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

Biti cuts budget, blames diamonds

18/07/2012 00:00:00
by Roman Moyo I Reuters

FINANCE Minister Tendai Biti said Wednesday he had been forced to cut his
2012 budget from US$4 billion to US$3,4 billion, blaming poor revenue
inflows from diamonds from the eastern Marange fields.

Presenting his Mid Term Fiscal policy in Parliament, Biti said of the US$600
million which was expected from diamond sales this year, only US$41,6
million had been received during the first half of the year.

"We thought by June about half of the amount would have been achieved. I am
very worried about the amount coming from diamond sales which is way below
what we anticipated. It is a very worrying situation," he said.

The Marange diamonds have remained a source of constant bickering in the
coalition government with Biti and his MDC party claiming proceeds from
sales of the gems were being diverted away from treasury.

But one of the companies targeted for criticism by Biti, the Chinese-owned
ANJIN Investments, accused him of trying to find scapegoats for his own
mistakes. The company claimed Biti had based his US$600 million projection
on the assumption that a carat of diamond was worth US$1,300 when, in fact,
its average value is US$60.

“It is either he is untruthful, incompetent or illiterate. He made the
blunder and miscalculated. He must be man enough and admit that he made a
mistake,” Anjin board member Munyaradzi Machacha said last month during a
visit to Marange by EU envoys.

“He (Biti) is scapegoating companies like Anjin for his miscalculations. He
is persecuting a cash cow because he made a blunder.”

Meanwhile, Biti also cut his growth forecast to 5.6 per cent from the 9.4
per cent projected earlier blaming a poor harvest, lack of donor funding and
policy inconsistencies.

Zimbabwe registered expansion of 9.3 per cent in 2011, the third straight
year of growth after a decade of economic decline that peaked in 2008 when
inflation hit 500 billion per cent.

However, the economy looks to be losing its momentum as the coalition
government struggles to attract donor funding, while bickering over policy
discourages foreign investment.

Biti said government revenues had stopped growing, a sign that the economy
now needed foreign investment to expand production and boost jobs,
especially in the manufacturing and mining industries.

"The first half of the year has been the most economically challenging in
the last 40 months," Biti told parliament in a mid-year budget review.

"This economy needs foreign direct investment to increase this little cake
into a bigger cake that will generate jobs."

Biti said the government would increase taxes on fuel and wheat imports in a
bid to shore up state revenues, adding that this would not put pressure on
inflation, which he still expects to be below 5 per cent by year-end.

He said government wages, at 74 per cent of total expenditure, were

Investors have stayed away, rattled by a government drive to force foreign
miners to surrender at least 51 per cent shares to black Zimbabweans.
Uncertainty over the date and conduct of elections due within the next year,
has also unsettled investors given Zimbabwe's history of violent and
disputed polls.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Action Alert: Diamonds funding a Parallel Government?

July 18th, 2012

Blood DiamondsOn June 20th Global Witness released a report, ‘Financing a Parallel Government?’ to let the world know that something has to be done about the contemptible abuse of one of Zimbabwe’s key mineral resources.

Sokwanele is determined to assist the aims of Global Witness and we ask you to do what you can to make sure Zimbabwean human rights are protected.

Press Release from Global Witness

Action urgently needed to stop off budget financing to Mugabe’s regime

23rd June 2012

The international community must act to prevent off budget financing of Mugabe’s feared secret police, said Global Witness in a report published today.

The report, Financing a Parallel Government?, reveals that Zimbabwe’s Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) appears to have received off budget financing from a Hong Kong-based businessman at the same time that the CIO is alleged to be engaging in a campaign to discredit key members of Zimbabwe’s opposition.

CIO members exercise joint control over Sino Zimbabwe Development (Pvt) Ltd, a diamonds, cotton and property company in Zimbabwe. Their partner is businessman Sam Pa, a prominent member of the Queensway Syndicate, a network of companies with a track record of negotiating opaque resource for infrastructure deals across the African continent.

The report also exposes how a Zimbabwean military lawyer owns half of Anjin Investments (Pvt) Ltd, the biggest diamond company in Zimbabwe’s controversial Marange diamond fields, on behalf of Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Defence.

“Given the violent reputation of the CIO and military, we fear that this money could fund human rights abuses during the forthcoming election,” said Nick Donovan of Global Witness. “Off-budget financing of the security sector undermines Zimbabwean democracy by subverting civilian control over key organs of the state. The international community should investigate the activities of Sam Pa, Sino Zimbabwe Development (Pvt) Ltd, and Anjin Investments (Pvt) Ltd to see whether their actions justify imposing targeted sanctions such as asset freezes.”

Information given to Global Witness by sources within the CIO suggests that Sam Pa provided funding and material to the organisation in return for access to Zimbabwe’s diamond, cotton and property sectors. One CIO document put this support at $100 million and 200 pick-up trucks. Two sources also told Global Witness that the money has been allocated by the CIO towards Operation Spiderweb, covert activities designed to discredit Prime Minister Tsvangarai, Finance Minister Biti, and Industry Minister Ncube, although Global Witness cannot confirm the existence of these programmes. We gave Mr Pa an opportunity to comment on our findings but he has not responded.

Anjin Investments claims to be the world’s biggest diamond miner. Previous research by Global Witness revealed how Anjin’s Executive Board members include senior serving and retired military and police officers, and the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Defence. In the report published today, Global Witness reveals that 50% of Anjin’s shares are owned by Brigadier General Charles Tarumbwa, the Judge Advocate General at the Ministry of Defence, acting through Matt Bronze (Pvt) Ltd, a front for the Zimbabwean military.

“Since ZANU PF lost control of the Ministry of Finance, they appear to have engaged on a hunt for off-budget financing for the military and secret police,” said Donovan. “Zimbabwe’s civilian government must exercise democratic control over the budgets of security forces. If not, there is a real danger of a shadow security state emerging, with both a monopoly on violence and secret sources of funding.”


Sokwanele Action AlertTAKE ACTION How you can make your voice heard in the debate to respect human rights in Zimbabwe? You can send an e mail

All you have to do is copy and paste the letter below and email it to Her Excellency Ms. Susan Shabangu, the Minister of Mineral Resources of the Republic of South Africa, current Vice Chair of the Kimberley Process and who will become KP Chair on January 1, 2013.

Send the e mail to: Ms Glenda Moloi in the Minister’s Office on Please also copy your mail to: and

Dear Honourable Minister Shabangu

I am writing to urge you in your capacity as the Minister of Mineral Resources of the Republic of South Africa, Member of the African National Congress National Working Committee, Member of National Executive Council of African National Congress as well as the incoming Chair of the Kimberley Process in January 2013.

You recently asked the question about diamonds in Africa: “How do we take this commodity which has been distorted into a symbol of oppression, violence and inequality into a beacon of hope and prosperity for all? It can only be by ensuring that the citizens of these producer countries enjoy a fair share of the revenues generated from their diamond endowments.”

My answer to you is to start with your neighbour, Zimbabwe, and in your capacity as a Minister in South Africa to make a call on behalf of SADC to ensure that the diamond industry in Zimbabwe is based on the respect of human rights and fair trade.

1. Please use your esteemed voice to support the inclusion of human rights into the KP as set forth by the World Diamond Council, so that the original definition of conflict diamonds will include goods associated with “rough diamonds used to finance, or otherwise directly related to, armed conflict or other situations of violence”

2. Use your position of power in South Africa and SADC to ensure the information provided in Section 4 of the Global Witness report’s key recommendations are used as the basis for investigation into actions which undermine Zimbabwean democratic institutions or risk funding future human rights abuses. The key recommendation for SADC is:

“SADC facilitators should give the problem of off-budget financing of security forces a high priority in forthcoming negotiations, with the aim of securing democratic, civilian control over the budgets for the security services. It may also be necessary for SADC to appoint an expert panel to investigate these claims of a parallel government.”

I look forward to your to your timely response and to learning more about your plans to strengthen efforts to combat conflict diamonds and the abuse of human rights in Zimbabwe.

Respectfully signed …………..

You can send an e card.

You can link to our Facebook page

Background Information

What are conflict diamonds, sometimes called blood diamonds?

Conflict diamonds, sometimes called blood diamonds, are diamonds that are sold to fund the unlawful and illegal operations of rebel, military and terrorist groups. Countries that have been most affected by conflict diamonds are Sierra Leone, Angola, Liberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo — all places where citizens have been terrorized, mutilated and killed by groups in control of the local diamond trade.

Wars in most of those areas have ended or at least decreased in intensity, but conflict diamonds from Côte d’Ivoire, in West Africa, and Liberia are still reaching the trade labeled as conflict-free diamonds.

In 2000, South African countries with a legitimate diamond trade began a campaign to track the origins of all rough diamonds, attempting to put a stop to blood diamond sales from known conflict areas. Their efforts eventually resulted in The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS), an international effort to rid the world of conflict diamonds.

Kimberley Process Goals

The goals of the Kimberley Process are to document and track all rough diamonds entering a participating country, with shippers placing stones in tamper-proof shipping crates and providing enough detailed information about their origins to prove they did not originate in a conflict zone.

The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) isn’t fully operational among its members — probably normal for an agreement that involves the cooperation of dozens of governments and non-governmental agencies. Many countries haven’t even committed to the program.

The goals of the KPCS will take time to achieve, but what’s already been accomplished is significant. Because it’s a self-regulating program, additional controls are necessary to truly ensure that blood diamond trade is halted — or at least minimized.

