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indigenisation law comes into force Monday
by Own Correspondent Thursday 25
HARARE - Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere on
ZimOnline that regulations to force foreign firms to offload
stake to local blacks will come into force next Monday,
appearing to brush
aside objections to the controversial rules by Prime
Under the regulations announced by
Kasukuwere in line with an Indigenisation
and Economic Empowerment Bill
passed by the then ZANU PF-controlled
Parliament in 2007 and signed into law
by President Robert Mugabe in March
2008, foreign owned firms will be
required to cede 51 percent of
shareholding to indigenous Zimbabweans within
the next five years.
Tsvangirai has opposed the laws saying they were
invalid because they were
never discussed and adopted by Cabinet, while
business leaders have been
lobbying government to shelve implementation of
the regulations they say
will only help reinforce perceptions of Zimbabwe as
a high political risk
But Kasukuwere was
adamant implementation of the regulations would go ahead
He said: "Consultations are on going but the Act will be
effective. The Act
will become effective March 1 as already stated. We can't
every time to finalise this matter. Consultations will
always be there, but
the law will become effective Monday."
empowerment regulations foreign-owned businesses operating in
including banks, mines and factories will be forced to sell a
to locals by March 2015.
The regulations provides for foreigners to be
compelled to sell stake to
local Zimbabweans but are silent on where
impoverished locals will get money
to pay for stake in large mines and
Many had hoped the law and other controversial laws including
press and security laws to be repealed following formation of the
Revival of the empowerment laws has sparked
fears among business of a repeat
of in industry of a repeat of the chaos
that befell agriculture after a
similar government programme to empower
blacks saw white-owned commercial
farms seized without compensation. -
Zim constitution by Feb 2011
by Sebastian Nyamhangambiri Thursday 25 February
HARARE - Zimbabwe's constitutional committee has said it
hopes to produce a
new draft constitution only by next February, which could
elections that were initially earmarked for 2011 further
Joint-chairman of the Constitutional Parliamentary Committee
the reforms Munyaradzi-Paul Mangwana said that the
process was several months behind schedule, with a key
exercise to solicit
the views of ordinary Zimbabweans on the new
constitution that should have
been completed last November now expected to
only begin next April.
A referendum on the draft charter that initially
was planned for mid-2010
can only take place around February next year
according to Mangwana, a
member of President Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF party
and one of the three
chairmen of the COPAC.
"Assuming we get funds
soon - February next year is the (earliest we can)
have a new constitution
in Zimbabwe. Do not ask us (COPAC) about elections.
That will be for the
principals to decide," said Mangwana, who was
addressing journalist at
national press club in Harare Tuesday evening.
Mangwana said a shortage
of funding was the main obstacle to constitutional
reforms that are part of
requirements of the power sharing agreement or
global political agreement
(GPA) signed by ZANU PF, Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai's MDC-T and Deputy
Premier Arthur Mutambara's MDC-M two years
The September 2008
GPA is the foundation of Zimbabwe's coalition government
and the document,
among other things, calls for a new and democratic
constitution that should
lead to the holding of free and fair elections.
Mangwana said: "The
constitution is one of the key deliverables of the GPA
but funding from
government has been insufficient. We are still pleading
with government to
take its responsibilities of funding the process
seriously. We can't set
time frames under the GPA for something whose funds
However Mangwana raised hope that a solution to funding problems
sight, saying the three political parties and donors were
expected to sign
an agreement today that should pave way for release of
Another COPAC chairman, Douglass
Mwonzora said while funding was a problem
another obstacle to constitutional
reforms was fear by members of the unity
government that they could lose
their positions should new elections be
called once a new constitution is in
"Those who are afraid of losing certain positions are endangering
constitution making process. These people think that after the new
constitution is in place they will be forced to go back to polls to stand
the test of the people again," said Mwonzora, who is from Tsvangirai's MDC
The inordinate delays have helped damage the credibility
constitutional reforms that has also been tainted by reports of
violence and intimidation by soldiers and ZANU PF supporters
the adoption of the controversial Kariba draft constitution
as the basis of
the proposed new charter.
ZANU PF and the two MDC
formations secretly authored the Kariba draft in
2007 but critics say the
document should be discarded because it leaves
untouched the immense
presidential powers that analysts say Mugabe has used
to stifle opposition
to his rule for the past three decades.
The coalition government is
expected to call fresh elections after enactment
of a new constitution
although the administration can choose to wait until
expiry of its term in
2013 to call elections.
Zimbabweans hope a new constitution will
strengthen the role of Parliament
and curtail the president's powers, as
well as guarantee basic civil,
political and media freedoms. - ZimOnline
not ready for elections yet
by Edith Kaseke Thursday 25 February
HARARE - Shelton Mandeya readily reveals a fresh wound on his
suffered when a group of militia from President Robert
Mugabe's ZANU PF
party attacked his home in Mutoko rural district in May
2008, at the height
of a violent presidential run-off campaign that returned
the ageing leader
The wound, which has yet to heal, is a
vivid reminder of what Mandeya says
was a vicious campaign by Mugabe
loyalists to silence opponents.
But less than two years after Mandeya
escaped death by a whisker, Zimbabwe's
top politicians and South African
President Jacob Zuma have in recent months
been increasingly talking of
fresh elections in 2011 to end a political
logjam in the country's unity
Mandeya has every reason to be dismayed, so are thousands of
voters who fear
that an election so soon would only see the country spiral
cycle of political violence.
"Zimbabweans are not ready
for elections," said Mandeya, a former organiser
for former finance minister
Simba Makoni, who quit ZANU PF and contested the
March 2008 presidential
election under the Mavambo movement.
He later campaigned for Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan
Tsvangirai ahead of the presidential
run-off held in June of that year.
"I think there is still too much anger
and fear among our people. Many
people, at least that I know, don't believe
an election next year is good
for this country or will it be good for the
country," added Mandeya.
