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Mugabe and Tsvangirai disagree on Chihuri’s re-appointment

By Tichaona Sibanda
7 February 2012

The two main principals to the Global Political Agreement (GPA) have failed
to agree on the appointment of a new police commissioner-general to take
over from Augustine Chihuri, whose contract expired last week.

Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai met in the capital on
Monday and their discussions on the issue reportedly came to a stalemate. SW
Radio Africa is reliably informed the talks broke down when Mugabe proposed
that Chihuri’s term in office be extended.

Without Tsvangirai’s full backing for Chihuri’s reappointment, the
principals resolved to bring in Deputy Prime Minister, Arthur Mutambara, to
seek his opinion on the matter. The three principals are set to meet on
Wednesday and according to sources, might vote on the issue if they remain
at loggerheads.

It is believed Tsvangirai and the MDC formation led by Welshman Ncube want a
neutral personality within the police force to take over from Chihuri. Both
MDC formations accuse Chihuri of using the force to prop-up Mugabe and his
ZANU PF party.

According to the GPA, such senior appointments are to be done by Mugabe with
the full consultation of coalition government partners.

MDC-T’s deputy minister of Justice, Obert Gutu, on Tuesday told SW Radio
Africa that for Mugabe to go ahead and make a key appointment without
securing the consent or agreement of Tsvangirai would be an attack on the
constitution of Zimbabwe.

“In other words, it would be unconstitutional, irregular and unlawful. This
is a matter that the constitution of Zimbabwe states. We all know that the
GPA has been captured as part and parcel of the constitution of Zimbabwe,”
Gutu said.

He added: “To be specific, changes brought in with constitution amendment
Act number 19, make it clear that on key appointments, the President is
obliged to consult his partners in government.”

The deputy minister said pronouncements to the contrary by Mugabe’s henchmen
were a complete misdirection of both facts and law.
“What I’m talking about here is an issue of what the constitution of
Zimbabwe says and not what the President or Prime Minister wishes to be
done,” the minister explained.

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Top issues put on hold as PM, Mugabe meet

By Everson Mushava, Staff Writer
Tuesday, 07 February 2012 11:23

HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe met
yesterday but deliberations on problems bedevilling the inclusive government
were put on hold until tomorrow when they meet again.

Tsvangirai’s spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka said the meeting between the
two rival leaders lasted an hour and added that deliberations on prime
issues could not be concluded.

“They (Mugabe and Tsvangirai) will meet tomorrow to finish their
deliberations on the various issues that are affecting the country. This
time Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara will attend the meeting,”
Tamborinyoka said.

Yesterday’s meeting was expected to tackle several issues, chief among them
elections and the expiry of police commissioner general Augustine Chihuri’s
term of office last week.

Tsvangirai was expected to bring to the table several matters including
violence, outstanding issues on the Global Political Agreement (GPA),
appointments to senior positions in government and elections.

Mugabe and Tsvangirai had last met mid-December last year.

Mugabe was away on his official annual leave and only started work last
Wednesday while Tsvangirai was also on leave.

Last Friday, the meeting of principals for a National Security council (NSC)
meeting also failed to take place because Tsvangirai had a nagging ankle.
The meeting will now be held in March.

“The two discussed several issues and since they are still to meet to
finalise their discussions, I cannot tell you the outcome of today
(yesterday)’s meeting yet,” Tamborinyoka told the Daily News yesterday.

New on the agenda was leakages of confidential correspondence between
principals, according to Tamborinyoka.

On Sunday, a letter by Tsvangirai to Mugabe about yesterday’s meeting was
leaked to the state media purporting that the premier was for the idea of
early elections.

According to Tamborinyoka, yesterday’s meeting came when there had been
disturbing developments in the country, with Zanu PF clamouring for early
elections without necessary reforms.

Zanu PF, at the just ended 12th people’s congress in Bulawayo in December
last year said elections will be conducted this year with or without

The MDC on the other hand had said no one in the GPA could unilaterally call
for elections.

The MDC said elections were process driven and will be held only after the
environment is conducive for free and fair polls.

Tamborinyoka yesterday said the premier remained hopeful that tomorrow’s
meeting will yield positive results.

“We are hopeful that all issues, including the issue of elections will be
discussed and agreed on.”

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Storm over leaked Tsvangirai memo

VENERANDA LANGA/ ELIAS MAMBO 11 hours 10 minutes ago

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Office yesterday accused the State media
of breaching the Official Secrets Act after it published a letter the MDC-T
leader wrote to President Robert Mugabe.

Tsvangirai wrote to Mugabe calling on the principals in the inclusive
government to address outstanding issues ahead of their meeting yesterday.

But the letter was published by the State-controlled Sunday Mail with the
paper alleging that it was authored by Western “agents”.

Jameson Timba, the Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, said
although the correspondence was authentic, its publication was in breach of
the Official Secrets Act and Cabinet rules.

“Indeed the letter in question was delivered to the President on Friday and
such correspondence is governed by the Official Secrets Act and the rules of
Cabinet, which means the only people who can publish it are the President
and the Prime Minister,” he said.

“The publication of that memorandum was against the law and in conflict with
known Cabinet

“If they were to publish that information, it would have been proper if they
had waited for the President or the Prime Minister to make it public

But Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba defended The Sunday Mail and
accused officials from the PM’s Office of leaking the memorandum. He claimed
the letter had not been delivered to Mugabe.

“Who breached the Official Secrets Act — is it the newspaper which published
the document or the people who leaked it? In the first place, nothing came
to the President and he did not receive anything from the PM.

“One cannot breach confidentiality on something that does not exist and, as
things stand, there was no dispatch from the PM to the President,” Charamba

“The PM should be wary of his staff who are betraying his trust and

Meanwhile, Mugabe and Tsvangirai met for an hour yesterday where they
discussed a number of outstanding issues, including the contentious
re-appointment of Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri.

Sources said the two met for close to an hour and resolved to meet again
tomorrow this time with Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara.

Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka and Charamba refused to give
details about what the two principals discussed.

In his letter, Tsvangirai called for the creation of a conducive environment
for free and fair elections because, according to him, the inclusive
government had become dysfunctional. - NewsDay

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Police assault WOZA members at peaceful march in Bulawayo

By Tererai Karimakwenda
07 February 2012

Riot police in Bulawayo on Tuesday disrupted a protest march by the Women
and Men of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) pressure group, assaulting members with
baton sticks and making several arrests.

WOZA had planned a peaceful protest march through Bulawayo streets, to start
commemorations marking their 10th anniversary.

“With my own eyes I saw police come with baton sticks and start bashing the
women as they always do,” SW Radio Africa correspondent Lionel Saungweme
reported after the Tuesday incident. He witnessed at least five arrests,
including WOZA member Silibaziso Nzima.

According to Saungweme, police trucks descended on the group as they reached
the offices of the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC),
where they were to deliver a copy of their demands, which they want
forwarded to Zimbabwe’s principal leaders.

WOZA, founded by coordinator Jenni Williams and the late activist Sheba
Dube, have complained to JOMIC about the ill treatment and arrests of their
members by the police. The group is demanding that the principals address
the issue.

According to a statement by WOZA, four protest groups were meant to begin
marching from separate locations then converge at the JOMIC offices.
Tuesday’s arrests confirm the group’s insistence that they are denied their
right to freedom of assembly and freedom of speech.

Williams and fellow WOZA coordinator Magodonga Mahlangu are currently facing
kidnap charges, even though the alleged victims testified that they were
never abducted by WOZA members, contradicting statements produced by the
police in court.

