By Tichaona Sibanda
SW Radio Africa
7 June 2013
A new date and venue have not been set for a special SADC summit on
Zimbabwe, South Africa’s International Relations Minister Maite
Nkoana-Mashabane said on Friday.
Briefing journalists in Pretoria, the Minister said President Jacob Zuma’s
facilitation team was still consulting to set a date for the summit, after
the one in Maputo was called off on Thursday, at ZANU PF’s request.
After Thursday’s events SW Radio Africa was informed by a reliable source
that the summit had been moved to Monday in Pretoria. But it has since
emerged that Zuma will be tied up with other prior engagements and there is
a possibility the summit will now be convened later in the week.
MDC-T lead negotiator Tendai Biti admitted on Thursday it would not be easy
to agree on a roadmap for the elections, as efforts by GPA negotiators to
reach an accord for the summit’s agenda appear to have stalled.
Priscillah Misihairambwi-Mushonga, writing on her Facebook page, suggested
that talks to ensure the success of a free and fair election were not an
Sources told us that while Zuma remains committed to seeing the
implementation of the reforms, that were agreed to by all parties, he faces
stiff resistance from Mugabe and his ZANU PF party.
‘While ZANU PF thought they would railroad the country to elections without
reforms because of the constitutional court ruling that ordered Mugabe to
proclaim elections before July 31st, they found it tough to sell the idea to
the facilitation team,’ a source said.
A source who was close to Thursday’s negotiations between Zuma’s team and
the GPA negotiators told us the MDC formations were demanding that all
reforms be implemented before the poll.
ZANU PF negotiators then sought a postponement of the SADC summit as they
said they needed to consult with Mugabe before making any firm agreements.
Mugabe, who had been outside the country, arrived back in Zimbabwe on Friday
from his far-eastern trip.
UK based political analyst Sanderson Makombe said while ZANU PF was
desperate to hold the elections without reforms, on the strength of the
constitutional court ruling, the judgement has in fact created a quagmire
‘If Mugabe decides to call for elections, he’s in danger of breaching
certain laws of the new constitution. If he does not, he’s seen as not
respecting the courts and I guess he might take this route as he has done it
before on many occasions,’ Makombe said
WASHINGTON — The Southern African Development Community (SADC) extraordinary
summit on Zimbabwe, due to be held Sunday in Maputo, Mozambique, has been
cancelled after a number of leaders said they would not be able to attend.
A certain number of leaders should be present at such summits if they are to
constitute a quorum. SADC executive secretary Tomaz Salomao told VOA that
the regional leaders want maximum participation.
"There are three dates that we were considering, so the chairman of SADC is
consulting regional leaders to come up with a consensus date, it is
important that all regional leaders attend this crucial meeting," said Mr.
High on the agenda of the summit was Zimbabwe’s forthcoming election and the
roadmap to the polls.
Coming hard-on-the-heels of a divisive Constitutional Court decision that
elections must be held by July 31, regional leaders were also set to discuss
ways of raising money to help fund the watershed election.
SADC officials refused to disclose the names of the leaders who said they
would not make it to Maputo.
Diplomatic sources say President Robert Mugabe might be one of them. Mr.
Mugabe was recently in Tokyo, Japan, for a meeting of African leaders. He
flew to Singapore after the summit. The president is expected in Harare on
Mr. Mugabe's aides are said to have asked for more time to prepare for the
summit. Reports from Harare also say the parties in the government of
national unity are indicating that they need more time to deliberate on the
Mr. Salomao told VOA that the regional body is still consulting on the new
date of the summit.
Political analyst Earnest Mudzengi, director of the Media Centre, says it is
important that all SADC leaders attend. “This is a crucial summit as far as
Zimbabwe is concerned because it is to decide on the future of a key SADC
country and as such it is important for all leaders to attend."
The contentious power-sharing arrangement between President Mugabe and Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is set to end with elections expected as early as
by Nicholas Kotch and Ray Ndlovu - bdlive 9 hours 9 minutes ago
A REGIONAL summit to hammer out fairer ground rules for Zimbabwe’s elections
was abruptly called off on Thursday, days before leaders were due to meet
President Robert Mugabe and opposition candidate Morgan Tsvangirai.
"The summit is off. We hope it will be moved to a new date," South African
Department of International Relations and Co-operation spokesman Clayson
Monyela said. The summit of the 15-nation Southern African Development
Community (Sadc) was originally scheduled to be held in Maputo, the
Mozambican capital, on Sunday.
On Thursday it seemed that it would be shifted to Pretoria — but then the
cancellation was announced.
Senior South African officials who are assisting President Jacob Zuma’s
mediation in Zimbabwe were not available for comment on Thursday afternoon.
But the tardy cancellation of the summit is likely to have displeased Mr
Mr Mugabe, who is seeking another five-year term at the age of 89 and after
33 years in power, was apparently the instigator.
Mr Zuma is Sadc’s "facilitator" on Zimbabwe and presented his update on the
situation there to the previous Sadc summit, held last month in Ethiopia, on
the margins of the African Union summit. It could be that Mr Mugabe did not
like what he read in the report.
A senior Zimbabwe government source said on Thursday that the foreign
affairs ministry wrote to Sadc to confirm that Mr Mugabe was not available
to attend the summit on June 9 and to request a postponement of the summit.
The source said Mr Mugabe needed time to study a constitutional court
judgment delivered in his absence while he was at a conference in Tokyo. The
ruling ordered that Zimbabwe’s presidential and parliamentary elections be
held before the end of next month, a tight deadline that most analysts
believe would favour Mr Mugabe’s ruling Zanu (PF) and prejudice both Mr
Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and a smaller MDC faction
led by Industry Minister Welshman Ncube.
The two opposition leaders have said they will respect the July 31 deadline
for the polls but want serious reforms beforehand. These include cleaning up
the voters’ roll, inviting credible observer groups and curbs on biased
reporting, particularly by state-owned media.
"We flatly rejected attempts to postpone the summit beyond the 11th and have
notified Sadc of that position. We are waiting for confirmation of the exact
date for the summit," Mr Ncube said. "This is another of the delaying
tactics of Mr Mugabe to stop democratic processes."
Other government and party officials in Harare doubted that the Sadc summit
would be scrapped completely even if Mr Mugabe was reluctant for it to be
The Southern African body has built a reputation for accommodating and
protecting Mr Mugabe during Zimbabwe’s 15-year political crisis, in which
hundreds, possibly thousands, of people have been killed and millions have
migrated abroad, mostly to South Africa.
Some analysts believe the political tide is turning and that the shocking
events during the 2008 elections will not be tolerated this time around.
In recent years, within Sadc only Botswana President Ian Khama has spoken
out against Mr Mugabe and the Zanu (PF) loyalists running Zimbabwe’s police,
its intelligence agency and its armed forces.
But under Mr Zuma’s leadership, South Africa has applied a degree of
pressure on Mr Mugabe and insisted that he be held to a higher standard of
"We have seen a change, particularly in South Africa from (former president)
Thabo Mbeki to Jacob Zuma," said Human Rights Watch Africa division advocacy
director Tiseke Kasambala.
"Thabo Mbeki was all about quiet diplomacy which almost translated into
quiet support for Mr Mugabe," she said. "If you speak to those within Sadc
they seem to believe that this time around the pressure will tell on Mr
07 JUN 2013 00:00 M&G CORRESPONDENTS
The Southern African Development Community's summit to discern Zimbabwe's
readiness to hold legal and fair elections has been postponed.
