The ZIMBABWE Situation
An extensive and up-to-date website containing news, views and links related to ZIMBABWE - a country in crisis
Return to INDEX page
Please note: You need to have 'Active content' enabled in your IE browser in order to see the index of articles on this webpage

Zimbabwe police "snatch consignment of diamonds from central bank"

By Jan Raath Feb 6, 2010, 18:24 GMT

Harare- A 29-kilogram consignment of diamonds from Zimbabwe's controversial
Chiadzwa diamond field has disappeared after being removed on Thursday night
by police from the central bank, in violation of orders by the country's
supreme court, lawyers said at the weekend.

The incident is the latest turn in the long-running legal dispute between
British-registered mining company African Consolidated Resources and the
country's mines minister, Obert Mpofu, over the ownership of Chiadzwa claims
in eastern Zimbabwe.

ACR was forced off its property at gunpoint by police in 2006, but in
September last year a high court judge ruled that its ejection was illegal
and that it was the rightful owner.

The government has appealed. Geologists say Chiadzwa is the world's biggest
diamond discovery in a century and could yield more than a billion US
dollars annually to the country struggling to emerge from economic collapse.

The missing rough diamonds held in three strong boxes were part of a much
larger collection of diamonds that were mined by ACR before they were
evicted, and afterwards by the bankrupt state-owned Zimbabwe Mining
Development Corporation (ZMDC) until late last year.

Chief justice Godfrey Chidyausiku a fortnight ago ordered that they be
deposited in the central bank for safekeeping until the case was finalised.

'We don't know where they (the diamonds) are,' said ACR's lawyer, Jonathan
Samkange. On Thursday, officials from the government, ACR and the central
bank were recording the details of the diamonds to be moved to the bank when
Minister Mpofu walked in with his lawyer, said an official who was present
but asked not to be named.

'He produced this letter from the registrar of the supreme court in which
she said that the chief justice had suspended the September ruling, and that
we couldn't move the diamonds,' the witness said.

'But the deputy sheriff (of Harare, responsible for carrying out the chief
justice's order) stood his ground and Mpofu stormed out.'

The three strongboxes were carried in a heavy security vehicle under escort
of senior police to the central bank and were being registered shortly
before being placed in the bank vaults.

'Then the senior policeman started getting phone calls,' the witness said.
'Then he said, There have been new developments. The letter is genuine. I am
taking the diamonds'.' Despite the protests of the officials, police removed
the boxes.

'The police robbed the central bank,' ACR lawyer Samkange accused.

He said the letter from supreme court registrar Nomonde Mazabane was
'illegal' because court officials cannot give rulings on behalf of judges.
It would also mean that Chidyausiku was reversing his earlier order, 'and
that's impossible.'

'An order by the supreme court is final and cannot be appealed.'

Mpofu is coming under increasing pressue over his allegedly illegal award in
September of mining rights at Chiadzwa to a South African scrap metal trader
with no previous experience in diamond mining, local registered as Mbada and
working in partnership with the ZMDC.

A parliamentary inquiry heard this week from senior state mining officials
that they had no idea of what Mbada did with its diamonds.

Last month Mbada tried to hold an auction of 300,000 carats of diamonds in
Zimbabwe, allegedly without notifying any authorities or its partner.

Zimbabwe is under close scrutiny by the Kimberley Process Certification
Scheme, the UN-founded international body set up to combat the spread of
'blood diamonds' that fuel wars in Africa.

Chiadzwa was overrun by illegal diggers shortly after it was seized by the
government, but late in 2008 the army carried out a brutal operation to
drive them away.

New York-based rights group Human Rights Watch, in a report on the operation
last year, accused the army of killing and injuring dozens of diggers in the
operation - an allegation the government denied.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe Mines Minister Removes Diamonds From Court-Ordered RBZ Custody

The minister's surprise move followed the armed robbery this week of the
Harare offices of London-based African Consolidated Resources, which says it
has the contractual right to work the Marange field

Sandra Nyaira | Washington 05 February 2010

In apparent defiance of a Supreme Court order, Zimbabwean Minister of Mines
Obert Mpofu, backed by police, late Thursday took custody of millions of
dollars worth of diamonds from the controversial Marange field which the
court had ruled should be held by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

The minister's surprise move followed the armed robbery this week of the
Harare offices of London-based African Consolidated Resources, which says it
retains the contractual right to work the Marange field.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku ruled that the diamonds
should be held by the Reserve Bank until the mining rights case between ACR
and the Harare government has been resolved.