The Kimberley Process and Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe’s Minister of Mines, Obert Mpofu, is spearheading the movement opposing the proposed changes set forth by the World Diamond Council to broaden the original definition of conflict diamonds to include goods associated with “rough diamonds used to finance, or otherwise directly related to, armed conflict or other situations of violence”.

“The Kimberley Process intercessional meeting in Washington D.C. concluded on Thursday (7 June) with chairwoman Gillian Milovanovic commending participants, including member countries and non governmental groups, for working hard towards developing an agenda for the watchdog’s November plenary meeting.

The most contested subject debated was the issue of expanding the organization’s definition of “conflict diamonds” to include human rights.

The U.S. and other Western nations want the definition to also cover the scope of rights abuses. The original definition only focuses on rebel groups using diamond proceeds to fight sitting governments.

Zimbabwe is leading other African and Asian nations in resisting the proposed changes.”

To find out why ZanuPf is opposed to amending the definition of conflict diamonds please read the report “Financing a Parallel Government?

How consumers can help stop blood diamond trade.

Retailers cannot guarantee that the diamond you purchase is not a conflict diamond. As consumers, we have the power to change that by demanding details about the diamonds we buy. Demanding proof that a diamond is conflict-free sends a powerful message to the world that we will not support an industry or nation that helps fund terror groups. Change won’t happen overnight, but it will happen if we are persistent.

4 simple questions to ask your diamond retailers:

  1. How can I be sure that none of your jewelry contains conflict diamonds?
  2. What is your primary source for diamond jewelry?
  3. Can I see a copy of your company’s policy on conflict diamonds and/or a written guarantee from your suppliers that your diamonds are conflict-free?
  4. How often do consumers ask you about conflict diamonds?

Amnesty International created a survey to ensure the information you gather is used in a meaningful way, use your influence to help end trade in conflict diamonds and to keep Zimbabwe safe.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe slashes 2012 growth forecast to 5.6 pct

Wed Jul 18, 2012 3:25pm GMT

By MacDonald Dzirutwe

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe has axed its 2012 growth forecast to 5.6 percent
from the 9.4 percent projected earlier, Finance Minister Tendai Biti said on
Wednesday, blaming a poor harvest, lack of donor funding and policy

The southern African country registered expansion of 9.3 percent in 2011,
the third straight year of growth after a decade of economic decline that
peaked in 2008 when inflation hit 500 billion percent.

But the economy looks to be losing its momentum as a coalition government of
President Robert Mugabe and rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai struggles
to attract donor funding, while bickering over policy discourages foreign

Biti said government revenues had stopped growing, a sign that the economy
now needed foreign investment to expand production and boost jobs,
especially in the manufacturing and mining industries.

"The first half of the year has been the most economically challenging in
the last 40 months," Biti told parliament in a mid-year budget review.

"This economy needs foreign direct investment to increase this little cake
into a bigger cake that will generate jobs."

Biti said the government would increase taxes on fuel and wheat imports in a
bid to shore up state revenues, adding that this would not put pressure on
inflation, which he still expects to be below 5 percent by year-end.

He said government wages, at 74 percent of total expenditure, were

Investors have stayed away, rattled by Mugabe's drive to force foreign
miners to surrender at least 51 percent shares to black Zimbabweans and a
more recent demand for foreign-owned banks to turn over majority shares to
locals within a year.

Uncertainty over the date and conduct of elections due within the next year,
has also unsettled investors given Zimbabwe's history of violent and
disputed polls.

Government revenues are now expected to be $3.4 billion this year from an
earlier forecast of $4 billion, largely due to poor revenue from diamonds
from the eastern Marange fields, Biti said.

The government had expected to generate $600 million from sales of diamonds
from Marange but had only got $41.6 million from 224,137 carats sold between
January and June this year.

Agriculture production for the 2011/2012 season had fallen 5.8 percent,
leaving a grain deficit of 445,000 tonnes, which would be partly met through
imports by the private sector, he added.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

New Zimbabwe constitution completed

By Tichaona Sibanda
18 July 2012

The final draft of the new constitution for Zimbabwe is now complete and has
been signed by all the party negotiators to the GPA and members of COPAC’s
management committee.

Douglas Mwonzora, the MDC-T party spokesman and COPAC co-chairman, said
principals to the GPA will receive a copy of the draft constitution for
perusal before Friday. Zimbabweans have been waiting for a new constitution
for almost three years.

‘We could have handed them the document today (Wednesday) but we faced a
slight problem in that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is in Japan on a
government visit. The person who was supposed to receive it on his behalf,
Vice-President Thokozani Khupe, has had bereavement in the family and is
away attending a funeral,’ Mwonzora said.

The moment Khupe is available COPAC will hand over copies of the drafts, a
move described as merely symbolic by the MDC-T MP for Nyanga North.

‘Handing the principals the draft is simply symbolic, it has no legal
relevance really, it’s a public relations exercise,’ Mwonzora said, adding
that COPAC was also ready to share the document with the media.

He stated that COPAC is now planning for the 2nd all stakeholders’
conference, expected to be held in the next 30 days.

‘We have not yet set a date but it will be staged in the next 30 days where
stakeholders will interrogate the document. After that it will be sent to
Parliament for gazetting in preparation for a referendum.

‘The way things have gone, it is possible to have a referendum this year. In
my respectful view, this could happen in October,’ Mwonzora said.

The legislator, a lawyer by profession, said the constitution belongs to the
Zimbabwean people, men, women, children and the old.

‘If we use it properly, maintain it properly, improve it properly, it can
become a powerful instrument for our collective liberation from oppression,
human rights violations and all forms of indignities.

The release of the proposed constitution ends months of political wrangling
over the document, expected to replace Zimbabwe’s current constitution which
was drawn up when the country won independence in 1980.

The proposed constitution’s most significant reforms are aimed at the
country’s political and legal systems. Under the new constitution much of
the vast powers of the President have reportedly been transferred to

Tens of millions dollars of donor funds have been spent on this
constitutional exercise and 4,500 outreach meetings were conducted
countrywide, gathering people’s views on a new constitution. But there are
clear indications the new charter is nothing more than a negotiated document
between political parties.

Analysts and civil society organizations are extremely concerned that
ultimately the views gathered during the outreach exercise will count for
nothing, as the parties have inserted into the constitution positions that
are favorable to their political party agendas.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Parties agree on elections

Written by Fungi Kwaramba, Staff Writer
Wednesday, 18 July 2012 11:53

HARARE - Coalition government partners are agreed that a “mini-general
election” can proceed this year without key reforms such as security sector

A Supreme Court ruling last week ordered President Robert Mugabe to gazette
a day for by-elections in three constituencies in the Matabeleland region by
August 31.

But this could turn into a mini-general election as more than 30
constituencies are vacant and legal experts say elections should be held
there too.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party and a breakaway formation led
by Industry minister Welshman Ncube had previously stated their resistance
to any elections held before the implementation of electoral and security
sector reforms.

But they appear to have softened up in light of the Supreme Court ruling and
are now saying they will participate, joining Zanu PF in the chorus for the
by-elections to proceed.

In separate interviews, the three parties in the fragile three-year-old
coalition say they are ready for the polls notwithstanding the fact that the
power-sharing Global Political Agreement (GPA) has not been fully

The by-elections are key because they will act as a measure ahead of a more
pronounced watershed poll to be held most likely next year.

Douglas Mwonzora, the spokesperson for Tsvangirai’s MDC formation, said the
by-elections are a test of the country’s commitment to peace.

“We are ready for any eventuality, even (by-elections) without reforms. This
is a true test of the GPA parties and also of Zanu PF regarding its
sincerity to end violence,” said Mwonzora.

The smaller MDC formation said it was ready for the elections even though
political reforms are still to be fully implemented.

“Our position as a party is that we have always been prepared for
by-elections. We respect this ruling and we will participate but this is
only for the by-elections,” said Nqobani Moyo, the party’s director of

Zanu PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa said his party has
always wanted elections and the Supreme Court ruling came at an opportune

“We are prepared for elections and for by-elections we do not need to be
prepared,” said Mutasa adding, “If you win now it does not mean that you
will win the bigger elections.”

The parties had stayed by-elections after reaching a gentlemen’s agreement
not to contest each other in case of parliamentary vacancies in a bid to
maintain stability after the violent 2008 polls.

Three former MDC MPs who were expelled from their party for crossing the
floor contrary to Zimbabwe’s laws however, successfully mounted a legal
challenge resulting in the Supreme Court ruling.

Observers say the by-elections will be a testing ground of political support
and electoral conditions and therefore could provide room for strategising
towards the general elections.

Conditions on the ground however, appear to be as volatile as the ones
existing in 2008 with civil society groups, churches and political parties
recording increasing cases of violence and intimidation.

On Sunday, Finance minister and MDC secretary-general Tendai Biti was forced
to hold a rally in the bush by soldiers and Zanu PF supporters in
Darwendale, Mashonaland West Province in a sign of escalating tensions.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Army deploys battalion to campaign for ZANU PF

By Tichaona Sibanda
18 July 2012

Soldiers from the 3.2 infantry battalion at Tsanzaguru, outside Rusape have
been deployed in Nyazura for an exercise, but their real goal is to campaign
for ZANU PF, villagers said on Wednesday.

Truck loads of army vehicles dropped off close to 400 troops at Gwangwaza
shopping centre late on Sunday. They were being transported from their main
base at Tsanzaguru, which is 30 km away. Reports say so far they’ve not
physically harmed anyone, but have been roaming the area menacingly.

The heavily armed soldiers have been telling villagers they’re in the area
for a training exercise, although they are singing revolutionary ZANU PF
songs and toy-toying.