The Southern African Development Community's (SADC) resolve to ensure a free
and fair election in Zimbabwe was this week dealt a blow after President
Robert Mugabe forced a delay of a summit in order to assess Zimbabwe's
preparedness for the polls.
Late on Thursday, South Africa's department of international relations
spokesperson Clayson Monyela confirmed to the Mail & Guardian that Sunday's
summit had been postponed. When asked why the summit was postponed, Monyela
referred questions to SADC.
Information obtained by the M&G from SADC diplomats, Zimbabwe's main
political negotiators and South African President Jacob Zuma's facilitation
team shows there were likely to be explosive exchanges at the summit because
Zimbabwe's politicians remain divided on several issues.
Sources in Zanu-PF said Mugabe had his arm twisted by Zuma at the recent
African Union meeting in Addis Ababa to agree to the summit so that SADC
could back the credibility of the election.
Government sources this week said Mugabe, who was in Japan, had phoned Zuma
and told him he needed more time to consult his party before a summit.
M&G understands from sources in the foreign affairs ministry that Harare
wrote to SADC's Thomaz Salomão saying Mugabe needed more time to study the
Diplomatic sources, however, said the real reason Mugabe postponed the
meeting is because he now has a legally valid reason to hold an early poll
and does not want to be asked by SADC to make media and security reforms
before the elections.
The MDC's Tendai Biti said: "We have told Salomão that we cannot afford to
have this meeting postponed. This is as a delaying tactic by Zanu-PF, and we
will not accept it."
Zimbabwe's political leaders are still not in agreement after a
Constitutional Court ruling last week ordered elections be held by July 31.
The opposition is pressuring SADC leaders to take decisive steps to ensure
Mugabe and Zanu-PF hardliners do not stampede the country into elections
under current conditions because they would be disputed and have potentially
disastrous consequences for Zimbabwe.
The two Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) parties said the ruling by a
bench packed with Zanu-PF sympathisers was politically motivated and
designed to assist Zanu-PF's agenda for early elections without reforms.
Mugabe said he would comply with the judgment, but Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai, MDC-T leader, rejected it, saying the judiciary was overstepping
its mandate and usurping powers of the executive as it has no power to set
Ahead of the summit, Zuma's facilitation team was in Harare this week for
meetings with political parties and their negotiators to iron out the
problems. But sources close to the meetings say there was little agreement
as each side dug in its heels.
The diplomat in Gaborone said that the ruling on the election date would
have featured prominently during the SADC summit.
Mugabe and Zanu-PF are resisting pressure to implement reforms in the Global
Political Agreement (GPA) that gave way to the unity government.
But the MDC formations say these cannot be negotiated and are advocating for
media reforms and a code of conduct to govern the behaviour of security
services during elections.
They are also calling for the registrar general to be subordinate to the
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, which is mandated to oversee polls.
It is not only Zimbabwe that is now under the spotlight, but also the mettle
of SADC leaders and the entire organisation, a senior SADC diplomat based at
the regional bloc's Gaborone headquarters said.
"This is still going to be the most important SADC summit on Zimbabwe since
the GPA was signed in 2008 and the coalition government formed in 2009," a
SADC ambassador based in Harare said.
"The summit will review the politics and security in the country, evaluating
what has been done and what still needs to done in a bid to assess whether
Zimbabwe is ready for free and fair elections," the ambassador said.
"As Salomão said recently, SADC was closely following all political and
legal developments in Zimbabwe, including the Constitutional Court case.
"So the ruling will be discussed within the context of political and legal
processes under way in Zimbabwe. The judgment must be followed to the extent
that is it feasible to do so and this means people have got to be rational
and flexible in dealing with these issues."
But Lindiwe Zulu, a member of Zuma's team, said her boss and SADC leaders
want free and fair elections in Zimbabwe "with or without the court ruling".
The judgment also created a rift in the judiciary. Though Chief Justice
Godfrey Chidyausiku and seven other judges supported it, Deputy Chief
Justice Luke Malaba criticised it, saying it "defeats logic" and was "very
Zanu-PF welcomed the ruling, saying it sought to prevent the country from
plunging into a constitutional crisis if polls are further delayed.
Timeframe for elections
Although the court ruling has now forced Mugabe and his officials to abandon
demands for elections on June 29, Zanu-PF is still pushing for an expedited
process with little time to implement reforms and new constitutional
President of the smaller MDC, Welshman Ncube, who is also a constitutional
lawyer, said his party insists polls can only be held in line with the new
"Our position is clear. We are saying we must comply with our Constitution,
and our Constitution says there must be 30 days of voter registration. You
can't make a new Constitution over four years and start by violating it,"
"When the Supreme Court says elections should be held by July 31, it is in
fact saying 'break provisions of the Constitution to fast-track the polls',
which is nonsensical."
Voter registration was supposed to start on June 3 and end on July 2, but,
because of logistical problems, will only begin on June 10 and end on July
Assuming the process goes smoothly, and Mugabe announces the election date
thereafter, the nomination court will sit on July 23, and then the
mandatory 30 days for campaigning will follow.
This may mean actual voting will only take place in August. By that time the
country would be hosting the United Nations World Tourism Organisation
General Assembly, which Harare has indicated it will use to present the
country as a safe tourism destination.
MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora says his party will only hold elections
if all reforms agreed upon by the parties are implemented.
He said media reforms would result in all contesting parties having fair
access to state media during election campaigns.
Human Rights Watch said in a report on Zimbabwe this week, titled The
Elephant in the Room, the country still needs reforms to ensure state
security forces "conduct themselves in a nonpartisan and professional
By Fungai Kwaramba, Staff Writer
Friday, 07 June 2013 15:33
HARARE - President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF has issued a blistering attack on
Sadc saying the regional bloc had no business in sticking its nose in
matters that affect Zimbabwe.
Zanu PF officials said this yesterday as the Sadc summit, which was expected
to discuss the Zimbabwe political crisis, was postponed amid unconfirmed
reports that President Robert Mugabe was not available.
The summit is now expected to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa next
week where Zimbabwe’s election crisis is high on the agenda.
Despite the fact that Sadc are the guarantors of the coalition government
formed in 2009, the former ruling party says the regional body should not
interfere in local electoral processes.
Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo told the Daily News yesterday that the
political process in Zimbabwe should be resolved by Zimbabweans.
“Sadc cannot decide on the fate and future of Zimbabwe, we did the
Constitution and what more do they want,” said Gumbo.
Asked on President Jacob Zuma’s facilitation team’s call to implement the
necessary reforms before elections, Gumbo lashed out at the South African
facilitation team and particularly Zuma’s international relations advisor,
“Lindiwe Zulu is a mad woman, she doesn’t know what she is doing.”
The polls will pit 89-year-old President Robert Mugabe, who has been in
power since independence from Britain in 1980, against Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai, leader of the MDC.
Sadc also came under attack at a public meeting organised by Crisis
Coalition in Zimbabwe on Wednesday where Paul Mangwana, who led the Zanu PF
constitution-making team, said Sadc cannot give Zimbabwe orders.
“Sadc is not a court, it has no right to give an order, and it is only the
court that can give an order.
Zimbabwe is not a colony of Sadc. We are a sovereign country that is
independent and has its own institutions and we will comply with those
institutions,” said Mangwana.
With Sadc now set to meet next week, the stage has been set for a
potentially explosive summit as the regional body is eager to ensure that
chaotic scenes that characterised the 2008 elections will not be repeated.