Restoring economy, jobs
He strikes a
chord with thousands of ordinary Zimbabweans who say they are,
for now, more
worried about government restoring the economy, creation of
jobs and food
security than a vote that could tear the fragile country
Zimbabwe's economy grew for the first time last year but is
not yet creating
jobs for a country with unemployment above 95 percent and
hopes that the
unity government would improve social services have quickly
after the administration failed to win financial support from
who insist on more democratic reforms before they can loosen
Mugabe and Tsvangirai formed a unity government
last February after
protracted power-sharing talks but the union has been
shaky, marred more by
tensions over how to equally share power.
two leaders have on different occasions called for a fresh vote in 2011,
saying this is the only way to resolve the dispute.
At his party's
congress in December, Mugabe, who turned 86 this week, told
supporters to be
prepared for a vote he said was imminent. Tsvangirai said
this month an
election should be held next year because the parties had
reached a deadlock
in power-sharing talks.
Pleasing radical constituencies
populist talk meant for their radical constituencies because in
of the parties want an election anytime soon," Eldred
University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer told
"ZANU PF knows they will be beaten hands down in a
relatively free and fair
election but the MDC fears that any quick election
is likely to be violent.
So there is convergence of opinion that quick
elections serve no one's
"But more importantly,
Zimbabweans have not healed from the election trauma
of 2008. They need more
time to have confidence in the electoral system,
that if they cast their
vote it will really count for something,"
are convinced that elections will be held in 2013, when the next
vote is due
and when a new constitution is expected to have been adopted.
political agreement is silent on dates for the next elections,
they would follow the writing of a new constitution, a process
that has been
dogged by problems from the beginning.
Experts see the process being
concluded in 2012 as ZANU PF and the MDC
haggle over what form the
constitution should take.
Zimbabwe's elections have been controversial
since 2000, largely marked by
violence which the MDC and Western governments
have repeatedly blamed on
ZANU PF aligned war veterans and youth
In 2008, the MDC said more than 200 of its members were murdered
loyalists, including those in the military, in a spree that
regional neighbours who had long openly sided with the veteran
"June 2008 is still fresh in many people's minds. Why don't the
first improve services and make sure the economy is functioning
60-year-old Mutsa Katsiru, a grandmother of eight, who sells wares
Mupedzanhamo market said.
confirm that political tensions still linger in the country,
ZANU PF and the MDC clashed over the weekend in Epworth
several people injured.
Both parties accuse the other of perpetrating the
Last month members of the two parties fought running
battles in Buhera
district, which saw 10 properties being razed by fire in
another case of
There have been reports that
MDC supporters in some rural districts were
seizing back livestock they say
was forcefully taken by ZANU PF supporters
in 2008, further heightening
"Politicians should consult us first because we will
tell them that this
peaceful transition period should go on for some time.
We are tired of
election violence," Suzan Karonga, a mother of three from
Budiriro said. -
defence unmasks state witness
by Own Correspondent Thursday 25 February
HARARE – A key state witness – supposed to be an information
expert – turned out to be just a cable layer after he was
defence lawyers of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s top aide
who is facing terrorism charges.
Denshard Mutsetse, who
the state had line up as its computer expect from
Africom to buttress its
case that a bunch of emails allegedly printed from
the computer of gun
dealer Peter Michael Hitschmann that implicate Bennett
in treason were
authentic, shocked the court when he claimed that there are
During cross examination by defence lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa,
Mutsetse who did
not look composed as he spent more time throwing questions
to Mtetwa instead
of answering them.
"You are only employed by
Africom, currently your job title is a technician
LAN," Mtetwa said. "That
position is the lowest rank in your entire
structure just like a madhaka boy
at a construction site. The structure (at
Africom) does not have a position
of a provincial engineer."
Mutsetse had been introduced by Attorney
General Johaness Tomana as the
provincial engineer for the cable firm, but
according to the company's
profile there is no such position in the
Mutsetse had refused to outline his company profile citing
and also told the court that "it was not possible to create
Asked if he knew that there were computer hackers and
expects, Mutsetse said it was the first time he was
hearing of such terms
and asked Mtetwa to clarify where the hackers are from
and who trained them.
"I dont know them. It's my first time to hear that
(hackers and forensic
expects). Where are the hackers trained?" he
However, Mtetwa would have none of it as she shot back saying,
"You can be
the lawyer and I come the witness," leading High Court Judge
Bhunu to intervene in the spat.
Asked if he knew of
computer software called EnCase and Forenscic Tool Kit,
meant to deal with
hackers and people who create false emails, Mutsetse
retorted, "Here in
Zimbabwe there are no such people, maybe they are there
in South Africa as
you have stated. There is no forensic personnel in
computers in this
As he finished testifying he had a partying shot for the judge
"Ndinokutendai nekutambisa nguva yangu (Thank you for wasting my
much to the amazement of Bhunu who however let him walk scott
The trial continues today.
Prosecutors say Hitschmann
implicated Bennett in 2006 when he was arrested
after being found in
possession of firearms, claims the gun dealer denies
saying he was tortured
into making the confessions during interrogation at a
military barracks in
March that year.
If found guilty Bennett faces a possible death sentence,
certain to plunge Zimbabwe’s shaky coalition government into
crisis. – ZimOnline
percent ZITF exhibition space taken up’
by Lizwe Sebatha Thursday 25 February
BULAWAYO – About 78 percent of exhibition space for this year’s
International Trade Fair (ZITF) has been taken up, with seven
Asian countries having already confirmed their participation,
ZITF chairman Bekithemba Nkomo.
