by Own Correspondent Monday 08 February 2010
BULAWAYO -- South African mediators are expected to meet negotiators from
Zimbabwe's squabbling coalition partners on Monday ahead of resumption of
talks to resolve a raft of differences and outstanding issues threatening
the stability of the Harare unity government.
The mediators appointed by President Jacob Zuma to facilitate in the
Zimbabwe dialogue are understood to have requested to meet negotiators from
President Robert Mugabe's Zanu (PF) party, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's
MDC-T and Deputy Premier Arthur Mutambara's MDC-M party, who resume talks
that insiders had said were likely to end in deadlock once more.
Zuma is the Southern African Development Community (SADC)'s mediator in
Zimbabwe. It was not immediately clear whether the expected arrival of his
representatives in Harare enhances chances of negotiators making an unlikely
breakthrough when they meet later today.
Confirming the visit by Zuma's team, Welshman Ncube, lead negotiator for
MDC-M said: "The South African embassy phoned Minister Patrick Chinamasa on
Friday informing him that the facilitation team will be coming to have a
meeting with the negotiators.
"The facilitation team proposed a meeting on Monday afternoon on condition
that negotiators from the three parties are available. The meeting will go
ahead because all the negotiators have confirmed their availability."
Chinamasa leading the Zanu (PF) negotiating team said: "The South African
facilitation team requested for a meeting with us before we resume our
negotiations. We will be meeting them at 3pm, then our negotiations will
resume around 5pm."
The talks to resolve outstanding issues between ZANU PF and the MDC
formations have dragged on since the former foes agreed to join hands last
February in a coalition government that has been credited with stabilising
the country's economy to improve the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans.
While analysts are confident the unity government will not collapse, they
say unending bickering among coalition partners could cripple the
administration and render it ineffective.
The MDC-T accuses Mugabe of flouting the global political agreement that
gave birth to the unity government after the veteran leader refused to
rescind his unilateral appointment of two of his allies to the key posts of
central bank governor and attorney general.
Mugabe has also refused to swear in MDC-T treasurer Roy Bennett as deputy
agriculture minister and to appoint members of both MDC formations as
On its part ZANU PF insists it has done the most to uphold the power-sharing
deal and instead accuses the MDC of reneging on promises to campaign for
lifting of Western sanctions on Mugabe and his top allies. - ZimOnline.
by Simplicious Chirinda Monday 08 February 2010
JOHANNESBURG -The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Tribunal at
the weekend said ongoing farm disturbances in Zimbabwe were beyond the
regional court's control and that it was up to southern African leaders to
deal with the matter.
SADC Tribunal registrar Charles Mkandawire told ZimOnline that while the
Tribunal ordered the Harare government to stop farm seizures and compensate
farmers whose properties it had taken there was little the Namibia-based
court could do to enforce the ruling.
"The Zimbabwe issue is no longer in the hands of the Tribunal. We have done
what we are mandated to do but cannot enforce the decisions. We have
reported the farm violations to the SADC summit. It is the SADC summit which
now has to enforce the decisions made by the Tribunal," said Mkandawire.
The Tribunal ruled in favour of a group of Zimbabwean white farmers in
November 2008 saying the country's land reform programme launched in 2000 is
racist in nature and violates the SADC Treaty.
The Zimbabwe government has however ignored the ruling and has since
continued to acquire farms owned by the white farmers who are protected by
Last year Harare announced that it was pulling out of the Tribunal saying
the protocol setting up the regional court needed ratification by the
required number of SADC member states for the court's rulings to be binding.
The decade-long farm invasions, which Mugabe says were necessary to ensure
blacks also had access to arable land that they were denied by previous
white-led governments, have been blamed for plunging Zimbabwe into food
Once a net food exporter Zimbabwe has avoided mass starvation over the past
decade only because international relief agencies were quick to chip in with
Mugabe has vowed to continue the land acquisition, despite Tribunal ruling
outlawing the farm seizures. - ZimOnline
by Tendai Hungwe Monday 08 February 2010
JOHANNESBURG - Zimbabwe's Co-Ministers of Home Affairs have urged thousands
of Zimbabweans living in neighbouring South Africa to return home and said
police were willing to consider dropping some charges against political
Addressing a gathering last Saturday in Sandton, Kembo Mohadi and Giles
Mutsekwa said exiled Zimbabweans, among them some of the country's most
skilled business and financial technocrats, should return to help in the
reconstruction of the country's economy.
"The Zimbabwe inclusive government is ready to drop all charges against
political activists and specified business people, who are currently living
outside the country. It is time to rebuild our nation," said Mohadi, a
member of President Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF party.
Mutsekwa, from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC party, said the unity
government was working to improve the country's economy that is showing
signs of recovery after a decade in recession.
"The onus is on us as an inclusive government to ensure there is prosperity
in our country, and this is exactly what we are trying to achieve," said
Addressing the same gathering, South African Correctional Services Minister
Nosiviwe Maphisa-Nqakula urged Zimbabwe's three governing parties to resolve
political differences holding their coalition government in order to allow
for speedy economic recovery necessary to attract back multitudes of
Zimbabweans who have fled their home country.
She said: "My appeal to you Zimbabweans, please engage and dialogue in order
to resolve your differences. Always remember that South Africa will never be
your home, your home is in Zimbabwe, so resolve your problems and go back to
Several exiled Zimbabwean business leaders, among them former Trust Bank
chief executive officer William Nyemba, businessman James Makamba, mining
magnate Mutumwa Mawere and many others attended the function last night.
Several dignitaries from the Canadian embassy, British government,
Netherlands, China and Germany were also present.