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Woza's Jenni Williams Arrested

Women and Men of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) leader Jennifer Williams was on Today
arrested at the Joint Operations, Monitoring and Implementation Committee
(JOMIC) offices in Bulawayo.
by Zwanai Sithole Harare

She was arrested after members of the organisation had marched through the
city’s streets to mark the beginning of its 10th Anniversary Commemorations.
Riot police descended on Williams and the demonstrators at the Jomic offices
along Leopold Takawira Street where the members were following up on
presentations made to Jomic last year regarding treatment of its members by
the police.

“We expected Jomic to deliver to the principals the copy of the demands. The
environment under which we work is not friendly to human rights defenders
.Our members continue to be arrested ,tortured and persecuted by police
offices,” reads one of the placards which being carried by one of the
demonstrators. The demonstrators were also carrying red roses.

“Woza members use Valentines Day to campaign for love to overcome hate. The
red rose shows our message of love,” reads another poster . Williams and
other three Woza members were wisked away in a police truck and taken to
Central police.

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Teachers report interrogation by CIOs over elections

By Tererai Karimakwenda
07 February 2012

Teachers who served as polling agents and presiding officers during
elections were routinely questioned by security agents after the polls,
while a vetting process before the elections qualified only those considered
“politically correct” by ZANU PF. This is according to findings in a survey
by the main teachers union.

The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) told journalists in Harare
on Tuesday that they interviewed 1,152 teachers about their experiences with
elections in the years 2002 and 2008.

Programmes officer Oswald Madziva told SW Radio Africa that the survey was
conducted to add some “statistical value” to the facts that are already well
known about teachers’ experiences during elections.

Madziva said the interrogations were conducted by a four-member panel headed
by “district inspectors”. The victims said they could not identify the other
three panel members but suspected them to be “security details”, who asked
why ZANU PF had lost at their polling stations.

“79% of the respondents were forced to attend political rallies, some held
during work time and having far reaching effects on education. Another 24%
reported having been displaced from their work stations and communities,”
Madziva explained.

The PTUZ also collected statistics on the perpetrators of violence against
teachers. Madziva said 25% of the teachers surveyed had experienced violence
directly, with 27% of the perpetrators known as war vets, 24% youth militia
and 20% intelligence agents.

“We found that fellow teachers, including headmasters and district education
officers, constituted 4% of the perpetrators of violence against teachers.
Secondly school development committee members also committed acts of
violence against teachers, particularly in rural areas,” Madziva stressed.

He added that these two new revelations made the survey even more valuable
and the PTUZ intends to distribute the report to SADC (as the guarantors of
the Global Political Agreement), the United Nations Security Council,
Education International and the International Labour Organization. Madziva
said they would also distribute the report to local structures, including
Zimbabwe’s legislators and the leaders of all political parties.

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Mazoe Families Evicted To Pave Way For The Mugabes

Mazowe, February 07, 2012 - Zimbabwean police on Monday evicted some new
farmers in Mazowe in Mashonaland Central province to pave way for the
expansion of some farming activities for the country’s first family, the

Informed sources told Radio VOP that several families were evicted by armed
police from their farming plots which they were allocated under the chaotic
land reform programme. The new farmers and their families were evicted from
Arnold farm and Mbuya Nehanda farm in Manzou area in Mazowe, about 20
kilometres outside Harare.

Police armed with truncheons and dogs evicted the new farmers and dumped
them in Concession in the same province to allow President Robert Mugabe and
his wife Grace and their family to set up a game
park and a cattle breeding project at the two farms.

However, the new farmers are reportedly resisting the evictions and some of
them indicated that they were not willing to relocate to Concession because
of the poor soils at the farm where they are being moved to.

The families have also protested at the timing of the evictions which come
at a time when their crops are reaching ripening stage.

This is not the first time that the Mugabe’s have been accused of evicting
new farmers from their plots.

In 2009, some families were ordered to vacate a farm in the rich Mazowe
farming area to make way for the expansion of the first family’s orphanage.

The Mugabe’s have been linked to several farms in the country that were
grabbed from white commercial farmers during the chaotic land reform
programme. In 2008, High Court Judge Justice Ben Hlatshwayo lost a farm to
the Mugabe’s whose firm Gushungo Holdings seized a farm which had been
occupied by the former university lecturer.

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Zuma steps up Zim pressure

By Gift Phiri, Senior Writer
Tuesday, 07 February 2012 15:07

HARARE - SADC’s point man in the Zimbabwe dialogue President Jacob Zuma of
South Africa will step up pressure on the troubled inclusive government to
finalise the election roadmap.

Zuma’s foreign chief Lindiwe Zulu admitted that momentum in the Zimbabwe
facilitation had been lost.

She said this was due to preparations for SA’s ruling African National
Congress’ (ANC) centenary celebrations and the African Union (AU) Summit
held in Addis Ababa last week but indicated that focus was back on Zimbabwe.

Zulu’s briefing paper presented to the SALO conference in Johannesburg last
week acknowledged that there was little progress at the Sadc-brokered
negotiations, as tension was rising and hopelessness weighing in as Zimbabwe’s
fragile coalition totters on the brink of collapse.

But Zulu expressed hope that 2012 will be a better year for Zimbabwe than
2011 and said Zimbabwe’s Global Political Agreement (GPA) negotiators from
the three political parties had finalised their report on implementation and
outstanding issues and have presented the report to the facilitation team
and Zuma.

“The next step now is for the facilitator to have a working meeting with
Zimbabwe’s political principals to discuss and resolve the outstanding
issues,” Zulu said, without stating when exactly Zuma was expected in

Her mobile was unavailable for further comment yesterday.

Zuma, a scheming and smooth political operator, is coming to Zimbabwe in a
last-ditch bid to try to save his northern neighbour from deepening chaos.

Zulu noted at the SALO conference that all the political parties had agreed
to and signed the election roadmap — but the challenge remains that of
implementation of agreed positions.

There were three issues where there were still sharp differences at the
election roadmap talks, the partisanship of the service chiefs, ridding the
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) secretariat of Zanu PF cronies and
intelligence operatives and a stop to violence.

Zulu re-asserted Sadc’s commitment to the need to remove violence in
Zimbabwe and to promote peace.

She said the role of the facilitation team in Zimbabwe was “to ensure that
the people of Zimbabwe — who deserve better — go for genuinely free
elections to elect the leaders they want without any fear of violence.”

“Ultimately, Zimbabweans have to go to elections, but the environment for
those elections must be conducive,” Zulu said.

She reiterated that the country could not be allowed to slip back to the
2008-style election characterised by abductions and killings of MDC
supporters that followed Mugabe’s devastating electoral defeat.

Zulu praised the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (Jomic) for
ensuring that all the three political principals, President Robert Mugabe,
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube issue joint statements
denouncing violence — but added that “speaking against violence is one
thing, and putting it into practice another.”

An uneasy truce has been holding in Zimbabwe after convening of an
inter-party violence indaba national executives of Zimbabwe’s three ruling
coalition partners on November 11 last year, with Mugabe’s Zanu PF and the
two MDC parties stating their intentions to co-exist peacefully.

Zulu said Pretoria will now turn up the diplomatic pressure on Harare to
abide by the GPA and an election roadmap plan.

Zulu said the facilitation team was strongly supporting the establishment of
democratic electoral institutions not only for the present, but for the
future — “to benefit future generations.”

She spoke amid escalating internal wrangling over the election timetable
whose uncertainty is now being fuelled by Mugabe’s advanced age and
suspicions of waning health.

Officials in Zanu PF jockeying to succeed him are on a war of attrition that
is spilling out into the open.

Hardliners in Zanu PF, including the service chiefs, have reportedly vowed
to turn down demands by the two MDCs for more reforms ahead of a fresh poll.

Tendai Biti, secretary-general of the MDC has said his party will boycott
any election held this year without reforms, and the smaller MDC is also
holding out for more reforms.

Zulu said the date for Zimbabwe’s next elections is not for the facilitation
team to decide, but is “up to the people of Zimbabwe and the political
parties in Zimbabwe.”