The 2010 ZITF to be held
from April 20-24 runs under the theme “Unlocking
“More than seven countries have so far confirmed
participation for this year’s
ZITF although I cannot name them for now,”
Nkomo, who took over the ZITF
chairmanship from Nhlanhla Masuku in January,
told journalists in Bulawayo
“In total 78 percent of
available space has been booked and confirmed,” said
the ZITF chief who
vowed after his appointment in January to restore the
glory of the annual
business exhibition which has for the past decade failed
to woo traditional
Western and European exhibitors.
According to the ZITF chairman,
neighbouring South Africa which is the
continent’s biggest economy leads the
pack of African countries who have
confirmed their participation at this
year’s annual trade showcase.
Over the last decade Zimbabwe’s premier
business exhibition had lost its
glamour as international exhibitors mainly
from Europe had been shunning the
fair due to the volatile political
situation in the country. Also some local
traditional exhibitors had also
reduced their participation.
At its peak, the ZITF attracted dozens of
international exhibitors and
brought together multi-sectoral interests
ranging from mining, hospitality
and tourism, among others.
year, ZITF organisers were almost forced to postpone the trade showcase
after exhibitors, including locals, started pulling out in large numbers
citing high participation costs.
As a result, the ZITF Company was
forced to drastically revise downwards the
exhibition fees for last year’s
fair held under the theme “Golden platform
Zimbabwe will be hard-pressed to have many foreign countries
at the ZITF as President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister
year-old power-sharing government tries to woo much
needed investment to
drive its ambitious economic revival programme. –
court dismisses villagers’ land claim
by Own Correspondent Thursday 25
JOHANNESBURG – A South African court has dismissed a
black community’s land
claim because the community would not be able to meet
current white farmers occupying the farmland have
In a ruling that is set to have far reaching effects on the
stalled land redistribution process, the Johannesburg Land Claims
Friday refused the Bahiring community's claim to farms of eight
in the North West province, saying transfer of the land would
negative impact on the "food production and economic activities" of
highly productive farms.
The current annual production on these
farms is 1 800 calves, 5 900 tons of
maize, 400 tons of beans, 470 tons of
sunflower seed and 1 080 000 litres of
The court also ruled
that relocating the community is not feasible because
the government did not
have funds. It would have cost the state more than
R70 million to buy the
farms from the landowners and a further R210 million
to relocate the
Bahiring community's 400 families and provide resources for
them to continue
cultivating the land.
The court also found that the community was
compensated when they were
relocated 80km away from the farms in the 1960s
and at that time the farms
were not commercially developed.
ruling is set to have a major impact on other pending land claims,
this is the first time that a court has found that the relocation
in the claim is not feasible due to the land's current use and
Thousands of poor blacks are still waiting for the ANC
government to deliver
on its promise on coming to power in 1994 when it set
itself an ambitious
target of redistributing 30 percent of all agricultural
land to the black
majority by 2014.
But the huge cost of acquiring
land – estimated at R75 billion for 82
million hectares of land – as well as
problems in negotiating land prices
under a "willing-buyer, willing-seller"
policy have seen the government
managing to acquire only 4 percent of land
from private owners to date for
redistribution, amid growing unrest among
the poor landless blacks.
South Africa – just like Zimbabwe – inherited
an unjust land tenure system
from previous white-controlled governments
under which the bulk of the best
arable land was reserved for whites while
blacks were forced to crowd on
mostly semi-arid and infertile
But South Africa, which has one of Africa’s biggest farming
sectors and its
biggest economy, has repeatedly said it will not follow the
Zimbabwe where President Robert Mugabe seized most of the farms
that country’s about 4 500 white commercial farmers and gave them
Harare refused to pay for land, saying whites had in
the first place stolen
the land from blacks. The Zimbabwe administration
said it would only pay for
improvements on farms such as buildings,
boreholes, dams and roads – and
that it would determine the levels of
compensation to be paid to farmers.
Farm seizures are blamed for plunging
Zimbabwe – once a net exporter of the
staple maize grain – into severe food
shortages since 2001 after black
peasant farmers resettled on former white
farms failed to maintain
production because the government failed to support
them with financial
resources, inputs and skills training. – ZimOnline
farmers turn to SA court for help
Micel Schnehage | 1 Hour Ago
Zimbabwean farmers will turn to the North Gauteng High Court on
their quest to seize Zimbabwe's non-diplomatic assets in South
They want the ruling by a Southern African Development
tribunal against Zimbabwe's land reform programme to be
the way for the seizure of government assets.
application has been brought by civil rights group AfriForum on behalf
AfriForum said if the application was successful it could
farmers the chance to recoup losses suffered due to
President Robert Mugabe's
controversial land reform programme.
Fick, Michael Campbell and Thomas Etheredge are among hundreds of
The Zimbabwean government has ignored a SADC tribunal ruling
that the land
grabs are racist and unlawful.
A ruling in AfriForum's
favour will enable it to seize Zimbabwe's
non-diplomatic assets in South
Zimbabwean union leader in hiding after police raid
Gertrude Hambira is now in hiding and in fear for her safety
© Amnesty International
24 February 2010
Amnesty International has called on the government of Zimbabwe to end
harassment and intimidation of a union activist who is in hiding after police
raided a union office in Harare on Wednesday.
Secretary General of the General Agricultural and Plantation Workers Union of
Zimbabwe (GAPWUZ), fled after five men and one women who identified themselves
as officers from the CID (Criminal Investigation Department) raided the union's
head office at about 12:30pm, looking for her.
At the time of the raid
Ms Hambira was out of the office. She is now in hiding and in fear for her
Staff at the GAPWUZ head office have since received several
phone calls asking for details of Ms Hambira's whereabouts.
Zimbabwean police must immediately stop the harassment of human rights defenders
including Gertrude Hambira," said Veronique Aubert deputy director of Amnesty
International's Africa programme.
"There actions are the latest in a
series of persistent human rights violations that have continued despite
formation of the Government of National Unity (GNU) in February 2009."
