We're quite busy entertaining potential investors from all over... the ADB
and DBSA funding is a sign that other investments will start flowing in," he
In the meantime, the country will have to rely on imports from the region
and will have to resort to load shedding -- enforced power cuts -- to match
supply with demand, he said.
Tuesday 23 February 2010 / by Alice Chimora
13 armed soldiers led by a senior lieutenant on Monday night stormed a
police station to set free two of their arrested colleagues.
The two arrested were nabbed for common assault. A situation that angered
the solders who claimed the police were undermining them.
The incident took place in Mutako, a remote district west of the capital-
Chief police spokesperson, Senior Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena
this morning said investigations were underway. "The lieutenant was arrested
Monday after he and a number of soldiers went to the police to try to
forcibly have their colleagues who had been arrested released," he said.
Bvudzijena said the lieutenant would be charged with obstructing or
attempting to defeat the course of justice. The lieutenant is likely to
appear in court soon.
The 13 other soldiers were not arrested. According to the police they were
"only following the orders of a senior officer".
Such incidents are not new in the country. Zimbabwe soldiers are notorious
for ganging up on civilian's or police officers every time any of their
colleagues are involved in quarrels in the suburbs.
In December 2008, groups of unarmed rogue soldiers beat up illegal foreign
currency dealers and seized their money and mobile phones after failing to
access cash from banks.
Armed anti-riot police joined the attack against the soldiers and used tear
smoke and live ammunition to try and contain the mutineers. A few days
later, more than 20 soldiers were arrested in connection with the
Just last October, afrik.com reported that seven soldiers - again led by a
lieutenant - armed with assault rifles stormed a soccer pitch and shot a
policeman accusing him of snatching their colleague's girlfriend.
Of late heavily armed young solders now freely roam the streets on major
towns in broad-day light. Most of them have in the recent past been court
marshaled for disciplinary issues.
February 23, 2010, 01:49 PM EST
By Ron Derby
Feb. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Zimbabwean legislation signed into law two weeks ago
compelling companies with assets worth more than $500,000 to be 51 percent
black-owned has confused investors and should be changed, Energy and Power
Development Minister Elias Mudzuri said.
"That law must be changed," Mudzuri said today in an interview at a
conference in Durban. "The law has created a lot of confusion amongst
investors and amongst ourselves as ministers."
Mudzuri's comments follow a speech by acting Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe
last week in which he said the country will reconsider the legislation after
investors were scared off. The law is due to come into effect on March 1 and
requires affected companies to sell 51 percent of their local units to black
investors within five years, according to a copy of the law distributed by
Harare-based Veritas Trust, a non-governmental organization.
Zimbabwe is attempting to rebuild its economy following a decade of
political turmoil and recession under the leadership of President Robert
Mugabe. It has the world's second-largest reserves of platinum and chrome,
after South Africa, and gold, coal, diamonds and nickel deposits.
London-based miner Anglo American Plc and South African insurer Old Mutual
Plc are among companies operating there.
The law, known as the Indigenization and Empowerment Act, has been passed by
parliament without being signed into law by Mugabe. Parliament was
controlled by Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front
party from 1980 until March 2008, after it lost elections to the Movement
for Democratic Change party.
"There has been serious transition in Zimbabwe towards taking global
interests seriously," said Mudzuri, who is a member of the MDC, which has a
The country needs about $2.5 billion investment in its electricity network
to produce an additional 1,500 megawatts to meet demand, Mudzuri said.
Zimbabwe imports as much as 35 percent of its power and experiences frequent
blackouts, as underinvestment in its power plants has led to shutdowns and
State-owned Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority is producing an average of
about 1,000 megawatts compared with a target of 2,200 megawatts, he said.
Zimbabwe plans to generate an additional 500 megawatts in three to four
months, he said.
"Then we will be just load-shedding during evenings and peak hours," Mudzuri
Load-shedding is the term given to planned power cuts made by suppliers
The country will look at generating additional capacity from coal and
hydropower, he said.
Posted By Own Staff Tuesday, 23 February 2010 08:19
The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Arthur Mutambara-led faction Member
of Parliament for Gwanda North, Thandeko Zinti Mkandla has urged villagers
in his constituency to be aware that ZANU PF still had the tricks of
manipulating the constitution making process.
He challenged them not to allow the beleaguered party to distort the process
to its own advantage.Speaking at a belated World Aids Day commemoration
ceremony held at Nkwidze Primary School in Gwanda North last week on
Wednesday, Mkandla said the formation of the Government of National Unity
(GNU) brought a lot of relief to the people of Zimbabwe saying if the three
parties had not come into agreement over the GNU, people would have died
under the brutal and ruthless rule of President Robert Mugabe and his ZANU
He challenged villagers to thank the formation of the inclusive government
as the source of people's relief.
"We must surely thank the formation of the inclusive government because if
it was not formed, we could not have gathered here today like this because
the rule of the previous government of Mugabe was very brutal and uncaring
about other people, but the leaders of that party would only mind securing
their own positions.
" It is important that today we must still remember that ZANU PF will never
rest in doing what it knows best, cheating and intimidating people. Now they
go around telling people that the constitution making process has failed so
that you relax and not attend the consultation meetings when the thematic
committees start their business, and this is ZANU PF tricks to reduce ideas
which might be contrary to its own as only its members and supporters will
be well informed about the meetings and go alone to make their
contributions" said Hon Mkandla.
He assured the villagers that the process would start soon and villagers
must be ready to take part in the meetings so that they make their
contributions. He challenged them never to allow thugs to intimidate them.
"If they try to force you to do what they want please tell them to go away
and tell them that they must not talk to you because they are not the right
people to conduct the process," said Hon Mkandla to applause from the
villagers.Information circulating has revealed that since the process was
said to have been started when the parliamentarians started training for the
process last year, ZANU PF assigned its youths and soldiers to go around the
country intimidating and educating people to contribute ideas which are
aligned to its policies especially on issues of land, war veterans,
president and many others.
Earlier before the parliamentarians were trained, the three parties
organised an all stake holders meeting in Harare which was on the day
disrupted by elements suspected to be aligned to ZANU PF. The disruption of
the all stakeholders meeting led to the constitution making process being
halted until end of last year when it resumed with the training of the
February 23, 2010
By Our Correspondent
HARARE – A State witness in the ongoing terrorism trial of MDC treasurer
general Roy Bennett left the court in stitches Tuesday when he vehemently
begged the court to proceed with cross-examining him saying he wanted to
travel to work in Mozambique the same night.