At least three million Zimbabweans are said to be living outside the
country, the majority of them in South Africa, having fled political
repression and poverty after a decade-long economic crisis blamed on Mugabe's
controversial policies, including his farm seizure programme.
The unity government formed by Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister
Arthur Mutambara last February is yet to convince rich Western nations that
the southern African country is firmly on the path to genuine reform for
them give it much needed financial support to resuscitate its shattered
economy. - ZimOnline
Feb 7, 2010 10:53 PM | By Moses Mudzwiti
Zimbabwe's civil servants will embark on a nationwide strike for better pay
as the unity government staggers towards its first anniversary.
Morgan Tsvangirai became prime minister of the country on February 11 last
year amid fanfare and hope. But today the situation has changed for the
Trade unions that previously stood shoulder-to-shoulder with him and his
Movement for Democratic Change party have gone their own way.
Public Service Minister Eliphas Mukonoweshuro of the MDC admitted at the
weekend that last-minute talks with labour had failed to stave off the
He said the government's new offer had been rejected by workers because it
Teachers, doctors, nurses and other civil servants told the fragile unity
government last Friday that they would down tools.
Today marks the beginning of the nationwide strike.
Schools, hospitals, government offices and other state services such as
courts were expected to shut down. It is not known how long the strike will
President of the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association Dr Amos Chizhande's
comment that "we are being ignored" sums up the mood among lowly paid
The Zimbabwean government has been financing expensive overseas jaunts for
politicians, while salaries remained depressed as the country makes
half-hearted attempts to mend its broken-down economy.
Last year the government spent $20-million (R156-million) on overseas trips,
a far cry from the $4-million (R31-million) it offered civil servants.
At the weekend police and other security forces were addressed by commanders
on the impending strike.
Undeterred by the sabre rattling, thousands of underpaid civil servants have
decided to join the stayaway - regardless of the consequences. Civil
servants earn on average a paltry $150 (R1100) a month. They are demanding
as much as $630 (R4900) a month.
The government is the biggest employer in Zimbabwe with about 150000
The strike comes at time when the unity government was at its weakest. As it
is, all outstanding matters will remain unresolved.
President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party declared that no further
concessions would be made until sanctions imposed on them (by the Western
countries) were lifted.
Mugabe has blamed Tsvangirai, who enjoys good relations with the West, for
the continued sanctions.
by Own Correspondent Monday 08 February 2010
HARARE - Failure by Zimbabwe's coalition partners to solve outstanding
issues from their power-sharing deal is holding back foreign investors from
returning to the country, according to a report released last week by a
Russian investment house.
The report by Renaissance Capital, titled "Zimbabwe: 2010 outlook: Cementing
the turnaround" says the global political agreement (GPA) signed by
President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Premier
Arthur Mutambara leading to formation of the government of national unity
last February was the best viable option for the country.
But Renaissance said failure to implement the deal in full has become an
impediment to investors.
"Politics remains the key determinant of external funding for government -
specifically, how quickly the respective parties can resolve their
outstanding issues," the report said, adding; "Political tensions have also
limited the inflow of funding from external sources, specifically the West,
however Zimbabwe did receive its general allocation from the IMF ($510mn),
under liquidity support measures to combat the global credit crunch."
The investment house does not see the unity government completing the
constitution-making process in time to hold elections by 2011. Renaissance
also feels that the country's political environment is still volatile.
It said: "However we do not expect elections to take place in the medium
term, given the potential for re-polarisation of the political climate. In
our view, the GPA remains the most viable political arrangement for
Zimbabwe. We remain positive on economic prospects for 2010, and forecast
GDP growth of 7.1 percent, and year-end YoY (year-on-year) inflation of 6.1
For 2010, the investment house thinks Zimbabwe's intrinsic fiscal shortfall
will increase to $810mn (14.6 percent of Gross Domestic Product from $391mn
in 2009 (7.5 percent of GDP).
"The country's Ministry of Finance assumes the deficit will be funded
externally. We estimate Zimbabwe's external debt at $5.4bn, of which $3.8bn
is arrears. We note that the government plans to set up a debt management
and clearance office at the Ministry of Finance to devise a reduction and
clearance strategy," the investment firm said.
The report said the signing and ratification of the Bilateral Investment
Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) agreement between Zimbabwe and
South Africa, in November last year should spur an increase in FDI inflows.
"Other initiatives to promote greater investment will likely include
resolving issues at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to better promote
depth in the financial system, and therefore credit growth, as well as
clarity on the issue of tenure on agricultural land," it added.
Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Mutambara formed a coalition government nearly a year
ago to end a political crisis following an inconclusive election.
The government has done well to stabilise Zimbabwe's economy and end
inflation that was estimated at more than a trillion percent at the height
of the country's economic meltdown.
But unending bickering between Mugabe's ZANU PF party and Tsvangirai's MDC
as well as the coalition government's inability to secure direct financial
support from rich Western nations have held back the administration's
efforts to rebuild the economy.
(AFP) - 7 hours ago
HARARE - Zimbabwe and Botswana officials are to meet this week to resolve a
diplomatic stand-off over the detention of three Botswanan game rangers who
strayed across the border, state media reported on Sunday.
Botswana has threatened to recall its defence and intelligence envoys from
Zimbabwe by end February over what it called Harare's "rebuff" of efforts to
resolve the spat since the rangers were arrested tracking animals last
Zimbabwe's Home Affairs Minister Giles Mutsekwa told The Sunday Mail
newspaper that a meeting will take place this week.
"Government is aware of the matter and we will be meeting with our Tswana
counterparts to discuss the arrest of the rangers in the coming week," he
was quoted as saying.
"Botswana is our neighbour and the issue of the rangers should not terminate
our relations," he added.