On Friday 19 February, Gertrude Hambira was called to a meeting at
Police Headquarters in Harare with a panel of seventeen high ranking security
officials from the Zimbabwe Republic Police, Army, Air force and the Central
Ms Hambira attended with two colleagues and a
lawyer. She was subject to an interrogation about a recent documentary and
report published by GAPWUZ which highlight the plight of farm workers in
During the interrogation the panel stated that the report and
documentary contained very serious allegations for which Ms Hambira should be
"behind bars". Ms Hambira and her colleagues were eventually dismissed but the
panel warned that they would call on her again.
Gertrude Hambira has
previously been the victim of harassment and intimidation as a result of her
work to defend human rights, most recently in November 2009 when armed men
forced their way into her home. At the time of the attack Ms Hambira was not at
home but members of her immediate family were left terrified.
International on Wednesday again called on the GNU to halt on-going harassment
of human rights defenders. Persecution of human rights defenders for their
legitimate activities is a contravention of Article nine of the African Charter
on Human and Peoples' Rights.
Amnesty International has documented
consistent politicised and partisan policing by members of the Zimbabwe Republic
Police (ZRP), in particular the Law and Order section, aimed at silencing the
voices of human rights defenders.
GAPWUZ support the rights of farm
workers in Zimbabwe, raising their plight at national and international levels.
Since 2000 tens of thousands of farm workers have suffered violent attacks and
have been displaced from commercial farms.
of Striking Zimbabwe State Workers Charge Intimidation
striking public employees sitting in at workplaces said
demanding they sign registers indicating whether they were
duties or sitting in on strike
Jonga Kandemiiri | Washington 24 February
As Zimbabwe's civil servants pursued a strike now in its third
representatives accused the Public Service Commission of pressuring
sitting in at their workplaces to sign registers indicating whether
were performing their duties or striking.
VOA was unable to
obtain comment on the situation from the Public Service
Commission or Public
Service Minister Eliphas Mukonoweshuro.
The government has been mostly
silent since workers, went on strike February
secretary of the Apex Council, the negotiating committee
for public service
employees, told VOA Studio 7 reporter Jonga Kandemiiri
that her group sees
the government's action as intimidation.
In another strike-related
development, the Progressive Teachers Union of
Zimbabwe said ZANU-PF
militants and war veterans in many rural districts
were ordering striking
teachers to leave schools.
PTUZ President Takavafira Zhou said
institutions like churches and companies
were also threatening to evict
teachers who are not teaching from homes
provided to local educators by such
Zanu-PF gives PM sanctions ultimatum
A large turnout of Zanu-PF youths marches through
the streets of Harare Wednesday (Picture by Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
By Our Correspondent
HARARE - The Zanu-PF Youth League which organised a march through the streets
of Harare on Wednesday, has given Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai a period of
one month to get the sanctions imposed by the West on President Mugabe and the
leadership of his party removed.After a stopover
outside the United States Embassy along Herbert Chitepo Avenue, the
demonstrating youths presented a petition to Rugare Gumbo, the Zanu-PF spokesman
at the party's headquarters for onward transmission to Mugabe.
The MDC immediately rejected the call by the Zanu-PF youths.
"The people want Zanu-PF to abide by the Global Political Agreement (GPA),
not to engage in shameful acts of grandstanding disguised as "demonstrations","
the MDC said in a statement.
Accusing Zanu-PF of squandering a great opportunity by public posturing and
cheap politicking, the MDC said: "There are more pressing issues affecting the
people such as food, jobs, health, education and the power black-outs which have
seriously affected ordinary residents and silenced our factories."
Hundreds of Zanu-PF youths marched along the streets of Harare, led by the
party's new Youth League, to protest against what they alleged were the Western
countries' anti-Zimbabwe policies.
The demonstration is the biggest ever in the history of the Zanu-PF Youth
Those taking part in the march carried small Zimbabwean flags and placards
denouncing the sanctions.
The marchers demanded the elimination of the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic
Recovery Act, the sanctions law enacted by the US congress in 2003, as well as
the lifting of travelling restrictions on 200 senior Zanu-PF officials.
Zanu-PF, which accuses the MDC of calling for the imposition of the
sanctions, estimate that the measures have caused Zimbabwe economic losses
amounting to billions of US dollars.
But foreign diplomats argue to the contrary, saying sanctions have not hurt
the economy in any way.
The protestors marched on the US embassy in Harare and later presented a
petition at Zanu-PF headquarters.
Amy Diaz, the acting public affairs officer in the US embassy in Harare,
said: "On Wednesday, February 24, 2010, an organized demonstration occurred in
front of the U.S. Embassy in Harare. The protesters did not present any specific
demands to the Embassy. The U.S. Embassy believes in the right of all
Zimbabweans to freely gather and peacefully express their opinions."
The march came amid the most significant efforts by Congress in nearly a
decade to ease sanctions imposed by the US administration and other Western
nations against Zimbabwe at the height of the "land grab" programme almost a
The march was staged hardly a week after members of a US congressional
delegation, led by U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks, a New York Democrat, met last
Thursday with President Mugabe and Finance Minister Tendai Biti to discuss
progress in fully implementing the September 2008 Global Political Agreement
before they review the sanctions decision.
The march was staged in the wake of the renewal of EU sanctions on top
Zanu-PF officials in protest against the dictatorship of President Mugabe and
Zanu-PF welcomed the moves to partially lift some sanctions, but it said they
did not go far enough. The party continued to demand a total lifting of the
Zanu-PF officials have been under restrictive measures since 2001. The
sanctions have been successively tightened until this year when some officials
and key companies to the economy were removed from the list after formation of a
unity government last year.