But the Supreme Court's registrar said Friday that Chidyausiku's ruling did
not mean that all diamonds mined from Marange on disputed claims should
necessarily be surrendered to the central bank for safekeeping, the
state-controlled Herald newspaper later reported.

The Herald reported that the registrar of the Supreme Court sent a letter to
attorneys in the case clarifying the meaning of Chidyausiku's order, saying
it did not concern all of the diamonds mined on contested claims.

An earlier judgment by High Court Justice Charles Hungwe found that ACR
retained the Marange mining rights, ordering the Mining Minerals Corporation
to return diamonds confiscated from the firm by the army in 2006.

Advocate Farai Mutamangira, representing the Ministry of Mines, the Mineral
Marketing Corporation and the Office of the Attorney General, said that the
Supreme Court order in effect suspended the lower court order, so "the
entire process of removal of diamonds from MMCZ cannot be effected."

Studio Seven reached Mpofu but he declined to comment. Mpofu told the Herald
newspaper that government will not allow "people representing hostile
foreign interests" to exploit Zimbabwe's resources without a legal fight.

"I want to assure the country that the government is going to fight any such
attempt using legal channels to ensure our resources go to the intended
beneficiaries who are in this case people in Zimbabwe," Mpofu said.

Attorney Jonathan Samkange, representing ACR, said the environment has
become threatening to his clients. He added that Mpofu's removal of the
diamonds was a clear case of interference with the judiciary.

Asked about the reported letter from the Supreme Court registrar, Samkange
responded that, "I have never heard about this in my lifetime."

He said issuance of such a letter would be illegal, because an order "has
already been made by the highest court of the land," he told VOA.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Tsvangirai Says Early Elections Could Solve Zimbabwe's Political Problems

Ish Mafundikwa | Harare 05 February 2010

Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has told VOA that early
elections could be the only way to solve the country's political problems.

In an interview with VOA, Prime Minister Tsvangirai said talks about fully
implementing the agreement that brought about Zimbabwe's unity government,
set to resume Monday, are unlikely to resolve the outstanding issues.

"There is going to be a deadlock, and I have said to our party
representative that let's finalize this, let's not procrastinate by saying
we are going to have another meeting let's see what we have agreed and what
we have not agreed," said Morgan Tsvangirai. "Therefore we are able to say
to president Zuma and SADC that ZANU-PF is refusing to implement and
therefore as far as we are concerned the only solution is that let's agree
on a road map to an election."

Only last month the prime minister rejected a call by South Africa's
President Jacob Zuma for elections next year.  Mr. Zuma is mandated by the
Southern African Development Community - or SADC - with facilitating talks
on the implementation of the so-called Global Political Agreement (GPA)
which brought about Zimbabwe's power-sharing government. SADC is a guarantor
of the deal along with the African Union and South Africa. South Africa is a
member of SADC.

Mr. Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change has disputed the results of
every election it has contested since 2000, citing widespread fraud,
intimidation and violence.  He tells VOA the political and legal environment
will have to change before any further poll is conducted in Zimbabwe.

"Absolutely not, we cannot go into an election under the same conditions it
will not be an election it will be war as usual," he said. "Remove all the
intimidation, all the violence we can undertake an election in this country
and beat ZANU-PF. What we want is a new constitution, yes there have been
some delays, but I think that the consultation will be in line for us to
have a referendum by November or October. Then we can decide the date of
election next year."

Mr. Tsvangirai says coalition governments are usually fragile but adds
nearly a year from its formation the union is at its weakest.  He says this
is likely a consequence of a recent statement by British Foreign Secretary
David Milliband indicating the European Union would only lift sanctions
against President Robert Mugabe and senior members of his ZANU-PF party on
the advice of the MDC.

Mr. Tsvangirai says he does not influence British foreign policy so he
cannot do anything about the sanctions which ZANU-PF says are inhibiting
economic growth in Zimbabwe due to the country's inability to access
international loans.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe Tribunal Court Ruling Stands

06/02/2010 06:48:00

Windhoek, February 06, 2010 - The regional SADC tribunal court its 2007 land
mark ruling in favour of white farmers in Zimbabwe remains binding despite
claims by the Zimbabwean government that it is not bound by the judgement
because it did not ratify the SADC treaty establishing the Namibia based

This is despite the fact that hordes of white commercial farmers protected
by the tribunal ruling are currently being forcefully being removed off
their properties.

