By Tererai Karimakwenda
05 January, 2012
The two main bodies representing Zimbabwe’s teachers have both decided to go
on strike as the first term of school begins next week. The issue, as
always, is government’s failure to meet the teachers’ demands for salaries
that are in line with the basic minimum required to survive.
Both the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) and the Zimbabwe
Teachers Association (ZIMTA), in a rare cooperation, have said their members
will not report for duty when schools open next week unless there is a firm
commitment by government to meet their demands.
Teachers are paid an average of $250 to $320, when a minimum $502 per month
is required for a family of four. The teachers are also demanding transport
and housing allowances. Many are forced to engage in other business
activities during school hours in order to support their families.
The teachers’ were further angered recently when parliamentarians got
together and demanded allowances owed to them by government, and received
them. Teachers say this shows there is money in the government coffers for
the MPs own allowances, yet teachers are being ignored.
Several promises by government to better their salaries have not been
fulfilled and this time the teachers say they will not end the strike unless
government shows a firm commitment to meet their demands.
Last year Robert Mugabe met with civil servants’ representatives and
promised to double their salaries, using money earned from the sale of
diamonds. This never happened.
ZANU PF claimed it was Finance Minister Tendai Biti who was refusing to
increase the salaries, but Biti insists the money from diamonds is not
making it into the treasury and government is broke.
PTUZ secretary-general Raymond Majongwe said the decision to strike would
not be reversed “We know that government has money and we have been watching
them,” Majongwe is quoted as saying.
By Tichaona Sibanda
5 January 2012
Nine senior Zimbabwe Prison Service officers based in Rusape have been
placed on forced transfer, as ‘punishment’ for allegedly reading Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s newsletter.
The only senior officer to survive the chop is the officer-in-charge,
Superintendent Phillip Zimondi. He was away attending an administrative
course of senior prison officers in Vumba when the incident happened.
A retired ZPS officer, who asked not to be identified for fear of
victimization, told SW Radio Africa on Thursday that some of the senior
officers placed on transfer attended the same course with Zimondi but were
unfortunate to be branded pro-MDC. All the nine officers affected were
housed in the living quarters of the prison complex.
We can reveal that Chief Prison Officer Manatsa is to be transferred to
Chikurubi, Principal Prison Officer Mungate is to be sent to Bindura, while
Senior Prison officers Mazhangara and Mafara are going to Gwanda and Mazowe.
Prison officer Chemhere is making a short journey to Nyazura, while officer
Guri is going to Chipinge.
Two more senior officers, Chapo and Sachikonye, have been moved but we could
not verify where they have been transferred to. The problem for the officers
started back in November last year when a wife to one of them was seen by
some CIO officers, handing over a copy of Tsvangirai’s newsletter to Guri
outside the prison complex. The woman in question is married to SPO Mafara.
Apparently the CIO offices in Rusape are opposite the prison complex. The
state security agents immediately took Guri and Mrs Mafara into custody. She
was tortured for three days, according to the retired ZPS officer.
‘While Guri was only interrogated for close to nine hours, Mafara’s wife was
held for three days where she endured endless torture. Guri told his
interrogators that as a trained journalist, he saw no reason why he couldn’t
read the newsletter to keep himself up to date with events,’ the ex-ZPS
He continued: ‘What made things worse for the Mafara’s was that after a
house search by the CIO’s they found an MDC t-shirt that belonged to a
relative. I think when she was further tortured she was forced to implicate
some officers in MDC activities.’
We were able to contact some of the officers, who confirmed the transfers
but said no disciplinary hearings were conducted to warrant such drastic
action from the prison bosses.
They told us they are being victimized for something they didn’t do and said
the same would not have happened to well known ZANU PF zealots working for
‘A quick check of the top hierarchy of the prison service in all the
provinces will tell you that all the senior officers support ZANU PF openly.
The moment you are suspected to belong to MDC, you are straight away
suspended, fired or transferred.
By Bridget Mananavire, Staff Writer
Thursday, 05 January 2012 13:31
HARARE - A crackdown on Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s supporters has
followed the bombing of Zanu PF offices in Gweru, prompting the MDC to
charge that authorities are using the incident to decimate the party ahead
Police in Gweru arrested three MDC activists yesterday on accusations of
involvement in the bombing of Zanu PF offices in the city.
The MDC denies responsibility and says the bombing is an inside Zanu PF job.
About 30 heavily armed police pounced on the unsuspecting activists around
0300 hours and dragged them into custody, according to senior MDC officials.
They were yet to access lawyers by the time of going to print last night.
MDC MP for Mkoba Amos Chibaya confirmed the arrests.
“Police raided my house at three in the morning looking for one of the guys,
who is my cousin, thinking he was at my house. They continued their raid and
arrested three of our activists,” said Chibaya.
The crackdown signals the start of a string of attacks on people non-aligned
to Zanu PF.
Police drove 80 priests of the Anglican Church of the Province of Central
Africa (CPCA) from Peterhouse Girls College near Marondera on Tuesday using
harsh security law, the Public Order and Security Act.
The priests were on a prayer meeting. CPCA has been in property wrangles
with Zanu PF loyalist, Bishop Nolbert Kunonga, whom the church says enjoys
Observers fear the arrests of the MDC activists will weaken the strength of
joint rallies proposed by leaders of the three political parties in the
Government of National Unity (GNU) scheduled for next month in a bid to urge
their supporters to refrain from violence and promote political tolerance.
Police yesterday denied the arrested three MDC activists, Douglass Tsuro,
28, Wonder Marange, 40, and Silus Mutendeudzwa, 41, access to their lawyer,
Reginald Chidawanyika for the whole day. It was unclear by last night what
charges the trio would face.
“The only briefing I got was that they were suspects in the bombing of Zanu
PF offices but I have not had access to them,” said Chidawanyika.
He said the only concrete information he had was that his clients were under
interrogation at the station.
No-one was injured when the Zanu PF offices were bombed on December 27 last
year, but that has not stopped the party from blaming the MDC.
Frequent arrests of MDC officials and supporters have attracted widespread
criticism of the police by churches, civil society groups and other
political parties for alleged selective application of the law.
In October last year, MDC headquarters, Harvest House, was attacked but no
arrests have been made relating to the bombings to date.
MDC secretary general Tendai Biti’s Chisipite house was also bombed in June
last year but no arrests were made with police saying nothing had come out
of the investigations on the bombing.
Chibaya said: “The arrest of the three is nonsensical because these guys
were not in Gweru at the time of the bombing.
“It is an instruction from Zanu PF. What would one want from an empty
“This is a cover up of Zanu PF’s internal fighting. The factions within the
party are battling as they are about to get into a restructuring process,”
“The bombing is clearly an inside job,” said Chibaya.
MDC Midlands provincial chairperson Lilian Timveos said the police
accusations were baseless because they had not carried any investigations.
“It is unfair that everything that happens against Zanu PF is said to have
been done by MDC. The police should do their job and investigate the matter,
not go around arresting MDC activists like they are doing,” she said.
VOA 21 hours 13 minutes ago
GWERU - Police in Gweru on Wednesday raided the house of Mkoba legislator
Amos Chibaya of the MDC wing led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in
connection with the bombings last month of a ZANU-PF office in the Midlands
Chibaya was absent when the raid took place, and police went on to arrest
three people they found in his house. Sources said the three were being held
at Gweru Central Police Station and were being denied access to their
attorney, Reginald Chidavanyika.
Chibaya told the VOA that he had nothing to do with the bombing as he was
out of Gweru when it took place.
Declaring his innocence, he said he would return to Gweru without fear,
adding the bombings may be an inside job considering the factionalism
currently shaking ZANU-PF.
MDC-T yesterday claimed Zanu PF was aware of people behind the alleged
bombing of its Gweru offices and was now looking for scapegoats, the NewsDay
Meanwhile, MDC-T's deputy spokesperson Thabitha Khumalo said "Zanu-PF knows
that the party that controls government institutions that keep guns and
bombs is their party."
"If it was us we will all be behind bars by now," Khumalo said.
"They bombed themselves and are now looking for scapegoats.
"They should go to those institutions that they control and ask who was
behind the bombing.
"We do not believe in violence, there is no benefit in our party bombing
"This is an indirect way of terrorising people ahead of elections," she
The three-storey building where the offices are located in Gweru's Central
Business District also houses the Central Intelligence Organisation,
police's Criminal Investigations Department and several private
organisations. Meanwhile, police yesterday said they were yet to find any
leads into the alleged bombing.