Zapu members await hearing
February 24, 2010
BULAWAYO - The opposition Zapu opposition party, led by former Home
Minister Dumiso Dabengwa, says it is still investigating allegations
six suspended executive members of the party before they are
summoned to a
The suspended members say they
are keen that the hearing is held soon so
that they can exonerate
Evans Ndebele, Retired Colonel Ray Ncube, Smile Dube, former
councillor Alderman Charles Mpofu, Nhlanhla Ncube and Charles
suspended in December last year after they were accused of
flouting the party's rules and regulations.
allegations, the six are accused of holding unauthorised
meetings which Zapu
says were acts of insubordination. They are also accused
statements to the press viewed to be in contempt of the party's
It is alleged they also participated in the distribution
of material on the
formation of a breakaway party called Matabeleland
The suspended members this week told The Zimbabwe
Times that they had not
yet been subpoenaed to a disciplinary hearing, or
heard anything from their
Zapu interim chairman, Dumiso
Dabengwa had told The Zimbabwe Times the six
would appear before a
disciplinary committee before the end of last month.
Dabengwa said that
the members would be summoned to the party's disciplinary
answer charges of indiscipline.
One of the suspended members accused the
party's leadership of dragging its
feet on the matter because it was failing
to gather enough evidence against
"There is nothing that we did
wrong, and that is the only reason why they
are still failing to prepare any
hearing against us," said the member, who
requested not to be
"We have spoken among ourselves, and the general feeling is that
if we are
summoned to any hearing, we will go there because we owe our
this party and its supporters. We are not after any hidden
The member said that, although the party did not have a known
committee, they would appear before any interim one as long as
it was fairly
"We want this matter to be (resolved)
immediately, so that we return to our
posts because we know that we did not
do anything wrong and a
well-constituted disciplinary committee will clear
us," he said.
"The sooner this is done and we are allowed to resume our
duties, the sooner
we will bury the hatchet and work for the strength of
Zapu spokesman, Methuseli Moyo, confirmed that the six members had
been summoned, but attributed that to their alleged continuation to
same things that they are being investigated for".
these people were suspended, their province - Bulawayo - had laid some
allegations against them, which were presented to the national executive and
the party is investigating them," Moyo said.
"However, what makes it
difficult to conclude our case against them is that
they are still doing the
same things that they were accused of doing in the
first place. How then do
you conclude an investigation when such things are
members have even gone for a media onslaught against the party and
leadership through Charles Mpofu, who claims that he is their spokesman,
we have decided to wait a bit and see what their real intentions
Zapu, which was re-launched in December 2008, after some senior
the original party announced that they were pulling out of a 1987
Accord the party signed with Zanu-PF, has scheduled its annual
meant to elect a substantive leadership, for May this
It remains to be seen if the party would have managed to end the
by then, as it also aspires to contest in national elections.
ZRP’s ban lives on
Written by Staff Reporter
Wednesday, 24 February 2010
HARARE – Police Commissioner Agustine Chihuri has still not lifted the
on the inclusion of whites into the ZRP’s crime-fighting initiatives,
he imposed about a decade ago.
Although not interested in
fulltime employment with the ZRP due to its poor
working conditions and very
low salaries, whites had, prior to the
politicisation of the force by
Chihuri, been very active in crime-fighting
initiatives like the
Neighbourhood Watch Committee.
Chihuri, a war veteran and self-proclaimed
supporter of President Robert
Mugabe’s Zanu (PF), accused them of sponsoring
an alleged attempt by the MDC
to remove Mugabe from power through a mass
uprising, unfounded claims that
Mugabe coined to harass the then opposition
Junior police officers who spoke to The Zimbabwean this week revealed
the ban, which Chihuri imposed through internal police signals in late
was still in place, more than a year since the formation of a unity
government between Zanu (PF) and the two MDC formations.
“We are still
not allowed to involve whites in the NWC because they are
considered to be
MDC,” said a police officer who is stationed within one of
recruitment sections in Harare.
“The Commissioner still believes that whites
are agents of regime change and
that their involvement in the NWC might
jeopardise the force, as they might
be MDC spies coming in just to get
internal information and relay it to the
The junior officers said
that the ban came as a blow to their crime-fighting
efforts, as the whites
had given the ZRP massive material support.
“They used to provide their cars
with their own fuel for us to attend
scenes, especially when police vehicles
were unavailable or when there was
no fuel,” said one officer.
officers added that the whites, some of whom had been nominated
to be chief
wardens in their areas, also did a wonderful job of patrolling
night, while others donated stationary to the perennially broke
can hardly afford basic operational equipment for its officers.
still remains the top priority ahead of our core-duty of fighting
I do not foresee us working with the whites anytime soon,” said a
police officer based in Harare, who also confirmed the ban.
the ZRP recruitment officers said that they were also not
allowed to include
black Zimbabweans that are suspected of having ties with
the MDC, as the
bosses, led by Chihuri, suspected that this could compromise
Members of the Police Internal Security Intelligence (PISI) do thorough
background checks on prospective members of the NWC and those suspected to
be belonging to any party other than Zanu (PF) are disqualified
“At times the recruitment officer can also be transferred if he
is found to
have recruited a suspected member of any other political party,
the MDC,” said the senior officer.