"These are our neighbours and they should understand that the matter is
before the courts. Government's intervention was, therefore, limited."
The three wildlife officers were arrested and detained after mistakenly
entering Zimbabwe while tracking animals.
Botswana said several efforts to resolve the matter, including an attempt by
Vice President Mompati Merafhe to meet President Robert Mugabe at a recent
African Union meeting, had failed.
"In view of the stance taken by the government of the republic of Zimbabwe
to rebuff all attempts... Botswana has taken a decision to recall its
defence and intelligence attaches by the end of February 2010," it said last
Zimbabwe was expected to reciprocate and recall its attaches by the same
date, it said.
"The position of the government of Botswana is that these two posts should
be frozen and never be filled," it said.
Relations between Zimbabwe and Botswana have cooled since President Ian
Khama, the only leader in southern Africa openly critical of President
Robert Mugabe, came to power.
Masvingo, February 07, 2010 - At least 34 men and women from Bhuka area
under chief Fortune Charumbira were severely beaten on Saturday morning by
suspected Zanu PF youths for failing to comply with the headman Bhuka's
calling that they were not supposed to attend a Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) rally organized by Masvingo West constituency legislator
Tichaona Mharadze on Friday.
Mharadze called for an urgent rally on Friday afternoon after villagers
informed him that there were some youths who were harassing them for being
MDC supporters. Villagers also wanted to inform their MP about some of the
problems which they were facing, which include fear of Zanu PF's torture
bases in the area.
Villagers who were beaten were treated at Ngomahuru and Masvingo General
"It started early in the morning when some youths whom we suspect to be Zanu
PF supporters moved from one homestead to another beating almost everyone
who attend Mharadze's rally," said Mharadze. "We could not fight back
because naturally we know the youths have police and army backing." said a
man who refused to be named who was waiting for treatment at Masvingo
Mharadze said there was need for police to investigate and punish the
"I am very disappointed with what is happening in my constituency. My
supporters are always beaten and tortured. Last week there were armed police
loitering in the area, they had no specific mission besides instilling fear
in the public. We hope the perpetrators are going to be arrested but my
worry is that MDC supporters will continue to suffer because the police have
chosen to take sides," said Mharadze.
Masvingo police spokesperson Inspector Tinaye Matake refused that anything
like that happened but said he was going to do further investigations.
"Maybe it happened but I am not aware for now. We are going to have
investigations, phone me later," said Insp Matake.
Naume Muza Karoi, February 07, 2010 - Zimbabwe's cholera outbreak which
killed over 4 000 people last year, have come as a blessing in disguise for
women here as men take up the challenge of fetching water for their families
and ensure a constant supply of clean water to avoid another disaster.
Thirty-five year old Amos Maparamhaka starts his day each morning by
fetching water for his family, a role traditionally reserved for women. He
and other men and boys in his community in the small farming town of Karoi
situated about 204 kilometers north-west of Harare, say they were forced to
take up this role as a way of assisting the women in the community and also
to prevent another cholera outbreak in their area again.
''I wake up as early as five in the morning to fetch water and at times the
search can last for 4 hours around town without success as not all houses
have water everyday in the same area,'' he says, pushing a wheel-barrow with
buckets full of water.
Maparamhaka, a married man with two daughters aged 12 and 8 years, does this
in addition to his work as a vendor at a local flea market. "I could not
leave this arduous task to my pregnant wife," he says.
Shorai, her wife, is proud of her husband whom she says has become a "role
model'' for some men in the town. ''What he has been doing is now normal for
the majority of men as water challenges we are facing here needs men who
understand that we need to complement each other."
Karoi town, like most towns including the capital Harare, have not been
spared by the Zimbabwe National Water Authority's (ZINWA) monopoly and
failure to treat and supply water to residents when it took over from
councils more than five years ago countrywide. Zimbabwe's water crisis saw a
cholera outbreak last year which wiped over 4000 people. In some parts of
the country the outbreak has resurfaced.
The farming town of Karoi has had its own population problems that it is
failing to shoulder following rural-urban migration and influx of farm
workers from nearby farms following the land reform in 2000. The town, which
used to have an estimated 20 000 people now serves about 50 000.
The population boom has not been matched by the expansion of reticulation
and water facilities in the town. This has seen a constant breakdowns of
sewage pipes that were put in place in the 1970s when the town was built.
However, with the current rain season, residents welcomed a move by a local
Non-Government Organisation, Goal Zimbabwe, which is working with the
community to ensure that another cholera outbreak does not occur.
Goal Zimbabwe, a non-governmental organisation based in Ireland has since
its inception in 1977, been delivering aid to the poorest of the poor in the
country and has responded to nearly every major natural and man-made
disaster across 50 countries. Goal has been responding to the cholera
outbreak in Zimbabwe since December 2008.
In Karoi town, they have supplied water tanks at public places including
bus-terminus to cater for public toilets and schools. Goal has proposed to
sink 18 boreholes in Chikangwe and Chiedza suburbs to cater for water supply
to hard hit residents.
Farai Kamutero says praised Goal Zimbabwe for their efforts to provide water
to the town. ''I believe Goal does not want cholera to recur again as it
will wipe us all within few days. Cholera has been a man-made disaster due
to unavailability of clean water in major towns and all efforts must be done
to curb this.''
Zvafadza Matare admits the water crisis has uplifted the living standards of
women. ''We are witnessing better things out of the water crisis," she says,
adding that men like Maparamhaka were doing a great job to assist women to
fetch water for their families.
By MUGAMBI KIAI
Posted Monday, February 8 2010 at 00:00
The 14th session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the
African Union convened in Addis Ababa from January 31 to February 2 made
some significant decisions that will help Africa realise its vision of a
united continent. But certain impediments cannot go unnoticed.