“All the facilitation team has to do is to make sure conditions for
non-violent, free and fair elections are right and the environment is
conducive,” she said.

As the ruling coalition parties wrangle, there is widespread apprehension
that the window for enacting reforms is fast closing, as the next general
election draws near.

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Health Ministry Warns of Potential for Further Outbreaks of Typhoid

06 February 2012

Deputy Health Minister Douglas Mombeshora said the council should have taken
more useful steps such as cleaning up the streets of the densely populated
suburbs affected, and enforcing sanitary by-laws

Tatenda Gumbo & Sylvia Manika | Washington/Harare

The Zimbabwean government said Monday that the current rash of typhoid
outbreaks is under control – but warned that the disease could surge again
in a few weeks.

Deputy Health Minister Douglas Mombeshora, speaking to reporters in the
Mashonaland West provincial capital of Chinhoyi, said those infected can go
for up to three weeks without showing symptoms – spreading the disease to
others during that period.

Mombeshora criticized the measures taken by the Harare City Council to curb
typhoid, such as the mass closure of food stands across the city.

The deputy minister said said the council should have taken more useful
steps such as cleaning up the streets of the densely populated suburbs
affected, and enforcing sanitary by-laws. He added that the council did not
promptly notify the government.

As of late last week, more than 1,500 people had been treated for typhoid.
An updated figure could not be obtained as calls to the Ministry of Health
were not picked up.

Kuwadzana Councillor Gilford Mandere said the local government is taking
measures to curb the spread of the disease and create conditions for healthy
living and commerce.

In other health news, the global financial and economic crisis has raised
concerns of donor fatigue amid turmoil in the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS,
Tuberculosis and Malaria, whose director was recently replaced amid dire
funding projections.

In Zimbabwe, the National Aids Council says it collected about US$25 million
last year, a 20 percent gain over 2010. But activists say they still wonder
if the National Aids Council is being creative enough when reaching out to
potential donors.

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CCZ: cost of living up 5 percent

07/02/2012 00:00:00
    by Business Reporter

THE cost of living for a low income family of six increased 5.7 percent last
month to about US$577 according to the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ).

In a statement Monday, the consumer lobby group said low income families now
needed US$576.69 to survive, up from US$545.35 in December.
Soaring transport costs, rentals, water, electricity, health and education
expenses were largely behind the increase.

“The increase is (largely) attributed to the raise in rentals which is
USD180.00 from USD150.00 per month (USD60.00 per room) for the month of
January,” the CCZ said.

“It is (however) anticipated that in the compilation of the February (price)
basket, rentals will revert back to the December rate as per the directive
of the Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities Giles Mutsekwa,”
the consumer body said.

The CCZ said the weakening of the United States dollar against the South
African Rand had also resulted in an upward pressure on prices.

The rand is up more than six percent on the greenback so far this year,
partly reversing some of last year's sharp losses when investors bailed out
of risky assets spooked by concerns over the US economy and the impact of a
debt crisis bedeviling some European countries.

Zimbabwe ditched the local dollar in preference for more stable foreign
currencies in 2009 with the South African unit and the greenback being the
most widely used.

Most basic commodities are also largely imported from South Africa as local
companies struggle to recover from a decade-long recession.

However the South African unit eased nearly 2 percent against the dollar on
Monday and the CCZ said it was concerned that local pricing did not reflect
that change.

“Retailers are quick to increase prices when the Rand strengthens against
the dollar and yet they ignore when it is the other way round,” the
organisation said.

The CCZ said locally produced basic commodities were beginning to make it
back on the shelves but not in large enough quantities to inspire consumer

“CCZ will continue to monitor the situation closely and continue to advocate
for fairer and affordable rate and price,” the organisation said.

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Former Zim football chef Rushwaya charged over match fixing

By Tererai Karimakwenda
07 February 2012

Henrietta Rushwaya, former chief executive officer of the Zimbabwe Football
Association (ZIFA), was on Monday slapped with bribery and corruption
charges related to a match fixing scam that has engulfed many players on the
national team.

Rushwaya, who insists she is innocent, was arrested last week and released
on US$500 bail Monday by Harare Magistrate Anita Tshuma, who ordered her to
return to court on February 20 to stand trial. She was also instructed not
to interfere with ongoing investigations and report to the police every

The former ZIFA chef joined a long list of football players, journalists and
officials who were implicated in the so-called ‘Asiagate’ scandal involving
matches played between 2007 and 2009. A group of 80 players were suspended
by ZIFA last week following an internal probe.

It is alleged that huge bribes were paid to those involved to cover up the
fact that Zimbabwe’s national team was deliberately losing matches hosted in
Asia, as part of a betting scam run by agents of Raj Perumal. The
Singaporean is in jail in Finland over similar betting charges.

The suspensions and charges stem from a report produced by a four member
committee led by ZIFA Vice President, Ndumiso Gumede. The report concluded
that Zimbabwe lost matches to Syria and Thailand in an alleged betting scam
four years ago.

National coach Norman Mapeza and assistant Joey Antipas were among those
suspended last week. The list also includes Ovidy Karuru, who plays for U.S.
Boulogne in France and South African based players including Thomas Sweswe
and Willard Katsande of Johannesburg’s Kaizer Chiefs.

The ZIFA report recommended that players should be dealt with leniently
because not all of them knew the games were fixed. But FIFA chief Sepp
Blatter, during a visit to Harare last year, warned that players and
officials found guilty would face life bans.

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10 Zimbabweans die in horror crash inside South Africa

By Tichaona Sibanda
7 February 2012

Ten people believed to be Zimbabweans died on Tuesday morning after a
horrific crash involving a Kombi and a truck in Limpopo, South Africa. 16
others were left injured, two of them seriously.

Police said the Kombi was travelling from Pretoria to Zimbabwe while the
truck, which crossed the border from Zimbabwe, was headed towards Polokwane.
The crash happened along the busy N1 highway near Bandelierkop outside
Makhado, according to police spokesperson, Maano Sadiki.

The South African national broadcaster, the SABC reported that traffic was
brought to a halt for four hours following the accident. The SABC quoted
police as saying the truck veered into the oncoming traffic and collided
head-on with the Kombi. Both drivers of the two vehicles died on the spot.
Eight of those who died were men, while one woman and one young boy also

By late afternoon, health authorities were considering airlifting two of the
critically injured survivors to Polokwane hospital. One of them is a
pregnant woman.

“We are worried about two who are critically injured especially the one who
is pregnant and doctors are doing what they can to stabilize her…as for now
we are observing them to make sure they get well,’ the SABC quoted Sadiki

The injured were taken to Elim and the Louis Trichardt Memorial hospitals.
Police say they are in a process of informing families of the deceased and
other next of kin.

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Zim’s failure to ratify AU Convention disappointing

By Bridget Mananavire, Staff Writer
Tuesday, 07 February 2012 11:12

HARARE - Zimbabwe's failure to ratify the African Union (AU) Convention on
Democracy, Elections and Governance betrays its intentions on good
governance especially in the face of elections, legal experts and political
analysts have said.

The convention, to come into force for states which are part to it on
February 15 following its recent ratification by Cameroon, gives the AU
power to take action in case of an unconstitutional change of government in
one of its member states.

Ratifying the Charter by Zimbabwe would have meant in principle that the
citizens, through the government, can easily seek recourse on disputed
elections through avenues provided by the AU and its subsidiaries, experts

Acting director of programmes, democracy, and governance of the Institute
for a Democratic Alternative for Zimbabwe (Idazim), Joy Mabenge said
Zimbabwe’s failure to ratify, let alone sign the convention shows the irony
associated with Zimbabwe’s current complex transitional process.