Sadc as guarantors of the GPA view the full implementation of an election
roadmap as prerequisite to holding credible elections.
A group of political parties ganged up against the Constitutional Court
ruling on Wednesday where they resolved to take up their grievances to Sadc.
But Zanu PF secretary for administration, Didymus Mutasa poured scorn at the
position taken by the MDC formations in the unity government and other
In a rare show of unity, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai leader of the
mainstream MDC formation, Welshman Ncube leader of the smaller faction of
the MDC and former Zanu PF heavyweights Simba Makoni and Dumiso Dabengwa,
who now lead Mavambo and a resurgent Zapu respectively, on Wednesday took a
public stance and vowed not to participate in an electoral process without
the full implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) which is the
basis of the unity government.
Mutasa yesterday told the Daily News that Tsvangirai, Ncube, Dabengwa and
Makoni should grow up and brace for elections which he said cannot be
“They (the political parties) have ganged against Zanu PF in the past and
what have they achieved? We are not afraid that they will be united at the
summit and we are going to elections. Why didn’t they demand reforms in 1980
from Ian Smith,” said Mutasa.
Controversy is still swirling around the Constitutional Court ruling that
Zimbabwe will have to go for elections before July 31, with Zanu PF’s
coalition partners saying they will use the Sadc summit to demand electoral
reforms that would ensure free and fair elections.
Zanu PF took over the reins of power from the Smith regime in 1980 and since
then, the country has been ruled under the negotiated Lancaster House
After three decades of amending the Lancaster House Constitution, coalition
government partners in March this year finally passed a Parliamentary-driven
Constitution that is widely regarded as a better supreme governing document.
Having passed the new Constitution, Zanu PF now says it has done enough to
facilitate the holding of a credible poll.
“They are afraid of losing and that is why they are rushing to Sadc but that
will not stop us to go for elections. They think the army is for defending
political parties. We have an inclusive defence system and it is non
partisan. Tell Tsvangirai, Dabengwa and Makoni to grow up,” said Mutasa.
On Friday last week, the Constitutional Court ruled that elections should be
held before the July 31, a verdict that triggered anger in some circles.
Friday, 07 June 2013 15:52
MAPUTO - A SADC summit on Zimbabwe, which was scheduled to be here on
Sunday has been cancelled amid unconfirmed reports that President Robert
Mugabe would not be available.
But the summit is expected to be held early next week in Johannesburg.
“The summit is off. We hope it will be moved to a new date,” a official in
President Jacob Zuma’s office told journalists yesterday.
However, this did not deter Zimbabwe’s society groups who presented a
damning petition urging regional leaders meeting here on Sunday to make any
financial support for the southern African nation’s election expressly
conditioned on implementation of key electoral reforms.
A civil society joint petition handed to the Mozambican minister of Foreign
Affairs Oldemiro Balói for further submission to the Sadc chairperson
Armando Guebuzza and other heads of State ahead of the special summit called
to consider funding for the Zimbabwe poll.
The petition says the summit should insist on implementation of a key
resolution of the Sadc Troika on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation
made on May 10 in Cape Town, South Africa, which urged the Zimbabwean
“parties to finalise the outstanding issues in the implementation of the
Global Political Agreement (GPA) and preparations for holding free and fair
elections in Zimbabwe”
The petition, which has garnered a critical mass from Zimbabwean civil
society groups, has also been transmitted to the Sadc secretariat in
Botswana and highlights failure to fully implement the GPA by Zimbabwe’s
ruling political parties, the prevailing unfavourable conditions and the
limited time that is left before the elections if the Constitutional Court
ruling of May 31 is abided by.
The Constitutional Court ordered President Robert Mugabe last Friday to hold
elections by July 31, deepening a political dispute over the timing and
funding of the vote.
Sunday’s meeting here was called at the behest of South African President
Jacob Zuma who proposed at the Sadc leaders’ meeting on the side lines of
the African Union summit that they should help Zimbabwe.
The cash-strapped government needs $132 million to bankroll the crucial
vote, but Mugabe is adamant that the funding must come with no strings
attached and recently rejected United Nations poll funding after a
fact-finding mission demanded to see Zimbabwe’s vocal civil society groups
in its need assessment mission.
The civil society petition says funding for the Zimbabwe election must have
strings attached to ensure a credible vote.
“Any Sadc financial support for the election (must) be expressly conditioned
on compliance with previous Sadc communiqués and Sadc principles and
guidelines governing democratic elections, or else the election will not be
recognised as credible by Sadc,” says the petition seen by the Daily News.
“Sadc must insist on the transparent and non-partisan handling of funds and
their distribution in the various stages and elements of the electoral
Sadc has been asked to deploy election observers urgently, with civil
society groups saying they feared Mugabe will use the security forces to
“Given the urgency that the Constitutional Court judgment creates, we
strongly urge Sadc to constitute and deploy an observer mission to monitor
key electoral processes and assess the pre-electoral environment as soon as
possible, preferably before the expiry of the life of Parliament on June
29,” the petition says.
Civil society groups also want Sadc officials deployed to the Joint
Monitoring and Implementation Committee (Jomic) to immediately assist with
monitoring commitments and implementing the remainder of the GPA.
“We call upon the governing authorities in Zimbabwe to ensure that local and
international observers are accredited and deployed without undue delays,
selectivity and cherry picking; and encourage the Zimbabwean government and
electoral officials to ensure that all civil society organisations, media
and political parties operating lawfully in Zimbabwe, who have an interest
to play a role, be accredited to observe and monitor the electoral process
without undue restrictions.”
Tsvangirai and his MDC party have been arguing that the election, after
disputed polls in 2008 that led to the formation of a power-sharing
government, should be delayed and the date must be determined by the reforms
necessary to achieve a credible vote.
Civil society groups in their petition, have hammered the same points home
saying the reforms should include urgent realignment of laws in line with
the new Constitution that came into force on May 22.
Civil society groups gathered here ahead of the summit called for speedy
alignment of election-related legislation with the new Constitution
especially amendments to the Electoral Act.
They also urged Sadc to encourage the government of Zimbabwe to look beyond
the Electoral Act, and also align other pieces of legislation which have an
impact on elections, such as the Public Order and Security Act (Posa),
Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Aippa), Broadcasting
Services Act, Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act, “which have some
sections which are clearly not consistent with provisions of the new
Constitution’s Declaration of Rights, Chapter 4.”
“That alignment must be followed through with actual operationalisation of
new legal framework before voting takes place,” the petition says.
The pro-democracy groups also called for the opening up of broadcast media,
registration of new voters and reform of the military to ensure it stays out
Sadc has been urged to institute a mechanism or code for monitoring the
adherence of security sector personnel to their constitutional mandates, and
ensure that service chiefs are prohibited from making partisan and
unconstitutional utterances that instil fear in citizens and political
Civil society groups, which have come under increasing pressure from law
enforcement agents, asked regional leaders meeting on Sunday to impress upon
the governing authorities in Zimbabwe that the obligation to conduct free,
fair and peaceful elections requires them to create a conducive environment
by allowing civil society organisations to carry out their lawful activities
without harassment, raids, restrictions and unlawful arrests and
The civic groups want the regional bloc to facilitate timely and adequate
voter and civic education, which is freely conducted within the confines of
the Declaration of Rights in the new Constitution and the electoral law by
the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec), civil society and political
They also highlighted the need for a well-publicised, transparent and
accessible voter registration process that allows every Zimbabwean who wants
to register to do so without unnecessary impediments and bottlenecks. - Gift
Phiri, Political Editor in Mozambique
Source: Reuters - Fri, 7 Jun 2013 12:37 PM
HARARE, June 7 (Reuters) - The IMF has approved Zimbabwe's plan to clear
billions of dollars of arrears, while Harare has agreed to enter a
staff-monitored programme with the Fund, Finance Minister Tendai Biti said
The move marks a major step towards Zimbabwe normalising relations with the
International Monetary Fund, which suspended its voting rights in 2003 over
policy differences with President Robert Mugabe and non-payment of arrears.
