22/07/2011 10:26:00 By
HARARE - The embattled Zimbabwean President Mugabe left Harare last night
for New York to join other heads of states and government at a United
Nations high-level meeting on youths.
Mugabe was accompanied by his wife Grace Mugabe, Foreign Affairs Minister
Simbabrashe Mumbengegwi, Youth Development, Indigenisation and Economic
Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere and senior Government officials.
Twelve party militia are also part of the delegation.
The UN High-level Meeting on Youth is part of the International Year of
Youth and would be held under the theme: "Youth: Dialogue and Mutual
The meeting will have two consecutive interactive round tables on Monday and
two plenary meetings the next day.
Member states will chair the meetings at the invitation of the president of
the General Assembly.
Round table 1 will address issues on strengthening international
co-operation regarding youth and enhancing dialogue, mutual understanding
and active youth participation as indispensable elements towards achieving
social integration, full employment and the eradication of poverty.
The second round table meeting will focus on challenges to youth development
and opportunities for poverty eradication, employment and sustainable
Member states, observers, and representatives of UN systems entities, civil
society, youth organisations and the private sector would participate in the
meeting for "interactive and substantive discussions".
The General Assembly president is expected to produce a draft text, in
consultation with member states, taking into account input from youth-led
In an interview early this week, Minister Kasukuwere said President Mugabe
will attend the high-level meeting to show Government's commitment to youth
Minister Kasukuwere said the high level meeting in New York is important as
it affords leaders a platform to look at opportunities and programmes on
Jul 22, 2011, 17:01 GMT
Harare - Human rights group Amnesty International on Friday blasted human
rights abuses in Zimbabwe, drawing comparisons with Gambia, where Yahya
Jammeh took power in a coup 17 years ago.
'In Gambia, there is climate of fear, killings and torture and perpetrators
are mainly government agents and the country is being ruled by an iron
fist,' Amnesty International Zimbabwe head Cousin Zilala told journalists in
'Amnesty International is campaigning against human rights abuses in
'We consider people who have been arrested for exercising their professional
freedoms, any freedoms or while fighting for freedom to be prisoners of
conscience. We concerned with human rights violations in Zimbabwe, as we are
concerned in The Gambia,' he added.
The remarks come a day after US ambassador to Zimbabwe Charles Ray said that
police and supporters of President Robert Mugabe's party had blocked a
meeting where he was supposed to address youths.
'It is regrettable that elements of the security sector and some political
parties remain afraid of allowing a free exchange of ideas and have yet
again shown themselves intent on barring members of the public from engaging
in genuine dialogue,' said Ray in a statement.
HARARE, ZIMBABWE - Jul 22 2011 12:44
Authorities in Zimbabwe have arrested 10 people for poaching and unlawful
possession of elephant tusks and rhino horns that they were suspected of
selling to buyers from China, police said Friday.
The suspects, including four former soldiers and four farmers, were arrested
in two separate operations and were apparently targetting Chinese buyers.
"I can confirm the arrests but I can't comment further," said national
police spokesperson Oliver Mandipaka.
In the first operation, six suspects were found with two fresh rhino horns
weighing 4.6kg when they fell into a police trap at a local shopping mall,
according to the state-owned Herald newspaper.
The horns were valued at $120 000 by the national wildlife authorities.
The other group was arrested while trying to sell four elephant tusks in the
capital, the paper said, adding that both groups had approached a Chinese
businessman trying to sell him the horns.
Poaching for rhino horns and elephant tusks is a major problem in Zimbabwe,
where wildlife management deteriorated during the country's decade-long
Conservation groups have built protective pens for the targetted black
rhino, with only a few hundred remaining in the country.
Parks authorities say poachers have killed at least 10 rhinos since the
beginning of the year. -- AFP
July 22, 2011
Peta Thornycroft | Johannesburg
Zimbabwe’s public servants received at least a $100 monthly pay raise this
week but many are not sure whether this was a one time pay boost or whether
it will continue. Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) finance minister
Tendai Biti has said repeatedly that Zimbabwe’s tax revenue has been
insufficient to increase public workers’ wages.
The Zanu PF controlled state company, the Zimbabwe Mining and Development
Corporation made $40 million available for the public service wage
According to Finance Minister Tendai Biti, the increase was funded by sales
of rough stones from controversial alluvial diamond mines in eastern
Zimbabwe in which the government is a 50 per cent shareholder.
Biti has also repeatedly said the government treasury received no money from
the diamond mines this year.
As civil service workers threatened strikes for better wages Biti told the
unions he did not have sufficient tax revenue in the treasury to sustain
According to Zimbabwe’s privately-owned daily newspaper, Newsday, Thursday,
Biti says that the wage increase this month will have to be funded by
diamond revenue as tax revenues are insufficient.
Newsday reported that the $40 million diamond money was not deposited into
the treasury which Biti controls, but was paid into the public service
salary department which automatically deposits public servants' wages into
Most civil servants have earned $200 per month since Zimbabwe abandoned its
worthless local currency after years of hyper-inflation and adopted the U.S.
dollar when the inclusive government came to power in February, 2009.
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe stepped into the wage controversey last
month and guaranteed that public workers would get increases from sales of
Many civil servants on the streets say they are aware their $100 a month
increase may only be temporary.
Kundai Sibanda started working two years ago in the Zimbabwe Information
Ministry and he says he is concerned his pay increase will not be sustained.
"The increment that the government awarded the entire civil service is
welcome although it is not enough," said Kundai. "Most of us have received
$100 as an increment per month. We are worried this money might not be able
to be coming next month.”
He says public sector wages have become a political battlefield between the
two main parties in the inclusive government, Zanu PF and the MDC.
“So of course this issue is being taken politically that Mugabe has won by
giving an increment that he promised, but definitely this is not what we
wanted, this is just a smokescreen," he said.
Chisomo Dlela who is married with three children at school works at the
head office of the health ministry. He says he too is worried the increase
may be a one time thing.
“There is nothing we can do when it comes to the fact that they actually
tell us that there is no money when you actually budgeted a certain salary
to feed your own family or to do certain things," he said. "So that is where
we face the problem.”
Finance Minister Tendai Biti has been heavily criticized by Zanu PF members
of the legislature for not paying increases to public servants.
Zimbabwe cannot raise foreign loans and Biti runs a cash economy and says he
only raised the budgeted goal of $230 million a month from tax revenues
twice this year.
For five months of 2011 he said taxes brought in $100 million less per month
than he had budgeted for. The government wage bill consumes $120 million a
month, Biti said he regretted he could not find the money to pay increases.
While Zimbabwe expects growth of about seven percent this year economists
say this is from a very low base as the economy was wrecked by
hyper-inflation during the previous Zanu PF government.
Zimbabwe's alluvial diamond mines, which provided the funds for the pay
increases, are controlled by supporters of Mr. Mugabe's Zanu PF party.
From: The Australian
July 23, 2011 12:00AM
IT'S about the last thing you would expect him to be, but David Coltart is
an optimist. After more than 30 years fighting for human rights and
democracy in Zimbabwe, constantly locking horns with Robert Mugabe and
defying the worst Mugabe's brutal regime could throw at him, including death
threats, it would be no surprise to find him in despair.
But he's not: far from it. And as he provides rare insights into what it's
like these days to be both a committed opponent and member of Mugabe's
cabinet under the power-sharing arrangement that governs the country,
Coltart - Minister for Education, Sport, Arts and Culture, and political
fighter extraordinaire - is dismissive of the doomsayers.
"Look," he says, "I'm under absolutely no illusions. This [power-sharing
arrangement, which has brought members of Coltart's Movement for Democratic
Change opposition into government alongside Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party]
is a very fragile set-up. Anything could happen. But at the moment it's
working. We will inevitably go through more upsets. But things have at least
And he says - remarkably, given his chequered past relations with him - that
although Mugabe is 87 and seen by many to be on his last legs, possibly
suffering prostate cancer, "anyone who is contemplating the future of
Zimbabwe on the basis that Mugabe is not going to be around for very long is
making a mistake".
"No, Mugabe is no monster," he says emphatically when I ask about the
notorious reputation of the man who has held Zimbabwe in his thrall for 31
years. "He is no Idi Amin. Yes, he's 87 and, yes, he may tire quickly. But
he remains a wily political operator. He's remarkably fit, remarkably fit.
Despite his decades of indefatigable opposition to Mugabe's despotic rule
Coltart speaks almost generously of the old man's efficient management of
cabinet meetings, of the extent to which, despite expectations to the
contrary, he retains tight control over government - in Coltart's case,
taking keen interest in his education portfolio and supporting his
initiatives against others in government.