“On one hand, there is commitment by the three main political parties
through the Global Political Agreement (GPA) for democratic reforms towards
a free, fair and undisputed election. Yet the country cannot even append a
signature to binding treaties that ensure that there is adherence to the
promotion of democracy, free and fair elections and good governance,” he

Mabenge added: “The GPA, itself a product of a disputed, violence ridden
election, is meant to deliver a free and fair election, with Southern Africa
Development Committee (Sadc) and the AU as guarantors of not only the
implementation of articles and clauses of the GPA but its logical
conclusion — a free and fair election.”

The Convention was adopted by the AU heads of state and government on
January 30, 2007 and has now been signed by 38 out of 54 African states, but
ratified by only 15.

Zimbabwe has neither signed and ratified, nor acceded to the Convention.

Lawyer and former Deputy Minister of Justice, Jessie Majome said it is
worrying that Zimbabwe has not ratified the instrument as everything about
it is in good faith.

“It is appalling and a disgrace that Zimbabwe has not ratified such a
critical instrument. It is an important charter whose implementation would
promote peace for political transition and good governance,” Majome said.

“Moreover, the standards have been set from an African perception, there is
no excuse why Zimbabwe as an Afrocentric country would shun from it,” she
said, adding that it raises posture for Africa which has been regarded as a
politically unstable continent.

Since last year, there have been serious political clashes in most African
countries and beyond, leading to civilian riots and violent clashes that
have led to the toppling of some long time leaders.

The unrests started in Tunisia and spread to other Arab nations like Egypt
and Libya.

Ivory Coast’s Laurent Gbagbo is now facing war crimes charges, murder and
rape at the International Criminal Court. To add to the list is also Darfur
and Madagascar.

Analysts said interestingly the Charter is the only international convention
that dares to take up the sensitive issue of democracy while other treaties
prefer to stick to human rights principles or anti-corruption measures.

Furthermore they said it is a lost opportunity for peace loving Zimbabweans
who want their country to remain relevant and active in regional and
international politics through commitment to such conventions.

However, former ambassador to China, Chris Mutsvangwa said ratifying it
would be opening up to the influence of foreign powers’ ideals of democracy.

“No foreign governance will come and influence African governments, and
there is nothing more I can comment on that,” he said.

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Zimbabwe expects 15% rise in tobacco output

(AFP) – 4 hours ago

HARARE — Zimbabwe's tobacco output is expected to increase by nearly 15
percent this year to reach 150,000 tonnes, an official said on Tuesday,
predicting good returns for farmers.

"The target for this year is 150 million kilogrammes," Monica Chinamasa,
chairwoman of the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board told lawmakers ahead
of the start of the tobacco selling season next week.

The board's chief executive Andrew Matibiri said farmers would benefit from
the slump in output in Brazil and the United States due to floods, with the
market about 5-10 percent short of tobacco.

"This year is going to be favourable for growers," Matibiri said.

Last year's output was at 131 million kilogrammes.

Tobacco is Zimbabwe's major foreign currency earner, accounting for more
that 50 percent of agricultural exports.

Output is slowly improving, following a decline prompted by President Robert
Mugabe's land reforms which he said were meant to address colonial
imbalances between white landowners and the black majority.

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Govt needs $62 million for loans, grants

By Everson Mushava, Staff Writer
Tuesday, 07 February 2012 11:17

HARARE - Government needs an extra $62 million this year to finance loans
and grants to students in local universities and colleges satisfactorily, a
cabinet minister has said.

Higher and Tertiary Education Minister Stan Mudenge said at the moment,
government together with the corporate world raised only $55 million against
a national requirement of $117 million, creating a shortfall of $62 million.

Mudenge was appearing before a parliamentary committee on higher education,
science and technology on the progress made with regards to the
reintroduction of the grant loan system.

“In the 2012 budget, government pledged $25 million to the grant scheme and
the $30 million raised by Zimbank and Barclays Bank will be used for the
loan scheme.

“Zimbabwe has over 86 000 students in universities and colleges, excluding
students from agricultural colleges. Of that number, the available resources
can only finance about 39 000 students. What will I do with the remaining 42
000? Should I turn them away?” asked Mudenge.

He said it was a right of every Zimbabwean student to get grants and loans
to finance their education but since the money was not available, his
ministry had ordered colleges and universities not to send students away
with the hope that government will pay their dues to the institutions.

“We owe universities over $41 million and the figure will continue growing
as the money released by treasury is not enough. To date, treasury has only
released $9 million. Government has no money but we have to finance about
100 000 students on cadetship,” Mudenge said.

Mudenge said it remained government’s responsibility to ensure that all
students are financed.

“These (students) are sons and daughters of our civil servants. Where the
hell do you think they will get the money to pay for their tuition fees at
these universities and colleges? The policy of government is that we will
pay whatever we owe the institutions and the student should not be send
away,” Mudenge said.

People, Mudenge said, should understand that the country has no money and
there is nowhere the minister of Finance will get the money but it will
remain government’s commitment that all students get tertiary education.

In apparent reference to the Presidential Scholarship Fund (PSF), when asked
why the government was spending millions of money on students studying
abroad while failing to fund students in local universities, Mudenge said
the PSF was not administered by his ministry and would not answer questions
on it.

Mudenge said Zimbabwe was progressing well in sustaining the cadetship
scheme after it almost collapsed during the country’s economic meltdown in
2006 and by last year about 64 percent of the students were on the

“Other countries, even first world countries like Britain are failing to
fund student education and female students have resorted to prostitution to
supplement their budgets. I am proud to say that we are at least doing
something,” said Mudenge.

According to Mudenge, the student grants and loan scheme started in 1957
when the University Of Zimbabwe was opened. By then, only 12 percent were

The programme was expanded in 1972 through a British Grant Effort with the
World University Services to increase the number of African students on the

At independence in 1980 about 1000 African students were on the scheme which
was later adopted by President Robert Mugabe’s government until today.

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End Zesa monopoly — Zerc

By Business Writer
Tuesday, 07 February 2012 11:32

HARARE - Zimbabwe should licence independent power producers to end Zesa
Holding’s dominance, Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zerc) chairman
Canada Malunga says.

Malunga told a Parliamentary portfolio committee on mines and energy that
competition would allow an improvement in utility services and meet the
country’s growing electricity demands.

Zerc licensed five various independent power producers, but their combined
production remains too low to influence the power sector.

“At the moment we have one large producer and transmitter (so) in as much as
you may want to crack a huge whip it’s difficult,” Malunga said.

Operations at Zesa have continued to take a nose-dive with load shedding
increasing whilst the company’s debtor’s book continues to balloon.

Zesa’s debtors’ book is currently in excess of $500 million, an equivalent
of seven months of its total revenue according to Malunga.

Government institutions account for about $19 million of the debtors.

“What is worrying is that they are not able to collect that money,” he said.

“There are also leakages and one of the issues which we are fully backing is
the issue of installing prepaid meters.”

He  said Zerc was willing to partner with the Zimbabwe Investment Authority
in trying to secure investments in power generation.

However, international investors have also adopted a wait-and-see attitude
on Zimbabwe given President Robert Mugabe’s persistent call for elections
and the ongoing indigenisation exercise which compels all foreign owned
firms to give at least 51 percent shareholding to Zimbabwean locals.

“Our intent is not to frustrate investors, we actually want to attract them”
said Malunga, adding that there are always concerns of expropriation arising
from the Indigenisation Act.

“Finance Minister (Tendai) Biti said in his budget there is need for policy
stability and political stability. In the event that we put a new tariff, to
what extent is it protected from being overturned.”

Malunga said there was need for assistance from the Finance ministry with
respect to guaranteeing tax and other financial incentives.

The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industry has approached the courts seeking a
review of Zesa’s 37 percent tariff hike in September last saying it was

The industry body also argued Zesa has effected the new charges without
consulting industry.