“My Lord, I request that I be excused up to April as I am doing some work in
Mozambique,” said Perekai Mutsetse, an IT expert who said he works for
Mutsetse was hired by the State to look into the authenticity of emails
allegedly exchanged between key state witness Peter Michael Hitschmann and
Presiding judge Chinembiri Bhunu summarily dismissed his request saying
court matters took precedence over any other issues.
“You are a citizen of this country and you are bound by its laws. If you
have any problems with your superiors, the Attorney General can write you a
letter confirming that you were in court.”
But Mutsetse would not relent. He insisted trial should proceed well after
business hours so that he could travel.
“If that is the case, I would rather My Lord, you finish with me today so
that I can be able to travel to Mutare during the night.
“I would be so stressed if you ignore my plea. You would agree My Lord that
you would equally be stressed if you were in my position,” he said, to which
Bhunu responded, “I have made a ruling in this matter.”
Bhunu did not wait for him to keep firing excuses. He adjourned the hearing.
As the gallery filed out of court in laughter, it was not the same with
Mutsetse who was almost in tears.
In his evidence, Mutsetse told the court it was not possible for authentic
emails to be created under someone else’s name.
Mutsetse astounded the court when he even said a fake email that was created
by the lead defence counsel, Beatrice Mtetwa under police senior assistant
commissioner Ronald Muderedzwa’s name purportedly communicating with Mtetwa
The email was created in court before Mutsetse was called in to testify.
Mtetwa brought a laptop and a printer to court where she downloaded the
The defence is adamant emails allegedly exchanged between Bennett and
Hitschmann were created by the CIO out to strengthen the state’s case
Bennett is being tried for allegedly trying to overthrow President Robert
Mugabe’s old administration through acts of sabotage and banditry.
The state says he was being assisted by Hitschmann, a charge he denies
The trial continues Wednesday during which the Defence will cross examine
Meanwhile, Justice Bhunu has barred the defence from using Attorney General
Johannes Tomana’s name in fake emails that were created to demonstrate it
was possible for emails to be created under another person’s name.
Bennett’s trial adjourned acrimoniously three weeks ago when Tomana
furiously objected to the use of his name in a fake email which the defence
counsel sought to use while cross examining one Precious Matare.
Matare is a CIO operative who was hired by the police during police
investigations to help download emails from Hitschmann’s laptop.
He accused the defence of trying to demean and caricature him and his
Bhunu was forced to adjourn court proceedings to go and prepare a ruling on
“The email which the defence seeks to rely upon is different from that
relied upon by the state,” said Bhunu in his ruling.
“The state’s email is a questioned document,” Bhunu said.
“Its authenticity is in issue. There is therefore need to prove its
authenticity or otherwise.
“On the other hand, the defence’s email is not a questioned document. It is
a known fake document.
“The state’s email does not seek to embroil or incorporate the name of the
defence counsel as part of the state’s evidence against the accused.”
Bhunu said trial was not a “game of hide and seek where one party should
take advantage of the other by deliberately concealing facts or evidence”.
He described as an abuse of the court process for the defence to
deliberately cite the Attorney General in a fake document which had no
bearing on him or his office while at the same time denying him sight of the
document before it was used against the state’s case.
“I accordingly hold that it is inadmissible to question the witness Ms
Matare on the basis of a fake email presented to her,”he said.
In Tuesday’s trial, the court heard how the then officer commanding
Manicaland Province, Muderedzwa downloaded emails from Hitschmann with the
latter’s full cooperation.
February 24, 2010 - 5:44AM
Zimbabwe Cricket chairman Peter Chingoka says it is "very realistic" for the
southern African country to return to Test cricket within 18 months
following the appointment of a new coaching team.
Alan Butcher was announced as Zimbabwe's new coach over the weekend,
supported by assistant Stephen Mangongo and former internationals Heath
Streak and Grant Flower.
Chingoka said on Tuesday that he agreed with Butcher's early assessment that
Zimbabwe could be playing Tests again in 18 months. The country withdrew
from test cricket in 2006.
"If you talk to experts like (director of coaching) Dave Houghton and Alan
Butcher they will tell you it's very realistic, and I fully agree with
them," Chingoka said.
"We just need to play a lot of games against 'A' sides from the leading Test
"When we get back to Tests, we would want to start with lower sides like
Bangladesh and then work ourselves upwards.
"The management is working on a program to take us to where we want."
Chingoka was adamant the game is making progress following a period of
deterioration that mirrored the economic and political problems in the
"It's healthy and long may it continue," Chingoka said. "The game is bigger
than all of us. Everyone is just concentrating on cricket."
Zimbabwe announced in 2006 that it was temporarily withdrawing from Test
cricket, and has not played a Test since then.
But the country has overhauled its domestic game with a restructured
competition called the Logan Cup that has convinced former internationals
like Sean Ervine to return home from England.
The country's first Twenty20 competition was also played recently, featuring
former Australia allrounder Ian Harvey and England's Chris Silverwood as
Zimbabwe's rejuvenation has continued with the appointment as head coach of
the 56-year-old Butcher, father of former England Test batsman Mark.
Streak, a former Zimbabwe captain, was selected as bowling coach with Grant
Flower, brother of England team director Andy, the new batting coach.
"We endorsed them unanimously," Chingoka said of the new coaching set-up.
"They have the full support of the board."
The ZC chairman also denied suggestions that Butcher's appointment was an
attempt to help normalise the country's frosty relationship with Britain.
"That never entered our minds," Chingoka said. "We just wanted to get the
best possible person. The country of origin did not matter."
Zimbabwe have departed for the West Indies where they will play one Twenty20
international and five one-day internationals starting on Sunday.
The squad will be led by a transitional staff of Streak, Houghton and
outgoing coach Walter Chawaguta.
Butcher is expected to meet up with the squad in mid-March ahead of the
World Twenty20 tournament in the Caribbean, which begins on April 30.
By John Chimunhu
Published: February 23, 2010
Harare- The recent scandal in which the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply
Authority (Zesa) was found to be importing subsidized electricity from South
Africa only to send it to Namibia while the country faces power shortages is
only one case in a catalogue of massive corruption, mismanagement and
political interference in the running of the power utility by president
Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF.