"As far as we are concerned Zimbabwe is still part of SADC and according to
Article 16 of the SADC  treaty , the decision of the tribunal is final and
binding," said Charles Mkandawire, the tribunal registrar told Radio VOP by
phone from Windhoek, Namibia. "The Zimbabwe matter is now in the hands of
SADC heads who will advise us on the way forward."

Mkandawire categorically dismissed claims made by the Zimbabwean government
last August saying it had pulled out of the tribunal.

The Minister of Justice Patrick Chinamasa wrote to the tribunal last year
advising of Zimbabwe's decision to pullout of the regional court. A decision
which was later described by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai as a "personal"

"According to us the Zimbabwean government is still part of the tribunal. We
have no document saying they have pulled out, they have just said they will
not appear before the tribunal. Zimbabwe is still part and parcel of the
SADC and they is no way it can not be part of the tribunal unless f it pulls
out of SADC," said Mkandawire.

 Last year Harare announced that it was pulling out of the tribunal saying
it is yet to ratify a treaty setting it up and therefore can not be bound by
its decisions.

Mugabe's chaotic and often violent programme to seize white-owned farm land
for redistribution to landless blacks saw several farms owned by foreigners
and protected under bilateral trade agreements between Zimbabwe and other
countries seized without compensation.

The seizure of private land has raised questions about Zimbabwe's commitment
to uphold property rights as well as agreements entered with other

Last month the South African embassy in Harare wrote a protest later over
the renewed farm invasions which saw several farms owned by South African
farmers invaded. Some of these farms are protected under the Bilateral
Investment and Protection Agreement (BIPPA).

South Africa and Zimbabwe, at one time each other's biggest trading partner
on the continent.

Meanwhile the High Court in Johannesburg on Friday ordered the government to
compensate a Free State farmer for property seized from him in Zimbabwe.

The South African government may be forced to pay up to R500m to Crawford
von Abo after several of his farms were seized by Zimbabwe's government as
part of that country's land reform programme.

Von Abo's lawyer, Ernst Penzhorn was quoted as saying the ruling proved the
South African judicial system was working.  Radio VOP/ SAPA

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

MDC lodges complaint over harassment

by Tendai Maronga Saturday 06 February 2010

HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC party has lodged an official
complaint with the committee that oversees implementation of Harare's
power-sharing agreement - Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee
(JOMIC) - about "unjustified arrests and harassment" of its officials and
supporters by state security agents.

MDC's secretary for legal and parliamentary affairs Innocent Gonese earlier
this week wrote to the current chairperson of JOMIC registering the party's
concerns over the violations of the "letter and spirit" of the global
political agreement (GPA), that gave birth to the Harare coalition, and the
wanton arrests of its members blamed on harline elements in President Robert
Mugabe's ZANU PF party.

"In the spirit of inclusiveness we would expect the police to acquaint
themselves with provisions of the law and to make value judgments before
making wanton arrests," wrote Gonese, who is also the party's Member of
Parliament for Mutare Central.

Gonese said the MDC was particularly concerned with the fact that there were
no similar arrests of members of ZANU PF despite the fact they are holding
meetings in their constituencies.

"This clearly shows that there is still selective application of the law.
Article VI of the GPA provides that political parties which are signatory
thereto are determined to create conditions for the people of Zimbabwe to
write a constitution of themselves and it is in this vein the we find the
overzealousness of the police to be disturbing," complained Gonese.

Gonese said on January 30 2010, 52 MDC members were arrested were while
holding a district meeting in Mt Darwin to discuss among other things issues
relating to the new constitution.

He said 11 of these are still detained facing charges under the Public Order
and security Act (POSA).

"On January 23 2010, the MP for Mabvuku-Tafara and the district chairperson
Shepherd Madamombe was arrested and questioned at Harare Central Police
Station facing similar allegations," wrote Gonese.

Gonese said the MDC meetings were of the district assemblies of those
constituencies where it is not necessary to notify the police of such

Bonafide meetings of political parties are exempted from seeking police
clearance following amendments made to POSA in 2008.