Midlands' provincial police spokesperson Inspector Patrick Chademana said
there were no developments in the case so far.
"There are no new leads at the moment," Chademana said.
Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo also said they were waiting for briefings
from the police on the outcome of the investigations.
"There are no new developments. We do not have any suspects except obviously
opposition parties. We are waiting for the police update," he said.
The bombing occurred amid calls for peace by President Robert Mugabe (Zanu
PF), Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai (MDC-T) and Welshman Ncube of MDC.
Last month, the three leaders held an anti- violence indaba in Harare amid
cheers, pomp and fanfare.
However, those sceptical of the move described it as a charade to hoodwink
Zimbabweans into believing leaders of the dysfunctional inclusive government
had kissed and made up.
The Ncube-led MDC yesterday said it abhorred any acts of violence and urged
the police to get to the bottom of the matter.
Party national spokesperson Nhlanhla Dube yesterday said: "We hope the
police will work swiftly and account for the perpetrators.
By Lance Guma
05 January 2012
Youth and Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere has been anything but a
‘saviour’ for Mount Darwin South, where he is an MP. A dossier supplied to
SW Radio Africa exposes him as a violent thug who from 2000 to 2008 beat up
opposition activists using an iron bar, while hunting them down using
Kasukuwere led and sponsored the terror gangs that operated mainly in the
Mashonaland Central province. On the 5th May 2008 for example he organized
and ferried (using his lorry) a group of over 300 youths to Chaona, Mazowe.
The youths beat up perceived opposition supporters, killing 6 and injuring
Those killed included Tapiwa Meda, Alex Chiriseri, Joseph Madzuramhende,
David Tachiwa Mapuranga, Patson Madzuramhende and Joseph Jemedze. The youths
were wearing Kasukuwere’s campaign t-shirts and were assisted by uniformed
soldiers under the command of Major Cairo Mhandu.
Eight days later the same mob led by Kasukuwere went on another rampage,
killing MDC-T supporters Fischer Chitese, Bright Mafuriro and Sairiro
Kamufuto. On the 19th May the group struck again, killing activist Phanuel
Unlike many of his colleagues who simply directed the violence, Kasukuwere
actually took part.
On the 25th March 2000 Kasukuwere, then still a ZANU PF candidate for Mount
Darwin Constituency, organised a 200 strong gang of youths and war vets at
Madondo Hotel. Armed with a list of addresses of known MDC-T supporters they
went door to door beating up their targets.
After this raid many victims showed wounds and bruises on the face and all
over the body. Assisting Kasukuwere in launching these raids was a war vet
known as Jacob Juma. The next month in April the gang plotted to kill an MDC
chairman in Mount Darwin known as Taurai from the Nembire ward.
Under the cover of darkness, Kasukuwere’s youths went to Taurai’s homestead,
surrounded it and set it on fire. Taurai tried to escape but fell into the
hands of the waiting arsonists who used an axe to hack him all over the
body. Although left him for dead he was saved by a neighbour who took him to
On the same day Kasukuwere led a large group of youths he had ferried into
Mount Darwin from Chitungwiza and directed them to attack another MDC
chairman known as Tawanda, who was badly beaten and had to be rushed to
Not satisfied with beating Tawanda up, the following day Kasukuwere’s gang
destroyed Tawanda’s home and burnt his car to ashes. Although the matter was
reported to the police, officers at the camp said they could not do anything
because Kasukuwere was involved.
On the 13th April 2000 a group of 300 MDC supporters tried to hold a rally
in Mt Darwin. Kasukuwere ordered the police to mount roadblocks and turn
back everyone attending. The defiant MDC supporters fought their way through
the roadblock of police who were being helped by hundreds of ZANU PF youths
and war vets.
Having gone through the first roadblock and the tear gas fired by police,
the MDC supporters ran into a second ambush, this time mounted by Kasukuwere
and a gang of CIO operatives. Four pick-up trucks and a maroon Mercedes
belonging to Kasukuwere blocked the road. The CIO’s, including Kusukuwere,
pulled out their pistols and began assaulting people while police officers
A testimony from one activist called Albert said: “Kasukuwere took an iron
bar and began hitting my windscreen. He broke through the window and then
the bar hit me on the face and when I got out of the car he hit me in the
eye. I have now lost an eye. He then went to the next car and with the
others they were hitting them. The windscreens and all the lights were
Kasukuwere was said to be determined to attack the MDC candidate for
Bindura, but an army helicopter arrived at the scene. Some MDC supporters
ran into the hills but not before one of them was assaulted with an axe and
later had stitches in the head.
But sometimes even the best laid plans go wrong and ironically the army
ordered everyone at the scene to lie down on the road, and that included
Despite protestations by Kasukuwere that he was the ZANU PF candidate, the
soldiers disarmed him and beat him up. Some 80 MDC supporters were also
injured in the attack. According to the testimony given the soldiers ordered
Kasukuwere to be locked up at the police station in Bindura, but he was set
free when his identity had been verified.
A number of reports credit Kasukuwere with setting up ZANU PF torture bases
in Mashonaland Central in the run up to the 2000 parliamentary elections. He
initially funded 28 youth militias who lived in a building owned by his
campaign manager Terry Marodza. Showing how the violent streak runs in the
family was the fact that the gang was also partly sponsored by his sister,
Kasukuwere is also nicknamed ‘Paraquat’ for encouraging his mobs to rub the
poisonous herbicide into the torture wounds of MDC activists. This makes it
almost impossible for the wounds to ever heal and causes enormous suffering,
and many deaths long after the attack.
Despite claims that Kasukuwere was fired from the CIO over corruption
allegations we understand he actually still has an office at the CIO
headquarters at Chaminuka Building. What he does there remains a mystery.
What we know is that even with a coalition government in place he is still
directing ZANU PF violence.
In February 2011 he was fingered as the man behind the mob that engulfed
Harare in chaos. He hosted a meeting at his house where a plan was hatched
to send party youths onto the streets to demand ‘empowerment’. With the help
of a police escort they went on the rampage, looting and pillaging downtown
SW Radio Africa has also exposed how despite being used as the ‘poster boy’
for ZANU PF’s so-called indigenisation drive the same Minister has helped
himself to nine farms. This is despite claims by Mugabe’s regime that they
seized white owned land to give to landless blacks.
Confidential documents sent to SW Radio Africa show Kasukuwere owns part of
Pimento Farm in Mashonaland Central, South Bamboo Creek in Shamva,
Cornucopia Farm Orchard, 500 hectares of Harmony Farm in Mazowe, Bretton
Farm, Allan Grange Farm, Auchenburg Farm, Bamboo Creek Farm and Bourne Farm.
Pimento was seized from white farmer Oliver Newton, South Bamboo Creek from
farmers N. Richardson and R. Morkel, while Kasukuwere reportedly seized the
Cornucopia Farm Orchard from Interfresh in 2006. His brother Donald
Kasukuwere also helped himself to two farms, Usaka in Mazowe, Mashonaland
Central and Sangokwe North in Mwenezi.
In addition to the farms Kasukuwere is also involved in oil procurement and
distribution. He owns ComOil (Pvt) Ltd and also the United Touring Company
(UTC) which has been so run down it is in serious financial difficulties.
Additionally he has substantial shareholdings in Genesis Bank and Interfresh
In 2009 he was accused of trying to block fresh investment in the energy
sector to force companies like BP and Shell to sell their assets to his oil
In government Kasukuwere has run his ministry like a mafia organization. He
illegally smuggled more than 11,000 youth militia onto the civil service
payroll and deployed them countrywide, to intimidate opposition activists.
In a single day, on the 26th May 2008, his ministry hired 6,861 youth
militias. This was just a few weeks away from the bloody one man
presidential run-off in June 2008.
By Tererai Karimakwenda
05 January, 2012
Despite being extremely wealthy and a Minister who is supposed to stand for
law and order, co-Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi is reportedly involved
in a legal battle to take over another farm in Beitbridge, with allegations
the row has turned into physical assaults and threats from Mohadi and his
Reports said a war vet in the Beitbridge area, Given Mbedzi, alleges that
Minister Mohadi and his family are trying to forcefully remove him from a
farm that he legally owns in the Beitbridge area.