This is according to a former senior executive at ZESA, on the power utility's
seemingly unending woes.
The executive elaborated on the carnage Mugabe and Zanu PF have caused over
a period of two decades. The picture is horrific, involving award of tenders
to incompetent suppliers, looting of ZESA coffers to pay off restive war
veterans, setting tariffs below the cost of supply, engaging in an
unsustainable rural electrification project to garner votes and entering
into contracts unfavourable to Zimbabwe to please Mugabe's political allies,
including the Namibians.
ZESA is currently shopping for about $1 billion to sort our its mess. Of
that amount, $385 million will go towards upgrading and replacing vandalised
equipment, much of which was looted by the organisation's own staff. Another
$135 million will be required to fix Hwange power station. Hwange is
operating below capacity despite a costly deal in which technicians from
Namibia repaired part of the plant in exchange for a supply of 150 megawatts
of electricity for five years. After ZESA failed to pay for coal from Hwange
Colliery Company, and were in danger of defaulting on the Namibian contract,
they were ordered by an unnamed senior government official to divert
electricity provided at low cost by Eskom of South Africa to Windhoek. The
electricity is subsidized by South African taxpayers.
Energy and power development minister Elias Mudzuri has since ordered ZESA
not to forward South African power to Namibia.
The power utility also needs $430 million to pay off its debts. However, it
is unclear where ZESA will get the required amounts. Finance minister Tendai
Biti allocated Zesa only $53 million in the 2010 budget while the African
Development Bank pledged $51 million and the European Union offered $1,4
While Mudzuri was telling investors at the recent Southern Africa Energy
Week conference in Johannesburg that the ministry was pursuing
private-public partnerships as a way of recapitalising ZESA and ending the
country's energy nightmares, observers remained skeptical that this could be
achieved given Mugabe's fresh history of interference and using the
parastatal to sort out his myriad political and diplomatic problems.
Consumers are furious that the power utility is failing to live up to
expectations. Daily power cuts mean added costs for households and lost
business for corporates. Some businesses, especially mines now have to
import their own electricity, at great cost, from neighbouring countries or
use generators that are expensive to run, pushing up the cost of doing
The Combined Harare Residents Association chairman, Tariro Shumba, has
threatened street demonstrations and warned that CHRA's members will stop
paying their bills and sue ZESA for equipment damaged during regular
unannounced power blackouts. Zimbabwe Lawyers for human Rights executive
director, Irene Petras told said that, ZESA like all other parastatals
should be independently audited to determine the extent of the rot.
In response to mounting consumer pressure, ZESA public relations manager
Fullard Gwasira typically responds by saying the utility is 'doing its best'.
In 1992, the government approved the World Bank-funded System Development
Plan which, according to officials was to develop Zimbabwe's own electricity
generation capacity to levels where the country could export to its
neighbours. The project would have involved building the 800 MW Batoka power
station between Kariba and Victoria Falls.
"This was a run-of-the-river project. It didn't need construction of a dam
and would have been very effective," said a former Zesa manager.
At that time the World Bank had promised $1.6 billion for the project and an
additional $800 million for the refurbishment of Hwange power station. The
WB had also pledged funds for the completion of Hwange phase 7 and 8, which
would have enabled Zimbabwe to be a net exporter of electricity by now if it
had been implemented.
Controversy arose because while a UK company, National Power, had won the
contract to carry out the work, Mugabe preferred to give the job to YTL of
"The controversy arose because YTL didn't have the capacity to build a power
station. They were only a building company, not a power company," said the
Apparently, according to sources, Mugabe wanted Hwange privatised and sold
to YTL for a 'paltry' $350 million but the plan met with resistance from
within the ranks of Zanu PF.
The default plan was to develop Sengwe coal fields, with 100 years of
reserves. Again this fell into problems as it was to be mined by Rio Tinto,
also a British company.
"It is shocking that of all the power projects initiated after independence,
not one has been completed," the former executive said.
Kariba power station was built in 1960 while Hwange was started under Ian
Smith in 1976. Hwange would not be completed for another 10 years mainly due
to an escalating bush war waged by Zipra. In 1986 ZESA was formed on the
basis of assets belonging to the Central African Power Corporation (CAPCO).
It also took over the assets of various municipalities under the pretext of
"Imports from Mozambique and South Africa were supposed to be temporary
while we developed our own capacity or when there was an emmergency," the
He added that Zimbabwe had only been fortunate that interconnectors from
regional countries were in Zimbabwe, otherwise the country would have been
cut off by now for non-payment of its bills. South Africa indicated that it
had run out of capacity for exports of electricity in 2003 but has continued
to supply Zimbabwe, with a domestic shortage, for political reasons.
According to a presented schedule, Batoka should have been up and running by
2003, Hwange 7 and 8 by 2005 and Sengwe by 2007. However, none of this has
The problem grew worse when the government ran out of foreign currency for
power imports and had no money for coal. The breaking down of the railway
system also meant problems in moving coal, while ZESA's coffers were sapped
by uneconomic rates charged over a long period of time.
The final nail in the coffin of what used to be a profitable power
organisation probably came in 1998 when ZESA was forced to surrender a
massive $88 million, or half of its profit for the years 1995 to 1997 to the
government for payment of war veterans. After that ZESA became a basket
case, just like all other parastatals in Zimbabwe.
|SW RADIO AFRICA TRANSCRIPT|
HOT SEAT: PART 2 - Heated debate on Indigenisation
BROADCAST: 19 February 2010
VIOLET GONDA: Welcome to the final part of the debate on the new Empowerment and Indigenisation regulations recently passed by the government. My guests are businessman Mutumwa Mawere, economist Daniel Ndlela, the President of the Affirmative Action Group Supa Mandiwanzira and journalist Peta Thornycroft. Supa picks up from where the discussion ended last week with Mutumwa saying Zimbabwe needs to generate employment and encourage the masses of people who left the country to return – instead of introducing legislation that will add a significant burden to established businesses.
SUPA MANDIWANZIRA: First of all I don’t buy this argument that Zimbabweans are desperate to be empowered by jobs. I think that as Zimbabweans we have come a long way as a people to realise that jobs will not take us anywhere, we now must own our own resources and then we must control our own destiny. I do not speak on behalf of the Zimbabwe government or any other party except the Affirmative Action Group which represents the interests of those that want to get into the mainstream of the economy and not be relegated in very Mickey Mouse kind of businesses like selling at flea markets and stuff like that.
