March 22, 2013 in News
THE Zimbabwe Anti-corruption Commission (Zacc), for a long time accused of
being a toothless bulldog, now finds itself dramatically embroiled in web
conspiracy theories and controversy after its daring bid to raid the offices
of Indigenisation minister Saviour Kasukuwere, Mines minister Obert Mpofu
and Transport minister Nicholas Goche was thwarted last week amid
accusations and counter-accusations of corruption.
Zacc’s attempts to swoop on and search the ministers’ offices hit a brick
wall after police blocked investigators from accessing the premises.
The body had initially obtained a search warrant before the High Court
stymied it. The unfolding drama has sent shockwaves across a country in
which corruption is endemic, with Zimbabwe ranked joint 163rd out of 176
countries in the 2012 Transparency International Corruption Perceptions
Index, alongside Equatorial Guinea.
Zimbabwe Independent reporters Owen Gagare and Wongai Zhangazha this week
interviewed Zacc spokesperson Commissioner Goodwill Shana about the going-on
saga, including allegations the commission is being used to settle political
scores by hidden hands after receiving inappropriate funding and gifts, as
well as the fierce backlash against its besieged corruption-busting
staffers. Find below the excerpts:
Q: There are allegations Zacc is working with senior MDC-T leaders,
particularly from the Prime Minister’s office, and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
(RBZ) officials to crack down on ministers and that the arrest of staffers
in the premier’s office is related to the raids you wanted to carry out.
What is your response?
A: Allegations of a partisan approach have been made against the commission
before. It’s a very sad state of affairs because of the current dynamics in
the nation and perhaps also because we are in a period where everything is
given a political spin. Even the appointment of the commission is alleged to
have been an agreement between the political parties. Those are speculations
and I cannot speak on speculation.
I do not know of a party political agenda we have because all the
investigations that are carried out are sanctioned and commissioned by the
full commission and if there are any partisan commissioners then it must
mean there are other people from other parties who also concur with
investigations that are going on.
All investigations are done after the full commission has been briefed and
agreed. The issues of partisanship seem to appear now. Why now? Why
particularly this investigation? Why not others?
Q: Which particular investigation are you referring to?
A: The so-called Nieebgate for instance; why not before? Why not in other
circumstances? Why not with the procurement board, for instance, or Zou
(Zimbabwe Open University) or others? Why this particular one? We
categorically refute that (we are politically driven and manipulated).
This investigation has just made us realise corruption is much more
embedded; that the cartels, cabals of corruption are much more widespread,
much stronger than we probably envisaged. But we are not deterred; we are
not dented in any way, and therefore we are carrying on. For instance,
people said we were down and out with regards to CDF (Constituency
Development Fund) investigation but we are still carrying on. Just because
one particular case does not go through does not mean that there are no
other cases we are looking at.
Q: Are you giving up on the indigenisation investigation? If not, how are
you going to move forward?
A: Of course not. I can’t tell you how we are moving forward. You will see
as we move on. We are not cowed; we are not retreating. Corruption, when it
is embedded, strikes back and it happens everywhere in the world. Where
there are cartels or cabals, especially when they feel cornered and at risk,
they don’t go down quietly, they fight back.
We have done nothing wrong. If we want to search a place because we are
mandated to do so and people vigorously resist, you begin to wonder why
because our job is not to arrest or prosecute but to investigate and if
there is a case, then we forward it to prosecuting authorities.
If we search a place and people open their files we may not find anything
wrong so we wonder then why this particular investigation is being
vigorously resisted. That is not to say we have the right to invade any
place. We usually secure search warrants but in this particular case, we
sought search warrants everywhere. We also asked the police and they refused
to help. We went through the whole hierarchy of the police but they did not
cooperate with us.
Q: What were the reasons given for this lack of cooperation?
A: Some of them said their hands were tied. We asked (for the search
warrant) from a magistrate and we were denied. Two weeks ago the same
magistrate who denied us a search warrant gave us one, so one wonders what
happened in between.
We are cognisant of the fact that we need to abide by the law with regard to
search warrants and so on. The point is we exhausted all options, so what
happens if you have exhausted all means but you believe that an
investigation has to take place? You take it as far as you can. For us, the
High Court was the furthest we could go.
Q: There are allegations you received funding from RBZ governor Gideon Gono
and this is now influencing your work. What is your comment?
A: That’s a preposterous, far-fetched conspiracy theory. We have no contact
with Gono. We did not receive funding from anybody for that matter and
sometimes even from Treasury. We are actually starved of funding. It will be
interesting if they can prove that Gono is actually giving us money. We know
that they (RBZ) entered into a written agreement with the previous
commission for quasi-fiscal assistance which was clearly stipulated and
That programme ended with quasi-fiscal activities. We are actually starved
of finances and are operating on a shoe-string budget.
Q: How about gifts? Did you get any gifts from Gono?
A: They must prove it. I think it would be nice for them to prove that we
are receiving gifts and other incentives. It would be nice for them to prove
exactly how we are being motivated to do our investigations. The question to
beg is why Gono would choose the Anti-Corruption Commission which has very
limited powers? Wouldn’t Gono, if he was doing that, choose to work with
somebody who has powers to arrest or prosecute instead of someone who just
Q: Apart from financial and capacity constraints, what other challenges are
A: I think one problem is our inability to directly access the highest
office (President’s Office) because going through a variety of
intermediaries might mean delays and even compromise.
Q: Have you tried to access the highest office directly?
A: We have tried to engage the structures to try and ensure that our voice
and concerns are heard. We are still waiting (for feedback).
Row erupts over controversial Zacc funding
A ROW has erupted over the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s controversial role in
funding the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) amid accusations this
was compromising the anti-graft body’s mandate while putting it under the
control of powerful individuals.
The allegations stem from a Memorandum of Understanding entered between the
RBZ and the commission on capacity enhancement and skills retention in
October 2006. Under the MoU, the RBZ was supposed to provide US$5,5 million
for a skills retention, housing scheme, 56 vehicles and a separate
allocation of US$150 000 for office support.
Responding to questions over the issue, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)
governor Gideon Gono said this week the MoU signed between the central bank
and Zacc was part of intervention measures the bank used in supporting
various government institutions at the height of quasi-fiscal operations
before the adoption of multi-currencies four years ago.
Gono’s opponents say Zacc’s funding by RBZ compromised the body and is a
factor in the ongoing attempts to probe three Zanu PF ministers, Saviour
Kasukuwere (Indigenisation), Obert Mpofu (Mines) and Nicholas Goche
However, Gono said he did not only support Zacc but also “government
ministries, departments, parastatals, local authorities, security , defence,
prisons services and law-enforcement arms of the state, parliament,
judiciary, the presidency and private sector companies”.
“It is common cause that as a country, we faced extraordinary circumstances
which demanded extraordinary interventions during the hyper-inflationary
years of our existence as Zimbabweans and history will record that the RBZ
and myself as governor were at the forefront of trying to serve this country
and its people in whatever best ways we could,” Gono said.
Gono’s adversaries accuse him of working with the Zacc commissioners who are
compromised by his funding to target his opponents. But he said the RBZ had
letters of authorisation from the parent ministries and the presidency in
all the interventions it made.
“The MoU was a very well and carefully crafted document which set out our
respective parameters of operation and independence,” he said. “The parties
to the MoU are defined clearly, objectives spelt out nicely, components of
support properly spelt out and Section 6 dealt with the independence of the
two organisations in the discharge of our respective mandates.”
Zacc commissioner Goodwill Shana told journalists this week there were other
state or government institutions that also got RBZ funding. “I’m aware that
judges, ministries, and the police received financial support from Gono and
to insinuate that Zaac is corrupt based on this, one would have to label all
government institutions who benefitted as corrupt,” Shana said. “It is a
desperate attempt to cast aspersions on the integrity of the commission.”
The RBZ says it gave 1 356 cars valued at USUS$43 377 500 to government
ministries, commissions and state-owned organisations. While the
anti-corruption commission received 49 cars – not 56 as initially agreed –
the ministry of information was given 114, some of which went to Zimpapers
and the state-broadcaster ZBC, ministries of energy 33, agriculture 35,
justice, legal and parliamentary affairs 165, transport 279, health 293 and
March 22, 2013 in Politics
TWO more staffers in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s office were arrested
yesterday after the premier’s four other senior aides were picked up on
Sunday for allegedly impersonating the police and being in possession of
documents that breach the Official Secrets Act.
Report by Brian Chitemba
The arrests are a direct challenge to the MDC-T leader to flex his political
muscle to influence processes and events as well as electoral preparations
ahead of crucial polls expected mid-year.
Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba could not
immediately comment, but Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka
confirmed that two caretakers at the premier’s communications office were
arrested by police.
Tamborinyoka wrote on his Facebook page: “Two caretakers at the Prime
Minister’s communications office at Bath Road, Spiwe Vera and Elizabeth
Banda, were this morning picked up by police detectives at the
communications office at 14 Bath Road in Avondale. Lawyers are on their way
to Harare Central police station.”
On Sunday, police swooped on the same offices and arrested director for
research in the prime minister’s office, Thabani Mpofu, Felix Matsinde,
former councillor Warship Dumba and Mehluli Tshuma for allegedly
impersonating police officers and obtaining information on several ministers’
alleged corruption in violation of the Official Secrets Act.
Their lawyer Beatrice Mtwetwa was also arrested for allegedly obstructing
the course of justice.
On Wednesday they were all remanded in custody to April 3.
The arrests are widely seen as a slap in the face for Tsvangirai (pictured)
who has lately been expressing optimism over prospects of free and fair
elections, while appearing to be cosying up to President Robert Mugabe.