According to NewsDay newspaper, Mbedzi claims the property was allocated to
him in 2003 and has produced an offer letter to prove it. But Mohadi has his
own letter, signed six years later, naming his son Campbell as the rightful
On Saturday Mohadi is alleged to have threatened Mbedzi and his mother with
unspecified action if they did not leave. On the same day his son Campbell
allegedly assaulted Mbedzi’s elderly mother and deflated the tyres on their
Several members of Mbedzi’s family were later arrested for allegedly
tampering with locks Mohadi had put on some structures at the farm. It is
believed the arrest was facilitated by Mohadi and his wife Tambudzani, who
is a Senator in Beitbridge. The case is currently in the courts.
This case highlights the additional problems created by Robert Mugabe’s land
grab, which has not only destroyed the country’s food production but has
created a problem for generations to come, as individuals fight over parcels
of stolen land.
Most observers say there is a clear tendency among politicians in Zimbabwe
to pursue personal wealth at the expense of any service to the people.
Infighting is rife within political parties, including the MDC formations,
over opportunities for financial gain.
Former journalist Thabo Kunene told SW Radio Africa that ZANU PF politicians
have amassed great wealth in Zimbabwe. He named Vice President John Nkomo,
Mines Minister Obert Mpofu and Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo as
just a few of the examples.
Speaking on the Crisis Analysis programme, Kunene said these men were all
very poor before independence and have used their position in politics to
pursue financial gain, forgetting those who struggled with them during the
Kunene pointed to the fact that MDC politicians have also been chasing
personal wealth since they joined the coalition government. “Some of the
MDC-T legislators have tasted power, have become corrupt and amassed a lot
of wealth within a very short period of time,” Kunene explained.
SW Radio Africa’s Bulawayo correspondent, Lionel Saungweme, agreed. He
quoted businessman Phillip Chiyangwa, who once said: “If you want to become
rich join ZANU PF” and said some MDC legislators are displaying the same
“There used to be a tribal setup where one tribe was accused of dominating
the other. But now politicians, even here in Matabeleland, have become very
rich because they belong to ZANU PF,” Saungweme said. He added that Mohadi
was also implicated in cattle rustling and the theft of copper cables from a
Mohadi, as a co-Minister for Home Affairs, is expected to set an example as
a law abiding citizen. But over the years he has drawn attention to himself
for nothing more than corruption and abuse of the rule of the law.
RAY NDLOVU BULAWAYO, ZIMBABWE - Jan 05 2012 14:43
Zimbabwe's main political parties have sent representatives to South Africa
to attend the centenary celebrations of the African National Congress (ANC)
that kicks off on Friday.
President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF delegation will be led by Simon Khaya
Moyo, the party's national chairperson, while Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) delegation will be led
by Lovemore Moyo, the speaker of Parliament.
Conflicting reports surround Mugabe's attendance at the ANC bash as he is
currently on annual leave until February 1. His spokesperson, George
Charamba said his boss was away and would only be back at work at the end of
month, and was on holiday in Malaysia with his family.
But a Zanu-PF insider said the 87-year-old leader would make it for the ANC
festivities and would be in South Africa on Saturday. Pressed for a comment
on the matter surrounding Mugabe's attendance, Rugare Gumbo, the Zanu-PF
spokesperson said, "I am in a meeting, I can't comment and I don't know what
time I will be finished here."
However, official information from the ANC suggests that Mugabe is part of
the 46 heads of state billed to attend and had accepted an invite to attend
the weekend festivities in Bloemfontein, Free State.
Mugabe's attendance of the ANC bash, although on leave, may well be a show
of camaraderie after ANC secretary general, Gwede Mantashe, attended
Zanu-PF's conference held in Bulawayo last December and endorsed Mugabe's
At the Bulawayo conference, Mantashe offered to help Zanu-PF come up with
"strategies" to win elections expected this year. The ANC enjoys historical
ties with Zanu-PF dating back to the days of the liberation struggle in the
1960s and has used this to defend its relationship with Mugabe and Zanu-PF.
Meanwhile, the smaller MDC group led by Welshman Ncube will not be attending
the ANC bash as it did not receive an invitation from the President Jacob
Priscilla Mushonga-Misihairabwi, the party's secretary general said this
week: "We did not get an invite, how then can we just send a delegation and
pitch up with no invitation? We are not attending the ANC celebrations."
The snubbing of Ncube's MDC at the ANC celebrations may prove to be a
setback in its bid to gain footing in the eyes of the electorate as an
influential political party to be reckoned with, after constantly being
marginalised by Zanu-PF and the MDC-T.
Ncube and Zuma are in-laws, through the marriage of Ncube's son Wesley to
By Nkululeko Sibanda, Senior Writer
Thursday, 05 January 2012 14:23
HARARE - South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) party has
extended an invitation to the mainstream MDC party to attend its 100th
The move is seen as an attempt to mend relations with the former opposition
party and restore its neutrality in dealing with the Zimbabwean political
issue following a boob by the ANC’s secretary-general, Gwede Mantashe who
offered to help Zanu PF win elections.
This is despite that his party is playing mediator to the country’s
political crisis. Mantashe made the offer while giving his solidarity speech
at last month’s Zanu PF conference.
Douglas Mwonzora, the MDC spokesperson confirmed that his party had received
an invitation to attend the ANC celebrations.
Lovemore Moyo, the party’s chairman, is expected to attend the celebrations
on behalf of the party.
“The ANC did invite us as the MDC to its 100 year anniversary. We will be
represented by the national chairman there,” Mwonzora said.
He added: “We take the invitation as a realisation that the MDC is no longer
a small party in the Zimbabwean government as well as politics.
“They have realised that the MDC is indeed a factor they cannot ignore and
have seen it fit to make that point clear by extending this invitation to
It was not immediately clear whether Zanu PF had also received the
invitation as party spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo repeatedly said he was “in a
Welshman Ncube, the leader of the other MDC party and his secretary-general,
Priscilla Misihairambwi-Mushonga, said their party had not yet received an
invitation to the celebrations to be attended by over 100 000 people from
around the world.
“We are yet to receive that invitation,” said Ncube.
Misihairambwi-Mushonga said: “They have not invited us yet.”
Zanu PF has been on the receiving end in general elections since 2000,
losing significantly to the MDC in rural and urban constituencies.
Mantashe said his part would offer a hand to ensure that it regain its
slipping control on national politics.
However, the statements attracted a lot of reactions as analysts concluded
that Mantashe had let the cat out of the bag on the ANC’s treatment and
disdain of the MDC.
The analysts also pointed out that Mantashe’s statements were bound to
create fissures between itself and the political parties in Zimbabwe where
it had played a midwifery role in the country’s politics, leading to the
signing of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) in September 2008.
In the past, MDC has exchanged bitter words with the then ANC leader and
South Africa president Thabo Mbeki accusing him of taking sides with
President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party in his mediating role
By KITSEPILE NYATHI NATION Correspondent
Posted Thursday, January 5 2012 at 17:40
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF has launched an uncharacteristic
attack on South Africa’s ruling African National Congress accusing it of
failing Africa with its approach to the Democratic Republic of Congo and
The rebuke came on the eve of the ANC’s centenary celebrations in South
Africa’s city of Bloemfontein this weekend, which are expected to attract
over 40 Heads of State and thousands of people.
Zanu PF’s secretary of administration Mr Didymus Mutasa told state radio on
Thursday that the ANC had failed to provide leadership as Africa’s oldest
“We realise that there are elements keen to divide us and infiltrate the
region and cause mayhem,” he said. “It is important, therefore for us to
cement that unity as liberation movements so that we will react together.
“We were hoping the ANC were going to join us with Namibia in the DRC
conflict. We also hope there are many things the ANC can do to achieve the
true liberation of Africa.”
President Mugabe and former South African President Nelson Mandela had a
major fallout in 1998 after Zimbabwe, Namibia and Angola sent troops to
defend late DRC President Laurent Kabila who was under siege from rebels.
The Zimbabwean strongman had used his role as chairman of the Southern
African Development Community’s peace and security organ to intervene but
the move was challenged by Mr Mandela.
South Africa refused to deploy any troops and this led to several clashes
between the two leaders.
President Mugabe has also repeatedly attacked South Africa for supporting a
United Nations resolution that paved the way for NATO’s intervention in
Relentless NATO bombings led to the demise of long serving Libyan ruler
Colonel Muammar Gaddafi last year.