Let me tell you Violet, the fact of the matter is this, that for instance I’m aware that at Kamativi Tin Mine a lot of that tin was mined and was used to make arms during the Second World War but I can tell you that today if you go to Kamativi you will see some of the poorest of Zimbabweans. Why has that happened? It is simply because there was nobody else in the company that exploited those resources who was Zimbabwean or who was from Kamativi - who ensured that post this mine we will eventually have another life that is supported by other infrastructure that we have to build now, and we have many examples. I’ll not mention a platinum, a multi-national company that operates in Zimbabwe that has got platinum concessions. When a year or two ago the Zimbabwe government, before the inclusive government, wanted to take a certain chunk of that platinum so they could do a trade deal with China . That company requested that they be paid 150 million US dollars and this is an asset that they obtained simply by getting a Mining Commissioner’s stamp. They never spent a cent in terms of that asset. If they spent a cent, it was merely on exploration, which of course they’ve already recovered by the mining operations they’ve been undertaking. But to give up a certain portion of their platinum mining block, which they were not utilising, they wanted 150 million US dollars.
Now our argument, which is supported by this Law and Regulation, is that you must now allow the indigenous people to be part of the ownership, to have 51% and they determine how these things are happening and what is remaining in the country. We have nothing to show for all the gold, all the silver, and all the nickel that has been exploited out of this country by the multi-nationals. If you drive to some of these mines, and I’m talking from practical experience, the roads are so terrible and yet significant resources have been exploited.
So at the end of the day, we must acknowledge that it is important to have significant ownership of businesses in Zimbabwe especially some of these that relate to exploiting our natural resources in the hands of the locals. The Zimbabweans in the Diaspora, three million of them as Mutumwa is saying, they will need to come back here, not to come and be employed again. They’ve been employed elsewhere, they’ve worked hard enough, they must now come and own businesses, this is their opportunity. And of all things, I have not heard any one foreign investor issue a statement that this is not good. What I’ve heard are Zimbabweans who purport to represent foreign investors who say this will scare away investment. Let the foreign investors speak for themselves. As far as we are concerned as the AAG, this is fantastic, this is the best thing that has ever happened after Independence in 1980.
GONDA: I’d like to…
PETA THORNYCROFT: Well actually…
GONDA: Yes Peta?
THORNYCROFT: Sorry Violet, we got a foreign investor, Rio Tinto, we interviewed them in London about these regulations and I know that they’ve been talking about a massive expansion, the bottom line on that expansion is an initial investment of 200 million because it is quite a small mine and this certainly frightened them off, certainly.
MANDIWANZIRA: Peta, Peta, I want you to mark my words. Rio Tinto will remain in this country, Rio Tinto will remain to invest in that 200 million even under the current circumstances because we have an asset that they want - because it’s an asset they will make profit out of. I can tell you, even at the height of Zimbabwe ’s problems, companies like Zimplats were announcing putting 400 million dollars into this market. They shrugged off resistance by foreign governments to say don’t go into Zimbabwe ; they simply said we are doing business. Now if it makes sense for Rio Tinto or for Zimplats, for any other to say I will still go into Zimbabwe , I can sell my 51% at market value and still continue to make money, they will stay in this market and mark my words – they are going to stay in this market.
THORNYCROFT: There was a very long struggle between Zimplats and Gideon Gono at the Reserve Bank, a long struggle; it went over about three years. As far as I can remember, when they were being summoned to the 22 nd floor of the RBZ, where they were being told that they now had to bank locally, when they had a signed agreement of 20 years previously - signed by the then Minister Edison Zvobgo, to allow them to have their off shore banking because they needed to spend these billions of dollars on imports. They couldn’t have it in Zimbabwe because nobody trusted putting your money in Zimbabwe . There were years of those struggles. It ended up OK, from what I gather, and whenever we talk about mining we just need to remember that there is enormous money that has to be invested in mining over a certain payback time over some years, and it takes years and years. So for a company to go and invest it has to be extremely sure and you can see what’s happened in Katanga in the last couple of years. You had an enormous boom, it was also to do with the prices - but as they got less and less sure about more and more government taking over percentage of their companies, you’ve now reduced from about 70 mining companies operational in Katanga, say three years ago when I was going there, down to two or three that have survived. And those are the very biggest in the world and they’re extremely worried.
MANDIWANZIRA: Violet, let me tell you, if you speak to Zimbabwe ’s Finance Minister today, he will tell you that he is not happy at all that the mining industry in this country contributes only 4% to Gross Domestic Product but if you look at the kind of profits they are making, you cannot correlate the two. That’s one; Secondly Peta helps my argument. You have international companies, multi-nationals operating in Zimbabwe, 100% foreign owned, they choose to bank their money outside Zimbabwe so even where they were banking locally and others can borrow that money to sustain their business so we can deal with the liquidity crisis in this country, they choose to bank this money in foreign banks because they don’t trust this market but they trust taking out the assets of Zimbabweans. And that is where we are saying it is absolutely wrong for you to come and exploit, even just ensuring that the Zimbabwean banks benefit from your deposits and continue to do business to lend and everything, you still don’t even want to do that, you want to bank that money in foreign banks which do not benefit anyone, so we are simply saying if you… (interrupted)
THORNYCROFT: But the Reserve Bank used to steal their money….
MANDIWANZIRA: …have indigenous people owning these businesses, 51%. Decisions will be made who benefit not just themselves but Zimbabweans at large.
THORNYCROFT: Supa, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe over the last five years has been dipping itself into peoples’ foreign currency accounts, not individuals but companies, they’ve been dipping into foreign currency accounts and helping themselves to it and then using it in the market for whatever reason and those companies haven’t got payback. Think of what happened to the gold mines in the last five years, the few that survived. The problem is Zimbabwe has a very bad record, it’s a difficult time for any investment anywhere in the world today, and its past record over say the last five, it’s going to have to repair that record because the Reserve Bank in this country… (interrupted)
MANDIWANZIRA: That’s quite patronising, that’s quite patronising…
MUTUMWA MAWERE: But…
MANDIWANZIRA: … The fact of the matter is that if you’re operating in Zimbabwe , and you don’t trust the environment, you might as well not be there. You cannot be coming into my house and you want to have a meal in my house and say but I don’t trust you. So don’t come and have that meal in the house in the first place. We have an asset… (interrupted)
THORNYCROFT: They were there already.