The theme of the assembly was Information and Communication Technologies in
Africa: Challenges and Prospects for Development; but other key issues that
cut across the continent such as peace, security and related matters -
international justice, governance and human rights - were also discussed.
Indeed, these were big-ticket items at the 2009 AU summit in Tripoli, Libya
which declared 2010 the Year for Peace and Security in Africa.
However, discussions on unconstitutional changes in government and the
possibility of giving criminal jurisdiction to the African Court of Human
Rights and Justice - in the context of the up coming review conference of
the Rome Treaty from May 31-June 11 in Kampala and the recent indictment of
Sudan's President Omar Bashir - were pushed to the June 2010 Summit
Among the positive changes that took place in Addis was the election of
Kenya as one of five members to serve three-year terms at the AU Peace and
Security Council (PSC) - the standing decision-making organ of the African
Union for the prevention, management and resolution of conflict - commencing
March this year. The other countries are Equatorial Guinea, Libya, Zimbabwe
Ironically, three of these countries - Kenya, Zimbabwe and Mauritania - have
recently been accused of effecting unconstitutional changes in government.
Historically, such changes are known to invariably catalyse conflict and
endanger peace and security.
So how is it that these countries will now be decision-makers of these same
Then there was bad news for Kenya at the 22nd meeting of the Heads of State
and Government Implementation Committee - the highest decision-making
authority of the African Peer Review Mechanism - which was happening
Popularly called the APR Forum, the committee is currently presided over by
Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.
APR session on January 30 witnessed the selection of the Africa Peer Review
Panel of Eminent Persons with representatives from Nigeria, Algeria, Zambia,
Congo-Brazzaville, Liberia, Cameroon and Rwanda admitted.
Graca Machel-Mandela, who was the lead APR panellist for Kenya, was removed.
Ms Machel-Mandela doubled up as a member of the Panel of Eminent Africans
mediating the 2008 post-election crisis in Kenya.
This removal did not bode well for many Kenyans who viewed her as a firm,
steady and sober voice around the country's psychosis.
The APR Panel oversees the review process to ensure integrity, considers
reports and makes recommendations to the APR Forum.
At the APR Forum, Uganda, as one of seven countries that completed the
Africa Peer Review process last year alongside Benin, Burkina Faso, Nigeria,
Mali, Mozambique, Lesotho, presented its APRM report.
It earned praise for its handling of electoral petitions and its
decentralisation process was touted as increasing opportunity for public
We cannot also ignore the drama that ensued at the opening ceremony of the
Summit on January 31, when Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi made a bid to
get a one-year extension to his term as the AU chair.
President Gaddafi also asked a representative of the Forum of Traditional
Kings, Sultans, Chiefs and Princes - an organisation he created from
scratch - to deliver an unscheduled speech.
According to a press report, "The representative, whose name was not given,
decked out in gold necklaces and carrying a sceptre, provoked some laughter
and an equal amount of embarrassment as he went up onto the podium.
Comparing President Gaddafi to the prophets of the Bible and the Koran, he
openly exhorted the heads of state to 'follow the guide who is showing us
the way,' saying that he had the backing of all the peoples of Africa."
This little piece of melodrama was unsuccessful, however, and Gaddafi went
on to hand over the AU chairmanship to Malawi's President Bingu wa
His parting shot? "The AU chairperson doesn't have any prerogative
actually," he said, vowing nevertheless to work for the continent and the
institution and continue pushing for his dream of achieving the "United
States of Africa".
While President Gaddafi's exit marked the departure of the most strident
advocate for the immediate integration of Africa, this particular debate
predates even his own ascension to power in Libya in 1969.
The two competing schools of thought on how African integration should
proceed - immediately and speedily as proposed by Kwame Nkrumah, for which
he wanted the OAU's 1965 Accra Summit to discuss a Union Government for
Africa - or step-by-step as suggested by Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere,
have sharply divided pan-African politics.
This debate may slow down with Gaddafi's departure but will certainly not
With global geo-politics constantly and cyclically experiencing tentative
integrations and treacherous disintegrations, the dream of a United Africa
remains fully embedded.
Mugambi Kiai is programme manager in Kenya for the Open Society Initiative
for East Africa and also for the Africa Governance Monitoring and Advocacy
A Bulawayo based community radio initiative, Radio Dialogue has released a press statement saying it is losing patience with government over its failure to provide a broadcasting licence.
Speaking at a press conference held after the handover of the Radio Dialogue
constitutional report activities to the parliamentary select committee(COPAC) on
Saturday at Bulawayo Rainbow hotel, chairperson of the Radio Dialogue Trust,
Peter Zwide Khumalo said the inclusive government has failed to liberate the
Khumalo said failure to provide radio licences is testimony that the government cannot fulfill the Global Political Agreement.
“For five years now Radio Dialogue has been meeting with government on the issue of community radio licensing,” Khumalo told the conference, “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.”
Khumalo was reiterating the words of the executive director of Radio Dialogue Nigel Johnson who said the GPA is not working.
“Article 19 makes it clear that all licences , all applications will be processed immediately,” Johnson said, “This was signed by Robert Mugabe, Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara. They all signed that they will process applications immediately but it hasn't happened.”
Khumalo also criticised the ministry of media, information and publicity for its failure to constitute a legitimate broadcasting authority.He said the ministry is in a state of confusion.
“The Minister unilaterally appointed members to BAZ,” he said, “These appointments were immediately rejected by the Deputy Minister and subsequently by the Prime Minister.”