Tsvangirai's party has previously said it would remain in the unity
government despite attempts by ZANU PF hardliners to frustrate it into
quitting. - ZimOnline

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Britain Says It Supports Restoration of Zimbabwe Voting Rights at IMF

The U.K. Treasury issued a statement saying the macroeconomic environment
has improved under Finance Minister Tendai Biti, and this was one of the
factors contributing to its decision

Ntungamili Nkomo | Washington 05 February 2010

The British Treasury said Friday that it supports the restoration of
Zimbabwe's voting rights in the International Monetary Fund, following a
recent statement from the United States that it would not opposed such a

The U.K. Treasury issued a statement saying the macroeconomic environment in
Zimbabwe has improved under Finance Minister Tendai Biti, and that this was
one of the factors contributing to its decision in the matter.

"The UK government also welcomes Zimbabwe's re-engagement with the IMF over
the last year, which has underpinned economic reform in Zimbabwe," it said.
"Support for restoration of Zimbabwe's IMF voting rights is recognition of
this progress, and forms part of Zimbabwe's re-engagement with international
financial institutions," the Treasury said.

African affairs expert Tom Cargill of the Chatham House think tank in London
told VOA Studio 7 reporter Ntungamili Nkomo that the development indicates
Britain is shifting its policy towards Zimbabwe.

Relations between Harare and London have been troubled lately by reactions
from President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party to a statement by Foreign
Secretary David Miliband saying the British government would seek the views
of the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai as to whether to lift sanctions on Mr. Mugabe and others.

ZANU-PF officials seized on Miliband's comment as evidence that the MDC was
in a position to influence the West on sanctions, while MDC officials
indicated their displeasure at the furor resulting from his statement.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Archbishop praises courage of Anglicans in Zimbabwe

by Charlie BoydPosted: Saturday, February 6, 2010, 14:52 (GMT)

The Archbishop of Canterbury yesterday launched an exhibition of photographs
showcasing the work of the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe as it continues to
support people left struggling by the widespread unemployment and
hyperinflation blighting the country.

The exhibition is being held at Southwark Cathedral in central London in
celebration of funds raised by an appeal for Zimbabwe launched by the
Archbishops of Canterbury and York one year ago. The appeal has raised
almost half a million pounds.

The photos on display illustrate the humanitarian and development programmes
funded by the appeal.

Dr Williams praised the courage, faithfulness and imagination of Anglicans
in Zimbabwe in the face of violence from state authorities attempting to
close down their services and stop them from worshipping.

“It would be difficult enough to deliver all this significant help and
support if there were not other problems, a country suffering grave
deprivation and political and economic crisis, but to deliver this also in
the face of relentless brutality and harassment is a further extra mark of
the courage and the stature of our Anglican friends in Zimbabwe,” he said.

The Archbishop was joined at the opening of the exhibition by the Bishop of
Harare, Chad Gandiya, who is in the midst of a wrangle with the deposed
bishop of Harare, Nolbert Kunonga, and authorities over access to Anglican
church property.

Bishop Gandiya said: “Zimbabwe is an agricultural country and most of our
people depend on what they produce from their fields and in the past we were
known as the bread basket of the region - a position that unfortunately we
have lost.

“But through the Archbishops’ Appeal our people were able to have seed maize
for planting which made a great change to their lives, and it’s all thanks
to our brothers and sisters in this country.”

Also joining the opening of the exhibition was Zimbabwean Bishop Cleophas
Lunga, who said: “For the first time the Church has been able to go into
prisons and provide food. The prisoners have recognised that, even when they
are behind bars, the Church has followed them and helped them.”

Bishop Gandiya last week some 4,000 Anglicans in worship outdoors in
central, a common occurrence since the police began disrupting services,
despite a ruling from the high court ordering the newly formed church of
Kunonga and the official Anglican church led by Bishop Gandiya to share
access to church property.

Bishop Kunonga, an ally of President Robert Mugabe, was excommunicated from
the Anglican Communion in 2007 after attempting to withdraw the Diocese of
Harare from the Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe Journos Chased Away From Constitutional Meeting

06/02/2010 06:37:00

Masvingo, February 06, 2010 - Zanu PF members force-marched members of the
press out of the party's heated constitution consultative meeting held
Friday at the Masvingo Polytechnic.

An unidentified war veteran stood up halfway in the meeting and ordered all
journalists out after the party members started hurling insults at
Parliamentary Select Committee co-chairperson, Paul Mangwana, who is
legislator for Chivi Central, accusing him of conniving with Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC-T) MPs to swindle the Constitutional Parliamentary
Committee (COPAC) of thousands of dollars in allowances.

"Can all the journalists excuse us at this time as this is a Zanu PF thing?
We can see you are taking notes, but we are doing our things as a party and
we do not want anything that is happening here to be written in the press,"
a war vet said, before his motion was seconded by other party hardliners.

Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA-Zimbabwe) provincial chairman
Energy Bara condemned the harassment of the journalists, who are considered
to be the fourth estate.

"I am in Harare but I have been briefed about the incident. We condemn the
harassment of the journalists in the strongest words. We wonder what Zanu PF
was hiding from the shows that they have a lot of skeletons in
their cupboard," Bara said.

Mangwana blasted the privately owned Standard newspaper over its article on
the alleged mismanagement of COPAC funds by the parliamentarians.

The meeting, according to Mangwana, was meant to 'launch the party's public
education program' on the upcoming constitution making process and 'inform
Zanu PF members what to tell the constitutional team when it visits the

About 100 people, including Masvingo Governor and Resident Minister Titus
Maluleke, attended the function.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

UK-based Zimbos have their say

Written by ZIMCC
Friday, 05 February 2010 11:42
LONDON - Zimbabweans in the United Kingdom have signalled their resolve to
participate in the process of writing a new constitution for Zimbabwe.

At a meeting held in Forest Gate London last weekend, representatives from
15 civic organisations agreed on a strategy of participation in the
Constitution making process being rolled out in Zimbabwe in line with
article 6 of the Global Political Agreement.
Speaking at the meeting, Gabriel Shumba from the South African based
organisation, Zimbabwe Exiles Forum, spoke of the need for the Diaspora to
be given the opportunity to participate in the process.
“This process must be transparent and inclusive, Zimbabweans in the Diaspora
are more than the population of some Zimbabwe regions and should therefore
be viewed as either a constituency or a region for the purpose of this
constitutional exercise and voting rights’ he said.

UK taskforce
A taskforce has been chosen to coordinate the constitutional awareness and
information gathering process in the UK. Members of the taskforce currently
include Zeb Manatse, Leslie Maruziva, Catherine Madziva, Thamsanqa, Zhou,
Robert Gonouya, Lloyd Msipa, Linda Binikesi, Lucia Dube, Alex Magaisa and
Msekiwa Makwanya.  Zeb Manatse chair of the taskforce said the process in
the UK is being modelled on the process in Zimbabwe to ensure consistency.
“We are engaged in discussions with the co-Chairpersons of the constitution
making process to enable us to use the same questionnaires and training
resources being used in the Constitutional Commission,” he said.
Previously the Zimbabwean Constitutional Commission has said that the
Diaspora will be consulted through a website. However, no website has been
made available to date leaving Diaspora groups with the challenge to start
their own initiative with the blessing of the Commission.

UK wide consultation
The Coalition of Civic Organisations plans to hold regional consultations
and has appointed Msekiwa Makwanya of Zimbabwe Diaspora Development
Interchange (ZDDI) to coordinate the UK wide roll out in the regions. A
constitutional conference is planned at the end of the UK wide consultation,
where representatives of the Constitutional Commission will be invited to
meet with Zimbabweans in the UK and receive the submissions from the
Diaspora on the content of the Constitution.
The UK based Coalition has opened a website for information purposes. Once
the questionnaires are made available from Zimbabwe, these will be posted on
the website for Zimbabweans in the UK to give their views on the
constitution. The website can be accessed on
The UK has the second largest group of Zimbabweans in the Diaspora.
Unofficial figures put it at over 200 000 Zimbabweans.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Lack of migration data hampering cooperation, integration in Southern Africa


Efforts to foster socio-economic cooperation and integration within the
Southern African Development Community (SADC) and to better manage migration
in the region are being hampered by weaknesses in the collection and
measurement of international migration data, International Organization for
Migration (IOM) said Friday.

In a new report, entitled 'Data Assessment of Labour Migration Statistics in
the SADC Region: South Africa, Zambi, Zimbabwe ," IOM assessed existing
statistical infrastructures and systems for the collection, analysis and
sharing of international migration data in the three Southern African

Although international migration continues to increase within the region,
weaknesses in migration data collection systems means data is not comparable
and there is difficulty in accepting common definitions, the report says.

Similarly, the true scale of migration as well as its impact on both sending
and receiving countries cannot be effectively measured, making it difficult
to develop informed migration policies.

The three countries chosen for the study are representative of different
economic and political realities in the region. South Africa , with a
population of 50 million, is regarded as the economic powerhouse of the
region. Although a mainly migrant receiving country (including from Zambia
and Zimbabwe), it is nevertheless witnessing a significant emigration of
highly skilled workers.

