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

Zimbabwean MPs approve draft constitution ahead of elections

Posted Thursday, February 7 2013 at 20:28

In Summary:
A new constitution is a key reform needed ahead of new polls after deadly
2008 elections. The new draft basic law is the first to set a presidential
term limit — to two five-year terms — and to abolish presidential immunity.

Zimbabwe’s Senate was on Friday expected to pass the country’s draft
constitution after it sailed through Parliament the previous day.

Officials from a cross party parliamentary committee that led the
constitution making process said they were already preparing for a
referendum sometime next month.

President Robert Mugabe will set a date for the vote soon after the draft
charter is passed by Senate as largely expected.

Mr Paul Mangwana of the veteran ruler’s Zanu PF party said all was now set
for the referendum.

“The draft was adopted by parliament we and we are now waiting for the
proclamations of the referendum dates,” he said. “We now want the date.”

The debate on the draft Wednesday lasted a few hours because the three
governing parties had already reached an agreement.

“The Members of Parliament debated the report and some section of the draft
and at the end of the day the motion was adopted by parliament,” said Mr
Douglas Mwonzora of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC).

“All the political parties said they were going to support the draft and the
MPs also pledged to campaign for a ‘Yes’ vote,” he added.

“What is left now is that we must embark on civic education campaign to tell
our people what the constitution says so that they vote knowing what they
are voting for.”

Mr Mwonzora said only traditional leaders who sit in the Senate had raised
objections to some provisions of the draft but the chiefs were not expected
to block the charter.

“Chiefs are raising issues that they want to be in charge of all the rural
land, which now rural land includes commercial farms and any land that is
not urban land,” he said.

“(But) you cannot put that in charge of chiefs surely. So we explained that
the parliamentarians.”

The draft that was completed last month after four years of bickering will
curb the president’s powers.

Southern African Development Community leaders have insisted on a new
constitution before Zimbabwe holds fresh elections after the previous polls
in 2008 were marred by violence.

Meanwhile, a pro-democracy group that has long fought for an equitable new
constitution for Zimbabwe has said that the draft text still gives the
president too much power.

“The ... draft is neither people-driven nor democratic and must be
rejected,” the head of the National Constitutional Assembly told
journalists early this week.

The proposed basic law ignores most suggestions received from the public,
said NCA chairman Lovemore Madhuku.

“The constitution leaves all powers to the president, who is allowed to do
what he wants,” he said, adding that the NCA would call on Zimbabweans to
vote “no” in the referendum.

The NCA led a successful campaign in 2000 to reject an earlier draft basic
law, but its influence is thought to have waned in the southern African
country, long mired in economic and political crises.

A new constitution is a key reform needed ahead of new polls after deadly
2008 elections. The new draft basic law is the first to set a presidential
term limit — to two five-year terms — and to abolish presidential immunity.

Mr Mugabe, who first came to power in the former Rhodesia as prime minister
at independence in 1980, has been head of state since 1987.

He is now 88.

But the proposed new constitution still gives the president the power to
appoint government ministers, security chiefs, senior government officials
and ambassadors, and to convene the cabinet.

The president would also have final say over the appointment of judges and
have the power to dissolve parliament.Mr Madhuku noted that the draft fails
to require the president to answer questions in parliament, and that the
head of state would be allowed to declare a state of emergency or war
without consulting parliament.

The NCA also deplored a clause in the draft charter that exempts women,
juveniles and the elderly from the death penalty.

“If the death penalty is retained, it must not be applied in this
discriminatory way,” Mr Madhuku said.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe's constitutional reform to challenge Mugabe's powers

07 FEB 2013 07:34 - AP

Zimbabwe's Parliament has begun discussing a new constitution that will
reduce the president's powers and setup a peace and reconciliation

The talks, which took place on Wednesday, also highlighted political
impartiality from President Robert Mugabe's longtime loyalists in the police
and military.

The 160-page draft, completed after three years of tension between
hardliners and reformists during often bitter and violent nationwide
canvassing, will be voted on in a national referendum slated for April,
ahead of elections to end a shaky coalition formed after the last disputed,
violent polls in 2008.

Regional mediators made a new constitution a key condition for fresh
elections. Lawmakers will not be able to change the draft unless there is a
last minute revolt against it in the legislature, Veritas, an independent
legal monitoring group, said on Wednesday.

There was no immediate sign of that in the Harare Parliament House on

Paul Mangwana, co-chair from President Mugabe's party of a parliamentary
panel in charge of rewriting the Constitution, told legislators the lengthy,
delayed process cost about $45-million.

"It has been a long journey and we think [we] did our best for the country,"
Mangwana said.

He described the funding, including United Nations and foreign donations, as
money well spent.

"People will ask why, but democracy is very expensive," Mangwana said.

'Yes' vote
All main party leaders have called for a "yes" vote in the referendum after
years of violence, uncertainty and economic meltdown that has left the
nation weary and demoralised.

The Parliament debate is expected to wind up after several sittings in
coming days, followed by a month for distribution of the proposed
constitution to electors nationwide, said Veritas.

The draft shows Mugabe's Zanu-PF party and Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change both made concessions over
points in dispute.

According to the proposed constitution, a person can be president for a
maximum of two five year terms, but the term limit is not retrospective.

That means Mugabe, who turns 89 this month and has been in power for 33
years, can run for president again and if he wins could rule to the age of
94, and even to 99 if he ran for, and won, a second term.

But according to the draft, Mugabe would no longer have the power to veto
legislation and presidential decrees, which Mugabe has often used
unchallenged, would need parliamentary approval, mostly by a two-thirds
majority of lawmakers.

The president would not be able to arbitrarily appoint the 10 powerful
provincial governors from his party and provinces will be able choose their
own chair, or premier.

Peace and reconciliation commission
Increasingly frail at public appearances, Mugabe is seen to have recently
lost much of his trademark combative spirit. Tsvangirai's party agreed not
to insist that presidential candidates nominate a running mate for the next
poll, so Mugabe will not have to pick a possible successor in his fractious,
rivalry-ridden former ruling party. The draft allows the victorious
president to personally appoint two vice presidents.

The new constitution binds the police and military to be impartial and not
to "further the interests of any political party or cause". Military
commanders, accused of condoning past political violence blamed on Mugabe
militants, have refused to salute Tsvangirai (60), repeatedly vowing
allegiance only to Mugabe – the nation's first black ruler and leader of
the guerrilla war that led to independence from Britain in 1980.

A beefed-up Constitutional Court with powers over all other courts and the
new peace and reconciliation commission are proposed as reforms to a
judicial system critics say has long been packed with pro-Mugabe judges and

The Constitutional Court would deal with violations of the charter and abuse
of power or governance.

The proposed constitution says the often violent seizures of white-owned
farms since 2 000 restored land to black people who were "unjustifiably
dispossessed" of it by colonial-era settlers and states that the seizures
cannot be reversed.

The new reconciliation body was praised as "a hopeful sign that victims of
political violence may obtain some justice" by the Open Society Initiative
for Southern Africa, a non-governmental organisation that encourages

Despite continuing arrests of rights and democracy activists in Zimbabwe,
the Constitutional changes represented some "significant gains", said the

The Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa said the proposals were
"better than feared but far from ideal". – Sapa-AP

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Mugabe to announce referendum and election dates soon

By Tichaona Sibanda
07 February 2013

President Robert Mugabe could announce dates for a referendum and general
elections next week, after the draft constitution successfully sailed
through Parliament and the Senate.

A highly placed source told SW Radio Africa on Thursday that Mugabe, in
consultation with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, had decided on the
election date.

The source told us the adoption of the draft in Parliament paves the way for
Mugabe to announce the date and end the country’s anxiety and speculation.
He said this could be anytime from now.

The draft constitution is ready for a referendum after its passage in
Parliament and this gives Mugabe the powers to proclaim the election dates.
Newspaper reports over the weekend suggested the leader of the former ruling
ZANU PF party wants this year’s elections to be held on June 29th.

COPAC co-chairman Douglas Mwonzora told us this week that the draft will be
translated into nine of the country’s official languages.

By next week the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) will effectively take
over the baton for this last phase and start preparing the public for the

The public vote has to take place within 60 days from the publication of the
proposed constitution. ZEC will have 30 days to conduct civic education.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Mutasa cracking down on political opponents in constituency

By Tichaona Sibanda
07 February 2013

Didymus Mutasa, the ZANU PF secretary for administration, is reportedly
cracking down on political opponents with growing intensity as the country
limps slowly towards harmonized elections.

Mutasa, a Minister of State in the President’s office, is the MP for
Headlands in Manicaland province. He has reportedly issued instructions that
no MDC-T meeting is to be held in that constituency.

On Thursday, true to his word, nine MDC-T party officials, including the
aspiring candidate set to challenge him in Headlands, were arrested for
holding an indoor meeting at Inyathi mine, which falls under ward 8.

David Tekeshe, the aspiring MDC-T parliamentary candidate in the area, said
police broke up their ward meeting because they did not seek permission.

‘You do not seek permission to hold a political meeting but you can only
inform the police. Every day here ZANU PF holds political meetings
throughout the constituency and apart from not informing the police they
also get protection during the rallies,’ Tekeshe said.

He claimed that since he declared his intention to challenge Mutasa in the
parliamentary elections, the ZANU PF stalwart has clamped down harder on his
political activities in Headlines.