Tsvangirai has claimed he has an agreement with Mugabe that whoever wins the
elections would take over graciously, while the loser accepts defeat without
He also said Mugabe had agreed to rein in security service chiefs. Further,
Tsvangirai recently exonerated the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec)
secretariat – which his party charges is staffed with pro-Zanu PF personnel
with a security backgrounds – of rigging the 2008 elections, while blaming
“underhand forces” for the disputed polls despite that senior MDC-T
officials are still demanding that they be flushed out.
Events on the ground show security forces loyal to Mugabe are still
arresting and harassing MDC-T members and allies, after launching a
crackdown on non-governmental organisations, further bringing into question
Tsvangirai’s power in the coalition government and his remarks on Zimbabwe
being on course for free and fair elections.
Contrary to Tsvangirai’s claims, the escalating arrests and intimidation
also suggest the forthcoming elections could lack credibility.
The latest developments appear to vindicate fears recently expressed by
Botswana President Ian Khama, a fierce Mugabe critic, who said he did not
think there would be free and fair elections in Zimbabwe because
perpetrators of previous violence and manipulation of elections were still
“I have not seen any evidence that they have changed their attitude towards
trying to ensure that Zanu PF will emerge victorious,” Khama said. “So I
think that they are still capable of trying to engage in intimidation,
deploying the security services to bring that about.”
While the referendum was peaceful, there are indications of a resurgence of
systematic repression and terror.
On March 8, police charged Zimbabwe Peace Project director Jestina Mukoko
for allegedly leading an unregistered organisation under the Private
Voluntary Organisations Act, and with smuggling into the country radios and
mobile phones. Police also raided Radio Dialogue in Bulawayo and seized
radios which they claimed were smuggled into the country.
Last month 12-year old Christpowers Maisiri, son of an MDC-T aspiring MP for
Headlands was burnt to death by alleged Zanu PF thugs. There were also
incidents of violence in the run up to the referendum, suggesting there
could be an upsurge of repression and violence leading to the watershed
Recent poll surveys indicate the “fear factor” is still dominant in
Zimbabwean electoral politics. They say it arises from political violence
and intimidation, and would have a negative impact on free and fair
The Freedom House survey last year said 66% of respondents admitted “fear of
violence and intimidation make people vote for parties or candidates other
than the ones they prefer”.
Another survey by Afrobarometer said high incidents of violence and
intimidation fundamentally affect the credibility and legitimacy of
elections. In that survey 72% of respondents either agreed or strongly
agreed that “each time Zimbabwe comes to important political decisions,
violence and intimidation surface”.
The surveys show there is consistency in the level of belief that violence
and intimidation resurge when Zimbabwe comes to important political events,
especially elections, and that this impacts negatively on electoral choices
Presidential elections in particular tend to be more violent, given the
enormous powers of the presidency under the current constitution and even
the new constitution, as well as various legislation.
Zimbabwe’s electoral history is fraught with violence, intimidation, fraud,
and ballot-stuffing, hence disputed polls and the current political
March 22, 2013 in Politics
SADC has expressed deep concern with the overall performance of commissions
established under the Global Political Agreement (GPA) signed by Zanu PF and
the MDC formations in 2008 which gave birth to the current unity government.
Report by Herbert Moyo
In an exclusive interview with the Zimbabwe Independent during the
referendum in Harare last Saturday, Sadc executive secretary Tomaz Salomão
said he was unimpressed by the commissions’ performance and singled out the
Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (Jomic) for its failure to
fully implement its mandate.
Jomic was set up to assess the implementation of the GPA and consider steps
necessary to ensure the speedy and full implementation of the agreement.
“It is not so much an issue of impediments that have come their way, but
rather more of a question of attitude,” said Salomão. “They can do better
and they know they can. We told them and I think they understand that they
need to perform better.”
He however refused to reveal the exact details of Sadc’s communication to
Salomão also said he was worried by the country’s deteriorating political
environment and although he declined to confirm Sadc would convene an
extraordinary summit on Zimbabwe as demanded by the MDC formations, he
hinted at action from the regional body before the general elections.
In the past month the country has witnessed an upsurge in violence,
crackdown on civil society organisations and the arrest of MDC party
officials, raising fears of descent into the chaos of 2008 which resulted in
a sham presidential poll run-off.
“We took note of the situation but let us do things step by step. We will
deal with these issues; some of them before elections and some of them after
elections,” said Salomão.
Other commissions deemed ineffective in executing their mandates are the
Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) and Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
Prominent academic and senior research mentor at the University of the
Western Cape Brian Raftopoulos laid the blame squarely at the door of Zanu
“In addition to the constitutional reform process, Zanu PF has also hindered
the workings of ZHRC and Jomic,” said Raftopoulos. “Zanu PF’s aim is to
delegitimise the secretariat of Jomic on the grounds that it was in alliance
with the MDC formations and was assisting them to extend their
organisational presence throughout the country,” he said.
There has been limited movement on the implementation of agreed reforms with
the only success coming belatedly in the area of constitutional reform.
Zimbabweans endorsed a draft constitution which should have been finalised
18 months into the life of the coalition government formed in 2009, but took
Key security sector and media reforms remain major areas of contention with
Zanu PF refusing to budge.
The team of South African President Jacob Zuma — Sadc’s facilitator on
Zimbabwe — is currently in the country to discuss with parties to the unity
government issues pertaining to the implementation of the Sadc elections
roadmap as the regional bloc moves to ensure credible polls midyear
March 22, 2013 in Politics
ZANU PF has practically declared war on Sadc by refusing to allow South
African President Jacob Zuma’s facilitation team and the bloc’s troika
representatives to work with the Global Political Agreement (GPA) parties
through the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (Jomic).
Report by Owen Gagare
Informed sources say this happened after two meetings at Jomic headquarters
along King George Road in Avondale, Harare, on Wednesday and yesterday
between Zuma’s facilitation team, troika representatives and the monitoring
body’s officials collapsed amid fierce clashes and chaos which signalled the
resurgence of political tensions and hostilities.
This comes hardly a week after a constitutional referendum hailed as a
turning point in Zimbabwe’s political and electoral processes.
On the agenda of the ill-fated Wednesday meeting were items which included
an update from the co-chairs, reports from the sub-committees on operations,
media and land, the referendum and reviewing the GPA, among other things.
Jomic, widely criticised as a toothless bulldog, now sends reports to
cabinet every two weeks. Yesterday’s meeting was convened to discuss how the
facilitation team can work with Jomic.
Sources said Zanu PF Jomic representatives who included Nicholas Goche,
Jonathan Moyo and Oppah Muchinguri, refused to allow Zuma’s facilitation
team and troika delegates to be involved in full meetings of the GPA
monitoring and implementation body.
Zanu PF co-chair Patrick Chinamasa did not attend as he was said to have
travelled with President Robert Mugabe to the Vatican.
The MDC-T was represented by Elton Mangoma, Innocent Chagonda, Tabitha
Khumalo and Elias Mudzuri, while the MDC had Priscilla
Misihairabwi-Mushonga, Qhubani Moyo, Paul Themba Nyathi and Frank
Sources said Zanu PF representatives, led by Moyo, argued the facilitation
team should not attend Jomic’s full meetings as that was an infringement of
the GPA which says parties must be left alone to resolve their issues, while
it also undermined Zimbabwe’s sovereignty.
They also argued it was not true Jomic was moribund and needed to be
re-activated through the participation of the facilitation team as its
sub-committees and other structures were working.
Further, they argued facilitation only happens at the level of principals,
not Jomic, and if Sadc representatives got into the Jomic meetings they
would become part of a monitoring structure expected to watch over all
stakeholders, including them.
“Zanu PF officials, especially Moyo, raised all these issues saying the
facilitation team must not be involved in Jomic meetings. They feel that the
facilitation team is being intrusive, snooping on their affairs and is
trying to remain relevant after it was left behind by recent events,” one
Jomic official said. “The other issue is that Zanu PF thinks donors want to
monitor the next elections and control the electoral process through Jomic.”
Sources said the Zanu PF team’s belligerent position caused heated
exchanges, with vicious clashes between Jonathan Moyo and Mangoma.
Misihairabwi-Mushonga was also involved although she was said to have been
The Jomic battles in Harare –– which have sent alarm bells ringing across
the Sadc region –– follow a recent meeting of the Sadc troika on Politics,
Defence and Security on March 9 in Pretoria, which demanded the troika’s
representatives from Tanzania, Zambia and Namibia “must be enabled to
actively participate in Jomic”.
In his report to the troika, Zuma made 10 recommendations which include the
need for urgent full implementation of the GPA, elections roadmap,
outstanding issues, security sector re-alignment, cessation of repression
and violence, cleaning up of the voters’ roll, election observers,
referendum and free and fair elections.
Sources said Goche, Jonathan Moyo and Muchinguri also rejected the
participation of Zuma and the troika teams, claiming they were not aware
Jomic co-chairs had recently agreed they should attend Wednesday’s meeting.
Jomic co-chairs met with the facilitation team on March 12 where the troika
representatives were introduced.
Sources said the snubbing of the facilitation team would be seen in the
region as a slap in the face for Zuma, who was appointed by Sadc as
facilitator to the Zimbabwe crisis replacing his South African predecessor
Thabo Mbeki, by Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete who chairs the Sadc
troika and the regional bloc in its entirety.
“The refusal to allow the facilitation teams to participate in Jomic
meetings is a slap in the face for Zuma and the blocking of troika
representatives means a rejection of Sadc resolutions, particularly those
from the Livingstone, Sandton, Luanda, Maputo, Windhoek, Dar es Salem and
Pretoria summits,” a senior Sadc diplomat said. “In short, this is
declaration of war on Sadc by Zanu PF representatives.”