"This programme is about showing that Zimbabwe can be trusted again," Biti
told reporters in Harare. "We engaged with the IMF on our terms."
While its voting rights were restored in 2010, Zimbabwe has not been able to
borrow from international lenders since 1999 when it started defaulting on
its debt. Its external debt stands at $10.7 billion.
Biti said the IMF board had agreed to allow Zimbabwe to negotiate debt
relief and new financing by leveraging its natural resources.
Under the staff-monitored programme, the IMF would want to see evidence of
sound policies before agreeing to a lending programme.
Biti's comments came after Mugabe said he would hold elections by the end of
July in line with a court order, angering rivals who want them delayed to
allow for reforms to ensure a fair vote.
Zimbabwe is still emerging from a decade of economic decline and
hyperinflation. The economy has slowly been on the mend since the formation
of a unity government in 2009, and the government recently projected growth
of 8.9 percent in 2013.
It was 4.4 percent last year.
by Staff Reporter
MDC-T leader and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai warned Thursday that his
party would consider boycotting the next elections if media and security
sector reforms are not implemented before the key vote.
The MDC-T leader was speaking in Bulawayo during a visit which officials
said was aimed at assessing “the impact of challenges faced by the community
and clear grey areas on the party’s position on the resuscitation of the
Tsvangirai – who has been pressing for the elections to be delayed to allow
implementation of the reforms – slammed a Constitutional Court ruling last
Friday ordering the polls to be held by July 31.
And in an address to local leaders civic organisations in Bulawayo the MDC-T
chief insisted that credible elections were not feasible before October.
“We are worried about some individuals manipulating the courts on the issue
of elections,” he said.
“In responding to an individual applicant you want to marginalise and
undermine the rights of millions of Zimbabweans because you have not
fulfilled certain constitutional positions required by the constitution
before holding an election.
“We need media reforms, we want a partial and non-partisan State media and a
security sector which is professional and that does not campaign for any
“We want a voter registration for anyone who wants to vote in the election
and therefore voters must not be disenfranchised whether an alien or first
time voter, they must be allowed to vote in terms of the constitution.
“The old constitution is very clear as far as Amendment Number 19 is
concerned. It says the President and Prime Minister shall decide and consult
each other and I was not consulted.”
He said if President Robert Mugabe insisted on complying with the court
order, the MDC-T would consider boycotting the vote.
“President Mugabe says he is going to comply with the court ruling but it is
not practical if the outcome is not going to be contested,” he said.
“We might consider boycotting in the absence of media and security sector
reforms. We can only have a free and fair credible election by end of
October not within six weeks.”
However, Zanu PF spokesman, Rugare Gumbo, said an MDC-T boycott would not
stop the elections.
“We are not going to postpone the elections because the decision by the
court is final. If Tsvangirai says he wants to boycott he can go ahead,”
gumbo told state media.
“As far as Zanu PF is concerned we are going ahead with the elections. We
will not allow outside forces to dictate to us on how and when we should
hold our own elections.”
Tsvangirai met other party leaders in Harare this week to discuss the court
ruling and they agreed to take their reservations to a meeting of the
regional SADC groping which was set to be held in Maputo, Mozambique on
However, the meeting, called to discuss the elections as well as their
financing, was called-off.
"It won't take place on (Sunday). I cannot give you reasons but it won't
take place on the 9th. That's all I can tell you,” said an official from
SADC Executive Secretary Tomaz Salomao's office.
By Alex Bell
SW Radio Africa
7 June 2013
The new constitution’s lack of clarity in terms of dual citizenship laws has
created serious confusion among Zimbabweans, with the charter failing to
explicitly state what the law is.
The new charter was officially gazetted by Robert Mugabe last month after a
referendum that saw Zimbabweans vote to have the document replace the old
Lancaster House constitution.
The new set of laws however has faced criticism for a number of issues, and
one of the most contentious has been the legality or otherwise of dual
citizenship. With millions of Zimbabweans having fled the country in the
midst of the economic and political collapse, there is now huge demand from
nationals in the Diaspora for a clear law on whether they can retain their
foreign citizenship or not.
The MDC-T has insisted for months that dual citizenship is allowed according
to the new charter, despite their ZANU PF partners in government
continuously denying this was the case.
The situation then reached new heights of confusion when businessman Mutumwa
Mawere was told to renounce his South African citizenship by Registrar
General (and ZANU PF minister) Tobaiwa Mudede, before he could apply for a
Mawere has since filed an urgent application with the Constitutional Court,
urging it to confirm the provisions regarding the issue of dual citizenship,
arguing that as a Zimbabwean by birth he is entitled to documentation.
Andrew Makoni, the Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights,
told SW Radio Africa that clarity is needed to end this confusion. He
explained that the new document does not explicitly allow or deny
Zimbabweans the right to dual citizenship, but does recognise Zimbabwean
citizenship by birth, descent and registration. He explained that the only
mention of dual citizenship is in section 42 (e), stating that an act of
Parliament can prohibit dual citizenship in respect of citizens by descent
“There is no reference here to citizens by birth, so by implication one can
argue that it means that those who are citizens by birth can have dual
citizenship,” Makoni said.
But he agreed that the lack of clarity means this can be interpreted very
differently, as has been done in the Mutumwa Mawere case, with Registrar
General Mudede insisting that Mawere renounce his foreign citizenship.
Makoni said: “There should be no reason for Mawere to be denied his rights
to Zim citizenship on the basis of his foreign citizenship, because he is a
Zimbabwean by birth.” He added that there should also be no reason for
Mawere to renounce his foreign citizenship, and there is no explicit
statement in the constitution that this is the case.
Meanwhile Mudede this week reportedly stuck to his interpretation that
Zimbabweans who want to register must renounce their foreign citizenship
first. According to a ZBC news report, Mudede explained that any child born
of either parent who is Zimbabwean has the right to register and vote in the
coming elections. The news report went on to say that Mudede “also explained
the process of renouncing one’s former citizenship.”
The ZLHR’s Makoni said Friday that this confusion needs to be rectified, and
called for parliamentarians to take steps to detail what the laws are,
“What is simply required is as soon as possible an Act of Parliament be
enacted to clarify the issues of dual citizenship,” Makoni said.
FRIDAY, JUNE 7, 2013 — Wrapping up a two-day visit to Bulawayo, Prime
Minister and MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai says his party’s plan to revive
the economy includes tackling Bulawayo’s water shortages and fighting
In an election campaign-style speech to supporters, the prime minister said
he would like to see Bulawayo restored as the industrial hub it once was,
and achieving that means tackling the closing of factories and the area’s
perennial water shortages. He urged people not to dwell on the area’s past,
but look ahead.
“The critical issue is that it’s not about what has happened, but what is
the future?” Mr. Tsvangirai asked rhetorically. “What is the future of
Bulawayo in the face of all these challenges—water, deindustrialization, and
order? What is the future? What plans should we put in place to revive our
industries, to make sure that water is available, to make sure that Bulawayo
becomes again the smoke that thunders?”