Zanu PF and the ANC had uneasy relations since the war for liberation in
both Zimbabwe and South Africa with President Mugabe preferring to work with
South Africa’s other liberation movement, the Pan African Congress.
ANC shared trenches with late Zimbabwe Vice President Joshua Nkomo’s PF
Zapu, which pulled out of a unity accord with Zanu PF in 2009.
Despite the criticism, President Mugabe is expected to join other Heads of
State at the celebrations that end on Sunday.
The ANC was formed at a church in Bloemfontein on January 8, 1912 by diverse
groups to fight apartheid.
By Chengetai Zvauya and Xolisani Ncube
Thursday, 05 January 2012 14:28
HARARE - Zimbabwe has made a major climbdown on its diplomatic row with
Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC), which, as rebels, killed one of
President Robert Mugabe remaining allies — Muammar Gaddafi last October.
Well-placed sources from both Libya and Zimbabwe’s ministry of foreign
affairs have told the Daily News that lines of communication have since been
opened as Harare softens its hard-line stance. Zimbabwe is one of the
African countries yet to officially recognise the NTC.
The ministry of foreign affairs in September expelled three Libyan diplomats
who had joined the NTC after Gaddafi had fled Tripoli.
Ambassador Taher Elmaghari and his two deputies were given 72 hours to leave
Harare by Foreign Affairs minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi in September last
year after they abandoned Gaddafi for the NTC.
All of the expelled diplomats are set to return to Harare and represent
their country once talks are complete, sources said.
Diplomatic sources within the Libyan Embassy told the Daily News that the
NTC government in Tripoli had begun deploying envoys worldwide following
their expulsion by various host governments for supporting the NTC instead
of Gaddafi during the uprising in Libya.
“We were informed by our parent government that it is going to be deploying
diplomats here in Zimbabwe and it is mostly likely that Ambassador Taher
Elmagrahi and the other diplomats that were expelled will return.
“The NTC is redeploying these diplomats for the sake of diplomatic
continuity,” said the source.
Zimbabwe had earlier vowed not to support the NTC saying it was an
instrument of the West meant at exploiting Libya’s oil.
Sources say the situation has changed as deliberations to open diplomatic
relations are now in motion.
This development comes as the NTC has dispatched a diplomatic envoy Ebrahim
Sheriff to open diplomatic relations with southern Africa countries.
Sheriff yesterday met with South African President Jacob Zuma in a bid to
open ties and get assistance on peace building in the troubled north African
Mac Maharaj, Zuma’s spokesperson, yesterday confirmed that his boss met with
He told the Daily News that Sheriff was sent by Mustafa Abdel Jalil, the NTC
chairman to reopen relations which were frozen during the uprisings.
“They also discussed on assistance from us on how to re-engage with the
region and other African countries. President Zuma expressed desire to
assist and he pledged to visit Libya when the time permits,” Maharaj added.
“We will however, be guided by the African Union,” said Maharaj.
Simbarashe Mumbengegwi could not be reached for comment. But sources within
his ministry confirmed to the Daily News that lines of communication have
been opened between Harare and Tripoli.
“We are now talking with the NTC and hopes are high that we will soon have
formal relations,” said the foreign affairs source.
Zimbabwe ordered the Libyan envoys to leave the country after they
celebrated Gaddafi’s downfall by lowering his flag and burning his portrait
before hoisting the NTC flag at their embassy in September.
The diplomats had to travel by road through the Plumtree border post to
Botswana where they caught a flight to Cairo before proceeding to Tripoli by
Elbarat and Elmagrahi have since joined the foreign affairs department of
the NTC government.
Zimbabwe police fear that gangs of female rapists "are on the prowl again,"
sexually assaulting and collecting sperm from male hitchhikers for
Erin Conway-Smith January 5, 2012 10:13
Zimbabwe police have confirmed that two men were sexually assaulted over the
Christmas and New Year holidays, the latest alleged attacks on male
hitchhikers by women.
Now Zimbabweans fear the country's "notorious" gangs of female rapists "are
on the prowl again," according to the New Zimbabwe website.
Scores of sex attacks blamed on “twisted sperm-harvesting syndicates” have
been reported around the country in the past two years.
In a typical attack, male hitchhikers are offered a lift at night, and then
are drugged and forced to have sex at knifepoint or gunpoint with their
female attackers before being dumped at roadside, according to reports.
In one case, a man said he was threatened with a snake before being raped.
In November, three women made headlines after 31 used condoms, some of which
contained sperm, were found in their car in what Zimbabwean media described
as a semen-harvesting ritual.
Rosemary Chakwizira, 24, Sophie Nhokwara, 26, and Netsai Nhokwara, 24, from
the town of Gweru, were charged with 17 counts of aggravated indecent
The women, who have since been attacked by mobs, reportedly told police that
they are prostitutes and had been too busy to dispose of the condoms. They
are scheduled to stand trial on Jan. 26.
Rumors abound in Zimbabwe as to the reasons for harvesting semen.
One expert said that sperm is associated with new life and regeneration, and
can help improve your luck. Another report said semen is used as a facial
cream and hair conditioner.
The Standard, a Sunday newspaper in Zimbabwe, reported that condoms full of
semen are "selling like hot cakes" in neighboring South Africa.
In one of the latest incidents on Christmas Day, a 25-year-old man was
reportedly offered transport by two women. He was forced at knifepoint to
have unprotected sex with the pair, before being thrown out of the vehicle
late at night, the New Zimbabwe said.
The other recent incident was a similar story, but the man was threatened
with a pistol instead of a knife.
Zimbabwe's police chief Augustine Chihuri has warned that female rapists
will be "professionally dealt with accordingly without fear or favor."
"Let me warn all social miscreants who are soiling the country's social
fabric, cultural norms and values by perpetrating abominable and weird
activities of women sexually molesting men, sometimes at gunpoint, to stop
the practices forthwith," he said.
Mberengwa,January ,05, 2012 - Zimbabwe’s largest emerald mine Sandawana in
Mberengwa district, Midlands province, has shut down after 46 years in
operation, as the government claims the emerald produced there is no longer
of commercial value.
When contacted Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) chairman
Godwills Masimirembwa confirmed: “We have closed that mine , we acquired it
from British Channel Islands mining company in 2006, but we have now
discovered the emeralds from there are no longer of commercial value.”
“...we have abandoned Sandawana because very soon will embark on a multi-
million dollar exploitation project of vast deposits of iron ore which we
discovered just few kilometres from Sandawana mining site.”
When Radio VOP visited Sandawana Mine this week it witnessed that, the once
thriving emerald mine now resembled a ghost town with all main gates locked
up and only 15 security guards manning the mining site.
“Since the government took over this mine all has not been well, many people
lost their jobs and were evicted from mining company houses. As you can see,
there is no more Sandawana Mine to talk about. It is now a ghost town
because of poor management and looting by the previous government,” said a
headman from a village adjacent to Sandawana Mine.
Thu Jan 5, 2012 10:29am GMT
* Spectre of poll violence, indigenisation of firms unnerve investors
* Power-sharing govt has overseen recovery
* Govt sees 2012 GDP growth at 9.4 pct v 9.3 pct in 2011
By Nelson Banya
HARARE, Jan 5 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's projected economic growth in 2012
depends on a stable political environment which could be undermined if a
contentious general election takes place, the African Development Bank
(AfDB) said in a monthly review released on Thursday.
Finance Minister Tendai Biti expects the economy to expand by a further 9.4
percent in 2012 from a forecast 9.3 percent last year, mainly on the back of
a rebound in agriculture and mining. Inflation is projected to average 5
percent this year.
The southern African country has been on a recovery path since 2009 when
long-time ruler President Robert Mugabe agreed to share power with his
rival, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, after disputed 2008 polls and in a
bid to reverse a decade-long economic slump.
The AfDB said while international commodity prices would be key to
Zimbabwe's economic growth prospects, internal policy decisions, such as
Mugabe's drive to give control of foreign owned firms to locals, could hurt
"The on-going implementation of the indigenisation and economic empowerment
laws and the expected national elections in 2012 continue to weaken external
investor confidence," the AfDB said in its review of Zimbabwe's economy.
"The achievement of the 2012 projections is therefore subject to a stable
political and economic environment ... and continued firming of the
international commodity prices or increase in output."