The Jomic fracas came a day after Sadc executive secretary Tomaz Salomao
told Zimbabwe Independent (See story on Page 7) that the regional bloc was
unhappy with the way the monitoring body was operating.
Sources said the Wednesday meeting was convened after Jomic co-chairpersons,
Chinamasa, Misihairabwi-Mushonga and Mangoma agreed to call for a full Jomic
meeting at 1pm on Wednesday when they met on March 13.
“Jomic co-chairpersons from the MDC formations informed their parties about
the meetings, but Goche, who arrived at the venue at 2pm well after the Sadc
team and other officials had arrived, claimed not to know anything about
that,” a source said. “This allowed Zanu PF representatives to refuse to
allow the facilitation and troika teams to participate in the full Jomic
A team comprising Moyo, Mangoma, Chagonda, Qhubani Moyo and Paul Themba
Nyathi was then formed and tasked to come up with the terms of reference on
how the facilitation team would work with Jomic. Goche was expected to
attend but did not. The team met yesterday morning at Jomic offices, minutes
of the meeting were seen by the Independent show.
“It was noted that the meeting was agreed to in the meeting held on
Wednesday 20 March 2013 to discuss how the facilitation team can work with
Jomic. Honourable Mangoma highlighted that their party was happy for the
facilitation team to sit in Jomic meetings and ask questions where they
needed clarification. It was also noted that Jomic should submit regular
reports to the facilitation team on the work being done,” minutes say.
“Honourable Professor J Moyo highlighted that their party position is that
the facilitation team should interact with Jomic through the
Jomic is a process of three political parties therefore it would not be
appropriate for the facilitator to sit in Jomic. Jomic should monitor all
GPA processes including the role of the facilitator and Sadc. The
facilitation team can receive reports from Jomic as they may need. The work
of Jomic should not go beyond the GPA processes, and should not extend to
the observation of the forthcoming elections because this is a national
Qhubani Moyo, the minutes say, noted the position of his party is that there
should be pronounced interaction of the facilitation team and Jomic. He said
the facilitation team could sit in Jomic meetings and ask questions for
further clarification. The facilitation team should receive regular reports
from Jomic, while the monitoring body should submit regular reports to
“It was noted that the parties had different positions on how Jomic should
interact with the facilitation team, and on the role of Jomic in the
forthcoming elections. The chairperson (Mangoma) noted that the parties
should communicate their positions to the facilitation team,” the minutes
“Honourable Professor J Moyo highlighted that he was not mandated to talk to
the facilitation team therefore he would not participate in the meeting with
the facilitation team.”
March 22, 2013 in Politics
PRINCIPALS of the government of national unity (GNU) and cabinet ministers
will get a windfall — in the form of cash, houses, residential stands, and
luxury cars — as they have now finalised plans for golden handshakes in the
form of plump exit packages when the tenure of the current coalition
arrangement ends in June.
Report by Brian Chitemba
President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Vice-President
Joice Mujuru, and deputy prime ministers Arthur Mutambara and Thokozani
Khupe are expected to get hefty packages running into hundreds of thousands
of dollars, while ministers would each get US$30 000, residential stands in
affluent suburbs, three luxury cars including Mercedes Benz and
However, one minister has reportedly declined the costly packages which will
further bleed the bankrupt government and economy, arguing it was a waste of
taxpayers’ money. He also warned people would be outraged by this move.
As first reported in the Zimbabwe Independent last month, there have been
ongoing discussions over the exit packages that would cost Treasury millions
of dollars at a time the country is struggling to provide basic services
like clean water, electricity and pay civil servants, as well as fund
Cabinet ministers — who caused a furore over cars when they came into office
four years ago — drew strength to demand the hefty benefits after the GNU
built houses or was planning to do so for Tsvangirai, the vice-presidents
and the deputy prime ministers.
Sources said it was finally agreed Mugabe, Tsvangirai, Mujuru, Mutambara and
Khupe as well as the 35 cabinet ministers and 18 deputy ministers would
receive “golden handshakes” before leaving office.
Apart from the ministers’ exit packages, MPs are also pressing for vehicles
and more allowances.
MPs were previously given US$15 000 each.
The House of Assembly started off with 210 legislators, but that number is
now down to 190 because of deaths and suspensions. The senate had 93
members, a third of them unelected, among them 10 chiefs, 10 governors and
those appointed by the principals. There are now 80 left.
March 22, 2013 in Politics
WHILE the two MDC formations in the inclusive government appear to have all
but given up on pushing for political reforms before the next elections,
Sadc leaders remain determined to ensure the poll roadmap is fully
implemented to ensure credible polls.
Report by Wongai Zhangazha
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai (MDC-T) and MDC leader Welshman Ncube have
lately been conspicuous by their silence on the reform agenda while regional
leaders have been increasingly active in pushing for full implementation of
the Global Political Agreement (GPA) and election roadmap.
Sadc-appointed facilitator South African President Jacob Zuma, for the
second time in as many weeks, dispatched his facilitation team to Harare to
check on the state of the country’s preparedness for elections and progress
on the full implementation of the GPA.
On Wednesday Zuma’s facilitators Mac Maharaj, Lindiwe Zulu and Charles
Nqakula met with the full Jomic team but the meeting collapsed due to fights
between Zanu PF and MDC parties..
According to sources, Jomic was expected to present the facilitators with
reports detailing its work since the body was formed.
Two officials from Tanzania and Zambia seconded to Jomic to strengthen it
were also introduced to the full Jomic team.
“It was mentioned in the meeting that Namibia was expected to send a
representative soon to join the two other representatives. Jomic meetings
with the facilitation team collapsed due to disagreements between Zanu PF
and MDC parties,” said a source.
The officials were supposed to join Jomic last year, but disagreements over
their terms of reference by the political parties delayed their deployment.
Zanu PF wanted their terms of reference clarified to ensure they would not
interfere with the country’s “sovereignty”.
Zuma presented a report to the Sadc Troika of the Organ on Politics, Defence
and Security Cooperation early this month where he suggested several
recommendations to expedite the implementation of outstanding GPA issues.
He recommended that all outstanding issues be attended to urgently,
emphasising “it is extremely urgent that all matters agreed upon in terms of
the GPA are implemented speedily”.
Zuma recommended that Jomic be activated as a matter of priority.
“The facilitation team supplemented by the representatives of Tanzania and
Zambia must be enabled to participate actively in Jomic.
Namibia, as the incoming chair of the Troika, should be included.
Without the above two points, it will be difficult to ensure that there is
no intimidation and that violence is not allowed to escalate, if and when it
occurs,” Zuma’s report reads.
Zuma also recommended the cleaning up of the voters roll arguing that it
would make the election roadmap realistic. He called for a resolution of the
differences between the parties regarding the role of observers, using as
baseline local laws and the Sadc Protocol.
March 22, 2013 in Politics
GLOBAL Political Agreement negotiators Patrick Chinamasa (Zanu PF), Elton
Mangoma (MDC-T) and Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga (MDC) leave for London
over the weekend to engage the international and donor community on the
country’s needs before and after elections.
Report by Owen Gagare
The trio is part of Zimbabwe’s international re-engagement team and will use
their London trip to persuade the donor community to assist in funding the
crucial elections around mid-year.
Britain’s ambassador to Zimbabwe Deborah Bronnert confirmed the London
meeting –– organised by the Friends of Zimbabwe and her embassy –– would be
held next Tuesday.
“All the major donors will be represented at the meeting which is basically
part of the re-engagement process,” said Bronnert.
“The EU (European Union) and all the major donor countries such as the UK,
United States, Australia, Germany, Canada, Japan and Switzerland, among
others, will be represented. International financial institutions such as
the International Monetary Fund and international bodies such as the United
Nations and its agencies such as the United Nations Development Programme
(UNDP), will also be in attendance.”
Diplomats from Sadc accredited to Britain will also attend the meeting.
Mangoma said the re-engagement team had no mandate to plead for election
funds although they would highlight the country’s plight in the run-up to
and after the polls.
“We will indicate that Zimbabwe has no money and by stating that, we are
indirectly asking for assistance,” said Mangoma. “However, our team has no
mandate to ask for poll funds because these have already been submitted to
the UNDP by the relevant people.
“We will talk about the country’s needs in the near future and in the
long-term so that the international community understands them.”
Finance minister Tendai Biti and Chinamasa, who were tasked by the unity
government principals to source funding for the just-ended referendum and
general elections, wrote a letter to the UNDP resident representative Alain
Noudehou dated February 4 asking for assistance to raise US$250 million for
In the letter the two ministers revealed Zimbabwe only had a combined budget
of US$25 million, yet the two processes would cost US$250 million.
About US$85 million was needed for the referendum, which eventually cost
about US$55 million, while elections require US$107 million.
The UNDP played a crucial role by mobilising US$21 million for the
The re-engagement team was last year expected to engage Chatham House, the
home of the Royal Institute of International Affairs which specialises in
independent analysis and informed debate among other things.
The institute engages governments, the private sector, civil society and its
members in open debates and confidential discussions about significant
developments in international affairs.