We are speaking on the eve of Coltart's departure for Sydney. On Tuesday he
will speak on politics and religion at a meeting in the NSW parliament
organised by the Centre for Independent Studies. For those seeking insight
into Zimbabwe and Mugabe, there could hardly be a better source, for
Coltart, a 54-year-old white lawyer and committed Christian, has been
fighting for justice in Zimbabwe since Ian Smith's time.
In the 1980s Coltart played a key role in uncovering the Gukurahundi
massacres carried out in Matabeleland by Mugabe's North Korean-trained Fifth
Brigade, acts of genocide that remain among the worst atrocities committed
by the regime.
"No, Mugabe is not Idi Amin," says Coltart, a senator whose nomination as
education minister was initially forcefully opposed by Mugabe. "But he and
ZANU-PF are responsible for some terrible things that can never be
forgotten. He's not a monster but he is a very, very complex man," he says,
echoing a widely held view that many of Mugabe's excesses stem from what he
suffered decades ago under white rule, one instance being when his
three-year-old son died and Mugabe, then in prison, was not permitted to
attend his funeral.
What about Mugabe's religion, I ask. Wasn't he reared a devout Catholic and
educated by Jesuits? How does someone with that background gain such
notoriety as a tyrant? Is he still so religious?
"Not noticeably," Coltart says. "But it's all part of the complex person
that he is."
He recalls how last year when Coltart's daughter had a serious accident,
Mugabe went to great lengths to inquire about her welfare, despite their
longstanding political animus.
It is in this mood of co-operation, fragile though it is, that lies the real
cause for Coltart's optimism. Despite the doomsayers and extremist factions
within ZANU-PF who are seeking to undermine it, the power-sharing
government, he says, is working reasonably well and, importantly, gaining
"In 2008, when the power-sharing deal was done, Zimbabwe was facing total
collapse. There was hyperinflation, a cholera epidemic, a collapsed economy,
rioting by soldiers, real prospects that Zimbabwe would disintegrate,"
"It's not a perfect arrangement. Far from it. But it has stabilised the
"There are far fewer human rights abuses than there used to be. Dramatically
fewer. Fewer people are being murdered.
"This isn't Somalia. There is an inherent strength in Zimbabwe. We have rich
natural resources. Geographically, we are in the heart of Africa, something
that makes what happens in our country important to the whole region.
"We're making progress. It's not perfect. But gradually, step by step, we're
getting there. Yes, I am an optimist, if a cautious optimist, but I'm a
Coltart puts Zimbabwe about where South Africa was in the 1990s, before
Nelson Mandela's release and the advent of democratic rule. Importantly, he
says, the power-sharing arrangement, as it inches forwards, is winning
backers even among elements in the army and police that are hardline
supporters of ZANU-PF.
So, what happens now? What about Mugabe's reported determination to force
another election this year before a new constitution can be drawn up that
will ensure free and fair elections, and in that way grab another five years
Coltart has no doubt that if free and fair elections are held the opposition
will be swept into office. That's why ZANU-PF wants a new poll now. But
South Africa's President Jacob Zuma and the South African Development
Community group of nations he leads have made it plain they won't
countenance such undermining of the power-sharing arrangement. They're
determined to ensure there is no election before a new constitution is in
So what about sanctions? And what happens after Mugabe?
On sanctions, Coltart declares himself a sceptic and a cynic. They simply
don't work, he insists. Just as they didn't when Smith declared
He points out that despite atrocities such as the Gukurahundi massacres,
Mugabe was awarded a knighthood by Britain in 1994, becoming a Knight
Commander of the Order of the Bath. By contrast, after 15 white farmers were
killed by ZANU-PF mobs in 2000 sanctions were imposed.
There is, he says, no clear line of succession from Mugabe. ZANU-PF, he
maintains, is not a homogeneous body. It has rival factions. There would be
a battle for the leadership. Coltart says he is aware of reports that the
army, a notorious mainstay of the regime, is preparing to impose its chief,
General Constantine Chiwenga, as leader, but says he believes this would be
opposed by elements within ZANU-PF.
Coltart's message is that Zimbabwe has come back from the brink, that it is
no longer headed towards the sort of trainwreck that has been seen in places
such as Somalia. Equally, the message is also that a nation that has been
ravaged by decades of Mugabe's misrule has got a long way to go before it
returns to the prosperity it once enjoyed and that was the envy of Africa.
That Coltart, indefatigable campaigner for human rights and democracy, and
Mugabe, the notorious tyrant, can work together is at least a promising sign
in a country in which there has been so little hope for so long.
The CIS Acton lecture on religion and freedom is next Tuesday at NSW
Sapa | 22 July, 2011 11:05
More than 275 people were arrested across Malawi during two days of rioting
that killed 18 people, in the deadliest protests since the beginning of
democracy in 1994, police say.
About 200 were arrested for looting in the capital Lilongwe, the epicentre
of the riots, police spokesman Davie Chingwalu told AFP.
Another 45 were arrested in the former colonial capital Zomba, and 30 in the
commercial hub Blantyre, Chingwalu said.
On Wednesday and Thursday, police used teargas and fired live ammunition to
disperse protesters across the country who took to the streets accusing
President Bingu wa Mutharika of mismanaging the economy and trampling on
Soldiers deployed in the main cities on Thursday, clearing the streets.
"On Friday the situation was quite normal" in Blantyre, Chingwalu said.
Chingwalu said those arrested were "pure thugs" who face charges including
malicious damage to property, arson and conduct likely to cause breach of
The killings have raised global condemnation, with rights groups calling for
a full investigation into the deaths.
Church leaders and activists in the northern town of Mzuzu were preparing to
bury of some of the people who died in the protests later Friday.
By Lance Guma
22 July 2011
After calling for peaceful dialogue on Thursday, Malawi President Bingu wa
Mutharika made a sensational u-turn Friday when he threatened to ‘smoke out’
those behind the anti-government protests. At least 18 people have died in
rioting, sparked by a combination of high fuel and food prices and what many
Malawians believe is Mutharika’s increasing authoritarian rule.
“Even God knows that I have been the most patient president on the
continent. Enough is enough. You wanted to take government by force, which
is against the laws of the land. This time I will follow you into your
homes. I will smoke you out,” Mutharika said. The statement was similar to
Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, who also vowed to go door-to-door hunting
Mutharika has ordered the army and the police to quell the riots which saw 9
deaths in Mzuzu, 6 in Lilongwe, 1 in Karonga and 2 deaths in Blantyre.
Already 250 people have been arrested in a government crackdown. On Friday
those leading the protests said they wanted to focus on burying the dead
first before deciding on whether to continue the protests or try to have
dialogue with Mutharika.
The Committee to Protect Journalists meanwhile condemned the “sweeping
arrests and attacks on journalists, as well as censorship by the
administration” targeting media outlets reporting on the protests. Police
arrested Collins Mtika, a contributor to Nyasa Times as he covered protests
in the northern city of Mzuzu. The Nyasa Times is a UK based online news
site critical of the government.
SW Radio Africa spoke to the editor of the Nyasa Times, Tom Chiumia, who
told us the problems in Malawi have emanated mainly from Mutharika’s
arrogance. He cited a raft of oppressive pieces of legislation Murharika
introduced, which he said were similar to what Mugabe has done in Zimbabwe.
Some of the offending laws include giving police the power to carry out
searches without a warrant. In January Mutharika signed a law allowing the
Information Minister to ban publications deemed "contrary to the public
interest". On Thursday the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority
switched off three private radio stations - MIJ FM Radio, Joy FM Radio and
Capital Radio - to stop them from reporting on the protests, according to
the Media Institute of Southern Africa, Malawi Chapter.
Chiuma also told us Mutharika has pushed through a law blocking people or
groups from taking out injunctions against the government. In May local
government elections, already delayed for six years were again postponed,
adding to the growing sense that the oppressive days witnessed under the
iron fisted rule of the late Kamuzu Banda were gradually being brought back
By Alex Bell
22 July 2011
A farming family in Nyazura has been forced to flee their home on Friday,
after an attack by a mob of land invaders.
The Smit family from De Rust farm has been fighting their illegal eviction
from the property the whole week, after a self-confessed CIO agent called
Onisious Makwengura, plus a gang of thugs, started harassing and
intimidating the family.
Makwengura and his gang have vandalised property on the farm and threatened
the Smit family, insisting he is acting under the orders of top police
officials and the Manicaland governor.