David Makosa, a villager who resides close to the shopping centre, queried
why, if they were on an exercise, the soldiers were warning people against
voting for the MDC. He said that they’re moving door to door, urging people
to vote ZANU PF and not to forget what happened in 2008. This is in
reference to the state sponsored violence that rocked the country four years
when over 500 MDC-T supporters lost their lives, tens of thousands were
injured and over half a million displaced.

‘As far as we are concerned this is not a military exercise, but a campaign
exercise by the army for ZANU PF. Interestingly, the same soldiers are
moving around the villages scrounging for food,’ Makosa said.

He observed that pupils from Mupangwi primary and Ruombwe secondary schools
have stopped attending lessons out of fear of the soldiers, a situation they
described as ‘very intimidating.’

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Mugabe Challenges African Union on Western Sanctions

17 July 2012

Ntungamili Nkomo | Washington DC

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has pleaded with the African Union to
forcefully campaign for the lifting of Western sanctions against him and his
allies, saying the measures should be removed before Harare holds its next

Mugabe challenged the AU at a summit that ended Monday in Ethiopia, to
emulate the regional Southern African Development Community, SADC, by
actively pushing for the lifting of all travel and financial restrictions
without conditions.

“May we get a word from this meeting that these sanctions are unjustified,
these sanctions continue to impact on our people, these sanctions must go,”
the 88-year-old politician challenged the continental bloc late Monday.

Mr. Mugabe’s statement came as the African Union inaugurated its new
chairman, President Boni Yayi of Benin, West Africa, who took over from
Equatorial Guinea's Teodoro Obiang Nguema Basango.

South Africa's Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma also took the
oath of office as new AU Commission chairperson, making history of being the
first ever woman to occupy the position.

Political commentator Effie Dlela Ncube of the Matabeleland Constitutional
Reform Agenda told VOA the Zimbabwe question is now likely to dominate the
AU with the influence of Dlamini-Zuma.

The AU has previously demanded the lifting of sanctions imposed by the U.S.
and the European Union several years ago against Mugabe and his inner circle
over human rights violations - without success.

But given it's full schedule of more serious challenges, including political
crises and security issues in several countries, the continental body has
had little, if any time at all, to focus on Zimbabwe, living the task to

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Bishop Kunonga faction accused of destroying mission schools

By Tererai Karimakwenda
18 July, 2012

A faction of the Anglican Church controlled by excommunicated Bishop Nolbert
Kunonga, is being accused of running down several high profile mission
schools, which were violently taken over as part of a larger property grab.

The latest drama involves the revered St. Augustine’s Mission School in
Manicaland, which is now reported to be facing closure two weeks before the
official term ends. Officials have said the school faces food shortages
caused by a lack of sufficient funds.

But it has become clear that the crisis has more to do with the battle for
control of Anglican church properties, which started following a split in
the church back in 2007 when Bishop Nolbert Kunonga was ex-communicated.

Reverend Dzavo from the Harare Diocese told SW Radio Africa that the
properties seized by Kunonga are not being managed well and most of the
church buildings have been turned into private colleges.

“They are also renting some of the properties to other churches which are
not Anglican. If you look at some of the major mission schools like St Johns
Chikwaka, the standards have gone down. Teachers are being victimised and
some have relocated,” Reverend Dzavo said.

He added that bills for electricity and water are not being paid and the
buildings are not being maintained. According to Reverend Dzavo, kids at one
orphanage taken over by Kunonga have complained of hunger.

Bishop Elson Jakazi, who is loyal to Kunonga, has said the fees at St
Augustines need to be raised because the current $333 is not enough
“considering the needs and challenges the school is facing”. He has
advocated that fees be raised to $498.

However, parents are said to be resisting the increase, saying they pay
enough to maintain the school. Other parents are said to be insisting that
the school set up a School Development Committee (SDC), to manage the funds.

A parishioner in Mutare, who chose not to be identified fearing reprisal,
said parents at St. Augustine are aware of Kunonga’s greed and destruction
of the church and have decided to withold funds that support the school.

Bishop Chad Gandiya was officially appointed to run the Harare Diocese by
the Church Province of Central Africa. But Kunonga, known as Mugabe’s Bishop
and with support from ZANU PF, was granted custodianship of Harare Diocese
properties by Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku last year.

Kunonga has since used that ruling to illegally acquire properties in other
provinces, using the police and ZANU PF thugs to intimidate clergy and
parishioners loyal to Bishop Gandiya.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Calls grow to halt planned mining at Mana Pools

By Alex Bell
18 July 2012

Calls are growing for urgent intervention to stop the planned mining
operations at Mana Pools in Zimbabwe, with conservationists warning that the
UNESCO World Heritage Site faces irreparable destruction if the plans are
carried out.

There are already plans being implemented for the construction of tourism
camps, which have been approved by the Environmental Management Agency
(EMA). Conservation groups like the Zambezi Society have warned that: “Not
only will these developments inevitably increase tourism impacts on the
already-impacted and fragile alluvial eco-system of the Mana Pools
floodplain, but restrict public access to popular and scenic places like
Mana River Mouth.”

But it is the latest plans that have conservationists and members of the
public up in arms, with an intention to allow the prospecting and
exploration of Mana Pools for heavy mineral sand deposits. The mining plans,
if they go ahead, will ultimately see the ruination of the site, with noisy,
destructive strip mining being the preferred method to mine for the sand
deposits. The natural, physical beauty of the area will become a mining pit
while the wildlife faces potential poaching threats.

Prospecting and exploration licences for the area were granted last
September to a mining firm called GeoAssociates, a locally owned company, to
mine for heavy mineral sand deposits in Ruckomechi and Chewore rivers in the
Zambezi Valley. The Valley was apparently chosen because it is rich in the
sand deposits.

The public, as well as conservation and tourism groups, have expressed their
outrage to the plans. According to the Zambezi Society, the Mana Pools
status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site “means that it is “a property of

Universal Value (OUV) because of its cultural and/or natural significance
which is so exceptional as to transcend national boundaries and to be of
common importance for present and future generations of all humanity.”

“As such, the permanent protection of this heritage is of the highest
importance, (not only to Zimbabweans) but to the international community as
a whole,” the Zambezi Society said.

The EMA has reportedly approved the plans, but the public have been urged to
submit their comments and concerns as apart of an investigation into the
environmental impact of the mining operations. At the same time, online
petitions have also been started to try and drum up support to stop the
mining operations.

Johnny Rodrigues from the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force told SW Radio
Africa on Wednesday that the threat to Mana Pools is not isolated, and the
general lack of rule of law in Zimbabwe means the environment is being
widely exploited.

“We have about 20 licenses for mining that have been granted to the Chinese
in Hwange. We have the conservancies being over run with invaders. There
aren’t any environmental assessments being done,” Rodrigues said.

He added: “Everything has collapsed in Zimbabwe so the only thing left for
them (the government) is to get involved in these deals. They’re supposed to
be the guardians of our wildlife, but greed takes over and this is what

Rodrigues urged the international community to intervene and put pressure on
the government to abide by its own laws and commitments to protecting
Zimbabwe’s wildlife. He explained that without this intervention, the
destruction of the environment will carry on.

Sign the Change petition targeting the Zambian side of the operations

Sign the Avaaz petition

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Security chiefs panic

Security chiefs, uncertain of their future in the event of an MDC election
victory, are scurrying to cushion themselves from the loss of power,
influence and access to wealth.
by Taona Mapurisa

The top brass in the security forces, who have exploited Zanu (PF)’s
patronage to amass eye-watering riches for themselves, are unsettled by the
likelihood of President Robert Mugabe and his party losing general elections
likely to take place next year.

“It is now an open secret in the security services (comprising the army, air
force, police and Central Intelligence Organisation) that there is no
guarantee that Zanu (PF) will retain power come election time. As a result,
senior officers are rushing to do whatever they can so that they are secure
in the event that Morgan Tsvangirai and his party win,” said a well-informed

South Africa and SADC are making it increasingly clear that they will not
brook another Zanu (PF) stolen election victory, and will insist that free
and fair elections are held to ensure the results cannot be contested by the
losing party. “Remember, the next elections will be held under a new
constitution that could make things difficult for Zanu (PF).

SADC is unlikely to tolerate rigging and violence, and Zann (PF) has been
severely crippled by factionalism,” said the source. “Already, there are
signs that Mugabe is weakening, especially as he failed to force elections
this year.” Senior officers are reportedly making attempts to endear
themselves to the MDC led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. The party’s
national spokesperson, Douglas Mwonzora, confirmed this. “A lot of these
security chiefs are coming to us to dissociate themselves from the awkward
position taken by the likes of (Constantine) Chiwenga (Zimbabwe Defense
Forces Commander), (Douglas) Nyikayaramba (a Major-General) and the like.

“They are saying they are fed up with the partisan attitude of a few
securocrats and are willing to serve under any government, including an MDC
government. We are happy that most of these service personnel are still
professional and we will welcome them in the event that we win,” Mwonzora
told The Zimbabwean.

Nyikayaramba is one of the generals who have publicly expressed their
allegiance to Zanu (PF) and vowed not to recognise a government formed by
any other political party. According to documents released by Wikileaks some
generals have in the past clandestinely approached western diplomats to
discredit Chiwenga.

The panicky officers are also seeking safety in education, rushing to get
diplomas and degrees. Another source, a senior officer himself, revealed
that his boss had tasked him to find out ‘any diploma’ he could study for in
preparation for the future.

The source visited commercial colleges in Harare to research available
diplomas available and has recommended that his boss study management.