Analysts say the empowerment laws, mainly targeting foreign-owned mines and
banks, are holding back investment into the country and restraining economic
Mugabe has however vowed to press on with the policy, which he argues is
necessary to address imbalances created by colonialism. Critics have
dismissed the policy as a political ploy to harness support ahead of
The veteran ruler, in power since independence from Britain in 1980, wants
elections this year to end a fragile three-year power-sharing government he
has frequently described as dysfunctional.
However, Tsvangirai and regional leaders who brokered the power-sharing deal
insist fresh elections can only be held after the adoption of a new
constitution as well as broad electoral and media reforms.
A referendum on a proposed new constitution is expected sometime this year
after a long-drawn-out process of drafting the charter which has suffered
countless delays due to lack of funding and constant wrangling between the
Press statement On behalf of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA)
WOZA leaders Jennifer Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu appeared before
Magistrate, Mr. Goodluck Sangweni at Tredgold Regional Court facing
Kidnapping and Theft charges. The Trial resumes on 16 January 2012.
The Defence Lawyer Kossam Ncube made an application for the two to be
discharged on both counts at the close of the state case. He argues that the
state had failed to establish a prima facie case against the two accused. He
cited inconsistencies and contradictions between the witness statements to
court and to the police and how the witnesses also contradicted each other.
He dealt with both counts separately outlining the inconsistencies. One
glaring inconsistency being Emma Mabena statement to police wherein
according to the statement she was pushed and pulled into the vehicle but in
her evidence to the court she said no one had forced her or threatened her
The defence lawyer also said the prosecution had gone on a fishing
expedition and that a reasonable court could not convict the accused.
“Your worship to note that all 3 state witnesses disowned their statements
that they gave to the police indicating that they did not tell the police
particular aspects of their statements and in some cases there seemed to be
additions to their statements which witnesses clearly denied having given to
the police. Clearly that raises a lot of eyebrows on the part of the state
case where it would seem the police could have made additions to their
statements or changed statements for unknown reasons. A case in point that
Emma Mabena said she never told the police that she was forced into the
vehicle and that no one ever threatened to assault her or take her somewhere
and she would never come back. ”
State prosecutor Mr Goodwill Katenaire requested a 45 minute break and then
opposed the application in submissions that were often made in the format of
a witness of the events rather than a prosecutor. He seemed to be determined
to enter his own evidence into the case and left people in the court
wondering where he had been when witnesses had made their statements. His
desperation to obtain a conviction was evident as he manufactured his own
accusations against the accused that there had been no verbal or written
evidence by any witness in any of the court hearings. He accused Jennifer
Williams of introducing her 2 colleagues as police officers when no witness
had ever made this accusation. He justified this by saying that the
‘demeanour’ of the accused lent itself to the belief that they were police
officers. Mr Katenaire also manufactured evidence on behalf of Emma Mabhena
saying that she refused on several occasions to accompany the accused to
Nketa to the home of Bokani Nleya.
In court evidence witnesses clearly stated that none of the accused had ever
identified the other 2 ladies in the vehicle. Emma Mabhena in her evidence
said she thought to herself the other unidentified people could be police as
she had been told by her daughter in law that Williams and her colleagues
were looking for stolen goods and decided that something was seriously wrong
so she should accompany the accused. She further testified going to the
neighbours to inform them that she was going out for awhile.
The Magistrate will give his ruling on the application for discharge at
close of state case on 16 January 2012.
By Everson Mushava, Staff Writer
Thursday, 05 January 2012 14:00
HARARE - Water Resources Development and Management Minister Samuel Sipepa
Nkomo says people have been given enough notice and precautionary measures
are in place for any disaster emanating from the opening of spillway gates
at Kariba Dam.
The gates were opened on January 3 and will remain open until the water
levels subside to maintain the lake levels within operating range, according
to the Zambezi Water Authority (ZWA).
Nkomo said according to the protocol signed between Zimbabwe and Mozambique
on good management of international waters, all the parties will be
communicated with before the gates are opened to ensure safety of people.
“The protocol requires that we notify each other of when gates are opened to
allow preparations. People living along the river will be moved from low
lying areas until the risk is perceived low,” Nkomo said.
He said a lot of water will be released and the country will be on high
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management said they have already
alerted all areas under their jurisdiction that will likely be affected by
the gate opening.
“The areas most likely to be affected are Mana Pools, Sapi and Chewore North
Safari,” said Caroline Washayamoyo, Parks public relations manager, adding
that they had already set rescue strategies in the event of disasters.
“The Authority has made provisions for quick evacuation such as fuel and
boats as contingency measures in the event of disaster,” Washayamoyo said.
Opening of gates at the Kariba Dam is normally done annually when the water
levels have gone beyond the lake’s operating capacity.
This year, with more rains expected between now and March, the Zambezi River
Authority says the Zambezi catchment has already received above normal
rainfall which has maintained high lake levels.
The ZWA said it will continue monitoring the situation and take “appropriate
measures when necessary”.
By Ignatius Banda
BULAWAYO, Jan 5, 2012 (IPS) - Thomas Dlakama has experienced what he calls
"January disease" all his working life. This phenomenon afflicts millions in
Zimbabwe, and its symptoms include an empty purse, rising blood pressure
among irascible breadwinners, and a general inexplicable hope of manna from
It strikes during the first month of the year, and for Dlakama, it has
become an unwelcome ritual where his finances are depleted after the festive
season and he has to start thinking about his children’s school fees, his
own budget as a poorly paid civil servant, bills and everything in between.
January "is a terrible time of the year, and it has become a tradition for
me to start borrowing money soon after New Year’s Day," Dlakama says about
January disease and his lifelong relationship with microfinance.
He is one of many poorly paid workers who find themselves making a beeline
to microfinance institutions in Bulawayo, where workers such as civil
servants make up the bulk of clients despite concerns about poor regulation,
which has bred unscrupulous microlenders.
"The money-lenders are taking advantage of our poverty by demanding
ridiculous interest rates," Dlakama complained.
Microfinance institutions charge interest rates of between 30 and 40
percent, while backyard money-lenders who do not demand collateral can
charge up to 50 percent interest.
Microfinance saw a resurgence after Zimbabwe suspended the use of its
currency as legal tender in 2009 – the Zimbabwe dollar was replaced by
foreign currencies like the euro, the U.S. dollar, the pound, the South
African rand, and the Zambian kwacha – to put an end to hyperinflation.
Low salaries force Dlakama and other workers to seek out microloans to
cushion themselves against economic hardships.
But despite being promoted by both government and development agencies as a
critical player in developing countries where millions have poor incomes,
the microfinance sector in Zimbabwe has been criticised for creating debt
traps for the poor by charging high interest rates.
Microfinance institutions (MFIs) issue their loans according to the monthly
salary of the client. And in a country where there are glaring disparities
between incomes and the cost of the consumer food basket, they have become
fertile ground for bogus operators to thrive, analysts here say.
The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) says an average family of six
requires more than 500 U.S. dollars per month to meet basic needs, including
utility bills, while the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) reports
that some of its members earn as little as 100 dollars per month.
Civil servants such as teachers, who have become the prime clients of MFIs,
which target them because of their steady salaries, earn a little over 300
dollars per month.
"I know January disease too well," says Jennifer Darirai, a secondary school
"I have four kids all of whom attend boarding school, and with my salary I
cannot afford to meet all these obligations and have to turn to microfinance
lenders, but rather reluctantly. What can I do?" she told IPS.
It is this desperation that has led to the sprouting of MFIs across the
country. And while the Ministry of Finance noted that there were 37 legally
registered microfinance institutions in late 2010, industry officials say
the number could well be into the hundreds, as many are operating from
backyard offices without licences.
Microfinance policy is governed under the Financial Laws Amendment Act,
which requires that non- banking financial institutions be registered.
"There are too many microfinance organisations sprouting up and taking
advantage of people’s poverty; what we need is stricter monitoring," said
Garfield Murombedzi, a senior microfinance adviser with a local bank.
"We are seeing it too often - people coming to seek bank loans to pay off
debts elsewhere. Something is obviously wrong somewhere," Murombedzi said.
"But we still cannot keep track, as even operators whose licences expired
continue to do business as usual, while at the same time others are
operating without bothering with registration," he added.
Since the country’s independence in 1980, microfinance has been viewed as a
source of easy money, and has failed to shake off criticism that it has
forced low-income earners into perpetual debt.