But the situation turned very ugly on Friday after farm owner Koos Smit was
arrested. SW Radio Africa was told that Makwengura gave police a false
statement saying Smit had assaulted him. Smit was arrested and held at
Nyazura police station on assault charges for most of Friday morning.
While he was being detained, Makwengura and his gang broke into the De Rust
farmhouse, where Smit’s wife, Mary Anne and two sons, Michael and Adriaan,
were taking shelter. The mob then started trashing the house, in an effort
to get the rest of the Smit family to leave.
The Smit sons in defence, fired gun shots into the air as a warning. But the
shots prompted Makwengura and a fellow invader to draw their own weapons and
threaten the Smits. The Smit sons then fired a number of rounds into the
floor, in an attempt to keep the mob away from them and their mother.
While this was happening a neighbour, hearing the gun shots, called the
police who rushed back to the farm. But when they got there they did not
arrest any of the land invaders and instead took away the Smit’s weapons and
told them to flee. The police apparently said they could not guarantee their
safety and said they would be killed if they remained.
The family was allowed to leave with only one vehicle and a suitcase each.
Makwengura apparently refused to let them take anything else, saying he was
keeping the remaining vehicles as “compensation” for the damage inside the
Koos Smit was later released from Nyazura police station after his family
was run off the property. They are now the third family in the district to
be forced off their property in this manner. A fourth farmer has negotiated
a 30 day period to ‘voluntarily’ leave his farm.
A source told SW Radio Africa on Friday that the Smit family, along with the
Grobler family who were also evicted from their property by Makwengura, are
seeking urgent outside intervention. The source explained that both families
have been left with nothing, and all they want is justice to prevail.
by Michael Chideme I Herald
PROPERTY tycoon Philip Chiyangwa stunned a gathering of local government
officials discussing national housing delivery system when he publicly
declared he owned 57,000 residential stands in Harare alone.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who chaired the meeting on Thursday,
quickly pointed out that Zimbabwe needed indigenous capitalists in order to
But Tsvangirai said the country did not need "primitive wealth
"We need local capitalists to develop a country. There is no country that
has developed with external investors. We need the Chiyangwas, (Strive)
Masiyiwas and (Nigel) Chanakiras. The problem we have here is about
primitive accumulation. People should focus on one thing and do it best.
Focus on construction and be the best billionaire," he said.
Tsvangirai said those involved in a multiplicity of business ventures ended
up clashing with everyone.
Close to 25,000 residents are active members on the city housing waiting
list out of an estimated one million people in need of accommodation.
Chiyangwa, a property developer, was speaking after a tour of Harare's sewer
and water infrastructure by mayors and chairpersons of local authorities.
"My company Pinnacle Holdings owns 57,000 residential stands in Harare," he
said. He added that in Harare South, he owned 5,000ha of land and another
60ha in the Grange, Chisora Village.
He has built 247 houses in Bluffhill among many other housing projects in
the capital and Zimbabwe's cities.
Earlier, Gweru mayor Tedious Chimombe, had insinuated that people like
Chiyangwa wanted to continue amassing houses and residential stands at the
expense of other people.
"I bought 5 000 ha in Harare South after I sold G & D Shoes in Bulawayo.
Unfortunately, some of my land has been occupied," complained Chiyangwa.
He said some councils he had helped to pay salaries to restive workers were
now harassing him by threatening to repossess the land they gave him.
"I invested my money in Harare, Chinhoyi, Kwekwe, Gweru and Kariba. Some
people call me tsotsi, but have no facts to back that up.
"I am under attack. Don't be afraid of people with money. Don't stifle a
person because of his political affiliation," he said.
Tsvangirai said he was not jealous of Chiyangwa's millions or billions but
said efforts should be made to empower the down-trodden.
By Tererai Karimakwenda
22 July, 2011
The controversial issue of reforming Zimbabwe’s police, military and
intelligence institutions has continued to dominate negotiations for a
roadmap towards credible elections. And the MDC formations have reportedly
taken the issue directly to the regional facilitators, faced with unbending
resistance from ZANU PF.
According to the Zimbabwe Independent newspaper, the MDC-T Secretary
General, Tendai Biti, has written to SADC leaders complaining about military
interference in political affairs. The behavior of the army commander
Brigadier-General Douglas Nyikayaramba was reportedly the focus.
The report quotes a senior MDC-T official as saying: “The issue of security
sector reform, and Nyikayaramba in particular, is very serious. The MDC-T
has written to SADC protesting the blatant and unlawful interference of the
army in civilian political affairs of Zimbabwe, thus threatening the
Nyikayaramba recently added fuel to the fire when he said that Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was a “security threat” and Robert Mugabe would
rule Zimbabwe for life.
Reports said the MDC-N leader Welshman Ncube also raised the issue of
security sector reform on Wednesday in a meeting with President Jacob Zuma’s
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has been the target of hate speech by the
army generals, who have publicly proclaimed Mugabe is president for life and
declared the MDC will never rule Zimbabwe.
The police, soldiers and intelligence agents have continued to harass MDC
officials and anyone suspected of being sympathetic to the party. Just this
week armed police assaulted delegates and disrupted a youth conference in
Kwekwe, that was to be addressed by the American Ambassador Charles Ray.
Robert Mugabe and ZANU PF insist the security sector is a sovereign issue
that can only be discussed in the National Security Council. Civic groups
and the MDC formations insist the security institutions must be changed.
Masvingo, July 22, 2011 -A public meeting on the bill of human rights led by
Senate thematic committee on human rights failed to commence at the Civic
Centre here after hired rowdy war veterans disrupted the chairperson.
The chairperson of this committee is Zaka’s member of parliament from the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) led by Prime Minister Morgan
Senate is moving around the country’s major cities gathering the views of
the people on the proposed bill as a way of consulting the public before it
is taken to Parliament and senate for debate but rogue war veterans led by
retired Colonel Claudius Makova blocked Marava from starting, ordering him
to do the bill reading in shona as it was in English version.
The war veterans with the help of a few female supporters from Zanu (PF) ‘s
Women’s’ league disturbed Marava from a second attempt to read in English
demanding him to do it in shona. They suddenly broke into song and dance
belting “zvemadhisinyongoro Zanu yaramba’’.
The hall turned into a circus as the war veterans started to shout
obscenities to Marava accusing him of leading the committee of human rights
in a bid to push western countries agenda. They howeverattempted to attack
members of the MDC party in the committee who included Marava and Gutu
Senator, Emperor Makamure but were restrained by officials.
The committee members were later forced out of the hall to their Parliament
bus where they hurriedly left fearing for their lives as there were threats
to beat up them.
In an interview with VOP Marava said the behavior by war veterans and Zanu
pf was a disgrace to the progress of business in Senate, Parliament and
“This was a planned thing by Zanu (PF) actually it hired these thuggish war
veterans to disrupt the meeting. This is dangerous to the progress of both
government and the house of assembly as you can see we have aborted the
meeting how could we go ahead with the people doing this,” he said.
He said Zanu pf planned the issue because it is trying to block the issues
of 20008 political violence and Gukurahundi from being discussed by the
“They are afraid about their dark past, issue of human rights will include
violence in 2008 and Gukurahundi so Zanu pf is afraid that the people will
call for justice to the perpetrators that’s why they
are blocking it but this is a disgrace to the party,” Marava said.
The committee has also been blocked in Chinhoyi and Kwekwe by the same party
as Zanu pf intensifies effort to block the bill that is set to end its
culture of violence if it succeeds.
21 July 2011
Politically tinged soccer tournaments are said to have been organized by
Manicaland Provincial Governor Christopher Mushohwe, Local Government
Minister Ignatius Chombo and Information Minister Webster Shamu
Sandra Nyaira | Washington
With national elections in the offing though not scheduled, Zimbabwe
Education Minister David Coltart has denounced the politicization of schools
by politicians, most recently through soccer tournaments that end up
becoming partisan political rallies.
Such tournaments are said to have been organized by Manicaland Provincial
Governor Christopher Mushohwe, Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo and
Information Minister Webster Shamu, according to sources familiar with
The nation’s schools were battlegrounds during the 2008 elections, and many
worry that they could again be caught in the crossfire or turned into
headquarters for youth militia loyal to President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF
party, as was seen in 2008.
Coltart this week said he is investigating what he called the abuse of
school children in political campaigns being conducted under the guise of
"We are going to take up the issue with provincial directors of the schools
involved," he said. "The ministry's policy on this issue is very clear.
School premises should not be used for anything other than for the purposes
For more on the plight of schools, teachers and students in a political
environment that is becoming increasingly heated by the day, VOA Studio 7
reporter Sandra Nyaira reached out to Zimbabwe Teachers Union Chief
Executive Sifiso Ndlovu and Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe General
Secretary Raymond Majongwe.