Mr. Tsvangirai added that he believes devolving power from Harare to the
provinces is one way to promote development in the country’s marginalized
areas. He said while the broad strokes of devolution are captured in the
new constitution, Parliament still needs to act to map out a specific model.
“Many states have now developed [devolution] because of the complaint about
marginalization and lack of focus in certain regions,” Tsvangirai said. “So
it is a genuine and a justifiable expectation, and I am glad that the
constitution actually captures this. But we need to go further and actually
develop an act of Parliament to actually concretize this principle.”
The prime minister’s visit comes during Bulawayo’s worst water shortages in
recent years, likely due to the decommissioning of the Upper Ncema dam last
month and the expected decommissioning of the Inyankuni dam later this
Tsvangirai also met with area business and church leaders, as well as
National Railways of Zimbabwe workers, in closed meetings.
The MDC Today
Thursday, 06 June 2013
Issue – 566
President Tsvangirai today urged people in Bulawayo to register and vote
en-mass in order to eradicate numerous challenges that they are facing.
He made the call while addressing civic society groups in central Bulawayo.
President Tsvangirai said focusing on challenges would not solve anything
while a positive mindset to change the political setup, focusing on
pro-democratic principles and sound economic policies would usher a new era
where there are jobs for all and good sanitation.
“There is no reason for us to focus on problems that have bedevilled us
through the four years that we have been in this inclusive government,” he
“Actually let us look beyond the election and see practical interventions
for our future in a new government.” President Tsvangirai said.
He urged the residents to mobilise for a high turnout in the city saying the
change that everyone is yearning for will remain a dream if there is no
change in the political setup.
“We are a winning team. There is no loser in a winning team. Let us join
hands and trudge forward to finish the struggle that we started in 1999. We
do not object to the holding of elections anytime. What we are saying is
that we want fundamental reforms as stipulated in the Global Political
Agreement (GPA) to be implemented,” President Tsvangirai said.
He said the MDC is ready for elections anytime adding that the party is more
ready than any other political party in the country and the MDC processes
such as the successful policy formulation and the holding of primary
elections is clear signposts on the level of seriousness of the party to
“Zanu PF is not even ready. They have not even agreed on the party
guidelines for their primary elections. They have been saying South Africa
has no locus standi on deciding how we should hold elections. This is a lie
because SADC and the AU are guarantors of this pact”.
President Tsvangirai said the national mood is about change adding that
there is need for a new paradigm in which the needs of the people will
He said efforts to manipulate the electoral process were ill-conceived and
against the principles of free and fair elections.
“We have sacrificed four years of frustration to resolve the crises in the
country. We respect the Constitutional Court judgement but how can a court
which is appointed by the president direct a president who is elected.
“The political intention is to marginalise and undermine the rights of
millions of people because Zanu PF has not fulfilled the fundamental reforms
such as media, security sector and electoral reforms,” he said.
Later President Tsvangirai moved to the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions
(ZCTU) where he said workers should not doubt that the MDC had the political
ability to bring change in the country.
“Disgruntled workers should be the ones at the fore front. They should be
the ones clamouring for change in the country. Without change we are headed
for disaster. Even Zanu PF want change, it is only that they do not know
what change they want,” President Tsvangirai said.
President Tsvangirai is in Bulawayo where he is meeting various stakeholders
including civic society, party structures, the business community, church
leaders, students, workers and vendors.
Through this visit President Tsvangirai is expected to listen to the people’s
interventions for a new Zimbabwe while he explains how the party policies in
the Agenda for Real Transformation (ART) will bring about this reform. The
President’s visit is expected to end on Friday.
By Tichaona Sibanda
SW Radio Africa
7 June 2013
MDC-T voters will on Sunday participate in the internal selection process to
choose candidates bidding to represent the party in the next harmonized
The MDC-T has already conducted primaries in 10 out of its 12 political
provinces, with the exercise in Masvingo and Manicaland this weekend
bringing to an end the first phase of the process.
The second phase, expected to begin next week, will see primary elections
being conducted in constituencies where sitting legislators where not
confirmed in the first round of the poll. So far MDC-T voters have posted a
ruthless verdict on 30 of their 97 Members of Parliament since the party
primaries started a fortnight ago. Not even cabinet ministers have been
spared the wrath of voters countrywide, who went to the ballot to choose
their party representatives.
Masvingo and Manicaland provinces provide the largest chunk of legislators
for the MDC-T. In the last harmonized election in 2008, the party won 20
seats in Manicaland while 14 were victorious in Masvingo.
While the majority of the MPs are confident of winning the primaries in what
is expected to be a closely-contested exercise, some incumbents risk losing
their bids to represent the party in the next election, to newcomers wanting
to make their maiden appearance in parliament.
There are strong indications that more sitting MPs will fall by the wayside
as the primaries reach their final stages.
Both provinces are not without their problems, with factional infighting at
times attracting the attention of party leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who has on
several occasions visited the provincial leaders to read them the riot act.
Against this backdrop, several MPs aligned to various factions could be
casualties of this bitter fight for total control in the provinces. The
biggest battles in Manicaland will see National Housing Minister Giles
Mutsekwa pitted against human rights lawyer Arnold Tsunga, while the
bruising contest between Pishai Muchauraya and journalist Geoff Nyarota will
for once be fought outside the court room.
The rivalry between the two for the Makoni South parliamentary seat spilled
into the courts after police charged Muchauraya in April with two counts of
threats to ‘murder’ Nyarota.
Party activist Solomon Chikohwero said the trend has already been set in the
primaries held so far were MPs who did not deliver have been shown the ‘exit
door’ by their constituents.
‘We have seen a mixed reaction from the voters so far but I can assure you
the same pattern will visit the two provinces were MPs who did not deliver
in the last five years will not be confirmed,’ he said.
Chikohwero continued; ‘Whoever has worked hard in their constituency will
survive, but those who did not will unfortunately lose.’
By Nomalanga Moyo
SW Radio Africa
7 June 2013
Pregnant women still have to pay maternity fees at most of Zimbabwe’s health
facilities, despite donors contributing over half a billion dollars for the
Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khuphe made the revelation in parliament on
Wednesday, in response to a question raised by MDC-T legislator Lynette
Karenyi, who represents the Chimanimani West constituency, wanted to know
when government would scrap maternity user fees, as promised last year.
In March 2012, Finance Minister Biti revealed that donors had contributed
$625 million so that pregnant women would not have to pay fees of up to $100
to give birth in the country’s health facilities.
Biti then stated that the Ministry of Health would be announcing a date in
which these fees will be scrapped “in the not too distant future, very soon”.
However, more than a year later most women still have to pay, with
indications that so far only those women who are attended to at rural
clinics are not charged.
DPM Khuphe told parliamentarians Wednesday that the delay in scrapping the
fees was due to “logistical problems”.
But MP Karenyi told SW Radio Africa Friday that she was not convinced.
She said: “My understanding was that maternity user-fees had been scrapped
as part of government policy. So when I heard that some women were still
being asked to pay, I saw it fit to get the correct policy position on the
“If government says fees have been abolished, then I expect that any
pregnant woman who goes to any public hospital should be attended to in
accordance with government policy.
“It is very difficult for women in rural areas to even raise $5, what
happens if that woman experiences complications relating to pregnancy and
has to have costly surgery performed?” the legislator said.
Karenyi said it was not explained what ‘logistical problems’ were being
faced by the health ministry in disbursing the funds to all health
facilities. However, she said she was expecting an answer from health
authorities next Wednesday.