In April 2009, the Minister of Media, Information and Publicity, Webster Shamu toured Radio Dialogue studios, and held discussions with trustees and staff.The chairperson of Radio Dialogue Trust also stated that Radio Dialogue has sent proposals of the amendment of the Broadcasting Services Act through the parliamentary portfolio committee.Furthermore, Khumalo also told the conference that Radio Dialogue is ready to broadcast.
“Technologically, we are advanced and we' ve got the equipment,” he said, “In terms of skills base, we' ve got the staff and the structures are there and they are trained.We are ready for a license to raise the mast and start broadcasting.”
Meanwhile, the handover of the Radio Dialogue report on constitutional activities to COPAC was attended by two parliamentary select committee co-chairpersons, Edward Mkhosi and Douglas Mwonzora, members of the civic society and Radio Dialogue ward committee members.
The Anglican church in Zimbabwe has an uneven record. But now we are leading
* Rowan Williams and John Sentamu
* guardian.co.uk, Sunday 7 February 2010 21.30 GMT
At the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Morgan Tsvangirai, former
opposition leader, was one of those present to represent Zimbabwe - a
reminder that the fragile power-sharing arrangement brokered just a year ago
still survives. But it would be a brave person who took this as a sign that
Zimbabwe was moving steadily towards anything like political normality or
full economic recovery. Some urgent humanitarian matters have been
addressed, especially in relation to the freedom of NGOs to deliver
essential services. But education remains in chaos, and disease - including
HIV rates and measles infection - is on the rise; last year's cholera
epidemic is over, but this year's rains will bring new risks. The number of
doctors in the country is tiny, with all routine health services seriously
One sign of dysfunctionality and oppression is the continuing level of
harassment of Anglican Christians in Harare and elsewhere. Some
congregations were locked out of their churches at Christmas; church members
are threatened, attacked and beaten. The election of several new bishops
with a clear and courageous commitment to the welfare of their people is
provoking the disgraced and ousted former church leadership to continue the
tactics of violent intimidation that led to their alienation from the wider
church and eventual removal. That violence is actively supported by the
police, despite court judgments in favour of the new leadership. In one
diocese, the former bishop and his small group of associates still have a
stranglehold on property, so that no funds are available to pay stipends for
the legitimate clergy.
But in the middle of all this - with legal costs threatening to cripple
their work - Anglicans in Zimbabwe have become vital contributors to
sustaining and rebuilding the social fabric. A year ago, the archbishops of
Canterbury and York launched their appeal for Zimbabwe. It has so far raised
nearly half a million pounds from the Church of England. This money,
administered through the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel,
has enabled the Anglican church in Zimbabwe to increase its already
extensive development work - HIV care, rural clinics, training in
sustainable farming practices, feeding programmes delivered through schools,
often in close partnership with local government and NGOs. The Nets for Life
programme, funded by the Episcopal church in America, is widespread in the
country. No less importantly, various dioceses sponsor healing and
reconciliation initiatives, with drama and music workshops for young people
in both rural and urban settings.
The church's record in Zimbabwe has been uneven, especially in the shameful
period of uncritical support for Mugabe from leaders like the former bishop
of Harare. But things have changed. Last year, the churches jointly offered
a framework for confronting and dealing with the buried traumas of many
decades in a country that has seen more than its share of violence and
corruption. And in October 2009, the Roman Catholic bishops' conference of
Zimbabwe published a pastoral letter on national healing which gave an
impressively comprehensive analysis of the country's ills and spelled out
what the churches could provide. Anglican churches in particular have been
at the forefront of establishing counselling centres where people can speak
about their sufferings, and education programmes that open new
Unless government adopts something like this framework, Zimbabwe is doomed
to another round of trauma and destitution. There are still those who say -
as some of the discussion about aid for Haiti has shown - that churches are
not the best vehicle for delivering aid, because they have an "agenda" to
advance. This is nonsense - and dangerously unrealistic nonsense. In
societies where the main civil society networks are closely bound to the
life of the churches, it is self-defeatingly foolish to bypass their
systems. The "agenda" of the churches in contexts like this is simply the
restoration of human dignity and stability in a deeply damaged society. No
one else is there to do it.
A year on from the launch of the archbishops' appeal and a year on from the
power-sharing agreement, Zimbabwe still suffers acutely. We in the UK need
to be clear about the urgency of supporting those working for basic human
dignities and struggling to build social capital for the future through
their work in counselling and reconciliation.
Every week another petition. It must
seem so if you read last week’s diary. We spend long cold hours outside Zimbabwe
House telling the passing world what is going on in
Last week the Vigil announced the
launch of a new petition demanding elections in
Here is what we said in our letter
to Mr Tsvangirai: ‘Enclosed is a
petition signed by hundreds of people passing by the
It will give Mr Tsvangirai something
to read given that all ZANU PF ministers have been told not to report to the
Prime Minister in future. He might like to consider his position in the light of the AU summit’s backing of
Mugabe and the election of Mugabe’s
client, President Bingu wa Mutharika of Malawi (absentee owner of a Zimbabwean farm), as the organisation’s new
Chair. It was ironic but predictable that
The Vigil noted the demise of NEPAD
at the AU summit. It was said that ‘it couldn't deliver a single project during
the last decade.’ Remember NEPAD (New Economic Partnership for African
Development)? It was a brainchild of
For us at the Vigil things fell into
place when we saw a report from the Rwandan New Times (http://allafrica.com/stories/201002030876.html) that a
top genocide suspect is working for Mugabe along with several thousand
We doubt the British parliamentary
team considering aid for
It was lovely to have some sunshine even though it got bitterly cold when the sun set.