This paper has established an unusually high number of security chiefs
enrolling at local colleges and universities, taking management, business
and political science courses. John Makumbe, a professor of political
science at the University of Zimbabwe, said army personnel from the rank of
colonel upwards were ‘flooding’ his department.

“It’s all about panic regarding the political future of this country. There
is a real flurry of senior army officers seeking to obtain educational and
professional qualifications. They seem to have realized that there should be
life after the bullet,” said Makumbe. He acknowledged that the military
chiefs, whose tuition is paid for by the army, were performing well in their
studies at UZ.

Chiwenga graduated last year with a master’s degree in International
Relations and has a Master of Business Administration from the Zimbabwe Open

The senior officers are reportedly hoping to be seconded to line ministries
and diplomatic missions ahead of the next elections, get employed in the
private sector or take up positions at a military academy currently under
construction and at the army Staff College.

A lecturer at one of the leading commercial colleges in the capital said
since the beginning of this year there had been an increase in the number of
senior army personnel taking evening classes. “Military students, clearly
senior judging by their epaulettes, have grown in numbers, particularly this
year. They prefer studying business administration, personnel management,
law and project management,” said the lecturer. He added that a sizeable
number of senior police officers were also studying with them, “but the CIO
guys are difficult to detect, even though we suspect quite a number to be
our students”.

While the security chiefs have obtained lucrative farms under the fast track
land redistribution programme that started in 2000 and hope to use them as
business ventures, there is lingering discomfort among them because they do
not have solid title deeds.

The Zimbabwean was told that many had set up private ventures, particularly
poultry and piggery projects, to guarantee themselves a steady income in the

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Cops smash kombi windscreens

Police have barred commuter omnibuses from passing through the city centre
and are smashing windscreens of those vehicles caught picking or dropping
by Zwanai Sithole Harare

The police say the move, which has resulted in a cat-and-mouse game with
kombi drivers, is meant to decongest the city and eliminate illegal pick-up
points. Since last week there has been heavy deployment of traffic police
officers wielding baton sticks and logs, ready to pounce on defiant drivers.

“Two police officers destroyed my vehicle’s windscreen at the 6th Avenue
Extension. I was coming from Masvingo and I was not aware of the exercise.
Police officers are supposed to protect people’s property and not destroy
it. I will definitely sue them for damaging my property,” said David Mwanza,
a commuter omnibus driver.

Another kombi driver, Marvellous Ncube, said he has now resorted to pick up
passengers at secluded places to avoid the police.

“The problem is that we do not have enough designated places in the city.
The police want us to drop our clients two kilometres away from town. That
is impossible. The solution is simple. We need more legal pick-up and
drop-off points in the city,” said Ncube.

He accused the cops of being overzealous. “We need to engage each other with
the police and the city council over this issue. This heavy-handedness from
the police will not solve the problem because people will simply counter
their actions,” he said.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, Lizwe Jamela said it was illegal for the
police to damage windscreen of motorists.

“What the police are doing is malicious damage to property. There is no law
in the country which empowers the police to destroy the property of anyone
even that of an accused person. If any offence has been committed the
officers should arrest the culprits and let the course of justice follow,”
said Jamela.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Gono creating two centres of power

18/07/2012 00:00:00
by Kurai Prosper Masenyama

AS THE battle between former South African President Thabo Mbeki and Jacob
Zuma for the throne of the African National Congress reached its climax,
debate shifted to the pros and cons of having “two centres of power”.

However, while the South African case was a clear fight argued in terms of
policy formulation (a preserve of the Party) and policy implementation (a
preserve of the Government), in Zimbabwe a battle of two centres of power is
slowly but surely emerging as far as the implementation of the
indigenisation and economic empowerment programme is concerned.

There is a movement fronted by some of the most powerful and influential
people in our country. These individuals are fighting the implementation of
the indigenisation and economic empowerment programme in their so called
“areas of jurisdiction” and they are determined, for reasons yet unknown, to
see the exercise fail.

Quite recently, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr Gideon Gono went
overboard with his personal but misplaced attack on the Minister of Youth
Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment Saviour Kasukuwere and National
Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board Chairman David Chapfika over
the indigenisation of the banking sector in Zimbabwe.

Gono believes the pair’s hands are dirty because they were once involved in
banks that collapsed. Accordingly, he doesn’t seem to think they are fit and
proper persons to talk about let alone indigenise the banking sector.

While debating and contesting each other’s ideas is an obvious imperative
that will enrich the development of our revolutionary movement Zanu PF in
particular and Zimbabwe as a nation in general, going out to personally
attack fellow leaders and comrades-in-arms is a glaring misdeed that cannot
be left unchallenged. Besides, what has that got to do with the
implementation of the law?

It’s a pity that when Dr Gono offered his Supply and Distribution
Indigenisation and Empowerment Model (SADIE) as an alternative to the
current comprehensive empowerment model, some of us interrogated it and
tackled the thesis not the man.

Sustainable economic empowerment can only be buttressed by the
indigenisation of our economic systems across board. Furthermore, SADIE is
nothing new but a simplified repetition of part of the indigenisation and
economic empowerment policy that already calls for at least 50% of all goods
and services needed by government and its agencies to be procured from
indigenous businesspeople.

The indigenisation and economic empowerment programme is not a petty
personal project but a national project that is being implemented by the
government of Zimbabwe. It is a policy conceived, articulated and promoted
by Zanu PF as evidenced by its adoption as a theme or part of the theme at
various Annual National People’s Conferences over the past ten years.

So, unless and until there is a drastic shift in the thinking and
pronouncements of the Party, the policy shall continue to be implemented
across all sectors of the economy as directed by the Act.

Thus, any opponent or critic of the programme should direct his/her venom at
Zanu PF as the custodians of the policy. Constructive critics should direct
their thoughts and energies to feed into the existing policy or if need be
call for its refinement within the ambit of the Party department of
indigenisation as led by Minister Kasukuwere and Tendai Savanhu.

Alternatively, they can engage the responsible Ministry or NIEEB as the
implementing arm. Any submission outside the noted institutions is akin to
playing to the gallery, and pushing towards the creation of another centre
of power, especially if such is to come from fellow Zanu PF cadres, designed
to fight against the implementation of an empowerment programme meant for
the benefit of ordinary Zimbabweans.

Two centres of power or contesting centres of power should be given no room
in our movement and its representatives in government. This interference, be
it in Indigenisation, Tourism, Education, Transport or any other sector is
something we can do without.

Indeed ‘the two centres of power’ stifles the implementation of the
indigenisation and economic empowerment programme, thus delaying the total,
irreversible and sustainable economic emancipation of our people. As has
always been advised, what needs to be done is for our investment laws and
policies to be revised and harmonised with the Indigenisation and Economic
Empowerment Act.

Kasukuwere and his team deserve the same unqualified support from the Party
and its supporters similar to the support Gono and his team got when they
were at the forefront of trying to shield the economy from the negative
effects of the illegal sanctions, fighting inflation, empowering farmers,
mechanising agriculture, financing education, housing, transport etc, an
endeavour that saw the governor exerting influence and control over various
and unrelated sectors of the economy, but for the benefit of the country.

Throwing spanners in what Kasukuwere is trying to do will derail the
empowerment programme by confusing our people and delighting the doubting
Thomases who think our revolutionary Party cannot overcome petty differences
and champion the aspirations of the people, a challenge we have consistently
overcome from the battle for independence, battle for land and now to the
empowerment programme, our last Chimurenga.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Gono, Zhanda in stormy Parliament clash

17/07/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

A PARLIAMENTARY select committee hearing was abandoned Tuesday after a
heated clash between central bank governor, Gideon Gono, and Zanu PF
Goromonzi North MP, Paddy Zhanda, with the legislator storming out of the

The Portfolio Committee on Agriculture was discussing the US$200 million
agricultural mechanisation programme financed by the RBZ which critics say
helped stoke the central bank’s US$1.5 billion debt after beneficiaries
failed to pay for the equipment.

The RBZ also ended up being sued by private companies which supplied the
equipment after failing to pay them.

But tempers flared Tuesday after Gono refused a request by Zhanda, a top
Harare businessman and former bank executive, to reveal the names of the
beneficiaries of the programme.

“Section 60 (1) of the RBZ Act [Chapter 22:15] forbids bank staff from
disclosing information relating to the affairs of the bank or a customer
unless lawfully required to do so by any court or under any enactment,” Gono

“Anybody who contravenes the section shall be guilty of an offence and
liable to a fine not exceeding level seven or imprisonment for a period not
exceeding two years or to both such fine and such imprisonment.”

Zhanda countered that select committee hearings were protected under the
privileges of Parliament, triggering a heated argument with Gono.

Mhondoro Ngezi legislator Bright Matonga tried to calm the frayed tempers by
suggesting Zhanda allow Gono time to bring the information to Parliament.

“I think we did not tell Dr Gono about all the information we wanted from
him, so we should allow him time to get the information before we continue
with the hearing. The information, like he is saying, belongs to the
Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development and has to
be cleared first to release it,” Matonga said.

“This meeting is not supposed to be a platform for the settlement of
grudges, but the discussion of important national issues.”

But Zhanda, clearly unimpressed, stormed out of the hearing forcing
committee chairperson, Moses Jiri, to call-off the meeting.

Relations between Gono and Zhanda have been frosty since the RBZ chief, last
year, claimed that the legislator had sought bribes from him promising to
abandon a Parliamentary investigation into the central bank's activities in

Meanwhile, Gono had earlier revealed that machinery worth US$200 million was
distributed to farmers under the programme which was expected to run for
five years, but had only been rolled out for two years between 2007 and
2008. The implements included tractors, combine harvesters, harrows,
knapsack sprayers and planters.