MANDIWANZIRA: …you can go anywhere in the world and look for a country that has got the second largest proven resources of platinum, you will not find it, you will end up coming back to Zimbabwe . We are simply saying those benefits must accrue to the local people. I do not disagree that there were problems at the Reserve Bank, there were problems in the economy but I do not think that these dispensations for banking outside were given by Gono, I do not think that these dispensations existed only in the last five years, they have existed for a very long, long time and we are saying it must stop. What was the reason that was given for banking money outside, well they didn’t trust the exchange rate, they didn’t trust that their money would be safe, well we have an inclusive government here that has assured everyone that’s it’s no longer business as usual, it’s now business unusual. So why don’t we bring back that money at least it circulates within the Zimbabwe banking industry? Zimplats… (interrupted)
THORNYCROFT: Because the inclusive government has stalled.
MANDIWANZIRA: … makes more than 20 million US dollars a month. If that money was banked in the local banking system, it will make a difference.
GONDA: Mutumwa, you wanted to come in?
MAWERE: Yes, I think my companies were taken over by State action in 2004; today you read that at the companies right now workers can’t even go underground because water level is rising, bills have not been paid. In Zambia where I had an involvement in the copper mines, the examples are clear of what happened in Zambia . The copper remained underground but it couldn’t be extracted because of policies that inhibit investment. And when you talk of indigenous, I’m not too sure whether Supa is listening to his own voice or he’s talking as a businessman because any businessman would know that money cannot stay in a bad relationship. People are, like the human spirit, the people who leave Zimbabwe today are not invited by the people who host them, they find their own way. Good countries don’t have to do anything. When the Berlin Wall fell, the traffic, the human traffic indicated where people’s preference were. Some people want to swim to freedom and that human spirit, if you are banking it’s the same thing, it’s about confidence.
If Zimbabwe does what it needs to do you don’t have to invite anyone to bank the money. But your costs are foreign. If you’re mining, even the physical assets, the bulldozer is not made in Zimbabwe so you have to pay for it in foreign currency. When you want to procure that asset everybody will say – look can you give me evidence before I put in the ship that you are able to pay for it. And in Zimbabwe you know that most of the banks don’t have, the people don’t have income for known reasons.
So if you are saying that the asset, if I’m going to bring in the asset like the special mining lease that was given to BHP to start even exposing the platinum and that investment that is required without that off-shore account, the platinum that Supa is talking about today will remain hidden where it was in the Great Dyke, but somebody had to take the plunge. But in doing so, some of us were involved in the time when I was working at the World Bank in trying to convince the government that it was necessary to open the mining sector to the potential that was there.
When Cecil John Rhodes, through Rudd Concession, got the concession from Lobengula what they thought was the gold that they thought was there, they didn’t even know about platinum but that platinum remained underground, diamonds remained underground. But to expose it, even to have an interest in Zimbabwe , people with capital have to look at what their interests are. And I don’t think that Supa himself - I’ve seen him in South Africa , that he is allergic to foreign currency. He’s got his own foreign currency - but would want to pretend today that he can be the custodian, the policeman of where people bank their own money without him declaring … (interrupted)
MANDIWANZIRA: I’m not suggesting that I’d like to be the custodian Mutumwa, I’m simply saying if you are a responsible investor and you are extracting and exploiting a Zimbabwean asset, that’s really grounded, a natural resource…
MAWERE: I’m investing, I’m putting…
MANDIWANZIRA: …surely you must have an obligation to say how can I be of more help in this society. Zimbabwe …
MAWERE: And you become the custodian because you were elected the president of the AAG? Of what I should do? If I go into the country, the minerals remain in the ground and nothing happens, the platinum will still be in the Great Dyke…
MANDIWANZIRA: …I’m simply saying there’s no reason why you should operate an account outside the banks that are in Zimbabwe …
MAWERE: Are you saying you don’t have an account yourself? I’m saying I’ve seen people who are disingenuous and are talking about other people, when they have their own assets, their own interests. When you want to buy things from South Africa you have to have the Rands ; if you want to buy in the US you have to have the US dollars. What is wrong with that because the costs have to be spent in Zimbabwe , the private sector party has to pay those costs? It’s not government funds. Whether I put them in Europe , I put them in Zimbabwe , what’s the difference? It’s still my money, if it’s in the left hand pocket or the right pocket, it’s still my money. What is your interest in it!?
MAWERE: So you are now the social engineer?
MANDIWANZIRA: …will not lose money by banking it at Barclays here in Zimbabwe, they’ll not lose money by banking it at CBZ, they’ll not lose any cent, we are simply saying that money must be operated in Zimbabwean accounts so the liquidity crisis is resolved so that the people are able to borrow from the banks, because this money has been generated out of Zimbabwean assets, what we are doing…
MAWERE: Like I, Supa…
MANDIWANZIRA: …is we are allowing that money to be lent to other investors elsewhere and those are the ones who are benefiting.
MAWERE: Supa, I am by definition of the law I am indigenous, previously disadvantaged, but I have never had the AAG even raise a finger about assets of an indigenous being taken and being administered by someone appointed by the State.
MANDIWANZIRA: We don’t have to shout about the actions we take and I don’t think this is the platform to talk about what we have done for you to recover your assets or…
MAWERE: Oh if it’s Rio Tinto you shout?
MANDIWANZIRA: …to be resolved. We don’t have to do it in public.
MAWERE: Oh if it’s Rio Tinto we do it in public?
MANDIWANZIRA: We are talking about a law that has been implemented in Zimbabwe that affects Rio Tinto.
MAWERE: I see, it doesn’t affect anybody.
MANDIWANZIRA: Oh come on.
GONDA: Let me go to Daniel to get his thoughts on this. Daniel, Supa has said Zimbabweans have nothing to show for all the resources that have been exploited. First of all, is this the right way to redress the situation? And also do you agree with this bearing in mind of what happened in the Chiadzwa diamond area where Zimbabwe has the resources but there are Zimbabweans who are exploiting those diamonds?