Some other points:
· The new Swazi Vigil was grateful to Sue Toft of our management team who bought four Swazi flags for them to display to compensate for the Swazi High Commission lowering their flag last week at the launch of their Vigil. The Swazi Vigil was joined by a family who spoke about how they had suffered under King Mswati’s autocratic rule and how a relative had been murdered.
pleased to be visited by Bahar Milani and Armin HZ from
good to welcome the Reverend Bonnet Moyo and Pastor Lucky Siyafa of the Southend
visitor was Dr Tim of ZBN News who filmed our protest. ZBN News have been tireless in filming human
rights events and activists in the
· Mathias Makozhombwe of Motherland ENT has produced another video of the Vigil. This was filmed last week: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeI4veVo0H0.
For latest Vigil pictures check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimbabwevigil/.
FOR THE RECORD: 204 signed the register.
EVENTS AND NOTICES:
'Truth be Told? Debating the Human
Rights Record of the Exiled Liberation Movements of
ROHR Hayes fundraising party.
27th February from till late. Venue: Coronation Hall,
Zimbabwe Association’s Women’s
Weekly Drop-in Centre. Fridays 10.30 am – 4 pm. Venue:
The Fire Station Community and ICT Centre,
· Strategic Internship for Zimbabweans organised by Citizens for Sanctuary which is trying to secure work placements for qualified Zimbabweans with refugee status or asylum seekers. For information: http://www.citizensforsanctuary.org.uk/pages/Strategic.html or contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Motherland ENT’s
videos of the Vigil
outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429
BILL WATCH 5/2010
[6th February 2010]
The House of Assembly sat this week
Both the House of Assembly and the Senate will sit on 9th February
Update on Inclusive Government
Top Executive Meeting: The President, the Vice-Presidents, the Prime Minister and the two Deputy Prime Ministers met on Friday 5th February. Their discussions included the constitutional commissions [see below] and the circular from the President’s office on Vice-Presidential responsibilities. There was no agreement on stopping farm evictions or proceeding with the land audit.
Cabinet Circular on Vice-Presidential Functions: The Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Misheck Sibanda, issued a circular to Ministers dated 25th January directing them to report to the Vice-Presidents, who would assist the President in their "supervision and management”. MDC-T have interpreted this as undermining the Prime Minister’s authority, as under Article 20 of the GPA as enshrined in Constitution Amendment No. 19, the Prime Minister “shall oversee the formulation of government policies by the Cabinet” and “shall ensure that the policies so formulated are implemented by the entirety of government”. Tendai Biti, speaking for MDC-T, rejected the circular as “unconstitutional, null and void”.
The National Security Council [NSC] met on Friday 5th February for the second time since its establishment nearly a year ago. Under the NSC Act the Council should have been meeting monthly.
JOMIC’s first annual review of progress on GPA implementation and achievements is due soon under GPA Article 23, 13th February being the anniversary of the formation of the Inclusive Government. Co-chair and spokesman Welshman Ncube has said a report is being prepared and will be made public.
GNU faces problems with striking workers: The civil service decision to strike may trigger strikes in other sectors and there is insufficient revenue to satisfy demands, but salaries well below the cost of living index are seen as a failure by the GNU to deliver on peoples’ expectations. The situation is exacerbated by the Famine Early Warning Network’s estimate that over a million Zimbabweans need food aid over the next two months.
Negotiations on GPA Disputes: The
negotiators from the three parties are due to meet again on Monday 8th
February. The South African facilitation team is expected in
Update on Constitutional Commissions
The Prime Minister has said that Friday’s executive meeting confirmed Judge Simpson Mtambanengwe as chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission [ZEC] and Professor Reg Austin as chairperson of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission [ZHRC] and that members of those commissions and the Zimbabwe Media Commission [ZMC], would be sworn in this coming week. Commission members-designate have not, however, received any official notification of their appointments.
POSA Amendment Bill [Mr Gonese’s Private Member’s Bill] had its First Reading on Tuesday afternoon and was referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee to check that it conforms with the Constitution. It is also under consideration by the House’s Portfolio Committee on Defence and Home Affairs. At the committee’s first meeting on the Bill, the Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs Melusi Matshiya, said that the proposed amendments would “weaken the police force and make their operations ineffective” and Police Commissioner Mubatapasango claimed they would “put State security at risk”. The committee have invited Hon Gonese to their next meeting at 10 am on Monday 8th February to defend his Bill [the meeting will be open to the public].
Uproar over ZANU-PF motion on sanctions: on Wednesday Hon Bhasikiti [ZANU-PF] tried to introduce a motion calling on “the Hon. Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and the Hon. Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara to engage the European Union, the United Nations, the British and the American governments to urgently and unconditionally remove the illegal sanctions imposed at their instigation on the government and people of Zimbabwe as confessed in the British Parliament by the Foreign Affairs Secretary Mr David Miliband". MDC-T members objected and ZANU-PF members responded noisily, leading to such pandemonium that Deputy Speaker Hon. Khumalo, presiding in the Speaker’s absence, adjourned the sitting. Afterwards MDC-T Chief Whip Hon Gonese said the motion was “against the letter and spirit of the global political agreement.” [Note: Hon Bhasikiti’s motion was not notified to the Deputy Speaker in advance, contrary to reports in the State media. Although Standing Orders do not specify that the Speaker [or Deputy] must be notified of motions, this has been a long-standing practice, introduced well over ten years ago as a courtesy to the Speaker and to avoid just this sort of situation.] When the House resumed on Thursday Hon Bhasikiti duly gave notice of his motion, and it is due to be introduced next week.
Next Week’s Parliamentary Agenda
House of Assembly: The Order Paper for Tuesday 9th February includes Hon Bhasikiti’s motion on sanctions, another new motion on disbursements of inputs to farmers and the establishment of irrigation schemes, and continuation of debate on motions already introduced.