Health Minister Henry Madzorera told SW Radio Africa that his ministry had
already rolled out the programme under the Health Transition Fund, but this
was being done in phases.
“We have removed user fees completely in rural clinics, where we are giving
these clinics $750 so that they do not charge maternity use fees.
“The next phase will be to remove maternity user fees at district hospitals
so that when women are referred for complicated deliveries they won’t pay.
So far, no problems have been reported at clinics where the scheme has
started,” he said.
Dr Madzorera said it will take time to remove fees at city municipal clinics
and at provincial and central hospitals. But he said his ministry, together
with the World Bank, was already working on ‘a results based financing
mechanism’ which will eventually lead to fees being scrapped at these health
facilities by end of August.
Asked why the roll-out has been staggered, Dr Madzorera said there were
budget considerations: “We started with rural clinics where the costs are
lower but the need greater. Access to healthcare in rural areas is worse
than in urban areas.”
The minister could not give an exact date as to when charges will be
scrapped at district hospitals although he indicated that the money was
“But I can confirm that we have the money to roll out the scheme to district
hospitals. What we are working on now are the mechanisms and the figures.
“But it will be happening very soon, within the next two months. What we don’t
have is money for the municipal, provincial, and central hospitals. We are
still working on raising the funds for these,” Minister Madzorera said.
Zimbabwe has a rising maternal mortality ratio of 960 deaths for every
100,000 live births, a situation which Minister Biti last year described as
By Alex Bell
SW Radio Africa
7 June 2013
Ongoing incidents of xenophobic violence in South Africa have raised
concerns about the safety of foreigners in that country, with the government
being criticised for dismissing the fact that there is a real problem.
In the past few weeks there have a number of unrelated, xenophobic attacks
across South Africa and human rights groups have warned that this is part of
an ongoing problem.
Last month South African police arrested 45 people for public violence,
housebreaking and possession of unlicensed firearms in the Diepsloot area
after residents went on a rampage, looting foreign owned shops. This was
after a fatal shooting, which left two Zimbabweans dead.
In the same month, more than 90 people were arrested for protest-related
crimes in Evaton, Orange Farm, and Sebokeng, south of Johannesburg.
Complaints of looting and vandalism of spaza shops belonging to foreigners
Violence also flared up in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape, where Somali
shop owners were targeted.
David Cote, who runs the Strategic Litigation Unit of Lawyers for Human
Rights in South Africa, said that tensions remain very high since the deadly
xenophobic violence that swept South Africa in 2008, resulting in the deaths
of more than 60 people, mainly foreigners.
Cote told SW Radio Africa that the violence has been ongoing since then,
although on a less coordinated scale.
“What it appears to be (now) is a lot of this anger being displayed,
particularly during service delivery protests, which get deflected to
foreign nationals, operating shops,” Cote said.
According to statistics from the United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees (UNHCR), at least three incidents per week were reported in 2012.
Cote said that those not killed have been severely injured and “there is no
way of determining just how much has been lost in business and property
“There has never been a coordinated effort to institute some kind of
national healing after those attacks. We still have incidents of police
harassing people on the streets, and we continue to see large scale mobs
attacking foreign owned shops and this show it there is a serious problem
with security for foreign nationals,” Cote said.
He added that Lawyers for Human Rights and other groups have been left
‘disappointed’ by the government’s response to these hate crimes, with
officials dismissing the incidents as theft or “run of the mill crime. “
“Instead of calling it xenophobia, it is more seen as theft or intentional
damage to property. But what we seem to be ignoring is the fact that one of
the roots is xenophobia and it seems to be a fear and loathing of foreign
nationals that allows these attacks to take place,” Cote said.
He added: “One of the things we’d been hoping to see is some hate crime
legislation, but it has been waiting in committees for years and we haven’t
seen this legislation come out yet.”
07 JUN 2013 00:00 TAKUDZWA MUNYAKA
Bad news for the South Africans is good for some Zimbabweans.
The South African rand's downward slide in recent weeks has brought cheer to
thousands of Zimbabwean cross-border traders in an economy that has come to
depend heavily on imported products from its neighbour.
Zimbabwe, which adopted a multi-currency system in January 2009 to tame its
galloping inflation, makes use of the United States dollar, the South
African rand and the Botswanan pula.
Due to the low capacity of local industry, now at 33% according to
manufacturing body the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, and
unemployment estimated at more than 80% by independent economists, most
businesses now look to South Africa as a major trading partner.
The local industry remains constrained by election uncertainty, a liquidity
crunch and lack of service provision by utilities.
In interviews this week cross-border businesses and traders said they had
realised an increase in profit margins as they were spending less in US
dollar terms when buying goods for resale.
"Ordinarily $100 will give you R700 or R800, but in recent days it has been
close to R1 000," said a trader, Sibongile Ndlovu, at Harare's Fourth Street
"This is good for us as we do not need as much money to make our orders."
Last week, the rand fell to R10.28 against the dollar.
Another businessperson, Lovemore Shumba, said he has recorded good returns
in the past few weeks as his costs of doing business have remained steady
and even decreased.
"I hope the exchange rate will remain favourable to my line of business. It
also gives us an opportunity to sell our wares on credit," he said.
An economic commentator and lecturer at Harare Polytechnic, Alexander
Rusero, said if the rand continued to weaken it should result in the
reduction of prices but it would have a negative effect on the
competitiveness of local products. However, he said lower prices are
unlikely to trickle down to consumers as business tries to maximise profits.
On the topic of whether the weaker rand could improve the country's balance
of payment position, Rusero said: "This will only be felt if the country is
importing machinery to boost production for goods for the export market, but
in the short term it will not assist."
According to Finance Minister Tendai Biti, Zimbabwe imported goods worth
$704-million in April alone, mostly from South Africa.
by Staff Reporter
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe said Thursday that officials keen to be considered
for Cabinet posts must win elections which are now expected to be held
before the end of next month.
Speaking to state radio in Japan where he attended an Africa development
summit, Mugabe said even if there was another coalition government only
elected officials would make the next Cabinet.
“We were able to set up a Global Political Agreement (GPA) with some who had
won the elections and others who had lost,” he said.
“Both professors for example Welshman Ncube and Arthur Mutambara had lost.
They had been beaten but they came in as honourable ministers who had been
dishonoured by the people. It won’t happen again.”
Mugabe and his Zanu PF party joined the MDC formations to form a coalition
administration after disputed polls in 2008.
The Constitutional Court ruled last Friday that elections to replace the
coalition must be held by July 31.
But the government says it does not have the US$130 million needed to fund
the poll although the regional SADC grouping has offered to assist.
However, Mugabe said the government would still try to raise the cash
despite the SADC offer to assist.
By Chengetayi Zvauya, Parliamentary Editor
Friday, 07 June 2013 15:33
HARARE - Parliament on Wednesday grilled Savior Kasukuwere, Youth,
Development and Indigenisation minister, over alleged illegal indigenisation
deals involving Brainworks Capital, a private firm which stitched deals on
behalf of government without going to tender.
Kasukuwere was also questioned on his ministry’s fight with the Zimbabwe
Anti-corruption Commission (ZACC).
MDC MP for Mazowe Central Constituency Sherperd Mushonga fielded the
question in the august House on Wednesday to Kasukuwere demanding an
explanation on what had transpired in the indigenisation deal that is now
referred to as the Nieebgate Scandal.