March 22, 2013 in Politics
FAR from genuinely committing to reforms to usher in a democratic
dispensation in Zimbabwe, Zanu PF has been using the Global Political
Agreement (GPA) to regroup and recover from an all-time low culminating in
President Robert Mugabe’s March 2008 first round electoral defeat by the
MDC-T leader, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
Herbert Moyo/Elias Mambo
Brian Raftopolous, a senior research mentor at the University of the Western
Cape, told the Zimbabwe Independent in an interview last Friday Zanu PF had
benefitted immensely from the coalition government, disunity between the MDC
formations as well as allegations of corruption levelled against MDC
Raftopolous said the MDC formations had also benefitted by gaining
experience in government and understanding statecraft, although they faced
challenges of dealing with their own structures as well as corruption within
“Their biggest challenge was that they failed to work together from the
beginning and even allowed themselves to be divided by Zanu PF, especially
on the (Deputy Prime Minister Arthur) Mutambara issue,” said Raftopolous.
“Their lack of co-ordination weakened them. On the whole, Zanu PF has
benefitted the most because, having lost the 2008 elections, they got a
second chance to regroup, rebuild and start trying to deal with issues of
Zanu PF, Raftopolous said, has never sought genuine reforms towards a
democratic dispensation but only agreed to form a coalition government with
the intention of regrouping and consolidating after plunging to the nadir of
legitimacy after the 2008 electoral defeat.
Raftopoulos also said Zanu PF has profited from its close connection with
the security sector while in a coalition government with the MDC parties and
has continued to use systematic violence, among other measures, to reassert
its dominance in government and on the political landscape.
“In the framework of as highly contested political framework like the GPA,
the deployment of security forces, intimidation and punishment have remained
key resources in Zanu PF’s battle to retain state power,” Raftopoulos said.
Apart from violence, he said Zanu PF had capitalised on its patronage system
based on the exploitation of diamonds from Marange as well as rolling out an
election plan based on the controversial indigenisation programme.
March 22, 2013 in Politics
ZIMBABWE’S imperial presidency which gives the incumbent almost unfettered
powers and control over all the arms of government, something which has been
the source of much debate around constitutional reforms since 1987, has
largely remained intact in the draft constitution endorsed in last weekend’s
referendum, a legal analyst has said.
Report by Paidamoyo Muzulu
Research and Advocacy Unit senior researcher Derek Matyszak says the Copac
draft constitution was not substantially different from the Lancaster
Constitution in many respects with the exception of limiting presidential
terms to a maximum two five-year tenures and his powers to dissolve
Matyszak says the structure of the executive and presidential powers under
the draft constitution resembled those under the current Lancaster House
“The changes that are of some significance are the removal of the power to
dissolve parliament and the dilution of the president’s influence over the
choice of judges and the head of public prosecutions –– though considerable
influence remains,” Matyszak says.
Matyszak notes the president still retains significant control over the
security sector, especially their operations as well as the appointment of
Zanu PF has steadfastly resisted security sector reforms as spelt out by the
Global Political Agreement as security forces are credited with helping
President Robert Mugabe retain his stranglehold on power.
“The president’s plenary control over the security sector remains in place
and little effective change has been made to security sector governance.
Given that the need for reform to the manner in which the security sector is
governed has been noted as the single most important factor in ensuring
democratic elections in Zimbabwe and key to ensuring the rule of law, it is
remarkable that this aspect of the constitution remains largely unchanged,”
Matyszak further argues the endorsed draft allows a defeated president to
continue in office while the Constitutional Court decides electoral
petitions or a runoff poll.
“Accordingly, an incumbent president who ‘wins’ an election subsequently
ruled invalid may nonetheless remain in office for 74 days following the
vitiated election. The possibility also exists that the second election (and
subsequent elections) is likewise ruled invalid. Throughout this period, the
incumbent will remain in office,” he observes.
Matyszak further notes the president would still exercise the prerogative of
mercy and declaration of a state of emergence just like under the Lancaster
The draft further preserves the president’s powers in signing international
treaties and wide powers in assenting to or rejecting bills from parliament.
The president also has legislative powers just as much as parliament, thus
further erasing the principle of separation of powers.
Matyszak says although international treaties concluded by the president do
not bind Zimbabwe until approved or exempted from approval by parliament,
the draft constitution still empowers the president to sign treaties without
prior parliamentary approval.
March 22, 2013 in Politics
INTENSIFYING power struggles within Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s
MDC -T are threatening to widen fissures in the party due to disagreements
over the appropriate elections campaign strategy to adopt ahead of
harmonised elections later this year.
Elias Mambo/Herbert Moyo
Sources said a meeting at which two strategies were tabled before the party’s
standing committee for consideration and adoption of the better strategy
ended without consensus as debate raged.
MDC-T organising secretary Nelson Chamisa and party secretary-general Tendai
Biti are said to have proposed an all-inclusive, party-centered campaign
strategy which most senior party members seem to favour, while Tsvangirai’s
chief advisor Alex Magaisa is said to prefer a presidentially-driven
campaign strategy similar to that of the United States.
A party-centred approach concentrates on winning parliamentary seats while a
presidential one entails directing efforts at campaigning for the party
president with the hope that the party’s legislative candidates would also
Tsvangirai faces stiff resistance from his lieutenants pushing for the
adoption of a monolithic party campaign strategy where sitting MPs campaign
for the party as well as their presidential candidate.However, Tsvangirai is
said to be pushing for a presidential-campaign driven approach in which all
party members rally behind him before they canvass for votes for themselves.
“A presidentially-driven campaign thrust would ensure that Tsvangirai is
safe because those wishing to represent the party as MPs are expected to
campaign for the president first,” said the source.
“Tsvangirai wants everyone to campaign for him. He fears the Zanu PF bhora
musango situation where MPs campaigned for themselves and told the
electorate to vote for whomever they wanted in the 2008 presidential
elections,” the source said. MDC-T spokesman Douglas Mwonzora was
unavailable for comment.
In June 2008, President Robert Mugabe only managed to retain his position
after Tsvangirai boycotted a run-off contest citing state-sponsored violence
and killings, forcing the formation of a coalition government.
Zanu PF MPs had revolted against Mugabe at the height of the political and
March 22, 2013 in Politics
FOLLOWING the constitutional referendum last weekend in which Zimbabweans
endorsed the draft constitution with a landslide, the spotlight is now
shifting to watershed general elections due mid-year where the presidential
race featuring perennial rivals, President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai would be the high-point.
The results of the referendum have been embraced by some to claim that
Mugabe and Zanu PF would win the next polls since there was supposedly a
high voter turnout in their traditional political strongholds.
Mugabe and his party have also of late been buoyed by favourable election
surveys which point out they have significantly recovered from their
pathetic performance in 2008.
In the 2008 parliamentary polls, the Tsvangirai-led MDC-T won 99 seats in
the Lower House, followed by Zanu PF with 97 seats and the MDC, then led by
deputy premier Arthur Mutambara, with 10. The results denied Zanu PF a
legislative majority for the first time in the country’s 28-year history.
In the senate, Zanu PF took half of the 60 elected seats, but it also
controlled the chamber’s 33 unelected seats. The MDC-T and MDC, won 24 and
six senate seats, respectively.
When the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) finally released the
presidential election results after a five-week delay, it announced that
Tsvangirai had defeated Mugabe by 47,9% to 43,2%, requiring a run-off
between the two.
The MDC-T accused Zec of fraud and claimed Tsvangirai had won the election
outright with 50,3% of the vote. As evidence, the party cited an extensive
parallel vote count conducted by a network of civic groups.
Following Mugabe’s shock defeat in the first round of polling, Zanu PF
militias and state security forces began a brutal campaign of violence
calculated to exert vengeance and intimidation against MDC members and their
suspected supporters in civil society groups, including the media.
Tsvangirai ultimately withdrew from the blood-soaked June presidential
election run-off, allowing the unopposed Mugabe to claim 85% of the vote
amid low turnout and many spoiled ballots.
Political violence continued after the elections.
According to international and domestic human rights organisations, at least
200 MDC activists and supporters were killed over the course of 2008, about
5 000 were beaten, tortured or maimed, while more than 10 000 were
As a result, Mugabe’s purported victory was widely rejected, even by
regional and African leaders. In September 2008, Zanu PF and the MDC parties
then reached a power-sharing agreement brokered by Sadc — the Global
Political Agreement (GPA) — that allowed Mugabe to remain president, created
the post of prime minister for Tsvangirai, and distributed ministries to
Zanu PF (14, including defence, state security, and justice), Tsvangirai’s
MDC-T (13, including finance, health, and constitutional and parliamentary
affairs), and Mutambara’s party three.
A constitutional amendment creating the post of prime minister was enacted
in February 2009, and the new government was sworn in that month.
However, in practice, Mugabe retained control of the powerful executive, and
after that he unilaterally re-appointed the governor for the central bank,
the attorney-general, and the police commissioner-general, as well as a
number of senior judges and diplomats.
Mugabe also refused to swear in MDC-T deputy minister Roy Bennett and all of
its provincial governors, appointing Zanu PF loyalists instead.
So inevitably after the referendum, there is already debate over who stands
to benefit more from the process and its outcome between Mugabe and
Tsvangirai. The state media claim “Zanu PF strongholds in rural areas
recorded high turnouts to drive the ‘Yes’ vote with MDC-T-dominated urban
areas recording low endorsement in some areas which suggests Zanu PF is
poised for a landslide victory”.
Analysts have contending views on who is currently more solid and stronger
between Mugabe and Tsvangirai ahead of elections.
Political analyst Ibbo Mandaza says Tsvangirai will defeat Mugabe in any
credible poll. He says Tsvangirai has age on his side and his long-running
anti-Mugabe campaign still has momentum.
Mandaza said that besides his record of failure, Mugabe’s chances have been
dented by intensifying factionalism and infighting within Zanu PF, mainly
caused by his protracted succession battles.