Senate: The Order Paper for Tuesday includes the controversial Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill, for which proposed amendments have been tabled, as well as motions carried over and a few questions for Ministers.
14th AU Summit: 25th January to 2nd February,
three-day Assembly of Heads of State and Government that concluded the
Appeal against Decision not to register SADC Tribunal Order
to be an appeal to the Supreme Court against Justice Patel’s 26th January
refusal to register the SADC Tribunal’s order in the
Acts Gazetted: None
Bill in House of Assembly: POSA Amendment Bill awaiting the PLC report before proceeding to Second Reading. [Electronic version available]
Bill in Senate: the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill awaits its Committee Stage. Amendments have been tabled for consideration.
Bills Passed by Parliament Awaiting President’s Assent and/or Gazetting as Acts: Financial Adjustments Bill, Public Finance Management Act and Audit Office Bill.
Statutory instruments: SI 21/2010, in a Gazette Extraordinary dated 29th January, enacts the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment (General) Regulations, which will come into operation on 1st March.
SIs 15 to 20/2010 of 29th January enact new fees payable to the Medicines Control Authority under the Dangerous Drugs Regulations and Medicines and Allied Substances Control Act and regulations.
SIs 22, 23, 25 and 26/2010, dated 5th February, amend customs duties
and suspensions. SI 24/2010 introduces the COMESA simplified customs form for
small-scale traders importing consignments worth less than US$500 from
General Notices 8A and 8B/2010, dated 28th January, notify the revocation of specifications of individuals and private companies under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied.
BILL WATCH SPECIAL
[7th February 2010]
See End for Brief Summaries of Last Weeks Meetings of: the Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal Affairs, Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs hearing of oral evidence from the Chief Magistrate and Attorney General on the state of the justice delivery system; and, the Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy meeting with the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe, Minerals Unit Zimbabwe Republic Police and Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation.
House of Assembly Portfolio Committees and Senate Thematic Committees: 8th to 12th February
The meetings listed below are open to members of the public, but as observers only, not as participants. [See note at the end of this bulletin on public attendance/participation at different types of committee meetings.] Meetings of wide public interest are the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Home Affairs which will be hearing from Hon Gonese on his POSA Amendment Bill; and, the Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy which will be hearing from the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation.
Monday 8th February at 10 am
Portfolio Committee: Transport and Infrastructure Development
evidence from Air
Committee Room No. 1
Chairperson: Hon Chebundo Clerk: Ms Macheza
Portfolio Committee: Defence and Home Affairs
Oral evidence from Hon Gonese on his POSA Amendment Bill
Committee Room No. 2
Chairperson: Hon Madzore Clerk: Mr Daniel
Public Accounts Committee
Oral evidence from Ministry of Health and Child Welfare
Committee Room No. 4
Chairperson: Hon Mashakada Clerk: Mrs Nyawo
Portfolio Committee: Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism
Oral evidence from Minister on resolutions of Copenhagen Climate Change Summit
Committee Room No. 311
Chairperson: Hon P. Dube Clerk: Mr Munjenge
Portfolio Committee: Mines and Energy
Oral evidence from Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation
Committee Room No. 413
Chairperson: Hon Chindori-Chininga Clerk: Mr Manhivi
Monday 8th February at 2 pm
Thematic Committee: Gender and Development
Oral evidence from Ministry of Youth
Committee Room No. 3
Chairperson: Hon Chitsa Clerk: Mrs Khumalo
Portfolio Committee: Budget, Finance, Economic Planning, Investment Promotion
Oral evidence from the Secretary for Finance on the budget calendar
Committee Room No. 4
Chairperson: Hon Zhanda Clerk: Mr Ratsakatika
Portfolio Committee: Justice, Legal Affairs, Constitutional, Parliamentary Affairs
Oral evidence from councillors of the Law Society of Zimbabwe
Committee Room No. 413
Chairperson: Hon T. Matutu Clerk: Miss Zenda
Tuesday 9th February at 9 am
Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Water, Lands and Resettlement
Oral evidence from Mr. Mvududu and ARDA board
Committee Room No. 4
Chairperson: Hon Jiri Clerk: Miss Mudavanhu
Tuesday 9th February at 10 am
Thematic Committee: MDGs
Oral evidence from Ministry of Labour and Public Service
Committee Room No. 1
Chairperson: Hon Chief Mtshane Clerk: Mrs Nyawo
Portfolio Committee: Health and Child Welfare
Oral evidence from Ministry officials on 2010 budget priorities and targets
Committee Room No. 1
Chairperson: Hon Parirenyatwa Clerk: Mr Ndlovu
Portfolio Committee: Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration, International Trade
Oral evidence from CEO of Zimbabwe Investment Authority
Committee Room No. 3
Chairperson: Hon Mukanduri Clerk: Ms Macheza
Thursday 11th February at 10 am
Thematic Committee: Human Rights
Meeting with Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs
Committee Room No. 2
Chairperson: Hon Marava Clerk: Ms Macheza
Portfolio Committee: Media, Information and Communication Technology
Oral evidence from Information Society Initiatives Trust
Committee Room No. 413
Chairperson: Hon Chimanikire Clerk: Mrs Nyawo
Thursday 11th February at 11 am
Thematic Committee: Indigenisation and Empowerment
Oral evidence from officials of Gulf Complex and Cross Border Traders Association
Government Caucus Room
Chairperson: Hon Mutsvangwa Clerk: Mr Ratsakatika
Public Attendance at and Participation in Committee Meetings
portfolio and thematic committee meetings are open to the public to attend as
the public wishing to attend a meeting should telephone Parliament first [on
Important Parliamentary Portfolio Committee Meetings this Week
[Official Committee reports will be made available once tabled in Parliament]
The Committee on Justice, Legal Affairs, Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs, chaired by Hon. Tongai Matutu, met on 1st February to hear oral evidence from the Chief Magistrate and Attorney-General on the state of the justice delivery system. Attorney-General Johannes Tomana conceded that malice, corruption, misjudgment and human error on the part of his law officers could not be ruled out in their use of section 121 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act. Use of this section has the effect of keeping the accused in custody for an additional seven days to give the State time to appeal the granting of bail. [Note: this section has been frequently used against human rights defenders and legitimate political activists and in most cases the State did not bother to file an appeal within the 7 days, and those appeals filed were dismissed as being groundless, so the only purpose served was that of harassment.]