Brainworks was recruited by the National Indigenisation and Economic
Empowerment Board (Nieeb) and the Indigenisation ministry as financial
consultant for several indigenisation deals including a $971 million deal
with Zimbabwe Platinum Mines Limited (Zimplats).
Brainworks also worked as financial advisors on the indigenisation of six
other top earning companies which have or are being indigenised.
Mushonga asked: “Can the minister advice this august House about the
Brainworks Consultancy and why he resisted the anti-corruption commission
when it visited his office and he ran away. Does he have some skeletons to
hide in cupboard?”
Kasukuwere replied that he had nothing to hide from the anti-corruption
commission, and stressed that he had not run away.
He said he did everything above board.
“Brainworks were advising government in the indigenisation transaction. The
anti-corruption commission had defective search warrants which they had
corruptly obtained and they have dirty hands. The commission had an agenda
to derail the indigenisation programme,” said Kasukuwere.
He was supported by Zanu PF MPs who shouted on top of their voices in
defence of Kasukuwere.
Kasukuwere said they will be no reversal to the indigenisation programme and
blamed the MDC for trying to reverse the programme which he said empowered
In March, Zacc officers wanted to search for documents in the offices of the
National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board (Nieeb) Zimbabwe
Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) and the Zimbabwe National Roads
Administration (Zinara) armed with High Court papers. They were however,
barred from searching the offices.
Zacc claimed it had reasonable grounds to suspect that therewas abuse of
duty by public officers in the three bodies.
Nieeb has been in the limelight over alleged corruption in indigenisation
transactions involving particularly the $971 million Zimplats deal.
However, the search was stopped by a High Court order issued by Judge
President George Chiweshe after the respective ministries approached the
court seeking protection.
Friday, 07 June 2013 11:41
MUTARE - Suspended Zanu PF Manicaland provincial chairperson Dorothy Mabika’s
lawyer Tinofara Hove on Wednesday made a court application before Mutare
magistrate Sekesai Chiwundura for the discharge of his client at the close
of the State case.
The lawyer cited a hidden political agenda aimed at embarrassing the accused
and lack of evidence.
Hove in his application said it was a “classic case of political
“This case is not so much about justice as it is about politics. This
clearly emerges from the fact that there was never an official complaint
lodged by Zanu PF Manicaland provincial executive,” argued Hove in his
Mabika is facing an allegation of stocktheft arising from September 7, 2011
and at Shiriyakangwara Farm, Mt Selinda in Chipinge where he received six
dairy bull calves on behalf of Zanu PF.
She received the donation from farmer Dawid Hercules Jourbet which she
unlawfully and with intent to steal converted to her own use, thereby
committing the crime of stocktheft.
On the second count of defeating or obstructing the course of justice,
Mabika allegedly unlawfully and intentionally altered minutes of the Zanu PF
Manicaland provincial meeting held on November 21, 2011.
It is alleged Mabika altered the minutes well knowing that police officers
were investigating a case of stocktheft arising from her receiving six
Mabika is alleged to have instructed Angawashe Nelia Maenda and Lucy Golowa
to manipulate the provincial executive minutes to reflect that the six
donated calves had died due to lack of stock feed and supplementary milk
whereas the accused had stolen the said calves.
In his application for discharge Hove states that there is a hidden
political agenda to persecute Mabika on the evidence of Didymus Mutasa, the
Zanu PF secretary for administration who was a key state witness in the
The lawyers argued that Mutasa was quoted in court on record when he said;
“when two bull elephants fight it is the grass that suffers.”
“Clearly, the accused is the grass that is suffering because two bulls are
fighting. It has nothing to do with the attainment of justice.
Hove continued; “Ngaangwarewo”, a quote from Mutasa in court referring to
Mabika meant that when the two bulls are fighting she should be clever.
The defence lawyer said in his application that since Mutasa in his evidence
said he knew the calves had died at Mabika’s farm there could be no case of
He said most importantly there was no explanation why the matter had been
reported with an impending election on a matter which occurred in 2011.
Hove further argues in his application for discharge that it was Mabika who
notified the provincial executive of the donation of six calves and could
not have stolen them after such a notification of their existence.
The defence lawyer said even in Mutasa’s evidence it is clear that he never
lodged a complaint with the police to the effect that the Zanu PF Manicaland
provincial executive had been deprived of the calves.
“Zanu PF did not make a formal report with the police and also how could one
steal calves that would have died,” argued Hove in his application for
discharge at the close of the State case.
On count two of defeating or obstruction of justice, Hove argued that the
State was desperate as it was fully aware that there was no case of
stocktheft but that the calves had died proceeded to charge Mabika of
obstruction of justice.
Hove said if the accused subjectively did not know that she was being
investigated, or objectively could not have known, then the offence cannot
He said the accused was not present during the meeting of November 21, 2011
and therefore could not have inserted the notes as alleged and in addition
she was not the one who inserted the minutes.
It was Maenda, who has a political agenda against the accused who made the
“There is no offence that was committed, neither has the State established a
prima facie case against the accused. To place the accused on her defence
will be tantamount to asking her to convict herself from her own mouth,”
said Hove in his application.
Hove said the key witness Mutasa had a clear motive in the prosecution of
Mabika; that is to ensure she is removed from the Zanu PF leadership of
Manicaland Province; and also to ensure that she does not stand in the
forthcoming parliamentary elections.
“The motive is to embarrass the accused politically and tarnish her name,”
Mutare magistrate Sekesai Chiwundura is expected to a make a ruling on the
application on June 19, 2013. - Sydney Saize
JUNE 7, 2013
The interference by the military and other security forces in Zimbabwe's
political and electoral affairs - in support of President Robert Mugabe and
his political party ZANU-PF – remains a problem, says campaigner
When a new constitution for Zimbabwe was signed into law at the end of last
month, millions of Zimbabweans and many observers abroad welcomed the
progress toward democratic elections expected by end of October. A peaceful
referendum on the constitution in March gave much needed hope that Zimbabwe
had turned the corner and made a clean break with its ugly past of violent
There are high expectations for a democratically elected government that
would address the country's longstanding serious human rights issues. But as
things stand the chances of free, fair and credible elections remain slim -
in the absence of a security sector and other essential reforms.
Our report The elephant in the room: reforming Zimbabwe's security sector
ahead of elections documents the interference by the military and other
security forces in Zimbabwe's political and electoral affairs - in support
of President Robert Mugabe and his political party ZANU-PF. They have
prevented Zimbabweans from exercising their rights to freedom of expression
and association and to vote.
Since a 'unity government' was created in February 2009, several senior
military officials have publicly expressed support for Mugabe and ZANU-PF
and denigrated Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai - the leader of the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change. On May 1, Police Commissioner
General Augustine Chihuri publicly said that the security forces would never
meet with Tsvangirai to discuss security reforms and that anyone who
reported on or raised the issue risked arrest.
Then on May 4, the Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander General Constantine
Chiwenga similarly told the state-run weekly The Sunday Mail that he would
not meet with Tsvangirai to discuss security reforms. "We have no time to
meet sellouts," he said. "Clearly Tsvangirai is a psychiatric patient who
needs a competent psychiatrist."
These statements go beyond mere rhetoric. Two journalists who reported on an
alleged meeting between Tsvangirai and the heads of the security forces were
arrested in May. And soldiers deployed across the country have intimidated
people, committed beatings and other abuses against perceived supporters of
the MDC and government critics. At times these soldiers have used food
distribution, community school projects and even an 'army history research
project' to gain entry into various communities.