“Those in his party are not happy with his candidature so another scenario
of bhora musango (a protest strategy in which Zanu PF candidates sabotaged
Mugabe by campaigning for themselves while urging their supporters to back
any other presidential candidate) is likely to contribute to his demise,”
Zimbabwe Democracy Institute director Pedzisai Ruhanya says Tsvangirai has a
chance to win the polls if he can unite anti-Mugabe forces to eliminate
division of the vote which prevented him from an undisputed victory in 2008.
“Judging by results from previous elections, Tsvangirai has a chance to win,
but that will also depend on whether he can rally a strong pro-democracy
coalition that comprises organisations like the National Constitutional
Assembly, Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe and the International
Socialist Organisation,” said Ruhanya.
He said Mugabe’s old age and ill-health were his major handicaps as each
passing day made the ageing leader less appealing and vulnerable.
Mugabe turned 89 last month, making him Africa’s oldest leader.
Other observers say Tsvangirai will only secure outright victory if the two
MDC formations unite against Mugabe. But Tsvangirai and his rival Welshman
Ncube, leader of the MDC, have ruled out any prospects of an alliance.
The animosity between Tsvangirai and Ncube runs deep and led to the party’s
split in 2005. An attempt to forge an alliance failed in 2008, partly
because the parties could not agree on the allocation of government
positions if they won.
In his autobiography At the Deep End, Tsvangirai claimed Ncube’s MDC did not
have any influence, saying “they were simply riding on my popularity, in the
forlorn hope that part of it would rub off on to them”.
Analysts say given the current delicate balance between Mugabe and
Tsvangirai, Ncube, whose party has picked up some momentum, could eventually
be the kingmaker.
They say Mugabe’s prospects hinge on land reform and indigenisation
programmes — its main campaign strategy — claimed to have benefitted rural
communities which form a huge part of the electorate.
Brian Raftopoulos, director of research and advocacy in the Solidarity Peace
Trust, says Zanu PF has regained popularity through its empowerment
programmes, and that could help Mugabe.
“By implementing this controversial programme, Zanu PF has managed to claw
back some space and increase its support base,” said Raftopoulos.
“The four years in the inclusive government has also given the former ruling
party some breathing space to re-organise its structures after the 2008
election loss while the MDC parties are likely to fail to unite to enhance
their chances of unseating Mugabe in the next elections.”
While Mugabe is offering land reform and indigenisation, Tsvangirai has come
up with a new economic blueprint called Juice (Jobs, Upliftment, Investment,
Capital and Ecology) which however has failed to create election hype.
Since 2000, Tsvangirai has largely relied on the anti-Mugabe sentiment to
garner votes while his rival has used empowerment as well as political
terror to hang onto power. Surveys say Zimbabweans remain anxiously
uncertain about the political future of their country, not sure who will
win, although they give Mugabe and his party a doubtful edge.
March 22, 2013 in Business
A NEW golf resort and residential estate has been planned for the former
Ruwa golf and country club, a leading property house has said.
Trust Properties managing director Isaac Chimbetete told businessdigest this
week that all the necessary groundwork for the property development to
commence is now done.
“The result demonstrates how the best aspects of a members only residential
club development can be successfully combined with resort facilities to
create a unique lifestyle destination,” Chimbetete said.
The estate will house a new hotel and other amenities that will enable both
Zimbabwean and foreign golf enthusiasts to share this facility with
According to Trust Properties, the former Ruwa Country Club has a recently
completed brand new 18-hole championship golf course and the 75-year old
clubhouse has undergone extensive refurbishment which was “designed to
retain its old charm whilst at the same time delivering modern conveniences”.
Situated east of Harare approximately 26 kilometres along Mutare Road, the
new estate is within easy reach for most golfers.
“The existing club facilities and the development are owned and operated by
Ruwa Golf Resort Holdings Limited which is also the developer,” Chimbetete
The estate will sit on 144 hectares (360 acres) and was created by
consolidating two adjoining properties, one of which housed the original
Ruwa Golf and Country club. The new property has been sub-divided to create
a “recreational area” comprising the golf course, hotel, conference centre
and other facilities.
The remainder is divided into 168 residential stands of approximately 2000
square metres (half an acre) each. These stands will be sold for residential
development on a freehold title basis.
Purchasers of residential stands, which will be serviced by the developer,
will be required to meet certain minimum building standards and conform to
external uniformity of roofing pitch, materials, exterior window profiles
The up-market golf resort will be Zimbabwe’s second such development after
March 22, 2013 in Business
DAIRIBORD Holdings Ltd sees a 12% growth in turnover this year compared to
last year supported by the group’s heifer programme, which is expected to
augment milk supply, a company official said.
Dairibord kick-started its milk supply development programme during the
fourth quarter of last year by importing 250 heifers. The heifers were
allocated to 10 farmers across the provinces.
The move by the company follows a similar one by Nestle Zimbabwe that saw
the Swiss-controlled multinational investing US$14 million into the
importation of 2 000 heifers.
National milk supply remains low against demand but players in the dairy
industry believe it is government’s responsibility to promote it.
Zimbabwe has the highest producer price for milk in the world at between
55-59 US cents a litre against 35-39 US cents a litre in South Africa, 18-20
US cents in Uganda, 28 US cents in Kenya, 22 US cents in US and 14-21 US
cents in New Zealand.
Chief executive Anthony Mandiwanza told an analysts’ briefing on Wednesday
the group expects milk supply to grow 10% above last year.
National raw milk production was up 6% while the group’s intake was up 8% on
the back of the milk supply development initiative.
In the year to December 2012, the group’s revenue grew 11% to US$106,9
million on the back of a 10% increase in volume.
Operating profit however was down 10%. The group’s FD Mercy Ndoro explained
this was because group had not adjusted consumer prices against rising
Mandiwanza said volumes had been driven by an increase in capacity
utilisation on ice cream and peanut butter, but liquid milk volumes had not
been able to grow because of supply constraints.
He also said the group’s Malawi operations had suffered following a cocktail
of problems, among other things, the devaluation of the Malawian Kwacha and
power outages. Raw milk intake was 10% below last year as they had been
unable to collect milk timely.
In terms of the revenue streams, Mandiwanza said these were evenly spread
over the three key portfolios; milks, foods and beverages.
March 22, 2013 in Business
A SENIOR Barclays Africa executive is set to jet into the country next week
to meet with Indigenisation minister Saviour Kasukuwere to chart the course
on how the financial conglomerate’s local operation — Barclays Zimbabwe —
can meet indigenisation requirements as the minister ratchets up pressure on
foreign-owned banks to comply by June.
According to sources, Barclays Africa chief executive and head of Africa
Group Strategy Kennedy Bungane has a scheduled meeting with Kasukuwere on
Tuesday to iron out indigenisation compliance issues.
This comes after Kasukuwere wrote a letter to the Reserve Bank governor
Gideon Gono on March 8 2013, insisting indigenisation of banks was well
The minister warned Gono banks were not exempt from Indigenisation, a demand
to which Gono said he would not succumb. The letter was copied to the chief
secretary to the President and Cabinet Misheck Sibanda, his deputy retired
Colonel Christian Katsande and Central Intelligence Organisation
director-general Happyton Bonyongwe.
In the letter, Kasukuwere says General Notice 280 of 2012 in terms of
Section 5(4) of the Indigenisation and Empowerment Act prescribed the
indigenisation framework for the financial services sector.
“The General Notice requires all financial institutions to comply with the
51% indigenous shareholding requirement within a period of one year from the
date of publication of the notice,” reads the letter.
Kasukuwere said he was proceeding accordingly to enforce the statutory
“As a regulatory authority for the financial services sector, you will be
consulted, consistent with the laws of the country, at the appropriate
time,” the letter by Kasukuwere to Gono stated.
Kasukuwere this week confirmed the meeting with the Barclays Africa boss.
According to documents seen by businessdigest, Barclays, which has a
localised shareholding of 32,23%, wants to give a stake to an employee share
ownership scheme, a pension fund scheme as well as empowerment credits.
The other foreign-owned banks, Standard Chartered, Stanbic and MBCA have
almost similar plans. Gono insists Kasukuwere must stay away from banks.
Barclays has also proposed to raise funding for the agricultural sector of
up to US$100 million.
The National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board is currently in
talks with the banks to craft the best way of implementing the plans.
Kasukuwere said this week indigenisation was not just a policy, but the law,
which means all the companies which fall within the brackets must comply.
“If there is in any foreign-owned company which does not want to follow the
law then we will consider them as having taken a political position,” he
Kasukuwere said overall, banks should play an important role in economic
Kasukuwere and Gono remain at war over the indigenisation of the banking
sector. Gono’s position is that the planned sale of the 51% stakes in the
financial services sector is illegal because there is no law that provides
for arbitrary expropriation of banking assets in Zimbabwe.
He also says indigenisation statutes clash with banking laws. But Kasukuwere
insists that there is a provision in the indigenisation law, which says that
the ministry has jurisdiction over the compliance of all business interests
in the country.
Barclays Zimbabwe CEO George Guvamatanga could not be reached for comment.
March 22, 2013 in Opinion
THE formality of adopting the new constitution has come and gone, and so has
the expenditure associated with it.
Candid Comment with Itai Masuku
But it’s not over yet. To quote an expression, the mother of all
expenditures is next; the general elections.
We are told some US$100 million or so is needed for this exercise and
everyone is now being taxed to fund it. Businesses are being cajoled into
financing the elections. We understand all the three major political parties
are going for broke in these elections. These are watershed s and along with
them watershed expenditure.
The biggest question is, while all the political parties in the unity
government will be busy preparing for the elections, who will be watching
The very fact that there is intra-party factional fighting within the main
political parties means all the energies of the members of the government
will be directed towards their political survival.