“We distributed the machinery with the assistance of the Ministry of
Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development and the Grain
Marketing Board,” he said.

“Beneficiaries received implements according to the sizes of their land and
the ecological regions in which they are operating.

“The GMB and the Ministry identified the beneficiaries. They were the ones
who had information on the farmers and their production records.”

The RBZ chief denied it was the responsibility of the central bank to ensure
that farmers paid for the equipment saying the Ministries of Finance and
Agriculture had to make the necessary follow-ups. He said the Reserve Bank
was did not have the capacity to do the follow-ups with a staff of 500.

Gono refuses to take sole responsible for the central bank’s debt problems
and seethes at criticism of his quasi-fiscal activities over the last decade
insisting most of the programmes were carried out at the express direction
of Cabinet through successive finance ministers.

“So distorted are the facts behind the bank’s debt profile that in some
quarters the belief is that RBZ and my management team spent US$1.1 billion
either buying tractors and scotch-carts (mechanisation programme) or simply
went on a debt contracting spree and blew away the money in support of
non-existent programmes or at the worst, (that) the whole amount is a Gono
debt which he must find a way to repay,” Gono charged in a statement last

“The discussion of RBZ debtors has only centred around Farm Mechanisation
debtors who owe RBZ about US$198,0 million which is 12,4 per cent of RBZ’s
debtors, while ignoring 87,6 per cent of the debts owed to the bank by
“If government was to repay RBZ US$1,4 billion that it owes the apex bank
tomorrow, the bank would in turn be able to pay its US$1,1 billion debt to
creditors and still remain with US$300 million for its capitalisation,
lender of last resort operations, day-to-day needs and then focus on its
core mandate!”

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

More controversy around new Borrowdale shopping mall

By Lance Guma
17 July 2012

Controversial property developer, Ken Sharpe is in the news once again over
his plans to build a massive new shopping mall in Harare’s posh Borrowdale

Concern has however been raised after he was named in a leaked US diplomatic
cables sent by the then US ambassador to Harare, James McGee.

In November 2008 McGee filed a cable in which he cited African Consolidated
Resources chief Andrew Cranswick alleging that Sharpe, Greg Scott and
Hendrik O’Neill were part of a ZANU PF syndicate looting diamonds from

Sharpe plans to build what some have called the second largest shopping mall
in Africa. The ‘Zimbabwe Shopping Mall’ as it is being called is going to be
built on wetlands in Borrowdale. Activists are outraged at the environmental
havoc that could be created if the wetlands are destroyed.

A report by the Daily News newspaper says the building plans have not been
approved by the Environmental Management Authority or the Harare City
Council, while nearby residents have also fiercely objected to the project.
Sharpe however is well connected in ZANU PF and appears to have bulldozed
his plans through.

Last week Sharpe roped in Information Minister Webster Shamu to intimidate
the Daily News, telling them not to give the project negative publicity.
Sharpe’s daughter Tatiana joined the fray using her website to accuse “the
negative press” of trying to “sabotage all positive steps” by ‘investors’
like her dad.

Sharpe who is said to have a Zimbabwean, British and South African passport
was in July 2010 also caught in the middle of a major international spy
scandal. The British intelligence agency MI5 was reported to have been
probing his links to a Russian spy at the centre of an American espionage

A UK Daily Mail report said the MI5 was looking at links between alleged spy
Anna Chapman and the Russian-speaking Sharpe. The paper said Chapman worked
with Sharpe for three years at a British registered company ‘Southern Union’
which moved millions of pounds between Zimbabwe and the UK as a ‘money
transfer service.’

On the Zimbabwean side of the operation a ‘bagman’, known as Vitaly,
distributed the money in cash to the recipients. When spiralling inflation
began to affect the operation the syndicate began to trade in gold ingots
and gems to secure foreign currency which would then make its way back into
bank accounts.

The Daily Mail spoke to a former client who said: ‘We had Russians and
Ukrainians running most of the business from our offices in Harare.
Businesses all over Zimbabwe relied on us. We were not the only
money-smugglers but we were the biggest.’

One report in the UK Telegraph said: “Mr Sharpe was introduced to Mrs
Chapman by her father, Vasily Kushchenko, a former member of the KGB who was
posted to Zimbabwe as a member of the diplomatic staff in Harare and now
works in the Kremlin.”

September 2011 saw the launch of the re-branded wholesaler, Red Star
Holdings in which Sharpe is the chief executive officer. Minister Shamu was
again in the company of Sharpe at that launch, just as he was last week when
he summoned editors and told the Daily News to lay off criticising the

SW Radio Africa sought comment from African Consolidated Resources chief
Andrew Cranswick on his reported claims that Sharpe was part of a ZANU PF
syndicate looting diamonds. Cranswick denied ever telling Ambassador McGee
anything of the sort. We were also unable to get hold of Mr. Sharpe, but
will continue to try to do so.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Minister Chombo and ZANU PF accused of destroying Mbare

By Tererai Karimakwenda
18 July 2012

Comments recently made by the Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo,
regarding alleged Council plans to demolish Mbare Hostels, have been
dismissed as misleading and an attempt to undermine the City Council.

A report in the ZANU PF controlled Herald newspaper this week said Harare
Council was planning to demolish the 58 hostels that make up the historic
Mbare Hostels, which were built in the 1940s to house migrant workers. This
would leave more than 56,000 “poor people homeless”, the Herald said.

Chombo told the paper the project was part of an “urban renewal programme”
but did not give any specific details. He further accused the Council of
“complacency” in collecting rent from tenants there and was quoted as
saying: “There are people getting rich and buying vehicles from collecting
money that is meant for council.”

But according to Precious Shumba of the Harare Residents Trust (HRT), the
Council has no concrete plans to demolish the 58 hostels and Chombo’s
comments ignored the fact that it is ZANU PF that has blocked development in

“From our perspective we are seeing a planted story where they are trying to
create the impression that the City of Harare has failed dismally to attend
to the problems of Mbare people,” Shumba told SW Radio Africa on Wednesday.

Shumba placed the blame for the problems facing Mbare residents purely on
ZANU PF thugs in the notorious Chipangano gang, who use violence to collect
revenue from Council properties that include parking lots and flee market
stalls. The gang has also made Mbare a no-go area for the MDC formations.

“What we know is that the Chipangano people have been forcing residents in
these hostels to contribute money every month to them, instead of the
Council. And we understand that they (the residents) are also paying around
$20 to $30 to the City of Harare,” Shumba explained.

He added: “We are aware that council officials, including the Mayor,
approached the Minister to intervene and speak to his colleagues in ZANU PF
who control Mbare. But he has not done anything.”

As reported on SW Radio Africa, the Chipangano gang last year interfered in
the refurbishment of the hostels, which had been funded by a grant from the
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Shumba said: “Chipangano disrupted that initiative before it even started by
making threats and just making it impossible for council to get into those
areas to do their work. So the project was moved to Dzivarasekwa suburb

The Herald report claimed that Mbare residents had resisted the
refurbishment of the Hostels by the Gates Foundation. But Shumba disputed
this, saying they had visited the area and residents were desperate to get
out of the filthy flats.

“People there want Council to provide alternative land so they could build
their own houses. They want Council to be regularly maintaining those
hostels. But Council has no other way but to approach the Minister, who in
this case is trying to create the impression that they have failed and
appear as the nice guy,” Shumba said.

Piniel Denga, the MP for the area, has admitted the Chipangano gang has more
power than the police and control all business activity in Mbare. Victims
who report attacks have ended up being arrested. The gang has also been used
by ZANU PF to force residents and passersby to attend political rallies.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zim women slam police harassment

By Alex Bell
18 July 2012

The ongoing, arbitrary arrests of Zimbabwe’s women have been slammed as
harassment and intimidation, with the country’s police insisting the arrests
are within the boundaries of the law.

Recently a group of women were arrested in a bar in Harare, with the police
accusing them of prostitution. This is not the first time such a clampdown
has been displayed, and the city’s women say they have had enough.

Hundreds of women on Tuesday gathered at Unity Square to petition the police
commissioner and make a formal complaint about the infringement of their
rights, with some women calling the clampdown an unofficial “night curfew”.
The women, including many activists and rights groups like the Msasa
Project, signed a petition which they will submit to the police commissioner
and Ministry of Home Affairs.

Tsitsi Dangarembga from the Women Filmmakers of Zimbabwe group, told SW
Radio Africa on Wednesday that the actions of the police have left women
very “threatened.”

“Many women are rather intimidated by the whole situation. The incidents of
arrests are taking place mainly in the evening, and this has a serious
impact on how we live our lives. There are women in business who work late
hours, women who go to night school. But many of them are afraid to be
outside,” Dangarembga said.

She also explained that the psychological effects of the intimidation were
also very serious, saying that “Zimbabwe is in a difficult enough situation
as it is.”

“This has a very negative impact on women’s psyche. And don’t forget the
reality is you can be arrested and kept in cells and made to pay fines,”
Dangarembga said.

She added that the issue is also extremely divisive, especially in
conservative Zimbabwe, “because women don’t want to be associated in any way
with prostitution.”

“We are trying to make others realise that this infringement on some women
is ultimately an infringement on all women,” Dangarembga said.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

ZAPU Founder Laid To Rest

Nompumelelo Moyo Bulawayo, July 18 2012 - The late nationalist, trade
Unionist, and veteran politician Aaron Mloyiswa Nkosi Dlomo Bayana Ndabambi
was laid to rest on Tuesday at his Figtree home.

Addressing mourners, the Zapu President, Dumiso Dabengwa described Ndabambi
as a great leader.