Sam Dube, who runs a microfinance institution in Bulawayo, says calls for
stricter monitoring are justified, but that they present the operations of
the entire industry as "profiteering."
"We understand concerns being raised by some people, but I believe this has
largely been because of unscrupulous lenders," Dube said.
"Some of us are qualified bankers and know the industry regulations well.
But these people who are giving us a bad name and charging exorbitant
interest rates, taking people’s property without justification, are
operating outside our mandate," Dube said.
"We are a properly regulated industry, but like any other, you are bound to
find con artists among us," he told IPS.
The Zimbabwe Association of Microfinance Institutions says members who flout
regulations risk being deregistered.
But Murombedzi said cash-strapped people often fail to check whether or not
these institutions are registered or are charging the recommended interest
"I think that is the issue that is important here: many sectors in Zimbabwe
are demanding self-regulation, but people flout their own rules; surely a
higher authority must move in," Murombedzi said, referring to the poor
monitoring of microfinance.
The Ministry of Finance has in the past warned against unregistered
financial institutions, with some banks even being shut down at the peak of
the country’s economic chaos in 2008. But with poor incomes existing
side-by-side with poor monitoring mechanisms, unscrupulous microfinance
institutions are likely to be around for a long time to come.
By Staff Reporter 30 minutes ago
HARARE - The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) has raised concern over the
upward change in prices recorded in the consumer basket over the past year.
Between January and December 2011, prices of basic commodities in the
monthly basket for an average family of six in the low income group, went up
from US$509,17 to US$545,35.
The highest price increases were recorded between August and October
following duty re-instatement on some commodities as well as electricity
In an interview with the media, CCZ Executive Director, Ms Rosemary
Siyachitema said the US$36 annual price increase is quite significant
considering that workers’ incomes have been depressed all year due to low
Ms Siyachitema highlighted that the consumer council is hoping for price
stability in 2012 and an increase in industrial productivity as well as
improved service delivery by water and electricity providers who performed
poorly last year.
Meanwhile, the CCZ’s average monthly basket for a family of six recorded a
decline between November and December, going down from US$546,34 to US$535.
January 5, 2012 1:49 pm
By Lovemore Chikova
HARARE- Cross border travellers are, with immediate effect, now required to
declare their goods to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority at least three hours
before arrival at the port of entry.
Zimra set new rules for cross border travellers
Zimra set new rules for cross border travellers
The goods will be declared through bus and airline operators who will relay
the information to Zimra, including the profile of the passengers on board.
Zimra director for legal and corporate affairs Ms Florence Jambwa yesterday
said the new rules also affect haulage truck operators who are required to
inform Zimra of the goods they carry before arrival.
Owners of private vehicles pulling trailers with a combined carrying
capacity of more than five tonnes will be required to do the same. This also
applies to omnibuses with a carrying capacity of eight passengers or more.
Omnibus operators were, in the past, not obliged to submit passenger
Ms Jambwa said the regulations will give Zimra time to risk profile goods
and passengers. “The new system is in line with international best practices
in trade facilitation and risk management as it allows identification of low
and high risk cargo and passengers to facilitate expeditious clearance
process,” said Ms Jambwa.
“It is expected, therefore, to improve Zimra’s operations by ensuring
efficient use of scarce resources.” Ms Jambwa said the passengers will still
be required to physically declare their goods to Zimra on arrival at the
port of entry. “The advance passenger and cargo manifest system does not
take away the obligation by passengers to properly declare their goods,” she
“The main focus of the system is to risk profile and allow Zimra to speedily
validate declarations made because of the advance information. Therefore,
passengers on a bus will continue to make individual declarations by
completing the declaration form (Form 47) where they will itemise the goods
they will be carrying and the value of such goods.”
Ms Jambwa said the new system will enable Zimra to target risky cargo and
avoid low risk ones. She said the rules were part of ongoing efforts to
improve convenience to crossborder travellers. “The new system will enhance
facilitation of trade and travel by expediting the clearing process,” Ms
“In the past, this information was submitted on arrival at the port of entry
and at the time of clearance of goods.” Zimra on Sunday published e-mails at
all ports of entry that the transport operators will use to convey the
information. It said the e-mails will be used temporarily, while the e-cargo
manifest is being rolled out.
The operators would send information specifically to the port of entry that
they will be using. “All local transporters will have to be registered with
Zimra for them to submit the manifest through the ASYCUDA system,” said Ms
Asycuda (Automated System for Customs Data) is a computerised system
designed by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development to
administer customs clearance. Zimra recently rolled out the latest Asycuda
version, an Internet-based system that allows importers and clearing agents
to electronically submit bills of entry declarations and supporting
The system can be accessed anywhere in the world provided that one is
registered with Zimra. In the 2012 National Budget statement, Finance
Minister Tendai Biti proposed the amendment of the legislation to allow
operators to declare the goods and passengers they carry three hours before
In the past, a pilot of an aircraft arriving in Zimbabwe was obliged to make
a report to the officer on duty within three hours after landing or “with
such further time as the Commissioner may allow”. The legislation stipulated
that the pilot would provide information pertaining to saleable goods on
board, the list of passengers and crew manifests of the goods on board only
if required to do so.
“The three hour notification period after landing does not allow the
Commissioner enough time to risk profile passengers and goods and also at
the same time allow for speedy clearance of low risk passengers,” Minister
Biti said while presenting the budget in Parliament.
“Furthermore, crossborder bus and commercial haulage operators will also be
required submit to the Commissioner passenger, crew and cargo manifests in
advance, before arrival at ports of entry.”
But the new rules are likely to irk passengers who will be searched on
arrival at the port of entry despite pre-declaring goods.
By Business Writer
Thursday, 05 January 2012 11:04
HARARE - Attainment of Zimbabwe’s 9,4 percent economic growth target in 2012
is premised on a stable political and economic environment and adherence to
the government cash-budgeting system, the African Development Bank (AfDB)
“The ongoing implementation of the indigenisation and economic empowerment
laws and the expected national elections in 2012 continue to weaken external
investor confidence,” the AfDB said in its December, 2011, Zimbabwe Economic
The regional bank argued that achievement of the country’s economic targets
is hinged on steady supply of electricity and water as well as continued
firming of the international commodity prices or increasing production
Power woes are however, likely to persist as government is yet to secure
investment to bankroll its $2,5 billion five-year plan to expand and
rehabilitate Hwange and Kariba power stations.
Government allocated 20 percent of the total budget, $800 million, for
capital expenditure and this remains inadequate compared to infrastructure
funding requirements and spending targets projected under the Medium Term
Energy and water and sanitation were allocated 1,2 percent and 2,8 percent
of the $800 million, respectively, despite the challenges faced by these key
Furthermore, Zimbabwe is still marred by liquidity constraints since
inception of a multiple currency regime in 2009 after a decade- long of
AfDB said the weak depositor confidence in the formal banking sector and low
average incomes, overall assessment of risk among other factors, explain the
persisting liquidity shortages.
In addition, limited external lines of credit due to perceived country risk
and the huge debt and arrears have compounded the liquidity shortages. To
ease the liquidity challenges, Finance Minister Tendai Biti allocated $100
million to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe in his 2012 budget to perform its
function as lender of the last resort and to relieve the currently limited
“This amount is, however too small to ease the prevailing liquidity
shortages (and) there is need for measures to restore bank depositor
confidence in the formal banking sector to harness cash that is circulating
outside the formal banking sector into the formal banking sector,” AfDB
Zimbabwe, believed to account for more than 25 percent of the world’s
diamond deposits and currently the third largest diamond producer in the
world, expects to turn a corner from diamond proceeds which are currently
estimated to contribute $600 million to the fiscus in the current year.
Diamond players at Marange released 500 000 carats of diamonds into the
global market in the end December last year.
The world’s largest diamond trade network Rapaport recently announced that
Zimbabwe has the capacity to produce between 15 and 20 million carats of
The Marange diamonds, in spite being certified by the Kimberly Process,
however face international resistance from critical global diamond players
like the European Union, Rapaport as well as the United States government
who argue the gems are being used to further human rights abuses and tyranny
long-running land controversy continues to undermine the economy, as many of 200
or so remaining white farmers battle to stay on their land. The farmers say they
are expecting renewed attacks later this month. Economists say Zimbabwe’s
economy, dependent on agricultural exports, was wrecked by President Robert
Mugabe’s post-2000 land grab when he and his ZANU-PF party supporters took
thousands of productive white-owned farms, mostly from members of the Commercial
Farmers Union, or CFU. VOA's Peta Thornycroft asks Professor Mandi Rukuni, a
leading African academic on land issues and international consultant to
organizations like the World Bank, about the background to Zimbabwe’s land
How long there have been land struggles in Zimbabwe and what has caused them?