In politics a week is a very long time, Harold Wilson once said, and the
fact that we are not sure whether these elections are going to be held in
June, July or September as has been mooted variously, means political
uncertainty will evidently translate into economic uncertainty for a long
time. As usual, some investors are already adopting a wait-and-see attitude.
Others are taking positions ahead of what they think will be a once-in-a
Unfortunately for the populace some within the leadership are on the last
chance train for plunder. This is unfolding in the anti-corruption saga
unfolding. Where this will end is anybody’s guess but one thing is certain:
a “loota” continua before the opportunity goes. We all recall the unity
government began on a very sound footing by stemming unchecked expenditure
and sticking to a zero-balanced budget.
When Zanu PF appeared determined to hold elections last year, we slipped
into deficit spending. Now we are skating.
By the way, the expanded legislature from the new constitution will increase
A question for our unity government is: what economic legacy will it leave
Shall we credit it with restoring the crucial macro-economic fundamental of
price stability? Honestly speaking, dollarisation began before the unity
government and technically it’s a fallacy to attribute price stability to
the GNU. In fact signs are the GNU has overseen the return of inflation,
this time in US dollar terms.
Inflation figures released by Zimstat claim February annual inflation was
2,98% or something fantastic like that. Firstly, how do you keep inflation
at that level when you have the magnitude of deficit spending we are in?
Secondly, how do you attain such a level when the trade balance is hugely
against us? A child going to boarding school can justify to you why they
need more pocket money.
We don’t know the details of Zimstat’s basket of goods to measure the
Consumer Price Index, but what we know is the basket of goods we get from
our supermarkets is costing more by each day.
Just by way of illustration in 2009 US$100 could get one a trolley full of
goods in most of Zimbabwe’s supermarkets and two trolleys in Messina or
Francistown. Now, you’ll be extremely lucky if you can fill half a trolley.
The only product that has gone down in price is Schweppes’ Mazoe Orange.
March 22, 2013 in Opinion
Last week’s referendum on the proposed new constitution was a small but
positive step towards a Zimbabwean economic recovery of substance, albeit
that many further steps are needed, most of which will have to be of an even
greater, economically-conducive nature.
Opinion by Eric Bloch
An essential for Zimbabwe to achieve the long-desired comprehensive economic
recovery is extensive investment from both domestic and foreign investors.
Investment security is also a prerequisite for almost all potential
The absence of confidence in such security being assured is the most
pronounced reason for most who would otherwise invest to refrain from doing
In like manner, lines of credit and loans are not forthcoming, be it to
government, banks and other financial institutions, commerce and industry
and key economic sectors, unless the would-be lenders have great confidence
that their funding, and the repayment thereof, is secure and assured.
One of the key elements that make investors and lenders feel their funds are
secured is that the country into which the the money is being injected is
governed in accord with fundamental principles of democracy, it has complete
adherence to preservation and implementation of law and order, and
unequivocal respect and observance for human and property rights.
Most of these essential elements have been absent in Zimbabwe for many years
and hence there is an ever-greater reticence on the part of would-be
investors and financiers to engage in any transactions in Zimbabwe.
This has impacted adversely on all sectors of the economy, and indirectly on
government and its much-needed fiscal resources.
In particular, it has constrained the operations and development of the
manufacturing, commercial, tourism and agricultural sectors and even to some
extent the exploitation of Zimbabwe’s vast mineral resources. But the first
evidence of a positive change was last week’s constitutional referendum.
For in contrast to elections over the preceding three decades, it was
conducted with a high level of transparency, efficiency, and was almost
devoid of intimidation, harassment of voters, and concomitant violence.
While after many years of extremely non-transparent, undemocratic elections,
the referendum was conducted in a much better manner, a high level of voter
apathy was inevitable, resulting in less than half of those who could vote
Nevertheless, the three million who cast their votes were able to so in the
manner they wished, without any severe external pressures upon them.
Moreover, although the new constitution is not perfect, and incorporates
diverse concessions by the various political parties that were engaged in
pursuing its formulation, it has some significant improvements over the
constitution that was, to all intents and purposes, imposed on the populace
Among the more significant, and potentially economically beneficial changes
incorporated in the new constitution is that rural lands will be negotiable
and transferable by way of cession of leases (for title deeds are not being
reinstated, but the negotiability and transferability does accord a
significant element of title), and this will accord the under-capitalised
farmers access to borrowings to fund their operations, once financial
institutions enjoy a restoration of liquidity.
This will be a key element of Zimbabwe regaining its former repute as the
“bread basket of the region”, instead of being highly dependent on costly
imports to meet the basic food needs of the population.
The partial provision within the new constitution of gender equality is also
a material factor in pursuing economic development and growth, as also are
some of the modifications to the qualifications to attain or retain
Zimbabwean citizenship, notwithstanding that many who had dual citizenship
prior to 1984 are still unable to regain such status.
A further factor which has enabled the world at large to perceive that
Zimbabwe is beginning to pursue democracy was that the referendum was so
structured as to enable almost all who wished to vote (and were qualified to
do so) to be able to do so without undue burden of vast distance travel.
This is because 9 000 polling stations were operational throughout the
Regrettably, however, postal voting was not reinstated, which would have
further enabled voter participation.
The fact that the referendum was conducted in a substantially proper manner,
and that the results were forthcoming fairly rapidly, were reinforced by the
observations and the subsequent statements of almost all the independent
observers, although they were mainly from the Sadc region, and from other
“friendly” states in Africa.
However, they also included up to five persons from most of the embassies
and diplomatic missions operating in Zimbabwe.
Nevertheless, such positive findings would undoubtedly have been even
greater and internationally more meaningful if Zimbabwe had not precluded
the presence of observers from Western countries, and if it had permitted
more extensive NGO participation than it agreed to.
Building upon the foundation created by the referendum for investor
confidence to be regained, it is now of critical importance that, without
undue delay, the legislative requirements for it to be binding are
completed, and that Zimbabwe proceed to presidential and parliamentary
elections within a short period of time (hopefully by June or July, 2013).
Such elections should be conducted with as great, or preferably even greater
transparency, freely and fairly, fully observed by the international
community. If that is so, it will be major step forward to Zimbabwe
regaining a viable, strong, economy supportive of the majority of the
Even prior to such elections, there is much else that Zimbabwe can and
should do to restore investor confidence and a substantial inflow of
funding, with the concomitant creation of employment, enhancement of
exports, diminution of import dependency, growth in tourism, and many other
economic developmental needs. Amongst the factors needing the greatest, and
most urgent, attention are:
A constructive modification of the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment
legislation, assuring progressive real empowerment for many, instead of only
the selected few, while not alienating the investment needed for economic
growth, and not breaching the fundamental principles of property rights;
Marked diminution in the very pronounced corruption prevailing in both the
public and private sectors;
Partial or total privatisation of key parastatals and other state
Constructive modification of taxation legislation, and the application
thereof, including real incentives for investment, employment creation,
transition from informal to formal economic sectors, and growth in exports;
Enhanced fiscal probity, including belated compliance with Bilateral
Investment and Promotion Agreements, reduction in non-essential government
expenditures, reduction in the bloated public service, and assured policy
It is a very aged saying, and trite to say: “Every journey begins with a
single step”. With its constitutional referendum, Zimbabwe has taken that
single step, but it must continue on that journey with utmost vigour,
unhesitatingly taking many other necessary steps. If it does so, it will
not only regain, but will enhance its former economic glory.
March 22, 2013 in Opinion
THE referendum to decide the fate of the new draft constitution, which took
Copac four years to produce and gobbled over US$50 million, was held last
Saturday despite spirited court challenges by the Lovemore Madhuku-led
National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) to derail the event amid fears of
Report by Herbert Moyo
Madhuku and his group campaigned for a “No” vote although the “Yes” vote
campaign — sponsored by the coalition government comprising the country’s
three main parties — won by an overwhelming majority.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) released figures showing 3 079 966
people voted “Yes”, 179 489 said “No”, while 56 627 ballots were spoilt in a
largely peaceful poll deemed a curtain raiser for crucial general elections
slated for mid-year.
The total figure of 3 316 082 — though less than half of the country’s
citizens above 18 years who were eligible to vote — was far more than the
approximately 1,3 million who voted in the rejected 2000 referendum when the
opposition and civil society groups’ “No” campaign prevailed over the Zanu
PF regime’s “Yes” campaign.
While the turnout was decent considering initial fears of apathy, it was
still not impressive in view of the fact that those who were eligible to
vote were perhaps more than eight million. The voters’ roll has 6,6 million
people who could vote in the referendum, but more were eligible as one only
needed to be above 18 and have a national identity card or passport.
While the NCA was defeated, it scrutinised and opposed the process, ensuring
democracy came into play.
Commentator Takura Zhangazha said the referendum was practically a travesty
of democracy and did not presage change.
“The announcement by Zec that 179 489 Zimbabweans voted ‘No’ to the draft
constitution as opposed to the slightly over three million that endorsed it
will give slight relief to the political parties in the inclusive government
and the civil society organisations that were complicit in what can only be
defined as one of the greatest political deceptions of Zimbabwean history,”
“In accepting this result, there are those who will mistakenly equate the
vote count to a dress rehearsal for the general elections scheduled for
later this year. And this has already been hinted at in some press reports
where the rural turnout is being equated with what has been referred to as a
potential ‘landslide’ Zanu PF victory.
“Others, particularly the MDC parties in the inclusive government, will try
and claim the vote as their own, together with their malleable civil society
partners. In short, it is a pyrrhic victory for them no matter how they try
to spin it.”