Ndlovu said his union supports extra-curricular activities, but politics
should be left out.
Coltart "is within his right to protect the children against any abuse,"
"However, I must quickly say that schools are institutions of learning which
are open to the communities. If they're coming in to aid extra-curricula
activities like sports, then we welcome that gesture but we don't want to be
used as levers for anybody."
Majongwe said Zimbabweans should unite to ensure that the practice of
politicians using school grounds for their elections campaigns is nipped in
"We should all say they should stay away with their footballs, their soccer
tournaments, their music and all," Majongwe said. "What we should be
concentrating on is helping to mold the country's future leaders so they do
not become tomorrow's abusers."
21 July 2011
Political analyst Brian Raftopolous said the Zuma administration has more
clout within SADC now and can move to isolate Harare diplomatically if the
ZANU-PF side of the government continues to hinder progress
Sithandekile Mhlanga and Violet Gonda | Washington
Facilitators working under South African President Jacob Zuma to mediate a
solution to the perennial crisis in the Zimbabwean government met Thursday
with the parliamentary committee in charge of revising the constitution,
promising to provide funds to help complete the process plagued by funding
shortfalls and political bickering.
Mr. Zuma’s facilitation team was to meet with the Joint Monitoring and
Implementation Committee, established to measure compliance by Zimbabwe's
power-sharing political parties with the 2008 Global Political Agreement for
Edward Mkhosi, select committee co-chairman for the Movement for Democratic
Change formation of Welshman Ncube, said his panel updated the facilitators,
who were led by Zuma foreign policy adviser Lindiwe Zulu and African
National Congress official Marc Maharaj. He said his panel vowed to complete
the revision by the end of 2011.
Mkhosi told VOA reporter Sithandekile Mhlanga the facilitators promised to
present their findings to a Southern African Development Community summit in
August in Angola.
The two MDC formations in government - including that led by Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai - have accused ZANU-PF of blocking progress toward
implementation of the Global Political Agreement including a broad range of
electoral media reforms.
Political analyst Brian Raftopolous said the Zuma administration has
increased its clout within SADC and can move to isolate Harare
diplomatically if the ZANU-PF side of the government continues to hinder
progress toward free and fair elections.
Raftopolous told reporter Violet Gonda that SADC must stand firm on the
positions it took at previous summits, in particular its resolution to
delegate three members of its staff to the Joint Monitoring and
Implementation Committee, which it has not yet done.
22/07/2011 14:37:00 By Everson Mushava
HARARE - Cabinet ministers can no longer travel outside the country with
security aides, while the civil service job freeze will be widened and
tightened in new government measures to cut runaway spending.
President Robert Mugabe and his ministers have since the beginning of the
year blown about $30 million on foreign trips with the 87-year-old leader
having chewed up half of it.
Mugabe has been to the Far East at least five times this year and will soon
be travelling to the United Nations with his extravagantly large entourage.
The expense cutting measure on ministers might come to nothing given that
Mugabe’s travels have not been included on those embargoed.
The veteran Zimbabwe leader travels with an entourage of more than 70 people
each time he flies out of the country.
According to an internal government circular in possession of the Daily
News, the tendency by ministers to carry large entourages of intelligence
officers and personal aides was wasteful and should stop with immediate
Only Finance Minister Tendai Biti, State Security Minister Sydney Sekeramayi
and Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi are allowed to travel
The rest of the ministers in President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai’s bloated government will have to get special presidential
“The remaining Cabinet ministers and the rest of deputy ministers will not
require services of aides on travel outside the country, unless advised
otherwise on the basis of threat assessments by the President’s department,”
read the circular, dated July 7, 2011.
“The current practice where most ministers are accompanied by security aides
cannot be sustained,” read the circular.
Biti proposed the cuts to find ways of financing civil servants’ salary
increments that he says were done behind his back and cannot be sustained by
Treasury under current revenue collection levels, highly-placed government
Last year for example, government forecast its revenue at $1,44 billion
against expenditure of projected at $2,25 billion.
This year, government has struggled to meet a revenue target of $230 million
a month, according to Biti.
Biti told Parliament a fortnight ago that civil servants’ increments would
cost the government an extra $29 million per month, warning that with the
decline in government revenues, the country would not sustain the new
Mugabe, who pushed for the salary increments, approved the spending cuts
that have caused friction in government because they also target senior
departmental directors. Foreign trips have particularly bled the fiscus.
Biti says foreign travel by top chefs gobbled in excess of $30 million in
the first half of this year alone.
The circular, signed by Misheck Sibanda, Chief Secretary to the President
and Cabinet, has been distributed to all government departments.
“There ought to be cut-backs in sizes of delegations travelling for any
business outside the country,” according to the circular.
Where government representation and participation is required for regional
and international functions, the lead ministry will only travel after
justifying the importance of the trip and confirmation of the sources of
“With the above position, it is hereby directed that travel allowances shall
be calculated on the basis of per diem rates as regulated in the relevant
Treasury Circular. It therefore follows that applications for ‘special’
rates should not be accommodated,” the circular read.
“Regarding training of members outside the country, it is a pre-requisite
that members can only proceed to travel outside and participate where full
sponsorship from other sources is secured.
“Accordingly, attendance at all courses outside the country is cancelled,
unless fully sponsored from other sources,” read the circular.
According to the circular, government will no longer be employing new staff
“Notwithstanding the current stance on the freeze of vacant post, the Public
Service Commission and Treasury are required to tighten the freeze across
the board, especially over the period to December 2011.
“To that effect, accounting officers are advised against making applications
for the filling of posts under their establishments. Given the above, there
is no scope for creation of posts under ministries’ establishment,” read the
Government is already reeling under the burden of a heavy wage bill that
Biti says will now choke 74 percent of expenditure after the latest salary
A civil service audit by a professional accounting firm from India recently
revealed that government was paying over 75 000 ghost workers, mostly put on
the payroll to work for Zanu PF during the 2008 election mayhem.
Zanu PF elements in government have refused to accept the audit findings and
have forced a fresh audit, according to Public Service Minister Eliphas
As part of government spending cuts, the purchase of any new vehicles has
been frozen, while the use of official cars for private business by middle
managers will be heavily curtailed.
“Given the pressure piling on the treasury for resources for the procurement
of vehicles and taking into account the growth in the bill for vehicle
maintenance as well as fuel costs, procurement of vehicles and any budget
provisions for the purpose are hereby suspended until further notice,” read
Sibanda also ordered an immediate stop of government vehicles after hours by
workers who are not entitled to them.
“It would appear accounting officers are turning a blind eye to transport
management. This is evident from use of vehicles almost on a permanent basis
by members such as drivers and middle management levels whose conditions of
service do not provide for personal or official issue vehicles,” read the
circular. - Daily News
The electoral bill that was recently published fails to protect the people
of Zimbabwe as it sticks to administrative issues and ignores issues of
political violence and security sector reforms, says Crisis Coalition of
Zimbabwe Director MacDonald Lewanika.
by Fungai Kwaramba Harare
He blasted army generals for not respecting diversity in Zimbabwe and said
that civil society was concerned that security and issues of politics were
not considered in the bill.
Speaking at the sidelines of a civil society meeting Lewanika said the bill
does nothing to protect people.
"In terms of the discussions we heard the bill sticks to electoral
administrative issues and there are issues to deal with the context and
environment and that cannot be dealt in terms of the bill but should be
dealt in terms of the constitution reforms and political behavior and
culture and also security sector reforms," said Lewanika.
On security sector reforms Lewanika said that the military should also stay
out of politics as they are required by the constitution supposed to be
apolitical and bear allegiance to the laws of the country.
Zimbabweans regard service chiefs as a major stabling block to the holding
of a free and fair elections which will not be similar to the sham 2008
Presidential run-off sham where the military through the Joint Operation
Committee (JOC) which is still pulling the strings forced them to vote for
"Our position on service chiefs is that there have no role to play in terms
of public political process. They need to be above party politics," said
Over the years the military have said that they would not recognize any
other leader but President Robert Mugabe, with Brigadier Douglas Nyikayamba
who has assumed the role of army spokesperson recently saying that elections
should be held this year and declaring that Mugabe will win the elections.
"The military is very errant and some transformation needs to take place
which allows them to act in a non partisan manner. Soldiers who make such
statements as Nyikayaramba are not professionals and should not wear the
military uniform," said Lewanika.