“Ndabambi was a fearless leader who worked with the late Father Zimbabwe Dr
Joshua Nkomo as secretary and he was the President of Rhodesia African
Workers Union. He worked tirelessly to free the blacks from white man’s
oppression hence they formed Zapu and he asked Dr Nkomo to lead the party,”
said Dabengwa.

He said Ndabambi, Cephas Msipa and Aaron Ndlovu backed them when they
decided to cancel the 1997 Unity Accord because they also felt that the
people of Zimbabwe were oppressed.

“At some time he wanted us to send him to confront Robert Mugabe on his poor
leadership qualities that have turned Zimbabweans into destitutes. Ndabambi
is an undisputable national hero,” he said.

He added that they were yet to consult government to declare Ndabambi a
national hero.

“It is sad that this great man has passed on. He was brave and challenged
white oppression where he succeeded in abolishing the colour bar and the
master-servant act,” said Dr Dabengwa.

The son of the late Ndabambi, Patrick, told mourners that the family had
lost a pillar.

A great friend to Ndabambi who died at 89, Aaron Ndlovu, described him as a
good advisor who always wanted to see a united community that respected each
other while
Clapperton Sidubi, who represented Figtree Councilor, described him as a
gifted leader.

He said it was unfortunate that such a great leader had died a destitute.

He is survived by his wife, Ruth Masuku, three children and several great
grandchildren and great grandchildren.

He was a former President of the powerful Railways workers union in
federation of countries Botswana, Zambia Malawi and Zimbabwe. He convinced
the company to train and
employ the first black train drivers and made black railway employees win
the rent-to-buy houses, later on full ownership.

Dlomo was detained during the Ian Smith regime and suffered several other
detentions together with other nationalist leaders at Khami Prison and
Gonakudzingwa before he went into exile. He became the first black councilor
winning elections in the exclusively white Kwekwe Town Council where a
street in Amaveni Township was named after him.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Typhoid outbreak hits Chitungwiza

Written by Kaleen Gombera, Staff Writer
Wednesday, 18 July 2012 12:48

HARARE - Health authorities have reported fresh cases of typhoid caused by
water shortages in the populous town of Chitungwiza.

Director of epidemiology and disease control in the ministry of Health and
Child Welfare Portia Manangazira confirmed to the Daily News that several
people have been affected.

“A number of cases have been reported in Chitungwiza and people must be on
alert. Water and sewage flows have caused the outbreak,” said Manangazira.

Health and Child Welfare minister Henry Madzorera said typhoid has not been
contained in most towns and fresh cases were being reported in some parts of
the country since January this year.

“The mode of transmission for typhoid is the faecal-oral route, that is,
through ingestion of bacteria in food or water contaminated with human waste
of infected persons. People are eating their own waste,” said Madzorera.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

2008 voters roll online

An electronic version of the 2008 voters roll has been leaked to The
Zimbabwean by an authoritative source and has been loaded onto our website, The ID numbers have been obscured to prevent
identity fraud. There are approximately 5,6million names on the list,
arranged alphabetically by surname according to constituency.
by Staff Reporter

Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede has consistently refused to allow people
their right to have access to the voters roll. In all democratic countries
the voters roll is a fully accessible public document. This is necessary so
that voters can check whether their names appear and that their details are
correct. Under normal circumstances, political parties use the list for
campaign purposes and to analyse their performance after elections.

Analysts suspect that this is because the roll has been tampered with over
the years in order to facilitate election rigging. Previous leaked copies of
the document have revealed numerous phantom voters, thousands of people
deceased or over 100 years old, and many addresses that, upon further
investigation, prove to be empty plots of land. It is suspected that many of
the addresses are fictitious, with most phantoms being in the rural areas
and high-density suburbs. Analysis of the list shows that there are no
duplicated national ID numbers.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

MDC-T vows to revise Chinese deals

The MDC led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai will renegotiate all deals
signed between the Zanu (PF) government and foreign investors like China,
especially in the controversial Marange diamond fields, says a top official.
by VOA

The country was losing billions in revenue due to agreements favouring
China, Minister of State Jameson Timba said in a recent speech at the Robert
F. Kennedy Centre for Justice and Human Rights.

Anjin owns 90% of the company with the Zimbabwe Mining Development
Corporation taking only 10%. Timba said Harare gave the Chinese a massive
shareholding in the company to offset a $500 million debt for arms of war
supplied by the Chinese government. “I admit that as a party we lost the war
on diamonds,” Timba said. “The companies continue to hide behind the
sanctions issue saying America will trace our money since the ZMDC is on the
targeted measures list.”

He said his party was not happy with some of the deals entered into between
Harare and foreign investors in Marange, adding they will all be revised
when the MDC gets full control of the government.

The Centre’s Advocacy Officer Jeffrey Smith questioned the use of the
armaments, saying: “Zimbabwe faces no external threats so clearly so clearly
those are going to be used against the people of Zimbabwe as instruments of

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Over 60 minerals discovered, official

17/07/2012 00:00:00
by Business Reporter

ZIMBABWE has so far discovered over 60 different minerals which are ready
for exploration by all interested investors, a senior government official
said on Tuesday.

"Zimbabwe offers a huge opportunity for mining investors, including
diamonds, iron, platinum, gold, nickel, coal and many others," Prince
Mupazviriho, permanent secretary in the ministry of mines in Zimbabwe, told
delegates at a two-day African Mining congress in Johannesburg, South

Mupazviriho said the minerals are diverse enough to accommodate all types of
mining investors adding that alluvial mining of gold, for instance, had a
potential for high returns at reduced costs since the gold deposits lie just
beneath the surface.

"We have a huge potential for the platinum. The geology of Zimbabwe is
highly conducive to nickel deposits. There are also huge deposits of chrome.
The country's coal deposits are estimated at 20 billion tonnes," said the
government official.

He challenged those who want to invest in mining to grab the opportunities
available in Zimbabwe.

Mupazviriho however, expressed concern energy supply challenges saying "the
national electricity requirement is about 2,200 megawatts, but the country
is only able to generate 1, 200 megawatts." Still, those who want to invest
in the energy sector could take advantage of huge coal deposits and venture
into thermal energy production.

The country’s also offering a number of incentives to mining investors.
"There is 10 percent discount on mining taxes and rebate duty is guaranteed
on all capital goods imported for mining development," he said.

The Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe also called on international investors to
bring the latest exploration technology to Zimbabwe.

"There is a lot of potential in the Zimbabwe mining industry. Zimbabwe has
not been subjected to the latest exploration technology available and from
that perspective there are a lot of opportunities in terms of exploration,"
said Chamber president, Winston Chitando.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai arrives in Japan

PM admires the new light solar panel manufactured by Mitsubishi Chemical
Corporation. The new panel will hit the market in two years

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has arrived in Japan to a hectic schedule
which included meetings with the Minister of Economy, Trade and Investment,
Mr. Yukio Edano and leaders of multinational corporations based in Japan.

The Prime Minister, who is in Tokyo at the invitation of the Japanese
Government today (Wednesday) addressed a Zimbabwe investment promotion
seminar organized by the Japanese External Trade Organisation (Jetro) and
Japan Oil, Gas and Mineral Exploration Corporation (JOGMEC).

In the morning, Prime Minister Tsvangirai met the Chairman of Keidanren
responsible for sub-Saharan Africa, Mr. Yutaka Kase and Japan International
Cooperation Agency (JICA) President, Professor Akihiko Tanaka. Keidanren is
Japan’s most powerful business federation.

In the meetings, Prime Minister Tsvangirai expressed his commitment to
creating an environment conducive to business growth and international
cooperation. He emphasized that only free and fair elections would address
the political discord in the country.

“Zimbabwe cannot have economic growth without Foreign Direct Investment. We
expect elections to be held sometime next year and we hope that a legitimate
government that will be ushered in will change the country’s focus from
politics to economic growth and development,” Prime Minister Tsvangirai told
Minister Edano.

Throughout the meetings, the Japanese Minister and the business executives
of leading corporates expressed concern over the controversial
indigenization programme which they said affected both existing and new
investment from Japan.

“The indigenization law is an obstacle to investment by Japanese companies.
We hope that you will review this law as it is affecting both prospective
and existing Japanese businesses,” Minister Edano said.

Prime Minister Tsvangirai told the Japanese Minister that Government has set
in motion processes to mitigate the excesses of the indigenization law.

The Japanese Trade minister pledged technological support to explore mineral
resources in the country.
The Head of Government said he was looking forward to receiving two Japanese
business delegations next month.

One of the delegations, organized by the Alliance Forum Foundation, is
expected to meet Zimbabwe’s ministers responsible for energy, water, health,
infrastructure rehabilitation.

The delegation will comprise officials from internationally acclaimed
companies such as, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, Hitachi Construction
sand Machinery, Central Japan Railway Company and Toyota.

Tomorrow, (Thursday 19 July), the Premier will hold a meeting with his
Japanese counterpart, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda.
On Friday, PM Tsvangirai will give a lecture at the United Nations
University in Tokyo.

He will proceed to Wellington at the invitation of the New Zealand Prime
Minister, John Key.
The Premier will complete his tour in Australia where he was invited by the
country’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Luke Tamborinyorika



Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

The MDC Today

Wednesday, 18 July 2012
Issue - 396

A private medical doctor who examined critically ill and incarcerated MDC
activist, Nyamadzawo Gapare yesterday recommended that he urgently be
treated at a private hospital.

Gapare is one of the 29 MDC members who are in remand prison facing false
charges of murdering a police officer in Glen View, Harare last year.