Zhangazha said while the “Yes” vote got a landslide, it was the paltry “No”
vote ballots which mattered the most.
“The real issue at hand is the necessity of praising the 179 489 voters who
chose to vote ‘No’ to this draft constitution. This they did against the
run-of-the-mill politicisation of the process and the messianic tendencies
of some of the political leaders who chose to think on behalf of all
Zimbabweans without adequate consultation, and yet still ridiculously claim
to have done the right thing,” he said.
“It is the 179 489 that stood firm against the elitist promises of power and
resisted being herded like cattle into unprincipled terrains where the grass
will not be greener for future generations of Zimbabweans. The ‘No’ voters
have stood by basic democratic values and principles and for this, history
will absolve them.”
While Sadc observers and the coalition government leaders were raving about
the referendum being peaceful and credible, the crucial question remains
whether this heralds a new era of non-violent, free and fair elections.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said the approval of the new draft
constitution was an endorsement of a “new dispensation and a new value
system that sets in motion a new and democratic paradigm for the country”.
“We have ushered in a new Zimbabwe that must necessarily come with a new
culture of constitutionalism and respect for the rule of law. This means
inculcating a new value system among Zimbabweans, especially politicians and
the security sector, to respect and adhere to the constitution and stick to
the cardinal dictate that no one is above the law,” Tsvangirai said.
He said the process was a “culmination of our struggle for a new
dispensation for which a new, democratic constitution is a key milestone”.
“We celebrate this landmark achievement after many years of tears, sweat and
blood, which has punctuated our experience since we started the democratic
struggle through the constitutional movement which we began in 1997,” he
However, analysts remain sceptical, pointing out the referendum was peaceful
largely because the main political parties were in agreement and political
stakes not high.
Zimbabwe Democracy Institute director Pedzisai Ruhanya said it was
misleading to draw conclusions from the referendum and extrapolate them with
the forthcoming elections due to different political dynamics that apply.
“Who was contesting against whom in the referendum? In the elections, the
stakes will be extremely high. Battle lines will be drawn between Zanu PF
and the MDC formations,” he said.
“There is no indication Zanu PF will behave differently and stop resorting
to intimidating as it has always done in the past. It will use its terror
tactics and manipulate the process come elections, which will be a
dog-eat-dog affair. The elections would be a different ball game.”
While the referendum event was largely peaceful, incidents before and after
it showed political repression, violence and intimidation were still a
problem. There were strong signs of resurgent violence, reminiscent of the
Before the referendum, there was a fierce crackdown on civil society
organisations and incidents of political violence, including the arson
attack which killed 12-year old Christpowers, the son of MDC-T Headlands
official Shepherd Maisiri. Police even banned Tsvangirai from campaigning,
although they later claimed it was a “blunder”.
MDC-T officials and staffers in Tsvangirai’s office Thabani Mpofu, Felix
Matsinde, Warship Dumba and Mehluli Tshuma were the day after the referendum
arrested on charges of allegedly “impersonating police officers, possession
of documents for criminal use and breaching the Official Secrets Act”.
Harare lawyer and human rights activist Beatrice Mtetwa was also arrested
for alleged “obstruction of the course of justice”. She was remanded in
custody to April 3 although Mtetwa’s lawyers were challenging her detention
in the High Court.
Political analyst and convenor of the Southern African Political Economy
Series Trust’s policy dialogue forum, Ibbo Mandaza, expressed doubts on the
prospects of peaceful elections.
“There is a lot of tension in the country and it is almost like we are
moving towards the 2008 scenario,” Mandaza said.
Bulawayo Agenda executive director Thabani Nyoni warned Zimbabweans against
reading too much into the referendum as “indicators of impending violent
elections are clear for all to see”.
Jabusile Shumba of the Institute for a Democratic Alternative for Zimbabwe
said “the harassment of civil society has sent warning shots to the doubters
that old order regime elements are yet to embrace a democratic dispensation”.
March 22, 2013 in Opinion
LAST Saturday Zimbabwe held a referendum. Our cities were crowded with
observers and journalists in every hotel.
Opinion by Eddie Cross
Initially, the general consensus was that voter apathy was the order of the
day and the whole thing was a bit of a waste of time and money.
When counting of the votes was finally completed, we all got a big
surprise — turnout had been massive, exceeding even our most optimistic
I had thought that if we got 1,5 million votes it would have been OK — the
tally actually ran to over three million, double my own estimate. The other
interesting feature was the consistency — in nearly all districts the
results were almost identical — varying by 1% or 2% and nearly all over 90%
However, a closer examination of the results showed that voting had actually
been heavier than in the March 2008 elections. In the rural areas voting was
particularly heavy and all centres reported that the Zimbabwe Electoral
Commission (Zec) had done a great job in organising and conducting the vote.
It was of course quite simple — one ballot, one question and all you needed
was to be above 18 and a current ID or passport. Queues did not develop and
it was this that gave observers the sign of apathy.
Zec will now compare the outcome to the voters’ roll which has close to six
million names on it, but we know that this is inflated by perhaps three
million ghost voters who in fact do not exist (they are dead) or they are
absent in the diaspora. By this measure, the turnout was massive and we must
My own view is that it was the idea this step was in some way the key to the
next in this long road to freedom and democracy. People were told this is
your future, get this done and we can then go to the next stage which is
elections in mid-July.
It shows that the commitment to democracy in Zimbabwe has not diminished and
this is a critical factor in the context of the upcoming electoral contest
that will pit the MDC-T against Zanu PF.
A new Zec chairperson has taken over the reins and already we can sense a
change. The new chair (Justice Rita Makarau) is a tough, fair-minded judge
and takes over from the previous chairperson who was just not up to the
task. Before she came, the vice-chairperson (Joyce Kazembe), a staunch Zanu
PF supporter, had been in charge and we were not at all satisfied with the
state of affairs in the commission.
With this behind us, we can now turn towards the elections. In the next four
months we have to select candidates, campaign, audit the voters’ roll and
get hundreds of thousands of first-time voters onto the roll as well as the
many “aliens” who, for one reason or another, had been disenfranchised by a
system that tried to ensure that potential MDC supporters did not vote.
Then we have to stop the system rigging the elections — something that the
hardliners are still confident that they can do and get away with. We will
see about that.
From my reading of the views of the voters, based on my travels around the
country and talking to hundreds of ordinary people, I think that they have
made up their minds. I think they are going to do just what they have done
this past weekend: they are going to vote for real change and that means a
To make matters worse for Zanu PF and hardliners in the security
establishment, police do not seem to have appreciated that the environment
within which they are operating is changing fast.
They banned a meeting by the president of the MDC-T (Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai) in Highfield last week on Tuesday, but have failed to
investigate and arrest perpetrators of political thuggery of one kind or
another and continue to arrest the innocent and ignore the criminal elements
in our society.
The arrest on Sunday, with the world in Harare, of the senior legal advisor
to the prime minister (Thabani Mpofu) and three of his staff, followed by
the arrest of lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa is just the sort of stupidity that this
To then hold the lawyer, a famous human rights lawyer for that matter, in a
police cell overnight when a High Court judge had ordered her release, is
yet further evidence of the arrogance and sense of impunity on the part of
the police. They really think they can get away with this and show no
understanding that the bus is moving.
Then there is the extraordinary situation last week when the Anti-Corruption
Commission stated that it was going after three Zanu PF ministers — Nicholas
Goche (Transport), Obert Mpofu (Mines) and Saviour Kasukuwere
(Indigenisation). The commission, armed with a High Court search warrant
giving them access to the offices of all three ministers and National
Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board, was met with resistance.
The ministers were then forced to follow the humiliating procedure of asking
the courts to protect them. On the side, staff of the commission were
intimidated, followed to their homes and threatened with unspecified action
if they persisted in their investigations.
Zanu PF leaders who have DStv subscriptions (all of them — nobody watches
ZBC TV) will be aware that a few days ago the former leadership in Senegal
are being probed by anti-corruption authorities.
Right now we are all locked into the Global Political Agreement bus,
destined for elections that are going to change everything and will result
in the people of Zimbabwe asserting their rights and control. Tough call and
none of us can stop the bus.
Cross is MDC-T MP for Bulawayo South. This article first appeared on his
March 22, 2013 in Opinion
This week Derek Matyszak, a senior researcher at Research and Advocacy Unit,
an independent think-tank, continues to look into the issue of human rights
in relation to the new draft constitution adopted by voters in a referendum
Opinion by Derek Matyszak
GUIDANCE in interpreting and applying the law is given explicitly to the
courts in regard to the rights contained in Chapter 4, the Declaration of
Rights. In Section 46(1)(a) the court is enjoined, when interpreting the
declaration to “give full effect to the rights and freedoms enshrined in
The use of the word “full” has significant legal implications. Under
international law, in implementing human rights instruments, state parties
are afforded what is referred to as a “margin of appreciation” which allows
a diminution of the right afforded to take into account local conditions.
The use of the word “full” suggests that no margin of appreciation is to be
permitted under Zimbabwean law.
In applying the declaration of rights, the courts must also adhere to “the
values and principles that underlie a democratic society based on openness,
justice, human dignity, equality and freedom”, and, in particular, the
principles and values set out in Section 3.
Section 3 (part of Chapter 1) sets out “founding values and principles”
which include the supremacy of the constitution, the rule of law, good
governance, recognition of the equality, and inherent dignity and worth of
all human beings.