I was old enough in [the] mid-50’s when [Prime Minister] Garfield Todd’s government ... set up a select committee in parliament which came up with a brilliant, practical solution, [which was], "okay, there is plenty of European land which was not settled." They designated that land as special areas where people of any race could apply for land. This is exactly what triggered the formation of the Rhodesia Front. It was established to protest giving away European land back to Africans, and also the attempts by Garfield Todd to change all the racial laws in education, etc. And in 1962 the Rhodesia Front contested the whites-only election and won. And this is exactly what led to the radicalization of the [black] nationalist movement.
The black nationalist movement included ZANU-PF, which unseated Prime Minister Ian Smith’s Rhodesia Front government in the country’s first fully-democratic elections in 1980. Twenty years later, ZANU-PF suffered its first defeat at the polls by the Movement for Democratic Change party in a referendum. Almost immediately ZANU-PF began chasing white farmers off their land. Tens of thousands of poor Zimbabweans also were given small pieces of land for the first time. How he would you characterize ZANU-PF's actions since 2000?
In my own reading of history, ZANU-PF today is settling old scores. [It] was not reconciliation in 1980, it was a truce between the new Rhodesian Front in the form of the CFU and ZANU-PF. It was a truce to say, "Ok, we may tolerate each other," but that window of opportunity was never used to resolve the issue. So when the white farmers started supporting any opposition to [the] ZANU-PF government, the truce was out. To me, it is really a cold war between those two formidable forces and each was waiting for the other and to outdo the other.
In the end it boiled down to, "O.K., we will smash you white farmers because you have broken the truce." And for the white farmers I think it was, "O.K., we have the backing of the Western world and the backing of our kith and kin over there, so we will smash you back." So that part of history to me is still being played out, but that to me is the cold war. The rest of what we report on every day as democracy, good governance and human rights, blah blah... is for me something that is just a facade [masking] the cold war, which is a racial war. Until this is openly discussed outside the realm of politics, it is going to be difficult to resolve.
Would compensation for dispossessed white farmers resolve the ongoing battle between ZANU-PF and white farmers?
Actually, when it comes to compensation for dispossessed white farmers, there is no real dispute in a legal sense. The law says they will be compensated for improvements only. But the government has limited capacity.
Would emerging black farmers benefit in any way if compensation is paid to dispossessed white farmers, such as being able to legally lease their land?
The government wishes for it to be a fully tradeable lease, so the pressure is on the ministry of lands and the attorney-general to adjust the lease so it is fully tradeable. The government wants a tradeable lease that is bankable."
Would any benefit accrue to the national purse from legal, tradeable leases?
When, eventually, government offers a tradeable 99-year lease to the new owner, I expect that there will be some tax of some kind. I can’t see it happening without that kind of transaction.
A peaceful resolution to the farmland issue would help stabilize Zimbabwe politically, and likely generate new investment and revenue to strengthen the economy. The economy, while stronger than it was in the hyper-inflationary environment of 2007, remains shaky, and is not helped by fears of new violence whenever the next elections are held.
05 January 2012, 14:52
Inequality and social injustice -- is as much a Black thing as it is White
In present day South Africa, and Zimbabwe for instance, it is blindingly
obvious that there is widespread inclination to imagine that all the ills of
the dispossessed/disadvantaged masses is explicable as a product of an
imported White culture of inequality, with racism as its most pernicious
So it is instinctively imagined that, but for this import by White
imperialists/colonialists, we would not really have a problem of inequality.
In the result there is a huge tendency to see Black leaders as our saviours
and reject White leaders as disqualified. Typically we are inflicted with
articles such as - “This great black hope is inaudible without white” by an
otherwise very good journalist/editor Phylicia Oppelt. The whole point of
the article is to discredit Lindiwe Mazibuko, as a political leader, simply
because she is in association with a White led political party.
Oppelt is not being deliberately dishonest or racist. The problem is founded
in her imagination. She imagines that what she is putting down is fair
comment and this is because, like so many, she imagines that the culture of
inequality is a “White thing”, imported by Whites. In the result Whites are
substantively and perceptually disqualified from leading anybody to true
freedom, let alone the disadvantaged Black majority. So it is all too easy
for her to even rate Julius “Whites are thieves” Malema as preferable to
Mazibuko because, according to Oppelt, there are no White links in his
stance and message.
So we really need to dispassionately examine the proposition that the
concept/culture of inequality is a product of White mentality? Is it?
In my book “The Other – without fear, favour or prejudice” I relate how my
Black grandmother, an Ndebele woman of the abeZansi class, accepted very few
of the other ethnic groups, White or Black, as her equal. Her behaviour was
normal. That is the point. Her attitude and behaviour was perfectly normal
for the times she was living in. That is an undeniable fact and cannot be
gainsaid or wished away.
My grandmother was an Ndebele of the Mzilikazi clan. Mzilikazi, as is known,
fled from Shaka Zulu and migrated to what is now Zimbabwe. Mzilikazi and his
people took the prevailing Zulu culture with them. Equality was not part of
So this whole region was steeped in inequality; inequality of the most
pernicious proportions. In South Africa Shaka’s kingdom was founded on and
kept dominant in terms of a most brutal pogrom known as mfecane.
Mfecane is used primarily to refer to the period when Mzilikazi, a king of
the Matabele, dominated the Transvaal. During his reign, roughly from 1826
to 1836, he ordered widespread killings and devastation to remove all
opposition. He reorganized the territory to establish the new Ndebele order.
The death toll has never been satisfactorily determined, but the whole
region became nearly depopulated.
In addition the Zulu nation was defined and structured as unequal with the
abeZansi class being ‘royalty”. The people were divided into three main
sections: the Abezansi [who were the aristocrats], the Abenhla [middle
class] and the Amaholi comprising folk who had been captured in raids on
other tribes. The Amaholi or Holi were practically in the position of
bondsmen and rarely allowed to possess cattle.
In Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) all other tribes were raided, robbed and quite
brutally subjugated to the rule and dominance of the newly arrived Ndebele
from South Africa. So the Whites were not the first colonizers. Neither were
they the first to import the culture of inequality.
It is a reality that the culture of inequality was something of an
international pandemic internationally. From earliest time man was
preoccupied with invading, raiding and subjugating his fellow men, all over
the world. Alexander even got the name “Alexander The Great” for indulging
in such thoroughly objectionable conduct. It is unnecessary to burden this
post with the innumerable other examples such as the exploits of Genghis
What is far more pertinent is to point out that the concept/culture of
equality was just about nowhere to be found in this world be it China,
Britain (aristocracy), Russia, India (untouchables) or anywhere else. A
“classless society” was never part of the ordinary approach of humanity
throughout its existence. So Shaka and the Zulus, and Mzilikazi and the
Ndebeles were simply part of an international norm that was no more “White”
than it was any other complexion!
So where does all this lead us to? What is its significance? To answer these
question we need to imagine one more thing. What would have been the norm
had the White man not arrived? Do we imagine that we would all have been
living as equals in a classless society?
Now be honest. The truth shall set you free.
And the truth is that whether it be Jacob Zuma, Helen Zille or anyone else,
each has equal potential to be a good or a bad leader. Their race or
ethnicity really has nothing to do with it!
The Zimbabwe Agricultural Welfare Trust was established in July 2001 to
provide support for the beleaguered agricultural community in Zimbabwe which
has taken such a large amount of unnecessary physical and mental abuse from
the self-styled ‘war veterans’ and the unconstitutional actions of their own
Please read the attachments. Zawt letter and ZAWT snapshot
WHAT: Free Zimbabwe Global Protest
WHERE: At All South African Embassies, Consulate Missions and Union Buildings
WHEN: Saturday, January 21, 2012
This is an appeal to all Zimbabweans and Friends of Zimbabwe wherever they may dwell to heed the call for a worldwide mass protest at the Embassies, Consulate Missions and the Union Buildings of the Republic of South Africa on Saturday, January 21, 2012. The protests will be held simultaneously to gain media leverage and attain maximum coverage. We will hand over petitions of our demands to the authorities at these targeted institutions. These protest demonstrations will continue on a monthly basis until the South African facilitators to the GPA heed our demands.