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Mutare residents demand answers over Mayor’s suspension

By Tichaona Sibanda
7 February 2012

Residents in Mutare have petitioned the MDC-T to explain the suspension of
Mayor Brian James by the Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo.

James was elected councilor for ward 12 of the eastern border city on an
MDC-T ticket and was subsequently chosen as Mayor by the councilors
following the 2008 harmonized elections.

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

MDC-T spokesman for Manicaland, Pishai Muchauraya told SW Radio Africa on
Tuesday that James was suspended for fighting corruption and that over 20
000 people in Mutare have since signed a petition calling for his

“We are a people’s party and we have a majority in council and therefore
obliged to explain the circumstances that led to suspension of the Mayor,”
Muchauraya said.

He added: “We have scheduled a feedback meeting at Sakubva stadium this
Saturday were everyone who resides in Mutare is welcome to attend.”

The MDC-T MP for Makoni South reiterated that James’suspension was an effort
to allow corruption to rear its ugly head in the City.

“Like what our national spokesman Douglas Mwonzora said, the suspension of
the Mayor is illegal and unreasonable. It deprives the people of Mutare of a
mayor whose policies were people-centered,” he said.

The MDC-T says that that James was suspended by Chombo, a ZANU PF minister
after he raised over 20 irregularities in the financial affairs of the city
to the Town Clerk, Obert Muzawazi.

In a letter dated 10 October 2011, the Mayor wrote to the Town Clerk
highlighting these irregularities and the need for investigations in order
to make corrective measures to protect the city and its ratepayers.

The letter reads: “It has come to my attention and that of the councilors
that there are a number of serious irregularities taking place in respect of
the council’s financial affairs which may possibly be fraudulent and
prejudicial to the city of Mutare.”

Muchauraya added that Chombo’s actions can be perceived as pre-emptive
because he allegedly owns many properties in the City, many of which could
have been corruptly purchased.

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Certified Polished Diamond Prices Fall 1% in January

Rapaport Issues January Research Report: Treading Carefully
Feb 7, 2012 5:53 AM

RAPAPORT... Press Release, February 7, 2012, New York: Certified polished
diamond prices fell slightly in the first month of 2012. Cautious trading
activity is expected to continue as polished buyers are waiting for clearer
signs of stability before making large volume purchases. Mining companies,
manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers are carefully monitoring their
inventories but an oversupply of rough from Zimbabwe is throwing the market
out of balance.

The RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™) for 1.00-carat polished diamonds fell 1
percent to 95.95 in January. RAPI for 0.30-carat diamonds declined 3.9
percent to 15.48 and RAPI for 0.50-carat diamonds rose 0.3 percent to 34.49.
RAPI for 3.00-carat diamonds fell 0.3 percent to 350.82.

Rough prices at tender were relatively stable during the month. ALROSA cut
its prices in January while De Beers Diamond Trading Company (DTC)
maintained high values on its boxes by adjusting assortments in its supply.
DTC boxes are trading on the secondary market at low premiums.

Zimbabwe has ramped up production at the four concessions in the Marange
fields to more than 1 million carats per month. The influx of these goods is
expected to impact prices in the short term, particularly for low color, low
quality rough. Inventories of rough are expected to grow and liquidity in
the cutting centers may tighten as manufacturers hold on to the rough as
long as  polished demand remains subdued.

Rapaport stresses that the Marange goods are illegal to trade in the U.S.
and the Europe Union. Rapaport maintains its ban on Marange goods on
RapNet – Rapaport Diamond Trading Network.

According to the just-released Rapaport Research Report, Treading Carefully,
the influx of a significant volume of Zimbabwe rough in the market may
destabilize the current market equilibrium, while economic uncertainties
continue to instill caution in the diamond trade. Trading levels are
expected to remain flat in the first quarter as it remains unclear whether
Far East and U.S. buyers will replenish inventories during the first quarter
or delay their purchases until they gain confidence that prices have

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1.5 million carats on the block at Zimbabwe diamond auction
Andrew Topf | February 7, 2012 Print Article

Up to 1.5 million carats worth of diamonds are being auctioned this week by companies allowed to mine the controversial Marange diamond fields in Zimbabwe.

New Zimbabwe reports that one Chinese company, Anjin Investments, will tender about half a million carats while another, Diamond Mining Corporation, will offer up 400,000:

Two other companies, Mbada Diamonds and Marange Resources, are each expected to put about 350,000 carats up for the auction which will likely attract rough dealers and merchants from India and Israel.

Zimbabwe is expected to realize about US$46 million from the auction. reported at the end of June the seemingly unilateral decision by the chairman of the Kimberly Process,  the international diamond trade watchdog, to allow Zimbabwe to resume diamond exports has been rejected by among others the United States, Canada and Israel.

However, New Zimbabwe reports that verification by third-party monitors in December and January concluded that mining operations in the area were compliant with KP standards.

The article also notes that Zimbabwe diamonds, at $40 a carat, are cheap compared to other countries selling the gems at $100 a carat, which is attracting interest from the world’s largest diamond cutting and polishing centre in Surat, India.

Zimbabwe is set to become the world’s leading producer, with an expected volume of 40m carats per year worth some $2bn annually from the rich deposits in Chiadzwa and Marange.

The troubled country, emerging from years of hyperinflation and political turmoil, was however barred from selling diamonds because of alleged human rights violations and has built up a stockpile worth $4bn–$5bn.

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New KP chair urged to clarify Zim position

By Alex Bell
07 February 2012

The New KP Chair Gillian Milovanovic, who is from the US, is the first
American and first female representative to take over the rolling
chairmanship of the monitoring body. She takes over from Mathieu Yamba from
the DRC, who faced criticism last year for appearing to push for Zimbabwe’s
clearance to resume sales despite minimum standards not being met.

This pressure, in the form of multiple unilateral decisions by Yamba and
ongoing threats from Zimbabwe’s government to start selling its diamonds
without clearance, eventually led to the KP giving Zim diamonds the green
light for export.

This decision was widely criticised for ‘letting Zimbabwe’s government off
the hook’, and led to a key civil society member of the KP quitting the
body. The group, Global Witness, said last year it was leaving the scheme
because of the KP’s failure to fulfill its mandate in preventing the trade
in conflict diamonds.

The Zim government has insisted the local diamond trade is meeting
international standards and has repeatedly dismissed claims that Chiadzwa
diamonds are not conflict free.

But the country has been at the centre of serious debate over the definition
of conflict diamonds, after it was suspended from trade in 2009 over serious
human rights concerns. These concerns stemmed from the deaths of a hundreds
of illegal diamond panners at the controversial Chiadzwa alluvial fields,
where in 2008 the then ZANU PF led government launched a military led clean
up operation.

Since then, there have been ongoing reports of military led abuses,
including forced labour and dog attacks on villagers. At the same time,
there has been rampant smuggling from the area, leading to millions of
dollars in diamonds going missing. Human Rights Watch and Global Witness
both reported that top ZANU PF officials were the leading beneficiaries of
this illicit trade.

Regardless of these ongoing reports, the KP still gave Zimbabwe the green
light to resume exporting last year, after a two year deadlock on the
country’s trade future. The only restrictions now on the diamond trade are
in the form of targeted restrictive measures, after the US added two
Chiadzwa based diamonds firms to its sanctions list against Zimbabwe last

The KP chair, who is also from the US, is now under pressure to clarify her
position, particularly after stating last week that the “only” conflict
diamonds the KP is aware of are from Cote d’Ivoire.

“At the present moment, I am told, the only country whose diamonds are
fitting within the definition of conflict diamonds is Cote d’Ivoire. And
that represents, overall, far less than one percent of all diamonds,”
Milovanovic told a teleconference with journalists last week.

Ambassador Milovanovic, who assumed the KP chair a fortnight ago, also
hinted there could be need to redefine what constitutes conflict diamonds.