Zambia draws migrants from all over the region because of its peace and
stability, but it also loses a significant number of skilled and highly
educated professionals because of its poor economy.

Zimbabwe, with a reported population of 13 million, has increasingly
experienced high levels of emigration. A conservative estimate of three
million Zimbabwean nationals are said to make up the Zimbabwean diaspora.

The study assesses how these countries collect and analyze international
migration data.

While similar tools are used for data collection, only South Africa has a
centralized computer system to analyze the results.

Introduced only recently, however, the system faces a number of teething
implementation challenges.

The report also highlights that data collection does not often take into
account irregular migration, which is a significant trend in the region and
while the three countries maintain registers for asylum seekers and refuges,
there are also problems with timely collection and processing of that data.

Censuses and household surveys could fill some of these gaps, but these do
not typically take into account migration trends.

The study makes a number of recommendations to help address these
challenges. These include better utilization of existing data sources and
the need to harmonize terms and definitions.

It also suggests automating border control and permit information, training
relevant officials to improve data collection and analysis, as well as
strengthening data sharing and lines of communication among these actors.

The study also recommends that an inter-agency task force be formed in each
country to improve communication within the government and that the capacity
of the SADC Statistical Committee be strengthened by harmonizing data
collection systems and establishing a common database.

The study was carried out in collaboration with the SADC Statistics
Programme and is part of IOM efforts to promote regionally coherent and
coordinated data collection and the sharing of mechanisms critical for
effective regional economic integration and migration management.

Lusaka - Pana 05/02/2010

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

The ‘warlord’ at police HQ

Written by Editor
Friday, 05 February 2010 16:40
The demand by Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri  that the
Constitutional Parliamentary Committee (COPAC) should cough up nearly US$3
million for police protection during its outreach exercise should be proof
to all just why we need a new constitution.
We need a new governance charter that restores power back where it belongs –
in the hands of the people. That a police commissioner would so brazenly
play warlord with Parliament, hawking security and protection services to
the people’s representatives for cash is probably the clearest example of
how President Robert Mugabe and Zanu (PF) – yes, they are ultimately
responsible – long ditched legality and constitutionality.
The COPAC wants the police to escort its teams during the exercise to
consult Zimbabweans on the new constitution. This is exactly the kind of
duty that the present Constitution, defective as it is, requires Chihuri and
the police to perform. It is also the kind of work for which taxpayers pay
him and his officers salaries at the end of the month.
But he will not do it, not unless he is paid -- and preferably upfront! He
will not do it because he does not believe he is answerable to the power
behind COPAC, Parliament.  Chihuri will not provide the escort services as
expected of him under the Constitution because he and his colleagues in the
security establishment clearly believe they are above that document.
What Chihuri will do for free is arresting university students and mothers
from Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) protesting against worsening living
conditions. What Chihuri considers his constitutional duty is sending police
assaulting and shooting poor diamond panners at Chiadzwa.
We believe nothing better illustrates the need for a new constitution than
the Police Commissioner General’s behaviour! We need a new system of
governance where Zimbabweans will never again be subjected to the whims of
warlords and common thugs masquerading as law enforcement officers.
The army, police and other state security arms need extensive surgery to
transform them into professional, politically neutral forces at the service
of the people not individual political leaders.
There will be stiff resistance every step of the way from people like
Chihuri and the Zanu (PF) mobs waiting to pounce on COPAC outreach teams
should they turn up in the villages without police cover.   But for the sake
of our children’s future we cannot allow Chihuri and his associates to stand
in the way of constitutional reform. We live it in your hands Zimbabweans!

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

All Parties Responsible For Removing Zimbabwe Sanctions

06/02/2010 06:36:00

Gweru, February 06, 2010 - Minister of State in the Prime Minister's office,
Gorden Moyo said the call for the removal of sanctions is not a the
responsibility of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) alone but for all
the three political parties that are signatories to the Global Political
Agreement (GPA) that brought about Zimbabwe's unity government last

"It is not the responsibility of the MDC-T neither is it the responsibility
of MDC-M or ZANU alone; it is the responsibility of the inclusive government
in its entirety and not for one party to work towards the removal of
sanctions. Therefore I find it crazy for some people to be saying the Prime
Minister should be responsible for the removal of sanctions. It is not the
responsibility of Morgan Tsvangirai; it is the responsibility of the
inclusive government as stated in the GPA," Moyo told scribes at the Gweru
press Club.