He has been hospitalised at Harare Central Prison Hospital since early this
month suffering from liver complications and internal bleeding leading to
him failing to appear for trial at the High Court on Monday forcing the
judge, Justice Chinembiri Bhunu to visit him in hospital where he
recommended that he should get access to a private doctor.

A summary of recommendations by the private doctor yesterday were given to
the sister-in-charge of the prison hospital to forward them to Justice Bhunu
who is expected to make a ruling this week.

Meanwhile, a Chipinge magistrate has acquitted six MDC members who had been
wrongly accused of assault by a local headmaster.

The six, Maxwell Mahlonga, Kennious Chinoda, Aaron Tauzeni, Alouis Tauzeni,
Herbert Tauzeni and Lyson Mavhakaza were brought before the court on
allegations of assaulting Mutandani Muteya and his wife Marilen Mlambo in
May 2010. Muteya, a primary school headmaster and his wife are known Zanu PF

During the trial which started last year, the State alleged that the six MDC
members assaulted Muteya and Mlambo on 30 May 2010. However, according to a
medical report dated 3 November 2010, which is six months after the
purported assault, Muteya had a tooth and headache.

The people’s struggle for real change – Let’s finish it!!!

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Villagers accuse farmer of robbery

New farmers and villagers here have expressed concern at what they described
as daylight robbery, by a debt collector working in cahoots with a local
farmer, whose identities have been withheld pending investigations. Angry
villagers told The Zimbabwean that they had been ordered by the debt
collector to pay $886 each as restitution to the local farmer, whose tomato
crop was trampled by stray cattle in 2010.
by Staff Reporter

“Five cattle from the accused families strayed into (the local farmer’s)
garden and destroyed part of his 500 plant Rodent tomato crop. 500 plants
produce less than 1,000 kg of the produce valued at no more than $300 then.

‘‘This was due to the poor 2010 tomato market. Normally, 500 plants would
produce tomatoes valued at $700 at most. We were shocked to see the debt
collector descending on the farm last week to instruct owners of the beasts
to pay $886 each, two years after the incident happened,” said a villager.

The farmer demanding restitution started renting the farm in 2010, against
the government land policy which bars resettled plot holders from leasing
out acquired properties. If the debt collector gets his way, the local
farmer would pocket $4,480, leaving the already struggling victims worse

Villagers have called on responsible government offices to intervene.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Tobacco sales to surpass target, TIMB

17/07/2012 00:00:00
by Roman Moyo

THE Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) has said tobacco deliveries
for the 2012 surpassed the revised target of 133 million kgs two weeks
before the close of the marketing season.

The initial output target of 180 million kgs was revised downwards early
this year following a decline in the planted hectarage caused by lack of

But TIMB chief executive officer Andrew Matibiri said the board was set to
revise next year’s target upwards ahead of the close of the marketing

“This shows that tobacco is still coming through. We have an idea on how
much we are to revise upwards as the tobacco season ends on July 27 2012,”
Matibiri said.

Latest figures from TIMB show that 134 million kg of tobacco valued at
US$496,3 million was delivered to the country’s auction floors as of Friday,
a 45 per cent increase on the US$343 million recorded during the same period
last year.

Meanwhile, in a circular to farmers, the TIMB said the flue-cured auction
tobacco clean-up sales would be held on Wednesday July 22.

“Depending on the volume of deliveries, the clean-up sale may be continued
for more than one day until all delivered tobacco has been sold,” the Board

“Because of the volumes that are still being received, contract sales will
continue until further notice. Nonetheless, contracted growers are advised
to finalise the grading and marketing of their tobacco.”
Tobacco production has been recovering over the last few years after
collapsing at the start of the last decade as the sector adjusted to changes
following the country’s land reform programme.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Team Zimbabwe first to arrive Games Village

18/07/2012 15:24 GMT
1 2 3 4 5

The Zimbabwean Olympic Team was the first team to land at the Village since
it was officially declared open on Monday.

A seven-man delegation comprised of rowers Micheen Thornycroft and James
Fraser Mackenzie their coach, Rachel Davies, two psychotherapists, one
administrator and one press attaché arrived London on Monday afternoon.

They were expected to be joined by other athletes who already were in

Team Zimbabwe will comprise seven athletes, the smallest number to represent
Zimbabwe at the Olympic Games since its first participation. They are:
swimmer Kirsty Coventry, marathon runners Wirimayi Juwawo, Cutbert Nyasango
and Sharon Tavengwa, triathlete Chris Felgate and the two rowers Thornycroft
and Mackenzie.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

China aims to rewrite perceptions on Africa investment
China has found it difficult to navigate tricky political and conflict problems in Africa, China has found it difficult to navigate tricky political and conflict problems in Africa,

BEIJING (Reuters) - Beijing is eager to rewrite negative perceptions of its growing ties with Africa at a summit this week, citing expanding private investment and a push to shift low-end manufacturing to the continent long seen as a commodities and energy cache for China.

Chinese state-owned firms in Africa face criticism for using imported labour to build government-financed projects like roads and hospitals, while pumping out resources and leaving little for local economies, an image Beijing wants to change at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation beginning on Thursday.

"As China's economy transitions, shifting labour intensive industry to regions outside of China offers production opportunities," Zhong Jianhua, China's special envoy to Africa, told Reuters this week.

"African countries should seize this opportunity," he added. "They can step into a track that China has taken in the past to develop their own industry."

Chinese President Hu Jintao will speak at the summit's opening day and is expected to announce a new set of loans for the continent. At the last meeting held three years ago, China pledged $10 billion.


China's economic trade with Africa reached $166.3 billion in 2011, according to Chinese statistics. In the past decade, African exports to China rose to $93.2 billion from $5.6 billion.

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, for example, the world's most valuable lender, has invested more than $7 billion in various projects across the continent.

The China Non-Ferrous Metals Mining Corporation however became the maligned face of Chinese investment during a bitter election campaign last year in Zambia, where it owns several lucrative copper deposits.

Along with the state-run firms, a growing number of smaller private Chinese businesses are looking to frontier markets like Africa to sell consumer goods and join in on promising growth prospects.

"A lot of African growth is no longer just commodity growth. It is growth in telecoms, services, and consumer products," said Diana Layfield, Standard Chartered Bank's CEO for Africa.

An official with Africa's multilateral lender however said concern remains that countries will just shovel resources out and not look to diversify.

"They (African nations) are thinking about the immediate resources that could get them billions" of dollars, said Anthony Nyong, manager of the compliance and safeguard division at the African Development Bank. "We need to gradually work at building the capacities of African countries to see how they can negotiate good deals and know what is important for them."

China has also found it difficult to navigate tricky political and conflict problems in Africa, particularly as the main oil investor in both Sudan and South Sudan.


China still faces a struggle to encourage companies to invest and shift production to Africa even if labour costs are lower. Smaller firms in particular are overwhelmed by the world's second largest continent with more than 50 U.N. member states that have diverse languages, cultures and income levels.

"The idea that it will happen quickly, except in selected circumstances, is probably far-fetched," said Layfield, with Standard Chartered, adding that one factor accelerating some trade now is a sharp drop in container transport costs following the 2008 financial crisis.

Jeremy Stevens, a Beijing-based China economist at Standard Bank, said even if Chinese firms move to Africa they face competition from other low-cost producers such as India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Mexico and Turkey -- and inland China.

"It is more costly to make something in Africa because of bottlenecks in infrastructure, human capital and access to finance, which have been exacerbated by poor governance and mismanagement," he said.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

We must have the courage to bring Zimbabwe in from the cold

Sanctions have served no purpose and the Foreign Office is right to begin
lifting them

By Peter Oborne

8:44PM BST 18 Jul 2012

A number of political reputations have been shattered over the past six
months. Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Chancellor George Osborne are both
shadows of what they were, while questions are being asked even about David

Yet one senior Cabinet reputation has done nothing but soar. When he became
Foreign Secretary just over two years ago, William Hague indicated that he
would take a new approach. He promised to draw fully on the institutional
strengths of the diplomatic service, which had been at best neglected and at
worst treated with contempt under New Labour. British foreign policy, so
often handed over to the United States when Tony Blair was in charge, would
pursue British interests.

Above all, Mr Hague promised a more intelligent policy. New Labour had a
notorious tendency to divide the world into black and white, and act
accordingly. The twin disasters of Iraq and Afghanistan were the result of
this naive failure to acknowledge that the world is a complicated place, and
that simple or morally satisfying solutions do not often work out well in
the long term.

It has taken Mr Hague a long time to modify the culture he inherited and
revert to traditional diplomacy, and his task is not complete. For example,
the US still determines much of British foreign policy in South Asia and the
Middle East, greatly to the frustration of our diplomats.

But elsewhere, results are beginning to come through. One of the earliest
manifestations of the Coalition’s more sensitive and pragmatic foreign
policy was Burma, where Britain has moved steadily towards engagement and
away from confrontation.

Another concerns Zimbabwe, a pariah state ever since President Mugabe
unleashed his programme of farm seizures at the turn of the century. For the
past decade, almost every measure short of military invasion has been taken
to isolate the Zimbabwe president and his Zanu-PF supporters. Aid has been
suspended and heavy sanctions targeted at senior members of the regime,
while Zimbabwe was forced out of the Commonwealth in 2003.

This week, that policy was reversed. In a statement in the Commons on
Tuesday, Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt announced that Britain now
wants many of the sanctions on Zimbabwe to be lifted. Mr Burt’s speech has
hardly been reported, but that does not mean it was unimportant (by
contrast, events that dominate the headlines for weeks can later turn out to
have had almost no significance at all).