“I would say that overall, yes; the organisation is looking, for example, at
its core objectives and core definitions. That would include the definition
of conflict diamonds….. The goal, certainly, is to look at, is there a need
to make some changes,” Milovanovic said.

Political analyst Clifford Mashiri, who has been a vocal support of civil
society in the Zimbabwe diamonds debate, told SW Radio Africa on Tuesday
that the new KP chair must prioritise a new definition of conflict diamonds.

“Zimbabwe diamonds are quite clearly conflictual and, many would say,
bloodied. Clearly the KP and civil society need to reach an agreement then
on the way forward,” he explained.

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Service Chiefs appointments: Tomana disingenuous

07/02/2012 00:00:00
    by Derek Matyszak

THE Commanders of the Defence Forces and the Commissioner-General of Police
are appointedby the President both under the provisions of the Constitution
and in terms of Acts of Parliament.
The Constitution provides that the appointments are made “by the President
after consultationwith such person or authority as may be prescribed by or
under an Act of Parliament.”

Relevant Acts of Parliament (the Defence Act and Police Act) set out the
manner ofappointment and persons or bodies to be consulted.

Since the advent of Zimbabwe’s Inclusive Government, and for so long as such
“unity” government subsists, an important addendum has been added to these
provisions. Article 20.1.3(p) of Schedule 8 to the Constitution (which
overrides any provisions elsewhere in the Constitution to the contrary)
requires that any key appointment made by the President under and in terms
of the Constitution, or made by the President in terms of or under any Act
of Parliament, be made only after the consent of the Prime Minister has been
first secured.

The appointments of the Service Chiefs, being made both under and in terms
of the Constitution and Acts of Parliament, thus fall squarely within the
requirements of Article 20.1.3(p).
Article 20.1.3(p) reads as follows:

The President in consultation with the Prime Minister, makes key
appointments the President is required to make under and in terms of the
Constitution or any Act of Parliament.

“In consultation” is specifically defined in the Constitution to mean: that
the person required to consult before arriving at a decision arrives at the
decision after securing the agreement or consent of the person so consulted
(Section 115(1) of the Constitution).

This provision is in contrast to the meaning to be accorded to “after
consultation” with which means that the person required to consult before
arriving at a decision makes the consultation but is not bound by the advice
or opinion given by the person so consulted. The distinction follows
precedent in South African case law).
In sum then, this means that the Prime Minister’s consent is required before
any of these appointments are made.

Zimbabwe’s Attorney-General, Johannes Tomana, has threatened to arrest
anyone who claims that this is the case, maintaining that the legal position
is otherwise. Tomana’s argument is that the requirement to gain the Prime
Minister’s consent pertains only to appointments and not re-appointments,
stating that Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri’s case:

“is about reappointment, not appointment. The GPA deals with appointments.
The GPA uses specific language, it refers to appointments and not
reappointments and the issues considered in appointments are very different
from those that are considered in reappointment.”

However, the Attorney-General argument is disingenuous for two reasons.
Firstly, he has deliberately referred only to the GPA (the Global Political
Agreement, the name by which the Inter-Party Political Agreement signed
between the main political players in Zimbabwe on 15th September 2008 is
commonly known).

This part of the GPA has been incorporated into Schedule 8 of the
Constitution. The President’s obligation to gain the Prime Minister’s
consent is thus not merely an undertaking in terms of the GPA, it is, more
importantly, a constitutional requirement.

Secondly (and perhaps the reason why the AG was anxious to avoid mentioning
that the obligation to gain the Prime Minister’s consent is a constitutional
imperative), Tomana’s argument is disingenuous because it deliberately
ignores the clear provisions of section 113(5) of the Constitution to the
following effect:
In this Constitution, unless the context otherwise requires, a reference to
the power to appoint a person to any public office shall be construed as
including a reference to the like power—
(a) to reappoint him to that office;
(b) to appoint him on promotion or transfer to that office;
(c) to appoint him to act in that office;
(d) to fix and vary his conditions of service in that office

Accordingly, the reference to the provision in Schedule 8 of the
Constitution, relating to the appointment of the Commissioner-General (and
the other service chiefs), applies equally to the reappointment of the
Commissioner-General (and other service chiefs).
Article 20.1.3(p) thus applies to both appointments and reappointments.

It is not without irony and significant that the Attorney-General was also
appointed unilaterally by President Mugabe, in violation of the same
provision of the GPA.

The legislature seems to have thought it undesirable that a
Commissioner-General of Police hold office for an extended period, and that
it is preferable that a person in such a key and sensitive post be limited,
in the normal course of events, to only one term. The term of office of the
Commissioner-General is thus a maximum of four years. This then is intended
to be the general position, with departure from this stipulation only in
exceptional circumstances.

Thus, the four year period may be renewed yearly for no more than 12 months
at a time, if the President believes this to be in the “public interest”.
Chihuri has held this position since 1991 and the President thus must have
deemed his reappointment “to be in the public interest” on 16 occasions. It
is unlikely that this accords with the intention of the legislature.

Furthermore, the Commissioner-General has made statements in the past which
give the impression that he intends to carry out his duties in the interests
of only one section of Zimbabwean society and not in the public interest
generally, declaring:
"Many people say I am Zanu PF. Today, I would like to make it public that I
support Zanu PF because it is the ruling party. If any other party comes to
power, I will resign and let those who support it take over.”

It is precisely to prevent such perceptions of partisanship that the Police
Act prohibits police officers from actively participating in politics, and
they are thus enjoined to maintain a clear division between their duties as
police officers and their political affiliations and sympathies.

A member is regarded as in breach of this injunction if he or she joins or
associates himself or herself with a political organisation; canvasses any
person in support of, or otherwise actively assists, a political
organisation; displays or wears political regalia; attends a political
meeting or assembly when wearing the uniform of the Police Force or any part
of such uniform likely to identify him or her as a Regular Force member
unless as part of his or her duties; asks questions from the floor at a
political meeting; publishes views of a political character or causes them
to be published in any manner or media; or does any other act whereby the
public or any member thereof might reasonably be induced to identify him or
her with a political organisation.

This requirement of the Police Act seems to have escaped the current
Commissioner-General and in itself indicates that his reappointment cannot
be in the public interest. Many believe that that the Commissioner-General’s
conduct has been entirely consistent with this declaration of partisanship.

The considerations applying to a term limit for the Commissioner-General of
Police do not apply to the Commanders in the Armed Services, who are
appointed for terms of four years, which are renewable for the same period
without limit.

The current Commanders were promoted to their current positions in January
or February 2008, following the death of Vitalis Zvinavashe, then Commander
of the Defence Forces, in December of 2007. Neither the provisions of the
Constitution or GPA under discussion here were in force at that time.

There is little doubt that President Robert Mugabe will proceed to renew
these appointments without complying with the constitutional requirement of
securing the agreement or consent of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

In the past, he has violated this constitutional requirement by unilaterally
appointing and promoting judges, in the appointment of Provincial Governors,
and the transfer of ambassadors to different stations.

The MDCs will no doubt complain about the manner in which the Service Chiefs
are reappointed and the issue will be added to the many other “toxic issues”
still to be resolved by the parties to the GPA. Zanu PF will also
undoubtedly point to the MDCs’ complaint as constituting evidence that the
“Unity Government” is not working.