Chihuri is one of
Zimbabwe’s intransigent security chiefs, whose actions are
inimical to the
inclusive government that is currently running Zimbabwe. He
vowed that he will not salute mainstream MDC leader and Prime
Morgan Tsvangirai even if he won the elections, accusing him of
Chihuri also deployed senior police officers ranking
above on a campaign of retribution against suspected MDC
supporters in rural
Mashonaland, after Tsvangirai had walloped Mugabe in the
March 29, 2008
Between 200 and 500 MDC supporters
were killed during that gory operation,
code-named “Mavhotera Papi?” (Who
did you vote for?). Thousands of other
people were tortured, while others
fled into neighbouring countries to live
as refugees, after they had their
homes burnt by the police, who were being
supported by war veterans, Zanu
(PF) militia and other supporters of Mugabe’s
Zim, Bots meet
over water resources management
Posted By Own Staff Wednesday, 24 February
The Government has established a Joint Water Commission on
Management with the Botswana Government, which will be
finalised in June
this year, a Government official has revealed.
is one of the riparian states that has shown interest in drawing
the Zambezi River. However, it wants to access the water from
The Minister of Water Resource Development and Management,
Nkomo met Dr. Ponatshego Kedikilwe, the Minister of Minerals
Water Resources in Botswana two weeks ago, to discuss the
A communiqué at the end of the meeting states that the
pursuant to Article 2 of the SADC Revised Protocol on Shared
where the Ministers are committed to ".foster co-operation for
and coordinated management and utilisation of shared
watercourses." for the
benefit of the people of the two countries and to
integration and poverty alleviation".
also states that the ministers were committed to taking the
Agreement on the Establishment of a Joint Commission on Water
Management through Governance structures of the two countries and
signed preferably by end of June, 2010.
In an interview, Nkomo said the
main objective of the Commission shall be to
act as technical advisor to the
parties on all technical matters relating to
the development and utilisation
of water resources of common interest to the
said there were various key areas identified for cooperation under
"We agreed that there shall be investment co-operation with a
encouraging joint ventures by institutions and citizens of both
the area of water development in a manner that enhances
development and employment in the area of water
"Also, the agreement will enhance technical co-operation in
surface, groundwater, water quality and management of information
view to strengthening current and future water resources management,"
The third key area was that there shall be facilitation
of visits to water
management projects and programmes of interest within
territories such as catchment and sub-catchments, councils and
Nkomo added that they also appraised
each other on the progress on
ratification of both the Limpopo Watercourse
Commission (LIMCOM) and the
Zambezi Watercourse Commission
The engagement of the Botswana Government is part of an ongoing
tour of SADC
riparian states, to engage them to sign and ratify the ZAMCOM
which will see Zimbabwe drawing water from the Zambezi River to
Six of the eight riparian countries
(Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Mozambique,
Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, and
Angola) have to sign and ratify the Protocol
for the drawing of water to
takes AAG to court
Written by Staff Reporter
Wednesday, 24 February 2010
BULAWAYO - Nigerian immigrants with businesses here said they were
Affirmative Action Group (AAG) to court over its threats to grab
Last week the militant black empowerment group,
AAG, said it would use force
to rid Zimbabwe of all Nigerians running
businesses in the country's cities
and towns to pave the way for black
"We are not going to allow for them. This is my business, I
worked for this
and someone can't just come to take it because it belongs to
together with my fellow countrymen here, we are going to sue
threatening to take our businesses," said a Nigerian immigrant who
a supermarket in the city centre and spoke on condition of
There are hundreds of Nigerian nationals running different kinds
businesses in Bulawayo and Harare ranging from supermarkets, cell phone
repair shops, hair saloons and boutiques.
Another Nigerian who operates a
cell phone repair shop said: "We are
operating these businesses legally and
I don't see any reason why some
people should grab them".
regional president, Charles Nyachowa, last week told journalists
that his group had "already approached government and presented
position with regards to the mushrooming of businesses run by
Harare, Bulawayo and other cities".
Nyachowa was speaking at press conference
called by the AAG to announce its
support for the new Act that compels
foreign owned companies to cede a 51
per cent shareholding to black
to be named NewsDay editor
PUBLISHERS of a proposed daily newspaper,
NewsDay, announce their editorial
team this week after Zimbabwe's unity
government took a major step to reform
the media landscape by gazetting the
new press regulator.
The Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) board will be
chaired by Godfrey
Majonga, a former state TV newsreader. He will be
deputised by Nqobile
Nyathi, the former editor of The Daily News which was
banned in 2003 by the
ZMC's predecessor, the Media and Information
The full commission was published in a government
gazette last Friday, which
means it can now take applications for newspaper
ZimInd Publishers, who already publish the Zimbabwe Independent
Standard, have been waiting for six months for the chance to apply
licence to publish a daily newspaper.
understands the current editor of the Independent, Vincent
leave his post to edit the new daily. The Independent's news
Constantine Chimakure, will replace Kahiya.
ZimInd will also make changes
to its Sunday paper, The Standard, with
current editor Davison Maruziva
expected to be kicked upstairs and his place
taken by 49-year-old Nevanji
Madanhire, a former editor of the Tribune which
was also shut down by the
President Robert Mugabe formed a coalition government with
Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara a year ago, but the
clashed over the slow pace of reforms.
establishment of the ZMC is seen as a major step to fob off criticism
sceptics who say Mugabe is not interested in reforms but saving his
political skin after his party lost control of parliament in the March 2008
elections, the first time that has happened since he came to power in
The government gazette named the other ZMC committee members as
a journalist and lawyer, Chris Mutsvangwa, Zimbabwe's former
China, freelance journalist Miriam Madziwa, former Zimbabwe
Holdings chief executive Henry Muradzikwa, former Zimbabwe
Journalists (ZUJ) president Mathew Takaona, Reserve Bank division
Millicent Mombeshora, and media lecturer Lawton Hikwa.
Willowvale Motor Said to Risk Closure Over US$3.4 Million Debt
said directors asked the government for an urgent loan so that
could pay its Japanese supplier, Itochu Corporation, which
Willowvale with Mazda kits
Gibbs Dube | Washington 24 February
Zimbabwe's largest auto assembler, Willowvale Motor Industries,
is on the
verge of collapse due to a US$3.4 million debt to its principal
It is feared that thousands of workers
employed by the company and in
related firms could lose their
Sources said directors asked the government for an urgent loan so
Willowvale could pay its Japanese supplier, Itochu Corporation, which
provides Willowvale with Mazda kits.