"... Restrictive measures are there but we can't define them as sanctions.
If you say the IMF and the World Bank have prescribed sanctions to Zimbabwe
then you go to a rally and say 'remove your sanctions' IMF will not remove
debt because of what you said at a rally. They will need you to pay their
arrears then they will extend credit lines. There are financial penalties
imposed on Zimbabwe because we are defaulters".

Moyo also explained that calls for reform of government's various sectors
including the security sector, were not aimed at witch-hunting but to bring
back professionalism to these sectors. "The security sector reform does not
mean you are firing people; it does not mean you are retiring people; it's
about a paradigm shift. It's about saying no we were doing things this way
in the past, this time around let's reform and do things this way. So for
example, the army was involved in the Maguta processes. We can't continue to
have the army involved in food distribution . So we are talking about
security sector reforms; we are talking about how a military officer can do
his job professionally."

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Statement by Chairman of Radio Dialogue Trust




It is now one and a half years since the three political parties arrived at The Global Political Agreement (GPA).  The issues on which agreement was reached include “the immediate processing of all applications for registration in terms of the Broadcasting Services Act ”.

Radio Dialogue submitted its application to the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe in January 2005.  Along with applications from all other potential radio stations, this was refused.

When the Inclusive Government was formed last year, we were therefore expecting the immediate processing of our application.

For five years now, Radio Dialogue have been meeting with government on the issue of community radio licensing.  The GPA brought great hope that, at last, licences would be issued.  For sixteen months now the people of Bulawayo have been waiting the Inclusive Government to fulfil its promises.   But this has been in vain. 

The community of Bulawayo want to hear Radio Dialogue broadcasting, and we are now losing patience with government.  There has been a lot of talk, but no progress whatsoever, in implementing the GPA as far as broadcasting is concerned.  We are losing confidence in the Inclusive Government’s desire, or ability, to complete the liberation of our nation by freeing the airwaves.

We do not even know whether there is a legitimate Broadcasting Authority in place.  One has been announced by the Minister, but then rejected by the Deputy Minister and the Prime Minister.   Who is to call for and process any applications?

Government continually complains about broadcasts beamed in from outside the country.  The best way to deal with these is to license new stations to broadcast inside Zimbabwe. 

In the current state of confusion within the Ministry of Media, Information and Publicity:

·      with its inability to put Article 19 of the GPA into effect,

·      with its inability to constitute a legitimate Broadcasting Authority,

·      with its inability to grant licences,

are we to assume that we should now commence broadcasting without a licence?  The people of Bulawayo want the airwaves to be freed!


Pr. Peter Zwidekalanga Khumalo

Chairman, Radio Dialogue Trust         30 January 2010








Recognising the importance of the right to freedom of expression and the role of the media in a multi-party democracy.

Noting that while the provisions of the Broadcasting Services Act permit the issuance of licences, no licences other than to the public broadcaster have been issued.

Aware of the emergence of foreign based radio stations broadcasting into Zimbabwe, some of which are funded by foreign governments.

Concerned that the failure to issue licences under the Broadcasting Services Act to alternative broadcasters might have given rise to external radio stations broadcasting into Zimbabwe.

Further concerned that foreign government funded external radio stations broadcasting into Zimbabwe are not in Zimbabwe's national interest.

Desirous of ensuring the opening up of the air waves and ensuring the operation of as many media houses as possible.

19.1 The Parties hereby agree:

(a) that the government shall ensure the immediate processing by the appropriate authorities of all applications for re-registration and registration in terms of both the Broadcasting Services Act as well as the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act;

(b) all Zimbabwean nationals including those currently working for or running external radio stations be encouraged to make applications for broadcasting licences, in Zimbabwe, in terms of the law;



5 Year History of Radio Dialogue’s Engagement with Government

in Efforts to Obtain a Broadcasting Licence

In January 2005, Radio Dialogue submitted to the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) an application for a broadcasting licence.  This application was refused, as were applications from all other potential radio stations.

In February 2006, the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport & Communications (PPCTC) toured the Radio Dialogue studios, held discussions with Trustees, and presented its report to Parliament. Among other issues the report, stated “BAZ was looking forward to flighting the new adverts for TV and radio stations by June 2006”.  This never happened.

In May 2006, at the request of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee, Radio Dialogue submitted proposals for amendments to the Broadcasting Services Act (BSA). 