However, as with many people who return items in the belief that they are
dysfunctional, the problem lies in the perverse and stubborn refusal to read
and follow the user instructions – in this instance the provisions of the
GPA and Constitution.
Derek Matyszak is a Senior Researcher for the Research and Advocacy Unit

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Youth leadership training in Zimbabwe

FES Youth Leadership Training
Deadline: 5 March 2012

The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) Zimbabwe, a non-profit making,
public-interest institution, is offering leadership training for young
adults. The training will target young leaders with proven social and
political interests and abilities from political parties, trade unions and
youth organizations. Women are particularly encouraged to apply. The
training shall provide young leaders from the full political spectrum of
Zimbabwe with leadership skills and the opportunity for political
networking. This process will run for about 8 months. FES will meet the cost
of the actual training for the selected participants while any other
associated costs will have to be borne by the participants. No sitting
allowances or per diems will be paid. Interested candidates should fulfill
the following criteria:

1. Between 20-35 years of age
2. Team player
3. Proven political and social interests
4. Ability for political analysis and knowledge of political developments in
the country
5. Be part of the programme throughout the whole training period

Please send your CV, and half a page justification why you should
participate in the training to the following email address:

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The Role of the Private Sector and Trade Opportunities in the Revival of Matabeleland – A SWOT Analysis

Presentation made by SACFA to the Economic Co-operation and Food Security Sector of the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Zimbabwe – 31 January 2012.


Good Afternoon to you all, Ladies and Gentlemen.  My name is Christopher Jarrett, Chairman of the Southern African Commercial Farmers Alliance, an organisation representing the views of most commercial farmers in Matabeleland and not a few elsewhere in Zimbabwe.  Since being expelled from my farm in Nyamandhlovu in 2002 I have had some considerable time to ponder upon the remarkable decline in the economic fortunes of this country’s Private Sector.  My views are shared by those that SACFA represents.


What we are about to present may be regarded as seditious by a few of those here having regard to the Distribution List which we were sent.  This List includes representatives of the past and the present government.  Public pronouncements continue to portray the Fast Track Land Reform Programme as an intelligent and successful policy and it is of concern that there has been no real contrary view by any of the new coalition partners in government.  The Fast Track Land Reform Programme has not been successful, and what we have to say will show unequivocally how deeply it has impacted on the Private Sector.  To this day the policy impedes that sector’s ability to operate effectively.  Revival of trade is linked to and dependent upon rebuilding a healthy and productive Private Sector.  This is to be the focus of our presentation.


We need to engage our minds and examine why it is that a country not at war has suffered such a catastrophic economic decline; why it is that Zimbabwe is now regarded as the third poorest country in the world and the second most difficult place to establish and carry out an economic endeavour.  We trust that what we have to say will be taken in the spirit it is given – there is an urgent need to put an end to this stalemate which with rare exceptions continues to impoverish us all.


Without wasting time on a lengthy detailed history of what happened and what the effects were let me summarise briefly: -


Agriculture was the largest sector of the economy and vital in keeping downstream segments in vibrant good health.  Forced acquisitions of commercial farmland resulted in its destruction.  Not only was large scale commercial agriculture ruined but steep declines in the agricultural output of the communal sector came about as a result of the severing of vitally important but largely unseen linkages between the two divisions.  The sharp drop in the production of food and other crops resulted in a substantial shrinkage in export earnings.   This in turn led to the country being unable to service its debt; its credit rating collapsed; lines of credit were withdrawn and suppliers demanded cash up front.


The collapse of agriculture caused an economic “cascade failure” and progressively the rest of the economy failed.  Tourism, mining, commerce, industry and electricity generation all followed in agriculture’s footsteps.  Tax revenues tumbled and this revenue shortfall led to government frantically increasing borrowings from the markets. 


Government brought in unrealistic fixed exchange rates and when these did not stem the slide in the value of our currency they added price controls into this poisonous economic concoction.  In order to profess adherence to normal economic practice they pegged interest rates at minimal levels.  This was a pretense mechanism to themselves and lenders of an ability to service their ballooning debt.  These rates being seen by the market as unattractive they had to force all institutions with any funds (pension funds, banks etc.) to lend to them at these marginal rates. 


This forced lending at negative interest rates contributed to the erosion of the commercial banking sector’s working capital and that of the pension funds.  Coupled with inflation the capital resources of the Private Sector were well on the way to being wiped out entirely.  The Reserve Bank accelerated this wipe out by helping themselves to all foreign currency in private bank accounts. In an effort to dress this theft as a normal commercial transaction they replaced the forex with rapidly depreciating Zimbabwe dollars calculated at laughable official exchange rates.  Credit balances were not allowed to be withdrawn from the banks in cash so as to preclude the owners from repurchasing their hard currency on the streets.


When the country’s resources were effectively exhausted no discernible attempt was made to reverse the policies which had so obviously failed.  Instead it was decided to source alternative fictitious capital to on lend to government enabling them to continue down their ill-chosen path.  The Reserve Bank resorted to printing money in vast quantities.  This plethora of local currency funded strange initiatives designed to repair the productivity in agriculture and industry which they had just ruined by the procedures outlined above.  This money also found its way on to the streets where it was used to buy some of the hard currencies needed by government.


Sustained excessive use of the currency printing presses brought about hyper-inflation and the total collapse of our currency.  Just prior to the extinction of the Zimbabwe dollar the value of our currency was halving in slightly over 24 hours. 


Twenty five noughts were officially removed from our currency by the Reserve Bank and we finally had a note denominated One Hundred Trillion Zimbabwe Dollars (100 followed by twelve noughts).  This note was initially worth about US$7 but soon lost all its value.  So the only conclusion that can be reached is that the destruction of agriculture through the Fast Track Land Reform Programme removed 39 noughts off our money and left us all penniless.  Do you not agree that if you took 39 noughts off the fortune of the richest man in the world, Bill Gates, he too would have no money left?


Current propaganda would have us believe that it was not the self inflicted stupidity of government actions that brought about our economic demise but “illegal sanctions”.  What I have sketched above clearly demonstrates that official policy was entirely to blame. No bank lends to such clients and shuns any dealings with those practising such irrational policies.


We now come to the meat of the matter.  How are we going to fix this mess so that the Private Sector can again fill its core role of generating employment whilst at the same time generating wealth for all and taxes to fund an insolvent government? 


It has taken many years of recession but slowly some in government are arriving at conclusions and measures they believe will tackle the heart of the problem and get the economy going again.  They however seem reluctant to grasp firmly and state the obvious.  They skirt around the perimeter and use verbal gymnastics so as to incorporate some sort of accommodation with plainly failed government policies.


Agriculture holds the key to Zimbabwe’s recovery.  In 2002 the value of production from commercial agriculture was some US$3.4 billion growing at about 10% per annum.  This would bring its contribution in 2012 to US$8.82 billion.  Put another way commercial agriculture alone would have added US$63.02 billion to the country’s GDP from 2002 to 2012.  Instead we have had a pitiful contribution under the Fast Track Land Reform Programme.  GDP generated has been unable to service and repay the national debt. 


We must face up to it that neither government nor anyone else has the depth of finance necessary to bankroll annually an agricultural system structurally incapable of funding itself.  Commercial agriculture used to fund itself through a robust and powerful banking sector using title to the land as collateral.  This funding did not cost the taxpayer anything. 


Now we have a crass system where very little can be produced except from beneficiaries’ limited own resources.  The taxpayer through government is thus obliged to provide finance for inputs most of which funding is never recovered.  Those who benefit from these hand outs have no binding obligation to pay.  There is no sanction such as loss of security of tenure lurking in the wings should these so-called “loans” not be repaid.  There is no need to repay because there is no effective recourse and this adds to our collective impoverishment as our taxes are wasted.


It is no coincidence that the five richest countries in Africa were those which had freehold title, and in the case of Botswana which only has about 4% freehold, they have proper long term leases over vast areas which are tradeable.  These oblige government to pay full value for any improvements made should the Botswana government cancel or decide not to renew a lease.  Political leaders throughout the African continent have progressively and systematically set about destroying secure title and in so doing have made economic progress for their citizens very much more difficult.  In other words this policy has been designed to keep the general population poor and subservient and no threat to the status quo.  The Far East, although having different standards of tenure looks forward, not back to their colonial era.  They have prospered mightily. 