With the military already declaring Zanu PF and Mugabe winners even before
polls are held many people who have been bashed by soldiers during the polls
before are not eager for polls considering that their vote does not really
Also the Electoral Bill does not proffer a solution to the involvement of
the military in public electoral systems leaving people wary and scared of
participating in polls if there are ever held.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai recently challenged soldiers meddling in
politics to discard their military gear and stand against him as
And in response Nyikayaramba who is widely regarded as the embodiment of
Zanu PF desparathion said that the army treats Tsvangirai and his party as a
national threat and therefore the need to deal with him in uniform.
Mugabe has done nothing to reign in his military chiefs and instead has he
has called upon people critical of there role to leave them alone.
Mugabe did nothing to condemn the army chiefs' breach of the constitution
giving credence to the assertions by some political parties that he is now
only a puppet of the service chiefs.
"A normal soldier should know that he is there to protect the people and if
we hear soldiers talking about politics then there are not fit to wear the
uniform as they do not respect the differences among people who are from
different political parties," said Lewanika.
By Tichaona Sibanda
22 July 2011
There are allegations that Arthur Mutambara’s refusal to step down and allow
MDC-N President Welshman Ncube to take over as a principal is a ‘CIO project’
intended to collapse the inclusive government.
Mutambara is a Deputy Prime Minister in the inclusive government. He lost
the MDC-N leadership to his former secretary-general during the party’s
congress in January, but has refused to relinquish his post as the Deputy
Premier and principal, arguing that the congress, which ushered Ncube into
power, was illegal.
In January his supporters filed a High Court application challenging the
ascendancy of Ncube as President. The fight between the two former political
colleagues is now alleged to be a stumbling block in ratifying certain
issues endorsed by SADC.
Moses Mzila-Ndlovu, MDC-N negotiator to the Global Political Agreement
(GPA), told SW Radio Africa on Friday that Mutambara’s stubbornness was now
derailing progress in the unity government.
‘Let’s take for instance the recommendation by SADC heads of state, which
was also endorsed, that called on the Troika to immediately name a
three-person team to work with the Joint Monitoring and Implementation
‘That hasn’t been done because the Principals, who should be Robert Mugabe,
Morgan Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube, have yet to convene a meeting where
they should ratify the resolution adopted in Sandton, South Africa,’
The SADC Troika on Politics, Defence and Security resolved at the
Livingstone summit in Zambia at the end of March to recognise Ncube as the
head of the MDC party and to accept Mutambara just as the country’s Deputy
Premier. But Mugabe has refused to recognise Ncube as a principal, fuelling
speculation within the MDC-N that he’s using it as a delaying mechanism.
‘The Principals should sit down and ratify the co-option of this Troika team
but this has since not happened. The reason being that the principals’
meeting, which is clearly wrongly constituted, does take place on Mondays
without Ncube. Instead he’s represented without the consent of our party by
a man called Arthur Mutambara, who has since been expelled from the party.
‘Mugabe and Tsvangirai continue to host Mutambara against the provisions of
the GPA. We brought up this issue with the facilitation team on Wednesday
but their hands are tied because they are also waiting for the outcome of
the court case. Even the mediator (Jacob Zuma) is well aware of this
predicament,’ Mzila-Ndlovu said.
President Zuma’s facilitation team jetted into Harare on Wednesday to check
on the progress made by party negotiators towards crafting a roadmap for
free and fair elections. The team has since then held marathon meetings with
key stakeholders in the Zimbabwe crisis.
Mzila-Ndlovu, who is also the co-Minister for National Healing, said the
facilitation team informed them that Zambia and Mozambique had already
identified representatives who will be co-opted into JOMIC, while South
Africa should have theirs soon.
He said during a recent meeting of party negotiators, at which they were
able to work on timeframes for the roadmap, it was categorically stated the
principals referred to the Presidents of the three parties, and not
individuals like Mutambara.
‘This is an issue that needs to be quickly resolved, that Ncube takes his
rightful place in the meetings of principals so that the rightful people can
then deal with the issue of the co-option of these people from SADC.
‘It is not possible for them to be co-opted without the consent of the MDC-N
and I hope it will soon dawn on Mutambara and his ZANU PF sponsors that he’s
holding the country to ransom,’ Mzila-Ndlovu said.
21 July 2011
Parliamentary committee member Felix Mafa said the report names 80 players,
administrators, coaches, referees, and technical staff alleged to have taken
part in match-fixing from 2007 to 2010
Marvellous Mhlanga-Nyahuye | Washington
The Zimbabwe Football Association said investigators of the match-fixing
scandal which has tarnished the national soccer team's image have gone into
hiding after receiving death threats over the Asiagate report delivered
recently to authorities.
A ZIFA official said the association has asked police to provide protection.
Parliament's committee on sports heard testimony this week on the so-called
ZIFA Chief Executive Jonathan Mashingaidze and the association's board
member for finance, retired Brigadier General Elliot Kasu, presented the
report to Parliament.
Parliamentary committee member Felix Mafa told VOA reporter Marvellous
Mhlanga-Nyahuye that the report names 80 players, administrators, coaches,
referees, and technical staff alleged to have taken part in match-fixing
from 2007 to 2010.
"We are going to study the report and next Thursday will come up with the
way forward as we have been informed that some board members involved in
Asiagate have gone into hiding alleging death threats following the
publication of the report," Mafa said.
"What is sad about Asiagate is that it has brought the game of football into
disrepute and we hope that the poi ice will be involved in arresting those
threatening administrators bent on bringing to light the corruption that
existed during the scandal," he added.
ZIFA Vice President Ndumiso Gumede, a member of the investigating committee,
called last week for the establishment of an independent disciplinary
committee to punish those found guilty of match-fixing. His panel was to
meet soon to advance that proposal.
Those found guilty of match-fixing could be banned from the sport for life.
By Alex Bell
22 July 2011
The South African government has extended the deadline for Zimbabweans to
get permits to remain legally in the country, with thousands of people still
to receive their paperwork.
The Zimbabwe Documentation Project was set to be finalised at the end of
this month, and South African officials said they would resume deporting
undocumented Zim nationals when the process was completed.
But according to the Cape Town based refugee rights group PASSOP, thousands
of people have not got their documents yet, and fear has been rising that
they face possible deportation in the coming weeks. The group then wrote to
South Africa’s Home Affairs Minister, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma this week,
asking for a two month extension on the deadline, to ensure that every
Zimbabwean who successfully applied for permits could get them.
According to PASSOP, the deadline has now been moved, after the Home Affairs
Department’s Deputy Director General Jackie McKay said the process will be
concluded at the end of August, instead of the end of July.
About 276 000 applications for permits were made by Zim nationals since the
documentation process was launched last year, despite more than two million
Zimbabweans estimated to be in the country. South Africa’s Department of
Home Affairs last month said it still needed to hand over about 100 000
permits, but insisted that it would meet its July 31st deadline. The
department also confirmed that it would be resuming deportations when the
process was completed.
PASSOP’s Langton Miriyoga told SW Radio Africa on Friday that the one month
extension on the deadline is welcome, but he said this still might not be
adequate, given the high number of people still waiting. He agreed with the
estimate that at least 100 000 people have not got their permits yet.
“This extension gives Zimbabweans some breathing room, but we are concerned
that not everyone will get their documents in this extra month. There is
also the concern that many people are yet to get their passports from the
Zimbabwean consulate, and this might take longer than a month,” Miriyoga
Zimbabwe’s failure to issue enough passports to its citizens in South Africa
has been the major stumbling block of the documentation process, which has
repeatedly been extended since it was launched last September. Thousands of
Zim nationals were eventually forced to apply for South African permits
without passports. But without these documents, they can’t finalise their
applications or regularise their stay in South Africa.
PASSOP’s Miriyoga said the South African government should be putting more
pressure on the Zimbabwean government to ensure the passports are rolled out
in time. He meanwhile said that the South African authorities have not yet
confirmed if they are adjusting their plans to resume deportations to match
the new deadline.
“They haven’t said anything about the deportations yet. This is a major
issue that people are concerned about and we will need to engage with the
authorities on this,” Miriyoga said.
GERROHN MICHALITSIANOS Jul 22 2011 10:03
Africa's vast mineral deposits make it, arguably, the world's greatest
treasure chest. Africa contains around 85% of the world's chromium and
platinum group metals, as well as more than 60% of the reserves of cobalt
It ranks either first or second with her reserves of diamonds, bauxite,
phosphate rocks, vermiculite and zirconium. Africa also produces more than
21% of the world's gold, 16% of its uranium and 13% of its petroleum.