The Committee on
Mines and Energy heard evidence from the Minerals Marketing Corporation of
Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied.
`But how then to ensure the continuous free flow of donor aid to the innocent Zimbabweans whilst at the same time ensuring that the wrong long arms and hands do not encroach in the baskets coming from these our friends?` BritaVoice
The Zimbabwe Europe Network in association with the European Parliament`s delegation to the Pan African Parliament and the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, on Tuesday 2 February 2010, hosted a high level round table to evaluate the performance of Zimbabwe`s Government of National Unity (GNU), one year after its formation.
The conference was held in Brussels and speakers included the Minister of Healing, Honorable Sekai Holland (MDC-T), Gabriel Shumba, the Director of Zimbabwe Exiles Forum, and Okay Machisa, Director ZimRights.
Amongst the several Zimbabwean participants were Grace Kwinjeh and Basildon Peta.
As the conference was open to any individuals or organizations interested, it accorded a platform for us Zimbabweans to freely deliberate on political issues bedeviling Zimbabwe without the fear of the Zanu pf perpetrators of violence walking in the conference room to harass the participants or to demand refund for transport expenses.
The Honorable Minister, Sekai Holland expressed confidence in the Healing Organ, whose mandate is to foster reconciliation amongst the Zimbabweans. She reiterated that the Healing Organ has built a tool which enables Zimbabweans to have a starting point in achieving reconciliation. She was very emphatic that Zimbabwe has made significant progress in addressing conflict and violence since the birth of the GNU. She admitted that whilst there maybe hurdles in the transition to peace in Zimbabwe, there has been a remarkable decrease in incidences of violence, since the Healing Organ embarked on its work. The Honorable Minister also highlighted that out of the total number of women who took part in an MDC survey to find out if people were happy with the GNU or not, most had preference for MDC-T to stay put in the GNU as opposed to its pulling out.
BritaVoice however noted that the Honorable Minister was at pains to justify to the audience the effectiveness of the Healing Organ, in the light of the political problems still bedeviling Zimbabwe. It was not much of an easy day for her.
The well outspoken Zimbabwe Exiles and the Civic Society, through the voices of Shumba and Machisa respectively gave a deep insight into some of the political problems still haunting Zimbabwe to this date.
The list as true Zimbabweans would admit is endless; continued violent farm invasions; the continued unwarranted arrests of some Zimbabweans such as the Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA), some of whom ironically had actually been arrested just a day before this conference; the squabbles surrounding the crafting of the constitutional process; the escalation of violence relating to Zanu pf`s campaigning for the Kariba draft constitution, the controversies surrounding the appointment of the various Commissions (Media, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission etc). The Zanu pf women`s league is not an exception in also unleashing violence. Also of concern is Zanu pf`s lackadaisical attitude in having a new people driven constitution in place. The judiciary is still partial and the controversial acts such as POSA and AIPPA crafted by the cunning and controversial Jonathan Moyo, still remain put.
The rule of law in Zimbabwe is still miles away, with abductions continuing. Victimization of Independent Journalists has not stopped.
BritaVoice also notes that a couple of days ago, an independent Journalist, Stanley Kwenda was according to our Zimbabwean
online newspapers, forced to escape Zimbabwe for South Africa, following death threats by Zanu pf people. The continued stay in exile of Independent Journalists of high repute, the likes of Basildon Peta, Geoff Nyarota and many others to name a few, is more evidence that peace and normalcy has not yet been restored in Zimbabwe. Well known Zimbabwean protest artists, the likes of Viomak remain stuck in exile, nor can her music receive airplay in the government controlled radio stations. It also remains a dream to imagine her staging a live show in Zimbabwe.
The ground is therefore not yet fertile enough for Zimbabweans to dream of free and fair elections. To therefore call for elections when all these controversial issues prevail is to play around with the Zimbabwean`s vote.
In the light of all these problems bedeviling Zimbabwe, the restrictive measures which to put it right, are measures solely targeted against only some Zanu pf leaders may have to stay put. Unless and until, normalcy returns in Zimbabwe. Unless and until the will of the people of Zimbabwe is respected. The wellbeing of the ordinary Zimbabweans indeed remains at the heart of the donor community. However, how then to ensure the continuous free flow of donor aid to the innocent Zimbabweans whilst at the same time ensuring that the wrong long arms and hands do not encroach in the baskets coming from these our friends?
It was interesting for BritaVoice to note that at the conference, in the spirit of the `unity`, the Acting Ambassador to Belgium, a Mr Chimbindi and his staff, could be seen `respectfully` chatting to the Honorable Minister, from MDC-T and providing services that they normally in the past provided only to the Ministers from Zanu pf. This was some kind of pointer to BritaVoice that it appears most of the physical violence that is still ongoing is targeted on grass root level people. Whilst the top leaders from the 3 political divides in the GNU may from time to time be speaking hard on each other, they are drinking coffee together without scratching each other's cheeks.
Article by Tapuwa Bridget of BritaVoice, Belgium. She is reachable at email@example.com