The agricultural industry has to establish mechanisms to fund itself.  This demands the security of title to the land; that is secure and inviolate property rights.  We in SACFA have made it clear that we do not just promote and sponsor these conditions in order to restore our own rights but we believe they should be extended into the Communal Areas.  The economic factors that underscored and supported commercial agriculture’s ability to generate wealth will do the same for all communal land farmers once put in place.  What is more they will confer numerous new economic alternatives and opportunities to communal land dwellers many of whom would prefer to trade their rural rights for a dwelling with secure tenure in the cities.


Under the present system those attempting to farm both on commercial farmland and in the Communal Areas are crippled by a lack of finance for their operations.  They cannot borrow because they have no real property right in the land they farm which otherwise could secure their borrowings.  Farm land is no longer used as collateral.  The banks too are hamstrung and illiquid partly because that vast store of wealth used by bankers in the past to multiply their liquidity - the underlying capital tied up in commercial farmland - now has no economic value.


Politicians are starting to advocate that those on the land must be given secure tenure.  What they do not realise is that this is impossible whilst the owner still holds ownership and proof thereof in the form of his title deeds.  Government being quite unable to service the interest on the national debt, let alone repay any of the capital, is clearly incapable of compensating owners in order to take over their real rights in the land.  No one can transfer a right which they do not possess.


A number of us joined with Mike Campbell in the SADC Tribunal to contest the ongoing seizures of our properties and lack of payment of compensation to those whose farms had already been taken.  The Tribunal ruled that Constitutional Amendment 17 which supposedly authorised the wholesale nationalization of commercial farms was illegal in that it breached this country’s obligations under the SADC Treaty.  The Tribunal also ruled that those who had already had their property taken must be fairly compensated.


Public International Law (the law applied by the SADC Tribunal and other international courts) is quite clear on what fair compensation comprises.  Furthermore, when it came to the refusal of government to pay compensation for the land itself, the Tribunal stated that no state can hide behind domestic law to evade their international obligations.  To legitimately obtain title to the commercial farms, government will have to put the owners in the same position they would have been in had the expropriations not taken place. 


International law defines that this means compensation for the land; the improvements; the disturbance losses being moveables, consequential losses and loss of income up to the date that Constitutional Amendment 17 took effect on 14 September 2005.  Finally, this compensation was due and payable when the expropriations took place.  At the very latest it should have been paid when Amendment 17 came into force.  Compensation was never paid.  Because it was not, there is now interest accruing on the debt day by day and this is what makes a solution all the more pressing.


In order to establish exactly what types of damages, compensation and interest were due by the Zimbabwe government under international law comprehensive loss documents were drawn up for the three farmers who had been awarded “fair compensation” by the Tribunal.  These were submitted to Windhoek for the Tribunal’s ruling.  The Tribunal notwithstanding its first six month’s suspension was obliged and entitled to hear this application as a pending matter.  These pending matters were not affected by the terms of the suspension.  Deviously the application was never heard because the SADC Secretariat saw fit to sabotage the Tribunal’s workings.  They did this by refusing the funding for the Tribunal Judges who are scattered around the SADC Region to travel to Windhoek to hear the case. 


It was clear to all from a perusal of the loss documents that however the Tribunal decided to rule on this compensation application the national debt of the  Zimbabwe government was about to increase by a factor of several times. 


To solve this problem, the SADC Summit chose not to enforce the terms of the SADC Treaty.  Instead they decided to shut down its policeman, the Tribunal, which had had the temerity to rule against one of them.  Other contrary rulings were ominously already in the pipeline.  Of such things is expedience made and the ramifications are wide.


That was not the end of the matter – the argument that closure of the Tribunal breached the Treaty simply went another rung up the ladder.  It is now before the African Commission in Banjul, the Gambia.  No doubt if justice is not properly dispensed there by the African Commission of Human and Peoples Rights it will head upwards yet further elsewhere.  The point to digest is that the land seizure problem is not going away with the passage of time.  It is impossible to confiscate people’s property without fair compensation being paid.  There are numerous examples of countries which have tried going down this same route, but there is not one country to our knowledge which has managed to hold on to the spoils.


We continue to see the ramifications of large scale property seizures which even now are ongoing.  Zimbabwe wallows economically.  No investor willingly takes his money to a destination where he knows he will lose it.  Economic laws were not invented of late by Zimbabwe politicians running this country.  They have been built up over centuries and any country breaking these rules does so at its peril.  Zimbabwe is busy learning this hard lesson.


So we shall have to face up to reality.  It was the seizures of land that initiated the economic collapse in this country and to get the country up and running again and confidence back we will have to deal with them.  Neither this government, nor any future successor will be capable of paying fair compensation for the assets expropriated.  It is no good trying to fool ourselves by pretending the bankrupt government who took the properties need only under Zimbabwe domestic law pay a highly discounted sum for improvements as and when things may get better. 


Perhaps the best government can do is to mitigate their losses by returning seized land and go cap in hand to rich donors for grants to assist in the restoration of productive capacity.  This would include resources to finance the granting of title to the communal lands as the EU has done for Namibia.  A government unable to pay its current interest bill is surely irrational should it persist in its insane desire to farm the entire country.  A government that refuses to acknowledge such obvious limitations will doubtless continue to suffer under “illegal sanctions” until it gets its thought processes in order.


May we point out to your august delegation, and we must thank you for coming to our city of Bulawayo in the heart of Matabeleland, that whilst this denial of reality continues we need your ongoing assistance.  The make believe that things are heading in the right direction has continued far too long.  We need you never to condone the continued denial of human rights by this government both in regard to commercial farmers, their largely voiceless workers and everyone else.  We need you to continue to apply pressure on our administration that this artificial state of play ends and that normal enterprise by the Private Sector is allowed to return and function unimpeded.  You should not deal normally with a government which breaches international law, international treaties and norms, disregards international judgements and continues to believe that crimes against humanity have no consequences.


The Private Sector will never thrive whilst denial of property rights continues.  Qualifications that rights will only be respected under conditions that require allegiance to a particular political party will not suffice.


Sanctions actually need more muscle to jolt minds back to reality.  The World Bank and IMF need your influence to convince them that to assist Zimbabwe now or in the future with developmental aid whilst denial of property rights and lack of the rule of law persists is immoral if not criminal.  Nor should the EU consider funding those in possession of other people’s property.  We head towards a new election which using present rules will sadly be as lethal as the last.  Gukurahundi and successors need no repeat.  We will be in need of effective peacekeepers.


Here is a plea from us all; please do not prop up the present system in any way.  Do not deal with this government on the basis that there is a cheap shortcut to the resolution of the real issues.  Please adhere to the underlying principles.  Otherwise this will only perpetuate the Private Sector’s sojourn in the doldrums.  Rather help by bringing the ongoing stalemate to an end.


As to the future, we are often asked what plan we have when reality is faced and sane, sensible policies are implemented.  SACFA is of the belief that market forces must be allowed to operate unfettered.  A study we have done in Nyamandhlovu shows that already by 1993 33% of all commercial farms had been bought by black owners or had been sold to government on a willing seller, willing buyer basis for resettlement.  CSC and Forestry own 27% of the district and white ownership was down to 40%.  This trend accelerated thereafter.  There was thus no need for government to interfere in an orderly process.  Government’s core function is simply to establish the environment under which the Private Sector can operate efficiently. 



The Fast Track Land Reform Programme was the primary source of all our economic woes; it cannot succeed as it stands because it is structurally flawed; its failures will have to be faced.  Your Delegation seeks recommendations for a regional economic strategy and partnership avenues for development partners and twinning arrangements.  We are of the view that until and unless property rights are addressed the Private Sector will not revive.  Consequently a further regional strategy is not possible now, nor is there a sound basis for development partners and twinning arrangements.



30 January 2012.

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