DANIEL NDLELA: Well the fact that Zimbabweans have nothing to show for the minerals under the ground is quite a fact but the issue here - who is responsible for that 30 years after Independence ? Is it some foreigner out there or some people who are ruling us? Governance is about fairness, is about transparency, is not about empowering a few people.
MANDIWANZIRA: I agree with Daniel that there’s somebody to blame for the past 30 years but at last finally we are seeing some action so we applaud it. We now have an opportunity to make sure that it is happening and we are controlling it.
GONDA: But Supa, why has it taken 30 years to redress this situation?
MANDIWANZIRA: Unfortunately you are asking the wrong person, you must ask those people who were responsible. I think that as AAG and other empowerment groups, we’ve been making this noise for many, many years. And I know for a fact that the move that we began to see in the financial sector where licences, banking licences were then issued to people like Mutumwa and others, was out of this push to say how can you continue to have a few organisations, few determining who should get money and what sort of terms, why don’t we allow our own people to get into these sectors like banking? That’s why we saw that happening out of that pressure. So I think the same sort of pressure that has been put on government to say where can we not see our people playing a part in the biggest of enterprises that were achieved by some people simply by getting a government stand, why can we not get into those assets? Because the majority of these mines were given away, these concessions were given away by just a government rubber stamp, nothing else. No money brought in, no evidence of money, special concessions, bank your money in foreign countries, do whatever you want, you don’t pay tax for the next five years and all these kind of things. We are simply saying if you are giving a foreigner that benefit, 51% of that benefit must accrue to a Zimbabwean.
GONDA: Daniel, do you have anything to add?
NDLELA: The point here, the moralistic behaviour of people at the top of leadership positions is sickening and that is actually the point. And as long as we have a situation where all these laws are done in opaqueness, in areas that you don’t understand what is happening, empowering whether it’s indigenous empowering - it is about empowering a few. Supa is the president now, where is the former popular president? He has enriched himself, he is quiet. So is this about the empowering of Zimbabweans? …
NDLELA: OK so as soon as you are empowered you disappear Supa?
MANDIWANZIRA: There’s absolutely nothing wrong with anyone who is with AAG or any other empowerment group to make money. And blacks must not be apologetic for being rich because it is their country and it is their resources.
NDLELA: At this point in time I think if we were to come back to the subject matter is that we have to talk about governance and leadership positions in this whole matter so that we know very well that we are talking about the people who actually should be empowered. The people to me who should be empowered are the working people of this country, not the few intellectuals who are intellectually dishonest in the first place. The people to be empowered are the people to be empowered through the normal avenues of empowerment not the avenues of actually picking up the few and then the minister is going to allocate from his head that Supa is number one in this thing and next is Supa number two and of course I’m not going to put my hat in that thing.
GONDA: Do you believe companies should even bother to fill in their plans for indigenisation by March 01 or defy this, or worse still, strip down the assets and close?
NDLELA: Well, there’s no question of believing or not believing. The law has been set, the companies are going to behave in a way that they will actually be safeguarding their interests. What will their interests be here? Their interests in the next five years, they will not invest so that the cake is smaller because it is going to be taken over by the new 51% ownership. So companies are actually going to be less enthusiastic, may close down or may keep the status quo as it is but without investing because if you have your money you must invest your money where your mouth is. You’re not going to invest your money where other people are going to come in. And you don’t even know who is going to be in bed with you until somebody is then allocated to you. Companies are either going to follow the rule because this is the letter of the law or are going to bolt out.
GONDA: And Peta, we said at the beginning of this discussion that Morgan Tsvangirai, the Prime Minister in this coalition government that the move had been made without his knowledge, so first of all, did he really need to be consulted since the law was passed in parliament and what does this also say about how this unity government is operating?
It’s nearly 18 months since the Global Political Agreement was signed but we’re stuck, paralysed with the inclusive government at the moment with outstanding issues. I was at SADC Summit where these things were agreed and we’re still quibbling about it. And until we have a new constitution ,so that we’re going to free and fair elections, (a) why would anybody invest in us because we don’t know what is going to happen and we’ve got a very poor record of elections. In 2008 from March 28 th or about April 11 th until June 30 th of 2008 – I was in hospital, interviewing injured people because we had an election. So we’ve got a very bad record here. We have a very bad record of our government taking money, we have a very bad record of the de-industrialisation of this country. We’ve lost at least 40 or maybe 60% of the industries we had in 1980, particularly in the last ten years. So we are a very bad risk country and until the political situation is sorted out and we can move into free and fair elections without being beaten up - because you want to support whoever it is in your area you want to support - until we have all of those normal aspects of democracy I can’t imagine there will be any investment at all. Let alone when you can go to jail if you haven’t managed to sort out 51% of the company that you might have been building up for 15, 20, 40 years.
It’s nonsense that anything, any progress can be made until the political side of the country, the governance is sorted out – that has to come first before we have regulations about handing over 51% of companies because they might be foreign owned. And we say the mining companies contributed nothing to this country? No I think even in 1980 even despite all the racial discrimination and how unfair it was for black people, we got some roads, we got some hospitals, we got some stuff out of it and we haven’t done a hell of a lot since then. Since 1980 – what have we done to expand our industrial base, our mineral exploitation, and our retail base – what have we done?
GONDA: Supa, let me come to you to get your comment on this statement made by the Prime Minister that the regulations are null and void since this issue was not discussed in Cabinet. What can you say about this?
MANDIWANZIRA: Well I am pretty much aware that these regulations were gazetted by a government in which the Prime Minister is part of and that the Minister who gazetted the regulations reports to the Prime Minister in the Council of Ministers, and that this was done by the government of Zimbabwe . Now the Prime Minister says he was not consulted and they are null and void I don’t know how the whole process can be reversed and I do not like to talk about that but as far as I’m concerned and as we are concerned at the AAG, this is the law, if you want to change the law you’ve got to take the whole process back to parliament and see what you can do. And as far as we are concerned, we are taking them as legal, as the law as this has been done by the inclusive government. Whether one has been consulted or not consulted we believe those are only deficiencies in that inclusive government and we have nothing to do with those deficiencies, as far as we are concerned this is the right thing that has happened, we are moving on.
GONDA: But this is the Prime Minister saying this is not the right thing and this regulation was sneaked through. So is that not a problem?