The security forces' brazen support of ZANU-PF has been endorsed by the
party's leaders. For instance, ZANU-PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo told us
last month that no one should expect Zimbabwe's security forces to be
non-partisan and politically neutral because of their history of the
liberation struggle against colonial rule.
Although the new constitution, as well as various laws, require neutrality
and impartiality from the security forces no effort has been made to enforce
them. No members of the security forces are known to have been disciplined
or prosecuted for acting in a partisan manner or committing criminal
offenses against the MDC and its supporters.
The international community cannot afford to ignore the security forces'
partisan stance or the government's failure to take disciplinary action
against those responsible for making incendiary statements. During the 2008
elections, the armed forces committed widespread abuses including killings,
beatings and torture against MDC supporters and members.
Zimbabwe's unity government, with support from the Southern African
Development Community and the African Union, should urgently take steps to
ensure the political neutrality of the security forces. The government
should investigate and prosecute alleged abuses by security force personnel.
It needs to publicly direct the security force leaders to carry out their
responsibilities in a professional and impartial manner, appropriately
punishing or prosecuting those who fail to do so.
The European Union and the wider international community should also press
for reforms to the security forces and other urgent reforms needed to
increase the likelihood of credible, free and fair elections. These include
changes to ensure the independence and professional capacity of the Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission and a cleaned-up - and up-to-date - voter's register
under the commission's exclusive control.
Independent groups, including human rights organisations, should be able to
freely conduct voter education across the country. State media should give
equal access to all political parties without bias or favour and laws
infringing on the right to freedom of expression should be amended or
revoked. The government of Zimbabwe says it has no money to fund the coming
elections and has approached SADC and other donors for election funds.
Donors contributing funds should insist on conditions for free and fair
elections. Ignoring security and other reforms and rushing headlong toward
elections would only prolong the country's longstanding human rights and
governance crisis and dash Zimbabwean's long-held hopes of a return to
normalcy under a conducive electoral environment.
Dewa Mavhinga is senior researcher for Zimbabwe and Southern Africa at
Human Rights Watch
June 7, 2013, 1:38 pm
All week we have been drip-fed extracts from the Dali Tambo interview with
Robert Mugabe; if anyone was hoping for astounding revelations or even
political depth, then they were disappointed. Responding to the criticism of
how shallow the programme was, Tambo pointed out that his ‘People of the
South’ series is just not that sort of programme; it’s about people not
about politics, Tambo avers. The problem is that Robert Mugabe is not just
any old ‘people’. He has been in power longer than almost any other African
leader, his actions have touched thousands of people’s lives and he has
accrued, as the saying goes, a lot of political ‘baggage’, including several
examples of human rights abuse on a mass scale which have earned him –
rightly or wrongly – the reputation of a vicious tyrant. Not to talk about
any of these matters was rather like interviewing Adolph Hitler and not
mentioning his policy of exterminating the Jews. That is not to suggest that
Mugabe is another Hitler but it’s simply to point out that we are all
responsible for our actions, no matter what our level in society. The fact
that Deli Tambo appears not to grasp that concept is more than a little
surprising when one considers his own political background of apartheid
South Africa where racial identity was often a cover for inexcusable and
inhuman acts. In failing to question Mugabe in depth about his decision to
launch Gukurahundi – or Murambatsvina for that matter – Tambo is implying
that the man ‘at home’ with his wife and children, safe in the warmth of his
family, is not the same man as the ruthless leader who gave the orders to
slaughter innocent civilians. It tells us more clearly than anything could,
that the interview was merely an exercise in ‘spin’, an attempt to portray
Mugabe as a loving, family man who could not possibly be capable of mass
It was announced this week that the British government has finally decided
to do the right thing and pay compensation to the Kenyan citizens who were
tortured, raped and in some cases castrated, by the British colonial power
during the 1950’s. The British had long argued that the abuse took place so
long ago that the present government was no longer responsible. The Kenyan
government took over that responsibility when the country became independent
in 1963, the British claimed in an argument which smacks of sophistry of the
worst kind. Human Rights Watch claims that 90,000 Kenyans were executed,
tortured or maimed by the colonial authority while 160.000 people were
imprisoned in appalling conditions. It took a long time but eventually the
British have grudgingly admitted their responsibility and the British
Foreign Secretary will announce his ‘profound regret’ and pay compensation
of £14 million or $20 million to the 5000 surviving victims. ‘Perfidious
Albion’ has finally done the right thing! In stark contrast, Robert Mugabe
admits no blame for Gukurahundi and the actions of the Fifth Brigade,
Instead, Mugabe, the Commander in Chief of the army- then and now- told Deli
Tambo, “Yes it was very bad ... it’s not a story we should continue… It
happens, you get these things happening… Soldiers do not always follow
instructions.” In other words, such atrocities happen in wartime but these
are not things we should talk about and especially not in the run-up to an
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe holds its breath and waits for the election date. At
least, there is agreement that reforms must take place before the elections
and everything now hangs on SADC’s deliberations at the special summit, now
due on Monday next.
Keeping the army in their barracks and out of politics remains top priority.
Yours in the (continuing) struggle, Pauline Henson.
Dr Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, 7th June 2013
The recent agreement by Zimbabwe’s main opposition parties to speak with one
voice against the dictatorship of Robert Mugabe is of great significance in
the country’s political history at least since 1999 (the formation of a
While others may caution against premature optimism, the development has
sent shock waves to Robert Mugabe and his loyalists whose latest big project
has been to stampede the country into a sham election in order to sanitise
the tyranny that visited our country for two decades.
I would urge the five main parties opposed to Mugabe’s dictatorship to
remain united and keep the pressure for a clear roadmap to elections. By
speaking with one voice against elections without key reforms, you did
Zimbabwe proud and proved to the world that Mugabe is not invincible and
that Zimbabwe is bigger than Zanu-pf.
Proof that the message reached home, Mugabe chickened out of the SADC summit
realising that he is now cornered and he is panicking. There should be no
elections until security sector reforms, media reforms, electoral reforms,
and human rights reforms are in place to ensure all Zimbabwean citizens
regardless of residence and descent can cast their votes in UN supervised
free and fair harmonised elections.
The opposition forces should not lose the momentum on this issue. They
should build on the unity of purpose to dislodge Mugabe’s tyranny once and
for all from Beitbridge to Chirundu, from Mutare to Plumtree.
The opposition coalition should insist on the full restoration of dual
citizenship and the right of so-called aliens including the Diaspora to
register and vote in the coming elections. Only that can guarantee Mugabe’s
final exit from power.
We have previously detailed the logistics for a Diaspora Vote are already in
place at Zimbabwean embassies or UN missions abroad. It’s feasible and the
UN has the funds.
This week’s move by the five parties has proved that only a grand opposition
alliance has potential to usher in a new dispensation of real peace and
security, national healing, reconciliation and greater socio-economic
transformation than the current parallel regime.
Zimbabweans can defeat tyranny once and for all.
About the author: Clifford Chitupa Mashiri is a London-based political
analyst. He recently passed his PhD in International Relations with the
Commonwealth Open University. The title of his thesis is ‘The False Promise
of The Ethics of the English School of International Relations’. Clifford is
looking for publishers for his three manuscripts: (a) Arms, Rough Diamonds &
Uranium: Can Mugabe Be Trusted? (b) Robert Mugabe: The Legacy of a Tyrant;
and (c) the afore-mentioned thesis which he has developed into a book. In
addition to that, Clifford is a PhD Social Sciences candidate at London
South Bank University. He can be contacted at email@example.com.