British policy towards Zimbabwe has taken an entirely new turn. Rather than
seeking to drive the country out of the comity of nations, we are now
endeavouring to bring her in. As the former colonial power, our new
understanding has already changed many minds in the European Union, and the
United States may well alter course too. Eventually, so long as mishaps do
not occur, Zimbabwe is likely to return to the Commonwealth.

This change of stance was received with dismay in the Commons. Peter Hain,
who played such a brave and honourable role as an anti-apartheid campaigner
in the Seventies, probably reflected the mood of the majority of MPs when he
demanded more sanctions on Zimbabwe, not less. Furthermore, he provided
frightening new evidence that profits from so-called blood diamonds in
eastern Zimbabwe have been hijacked to build up a parallel state apparatus
capable of being used by Zanu-PF thugs for sinister and bloodthirsty ends.

So why defy Mr Hain’s powerful analysis? The answer comes down to the
underlying purpose of the sanctions. The last government, understandably,
deployed them in order to express a strong repugnance against the immorality
of the Zanu-PF regime – in other words, as a rhetorical gesture.

By contrast, the Coalition is asking a different question: what practical
good do they achieve? Here, the answer is more difficult. Many people who
really know Zimbabwe have argued for some time that, while sanctions were of
course justified by the scale of human rights violations when they were
imposed a decade ago, they have in practice been a propaganda gift to Mugabe’s
Zanu-PF. Even though they have been targeted only at a relatively small
number of named individuals, skilful politicians have been able to blame
them for many of the economic calamities of the past few years.

More important by far, it is not just Zanu-PF which wants them lifted. So do
its opponents. Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), told Mr Cameron in March this year that he was certain the
sanctions regime should be dropped. Mr Tsvangirai would also like Zimbabwe
to be readmitted to the Commonwealth.

The fact is that Zimbabwe has been a success story after reaching rock
bottom during the hideous violence, accompanied by hyperinflation, of the
2008 elections. The smell of fear was palpable on the streets of the big
cities, while armed bands roamed the rural areas inflicting terrible
bloodshed and brutality. Of course, the coalition government led by
president Mugabe and prime minister Tsvangirai has had many problems, but
the essential thing is that it has survived. The political atmosphere feels
very different. Meanwhile, the economy, in deep depression only four years
ago, is now powering ahead under the skilful management of the MDC finance
minister, Tendai Biti.

The great question is how to sustain this progress, especially with Zimbabwe
facing presidential elections (in which the 88-year-old Mr Mugabe insists he
will stand) next year. Fundamentally, there are two opinions. There is the
morally purist view – powerfully articulated in the Commons this week – that
Zanu-PF has done terrible things and must be punished. Or there is the
realistic position, now being pursued by the Foreign Office, which holds
that sanctions are not just for show but should serve some purpose. This
position requires a great deal of political courage because it exposes
ministers to the charge that they are going soft on murderers and dictators.

But it also stands in a respectable tradition of British statecraft. There
would have been no peace in Northern Ireland if ministers had not been happy
to talk to men of violence. In Afghanistan, we now acknowledge that no
solution is remotely possible unless Mullah Omar and other Taliban leaders
are granted a central role.

The lessons of Afghanistan and Northern Ireland show that if we are really
serious about reconciliation in Zimbabwe, the international community will
need to go much further than simply dropping sanctions. Take the example of
defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was head of state intelligence
during the Gukurahundi, which saw the slaughter of tens of thousands of
innocent people in the 1980s. Mnangagwa remains hugely powerful. If men like
him are even to countenance the possibility of peaceful regime change, they
will surely need solid, bankable reassurances that they will be protected
from prosecution after leaving office.

This is just one of the hideously complex moral problems that lie ahead as
Zimbabwe enters one of the most dangerous, but most hopeful, election years
of its short history. Meanwhile, Britain has taken a entirely sensible first

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Constitution Watch of 18th July 2012 [Negotiators Reach Agreement on Second Draft: Questions About Second All-Stakeholders Conference]


[18th July 2012]

Negotiators Reach Agreement on Second Draft

Questions About Second All-Stakeholders Conference

Push by Management Committee

17th to 20th June Nyanga Retreat The Management Committee, including the GPA negotiators, met at Nyanga to try and conclude the revision of the first draft and to make any new decisions about the requested inputs following review by the political parties, some of which the Select Committee had not been able to decide on. The three lead drafters were present at this Retreat, and as each portion was revised to incorporate new inclusions/exclusions, it was given to them for formal drafting. Unfortunately the process was not completed at Nyanga as had been hoped.

31st June and 9th, 11th, 13th and 16th July meetings in Harare The Management Committee met to continue the work of the Nyanga Retreat. The drafters worked almost every day for a month to capture the revisions and decisions made by the Management Committee.

Last Meeting 17th July until 5 am today [18th]

Yesterday, the Management Committee met and the lead drafters were on standby for what was hoped would be a final wrap-up session on the Second Draft. In a great show of determination they worked through the night and agreed on a final version of the Second Draft.

Next Steps

Second Draft to Parliamentary Select Committee

The Parliamentary Select Committee will probably meet tomorrow to receive the Second Draft. The negotiators have stressed this meeting is only to inform them but not for them to make alterations.

Second Draft to Principals

The final step before the release of the Second Draft is for the Management Committee to present it to the GPA principals and obtain clearance to go ahead with the remainder of the constitution-making process. As the final Second Draft is the de facto product of the GPA negotiators, it is unlikely the principals will call in other advisers – this would raise the possibility of further changes having to be made which would also have to be subject to negotiation and would slow down the process all over again.

COPAC Promise to Make Second Draft Officially Available

At a meeting with civil society representatives on 5th July COPAC Co-chair Douglas Mwonzora promised that official copies of the Second Draft would be made publicly available as soon as it was finished. He expressed the hope that doing this would avoid the unfortunate “information gap” that resulted from the unofficial leaking and publication contrary to COPAC’s wishes of the revised First Draft.

Second Draft – Product of Party Political Negotiations

Article 6 of the GPA acknowledges “the fundamental right and duty of the Zimbabwean people to make a constitution by themselves and for themselves” and “that the process of making this constitution must be owned and driven by the people and must be inclusive and democratic”. But, although there was wide consultation with the people during the Outreach, it has become clear that the draft constitution we will get is largely an outcome of the three GPA political parties’ negotiations:

· COPAC has never produced a consolidated national report setting out its findings as to what the people said

· The absence of this report left the different parties scope to argue about what the people really said during the Outreach and what they want in the new constitution. Each party claims to know what the people’s views are – but their versions differ.

Next Stage – Second All Stakeholders Conference

Once the Second Draft has been accepted by the GPA principals, the next major stage in the constitution-making process as laid down by Article 6 of the GPA is the Second All Stakeholders Conference.

What is the Purpose of this Conference?

Article 6 of the GPA does not state the role of this Conference. It merely says that the draft must be “tabled before” a Second All Stakeholders Conference. This prompts such questions as:

· Is the consultation at the Second All Stakeholders Conference going to be merely a token one at which civil society will receive information and explanations, but changes will not be entertained? This was implied in a COPAC press statement of 9th February 2012 which said that the draft constitution “will be availed to all Zimbabweans to comment on at the Second All Stakeholders’ Conference”.

· Or is it to allow further input from stakeholders? A press statement, dated 10th May 2012, stated that “Once the complete COPAC Draft Constitution has been adopted by the Management Committee, it will be availed to the people of Zimbabwe for broader consultations, culminating in the Second All Stakeholders Conference and the Referendum. A Final COPAC Draft Constitution will incorporate changes that the people of Zimbabwe, through their representatives at the Second All Stakeholders Conference, would have made to the Draft agreed to by the coalition partners in the GNU through the current consultations.”

It would seem desirable, as the whole process has been so much in the hands of the GPA parties, that there should be an incorporation of views at the Conference. On the other hand, there is consensus that the Constitution should be in place as soon as possible, and further input at this stage could cause more delays. If there are changes suggested, there is likely to be more party political dissension over what is to be incorporated. The lead drafters would have to redraft sections, it would have to go back to political parties for review, etc. A call for input may also be an invitation to war veterans to go on the rampage again or to ZANU-PF to try again for more of its 29 pages of demands to be incorporated. The process could be endlessly prolonged.

The position that the Conference is for information and comment only seems to be the current opinion of experts Veritas has consulted. But with previous conflicting statements from COPAC, until there is a formal new statement from COPAC the purpose of the Conference remains ambiguous.

COPAC on Preparations for Second All Stakeholders’ Conference

According to their press releases and co-chairs’ and secretariat’s statements

Printing the Second Draft COPAC has already called for tenders.

Translations COPAC has promised translation of the Second Draft into all vernacular languages and into Braille.

Publicity COPAC will be producing booklets, leaflets and TV and radio programmes, summarising and explaining the draft.

A country-wide outreach will be conducted by COPAC to explain the draft and help stakeholders and members of the public to familiarise themselves with it.

Civil society Preparations for the Second All Stakeholders Conference

Different sectors – women’s groups, children’s rights groups, environmental groups, those pressing for more devolution of power to regions or provinces, etc – have been holding workshops and conferences about their stance for the Second All Stakeholders Conference. Some sectors have drawn up lists of demands and have threatened to vote NO in the referendum if these are not met.

They need clarity as soon as possible on:

· Whether new inputs will be accepted

· Dates for the Conference

· The process of identifying delegates [COPAC said some time ago that there will be 2500 delegates – compared to the 5000 odd that participated in the chaotic First All Stakeholders’ Conference in 2009 – but how representation will be decided – by sectoral and geographically – needs to be clarified.]

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

Back to the Top
Back to Index