Naturally, mineral exploration and production constitute significant parts
of the economies of a number of African countries and they remain key to the
future economic growth of this developing continent. It is also home to some
of the best examples of poor social stewardship and unregulated
environmental impact on record.
Most of the countries classified as least developed in the greater global
context, are African. In many of these countries it is regularly debated
whether the possession of such rich resources is a blessing or curse.
While the extraction of its precious minerals has boosted economic growth,
it has not significantly contributed to improved living conditions or
adequately met the challenges of sustainable development. The demand for
these resources remains high, despite the persistent global economic woes,
and will certainly increase as the world's finances return to prosperity.
Short term challenges
One of the greatest challenges facing Africa's leaders is to put strategies,
policies and programmes in place to ensure the mining of mineral resources
becomes an important tool for sustainable economic growth and development in
Africa. While there are many encouraging results reported by
well-established mining houses as the world's economy rebounds, not all of
them are out of the woods yet, with many facing considerable challenges in
the short term.
Impala Platinum, the globe's second-largest platinum producer, reported a
62% jump in profits earlier this year and expects to increase its annual
output too, boosted by higher sales and market prices.
"An economic rebound, particularly in developing markets, is underpinning
demand for platinum," says chief executive David Brown. Platinum is used in
a variety of important applications, from jewellery and electronics to
technology that inhibits vehicle pollution.
Politicians covet Zimbabwe's mines
Beleaguered Zimbabwe is facing a new onslaught from its wealthy, political
elite. They are eyeing its large foreign-owned mines, as more than 30 major
mining companies roll out the planning phase of handing majority stakes over
to the country's citizens. What makes matters worse is that these foreign
companies may be forced to accept empowerment partners not of their
The next challenge for mine owners is to find a way to select their own
local partners, while warding off undesirable bids by influential
politicians. Among the companies facing this new challenge is Zimplats, the
largest platinum producer in the country.
Zimplats is South African Impala Platinum's (Implats) Zimbabwean subsidiary
and south of Harare, in the area where it has mining operations, local MP
Bright Matonga is bidding as the leader of a seemingly benign community
consortium, including local traditional leaders.
Citing the example of the Royal Bafokeng nation's buy-in into South Africa's
Implats in 2006, Matonga says "We feel Implats should apply these same
principles in Zimbabwe." While initially opposing Zimbabwe's drive toward
further indigenisation of foreign-owned companies, Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai recently stated, "Indigenisation is not about appropriation or
nationalisation, it's about setting fair value. Across the political divide
we agree on the principle of citizenship empowerment."
Back in South Africa, where continued calls for nationalisation of the
country's mines is causing increasing jitters in the market place, Communist
Party leader Blade Nzimande claimed these calls where simply a ruse to raise
bail-out funds for black-owned companies who are in dire economic straits.
"Ten years from now, they will be calling for privatisation, after the state
has inherited the debt," he said.
Some good news
A rare earth project is to be developed in South Africa by Canadian mineral
exploration and development company, Frontier Rare Earths Limited. Frontier
focuses exclusively on rare earth elements in southern Africa and recently
signed an agreement with Asia's Korea Resources Corporation, who will
develop the project on Frontier's behalf.
Korea Resources CEO Shin-Jong Kim says, "Rare earths are a critical raw
material needed to support Korea's high-technology industry and future
economic growth,". They are used in flat-screen televisions, lasers, sonar
systems and hybrid cars.
Zandkopsdrift in the Northern Cape is Frontier's flagship asset, being one
of the biggest undeveloped rare earth deposits in the world. Zambia is
Africa's chief copper-mining nation and is about to become one of the
world's top five producers, following a massive US$6 billion investment by
Vale SA, First Quantum Minerals Limited and Vedanta Resources Plc.
The country is likely to overtake Indonesia and Australia to slot in as the
fifth-largest copper-producing nation by 2013. Chile, China, Peru and the
USA are the world's largest copper producers.
Encouragingly, Zambia has vowed not to impose windfall taxes or take the
mines under state control, despite the exploitive plans of neighbours
Zimbabwe, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Environmental concerns and progress
The mercury used by Africa's artisanal gold miners has caused severe water
and air pollution in many countries such as Kenya, Ghana, South Africa,
Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Sudan. In an attempt to alleviate the
increasing pollution, the Global Mercury Project was established in August
2002 under the auspices of a United Nations Development Programme called The
Global Environment Facility and the United Nations Industrial Development
The project delivers cleaner technologies and provides training for miners,
conducts health assessments and helps governments implement new regulations
to curb and even reverse the effects of mercury pollution. Sadly, these
positive measures are still too few and far between to mitigate the
extensive damage caused over many decades by exploitive businesses and
The prevailing attitude was neatly summed up by executive director John
Capel of the Bench Marks Foundation, "Profits are still put above everything
else. Sustainable development is very rarely considered. Communities' voices
are still ignored."
July 22nd, 2011
Everyone in Zimbabwe is afraid of the police, and the fear is well founded,
especially in light of the regular arbitrary arrests of innocent people. In
Zimbabwean a person is guilty until the police feel that he is innocent,
that is fact.
I live in a small community where the people are too terrified to question
the police excesses which include the looting of their “illegal”
merchandise. The police take, and nobody questions them. But there is an
anger that is slowly building in the people and the case of the slain cop in
Glen View is one classic case where people’s anger against the police was
manifested. But I sadly doubt that anyone in my community people is going
to stand up to the police and demand respect for their rights, they are just
I recently witnessed the police fill a police truck to the brim with looted
vegetables. The vendors stood paralysed, on their faces dejection and
despair was imprinted.
Though not officially a police state, in the eyes of ordinary Zimbabweans
our country is held hostage by the police. Because our citizens are so
scared of the police they would rather stay in doors than socialise outside
their homes, because the police can arrest them when they feel like doing
so. I would not ever stand in the way of a police officer. Freedom only
exists for me if the police allow it.
MDC activists who are currently languishing in prisons are fine examples of
what the police can do. We are not free and the police are there not to
enforce the law, but to force us into walking under their own interpretation
of the law.
This entry was posted by Simon Moyo on Friday, July 22nd, 2011 at 7:28 am
Harare, 21 July 2011
Government ministers here present
Mayors from across the country
Members of the diplomatic corps
Partners and development agencies
Ladies and gentlemen
I am pleased to be part of this great gathering today to deliberate on the
ways to ensure that Zimbabweans in urban areas get decent shelter and
I will not be delivering a speech today, because this is not an occasion for
This is an occasion for honest dialogue amongst all the stakeholders to look
at the challenges facing us in the provision of housing for all our
As government, we are committed to the provision of decent shelter to the
people of Zimbabwe and the fact that we have a full-fledged Ministry of
National Housing is testimony to our commitment.
Housing is a strong stimulant for growth, with high multiplier effects on
the economy because it creates jobs. The provision of adequate family
housing is a key element in fostering a secure and settled urban population
that stands by family values.
We must have a sustained national programme to establish low-cost family
accommodation in order to eliminate the housing backlog that I know is a
common story in all cities and towns.
Central government might not have the fiscal space to undertake a
comprehensive national housing programme. This leaves local authorities and
the private sector with a key role to play in executing this urgent national
As mayors of our cities, I know you are at the epicenter of this important
national responsibility to ensure that we all have decent roofs over our
I am also aware that all urban councils are grappling with long housing
waiting lists and today, we want to share our headaches and ensure that we
discuss the challenges we face in this daunting national task.
I know the anxiety that is gripping every one of those people on the long
housing waiting lists, each one of them wondering when they will get a house
of their own.
We have all been tenants (maroja) at some point in our lives. Only two weeks
ago, I paid a visit to my former humble lodgings at Chisamba Single quarters
That single room was my prized accommodation as a bachelor way back in 1973
when I worked at a textiles company in Mutare.
When I paid a visit to that place a fortnight ago, I saw families living in
one-roomed apartments and I know it is the same familiar story in most towns
and cities across the country.
So we meet today on this assessment mission on housing development.
I am interested in this important national issue and as part of our
conversation today, we want to hear progress or lack thereof in the various
towns and cities across the country.
We also have in our midst other government ministers and departments who
deal with finance, energy, water and lands because these are critical
enablers in housing developments.
We may want to discuss issues of corruption in the allocation and disposal
of stands and houses.
I know that traditionally, housing co-operatives, building societies, the
World Bank, UN Habitat, NSSA and others have made a significant contribution
in this regard.
More importantly, we must all ensure that whatever housing programme we come
up with is affordable to the majority of our citizens.
I am aware that under the land reform programme, some people parceled out
prime land to themselves and are now land barons, owning vast tracts of land
while councils struggle to find land for housing developments.
Others are multiple farm owners and own large farms in municipal boundaries
when we all know that councils must get the priority in land allocation
because they have the bigger responsibility of serving the housing needs of
the majority of the people.
As I said in the beginning, this is not an occasion to speechify.
This is an occasion for an honest conversation amongst ourselves to look at
the challenges facing us so that we may find a solution to the housing needs
of millions of Zimbabweans who need a roof over their heads.
The people out there expect us to find a lasting solution to their housing
As we dialogue amongst ourselves on this important issue, let us remember
the homeless, the tenants and the millions on our housing waiting lists who
want decent accommodation for their families.
Let us remember those shacks in our towns, the stark reminders to the
daunting task we face in providing affordable accommodation to everyone.
Let the dialogue begin.
I thank you
MDC Information & Publicity Department
Lance Guma: Zimbabwean football has been rocked by what is now known as “Asiagate scandal” where players, coaches and journalists were paid huge bribes to cover up for the fact that the country’s national team, and at times a bogus one, was deliberately losing matches hosted in Asia.
A 162 page report compiled by a probe team led by Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) vice president Ndumiso Gumede has blown open the lid on the scandal. Mr. Gumede joins me on the progamme and so does former sports journalist and broadcaster Ezra Tshisa Sibanda. Mr. Gumede thank you for joining us.
Ndumiso Gumede: Good afternoon or good evening or good morning wherever your listeners are placed.
Guma: Starting point – tell us about this investigation first of all. What did you have to do?
Gumede: Well I think it’s only fair that I really try and start at the beginning and the beginning unfortunately involves our predecessors, that is Mr. (Cuthbert) Dube’s committee took over a problem which we were then forced to try and complete. Sometime before we came into power and that is March 2010, Zimbabwean teams were clandestinely to go and play games in the Far East and the Zimbabwe Sports and Recreation Commission got to know about these things and demanded that there be an explanation for those trips.
Unfortunately the explanations of our predecessors, that is the (Wellington) Nyatanga led board, were not good enough for the Sports Commission and the Sports Commission required a detailed report on the trips to the Far East. As fate would have it, when that letter came, a new committee had taken office and that’s how we got involved.
The long and short of it is that a number of teams were sent to the Far East – Thailand, Singapore and other areas like that to go and play games, which games were deliberately thrown because people wanted to make money out of those trips. That is the briefest explanation I can give to that situation.
Guma: Now we understand you offered immunity to those who gave testimonies and those who did not come forward are likely to face more trouble. Is that how you approached this?
Gumede: No, no, no, no, that is not true. Can I put the record straight? The brief of my committee was to investigate whether those trips actually did take place – one; two – whether any monies were taken out irregularly; three – whether those trips were ever sanctioned by either the Sports Commission or FIFA; four – whether the persons who were organising those trips are known.
Now there’s no way there where it says I must apportion blame and begin to say he who came to me must be reprieved. The situation is, it is our belief as the investigating committee that a lot of the players went there, not knowing that the games were fixed and we would recommend that the committee that is going to spell out what sanctions ought to be given out ought to look leniently to what those persons who may be deemed not to have known what is happening and we, as my committee have categorized the trips and one of three ways.
Those who went on one or two trips we’re considering that it’s quite likely they didn’t know what was happening. Those who went on more than two trips knew what was happening because they were deriving benefit from that. Then there were the organizers who were manipulating the whole system – those we think ought to have the full brunt of the football law, of the country’s law even if there is any component of their misdeeds which can be deemed to be criminal.
Guma: Let me bring in Ezra Tshisa Sibanda into this discussion. Ezra your first reaction when this story broke – what do you make of it?
Ezra Sibanda: Some of us knew already that there was something going on, especially when a team was sent to the Far East masquerading as the Zimbabwe national team whilst the team was called Monomatapa and it was clear from the videos that the team was Monomatapa although they were putting on Zimbabwe uniforms.
So we started suspecting that there was something going on but knowing the institution itself at that moment that it was run by corrupt individuals, and most of them, you remember very well, you know it very well, these are the political nominees who were posted to ZIFA, so we knew that there was something going on, most of us.
Guma: Sunday Chidzambwa has been quoted by Super Sport in South Africa as threatening to sue and he is saying this is just a fight between the old people in ZIFA and the new ones in ZIFA. Mr. Gumede, how do you respond to that?
Gumede: Well I have not seen Sunday Chidzambwa’s rebuttal but like I told you earlier on, my committee’s brief was merely to find out whether there were irregular trips to the East and I stand by my committee’s findings that yes there were irregular trips to the East and that Mr. Chidzambwa where refutes what is written in my report to whatever vehemence he’s got but the truth is that some of the people who went with him who have been truthful, whose conscience worries them, who have told us the truth, even including that Mr. Chidzambwa bought a car in Singapore with the proceeds that he irregularly got from one of those games.
Ezra: Yes on that note as well Lance, as far as I’m concerned, if a commission of enquiry has been set, you’ve got no legal obligation to sue that commission of enquiry because these are the people sent to get all the evidence gathered together as a commission of enquiry and produce their report. This is what the committee has done. I’m not trying to defend Mr. Gumede or whoever but as far as I am concerned, when a commission of enquiry is set, there’s no way you can say I’m going to sue that. Why – is it being guilty or somehow? I think a guilty conscience is causing Chidzambwa to say that.
Guma: Ezra, just as a fellow journalist, the role of fellow journalists who covered these trips – that’s Robson Sharuko and Hope Chizuzu what do you make of that because people are saying, as journalists they should have known what was happening and they also received money?
right, he is a respected sports journalist (Sharuko) but when you see that this
is a chief executive of the Zimbabwe Football Association, telling you that you
should act as if you are part of the delegate, you should act as if you are a
ZIFA official, you should act as a manager of the team, you should act as a
coach, surely if you agree to such barbarism Lance, that says a lot about you.
This is a guy who most people believed he was genuine, a sports editor and when seeing things like that, although he says he is not guilty, but the first thing, my question to him – why would you sit on the bench with the coaches? Why will you pretend to be a ZIFA official when you are not?
If you are a journalist here, someone has put you to sit on the stand so that you give balanced reporting since you travel with the team but this is a guy who came back and started writing good about a coach, a coach who has lost some games in there. Knowing Robson Sharuko definitely he was going to slaughter that coach but in this case, Robson Sharuko came back and praised that coach.
Guma: Mr. Gumede, your 162 page report – the findings have been copied to FIFA, CAF, the Sport and Recreation Commission, the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the minister of Education, Sports, Arts and Culture. People are saying no-one has been arrested so far – why is that?
Gumede: Well I’m not an arresting officer. I’ve already told you my brief was to investigate whether there were irregular trips made to the East and my findings are that yes there were. Where people were paid ridiculous sums of money for losing games. So ask that question why no-one has been arrested to the arresting officers.
The police, because the police have got our report and it is up to them now to follow the people that were fingered and if there is any criminal component to my report, it is them who should follow that up and arrest them. I have no arresting powers. My duty was just to expose whether the trips did take place and whether there were ridiculous monies paid out. That was my brief.
Ezra: But Gumede, knowing football, and remember FIFA doesn’t want football to be involved with the police and all that, you who are doing the findings, one would have expected the Zimbabwe Football Association as the mother body to suspend all those players involved, to suspend all the coaches involved from all football activities until investigations are completed but your organisation let those people continue enjoying, continue playing football and there was nothing that was done.
I think Lance is not saying maybe arrest them like yesterday but they should have been suspended. It has happened all over the world when a player is involved in a scandal he gets suspended pending investigations.
Guma: Yes Mr. Gumede?
Gumede: I think that if you listened to Mr. Sepp Blatter’s contribution when he was here a week ago he said each country must follow its own laws. In Zimbabwe you don’t just suspend a person without giving the person an opportunity to air his views. It’s called natural justice.
So those people now that they have been fingered, it is up to them now to go and plead their cases. If there is anyone of them who think that he was unjustifiably fingered, he must go and explain to that committee. We can’t just act on things and reports without allowing each and everyone who was fingered there an opportunity to air their views.
Guma: Mr. Gumede, can we get you to react to Robson Sharuko’s article? I think it’s been published today where he is saying he is doubting the testimony given, saying he’s been alleged to have gone to trips where he never attended to. He’s saying the number of trips that he’s listed in your report as having attended or gone to, he didn’t go to most of those trips so if you could get that information wrong, what about the rest of the testimony given?
Gumede: I think that it is important for those people who have had access to my report, which report by the way, seems to have been leaked out before it was officially given out, that it was very difficult for my committee to investigate this as well as we would have liked because there were no records at ZIFA, there were no records at the Sports Commission.