MANDIWANZIRA: Unfortunately the Movement for Democratic Change in parliament with ZANU PF, they passed this law so unfortunately it’s action after. You know I think it should have been stopped if the Prime Minister and his political party didn’t agree, it should have been stopped at the process of being legislated. Unfortunately you cannot now say when you have legislated law and say you don’t like it. You want to change it, go back and start the process again.
THORNYCROFT: Well it…
GONDA: But as we all know, this was done when ZANU PF was still in the majority in parliament.
MANDIWANZIRA: Well because they had been voted by the people of Zimbabwe to be in the majority.
GONDA: Peta, you wanted to say something?
THORNYCROFT: I just wanted to say that this went through parliament literally days before parliament was dissolved and ZANU PF was in the majority and I can’t actually recall, and I tried to look it up, what the MDC actually said about this legislation and we should in fact be consulting them and ask them what they thought about it then and did they or didn’t they put up a good fight about it, but they only had about 42 MPs then.
GONDA: Mutumwa, your thoughts on this?
Even our laws – POSA, AIPPA, even the Reconstruction Act was passed – it doesn’t make it a good law and whether you’re consulted and somebody’s driving, you may consult a passenger but at the end of the day, if you fall asleep on the steering, you’ll have an accident, it doesn’t change the speed but surely you must be able to say to your people who are in the car today and say this is where we are, we need to go to Point A or Point B, what is the best way of getting there. And if Supa believes in his own bones that this is the best way to build a nation, then that’s it - then we would have to look at Supa and say how have you build yours - around a collective structure where your profits become subject to corporate social responsibility or whether indeed you have advanced your own interests and if you die today, your family is the successor to that.
What kind of society does Zimbabwe need to be and what kind of society we encourage anyone, not just people who were born in Zimbabwe, those who may be born outside Zimbabwe, albeit with Zimbabwean parents or those who are born outside Zimbabwe with no Zimbabwean parents to believe in the promise of Zimbabwe and that requires not just minerals, that it’s our minerals, it requires people to build confidence and that’s what we should be focussing on. Without it you might have the best resources in the world but they will remain in the ground and without it you may have the best laws, all the procedures you say you are implementing but you know it’s toxic at the end of the day because it discourages the very people we need to build the country and provide confidence that jobs will be there and the country can advance its own interest. Zimbabwe is too small to be able to command its own destiny without other people’s input.
So I think those are the areas that I would rather focus on. As the Prime Minister in the inclusive government, there’s a contestation for power because there’s a transitional structure but what is not transitional is Zimbabwe . Zimbabwe will remain whether this President or that President or this Prime Minister or that Prime Minister, but what are Zimbabwe ’s interests and how can they best be advanced. Does this law advance? Does the Reconstruction Law advance? Does AIPPA, does POSA advance the Zimbabwean cause? And we may decide to broaden the conversation so that we also understand why people would leave Zimbabwe if there was promise - and if this law, I guess judging by what Supa is saying, we will have now new plane loads and bus loads of people coming back because the Indigenisation Law has given some life. I don’t believe so. People will remain where they are because there are other things that drive the human spirit.
GONDA: OK, let me just finish by getting a final word from Daniel Ndlela?
NDLELA: As far as this law is concerned, we will wait to see but the immediate perception of this law, it’s a bad law. It’s a law that is not going to encourage investment in our country. Whether we praise ourselves and say so on and say let those who come from the east or come from the south, they will come here, the law itself is really not going to assist us. When it comes to the consultation between the Prime Minister and so on, that has to be sorted out there. In other words they show there is a serious lack of governance in the system as a whole, let them sort out that one, but as far as this law is concerned it is coming at a time when Zimbabweans actually needed more money into our system and a fresh money into the system and the law itself is not going to encourage that.
GONDA: Supa, a final word?
MANDIWANZIRA: Well my final word is this; that I’m not suggesting, as has been said by Mawere, that there are going to be plane loads of Zimbabweans coming back because of the Indigenisation Law. My point is this; that here is now an opportunity for Zimbabweans who have worked so hard in the Diaspora to come back and come and serve themselves, not serve the same master who they were serving overseas or in other countries, that’s one. The second point that I need to make is that people need to read and understand this law and the investors more importantly need to understand this law because if they rely on media reports they will be misled. The reality is that there is a process that says an investor must identify the right partner and that right partner must pay market value for whatever shareholding they are getting. And I would like to encourage every Zimbabwean to say this is an opportunity to come and board and make a difference, this is not a free for all, you’ve got to raise money and you’ve got to be able to buy into a business that you can take forward not a business that you can run down. So I’m saying this is the festive season for all banks, for all sons to now look at opportunities that they can now develop in Zimbabwe . If you do not come on board, this train is not stopping no matter how much people talk against this move, the train is not stopping, come on board and let’s go.
MAWERE: Yes I think there are a lot of lessons available in the world of what can be done and what should not be done and I think we all should also rely on what has worked and what has not worked and there are some laws that will not advance the collective interests of the country and such laws require review and require interrogation and the more we do that, the more we find what really should work for the country’s interest.
GONDA: And Peta?
THORNYCROFT: It’s so difficult to do business in Zimbabwe anyway. The record of the previous government has been to legislate, restrict, control, take over and interfere with. And so we have an economy 30 years after Independence that is a small fraction of what it was in 1980, where industries have closed down and where perhaps only the retail sector has enlarged. We desperately need industries that create goods, services, jobs and a law like this is just anti expansion. It’s actually a childish law, it’s a law based on spitefulness. It has nothing to do with creating a Zimbabwe where the majority of the population is employed and where the raw materials are beneficiated for everyone’s good - for the companies’ good, for the workers’ good etc. ZANU PF has no record of success and Minister Saviour Kasukuwere who has created these legislations in consultation with his colleagues, should be advised to do what is necessary to expand the economy and not contract it. At the beginning of this debate I said instead of taking over companies, 51% no matter how it is done, why is the energy of this country not going into creating new companies even to replace those companies that have closed down in the last ten to 15 years? That would be creative, this is just destructive.
GONDA: That was businessman Mutumwa Mawere, economist Daniel Ndlela, the President of the Affirmative Action Group Supa Mandiwanzira and journalist Peta Thornycroft speaking on the programme Hot Seat.