‘People say Mutasa anopisa musoro (Mutasa is big headed) while some say the
same about me, so this is why he fears me. He’s not comfortable with my
fearlessness and I’ve promised to give him a good run for his money,’
explained Tekeshe. He described Mutasa as a ‘political dinosaur’ facing
extinction at the next general.

Pishai Muchauraya, the provincial party spokesman, confirmed they received
reports of the arrest of Tekeshe and eight other members of their party. He
said they have always faced problems in Headlands in securing venues to hold
meetings and rallies.

‘No official in that constituency is prepared to face the wrath of Mutasa by
allowing the MDC to stage rallies anywhere in the constituency. What we’ve
ended up doing is going to Rusape to seek permission there from higher
authority. It shows you the grip with which Mutasa controls his
constituency,’ Muchauraya said.

Meanwhile Clement Zikhali, the ZAPU Youth Secretary for Information and
Secretary, has been arrested and charged with insulting Robert Mugabe in

Our correspondent Lionel Saungweme told us it is still not clear exactly
what Zikhali said that has got him into trouble with the authorities. The
youth secretary was picked up by the police on Wednesday and is expected to
appear in court on Friday.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Retired soldiers cause ructions in ZANU-PF

By Clemence Manyukwe 6 hours 25 minutes ago

A STAMPEDE by mostly retired military personnel to represent ZANU-PF in
primary polls ahead of make-or-break elections later this year has caused
ructions in the party after stepping on the toes of long-serving civilian
party cadres.
The rise in the number of former soldiers keen on representing ZANU-PF in
the forthcoming elections in all the 10 political provinces has caused
consternation among sitting Members of Parliament and Senators who do not
have military background.

Speculation is rife in ZANU-PF circles that their activities were being
coordinated from within the party to give them a safe landing into politics.
The involvement of retired air vice marshal, Henry Muchena and former
intelligence chief, Sydney Nyanungo in the party’s commissariat, according
to ZANU-PF insiders, could make it easy for the ex-military men and women to
switch trades and challenge the status quo.

Also said to be playing an instrumental role in attempts to get the former
soldiers on their feet in politics is Harare South MP, Hubert Nyanhongo, who
is a former lieutenant colonel. Nyanhongo retired from the army in 2001
before becoming a councillor and later MP.

While Muchena could not be reached for comment, Nyanhongo said neither him
nor the retired air marshal were assisting former soldiers in their

“Muchena is a member of the party and I am a member of the Central Committee
and he or I can be assigned to Masvingo, Bulawayo to make sure that
programmes of the party are well articulated,” said Nyanhongo, who is the
Deputy Minister of Energy and Power Development.

“We push forward the programme of the party and we don’t impose people. We
don’t have that power. People come from the people.”

Nyanhongo said the former servicemen and women, just like teachers,
engineers and others have a right to join politics when they do wish.

Cairo Mhandu, a retired major and ZANU-PF’s Mazowe North House of Assembly
member also weighed in, saying a number of former servicemen and women have
approached him to discuss their plans to participate in the forthcoming
elections, adding that there was nothing in the party’s constitution that
prevents them from running for Parliament.

“These are former soldiers; these are former ex-combatants. They have always
been the vanguard of the party,” he said, adding that their discipline and
loyalty would stren-gthen ZANU-PF.

ZANU-PF civilian members who spoke to The Financial Gazette expressed fear
that the party could be hijacked by people who only joined its structures
“yesterday”. They are also worried that the increasing influence of the
former soldiers could further divide the party by alienating civilian
incumbents and their supporters ahead of crucial elections.

Interestingly, the former soldiers have avoided campaigning under the
Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association banner because most of
them feel the umbrella body of former liberation war fighters has been
hijacked by opportunists.

The onslaught by the former soldiers on sitting MPs and Senators has
compounded pressure on incumbents, particularly the old guard in ZANU-PF who
also face competition from the young Turks.

ZANU-PF’s rivals however, cry foul, claimimg there exists an improper
alliance between the military and the party. In the past, several service
chiefs have declared their open support for President Robert Mugabe’s party.

There were also reports that the army campaigned for ZANU-PF when the party
was on the verge of losing power to a resurgent Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) in the 2008 general elections.

Although those in the MDC formations, including some in ZANU-PF, are
uncomfortable with the former soldiers participating in politics after
retiring, the situation in western countries, particularly the United
States, is different.

George W Bush, the 43 rd US president, served in the army and was at one
time the director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), while his father
George H.W Bush was the country’s 41st president who once served as America’s
director of CIA and was once a lieutenant in the army.

Another former US president Ronald Reagan was a captain who served during
World War II. Jimmy Carter was also a lieutenant in the US navy.
Meanwhile, MPs from all the three political formations in the inclusive
government have intensified their efforts to re-claim seats in the House of

The MDC-T, which has come under fire for shielding incumbents, last month
held a strategic meeting in Nyanga where it deliberated on the upcoming
elections and reviewed the calibre of candidates and criteria that the party
would adopt in fielding its Parliamentary candidates.

“We want to field people who are tried and tested, who have the people’s
interests at heart and will be able to take the struggle to democratise
Zimbabwe to the finishing line, as we have now entered the last mile”, said
an MDC-T national executive member this week who requested anonymity.

The Welshman Ncube-led MDC last month made an open call for the nomination
of both MPs and councillors which will close on Thursday next week.
Nhlanhla Dube, the MDC spokesperson, said the call was meant to “provide
transparency and accountability” on the party’s structures and avoid the
imposition of candidates.

Saviour Kasukuwere, the Youth Development, Indigenisation and Economic
Empowerment Minister and MP for Mount Darwin is also criss-crossing the
country to drum up support for this party, ZANU-PF.

Rashweat Mukundu, chairperson of the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute, said the
unfolding fight to win parliamentary seats could easily precipitate into
festering divisions at party level in ZANU-PF and the MDC formations if it
was not carefully handled.

“The fight for parliamentary seats reflects a developing political careerism
and a realisation that the State is becoming a key player in resource
allocation, so if you want to get rich then become an MP and a Minister.
Political parties will suffer from the divisions and much will depend on the
capacity of the top leadership to maintain unity,” he said.

“The fight for seats is more a fight for resources and this is defining our
politics . . .even citizens are aware that you don't support politicians for
any shared ideal but because of what you get, so they will equally sell
their vote to the highest bidder.”

Another school of thought reckons that the MPs’ past record under the unity
government would come under scrutiny before voters backed an individual.
Those fingered in the looting of the Constitutional Development Funds run
the risk of being cast into political wilderness and face an hour of
reckoning during voting. - Financial Gazette

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Primary Election Delays Causing Friction in Zanu-PF

Blessing Zulu

WASHINGTON DC — WASHINGTON DC- The delay in holding primary elections in
President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party and calls by some senior leaders to
delay the general elections until September to fully prepare the party for
the forthcoming crucial general elections, is causing serious friction
within the former liberation party.

Zanu-PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa has already indicated
that primary elections will be held this month, but now he is saying there
will be conducted after the constitutional referendum.

It is not clear when this referendum will be held since the government says
it is broke.
Zanu-PF sources told VOA Studio 7 that the party presidium and other top
leaders are failing to agree on a template or ground rules for those who
want to contest in its primary elections.

There is an unprecedented number of members of the army and young turks who
are challenging the old guard and this has unnerved some party heavyweights
said to be delaying the primaries so as to deny their challengers the
opportunity to seek support on the ground.

There is also pressure on President Robert Mugabe to call for elections
after the United Nations World Tourism Organisation general assembly in
August this year to be co-hosted by Zimbabwe and Zambia in August.

This, Zanu-PF sources said, will give the leadership time to deal with

Zanu-PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo said the party is united and will hold its
primaries in time for the elections.

Independent political analyst Gladys Hlatswayo said Zanu-PF has serious
problems to deal with and is not prepared for an early election.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Australia and the EU to review Zimbabwe sanctions

By Violet Gonda
07 February 2013

Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr announced Thursday that his
country has set up benchmarks for the removal of targeted sanctions on
Zimbabwe, which include the holding of a free and fair constitutional
referendum and an announcement of an election date. On the same day the
European Parliament passed a resolution condemning the increase in violence
and intimidation of activists in Zimbabwe, in the run up to elections.

In 2002, Australia imposed financial restriction and a travel ban against
153 individuals and four companies, plus an arms embargo.

Carr told journalists in Canberra that Australia’s plan to review the
targeted measures was consistent with the approaches made by the US and the
European Union.

Both the EU and the USA imposed targeted sanctions on ZANU PF members,
including President Robert Mugabe, accusing them of engaging in human rights

Australia’s Foreign Minister credited Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai with
lobbying for the removal of sanctions.

ZANU PF has always accused the MDC-T of initiating the sanctions and
spokesman Rugare Gumbo told SW Radio Africa that the sanctions have “always
been illegal” and were not approved by the United Nations.

“We don’t accept conditional lifting of sanctions. We want total and
unconditional lifting of sanctions and this nonsense about if this thing
happens or if that happens is not helpful at all and we don’t attach great
importance to it,” Gumbo said.

Ralph Black, the MDC-T representative in the United States and also the
foreign policy advisor to party president Morgan Tsvangirai, insisted that
his party did not initiate the sanctions and that the restrictions were
mainly a response to the chaotic and violent land grabs and rights abuses
committed by ZANU PF.

“ZANU PF has lied that we initiated the sanctions. No we did not. The
sanctions were initiated by a number of advocacy groups and affected
individuals, and the MDC were a fringe-benefit of these in our struggle for
a democratic nation,” Black said.

The European Union is also set to review its policy in the next couple of
weeks. Member of the European Union Parliament, Geoffrey Van Orden, said the
EU will keep the possibility of suspending the sanctions under constant

He said Thursday’s resolution condemning the increase in intimidation in
Zimbabwe is in response to the latest clamp down on rights activists.

“Very specifically we were concerned about quite a number of these human
rights activists that have been arrested and very badly treated in recent
days … and this is quite the opposite of what is required in order to see a
suspension of our targeted measures.”

Human Rights Watch said the EU should first of all require tangible human
rights reforms and free and fair elections before the restrictions on
Zimbabwe are removed. Africa advocacy director Tiseke Kasambala said it is
premature for western countries to lift the targeted sanctions on President
Robert Mugabe and members of his inner circle, simply for holding a
referendum on a new constitution.

“The referendum is a non issue and the main issue should be what happens
before and after elections.”

Kasambala said repressive laws like the Public Order and Security Act should
be repealed or amended and proper electoral reforms and changes in the
security apparatus should be addressed by the coalition government,
otherwise “conditions on the ground will not be conducive to the holding of
free, fair and peaceful elections.”

Gumbo responded by saying his party does “not pay any attention” to what
Human Rights Watch says.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe: No Hasty EU Retreat on Sanctions
Rights Reforms, Fair Elections Needed Before Lifting Restrictions
FEBRUARY 7, 2013
If the EU wants to help create a sustainable rights-respecting environment in Zimbabwe, then it should hold off lifting or suspending targeted sanctions until after Zimbabwe holds credible, free and fair elections. Such action would reaffirm the EU’s commitment to Zimbabwe’s political and economic well-being.
Tiseke Kasambala, Africa advocacy director

(Johannesburg) – The European Union (EU) should require tangible human rights reforms and free and fair elections before lifting targeted sanctions on Zimbabwe, Human Rights Watch said today. The EU is expected to review its policy toward Zimbabwein the coming two weeks.

An EU Council decision on July 23, 2012, indicated that a peaceful and credible constitutional referendum would be an important milestone in preparing for democratic elections that would justify suspending the majority of EU targeted restrictions on individuals and entities.

“It would be premature for the EU to lift targeted sanctions on President Robert Mugabe and members of his inner circle simply for holding a referendum on a new constitution,” said Tiseke Kasambala, Africa advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. “Removing or suspending the measures before Zimbabwe carries out any comprehensive rights reforms will give Mugabe and his party free rein to continue repression ahead of elections.”

The EU in 2002 began imposing travel restrictions and asset freezes on President Mugabe and about 200 senior officials from his Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), the former ruling party, as well as on some state-owned companies with close ties to the party.

In late January 2013, Zimbabwe’s political leaders reached agreement on a draft constitution that is likely to be presented for a referendum in March. General elections are expected later in the year.

A new constitution is crucial but insufficient to ensure free and fair elections, Human Rights Watch said. The “unity government” of ZANU-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has not carried out reforms that are vital to prepare the country for credible elections that will meet international standards.

Oppressive laws remain on the statute books, and Zimbabwe’s highly partisan police force harasses and arbitrarily arrests civil society activists. Some government-owned companies subject to EU sanctions, like the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC), are mining diamonds in eastern Zimbabwe and providing unaccountable support to ZANU-PF.

A level playing field for all political parties requires robust enforcement mechanisms operated by independent and non-partisan institutions, such as the judiciary and electoral commission. These mechanisms should act to prevent violence, hold those responsible for abuses to account, and ensure equal access to the media by political parties and candidates, Human Rights Watch said. Credible elections will require not only laws and regulations consistent with international standards, but also independent and professional government institutions and civil servants responsible for delivering reforms.

EU sanctions on Mugabe and others should be kept pending tangible human rights reforms, Human Rights Watch said. And companies like ZMDC should remain under sanctions until there is greater transparency and accountability to ensure that ZANU-PF cannot maintain, through these companies, parallel sources of revenue that could be used to undermine elections.

“If the EU wants to help create a sustainable rights-respecting environment in Zimbabwe, then it should hold off lifting or suspending targeted sanctions until after Zimbabwe holds credible, free and fair elections,” Kasambala said. “Such action would reaffirm the EU’s commitment to Zimbabwe’s political and economic well-being.”

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Air Zim Rolls Out Ambitious Plan To Revive Fortunes

HARARE, February 07, 2013-THE country’s troubled state-run airline, Air
Zimbabwe has rolled out an ambitious plan as it seeks to revive its fortunes
following years of maladministration that at one time grounded the airline’s
Under the ambitious plan, which was seen by Radio VOP, Air Zimbabwe will
introduce new flight routes into Europe, across Africa and bolster its
domestic routes.

According to the plan entitled “Aircraft rotation for summer 2013”, which
will be introduced in March, Air Zimbabwe will operate one of its Boeing
aircraft on flights into the German city of Munich and reintroduce the
London-Harare flights, which were suspended in January last year. The ailing
airline stopped its flights to Britain after one of its Boeing aircraft was
seized at Gatwick airport over an outstanding debt with a United States
parts supplier. The impounded aircraft was held at the London airport for
close to two weeks before Air Zimbabwe settled the debt to secure the plane’s

In Africa, Air Zimbabwe will commence flights to three countries, Ghana,
Mauritius, Kenya and Nigeria, where several Zimbabweans including President
Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s allies have been
trooping to seeking salvation. The airline will operate two of its Airbus
aircraft on the routes including on the Harare-Johannesburg, Dar es Salaam,
Lubumbashi and Kinshasa jaunt.

Air Zimbabwe also confirmed that it will soon take delivery of two Embraer
planes from Brazil, one of the largest aircraft manufacturers in the world.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti and Transport, Communications and
Infrastructural Development Minister Nicholas Goche, who have been leading
efforts to revive the fortunes of Air Zimbabwe, which had suspended
domestic, regional and international flights, sealed the lease agreement
deals when they visited Brazil last year. The planes will complement the
airline’s fleet on local and regional flights including Harare-Lusaka,
Lilongwe and Johannesburg routes.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Acute water crisis raises fears of disease outbreaks
Thursday, 07 February 2013 00:00

Michael Chingarande Herald Reporter
HARARE continues to struggle in providing basic amenities and sanitation, including clean water, to residents. In a survey yesterday, The Herald discovered most suburbs have had no running water for

years while others have resorted to council boreholes or unsafe water sources.
Council on Wednesday attributed the water shortages to a major pipe burst at the Prince Edward Water Works.

Suburbs in the eastern parts of Harare have, however, gone for more than 10 years without tap water.
Residents in these areas have resorted to sinking boreholes.
In western suburbs, intermittent water cuts have increased with residents receiving water during the night.

Mbare residents have had no water in the past six days amid fears of disease outbreaks.
Suburbs that include Mabvuku, Tafara, Rhodesville, Highlands, Chisipite, Greencroft, Mandara, Borrowdale, Greendale and some parts of Msasa have gone for years without tap water.

Ruwa, which also gets supplies from Harare, has had water problems for years.
Residents in western suburbs of Budiriro, Mufakose, Kuwadzana and others receive water during the night.

The situation is the same in Westgate and adjacent suburbs.
“We have gone for more than a decade without running water. I don’t know how they want us to survive in an area where there is no water.

“We have resorted to digging wells and fetching water from nearby boreholes,” a Mabvuku resident said.

Mr Arnold Chitova of Greencroft complained of the time they get water .
“We are not happy at all because sometimes we have to wait the entire night to get water and sometimes you get as little as four litres and the water is cut off.

“What surprises us is that we are paying our bills on time but we are not receiving what we are paying for everyday”.

A resident from Westgate (Red Roofs) said they last received water in December last year.
“We get water from our neighbours’ boreholes and nearby wells. We last had tap water in December last year,” he said.

Residents of Mbare, Glen Norah, Glen View, Norton and Epworth have resorted to borehole water.
The boreholes were sunk during the cholera epidemic in 2009.

In Mbare, some residents are using unprotected water sources.
“We have lost confidence with the tap water as the water is dirty. It shows dirty particles even if it is boiled.

“We are only using tap water for washing plates and clothes but it is not safe for drinking,” said Tapiwa Chimusoro from Glen Norah A.

There are however, fears of imminent disease outbreaks in areas such as Mbare where the hostels have gone for weeks without water.

Council has been accused of neglecting its duties of providing clean water to residents while 60 percent of treated water is lost though leakages.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe's David Coltart: 18% pass rate is progress

7 February 2013

Zimbabwe's education minister has deplored the fact that nearly 82% of
students have failed their basic school leavers' exams, the Ordinary Level.

But David Coltart told the BBC this was an improvement on 2009, when only
14% passed and blamed a decade of "chaos".

His Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) joined President Robert Mugabe's
government in 2009 to end Zimbabwe's political and economic crisis.

Zimbabwe used to have one of the best education systems in Africa.

The results reflect the political and economic decline the country has
witnessed over the past decade, correspondents say.

'No teachers'
Continue reading the main story

Start Quote

We are improving it but there's still a lot of work to be done”

David Coltart
Minister of Education
Last month, Finance Minister Tendai Biti said the government only had $217
(138) in its public account after paying civil servants.

Mr Coltart told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme that the results were

"I'm afraid that this was inevitable. There's been so much chaos in
Zimbabwe's education system in the last decade that it was inevitable that
children's education would be affected in this way," he said.

"If you don't have teachers, if you don't have textbooks, ultimately
literacy and numeracy proficiency drops, and that is eventually reflected in
examination results."

Mr Coltart said the 82% failure rate was an improvement on previous years.

"In February 2009, the pass rate was 14.4%. It's now 18.4%," he said.

"We are improving it but there's still a lot of work to be done."

The coalition government is due to end later this year when elections are

The 2008 presidential election was marred by widespread violence, with the
MDC's Morgan Tsvangirai, who is now the prime minister, boycotting a run-off

Mr Tsvangirai is expected to challenge Mr Mugabe again for the presidency.

The power-sharing government has ended years of hyperinflation by using the
US dollar, but the economy remains fragile, correspondents say.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

‘Govt biggest threat to education’

Thursday, 07 February 2013 10:51

BULAWAYO - Government remains the biggest threat to the development of the
education sector, a Cabinet minister has said.

Education minister David Coltart (pictured) has blamed the poor pass rate
recorded for last year’s ‘O’ Level examinations on warped government
priorities, which have seen ministers and top officials getting luxury cars
while public schools remain underfunded.

Coltart said while commendable pass rates have been recorded in Grade 7 and
‘A’ Level examinations between 2009 and 2012, his ministry achieved the feat
on a tight budget supported mainly by donors.

“This gradual overall progress has been achieved in an environment of
minimal government funding for education outside of the payment of teachers.
While donor support through the Education Transition Fund has been generous,
it has been small compared to the amount of donor support the education
sector got in the 1980s,” Coltart wrote on his Facebook wall.

He said in one year alone in the 1980s, the United States government — a
major donor — would contribute over $100 million to Zimbabwe’s education
sector. That support has dwindled to $1 million since he took over as
minister in 2009.

“No support whatsoever has been forthcoming for the second phase of the
Education Transition Fund from that quarter,” Coltart said.

During the economic meltdown experienced between 2003 and 2009, the
education sector suffered as qualified teachers left the country for greener
pastures due to poor salaries.

“The damage done to the education sector by the chaos of the last decade and
underfunding for two decades is incalculable but we see the effects through
these low pass rates,” Coltart wrote.

Residents in Bulawayo have criticised the minister and teachers for the poor
results, saying their children’s future looked bleak.

One irate parent, Priscilla Mtombeni, said: “Teachers are not committed to
our children, but are busy syphoning cash from us for extra lessons which do
not translate into good results.”

Cosmas Ndlovu, a high school teacher, blamed the poor pass rate on students’
obsession with mobile phones and Internet, saying these affected studies.

Last year’s ‘O’ Level results reveal that the pass rate dropped by 1,1
percent. - Nyasha Chingono

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimsec withholds results for suspected exam cheats

Thursday, 07 February 2013 00:00

Felex Share Herald Reporter

THE Zimbabwe School Examinations Council has withheld some results for 2012
Ordinary and Advanced Level

examinations for several schools amid suspicion that candidates cheated,
especially during practicals.
For A Level, the examination body raised queries on Chemistry results for
several schools.
The practicals, which are Paper 2 and 3, are done at the schools and it is
suspected teachers could have assisted pupils.

The move has dealt hundreds of students who intended to apply for the March
intake at various universities a blow.

This comes as several other examination centres have not received results in
one or two subjects in the Ordinary Level results released this week.

Sources said the results were withheld for alleged malpractice.
A-Level Chemistry candidates who sat for the examination at centres like
Kriste Mambo in Rusape and Zimuto High School in Masvingo are yet to get
their results, two weeks after their release. Examiners are called at
various examination centres to assess the practicals candidates would have
done before they submit the marks to Zimsec.

Zimsec director Mr Esau Nhandara yesterday confirmed that results for some
schools had been withheld.

He cited cases of Kriste Mambo and Zimuto, although sources within the
examinations body said several schools had been affected.

“It is true that Zimsec withheld results for Kriste Mambo and Zimuto High
Schools,” he said.
“The technicality is premised on the practical component of the paper.”

He said Zimsec was investigating the cases. “If Zimsec is investigating
cases on examinations, revealing the progress to the public of who is
involved may compromise the whole process,” Mr Nhandara said.

“Individual centres are aware of our position, hence the candidates should
ask their respective centre heads and not the media.

“All we are doing is trying to protect the integrity of the certificate.
Regrettably in the process, some candidates are inconvenienced.”

Mr Nhandara confirmed that some schools had failed to get results in one or
two subjects.
“The same reason applied to Ordinary Level centres that have not received
results in some subjects and candidates are therefore assured that their
results will be released as soon as we are done with the above stated
issue,” he said. Sources said results withheld for O-Level were mainly for
science-related subjects.

Parents whose children failed to collect the result said they were being
inconvenienced without a satisfactory explanation from school authorities.

“Some local universities are at the moment accepting applications for the
March intake and how are our children going to proceed without the results,”
said Mr Roy Runesu.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Glen View murder trial to resume next week

By Alex Bell
07 February 2013

The Glen View murder trial that has sucked in 29 MDC-T members and
activists, is set to resume next week, with the courts being urged to
finally bring the matter to an end.

The case stems from the May 2011 death of Glen View policeman Petros Mutedza
who, the state claims, was murdered by the MDC-T members when he ‘raided’
one of their gatherings.

But the 29, as well as other witnesses, have stated that Mutedza was the
victim of a bar brawl and lawyers representing the accused have argued that
there is not enough evidence to implicate their clients. The late Mutedza’s
family has also testified on behalf of the 29, insisting the police officer
was a victim of a political plot by ZANU PF.

Regardless of this, the case has limped forward for almost two years. 24 of
the accused were only released from remand prison more than a year after the
original arrests started in May 2011. Five individuals still remain

The five are Last Maengahama, Tungamirai Madozkere, Rebecca Mafikeni, Yvonne
Musarurwa and Simon Mapanzure.

Among the 29 accused is the head of the MDC-T Youth Assembly, Solomon
Madzore, who spent more than a year locked up. He was released on bail late
last year.

The Youth Assembly’s Promise Mkwananzi told SW Radio Africa on Thursday that
they hope to see justice prevail.

“The judiciary has been exposed as weak and slow in delivering justice. We
still firmly believe that this is a case of misfortune where people are
being persecuted for political means,” Mkwananzi said.

He added: “We want to see the unconditional release of the five still
detained and for the real perpetrators of this crime to be brought to book,
not just for the sake of the accused, but also for the victim’s family.”

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Howard Hospital facing bleak future as funding runs dry

By Alex Bell
07 February 2013

The once revered Howard Hospital in Chiweshe is facing a bleak and unsure
future, with critical funding beginning to run dry.

The situation at the Salvation Army run hospital has deteriorated
consistently since its chief doctor, Paul Thistle, was dismissed from the
facility last year after raising concerns about financial mismanagement. It’s
understood the claims implicated the head of the Salvation Army in Zimbabwe,
Vinece Chigariro, who led the campaign to remove Dr. Thistle.

The doctor’s removal caused outcry, because of the work he had done to turn
the Howard mission into a highly respected medical facility. He was also
considered a valued member of the community, after living there for more
than 16 years.

His dismissal, which the Salvation Army has insisted is a standard
‘reassignment’, prompted a violent backlash from community members who
protested his removal in August. That protest turned violent, leading to the
police arresting scores of residents, as well as eight hospital nurses. They
were all forced to stand trial over two months.

The Salvation Army has remained steadfast that nothing out of the ordinary
led to Dr. Thistle’s dismissal, and also insisted his claims of financial
mismanagement at the Zimbabwe chapter of the church were unfounded.

Commissioner Amos Makina, representing the International Headquarters, said
in a statement last year that “any allegations of wrongdoing on the part of
Territorial Commander Vinece Chigariro are proven to be unfounded. The
Commissioner has not used donated funds for personal use or for the day to
day running of Zimbabwe Territorial Headquarters.”

Chigariro was later reassigned to a mission in Kenya, but the Salvation Army
also insisted this was above board.

“The Salvation Army is pleased to confirm that the decision to appoint the
present head of the Salvation Army in Zimbabwe, Commissioner Vinece
Chigariro, as leader in the Kenya East Territory, was taken some months
before any concerns about the Howard Hospital were raised. These matters are
not related,” a statement from the Salvation Army said.

The Church has also insisted it is fully committed to the Howard Mission,
but SW Radio Africa has been told that the hospital is in a desperate
situation, mainly because key international donors have withheld money since
Dr. Thistle’s removal. The doctor, a Canadian citizen, was instrumental in
securing hundreds of thousands of dollars in donated cash from different
charity groups across Canada and elsewhere. Without him, the money is drying

One source who visited the hospital recently, said there are only two
doctors at the facility, but no chief surgeon, meaning most cases are being
referred to Harare’s Pariyenyatwa Hospital. Only up to 200 cases are being
seen to a day compared to the estimated 600 that used to be seen, while
financial shortages mean the staff there is often paid weeks late.

Chiweshe residents also told SW Radio Africa that many people now travelling
to Karanda Mission Hospital, where Dr. Thistle started working late last

Local police meanwhile have clamped down on the community itself, stopping
them from protesting, speaking to the media, or even signing a petition that
was started last year. That petition was set to be delivered to government
urging them to intervene, but never saw the light of day.

Fund raised for Howard Hospital to go to another facility

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

MDC counters Zanu PF’s indigenisation

Thursday, 07 February 2013 10:57
HARARE - Demoralised by failure to unseat President Robert Mugabe in the
2008 vote, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC’s chance to unseat the
veteran ruler is facing a major stumbling block — an indigenisation policy
which is reconnecting Zanu PF to grassroots communities.

The MDC has stepped up a drive to appeal to voters’ worries over jobs,
cronyism and sputtering services by offering alternatives to Zanu PF’s
indigenisation policy.

Zanu PF is counting on momentum from its indigenisation policy and the
88-year-old’s charisma and anti-poverty programmes to outweigh Tsvangirai’s
jobs promise.

Mugabe, who is confident of a re-election triumph, has been sending out some
political heavy hitters to roll out the indigenisation drive in communities
to try and wrest control of MDC-held constituencies.

The MDC says Zanu PF’s Community Share Ownership Scheme is a “charade” and a
ploy to hoodwink voters ahead of elections.

If Mugabe, who turns 89 on February 21, wins re-election, he will extend his
rule to almost four decades, though there is speculation the nagging health
problems associated with his advanced age could floor him.

Opposition leaders generally stay quiet on Mugabe’s health but view the
forthcoming general elections as a chance to at least limit his influence.
The MDC says it has robust policies that will grow the economy for the
benefit of all Zimbabweans, and not just party cronies.

“Our mining policy explicitly spells out that as part of corporate social
responsibility, mining companies are to ensure the provision of housing,
health facilities, roads, schools, water and sanitation facilities in the
communities they operate in,” the MDC says in a strategy paper.

“The MDC will establish a proper Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), which will be
financed and managed through clearly defined statutes on Resource Rent Tax
not donations or bribes as manifested in (Indigenisation minister Saviour)
Kasukuwere’s Community Share Ownership Scheme.

“The Sovereign Wealth Fund will be funded by ring-fencing the Resource Rent
Tax (RRT) to invest in long-term projects and instruments that ensure
economic prosperity beyond the depletion of our mineral resources,” the
party says.

The MDC likened Zanu PF’s empowerment scheme to the land reform, that saw
over 4 000 white commercial farmers lose their properties in a drive that
benefitted landless blacks but gutted commercial agriculture.

Despite lacking real state power, Tsvangirai is using his successes in
health and social welfare programmes as a springboard for his presidential

But Mugabe, promising to deepen socialist reforms and improve efficiency in
his new term, is providing ample campaign resources to try and sink his
presidential rival’s political future.

Mugabe says his opponents have “palpable election-phobia” and claims their
fortunes were plummeting.

“The leadership of the opposition MDC formations have spent their time in
office lining up their pockets and seeking the trappings of luxury, but with
no achievements to show on the policy front, none whatsoever,” Mugabe has
been quoted as saying.

“In the process, the leadership of the MDC formations have abandoned their
own supporters for self-aggrandisement,” said Mugabe.

Mugabe says there is no alternative to his indigenisation and economic
empowerment policy.

Tsvangirai, 60, insists the drive threatens foreign investment and hurts job
prospects. He says the programme is narrow and only meant to enrich a few
politically connected people, “a continuation of a patronage system that has
been at the epicentre of destroying this economy.”

While opposition opposes the policy, the MDC has failed to get leverage in
braking Mugabe’s policies at local implementation level.

“The people of Zimbabwe should be made aware that the issue of Community
Share Ownership Scheme is not a new phenomenon, but rather has been part and
parcel of corporate social responsibility of companies since time
immemorial,” the MDC paper said.

“It is thus very wrong for Zanu PF to now run with the programme as if it is
their initiative. Instead of supporting companies who have all along been
carrying out these programmes professionally and transparently, Zanu PF has
in fact highjacked this noble undertaking, laced it with political overtones
while at the same time extorting money from these companies,” the party

Following more than a decade of economic regression, Zimbabwe requires
access to investment capital and this can only be unlocked by a sound policy
regime, the MDC says.

But Mugabe says the “revolutionary thrust” of his programmes is not against
foreign investment “since it is in fact the foundation for genuine and
sustainable foreign investment”.

The MDC says the people of Zimbabwe do not want hand outs.

“They want a government with forward looking and sustainable policies to
allow them to live to their full potential,” the MDC paper says. - Gift
Phiri, Political Editor

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Chinese, US planners help Harare

Thursday, 07 February 2013 10:42
HARARE - A group of American students are in the country to help the City of
Harare in town planning and settlement structuring in the wake of service
delivery woes by residents.

The 15 students studying Town Planning at the University of Pennsylvania and
another group of Chinese landscapers will for a week discuss strategies to
deal with Harare’s problems.

“Harare statistics are terrible, this workshop is necessary as it will bring
solutions and help our planners to redeem our city in the next 30 years,”
said Psychology Chiwanga, the director of Urban Planning Services in Harare.

Council has been under fire for failing to provide efficient services
despite charging high rates. The city fathers have also been blamed for the
continued outbreak of water-borne diseases, owing to their failure to
collect garbage and supply running water.

The planners will give their solutions on Friday. Also being discussed is
the now non-existent public transport in the city, pressure on cemetery
lands and how government may overcome the disaster unfolding in Harare.

Local planners attending the workshop complained that accessing data for
planning purposes is a nightmare as the country does not have a geographical
information system.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Maternal mortality soars


by Thabani Dube

About 10 women die every day of pregnancy related complications in Zimbabwe,
three times higher than the global average, the Zimbabwe Demographic and
Health Survey says in its latest report.

The figure is almost 50 percent higher than the Sub-Saharan Africa average.

The latest ZDHS (2010-2011) shows that the country’s maternal mortality
ratio is now at 960 deaths per 100,000 live births. This is three times more
than the global average of 287.

“While globally there has been a 34 percent decline in the maternal
mortality ratio from 1990 to 2008, Zimbabwe has experienced an increase from
283 deaths per 100,000 in 1994 to 960 in 2010-2011,” says the report.

The MMR is the number of pregnancy-related mothers’ deaths per 100,000 live
births or the number of women who die due to childbearing, pregnancy or
within 42 days of delivery or termination of pregnancy in one year.

The ZDHS noted that infant mortality is now 57 deaths per 1,000 live births
and under five years mortality is 84 deaths per 1,000 live births, meaning
one in 12 children die before his or her fifth birthday.

The study showed that the leading direct causes of maternal deaths are
pregnancy induced hypertension or eclampsia, postpartum haemorrhage,
puerperal sepsis, malaria and obstructed labour.

“HIV and AIDS related conditions are the leading indirect cause of deaths
and contribute about 25 percent of all maternal deaths,” according to ZMPMS

The recent ZDHS noted that about two-thirds of births are assisted by a
skilled medical provider, which is a decrease of two percent from 68 percent
recorded in 2005-2006.

“Thirteen percent of the births are assisted by a traditional birth
attendant and another 13 percent by untrained relatives and friends. Three
percent are unassisted,” says the report.

About two-thirds of Zimbabwean births occur in health facilities, primarily
in public sector facilities. Home births are three times more common in
rural areas with 42 percent than in urban areas at 14 percent.

It was noted that only 28 percent of women received a post-natal check-up
within two days of delivery as recommended and 57 percent do not have a
postnatal check-up at all.

Last week, the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare received a major boost
to curb the skyrocketing maternal mortality and neonatal death rates when
the European Union committed itself to providing 9.9 million Euros meant to
revitalise maternity waiting homes and other related services.

In his remarks at the launch of the programme aimed to achieve Millennium
Development Goal number five, which seeks to reduce maternal deaths by 75
percent by 2015, in Mhondoro last week, Deputy Minister of Health and Child
Welfare, Douglas Mombeshora described the rate of maternal deaths as

According to health experts the risk of neonatal deaths is highest in the
first 24 hours after birth where 49 percent of deaths occur. The first 72
hours after birth are also high risk.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Geoffrey Van Orden MEP comment on Zimbabwe

Keeping the pressure on Mugabe

Press release

7 February 2013

The European Parliament has today condemned the increase in violence and
intimidation of protestors and political activists in Zimbabwe in the run up
to the 2013 polls.

The EU agreed on 23 July 2012 to consider partial suspension of its
Restrictive Measures on Zimbabwe, should the upcoming Zimbabwean
Constitutional referendum be recognised as free and fair by the
international community.

In late January 2013, Zimbabwe’s political leaders reached agreement on a
draft Constitution that is likely to be presented for a referendum in March.
General elections are expected later in the year.

Geoffrey Van Orden MBE MEP, who has long spearheaded the European Parliament’s
campaign for freedom and democratic change in Zimbabwe, took a lead in
drafting the Parliament’s resolution.

Mr Van Orden commented:

“Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party have recently stepped up a campaign of
violence and intimidation against those that dare speak out against them,
including the arrest and detention of human rights activists and the
targeting of MDC supporters.

“The international community must maintain pressure on Mugabe in this
critical run-up period to a Constitutional referendum and election.
Suspension of the EU’s targeted measures will only come about if there is
clear evidence of a marked improvement in the political and human rights
situation. There must also be a peaceful and credible constitutional
referendum and electoral preparations that meet recognised international

“I am also calling on the World Bank and the Zimbabwe government to respect
international court rulings. These relate to the International Centre for
the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICISID) court ruling in April 2009
that granted compensation to those who were illegally and often brutally
thrown off their lands by Mugabe. Settlement of these claims will build
confidence with international investors that arbitration rulings for
investments, no matter how small or large, will be respected. This is
important for Zimbabwe’s future economic growth and prosperity.

“I have called for a more active participation of the Southern African
Development Community (SADC) in assessing the human rights situation and
urged the deployment of international observers, especially from SADC and
the Pan-African Parliament.”

“The elections provide a rare opportunity for Zimbabweans to steer their
country on a new course towards real democracy. I would urge Mugabe and
Zanu-PF to respect the will of the people and not to interfere in either the
upcoming Constitutional Referendum or the 2013 electoral process.


Geoffrey Van Orden MEP is Conservative Defence and Security Spokesman. Over
many years he has initiated the European Parliament’s tough resolutions on
Zimbabwe. He has been personally banned by Mugabe from entering Zimbabwe.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Makandiwa, Angel, Gono: What they said

Facing the media ... Emmanuel Makandiwa, Gideon Gono and Uebert Angel

06/02/2013 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

The following is a transcript from a press conference called by Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono, United Family International church leader Emmanuel Makandiwa and Spirit Embassy International founder Uebert Angel Mudzanire in Harare on Monday, February 6.

The two church leaders were summoned by the RBZ chief to discuss newspaper claims that they were causing money to appear "miraculously" in the pockets of their congregants:

GIDEON GONO: In the last three or four weeks, the country has been dominated by issues to do with the word of God, signs, miracles and wonders which are outside the realm and understanding by man.

We also, as the central bank, came in to give our views concerning their work as far as matters we don’t understand. We are charged with ensuring that earthly laws and regulations are observed, implemented and monitored so there is no denial that the issues to do with miracles, signs and wonders do confuse many.

So when they started talking about miracle money I started saying, “aizve, asi kwane mumwe Governor? Ko munin’ina ayitaseyi uyu? Akusigner mari yani?”

Then came the issue of gold dust and other minerals, but I didn’t hear you talking about diamonds! There was a lot of debate on who is right and who is wrong so it was against that background we got together to try and appreciate where each one of us was coming from and I’m happy to say that there is no contradiction in terms of what they have been doing and saying, and the laws that we have been observing and which we must continue to observe.

Principally, we are concerned about the creation of conditions whereupon there could be misunderstandings or violation of the local or regional or international anti-money laundering as well as the prevention of financing of terrorism. That, we are very concerned about, but I’m sure that there is nothing of the sort which might visit us in the environment that we operate and whatever the two blessed man of God do is not in violation of those conventions, rules and regulations.

I’m happy to confirm that we have perfectly understood one another; we have perfectly understood where they are coming from and the fact that there is no violation of the nature that we feared. I will leave them to comment on whether they have also understood where we were coming from, but I think we have.

There is no animosity at all between us, there are no fights at all but of course where there is no dialogue, it becomes a fertile ground for misunderstandings. We want to serve as an example of what people should do when they need to understand where each one is coming from.

I am not saying that because we have met we now understand each other very much. I know that you have been calling them asking them to react, but this is the time now for them to speak.

UEBERT ANGEL: I would like to start by appreciating the Governor for understanding where we are coming from. We serve a God where we don’t need to explain the chemical composition of a miracle but at the end of the day there are also laws we need to follow in the country and they are not foreign to me, I have degrees in finance.

We are dealing with spiritual things and he is dealing with earthly matters. We are dealing with things that control the spiritual world and by and large, the earthly world.

The governor said I should have a farm, on a lighter note. I have farms not a farm! We will continue doing God’s work and we will continue doing miracles. We will make sure we are not contradicting the laws of the land. Thank you.

EMMANUEL MAKANDIWA: Thank you so much Governor. I respect you and thank you for such an arrangement. I believe it clears a lot of mist and misunderstandings that might be there because we had a fruitful conversation on how we operate.

As you have said, there are laws that are supposed to be followed by everyone and that is what we are determined to do.

Looking at how God operates, even ourselves, although we have tried to do that for sometime, we have not been successful in putting God in a box and teach him to behave. It has been a very, very difficult thing. We wish he would listen but sometimes when we pray certain things happen and they continue to happen.

But we really thank God for doing what he is doing especially in this nation. Apart from what is happening, I think we need to have a kaleidoscopic view of everything so we then appreciate that God really is up to something, he loves this nation and that is why certain things are happening.

I personally believe that this is what we call wealth creation and empowerment and indigenisation so we thank God. As prophets in this land, we will continue praying that God may continue blessing us and that no one will suffer, giving us whatever he desires to give us.

It’s like we are ambassadors from a different realm, we represent a spiritual dimension in the physical where all things come from and sometimes we have to demonstrate it here and there to prove to people that that is where we are coming from.

I thank God for such a meeting and also it has been made clear that we are in the right track.

JOURNALIST: My question is directed to the prophets, it is a good thing that you have come to dialogue with the governor but are you also going to meet with other men of God who don’t understand your miracles and explain to them?

EMMNANUEL MAKANDIWA: That is a mission impossible because it’s like you are trying to explain something they already know. There are certain things that somebody can deny. In the book of Acts, there was a certain miracle that was performed by servants of God. Using the name of Jesus, a man who could not walk was healed. Even though they knew it was a genuine miracle, they gathered and said: ‘How shall we deny?’

Inviting somebody to a meeting trying to explain to him how a miracle happens and in this case him being a man of God, he is already there. He is already a pastor, he is already a prophet. Now, trying to convince him that a miracle is possible... who put him there in the first place?

So we might try to do that but what we would encourage people is to invite us and allow us to do what we are capable of doing and show how the name of Jesus can perform wonders and miracles more than just explaining because we are now in the world of intellectuals, people they reason, people know how to defend their beliefs but we have gone past that level. We now believe in demonstrating what you know.

What we would love is a situation where we can meet and then let’s show each other what we can do. That way it’s better because people think it’s rehearsed or maybe it’s something that people are just talking about.

We are open, let’s meet as men of God, let’s sit down and let’s see whether these things are real. We are available, we are Zimbabweans, we’re here if a miracle is genuine.

But what I understand is this; a miracle can only be genuine if you yourself are genuine. When your eyes are not genuine, whatever you see cannot be genuine. What we need is this, we are throwing a challenge, there are several men of God that God has called and anointed and we are not the only people who are doing extraordinary things in Zimbabwe, there are several men of God performing the same miracles in different ways. We are more comfortable, that is why we are not always available for interviews and people asking questions we are still praying that God gives us people that are hungry to see these things being displayed rather than asking questions and let’s see whether these things are real, whether these things are possible and that is the only way we are going to convince others who don’t believe.

We are not going to sit down and explain to them because explaining will not change anything, let’s show each other what we carry, we allow the anointing that we carry to be tested. If there is a case which is difficult we bring it on board in front of cameras but the unfortunate part is this, if it happens, you journalists will not bring it out for the public even if it happens right here.

UEBERT ANGEL: Like what prophet Makandiwa has said, to the impure everything is impure. To a thief everyone is a thief. To someone who is dodgy, they think everyone is dodgy. We can attribute everything that we are doing to the bible, and scripture is backing everything we do. We don’t just pick this then mix it with that, we stick to the bible, we stick to the word.

I would be very comfortable if someone would come and say I don’t really understand than to deny something that is taking place. That is an insult to intelligence because it’s there, it’s happening you can come and see it. We can be in your church and you will see it, but to try and deny a miracle that you see, that is religious murder that’s a crime.

The problem that one is supposed to have is: are we of God or are we of the Devil? Not to question whether the miracles are real because they are real. I don’t know if you understand my point, and I know you might take it in a different way but my point is the men of God should be arguing on one point, not to argue on the point whether the miracles are real because they are real you can actually interview people that you like but we can’t be invited to every place just to prove to people who don’t believe like what prophet Makandiwa has already said.

You need to understand in Zimbabwe we now have a problem because religious issues are now more dangerous than politics because the moment Angel comes and now has 4,000 people, maybe 2,000 came from the world and the other 2000 came from someone’s church, you never know it happens and that is already a battle line that has been drawn.

You have seen prophecy that I have done and that Makandiwa has done and it’s there so you can’t argue with results. The test of the pudding is not in the argument; it’s in the eating

GIDEON GONO: In addition to that, perhaps he may explain the common perception that the two of them have a lot of money they take from congregants.

UEBERT ANGEL: We have been calling the media to come during collection time and do the counting of the offering. We can give you four months to do it and we show you our expenses and you go and pay, obviously doing it with our people. After that, you will realise that there is no money to steal because we are the ones sponsoring the gospel, that is not the way we get money we are blessed of God. The question should be how do we get money rather than to think we take money from the people.

JOURNALIST: People now think that you are the one doing the miracle. Is it possible for you to explain to them that it is God doing it not you?

EMMANUEL MAKANDIWA: Imagine the entire financial system without our governor? A financial system without a personality? Why do we need him so desperately in Zimbabwe? Miracles are a system which somebody has to run, if you believe in your bible Jesus said go heal the sick, raise the dead and cleanse the lepers – you do that because he has given us that power and that is the power that we use. God is not going to be operating from nowhere.

You know, if somebody just receives a miracle in the streets even if its God he may go and thank other wicked spirits for the miracle because there is the spiritual dimension which is the heavenly dimension which all of us are coming from, and there is a physical dimension which is the earth that we are in and God gave us these bodies so that we may operate in this physical dimension.

So this body that you see is not Makandiwa, Makandiwa is inside, that is why when a person dies we say there is his body being laid to rest. So the person is the inner man so the body allows the body to operate in this world, the person inside can exist without the body but the body cannot exist without the inner man.

So who is Makandiwa? We do tell people that it is God doing those miracles but if it is God doing those miracles, why are people coming to church to receive a miracle because we all know that God is omnipresent?

If God did not need an individual to perform a miracle, he would just heal people at their houses where they would be. That is why you see that when God wanted to destroy Sodom he had to pass through Abraham’s place, surely God does not do anything without revealing to his prophets.

So when God wants to do something in the physical dimension, he consults people he puts in position, he does not violate his protocol. For Jesus to become relevant to us, and for the whole process of salvation to become valid, he had to become physical.

So we do tell people that it is God doing the miracle but the question still remains, why did they not receive a miracle when they were at home? This is because God works with people to make miracles.

JOURNALIST: I am directing this question to the governor. If I come across this miracle money, can I safely go in a shop and buy with the money without violating any law?

UEBERT ANGEL: Let me explain that. You have directed the question to the wrong person because you are touching miracle money. Well, the miracle is not in creating money. I’m not saying if creating money is done by God it’s wrong. God is above all and I have to repeat this, anyone can be President but Jesus is King.

We did not say we are creating money in the miracle. What we did is restoration. If you lost US$20, we bring it back into your pocket so the miracle is in the distance of how the money travelled form Mutoko where you lost it into your pocket - that is where the miracle is. When you lost the money, didn’t it have serial numbers? So when you have recovered it, why should it not have the serial number?

It’s just stupidity gone on rampage where people start to talk and talk but at the end of the day we did not say we are creating money, its restoration. You lose US$20, we are bringing it back to you.

GIDEON GONO: As I have said there are some matters of details that we have discussed which are really not for public consumption. The important point is we now understand each other very well and there is no misunderstanding. They know where I am coming from and I know where they are coming from there has never an issue of printing money and it’s not happening every Sunday. it happened for demonstration purposes

JOURNALIST: When it comes to money, our country has suffered a lot financially. What if you are appointed by God to save Zimbabwe, are you going to use your gifts to better our economy?

UEBERT ANGEL: I thought that was what we were doing? The problem is people think we are just helping people in our churches, we are not at liberty to tell you how many people we are helping, people think we just stand in front of the pulpit and go home.

JOURNALIST: My question is directed to Prophet Makandiwa are you going to drop charges on the lawsuit against Daily News.
EMMANUEL MAKANDIWA: I will not answer that one because the journalist who has asked is not from the Daily News.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Andy Flower & Henry Olonga: the 'death of democracy' remembered
7 February 2013
Last updated at 10:46 GMT
Andy Flower

It was the moment that marked out Andy Flower and Henry Olonga as two of the most courageous figures in the history of their sport.

On 10 February 2003, as their country prepared to host its first World Cup match, the Zimbabwe cricketers released a statement to journalists at the Harare Sports Club in which they denounced the "death of democracy" in their homeland.

And in order to underline their opposition to President Robert Mugabe's 'regime', they took to the field wearing black armbands.

In making their stand at an international sports event, Flower, Zimbabwe's most successful player, and Olonga, the country's first black cricketer, were drawing the attention of the world to what they saw as human rights abuses taking place in their country.

But in opposing Mugabe, who was elected as Prime Minister in 1980 in post-independence elections and became president in 1987, they were throwing away their international careers, putting their lives in danger and condemning themselves to a life in exile.

Ten years on, the protest is the subject of a BBC Radio 5 live Sport special to be broadcast at 19:00 GMT on Thursday.

Listeners will hear the personal recollections of Flower and Olonga as they relive the moment they made their bold stand.

Henry Olonga

Olonga's armband is visible as he watches from the players' balcony

While Olonga wrote at length about the extraordinary episode and its consequences in his 2010 autobiography Blood, Sweat and Treason, Flower has remained largely silent, and the man whose stewardship of the England team has been characterised by a dispassionate resolve becomes deeply emotional as he remembers his thoughts and feelings before, during and after that fateful day.

In an interview with 5 live's Alison Mitchell, Flower explains that the protest came about after an old friend, Nigel Huff, took him to see how his once-thriving farm had been devastated by the government's land reforms.

"Nigel said we had a moral obligation not to go about business as usual during the World Cup but to tell the world about what was going on in Zimbabwe," recalls Flower.

"Once he had planted that seed it was very hard to ignore it and it changed the way I viewed the country and our participation in that World Cup."

Flower knew that the chances of engaging the whole team in a protest or boycott were remote given that certain players either had sympathies with the regime or would be unwilling to take such a risk. So he decided to approach Olonga, a 26-year-old fast bowler with a sharp mind and strong sense of morality.

"I thought Henry might grab the concept and have the courage of his convictions to take a stand," adds Flower. "I also thought the fact that it would be one white Zimbabwean and one black one operating together gave the message the most eloquent balance."

A series of clandestine meetings followed involving Flower, Olonga and David Coltart, a human rights lawyer and a member of the opposition party.

Together they decided that the most effective way to make their point would be through a written statement and the wearing of a black armband to symbolise their mourning for the death of democracy in Mugabe's Zimbabwe.

Flower and Olonga describe the sense of foreboding as the day of the match due nearer, followed by a feeling of liberation once they had finally put their plan into operation.

One of the most powerful passages of Flower's testimony arrives when he reads aloud the 450-word statement which was distributed around the press box by English journalist Geoffrey Dean on the morning of the Namibia game and subsequently reprinted in newspapers across the globe.

"They are familiar words," says Flower. "I have a copy framed in my house and just occasionally if I come across it I read the entire statement again.

"I love the way it was written - the meaning in some of those sentences is very sad because it is a reminder of what was happening in that country at that time and some of the people who went through agony and lost their lives."

Flower and Olonga's actions were applauded in international media but drew a furious response from Zimbabwe's cricket administrators and politicians. Olonga was expelled by his club side and branded an "Uncle Tom" who had "a black skin and a white mask" by Zimbabwe's propaganda minister Jonathan Moyo.

Flower, who was 34 at the time, had already planned to quit international cricket after the World Cup and had signed a contract to play for Essex in England, but the younger Olonga was less prepared for a life in exile.

"I had in my own naivety thought that I could carry on in Zimbabwe - maybe my career would come to an end but I could still live there," Olonga tells Mitchell.

"But that all changed when I got death threats two or three weeks after the World Cup. It became very clear that they had it in for me after the World Cup. I realised the game was up."

Olonga followed Flower to England where he gave up cricket and forged a career as a singer and public speaker. Now settled in Somerset with his Australian wife and two daughters, he says he has no regrets about his actions but would be uneasy about returning to his homeland with Mugabe still in power.

"I would need some guarantees that the people who wanted to harm me a few years ago do not still want to harm me," he says. "As a dad and someone who has responsibilities, I would need to know it was safe."

Flower, who is seeking to lead England to their third straight Ashes victory over Australia this summer, believes enough time has passed for him to contemplate a return to Zimbabwe. But he remains deeply proud of the moment when he transcended his sport.

"We can't all change the world, but if we all do little things along the way and make the most powerful decisions we can then I think we can bring about change," he says.

"Would I do it again? Given the same circumstances, without a doubt, yes."

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Land invasions haunting farm labourers

I live in the rural areas and I am trying to make a living from growing a small crop of tobacco. Walking around the farms that were invaded by war veterans, Robert Mugabe’s cronies and supporters, what one sees is unexpected, one is genuinely surprised to see how the rural economy is in precipitous decline and farm labour has been totally displaced.

My father was a farm worker and before the invasions he managed to send us to school, but after the invasions my siblings even failed to complete secondary education because the new employers were failing to pay my father his paltry wage.

The situation is further exacerbated by the fact that my mother lost her job as a domestic worker on a farm to help father. In general, female workers suffered as great a loss of employment. The overall picture is one of massive job losses.

Production on the once productive farms has sharply deteriorated and farm workers are bearing the effects of the change - going for months without wages- more than a decade after Zanu PF led government invaded farms.

After the violent invasions my father worked for more than three new black farmers who grabbed the land from white commercial farmers. All of them inconsistent in paying wages. More than half of the newly resettled farmers are failing to pay a paltry monthly wage of $59 per month to their farm workers more than a decade into the business. Some of the new farmers can go up to 17 or even more months without paying, but they are harvesting and selling their crops.

The loss of a regular job-based income has undermined the livelihoods of most farm worker households. The working conditions and wages on the farms of small and new commercial farmers are unattractive.

An unfortunate development is farm workers' diminishing access to crucial resources and services. Change in farm ownership has restricted access to housing, schools, clinics and safe water. Where a farm owner has been evicted, the running and maintenance of the school and payment of the teaching staff often ceased, leading to the school's closure. Most early child education centres (ECECs) have also been closed down, as have farm clinics.

In response to the loss of permanent jobs and access to shelter and social services, my father and other farm workers have pursued a number of coping strategies. These include wandering in search of piece-work jobs at different farms at different times, informal trade, gold panning, fishing and hunting. Income from these activities is irregular and limited, but the workers appear to have no other options.

Land reform has had a direct impact on food security at national level as well as on farm workers' requirements. The disruptions associated with 'land invasions' further undermined crop production. For jobless farm workers, access to food has been difficult and irregular. Food aid has been made available to some of those without a livelihood, and to children under five and those of school age. But it is never enough.

Like other social groups, farm workers have been vulnerable to the HIV-AIDS epidemic. The prevalence rate among them in the 20-49 year age group is estimated at higher than 25 per cent. The consequences include a rise in the number of orphans and child-headed households. Extended family and nuclear family structures are under severe stress as household assets are drawn upon to treat people with AIDS-related sicknesses. Resources and home-based care institutions for the sick are very limited.

Other vulnerable groups in the farm worker community include migrant workers and their descendants, women, the elderly, youth and children. Most migrant workers or their descendants have no communal homes, land or jobs to fall back on. There is no social safety net for the elderly and retired workers, or for women concentrated in insecure, seasonal jobs.

I do not believe we can go back, but when are the leaders of our nation going to take us forward?

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Constitution Watch 3/2013 of 6th February [COPAC Narrative Report]


Process Update

[6th February 2013]

The narrative report on the constitution-making process is attached [unzipped version on request from]. Veritas has permission to distributed this long awaited report. The draft constitution made available to Parliament has already been distributed by Veritas. [For new subscribers copies available on request]

COPAC Narrative Report and Draft Constitution Presented to Parliament

When Parliament reassembled yesterday, Tuesday 5th February:

copies of COPAC’s Report on the constitution-making process and copies of the final draft constitution were distributed to all members; and

notice was given that today, 6th February, identical motions would be proposed, in both the House of Assembly and the Senate, in the following terms:

“That this House:

COGNIZANT of the fact that Article 6 of the Global Political Agreement provides that there shall be set up a Select Committee of Parliament to spearhead the drafting of a people-driven constitution;

ACKNOWLEDGING that the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders on the 12th April, 2009, did set up a Committee known as the Constitution Parliamentary Select Committee [COPAC];

REALISING that the said Committee did undertake and complete drafting the new Constitution of Zimbabwe as provided for in the terms of Article 6 of the Global Political Agreement;

MINDFUL of the fact that Article 6 of the Global Political Agreement further provides that COPAC must table the Report and draft Constitution of Zimbabwe before this Honourable House;

NOW, THEREFORE, ADOPTS the Report of the Parliamentary Select Committee on the progress and outcome of the constitution-making process; and

NOTES the draft Constitution of Zimbabwe tabled before it.”

The House of Assembly motion was in the names of COPAC co-chairs Douglas Mwonzora of MDC-T and Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana of ZANU-PF, and the Senate motion in the name of COPAC member Senator Tokhozile Mathuthu of ZANU-PF and COPAC Deputy Co-chair Senator Believe Gaule of MDC. This signified the commitment of all three GPA parties to the Report and the final draft.

Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Constitution Watch 4/2013 of 7th February [House Approves COPAC Report; Recap on Last Lap of Drafting Process]


Process Update

[7th February 2013]

House of Assembly Passes Motion on Constitution

The House of Assembly yesterday passed the motion adopting the COPAC Report on the constitution-making process and noting the draft constitution. [For the full text of the motion approved by the House, see Constitution Watch 3/2013 of 6th February.].

This came at the end of a sitting lasting more than four hours during which the motion was supported by speakers from all parties and there were no dissenting voices.

The Senate adjourned before completing its separate debate on an identical motion. It is expected to approve the motion this afternoon.

This will clear the way for COPAC to embark on its planned publicity drive to acquaint the country with the contents of the draft constitution ahead of the Referendum.

Recap on Last Lap of the Drafting Process

Constitution Watch 2/2013 of 3rd February circulated the final draft constitution that was tabled in Parliament this week and Constitution Watch 3/2013 circulated the Narrative Report on the constitution-making process presented to Parliament at the same time.

The rest of this bulletin covers the eventful month leading up to the drafters’ delivery of the final draft, taking the story from the point reached in our last Constitution Watch of 2012 on 21st December 2012 – two weeks after the inaugural meeting on 5th December of the special committee appointed by the GPA party principals to make further efforts to overcome the deadlock reached in November by the Management Committee.

Special Principals’ Committee

Delays in getting to work

As of 21st December the chances of the special Principals’ Committee reaching early agreement on the inter-party sticking-points over the COPAC draft seemed somewhat dim. The Committee had had only two working meetings, on 11th and 13th December – despite the urgency imposed by the fact that the ZANU-PF Conference in Gweru resolved on 8th December that if process was not completed by Christmas the President should go ahead and call elections under the present Constitution without waiting any longer, and despite pressure from the SADC Extraordinary Summit meeting in Dar es Salaam on 8th December. Official ministerial and party commitments of members had made assembling a quorum difficult.

By end of year still an impasse

Committee chairperson, Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga said on 30th December that the Committee had met again for another working meeting, but had managed to reach agreement on only some of the issues in dispute. It would meet again in January, he hoped within two weeks.

Committee members would meanwhile, he said, be communicating with their parties and the party leaders notwithstanding holiday season absences from Harare. Nevertheless, the general public despaired of early progress, as President Mugabe had left for the Far East on 27th December on his customary annual holiday, with no indication that it would be shorter than its usual three or four weeks.

Renewed Pressure

Early in the New Year came the following developments:

the COPAC co-chairs revealed that they had met separately on four occasions over the holiday period and had provisionally managed to iron out the inter-party differences on devolution of power, national prosecuting authority, peace and reconciliation commission and land committee, leaving only the issue of Presidential running mates unresolved. Their report would be considered by the full Principals’ Committee soon.

President Mugabe arrived back in Zimbabwe on 10th January.

On the same day, 10th January, in Dar es Salaam an Extraordinary Summit of the Troika of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, urged “the political stakeholders in Zimbabwe to expedite the finalization of the constitution making process on the outstanding issues in order to pave the way for peaceful, credible, free, and fair elections in the country”. The Summit had been called mainly to consider the situations in Eastern DRC and Madagascar, but it also received an update on developments in Zimbabwe from President Zuma.

Principals Committee fails to break deadlock – 16th January

The full Principals’ Committee met on Tuesday 15th and Wednesday 16th January, knowing that it was due to to report back to the principals on Thursday 17th. Public expectations were high, in the belief that only the issue of Presidential running-mates remained unresolved. But the meetings ended in failure on Wednesday evening, with the different sides blaming each other for the breakdown – ZANU-PF claiming the MDCs had walked out, the MDCs saying ZANU-PF’s Patrick Chinamasa had resurrected issues previously settled.

This meant ...

That at the meeting with the Principals on 18th January would be faced with three alternatives: to drop the idea of a new constitution completely; to postpone completion of the constitution-making process until after the elections, which would therefore have to be held under the present Constitution; or to make one last attempt to hammer out an agreement, using the proposals from the COPAC co-chairs as a basis.

Breakthrough: 17th January

17th January Principals Meet Committee at State House

Against the unpromising background of that morning’s press stories about the Committee’s failure to agree the previous evening, the Committee’s meeting with the GPA principals at State House on Thursday 17th January began at 11.30 am. The meeting ended three and a half hours later, and was shortly thereafter followed by a brief press conference, held by President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara and MDC-M leader Welshman Ncube, at which agreement on the draft constitution was announced. All expressed satisfaction at the outcome.

Attendance at meeting

The meeting was attended by:

President Mugabe

Prime Minister Tsvangirai

Deputy Prime Minister Mutambara

Professor Ncube

plus all the members of the Principals’ Committee:

Minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Eric Matinenga, chairman of the Committee

Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs Patrick Chinamasa, ZANU-PF

Minister of Finance Tendai Biti, MDC-T

Minister of Regional and International Cooperation Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, MDC

COPAC co-chair Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana

COPAC co-chair Douglas Mwonzora

COPAC co-chair Edward Mkhosi.

The Contentious Issues

The main contentious issues covered by the agreement on 17th January were:

[Note: “retained” means that provisions of the COPAC draft of 17th July 2012 were substantially left unchanged.]

National Prosecuting Authority separate from the Attorney General’s Office and headed by a Prosecutor-General independent of the Attorney General [retained – but the Attorney General in office immediately before the new Constitution finally comes into effect will automatically become Prosecutor-General. So Mr Tomana could be the first Prosecutor-General, but would hold office for 6 years only, not for the unlimited term of office currently applicable to him as Attorney General.]

Devolution [retained – but with inclusion of a preamble in the relevant chapter underlining that Zimbabwe remains a unitary state and with appointed provincial governors/resident ministers replaced by provincial chairpersons elected by provincial councils.]

Land [retained]

National Peace and Reconciliation Commission [retained – but to be a constitutional institution for ten years only. Its continuation thereafter as a statutory institution would require an Act of Parliament]

executive authority [largely retained, but the President loses the power to dissolve Parliament prematurely whenever he pleases]

Presidential running mates [retained – but not operational for the first ten years, i.e., not applicable to the coming election, nor to any Presidential election in the next ten years, during which a casual Presidential vacancy would be filled by a nominee of the departed President’s party]

Lead Drafters Recalled to Produce Final Draft

The three lead drafters were promptly recalled to produce a final draft.

Friday 18th January – the drafters met the Principals Committee, and were given signed instructions to bring the COPAC draft constitution of July 2012 into line with the agreement that had been reached.

Friday 25th January The drafters handed over their final draft to the Principals’ Committee on Friday 25th January, and it was approved [this is the draft that was attached to Constitution Watch 1/2012 of 27th January]. Following a precautionary follow-up checking exercise, the drafters produced a revised version of the final draft for COPAC on 31st January [this is the draft that was attached to Constitution Watch 2/2012 of 3rd February]. This revised draft, which makes no substantial changes to the first version of 25th January, was approved by the full Select Committee for presentation to Parliament together with the Select Committee’s report on the constitution-making process.

Veritas makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take legal responsibility for information supplied

Back to the Top
Back to Index