Furthermore, the courts, in applying and interpreting the declaration of
rights must take into account international law and all treaties and
conventions to which Zimbabwe is a party (Section 46(c)), may consider
relevant foreign law (Section 46(e)), and must pay due regard to all the
provisions of the constitution, in particular the national objectives
So, for example, if a person is evicted from a property and has nowhere else
to go, in interpreting the right to freedom from arbitrary eviction or
property under the declaration of rights, the courts must take into account
the right to shelter which forms part of the national objectives in Chapter
2 and international laws and treaties which likewise secure these rights.
Many of the provisions of the declaration of rights in the draft closely
follow the wording of the South African constitution, which itself borrowed
heavily from international human rights instruments. Accordingly, the
jurisprudence of international human rights fora applying these instruments
must be taken into account by the proposed Constitutional Court when
interpreting and applying the declaration of rights.
This should also eventuate if all international treaties to which Zimbabwe
is a party are incorporated into domestic law as is stated as a national
objective in Chapter 2, Section 34.
In sum, in terms of these provisions, the courts should ensure that all
Zimbabweans and those present within the borders of Zimbabwe enjoy the full
protection of recognised first-generation human rights in accordance with
international best practice and established jurisprudence.
Where a constitution provides for certain rights without simultaneously
providing the means by which they may be enforced, they become a mere
declaration of intent or aspirational only. While the substance of the
rights provided in the draft are transformative and “deepen democratic
values in Zimbabwe”, the draft is weak when it comes to the enforcement of
It has always been a matter of some dispute whether second-generation rights
are, or should be, justiciable. Where, for example, judicial enforcement of
a first-generation right such as the right to liberty is facile and may be
accomplished by the execution of a court order, the enforcement of
second-generation rights and the ambit and meaning to be accorded to these
rights is problematic.
What, for example, is intended when a constitution asserts that every person
has the right to shelter? It cannot be intended to give individuals the
right to sue the government and compel the provision of a home as it is
unlikely that the government has the resources to provide free housing to
all needy Zimbabweans. This then highlights a second issue, that of the
separation of powers — one of the fundamental values of the constitution.
Politics at its root is about the allocation of resources. Second-generation
rights seem to invite the courts to make decisions about the allocation of
state resources, which should be the preserve of the executive and
effectively to determine laws establishing policy which should be the
preserve of the legislature. For these reasons, during the crafting of the
South African constitution, it was a highly contentious issue whether
second-generation rights should be justiciable.
The determination requires a delicate jurisprudential balancing act by South
Africa’s first Constitutional Court. The balancing act is accomplished in
South Africa by providing that the state is only required to “take
reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources,
to achieve the progressive realisation” of second-generation rights. The
draft constitution follows this formulation and jurisprudence.
As a result, in many instances, this means that the right becomes not a
positive right, as suggested at the outset, but rather a negative right — it
is used as shield rather than a sword. Thus, rather than the right to claim
entitlement of a home from the state, the right is rather used, for example,
to prevent the demolition of an unauthorised dwelling unless adequate
arrangements are made for alternative shelter.
Enforcement of a provision of this nature should thus prevent the kind of
state action witnessed during operation Murambatsvina.
However, unlike the South African constitution, the second-generation rights
provided for in Zimbabwe’s draft constitution have mostly been removed from
the declaration of rights and appear merely as national objectives.
The importance of this separation is that, while the declaration of rights
contains a specific part providing for the enforcement of the rights
(Section 85 contained in Chapter 4), there is no equivalent provision in
Chapter 2, which sets out most second-generation rights.
As noted earlier, Chapter 2 merely provides that second-generation rights
shall “guide” the state and all institutions and agencies of government at
every level, in formulating and implementing laws and policy decisions, and
that “regard must be had” to second-generation rights when interpreting the
state’s obligations under the constitution and any other law.
It is thus unclear whether any remedy is available and whether an approach
may be made to the Constitutional Court if the state fails to be duly guided
by or to give the necessary regard to the national objectives.
However, three second-generation rights do appear in Chapter 4 (tacked onto
the end of the list of first-generation rights) and are thus covered by the
enforcement provisions of that chapter. These are the right to education,
the right to health care and the right to food and water. As with the
second-generation rights provided for in Chapter 2, the requirement is only
that the state must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within
its available resources, to achieve the progressive realisation of these
March 22, 2013 in Opinion
AFTER last weekend’s relatively peaceful constitutional referendum, hopes
and prospects that the next do-or-die general elections would be
non-violent, free and fair grew as Zimbabweans, including President Robert
Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, embraced optimistic signals of
the advent of a supposedly new political dispensation.
Editor’s Memo with Dumisani Muleya
Mugabe said the “people have spoken” and those who have lost must accept the
result if they believed in democracy.
He also said it was great the referendum was peaceful, further indicating it
was a good omen the event coincided with new Pope Francis I’s inauguration.
Mugabe, a devout Catholic, attended the ceremony at the Vatican.
Tsvangirai weighed in saying the new constitution was a “baby” of the
democratic movement while suggesting the winds of change were about to blow
across the Zimbabwean political landscape.
He held forth, observing the approval of the new draft constitution was an
endorsement of a “new dispensation and a new value system that sets in
motion a new and democratic paradigm for the country”.
“We have ushered in a new Zimbabwe that must necessarily come with a new
culture of constitutionalism and respect for the rule of law.
This means inculcating a new value system among Zimbabweans, especially
politicians and the security sector to respect and adhere to the
constitution and stick to the cardinal dictate that no one is above the
law,” he said.
The premier further noted the process was a “culmination of our struggle for
a new dispensation for which a new, democratic constitution is a key
“We celebrate this landmark achievement after many years of tears, sweat and
blood, which has punctuated our experience since we started the democratic
struggle through the constitutional movement which we began in 1997,” he
While there is good reason for some to celebrate the new constitution, which
its architects claim is a solid step forward on the democratic march towards
change, it must be said there is no light yet on the horizon. So far the
past is still with us.
The forces of darkness have not been defeated or relented. They are still
very much lingering and could use the next elections as an opportunity to
regroup and regain control. The ongoing sinister events –– renewed
repression, political violence and arrests – are ominous.
In other words, while Zimbabwe remains on course in its transition
trajectory from dictatorship to democracy, there are still many hurdles that
lie ahead. Although the next elections present the opportunity to complete
the transition, dangerous pitfalls remain. Fifth columnists are still
Put differently, there is no guarantee that a new constitution would lead
the country to credible, free and fair elections, and a democratic future.
In fact, at this stage even if Mugabe and his diehards are defeated, there
would still be need for the groundwork for durable democracy.
The dawning of a new constitution might be seen by some people and groups as
merely the opportunity for them to step in as the new masters behind a
façade of democracy. Their motives may vary but results may be the same or
they may even be more brutal than their predecessors.
However, the adoption of the new constitution is of course a cause for major
celebration. We must not forget people suffered for so long and struggled at
great price and must celebrate but unfortunately this may not be the time to
Given that hardly 24 hours after the referendum Tsvangirai’s own staffers
(some yesterday) were arrested against a background of resurgent repression,
it shows the situation remains largely volatile.
This tells us something: a new constitution, especially without the
disintegration of dictatorship, simply provides the beginning point.
Moreover, those fighting for change, if not monitored, may be doing so only
to impose a new refurbished model of the old dictatorship they seek to
March 22, 2013 in Opinion
SINCE Zanu PF introduced the indigenisation policy in 2007, there remains a
disturbing lack of clarity on its framework, thrust and direction, as well
as its objectives and economic implications.
Zimbabwe Independent Editorial
When it started, the approach was to force foreign-owned companies to “cede”
majority shareholdings to selected local investors, implying seizure; then
it became “dispose of” suggesting fair value compensation; and now President
Robert Mugabe says in mining there must not be commercial transactions at
all, meaning grabbing through offsetting equity outlays and mineral claims.
This lack of precision and transparency is now manifested in the ongoing
clashes between Indigenisation minister Saviour Kasukuwere and Reserve Bank
governor Gideon Gono.
The battles between the two, which have sucked in Mugabe and others, clearly
show there is a problem. Right from the start this was bound to happen.
First there were no inclusive consultations and national consensus.
Inside Zanu PF there remained uncertainty, not about the ideological
foundations of the policy but how it was going to be structured and
That confusion spread to the government and hence contradictory and
sometimes openly conflicting positions taken by principals and ministers.
There were invariably fights in cabinet and Council of Ministers over this
To put it mildly, indigenisation has been seriously mismanaged and that’s
why it continues to be dogged by allegations of patronage, bribery and
extortion. This can be mostly blamed on the ad hoc approach to
implementation, informed by political expediency, especially now ahead of
While most people agree indigenisation is necessary to address skewed
economic ownership patterns and inequalities, some people are genuinely
concerned about its elitist slant, corruption and fears it would destabilise
an economy already struggling to recover from the impact of extended periods
The recent public row over the programme between Kasukuwere, who wants an
equity-based model, and Gono who prefers a mixture of the shareholding
method and supply-side based approach, show a detrimental lack of cohesion
and direction in the whole programme.
The acrimonious fight, which has deeply divided Zanu PF and government, is
mainly centred on the ideological thrust of the policy, its conceptual
basis, framework, implementation mechanisms and liaisons, valuation of
companies, legislative issues, exchange rate approvals, consultation fees as
well as terms and conditions of agreements.
Kasukuwere says he will forge ahead with his approach regardless of protests
from his colleagues. But Gono insists he would not allow that.
Mugabe’s intervention has not been helpful. Instead of ensuring the
situation is sorted out after his remarks during his recent birthday
interview, he only fuelled chaos.
His statements demonstrated government is not even prepared to respect its
own laws, which is why it is flagrantly flouting Bippa agreements, property
rights and the rule of law.
In short, the indigenisation programme has been badly managed and this is
inevitably damaging the economy.