Reasons for Targeting South African Embassies, Consulates and Union Buildings
· South Africa, through its former President Thabo Mbeki, was the chief architect of the GPA and the coalition government.
· As the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) appointed mediator, SA is responsible for ensuring that the GPA is implemented to the letter and spirit of its intent.
· South Africa, with the support of China and Russia blocked UN Security Council action on the Zimbabwe crisis/
· South Africa has always maintained to the world that the Zimbabwean crisis is an African problem that requires African solutions, so we want to hold them true to their word.
· South Africa as the dominant power in Africa has the political and economic muscle to get Robert Mugabe and his Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU-PF) to respect the wishes of the Zimbabwean people which were demonstrated through the overwhelming support of the MDC in the 2008 elections.
· South Africa itself was a beneficiary of global protests that resulted in the demise of apartheid and ushered in a new democratic era.
· By virtue of being Zimbabwe's neighbor, and considering the number of Zimbabwean refugees in SA, it is commonsensical that SA has a strong national interest in finding a lasting solution to the Zimbabwean crisis.
The Major Protest Issues
1. The deterioration of the GPA agreement - The refusal by ZANU- PF to implement the GPA in letter and spirit.
2. Rising political tension in the country - increasing cases of violence as ZANU-PF forces its election campaign ideology on the people.
3. Total disrespect of the Prime Minister's office by the police - the security apparatus is now above the law, disruption of MDC rallies.
4. Continued incarceration of MDC members - including party youth leader Solomon Madzore.
5. Grand theft of the Marange diamond proceeds which should be used to benefit the country at large and not diverted to maintain Mugabe’s party in power
6. The disruptive Indigenization Act - discourages foreign investment and benefits the elite.
7. Security Sector Reforms - Repeal of the Public Order and Security Act and bringing to justice members of the security forces who do not respect the rule of law.
8. Media Reforms – Repeal the Access to Information and Privacy Protection Act (AIPPA) and opening up of the airwaves. Condemn the partisan issuance of two broadcasting licenses to ZANU- PF affiliates.
9. Electoral Act reforms – remove all language and articles that give undue power to ZANU- PF functionaries.
10. A New and Clean Voters' Roll – Dismissal of the current ZANU-PF aligned Register-General Tobaiwa Mudede and the dissolution of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) and appointment of a new independent body.
11. The Election Roadmap - the role of international observers six months before and after elections. We also demand a peacekeeping force during the same period.
12. Dual Citizenship in the new Constitution.
13. The Diaspora Vote – more than 5 million Zimbabweans in the Diaspora constitute a substantial portion of the electorate and should be allowed to vote.
14. Deportation of Zimbabwe nationals from South Africa - this is inhumane based on the conditions in Zimbabwe.
|Fellowships for Threatened Scholars|
Announcement: Applications due February 3, 2012
How The Scholar Rescue Fund Works:
Fellowships support visiting academic positions for up to one calendar year. Awards of up to US $25,000 are issued with individual health insurance coverage and professional development assistance.
Fellowships are disbursed through dedicated host academic institutions, which provide direct support and a safe haven for scholar-grantees. In most cases, hosts are asked to match the SRF fellowship award by providing partial salary/stipend support and/or housing, material support for research/publications, and other in-kind assistance.
decision by early March, please submit application materials by February 3,
End of year ministerial appraisals by two independent newspapers made
interesting reading. While some ratings sounded correct, others were
seemingly way out of sync with general sentiment. In future, it might be a
good idea to consult far and wide before circulating these ratings if they
are to be taken seriously. Ostensibly resorting to views of an anonymous
“Review Board” smacks of shenanigans.
Subjectivity and inadequacy of process aside, the most outstanding aspect
was that younger ministers generally performed way better than their most
experienced counterparts. Of course, spoiling this generalisation was none
other than Saviour Kasukuwere who competed with most of career ministers for
the bottom position. That this dismal performer belongs to a known party
does not come as a surprise at all.
One other observation that came out of the appraisals is that it is probably
time to start thinking seriously about merging, phasing out or disbanding
some of the ministries. In a country where there is an ICT ministry as well
as one for Higher Education, one wonders why we need another full ministry
for Science and Technology. The “T” in ICT actually stands for “Technology”
while the science function could be a small department under Higher
Education or another ministry. The same applies to the Women’s Affairs
ministry. This can easily be a department under the ministry of Public
Service and Social Welfare or any other. That the ministers responsible for
these two portfolios which are perfect candidates for a downgrade are said
to have performed dismally, may not be a mere coincidence.
It appears some ministers don’t even fully understand their mandate.
Consequently, a very good number of them are now part-time ministers with
full-time benefits which include luxurious vehicles and multiple farms.
A few who might still be willing to perform may be incapacitated by a lack
of political will or unavailability of financial resources. Not because of
sanctions or Biti but because of misappropriation, mismanagement and
looting, a case in point being Chiadzwa. Given the prevailing economic
climate which is tough by any measure, can somebody please explain what the
ministry of Housing and Social Amenities is meant to deliver? Wasn’t this
ministry a direct product of the Tsholotsho fiasco, cunningly designed to
appease but keep in check the godfather of Dinyane? In the military, it
would be the equivalence of the commissioners’ pool. I would suggest that
this be appended as a department to the Local Government ministry, assuming
it hasn’t served its purpose.
The so-called Review Board either neglected or is unaware of the existence
of deputy ministers. Why didn’t we hear anything about these leaders? Giving
the example of only one ministry, one would have been forgiven for thinking
that at Justice, Chinamasa was the deputy while visible, energetic and
focused Obert Gutu was the full minister. We only heard of Chinamasa when it
was time for the perpetual negotiations or a moment for the SMM saga. Such
is the kind of ministers we have!
In parliament, Settlement Chikwinya and Edward Chindori-Chininga were
outstanding. These two MPs ensured that the august house was not reduced to
a napping room. Chikwinya reminded us of the good old days of Lazarus
Nzarayebani, Sydney Malunga or Hebert Ushewokunze by fearlessly introducing
crucial motions such as dismissal of Austin Zvoma as well as reformation of
the security sector. Of course, we did not see a return to the days of the
firebrand trio of Eddison Zvobgo, Edgar Tekere and Byron Hove but it was a
step in the right direction. On the other hand, Chindori-Chininga
demonstrated that portfolio committees were created for a reason when he
presided over the SMM hearings. For this, I’ve no doubt he did not receive a
Christmas card nor chocolate fish from Patrick Chinamasa.
While there is no doubt that Henry Madzorera, David Coltart and Walter
Mzembi were indeed a cut above the rest, the typically low rating given to
Tendai Biti raises some questions. By clipping Dr. Casino’s long wings, the
finance minister brought back some semblance of sanity into the two critical
spheres of fiscal and monetary policy management. It is primarily this bold
move coupled with dollarization that became the anchor of economic
stabilisation. From that stabilisation, critical sectors such as health,
education and tourism were revived. Tendai Biti’s low rating is malicious
or at least misplaced. Some of you will recall that the Finance Ministry was
once run like “a funeral parlour” to use Gushungo’s diction when he chided
Murerwa at some forum in Botswana. In less than three years, that has now
been turned around. We no longer have a president or central bank governor
doubling up as finance minister.
As for Goche, unlike Hebert Ushewokunze who once earned the title “Minister
of Air Zimbabwe”, courtesy of Byron Hove, this career minister proved that
Air Zimbabwe does not need a minister or should be transferred to a
different ministry altogether. If I had my way, I would donate it to Tourism
if ICT is too distant.
Now that he has set the bar so high despite his youthfulness, our
expectation for 2012 is that Nelson “Supersonic” Chamisa will make common
but useful documents such as passport forms downloadable online while
internet banking is embraced by all financial institutions including POSB.
Every child who passes through our education system should be able to
differentiate between a mouse and a keyboard in addition to having other
basic skills such as use of the internet and MS Office. Zimbabweans should
not queue to pay utility bills when this can be done at the click of a mouse
or on iPhone. Pay days should not be synonymous with long queues at banks
when people can use plastic money for most transactions. This will propel us
into the global family of technology.
May those rated the worst performers lift their game in 2012, retire, resign
or be relieved of their duties before Easter! Let Zimbabwe move forward.