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CHRA makes its submissions to Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Local Government
23 February 2010
The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) made its submissions to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Local Government at the public hearing that was held by the Committee at the Parliament of Zimbabwe Chambers. The public hearing was held on the 19th of February 2009.
The CHRA Chairperson, Mr. Simbarashe Moyo, lamented the continued collapse in the state of service delivery; a situation that has seen most shopping centers and street corners in high density areas being littered with piles of uncollected refuse, potholed roads as well as dysfunctional street lights. His sentiments were echoed by Evernice Munando, the Programmes Chairperson of the Association who said that the level of unwillingness by the City of Harare to pay heed to the residents’ plight is shocking. She said that residents have, on many occasions, raised their concerns with Council especially on issues of street lighting and refuse collection but nothing has been done. Other issues that were raised by residents include the inconsistent billing system of the City of Harare, Council’s intimidation of residents through final demands on outstanding bills, continued harassment of street vendors as well as the poor quality of water being supplied to residents. Residents also made it clear that they were not amused by the heavy interference of the Minister of Local Government in the operations of the City of Harare. In its submissions, CHRA made the following recommendations;
CHRA made it clear before the Portfolio Committee that there can be no payment where there is no exchange of value. Residents cannot pay for non-existent services. The Association also emphasized the need for policy reform and the constitutionalisation of the Local Government framework.
CHRA will continue to advocate for good, transparent and accountable local governance as well as lobby for quality and affordable municipal services.
BILL WATCH SPECIAL
[22nd February 2010]
Late circulation of this bulletin is due to circumstances beyond Veritas’ control. Monday’s and Tuesday morning meetings have been included as a record – there will eventually be Committee reports tabled in Parliament on matters investigated.
See end of bulletin for brief summaries of recent meetings of the Portfolio Committees on:
· Mines and Energy, on exploitation of the Chiadzwa diamond field;
· Defence and Home Affairs, on the POSA Amendment Bill;
· Justice, Legal Affairs, Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs, on the Law Society’s presentation on aspects of justice delivery.
House of Assembly Portfolio Committees and Senate Thematic Committees: 22nd to 26th February
The meetings listed below are open to members of the public, but as observers only, not as participants. [See note at the end of this bulletin on public attendance/participation at different types of committee meetings.]
Monday 22nd February at 10 am
Public Accounts Committee
1. Oral evidence from the Ministries of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development; Water Resources Development and Management, Public Works; Media Information and Publicity.
2. Presentation from Public Accountants and Auditors Board
Committee Room No. 4
Chairperson: Hon Mashakada Clerk: Mrs Nyawo
Portfolio Committee: Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism
Policy brief from CAMPFIRE
Committee Room No. 311
Chairperson: Hon P. Dube Clerk: Mr Munjenge
Portfolio Committee: Mines and Energy [This meeting was postponed]
Oral evidence from Mbada Diamonds
Committee Room No. 413
Chairperson: Hon Chindori-Chininga Clerk: Mr Manhivi
Monday 22nd February at 2 pm
Portfolio Committee: Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare
Oral evidence from ZCTU, ZFTU and EMCOZ
Committee Room No. 1
Chairperson: Hon. Zinyemba Clerk: Ms Mushunje
Portfolio Committee: Budget, Finance, Economic Planning, Investment Promotion
Oral evidence from Minister of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion
Committee Room No. 4
Chairperson: Hon Zhanda Clerk: Mr Ratsakatika
Tuesday 23rd February at 10 am
Portfolio Committee: Agriculture, Water, Lands and Resettlement
Oral evidence from Grain Marketing Board
Committee Room No. 4
Chairperson: Hon Jiri Clerk: Miss Mudavanhu
Portfolio Committee: Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration, International Trade
Oral evidence from ZIMTRADE
Committee Room No. 3
Chairperson: Hon Mukanduri Clerk: Ms Macheza
Thursday 11th February at 10 am
Portfolio Committee: Media, Information and Communication Technology
Oral evidence from NetOne Board
Committee Room No. 413
Chairperson: Hon Chimanikire Clerk: Mrs Nyawo
Thursday 11th February at 11 am
Thematic Committee: Indigenisation and Empowerment
Oral evidence from Harare City Council and Municipality of Chitungwiza
Government Caucus Room
Chairperson: Hon Mutsvangwa Clerk: Mr Ratsakatika
Public Attendance at and Participation in Committee Meetings
These portfolio and thematic committee meetings are open to the public to attend as observers only. Members of the public wishing to attend a meeting should telephone Parliament first [on Harare 700181], to check with the relevant committee clerk that the meeting has not been cancelled. If you are attending, please use the Kwame Nkrumah Avenue entrance to Parliament. IDs must be produced. Members of the public are only free to participate when committees call public hearings. Veritas will send out separate notices of these public hearings and outline the procedures. Committees also sometimes have meetings where invited stakeholders [and those who notify Parliament that they consider themselves stakeholders and are accepted as such] are able to make representations and ask questions. These meetings will be highlighted in these notices. Portfolio and thematic committees meetings for deliberations are not open to the public, and these are not listed in these notices.
Important Parliamentary Portfolio Committee Meetings Held Recently
[Official Committee reports will be made available once tabled in Parliament]
The following committees met recently. Their written reports on the issues being investigated will be tabled in the House of Assembly in due course.
Mines and Energy: In further meetings on present arrangements for exploitation of the Chiadzwa diamond field, the Committee on 8th February grilled the Chief Executive Officer of the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation [ZMDC] on the capacity of the Corporation’s joint venture partners to handle operations for the national benefit and questioned the credentials of the companies involved and their directors. On 15th February the Committee heard from the Deputy Chairperson of the ZMDC Board, Mrs Mawarire, and Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy.
Defence and Home Affairs: On 9th February Hon Gonese explained his Public Order and Security Amendment Bill to the Committee. On the amendment to the Act’s provision for civil liability of organisers for damage caused by disorder resulting from meetings, a Committee member observed that the proposed relaxation of that liability might adversely affect investor confidence.
Justice, Legal Affairs, Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs: Law Society Vice-President Tino Bere briefed the Committee on the Society’s views on a number of issues affecting the justice delivery system, including inadequate remuneration for judicial officers and its effect on their independence, legal practitioners being denied access to clients in police stations, harassment of legal practitioners carrying out their professional duties, misuse of section 121 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act by the Attorney-General’s Office and inhuman conditions in overcrowded prisons.
Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied.