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Robert Mugabe bows to pressure and changes election date

June 16, 2013 4:54 pm

By Tony Hawkins in Harare

Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s veteran president, has agreed to push back the
date for elections in his southern African nation after bowing to pressure
from regional leaders.

Mr Mugabe last week used his presidential powers to bypass parliament and
set the poll date for July 31, threatening to trigger a constitutional
crisis as opposition parties angrily rejected the move and insisted that
reforms had to be implemented before Zimbabweans vote.

Mr Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party has been accused of attempting to fast-track the
parliamentary and presidential vote despite concerns that it would be
logistically challenging to hold elections by the end of July.

But after a meeting of the Southern African Development Community in
neighbouring Mozambique, Mr Mugabe agreed to hold the elections on August
14. Although Mr Mugabe’s opponents viewed the SADC’s decision as a setback
for the president, he appeared unfazed.

The 89-year-old, who has been in power since independence in 1980, described
the decision as “a happy outcome for Zimbabwe”.

“The final decision was that perhaps we should appeal to the court to
examine the reasons for the arguments that have been made by others for
giving people a little longer time,” Mr Mugabe said. “Our Ministry of
Justice is going to do that.”

The president derided the two wings of the Movement for Democratic Change –
opposition parties that agreed to join a unity government with Zanu-PF in
2009 – saying they were scared to go to the polls.

“They are afraid of elections; they know they are going to lose and it’s a
sure case that they are going to lose,” he said.

The elections will be the first since a violent and disputed ballot in 2008
and will be critical to determining the stability of the country.

Tendai Biti, the finance minister and secretary-general of prime minister
Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC, was openly triumphalist after the SADC meeting.

He lauded the SADC for “scuttling the evil and Machiavellian machinations of
the chaos faction of Zanu-PF,” adding that the MDC was ready for elections.

“Trust me, this winter we will finish it off,” he said.

But there was also scepticism that a two-week extension would be sufficient
to implement further reforms and ensure the conditions are in place to
enable more credible elections to take place.

“Conditions are not ripe for free and fair elections,” said McDonald
Lewanika, director of the Zimbabwe Crisis Coalition. “The security situation
is not good . . . we want SADC to ensure that violence is stopped and the
media is free to report without intimidation.”

The MDC factions joined the unity government under an agreement brokered
after the 2008 elections, with the parties, including Zanu-PF, committing to
a series of reforms to improve human rights and create the conditions for
more credible elections.

Some reforms have been implemented, including the adoption of a new
constitution earlier this year, but a number are still outstanding and
relations between the MDC and Zanu-PF have remained strained. The unity
government has also been largely dysfunctional.

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South African leaders pressure Mugabe to postpone Zimbabwe election

Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean President, has reportedly been forced to climb
down from a unilateral decision to hold elections on July 31 following a
meeting of southern African regional leaders in Mozambique.

By Peta Thornycroft, and Aislinn Laing in Johannesburg8:26PM BST 15 Jun 2013

Mr Mugabe was on Saturday night understood to have been told that the date
he set should be delayed by up to 30 more days to allow for new voters to
register, and reforms to the media and security services to take place.

The recommendation for a delay came from Jacob Zuma, the South African
president nominated by the Southern African Development Community to lead
mediation efforts in Zimbabwe. South Africa is among SADC nations who have
been asked to lend up to £100 million to fund the polls.

Tendai Biti, a senior figure in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's party and
Zimbabwe's finance minister in the coalition government, told The Sunday
Telegraph by phone that the intervention by the regional leaders was
"historic" and has opened the way for "free and fair" elections in Zimbabwe.

It is understood that Mr Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube, the two leaders of
the parties in coalition with Mr Mugabe's Zanu PF, united to challenge Mr
Mugabe and insist on key reforms laid out as part of the agreement of their
coalition government formed after violent and disputed elections in 2008.

Mr Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, said on Friday
that Mr Mugabe was acting "unlawfully and unconstitutionally" by using a
presidential decree to set elections, and hinted he would boycott an early

Mr Mugabe is said to have mounted a spirited defence of his proclamation and
use of the presidential decree, telling the summit that his hand was forced
by a court order which ruled that polls should be held by July 31.

Opposition parties allege the court is partisan in favour of Zanu PF, which
commentators believe would benefit from early elections denying other
parties time to campaign.

Mr Biti said Mr Mugabe's advisers were a "chaos" faction whose actions had
resulted in the Zimbabwean president being "embarrassed before an entire
SADC summit."

"SADC has saved the nation by adopting fully the recommendations made by
facilitator President Jacob Zuma and therefore nullifying the proclamation.
Now Zimbabweans have an opportunity for a free and fair election," Mr Biti

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Mugabe says rivals scared of 'sure' defeat

Reuters | 16 June, 2013 15:04

President Robert Mugabe accused political rivals of seeking to delay
elections in Zimbabwe because they fear defeat, after regional leaders urged
his ruling coalition to ask the courts to extend a July 31 deadline for
holding the vote.

His rivals said reforms to restrictive media and security laws were
essential for any fair election to be held and that it was Mugabe's party
that was not ready to go the polls.

Mugabe, Africa's oldest leader at 89, last week used a presidential decree
to bypass parliament and fast-track changes to election laws and declare the
voting date, drawing a sharp rebuke from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

In a clear sign that Mugabe's ZANU-PF party would not give ground on
reforms, Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa denied any need for either media
or security reforms demanded by the MDC party of Tsvangirai, the president's

Tsvangirai has previously said Mugabe should approach the courts to extend
the election deadline. Mugabe told the Sunday Mail the government would do
so through the justice minister but accused his opponents of running scared
of elections.

"The other parties do not want elections, they are afraid of elections. They
know they are going to lose and it's a sure case that they are going to
lose," Mugabe told the state-owned Sunday Mail newspaper. His spokesman was
not available for comment.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti, the MDC secretary general, countered that it
was ZANU-PF that was not ready for elections as factional fighting over who
should succeed Mugabe preoccupies the party.

Biti said he expected parliament to change restrictive media and security
laws and for the military to sign a code of conduct pledging not to
interfere with the election process.

"We will attend to those amendments of the media, security and reform the
security sector. This is the hard message coming from SADC and Chinamasa
must stop misleading people," he said.

Leaders of the 15-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC) who
met in Mozambique on Saturday fear that a hurried election in Zimbabwe would
increase the chances of a disputed result and violence.

Chinamasa said he would approach the Constitutional Court seeking an
extension to the July 31 deadline but that the court could just as well
refuse that request. The country would then go to the polls under the
current conditions, he said.

"As ZANU-PF, we are contesting the idea that there is any need for reforms,
whether its media reforms. We made it clear in the summit (in Mozambique),"
Chinamasa told the Sunday Mail.

In 2008 hundreds of Zimbabweans, mostly Tsvangirai's supporters, were beaten
and killed in the run-up to elections by war veterans, soldiers and other
backers of Mugabe, creating a flood of refugees into neighbouring countries.

Mugabe has been in power since Zimbabwe's independence from Britain in 1980.

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‘Humiliated’ Mugabe must sack advisers: Biti

16/06/2013 00:00:00
     by Staff Reporter

FINANCE Minister Tendai Biti said Sunday President Robert Mugabe must sack
his advisers if they do not have the decency to resign of their own accord,
claiming their poor advice had subjected the Zanu PF leader to
“embarrassment and humiliation” at the SADC summit in Mozambique.

The MDC-T secretary general also dismissed a Sunday Mail report claiming he
had refused to decamp from the presidential suite of a swanky Maputo hotel
to make way for party leader and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

He said the allegations were part of “malicious (and) sick attempts to
divide our party” which would, however not succeed.

Regional leaders urged Mugabe to return to the Constitutional Court and seek
a two week delay on its order for elections to be held by July 31.

The decision followed pressure from the MDC partys which insist more reforms
are still required to ensure a credible vote.

Mugabe said Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa would file the court appeal
this week.
“Our Ministry of Justice is going to do that to appeal to the court and the
decision of the court then will be binding on us,” the President said after
the meeting.

"If the Court says okay go beyond July 31st by a week or two, I hope it will
satisfy the others who want a little more time.”
Biti however, said the SADC resolution was a stinging slap on the wrist for
Mugabe who had stunned coalition partners last Saturday by proclaiming the
election date and using the Presidential Powers Act to circumvent Parliament
and ensure the enabling electoral law amendments are quickly passed.

“The chaos faction of Zanu PF thinks lies and noise can mitigate on their
incompetence and nicodemous failed plot. They should reflect and
 introspect,” the MDC-T chief wrote Sunday on his Facebook Wall.

“They then forced the country to be hauled before an extra ordinary meeting
of SADC where the Head of State was embarrassed and humiliated in a room
graced by persons whose average age was 50. In short they brought Zimbabwe
and President Mugabe into disrepute.

“If they were decent they should resign! It is only in Zimbabwe that the
Attorney General is not allowed to carry out his duties as advisor to the
Government and the Head of State. Political alligators and vultures well
past their sell by date must not masquerade as lawyers.”

The Sunday Mail claimed Biti ensconced himself in the presidential suite of
the five-star Radisson Blu Hotel ahead of the summit and refused to move
despite frantic pleas by Tsvangirai’s aides.

The newspaper claimed the premier ended up scrambling to find alternative
accommodation, adding the incident was evidence of divisions between the
pair with Biti said to be hoping Tsvangirai loses the forthcoming vote to
aid his bid for a takeover of the party leadership in 2016.

But Biti accused the newspaper of peddling puerile lies.
He said: “Ah, then came the malicious sick attempts to divide our party, our
president and secretary general. What nonsense! What vile, what poison!
Shame on you!

“The struggle for change is a people s project. It is an agenda whose hour
has come. It is an agenda that is irreversible. No amount of rubbish will
detract us or divide us.

“In fact from what I saw and heard in Maputo - the body language, the stolen
glances - democratic forces are moving closer and closer. This election, for
those of us too young to vote in 1980, is the most important of our

“We must reverse and undo 33 years of stagnation, impunity and arrested
development. We cannot squander this opportunity (and) in Morgan Tsvangirai
we have the leader who will lead us.”

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Mutambara denies palace coup claim

16/06/2013 00:00:00
     by Staff Reporter

DEPUTY Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara dismissed reports Sunday claiming he
had been ousted as leader of his MDC formation.

The Sunday Mail reported that Mutambara had been removed at an ad-hoc
meeting of the party’s national executive committee which was called to
discuss preparations for the forthcoming elections.

The alleged palace coup was carried out while the deputy premier attended
the SADC meeting in Maputo, Mozambique.

But Mutambara told that the allegations were “completely
National organising secretary Robson Mashiri was quoted as saying the deputy
premier had been removed because he was concentrating on his government role
and neglecting party business.

He added that Mutambara had effectively become a “ceremonial leader”,
leaving the running of the party to national chairman Joubert Mudzumwe.

Mutambara however, said Mashiri and Mudzumwe had been paid to make the
“It (alleged ousting) is completely false. It was just two individuals
Mashiri and Mudzumwe who have had extensive personal financial and legal
problems,” he said.

“They have been paid to say those statements. They were desperate for
financial resources.”
Still, Mashiri insisted that Mutambara and his deputy Nomalanga Khumalo had
been sacked adding the party would likely seek an alliance with the MDC
formation led by Welshman Ncube ahead of the new elections.

“Mutambara has not shown interest in becoming our president at all even with
the elections approaching,” said Mashiri.
“He (Mutambara) only ran back to us when his position in Government was
under threat and we have realised he does not have the party at heart.

“As a result, the national executive resolved that we will not be fielding a
presidential candidate this election. We will seek to form a coalition with
like-minded political parties.

“At the moment, we are not considering him at all as representative of the
party. We will hold a special congress after the elections that will realign
the party’s leadership in the wake of defections and expulsions.”

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Robert Mugabe 'too frail to be leader'

BY:GEORGE ARBUTHNOTT From: The Times June 17, 2013 12:00AM

ZIMBABWEAN Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has launched a stinging attack
on his 89-year-old election rival, President Robert Mugabe, accusing him of
being too frail to run the country.

Mr Tsvangirai, 61, said in an interview it was unrealistic for Mugabe to
continue for five more years and questioned whether he had the energy for
the presidential election, due on July 31.

It was reported last year that Mugabe was suffering from advanced prostate
cancer, but Zanu-PF party officials have denied this.

Asked about the President's health, Mr Tsvangirai said: "A dead man does not
campaign. He's there - but he's old and frail.

"I think it's very punishing for the Zimbabwe people to put forward a
90-year-old to run the country for another five years." And he questioned
whether Mugabe's health was up to such a rigorous campaign.

Last week, Mugabe, who has ruled for 33 years, used a presidential decree to
set the election date. Mr Tsvangirai, a member of the power-sharing
government and leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, called it
"illegal". "I have not been consulted so it is a violation," he said.

The constitution, approved this year, makes clear elections can be called
only in consultation with opposition parties. The MDC insists the poll
should not take place until democratic reforms are implemented.

A source in Mr Tsvangirai's campaign team said the party would boycott the
election if it were held next month.

Mr Tsvangirai says Mugabe's rush to the polls was born out of "desperation".
In the past two months, 300,000 new voters from Zanu-PF's rural heartlands
have been added to the electoral register, while those from MDC strongholds
in urban areas have been prevented from signing up.

"You can see the machinations already emerging," he said. "We know there
have been so many shenanigans and there have been so many irregularities
that we believe there isn't an instrument Zanu-PF will not use."

The Sunday Times

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Bloated Sadc summit entourage

Sunday, 16 June 2013 13:56
HARARE - With an entourage of 67 people, President Robert Mugabe arrived in
Maputo amid a huge razzmatazz for the special Southern African Development
Community (Sadc) summit on Zimbabwe.

Mugabe and his bloated delegation joined regional leaders that gathered in
Maputo yesterday for the crucial extra-ordinary summit on Zimbabwe held at
the Joaquim Chissano International Conference Centre where member states
reaffirmed their commitment to a fair poll in Zimbabwe.

The Zimbabwean president was seen taking off from the Harare International
Airport on Friday with 67 hangers-on, including medical personnel. Also on
the plane was Foreign Affairs minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, Defence
minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and dozens of senior government officials.

A senior government source said in the entourage were Munhumutapa Building
political aides, national security personnel and specialists from other
government departments.

Mugabe has demonstrated his penchant for big delegations.

At least 67 names for the “Zanu PF delegation” were listed at the
Accreditation Centre, and included Lovemore Madhuku, National Constitutional
Assembly chairman, who was listed as a “legal expert.”

Charity Manyeruke, University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer, was
also on the Zanu PF delegation, curiously under Justice and Legal Affairs
ministry, even though she does not work there.

Jonathan Moyo was listed under the President’s Office, even though he is not
employed in government, together with more than two dozen other officials.

The delegation also included about 10 State-controlled media journalists.

The high-level meeting brought  together several heads of State and
government including President Jacob Zuma, Hifikepunye Pohamba, Joseph
Kabila, Ian Khama and Zambian deputy President Guy Scott, to reaffirm the
political commitments made in 2008 to help Zimbabwe stage a fair contest
after a disputed 2008 vote claimed over 200 lives.

Mugabe’s entourage of 67 people adds to an already bloated foreign travel

The president and his entourage were scheduled to blow millions during this
trip, according to top government sources who cannot be named for
professional reasons.

In his 2013 national budget proposals, Finance minister Tendai Biti warned
against the escalating foreign travel budget saying the executive had blown
over $40 million on foreign trips last year alone.

This means government was blowing more than $4 million on jet setting each
month, a top line ripple for a bankrupt administration appealing for
financial aid from Sadc to bankroll the forthcoming election.

Meanwhile, Mugabe had the biggest entourage as compared to other heads of
State, and he and his delegation informed the summit organisers that they
have come prepared for a very short meeting, behaviour which could be
interpreted as somewhat bullish as the Zimbabwe issue needed more time.

Just before the summit began, Joel Guebuza and Zuma had a closed door
30-minute briefing at the conference venue.

Earlier, Mugabe had met Pohamba at his villa.

Ahead of the summit on Friday, the Sadc facilitation team held bilateral
meetings with the negotiators from Zimbabwe’s three ruling political

As the summit got underway, McDonald Lewanika, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
executive director addressed a news conference calling on Sadc to remain
resolutely committed to the conduct of a free and fair election in Zimbabwe.

He said over 65 civil society groups had signed a petition presented to
Mozambique Foreign Affairs minister Oldemiro Baloi  for onward transmission
to Sadc heads of States asking them to make any financial support for
Zimbabwe’s election expressly conditioned on implementation of key electoral
reforms, and demanding a non-violent, free, fair, credible and legitimate
election in Zimbabwe.

“After four years of commitment and tirelessly accompanying the people of
Zimbabwe in their quest for democratic reforms, I do not think that Sadc is
ready for another June 27, 2008 sham election,” Lewanika said. - Gift Phiri,
Political Editor

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Police crackdown on Tsikamutandas riles villagers

Sunday, 16 June 2013 13:44
HARARE - A row has erupted between police and villagers in Mashonaland east
amid an escalating operation to rid the area of traditional healers.

Police say the traditional healers, popularly known as tsikamutanda,  are
fleecing villagers of their livestock and hard-earned cash on the promise of

In Mashonaland East’s Chikomba district last week, police convened a meeting
with villagers to coordinate a response to the unprecedented emergence of
tsikamutandas in the area in recent weeks.

The meeting was convened as one tsikamutanda was arrested at Domboramavara
School at Sadza Growth Point and was due to appear in court facing charges
of extortion.

Lameck Tsoka, officer commanding Chikomba district, told the Daily News on
Sunday that the police would not fold their arms when citizens are being
fleeced by bogus traditional healers whose activities are not sanctioned.

Tsoka said the police had reacted to a public outcry.

“We have ordered tsikamutandas out of this area because we have information
that they are fake in most instances,” Tsoka said.

“They are fleecing the community and when they gather, they are supposed to
notify us so that we interview them first. That has not been happening and
it took us a week to locate them.

“We also need to know if they are registered with the Zimbabwe National
Traditional Healers Association. Moreover, they cannot be allowed to impose
themselves on the people accusing them of witchcraft because people have
different religious beliefs.”

However, the challenge is that villagers see hope and salvation in these
spiritual men so much that they are not convinced that they are being

Despite attempts by police to stop the tsikamutandas, local headman Matienga
Mukapairi Mhurushomana has given the traditional leaders the green light to
“cleanse” the community and he has support from part of the superstitious

Alexander Hombarume of Hombarume village under headman Mhurushomana accused
the police of denying them salvation.

He claimed villagers were voluntarily giving away their livestock and other
properties because they were satisfied with the work being done by

“You are the ones who give them the letters of authority from Zinatha yet
you are chasing them now,” Hombarume said.

“Who among us has been forced to give them their livestock? Isn’t it true
that we are giving them at our own volition,” queried Hombarume to
thunderous applause from the crowd gathered as the local police addressed
villagers warning them against being duped.

Opinion is divided among ordinary Zimbabweans on superstition and

A good number said the only supernatural things they believed were miracles
from God.

“The only supernatural power that exists is the power of God and anyone who
claims to have healing powers but does not call the name of Jesus Christ is
an advocate of the devil and as a Christian, I do not subscribe to their
modus operandi,” said Clinton Ndiraire of the Apostolic Faith Mission.

“Tsikamutandas are no different to the biblical prophets of baal and what
they do is not supernatural power but magical, and shamanic powers that have
no healing effect.” - Mugove Tafirenyika

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Zim First Lady's 'disGraceful' behaviour slammed

Sunday, 16 June 2013 12:54

HARARE - She prides herself as a “violent person”, yet Zimbabwe’s First Lady
Grace Mugabe wants to be seriously taken as “mother of the nation”.

As the multi-sectoral charitable foundation patron gleefully told South
African television host Dali Tambo that she had “chased and pounded” a
British photographer, the 47-year-old businesswoman’s remarks have sparked
outrage as they also expose an uncanny streak she shares with her
89-year-old hubby President Robert Mugabe — known for his “degrees in
violence” salvor.

As such, ordinary Zimbabweans and analysts have not only expressed shock at
this appalling, and disgraceful behaviour, but also said it was unfitting
for someone who is supposed to be a role model.

“They saw us and started running towards us. I said, ‘No, enough is enough,
why are you treating us like this? What wrong have I done?’

“I noticed that one of my bodyguards was talking to a man holding a camera,”
she said.

“He told me that they were arguing because the photographer was refusing to
give back pictures he had been taking of me and the children."

“What he didn’t know is that I am a sprinter. ... So I ran after him and I
caught him. I started beating him. He was pleading with me to get the
camera, please, I didn’t answer so I kept on punching him. I did not listen
to him and continued beating him up.”

McDonald Lewanika, a civil society activist and academic, said the First
Lady’s bragging rights were shocking.

“The behaviour is shocking and needs to be condemned, taking pride in the
act is not only shameful for a lady in such a position but disgraceful,”
Lewanika said. “One wonders what kind of a lesson she intends to teach us
and our kids as the mother of the nation.

“Violence in any form — whether in politics, in the home or on a street in
Paris as a way of solving disputes has no place in modern society.”

Kumbirai Mafunda, a media practitioner, said her behaviour was unbecoming of
a public figure.

“As much as I understand the First Lady’s concern about her right to privacy
when it comes to journalists’ scrutiny, she must not never forget that she
is a public figure, whether in Harare, Zvimba, Guatemala or even in Mars,”
he said.

“Naturally, any assault of media practitioners is not something that this
lowly newspaperman would celebrate just in the same way that I will not
justify an attack on a politician or his or her wife.”

The First Lady claimed she ran after the photographer to protect her
children and as a protest against British sanctions which she said hurt her
children’s education.

Her husband interjected, saying she would have done more to do away with the
“annoying” photographer.

Nhlanhla Ngwenya, the Media Institute of Southern Africa Zimbabwean chapter
director, said the First Lady’s remarks was reflective authorities’ attitude
towards cases of violence against the media.

“It is actually shocking that someone in authority could brag about being
violent with the media,” he said.

“Now, we understand why no action has been taken against such cases.

“I think she could have approached the responsible authorities if she felt
violated, the journalist was just doing his job and I don’t see anything

“The fact that the president interjected and backed her is a bit worrisome.
I think it went past normal.” - Sharon Muguwu and Tarisai Machakaire

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Debt blocks access to financial support

16/06/2013 00:00:00
     by Business Reporter

ZIMBABWE’S high external debt profile is responsible for the country’s
inability to access to International Monetary Fund (IMF) cash facilities,
the organisation revealed last week.

The IMF approved a Staff-Monitored Programme (SMP) for Zimbabwe covering
April to December 2013 but said the programme would not include financial

An SMP is an informal agreement between country’s authorities and fund staff
to monitor the implementation of economic programme. SMP agreements do not
entail financial assistance or endorsement by the Fund’s Executive Board.

The SMP is Zimbabwe’s first IMF agreement in more than a decade.
In a statement, the Fund said Zimbabwe’s external debt was in arrears,
cutting it off from accessing most external financing sources.

“In particular, Zimbabwe remains unable to access IMF resources because of
its continued arrears to the Fund,’’ it said.
The Fund urged the government to evolve a method of maintaining
macro-economic stability and implementing reforms as well as a comprehensive
arrears clearance strategy.

“This should be supported by development partners, it will really be
essential for resolving Zimbabwe’s large debt overhang.
“A successful implementation of the SMP would be an important stepping stone
toward helping Zimbabwe re-engage with the international community,’’ it

The statement said the country had however, made considerable progress in
stabilising the economy since the end of hyper-inflation in 2009.

“Since then, GDP has grown by an average of over seven per cent and
inflation has remained in the low single digits, thanks largely to the
multi-currency system.

“Government revenues have more than doubled from 16 per cent of GDP in 2009
to an estimated 36 per cent of GDP in 2012, allowing the restoration of
basic public services,’’ it said.

The SMP focuses to put public finances on a sustainable course, while
protecting infrastructure investment and priority social spending.

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The clouds part – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 15th June 2013

As we gathered outside the Zimbabwe Embassy for yet another wet Vigil the skies suddenly cleared and warm sunshine broke through. We arrived generally pessimistic about the SADC summit in Maputo but before the day was out our lives faced transformation.


‘Good people, good, good people, it has been an incredible and unbelievable day’ Tendai Biti said on his Facebook page. ‘SADC rose to the occasion and scuttled the evil and Machiavellian machinations of the chaos faction of Zanu PF.’


First reports say that Mugabe arrived at the meeting with the biggest entourage of any leader which tried to bully the summit organisers, saying they wanted a very short meeting. But President Zuma was ready for them and they were soon put in their place. ‘A successful meeting’ he later told SABC.


Mr Biti said all President Zuma’s recommendations were adopted, including a demand that the Constitutional Court be requested to postpone elections for 14 days to enable reforms to be made. The security forces would be required to publicly affirm their commitment to the rule of law, SADC observers were to be deployed immediately and SADC representatives were to sit in JOMIC and not merely to receive reports as demanded by Zanu PF. 


Commenting on the development, MDC Education Minister David Coltart tweeted: ‘There are three reasons why SADC resolution is critically important; Firstly, it is a victory for the respect for the rule of law and the new Constitution; secondly, it means that voter registration and roll inspection can be completed before nomination day and, thirdly, it constitutes a major political faux pas by Zanu PF hardliners and will be damaging and embarrassing.’

The Vigil is grateful to President Zuma for standing up to Zanu PF, although they will still do everything they can to prevent free and fair elections. But now we know we are not alone.


Next Saturday the Vigil will be participating with the MDC in the 18th round of the monthly 21st Movement Free Zimbabwe Global Protest. This month the theme is ‘No reforms, no elections’.


Other points

·         There is to be a demonstration under the banner ‘Zimbabwe: Never Again’ outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London on Thursday 27th June to mark the fifth anniversary of the presidential run-off in 2008. We will be joined by members of ACTSA (Action for Southern Africa) the successor to the Anti-Apartheid Movement. See ‘Events and Notices’ for full details.

·         Demand for tickets to the screening of ‘Beatrice Mtetwa and the rule of law’ on Tuesday 18th June has been so great that it has been moved to a larger hall. See ‘Events and Notices’ for address of the new venue.

·         We were happy to be joined by old friends Josie Zhuga and Batson Chapata who have been prevented from coming lately because of health problems.

·         Thanks to Rose Maponga, Charles Dumisani Ndlovu, Tendai Chadehumbe, Kelvin Kamupira, Francesca Toft (in a back brace after a car accident), Mollie Mujati, Georginah Makaza and Peter Sidindi who came early in the pouring rain to set up.


For latest Vigil pictures check: Please note: Vigil photos can only be downloaded from our Flickr website – they cannot be downloaded from the slideshow on the front page of the Zimvigil website.


FOR THE RECORD: 37 signed the register.



         Screening of ‘Beatrice Mtetwa and the rule of law’. Tuesday 18th June at 7.45 pm. NB Change of Venue: London School of Economics, Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, 54 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3LJ. It is hoped there will be a question and answer session with Beatrice. The event is free. For the film trailer, check: For more information, check: and to register for tickets email: There is another screening of the film on Wednesday 19th June at 8.30 pm at the Lexi Cinema, 194b Chamberlayne Road, London NW10 3JU. Discounted £5 tickets (quote discount code: Zimbabwe) can be purchased at the box office 08717 042 069 or by visiting:

         Round 18 of the Free Zimbabwe Global Campaign (FZGC). Saturday 22nd June outside the Zimbabwe Embassy. The theme is ‘No reforms, no elections’. The ROHR Reading Branch is taking an active role in this protest and is asking people to join them at the Embassy at 1 pm. Contact Tawanda Dzimba 07880 524 278.

         Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 22nd June from 6.30 – 9.30 pm – PLEASE NOTE: change of date for this forum. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. The Strand is the same road as the Vigil. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a big sign high above and a sign for its famous Indian restaurant at street level. It's next to a newsagent. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.

         Culture without Borders. Tuesday 25th June onwards. For more information contact Wiz Bishop at the Zimbabwe Association 020 7739 8226,,

-         Storytelling with Chenjerai Hove. Tuesday 25th June from 11 am – 2 pm. Venue: Spitalfields City Farm Yurt,  Buxton St, London E1 5AR

-         Solidarity with Zimbabwean victims of torture. Wednesday 26th June from 11.30 am – 2.30 pm. Venue: Oxford House Theatre Oxford House, Derbyshire St, Bethnal Green, London E2 6HG.

-          Chenjerai Hove in Birmingham. Thursday 27th June from 6 – 9.30 pm. Hosted by the ZA regional Drop-in Centre at Carrs Lane Church, Birmingham B4 7SX.

-         Arts and Culture Consultation with the Zimbabwean diaspora. Friday 28th June from 10.30 am – 5 pm. Venue: Oxford House Theatre, Oxford House, Derbyshire St, Bethnal Green, London E2 6HG. ZA is collaborating with the Culture Cluster of the Commonwealth Organisations Committee on Zimbabwe (COCZ) on this event.

-         The Britain Zimbabwe Society Research Day on Culture without borders. Saturday 29 June from 9 am – 5.15 pm. Venue: St Anthony’s College, 62 Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6JF. It is followed by a BZS party with Linos Magaya and Zimbaremabwe. Venue: The Buttery, St Anthony’s College, 62 Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6JF. £10 entrance on the door, cash bar, free nibbles. Contact,

·         ‘Zimbabwe: Never Again’ protest. Thursday 27th June from 1 – 2 pm outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London. It is a joint protest with ACTSA (Action for Southern Africa) the successor to the Anti-Apartheid Movement. This protest marks the fifth anniversary of the presidential run-off in 2008 marred by a brutal campaign of violence, including murder, disappearances and mass rape. Zimbabwe will hold elections again very soon. Join us to say never again to a repeat of the terrible violence of 2008 and support the call for free and fair elections that comply with the Southern African Development Community standards for democratic elections. Contact ACTSA on: 02032632001,

·         ROHR Slough branch meeting. Saturday 13th July from 1 – 5 pm. Venue: Upton Lea Community Hall, Wexham Road SL1 5JW. Contact: Grace Nyaumwe 07850 284 506 Patricia Masamba 07708 116 625

·         ROHR North East Region Zimbabwe Day Fundraising Event. Saturday 27th July from 1 – 8 pm. Venue: Benton Community Centre, 17 Edenbridge Crescent, Benton, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne NE12 8EP. Food, drink & entertainment. Contact Givemore Chitengu 07912747744, Kennedy Makonese 07979914429, Tapiwa Semwayo 07412236229, Collet Dube 07951516566. 

         Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2012 can be viewed on this link:  Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2012 Highlights page.

         The Restoration of Human Rights in Zimbabwe (ROHR) is the Vigil’s partner organization based in Zimbabwe. ROHR grew out of the need for the Vigil to have an organization on the ground in Zimbabwe which reflected the Vigil’s mission statement in a practical way. ROHR in the UK actively fundraises through membership subscriptions, events, sales etc to support the activities of ROHR in Zimbabwe. Please note that the official website of ROHR Zimbabwe is Any other website claiming to be the official website of ROHR in no way represents the views and opinions of ROHR.

         Facebook pages:

-         Vigil:

-         ZAF:

-         ROHR:

         Vigil Myspace page:

         Useful websites: which reports on Zanu PF abuses and where people can report corruption in Zimbabwe.


Vigil co-ordinators

The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe.

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Communique on Extraordinary SADC Summit

Section of the SADC communique pertaining to Zimbabwe:

8. On Zimbabwe

8.1 Summit received a progress report on the implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) from H.E. Jacob Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa and the SADC Facilitator on Zimbabwe Political Dialogue.

8.2 Summit also received reports from the parties of the GPA.

8.3 Summit commended H.E. Jacob Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa and the SADC Facilitator on Zimbabwe Political Dialogue for his efforts in ensuring the full implementation of the GPA in Zimbabwe.

8.4. Summit endorsed the report of the Facilitator and its recommendations which includes, among others, the following issues

    1. Media Reform;
    2. Upholding the Rule of Law;
    3. The role of the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC);
    4. Election Date, Vailidity of Electroal Regulations; and
    5. Deployment of SADC observers

8.5 Summit acknowledged the ruling of the Constutitional Court of Zimbabwe on the elections date and agreed on the need for the Government of Zimbabwe to engage the Constitutional Court to seek more time beyond 31 July 2013 deadline for holding the Harmonised elections.

8.6 Summity urged the three parties fo the GPA to undertake immediate measures to create a conducive environment for the holding of peaceful, credible, free and fair elections


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Bill Watch 24/2013 of 15th June [The Last Two Weeks in Parliament]

BILL WATCH 24/2013

[15th June 2013]

Both Houses of Parliament will sit on Tuesday 18th June

Countdown to Dissolution of Parliament

There are now only six regular sittings days left before the automatic dissolution of Parliament at midnight on 28th June

Coming up in Parliament Next Week

Unless the Extraordinary SADC Summit in Maputo on 15th June brings about a reversal of the dramatic steps taken by the President on Wednesday and Thursday [See Bill Watches 20/2013, 22/2013 and 23/2013], the Parliamentary programme for the coming week will be essentially humdrum, as follows:

House of Assembly


Income Tax Bill – this is listed for continuation of the Second Reading debate started last month by the Minister of Finance with his speech explaining the Bill, and continued last week with the report presented by the Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance and Investment Promotion.  The Minister has indicated his readiness to incorporate some of the committee’s recommended changes.

No other Bills are listed, but the short Electricity Amendment Bill gazetted on 13th June [available from]  may be brought up an urgent basis.  The Bill provides for the unbundling of the Zimbabwe Electricity and Distribution Company [ZETDC] into two separate companies, one responsible for electricity transmission, marketing and systems operation, the other for electricity supply.


Portfolio Committee reports – debate is due to continue on reports presented by committee chairpersons over the last two weeks: Ministry of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development Budget Performance; SME access to financial resources; diamond mining with special reference to Marange Diamond Fields; chrome mining; the education sector.  Still to be presented is a Mines and Energy Committee report on the electricity sector. 

Members’ motions – also listed are a number of adjourned debates on motions such as Public Service remuneration and the historical prominence of certain prisons once used for the detention of nationalist leaders.

Question Time [Wednesday]  The number of written questions carried forward has been reduced to 19.  There are no new questions.


Motions  There is one new motion, to take note of the report of a delegation that attended last month’s Conference in Bahrain of the Association of Senates, Shoora and Equivalent Councils in Africa and the Arab World.  Also listed are adjourned debates on delegation reports on two sessions of the ACP-EU Joint Parliament Assembly held in 2011. 

Adverse PLC reports on statutory instruments  The Senate is yet to consider the Parliamentary Legal Committee’s adverse reports on three statutory instruments – the Youth Council regulations in SI 4/2013; the most recent tariff of mining fees in SI 29/2013; and the Mangwe sand extraction by-laws in SI 25/2013.  These items have now been on the Order Paper but not attended to for a long time. 

In Parliament 11th to 13th June

House of Assembly

Income Tax Bill

The Second Reading debate continued with the presentation of the report of the Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance and Investment Promotion, recommending some changes to the Bill after conducting public hearings around the country.

Portfolio Committee reports

The House concentrated on motions from Portfolio Committee chairpersons presenting reports [a full list of reports presented recently is in Bill Watch – Committee Series 14/2013]. 

Question Time [Wednesday] – Matinenga on Constitutional Court’s Election Date Judgment and Other Election-related  Matters

Backbenchers kept Minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Eric Matinenga busy during Question Time.   On the Constitutional Court’s judgment, he explained that the court had unfortunately “ordered the impossible” but said it was feasible to approach the court “to seek an indulgence to carry out the order in an extended period”.  On voter registration he told the House how the voter registration and inspection teams should be operating.  On the legislative programme for Parliament he said that in its remaining two weeks Parliament would need to pass a number of pieces of legislation related to the implementation of the new Constitution, including the Electoral Amendment Bill approved by Cabinet only the day before. 

On bringing the Electoral Amendment Bill to Parliament Minister Matinenga said: “Before I left Cabinet yesterday to come to Parliament, I specifically asked the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs as to when he anticipated bringing this Bill to Parliament.  What he told me is that he is only able to do so next week.”   [Comment: It is ironic that at that very moment only a few blocks away workers at the Government Printer’s must have been busy toiling over the printing of the Presidential Powers (Amendment of Electoral Act) Regulations that were gazetted bearing the date 12th June.]


The Senate sat on Tuesday [for 15 minutes], Wednesday [for 5 minutes] and Thursday [for 36 minutes]. Nothing of any importance was done.

In Parliament 4th to 6th June

House of Assembly

The House sat on Tuesday and Wednesday only, before adjourning until 11th June.  On Tuesday the Speaker announced that there would be Prime Minister’s Question Time the following day, but on Wednesday he announced it had been postponed. 


Only the Income Tax Bill was on the Order Paper.  It did not come up and was carried forward.

Motions  Two Portfolio Committee reports were presented by the committee chairpersons [see separate list of reports, below].  After Question Time on Wednesday the House approved the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control before adjourning for the week.


The Senate sat for only 5 minutes on 4th June, but until after 5 pm on both the 5th and 6th. 

Bills  On Wednesday both the Securities Amendment Bill and the Microfinance Bill] were passed by the Senate, with the Minister of Energy and Power Development standing in for the Minister of Finance and delivering the Second Reading speeches.  There was no debate, and both Bills were passed without amendment and returned to the House of Assembly, where they had originated.  The next step for both Bills is Presidential assent, followed by gazetting as Acts in due course.

Adverse PLC reports on SIs

The Parliamentary Legal Committee’s adverse reports on three SIs were carried forward, unconsidered. 

Motions  The Senate passed Ministers’ motions for the approval of five international agreements [see list in separate paragraph below], and began discussion of reports of delegations to ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly meetings in May and September 2011. 

Parliament Has Not Been Busy – it Could Have Dealt with a New Electoral Law

Neither House has been really busy during the last fortnight.  Many potential sitting hours have gone unused.  The Senate has had very little to do.  The House of Assembly has been more or less marking time with business that could easily have been shelved in deference to tasks of national importance such as passing essential amendments to the Electoral Law or tackling other essential pre-election reform legislation if only the necessary Bills had been brought before it. 

This lack of Parliamentary activity prompts the observation that there would have been plenty of time for Parliament to deal with a fast-tracked Electoral Amendment Bill if Cabinet had been able to consider the already agreed Bill as planned on Tuesday 4th June.  Why was the time not put to that use?  Apparently, because the President’s prolonged absence from the country [28th May to 7th June] to attend a non-essential three-day conference in Japan [1st to 3rd June] meant there was no Cabinet meeting on the 4th June.  This in turn meant that Cabinet consideration and eventual approval of the Bill was delayed until 11th June, providing the President and ZANU-PF with an excuse of sorts for claiming that the time factor justified invoking the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act to amend the Electoral Act and rushing into print with the Election Proclamation.               .

What has Happened to Private Members Bills

No Private Member’s Bills appear on the House of Assembly Order Paper.  This situation results from the judgment of the Supreme Court on 20th May nullifying Hon Matimba’s Urban Councils Amendment Bill in the case brought by Minister of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development Ignatious Chombo to stop the Bill [noted in Bill Watch 17/2013 of 30th May].  Before the judgment the Order Paper featured both the Urban Councils Amendment Bill and Hon Gonese’s Bill to repeal section 121(3) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act.  Also now on hold are Hon Chikwinya’s proposed Media Bill and moves to revive Hon Gonese’s POSA Amendment Bill.

Recent Parliamentary Approval of International Agreements

·        UN Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism

·        Statute of the International Renewable Energy Agency [IRENA]

·        United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

·        African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons

·        WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control [WHO FCTC]. 

Government Gazettes 7th to 14th June

Bill  The Electricity Amendment Bill was gazetted on 13th June [see above for an explanation]. 

Statutory Instruments [NOT available from Veritas]

Friday 7th June regular Gazette [No. 41] 

SI 79 – Redcliff Traffic By-laws

SI 80 – Redcliff Animal By-laws

SI 81 – VAT General Amendment Regulations

Friday 7th June Gazette Extraordinary [No. 42]

SI 82 – Customs and Excise Suspension Amendment Regulations

Friday 7th June Gazette Extraordinary [No. 43]

SI 83 – Electoral (Amendment) Regulations, 2013 (No. 19)

SI 84 – Electoral (Special and Postal Voting) Regulations, 2013

Wednesday 12th June Gazette Extraordinary [No. 44]

SI 85 – Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) (Amendment of Electoral Act) Regulations, 2013 

Thursday 13th June Gazette Extraordinary [No. 45]

SI 86 – Election Proclamation [not available until between 3.30 and 4 pm]

Thursday 13th June Gazette Extraordinary [No. 46]

SI 87 – Electoral (Amendment) Regulations, 2013 (No. 8)

SI 88 – Electoral (Nomination of Candidates) Regulations, 2013

SI 89 – Electoral (Accreditation of Observers) Regulations, 2013

Friday 14th June regular Gazette [No. 47]

No statutory instruments

General Notices

Appointment of commissioners of oaths for voter registration purposes

GN 33A of 13th June lists a large number of individuals appointed to be commissioners of oaths for Zimbabwe “only for the purposes of voter registration 2013”.

Government financial statements for March and April

GNs 261 and 262 published on 7th June.


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

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