Company Managing Director Dawson
Mareya refused to comment, but sources said
Itochu gave the company until
March 18 to clear the debt. A similar grace
period was extended several
Zimbabwe's Parliament has taken up the matter and ordered
executives to remain silent while it probes alleged management
Lawmaker Misheck Kagurabadza, a member of the Parliamentary
State Enterprises and Parastatals, told VOA Studio 7 reporter
that the committee visited the Willowvale plant on Tuesday and
firm's problems with the company's directors and
Willowvale is said to be sitting on a vehicle stock worth more
million which it cannot sell due to the non-payment of the debt,
Corporation is in control of the stock.
U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Charles Ray, on Agricultural
Development in Zimbabwe
Danielle Nierenberg , Zimbabwe 2010-02-23
U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Charles Ray.
Last week, I had the privilege of meeting with the new U.S. ambassador to
Zimbabwe, Charles Ray. Ambassador Ray was gracious enough to take the time to
answer my questions about agricultural development in a country facing political
turmoil, high unemployment, and high food prices.
What do you think is needed in Zimbabwe to both improve food security
and farmers incomes?
Over the past decade, Zimbabwean small holder farmers have endured a litany
of economic, political, and social shocks as well as several droughts and floods
resulting in the loss of their livelihoods and food security. Poverty for small
holder farmers has greatly increased throughout the country.
In order to restore farmers' livelihoods they need to be supported in a
process of sustainable private sector-driven agricultural recovery to achieve
tangible household-level impact in food security and generate more household
income, as well to promote more rural employment.
The U.S. government through USAID is doing this by supporting programs that
provide effective rural extension, trainings and demonstration farms in order to
improve farm management by small holder producers. The programs also include
support for inputs and market linkages between the farmers and agro-processers,
exporters and buyers. These programs are broad-based and cover all communal
small holder farmers throughout the country.
The result of this work is increased production, and productivity, lowered
crop production costs and losses, improved product quality, and production mix
and increasing on-farm value-adding. Together these programs are increasing food
security and farmer's incomes as well as generating more farmer income and rural
employment of agro-business.
At present, the U.S. is the largest provider of direct food aid in Zimbabwe.
We are working with our partners to move from food aid to food security
assistance which will use more market oriented approaches and combine
livelihoods programs as noted above, which will reduce the need for food
Do you think Zimbabwe needs more private sector investment? If
so, what are ways the U.S. government and other donors can help
encourage both domestic and foreign investment?
Zimbabwe certainly needs more foreign direct investment. There is little
chance that the country can internally generate the investments required to
promote the economic growth it needs without it. But it is the government of
Zimbabwe that is responsible for creating the business enabling environment to
attract investment including both foreign and national.
At present, much more needs to be done in policy and the legal and regulatory
framework and in the rhetoric and actions by the government in order to create
the environment conducive to attract investment. Without the clear will of the
government to be FDI-friendly there is not much that the donors can
of the constitutional reform process
Written by John Makumbe
February 2010 16:35
Taking your eyes off the ball can result in you
walking into a brick wall'
Change is dynamic; it has to be handled very
thoughtfully, otherwise it can
throw you off the rails and straight into the
bottomless pit. In politics,
change has the uncanny tendency to cause even
some of the most astute
fellows to lose their way and end up walking up a
cal de sac and being
off-leaded into the dustbin of political
The now-you-see-it and now-you- don't constitutional reform
Zimbabwe has thrown off several individuals and organizations
previously used to be considered to be gurus in law-making and civic
promotion. Take, for example, the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA),
whose core business was originally to ensure that Zimbabwe develops a
democratic, people driven constitution. Since its formation in 1997, the NCA
has persistently and consistently pursued this goal or objective without
The recent proposition by the government of national unity
(GNU) to have the
constitutional reform process led by Members of Parliament
(MPs) seems to
have thrown the NCA off-target in that the once progressive
totally failed to read the mood of the people of this
country vis-à-vis this
critical matter of national transition to democracy.
True to its core
business, the NCA has condemned the Copac led process as
the writing of a people-driven constitution.
of the people of Zimbabwe is that it is imperative that a new and
constitution be written before the holding of the next elections
meaningful democracy is to be attained in the long run in this country.
people of this country have rightly determined that to be people-driven,
proposed constitution will have to legitimately take into account the
and wishes of the people as expressed through the outreach meetings
will be conducted by Copac throughout the country. But this is not good
enough for the arrogant NCA, which has vowed to campaign for the NO vote at
the referendum later this year.
What is most pathetic is that as a result
of this stance by the NCA
leadership, the organization has dug itself into a
bottomless pit. The NCA
now only exists on paper or in the utterances of
good old Madhuku and,
occasionally Mudzengi. Most of the other officials of
the NCA have sine left
the organization for less embarrassing engagements
elsewhere. It is ironic
that the very process that is its core business has
knocked the NCA out of
civic action. But the NCA is not alone in this
unfortunate development. In
the past, we have seen guys like Jonathan Moyo
also take the wrong turn by
seeking to democratize the undemocratic Zanu
(PF) through the infamous
Tsholotsho debacle. The man is still paying for
his sins having been left
out of the recently announced Politburo of that
sickly political party when
almost every idiot got on board. Poor
Then there was the good Professor, Ago Mutambara, who walked up a dead
when he agreed to head the Welshman Ncube faction of the MDC. It is only
that Mutambara realizes that he dares not stand for another election
as part and parcel of some larger-than-life figure. The man is too
submit to Morgan Tsvangirai of the all-powerful MDC-T, so he seems
thrown in his lot with a fellow loser of the 2008 elections, Robert
The two speak the same language these days, especially with regard to
so-called illegal sanctions against Bob and the Waiters. Change demands
those who get involved in its processes be mindful of the various
the ultimate goal. Taking your eyes off the ball can result in you
into a brick wall. Welcome to Zimbabwe.
the knowledge divide: People and power
by Mutumwa Mawere Thursday 25 February
OPINION: Who has power and on whose behalf is power exercised in
post-colonial Africa? How is power held to account and how can it be
accessed by all who want to play a part in shaping the future?
story of power, influence and control in post-colonial Africa is a
one reflecting the commonly shared ignorance of the majority about
use existing and new tools to access, harness the energy and
front-line professionals in Africa and the diaspora, local
citizens and communities.