We had to rely on archival material from the newspapers, rely on archival material from the civil aviation authority vis-ą-vis the persons who were going through and rely also heavily on the people whose conscience is beginning to worry them and they are the ones who were telling us so-and-so went on such and such a trip, so-and-so went on such and such a trip.
From that information we gleaned Sharuko went on those trips that we have highlighted. May I also say there might be a problem here that Mr. Sharuko is saying he went on 14 or 15 trips; we are not worried about how many trips he went. Our brief was to say how many games did he benefit from, so he might have gone on one trip where four games were played. In our report it will show four benefits accrued to him.
Guma: Okay. Ezra?
Ezra: Yes I do understand, but I still stand by what I’ve said Lance, knowing very well how investigations should be conducted. If someone is let in to still operate in football, so that person might interfere with some evidence. In this case now Robson is turning around to say no I went on 14 trips, if the investigation was done while at least Robson or anybody else were suspended, Gumede’s committee could have got access to passports to just check on the journeys which were conducted through the Immigration and all that but now he can destroy the old passport, you wouldn’t even see the stamps because everything is out before those guys were suspended.
The footballers themselves they interfere with evidence, they say go and tell Gumede that we got this amount but what I am saying, if those guys were banned from football or suspended, maybe even with pay, then you are going to get all the evidence you wanted Mr. Gumede.
Guma: Yes if I may just pose one more question for Mr. Gumede – it’s astonishing that the former ZIFA chief executive Henrietta Rushwaya has been fingered as the alleged mastermind, we are told she might have got as much as 450 thousand US dollars from the proceeds of the Warriors trips and yet, Ezra, no arrest has been made, I suppose we can’t blame Mr. Gumede for that, but it’s astonishing that she hasn’t been arrested.
Ezra: Yes it is really astonishing and disappointing that a criminal is still walking free while involved in those scandals. What are they afraid of? Is this to do with politics Mr. Gumede or is it football?
Gumede: Well I think you guys are not quite au fait with what is happening in Zimbabwe. The situation is, as football people I have no jurisdiction to fire and hire people who are employed at the Herald, that is none of my business. Those people with whom I have jurisdiction over, we’ve already suspended our former chief executive officer, the programmes officer and another junior who was also at involved.
That we did but we did that on a question of misconduct regarding their work at ZIFA. With regards to the investigation they will have to go and plead their case to a committee where they can say out to that committee that as far as we’re concerned we didn’t do any wrong. I’ll give you a good example – if I was one of the players who went on one of these trips which were clandestinely arranged and only called up one day before departure.
I’d go there and say look at any time we are called by the Zimbabwe Football Association we don’t have to question whether that trip is legitimate or not so I went there unknowingly and when we got there I just found myself being paid a thousand dollars instead of the usual hundred dollars and in 2008, the situation in Zimbabwe was so bad that when you got any money from anywhere you just took it, you never questioned and I’m sure the investigating committee would listen to my case if I pleaded it that way, each person is going to be given an opportunity to rebut whatever evidence has been provided.
Ezra: Yes but when players are told we need to lose this game six-nil, surely you can’t tell me that somebody didn’t know what was happening?
Guma: This is the astonishing thing I suppose with this case that so many people were involved, technical staff, coaches, players, journalists and it was kept secret for this long. What was the turning point? How did this thing unravel in the end because it seems like everyone was quite united in this; they kept this information to themselves, they were very united. What was the turning point that blew this thing out of the water?
Gumede: That is where I started. I told you that the Sports and Recreation Commission demanded an explanation from our predecessor’s vis-ą-vis the trips. Unfortunately before that committee could furnish the Sports and Recreation Commission with the requisite information, we had taken over so this matter did not arise with us it had already started before we came in.
Guma: Well we’ve clearly run out of time but well we can only say congratulations to Mr. Gumede for his sterling work and the committee which includes Elliot Kasu, Fungai Chihuri and Benedict Moyo for at least doing something about this and throwing it into the public domain to have it discussed.
We hope to get all the people involved on this programme also to get their side of the story. Many thanks to sports journalist Ezra Tshisa Sibanda and the vice president of the Zimbabwe Football Association Mr. Ndumiso Gumede who led this investigation. Thank you for joining me on the programme.
Ezra: Thank you very much and Mr. Gumede, may you continue cleaning football please, there are criminals working there.
Gumede: Thank you very much, it’s been a pleasure to explain things to your listeners.
To listen to the programme: http://swradioafrica.streamuk.com/swradioafrica_archive/qt130711.wma
SW Radio Africa – on line 24 hours a day at www.swradioafrica.com and daily broadcasts on 4880 kHz in the 60m band between 7 - 9 pm Zimbabwe time. Twitter : Facebook : RSS feed You can now get SW Radio Africa on the Tunein Radio smart phone app.
Friday July 22nd 2011.
Watching Rupert Murdoch give evidence before a parliamentary committee in
London this week reminded me of Robert Mugabe and it was not just because of
the similarity in their ages. It was more to do with the nature of the power
they wield. Both men have been at the head of their respective ‘empires’ for
a very long time. One of the problems of being at the top of a powerful
organization is that your underlings have their own reasons for not telling
you what’s going on. For the long-time boss too, a kind of selective
blindness sets in. He chooses not to see or not to ask questions while those
lower down are either too afraid or too reverential to reveal what is really
happening. That is the reality of how power works.
If anyone should know about that, it is Robert Mugabe. After thirty years in
power, there are some in his party who are even prepared to deify him. “The
second son of God” one over-enthusiastic Zanu PF loyalist declared not so
long ago. The result of this idolization is that Mugabe can say just about
anything, however illogical or factually incorrect, and his followers will
cheer him to the rafters. This is particularly true when he talks about the
Liberation Struggle. Thirty years on and Mugabe still relies on the
Liberation Struggle to ignite the spark of pro-Zanu PF enthusiasm in his
audience. Speaking at a Zanu PF Central committee meeting last Saturday he
attacked the MDC for advocating reform of the security sector. A brave MDC
MP had introduced the motion in the Lower House and Mugabe’s response was a
predictable rant. “Parliament cannot be the commander in chief of the
security forces. Never.” he fumed, having first reminded everyone – as if we
needed reminding - that he, Mugabe, is the Commander in Chief. No one could
teach these “fine” war veterans anything about freedom and democracy, he
maintained. “They fought for it. It is their product. Teach the lesson of
freedom and democracy to persons who liberated them when they were on the
other side, even refusing to participate in the struggle.” As always it’s
the same old argument: if you aren’t with us (Zanu PF) then you must be
against us and if you are against Zanu PF then it follows according to Zanu
PF thinking that you are unpatriotic. It’s a strangely twisted argument at a
time when Zanu PF operatives are attacking the MDC on every side. They are
being arrested and charged with everything from treason to public order
offences. Journalists are arrested for daring to take photographs of things
that the police don’t want the public to see. A policeman is dismissed from
the Force for having an MDC ring tone on his mobile phone. And, at the same
time, these ‘fine’ war veterans are terrorising villagers who dare to wear
MDC regalia and threatening them with death if they vote – or ever have
voted- for MDC. Freedom and democracy: Zanu PF style!
As Ibbo Mandaza pointed out this week Zanu PF has lost sight of the ideals
of the Liberation Struggle: “He (Mugabe) killed the principles of Zanu PF.
There is no relationship with the Zanu PF of the Liberation Struggle and the
current Zanu PF.” Mugabe’s lecture to the MDC on freedom and democracy was
nothing but rank hypocrisy, when we recall how his party has rigged
elections. Unlike his fellow octogenarian, Rupert Murdoch at least
apologised publicly for criminal acts committed by journalists at his
newspapers. Crocodile tears they may have been but compare that to Robert
Mugabe’s silence for past crimes. Neither he nor his party have apologised
for the estimated 20.000 deaths of Ndebele people in the Gukuruhundi
massacres. Only this week Emmerson Mnangagwa, long believed to be the
master-mind behind Gukuruhundi, described it as “a closed chapter…a healed
wound. If we try to open it we will be undermining the Unity Accord.”
(signed in 1987) The brutal insensitivity of that remark is a clear reminder
to Zimbabweans that Mugabe and his party are ready to turn a blind eye to
any misdeeds committed by Zanu PF. By not ‘opening healed wounds’ we leave
them to fester and infect all our futures.
Yours in the (continuing) struggle PH. aka Pauline Henson, author of the
Dube detective stories set in Zimbabwe and available from Lulu .com