In October 2007, the Minister of Information and Publicity informed MISA that BAZ would invite licence applications by the end of that year.  This did not happen.

In December 2007, BSA was amended, incorporating most of Radio Dialogue’s proposals.  These included moving the responsibility for appointing BAZ members, from the Minister, to the President; nine after consultation with the Minister and the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders, and three from a list submitted by the Committee on Standing Rules & Orders.

In April 2009, the Minister of Media, Information and Publicity toured Radio Dialogue studios, and held discussions with Trustees and staff.  This was encouraging.

In May 2009, at the invitation of the Minister, Radio Dialogue, sent representatives to attend the government organised Zimbabwe Media Stakeholder Conference.  In his closing remarks, the Deputy Minister of Media, Information and Publicity announced that BAZ will be appointed to licence other broadcasters.  The same conference also recommended that all members of BAZ be nominated by the Parliament Standing Rules & Orders Committee.

In October 2009, along with other members of the Zimbabwe Association of Community Radio Stations (ZACRAS), we held further encouraging discussions with the Minister, Deputy Minister and Principal Director at the Ministry of Media Information & Publicity. 

The same month, either ignoring or unaware of the amendments made to BSA, the Minister unilaterally appointed members to BAZ.  These appointments were immediately rejected by the Deputy Minister and subsequently by the Prime Minister.

Fr Nigel Johnson SJ

Radio Dialogue
902 Pioneer House, cnr 8th Ave / Fife St, 
PO Box FM 100, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Radio Dialogue website:

Zimbabwe Community Radio News website:

Tel  + 263 9 884858 / 881009 / 881020
Fax + 263 9 884828

mobile: + 263 11 209718

home: + 263 9 240784

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

So what's changed?

Dear Family and Friends,

Laughter, back slapping and prolonged hand shakes were the order of
the day when I met a friend this week. His 13 year old daughter had
passed her junior school exams and got enough points to be accepted
into senior school. Dad's face was creased with smiles as he told me
what subjects had been passed and how delighted he was that his
little girl was on the way now, nearly a young woman. This momentous
occasion, a time of considerable pride and achievement is
particularly commendable after 10 years of economic collapse which
left most schools virtually closed and without teachers, books or
equipment. My congratulations to a proud Dad were short lived as now
he, and hundreds of thousands of others like him, face the nightmare
of getting their children through senior school and up to their O

Barely a fortnight into the new term at senior school, my friend's
daughter was sent home. The shame and embarrassment were evident by
the dusty tear stains on her face. Her father had only managed to pay
half of the school fees and so the girl was told to go away until she
could pay the full amount due - US$60. She knew her Dad didn't have
any more money for school fees, he'd already spent another US$ 40
buying the required 18 exercise books, a new school dress, socks and
satchel; luckily her old shoes were the right colour and still
fitted. And so, for want of US$ 30, a 13 year old girl was turned
away from school this week.

Even if my friend manages to get his daughter back into school, her
education is far from secure as Zimbabwe's long suffering teachers
have finally said enough is enough and are threatening to strike.
Earning just US$ 160 a month, our teachers can't even afford to
educate their own children, let alone teach others. Their monthly
salary doesn't even cover the utilities bills charged by the same
government they work for. With domestic household electricity
averaging US 80 a month and water and municipal bills being another
US 80 a month, there is nothing left from a teacher's pay to buy
food, pay for transport, medical needs or even buy a teenage girl a
pair of socks for school. The teachers say they want salaries
increased to at least US $ 630 a month - which is what they could
earn if they were teaching in countries in the region. Our government
say they don't have the money and so a crisis is imminent.

Teachers, like everyone else, are saying the government should be
using the Chiadzwa diamond money to fund the country's expenses and
rebuild Zimbabwe. Diamonds which are estimated to be worth �125
million (US 205 million) every month. Human Rights groups say that
when hundreds of soldiers were sent in to the Chiadzwa diamond fields
to evict small scale miners in November 2008, between 200 and 400
people were shot by the soldiers.

Think of this: More people were killed by the army than are affected
by sanctions. You have to say it again to understand the enormity of
it: 200 - 400 diamond diggers were killed by soldiers in Chiadzwa in
November; compared to only 203 powerful and already privileged Zanu
PF individuals on a targeted sanctions list. 203 people holding a
country of 10 million to ransom. So what's changed?

Until next week, thanks for reading, love cathy � Copyright cathy
buckle 6 February 2010.

Back to the Top
Back to Index