Africa's many challenges cannot be met by
central governments acting alone
but by enhancing the rights of citizens and
more importantly making
institutions more accountable.
This can best
be done by the seemingly powerless who normally operate at the
all know that power in Africa is not fairly distributed across
the whole of
the society and communities and citizens feel powerless and
I was privileged to be one of the few people who attended
opening of the South African Parliament on February 11 2010 at
President Jacob Zuma delivered the State of the Nation
We all know that on this day, 20 years ago, former President
was released from prison.
As we look back on the
challenges and progress in building an inclusive and
Africa, we cannot help but reflect on the evolving
people and their power.
After almost 16 years of democracy, it was
striking that generally people
expect, like in many African states, the
central government to think for
There was expectation that Zuma
would come up with his vision and blueprint
on how to solve the challenges
that confront South Africa.
We generally expect the people we elect into
public office to be smarter
It was Mandela who rightly said
that he was no prophet but an ordinary human
being with no special qualities
from any other human being and yet people
expected him to have all the
Although we all want a brighter and secure future, we rarely
look at our own
actions as the real driver of change.
We expect state
actors to play the role that we should play.
The post-colonial experience
has seen the power that ordinarily resides in
communities to set and meet
their own priorities through participation in
the governance chain being
daily eroded through increasing centralization of
power in state
After 54 years of independence, we must acknowledge that local
weak in Africa and people generally believe that their voices
important in shaping the future.
The majority of Africans are
politically, socially and digitally excluded
from the knowledge they need to
make their own decisions.
The explosion of information and the
technologies to utilise it has
regrettably not touched the majority of
The few of us who are part of the digital society have failed
to package the
growing knowledge and experiences of other societies and
cultures so that
the generality of the African population can be part of the
that are taking place globally with critical implications
The changes that have been and are taking place in the
digital world mean
that modern citizens are more empowered to make the real
choices and expect
high standards across a range of services, from their
food, music, holiday to the big decisions about what kind
of society they
want to be part of.
In many of our democratic systems
in Africa, citizens are not allowed to
exercise the same level of choices
they make in daily lives in the digital
space. Knowledge is and can be
empowering and yet our collective investment
in knowledge and community
building is minimal.
We cannot take for granted that the people we
surrender power to during
elections will exercise that power in our
We can and should demand the best from our state servants but
responsibility lies with us to be the change that we want to
Technology has made it easier for knowledge to be shared.
1791, Thomas Paine in "The Rights of Man" wrote: "Revolutions create
and talent but those events do no more than bring them forward.
existing in man, a mass of sense lying in a dormant state, which
something excites it to action, will descend with him, in that
the grave. As it is to the advantage of society that the whole
facilities should be employed, the construction of government ought
such as to bring forward, by quiet and regular operation, all that
which never fails to appear in revolution."
remarkable African revolutionaries like Kwame Nkrumah,
Samora Machel, Agostino Neto, Sam Nujoma, Kenneth Kaunda,
Jomo Kenyatta, Robert Mugabe, Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo
and many others
but the post-colonial experience has demonstrated that the
something to excite the African spirit has led to many of its
descending with them a mass of sense still in the dormant state to
The daring Africans have regrettably been externalised and could
their talent in foreign states.
The few actors who seized
the state at independence regarded themselves as
indispensable to the
prosecution of the national democratic revolution.
What is needed to
excite the mass of sense that lies in African minds? We
all have work to do.
It was Lao Tzu (600 - 531 BC), the Chinese Philosopher
who said: "Go to the
people. Live with them. Learn from them. Love them.
Start with that they
know. But with the best leaders, when the work is done,
accomplished, the people will say - We have done this ourselves."
end of the day, human progress is in evidence when people are allowed
feel that they own the process and outcomes.
However, in many of our
states, state actors would want to think and act on
behalf of citizens and
in doing so kill the dormant mass of sense that
resides in each and every
The challenge is that people would want to be led. They want
a smart leader
forgetting that no leader however smart can realistically be
address the challenges of the people he/she leads.
up to us to create the kind of society that we want to see.
The role of
frontline professionals and general citizens in creating the
environment that encourages power to be devolved cannot be
is our duty to make the people who accept to lead us to know
The only power we have is the power to organise ourselves so that
privileged to govern us cannot take us for granted.
South Africa, the most developed African economy, the majority of
expect Zuma, for instance, to have a day with more hours than
available to us.
They expect him to think and find solutions for their
future forgetting that
any civilisation founded on expecting someone to do
what one can do in
his/her own interest is doomed to fail.
leaders are wholesalers of political faith and the moment they
retail dispensing of faith they are bound to be ineffective.
participation, citizens can be part of the solution rather than
As Chairman of Africa Heritage Society www.africa-heritage.com it is not
unusual to get people requesting for meetings on a one-on-one basis clearly
oblivious of the fact that I am also human with no better control of time
that any other citizen.
Some wait to see me expecting that I may have
the answers that they do no
The real answers lie in our ability
to organise ourselves so that working
together we can make the changes that
we want to see.
It is easier said than done because there is something
about the human mind
that expects the next person to be better at resolving
challenges than the
person facing the challenge.
Africa has the
leaders it deserves and before pointing a finger at leaders
we have to look
at ourselves and ask the question: "What makes me come alive
and not what
the Africa needs." Africa needs people who have come alive. -