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SA presidency refuses to release Zim election report

By Alex Bell
5 March 2013

The South African Presidency has once again refused to honour a court order
to release a hidden report on Zimbabwe’s 2002 elections, stating it will
appeal the decision.

President Jacob Zuma’s office was ordered to hand over the report to the
Mail & Guardian newspaper last month, four years after the paper approached
the courts to have the report released to the public. This was amid
widespread speculation that the report contained evidence showing that the
2002 disputed election in Zimbabwe was not free or fair.

High Court Judge Joseph Raulinga last month ruled that there was enough
information to cast doubts on the legality of that poll, and ordered the
President to hand it over within ten days.

But according to Mail & Guardian Editor Nic Dawes, the Presidency has again
stated its intention to appeal the decision meaning the report will remain
secret for now.

“We expected this time they would hand it over. This is the fourth court
that it has gone through, and the third judge to say it should be handed
over…but yet they have once again indicated they will appeal,” Dawes told SW
Radio Africa.

He added: “Perhaps they want to keep this tied up in court until after the
Zimbabwe elections.”

The report was commission by the then South African President Thabo Mbeki,
who insisted that the electoral process in Zimbabwe in 2002 was completely
democratic. Dawes said on Tuesday that the report should now be used by the
current administration “to learn lessons,” ahead of Zimbabwe’s poll this

“It is becoming urgent as Zimbabwe heads towards elections once again. It’s
important to get the election right in Zimbabwe and understanding what went
wrong in 2002 is important for Zimbabwe. It is also important for South
Africa as the key regional player to understand what went wrong too,” Dawes

He added: “If our President (in 2002) was informed by two eminent judges of
serious problems with that election and reacted in the way he did, which was
effectively to endorse that stolen election, then there are things the
current administration can learn.”

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Radio Dialogue case fails to take off

By Nomalanga Moyo
5 March 2013

The trial of Zenzele Ndebele, programming head at Radio Dialogue, failed to
kick off after police indicated they will call him when they are ready.

Ndebele had been expected to appear in court in Bulawayo on Tuesday, facing
charges of possessing smuggled solar powered radios and possessing a radio
receiver without a valid Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) licence.

This is the second time Ndebele’s court appearance has been moved. He had
been scheduled to go to court on Monday but failed to do so after he spent
the whole morning being interrogated at the police Bulawayo Law and Order

Bulawayo-based lawyer Matshobana Ncube said the police had realised that
they have no case against Ndebele, hence the delaying tactics.

He said this was a case of the police persecuting those that dared to differ
with ZANU PF rather than having a genuine case for prosecution.

Addressing journalists in Bulawayo on Monday, Radio Dialogue Chairperson
Peter Zwidekalanga Khumalo said: “We believe this move is meant to suffocate
the free flow of information as the country moves towards critical periods
of the constitutional referendum and the elections.”

Last Friday the police raided Hillside-based Ingwe Studios, a subsidiary of
Radio Dialogue and seized 180 wind-up radio sets. They also detained Zenzele
Ndebele for interrogation before releasing him.

Meanwhile the crackdown on civil society organisations continued in Masvingo
after provincial governor Titus Maluleke summoned over 45 NGOs to a meeting
on Friday to announce wide ranging restrictions on their work.

Maluleke was flanked by top police officers in the province when he read the
riot act to the NGOs, and also announced that the meetings would be held
monthly, according to Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition.

Last year February, the governor banned 29 NGOs in the province.

NGO leaders who attended the meeting were reportedly forced to reveal their
work plans and the names of their partners. They were then told that from
now onwards they should work with government departments and the security
sector in all their projects.

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Council discharges raw sewage into water: court told

Tuesday, 05 March 2013 12:05

HARARE - The City of Harare has been taken to court on criminal charges for
discharging raw sewage into a stream, defying an Environment Management
Agency (Ema) order.

The city council, represented by Takawira Muserere is accused of failing to
comply with an order from Ema and discharging pollutants into aquatic

Court papers revealed that an Ema team visited Danny Brook sewage pools on
October 9, 2009 and carried out an inspection and found that the treatment
plant was not functioning.

Five days later, the court heard an inspector from Ema served the City of
Harare with an order to repair the sewage ponds, pumps and secure the
perimeter of the pools with appropriate fencing before the end of October

They were to submit a section plan of when the corrective action was to be
taken, but City of Harare failed to comply with the order.

Prosecutor Sidom Chinzete said another Ema inspector Tapiwa Munezvenyu
visited the ponds in June 2010 and discovered that pipes were broken and
discharging sewage into Ventersburg.

According to State papers, Munezvenyu discovered that the sewage was being
discharged into a nearby stream and caused water pollution for an unknown

The City of Harare denied the allegations when they appeared before Harare
regional magistrate Noel Mupeiwa.

The council said it needed a confirmation from the minister to effect the
maintenance and said the time given to them to comply with the order was
“grossly unreasonable” considering that they could not do repairs without
going to tender.

“In any event the accused denies that it unlawfully discharged sewage into a
stream or that it unlawfully caused water pollution. The channel was damaged
and this resulted in sewage flowing into the stream on its own,” read part
of their defence outline.

They now wait for Mupeiwa’s ruling on March 13, after applying for discharge
at the close of the State’s case. - Tendai Kamhungira

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Dual citizenship guaranteed in new constitution

By Tichaona Sibanda
5 March 2013

The abridged version of the draft constitution makes it clear that dual
citizenship is automatically permitted in respect of Zimbabweans born in the

This contradicts several pronouncements by ZANU PF that there is no dual
citizenship in the new constitution.

About 10,000 copies of the summarized English version of the draft have been
distributed countrywide by COPAC, during their publicity awareness campaign
for a Yes vote ahead of a referendum set for March 16th.

It is believed ZANU PF remains opposed to dual citizenship, fearful of the
large numbers of diaspora-based Zimbabweans who would be constitutionally
allowed to vote in future elections.

However exiled Zimbabweans would not be allowed to vote in the forthcoming
poll because the country does not have the funding for it, according to the
Justice and Legal Affairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa.

Last month Chinamasa told the state media that there is no dual citizenship,
and there will be no diaspora vote, a fact that may not be correct looking
at the abridged version of the draft.

Douglas Mwonzora, the COPAC co-chairman for the MDC-T, said the issue of
citizenship has been put to finality by ‘writing the shorter version of the
draft in simple straightforward English and not in legal language.’

‘The longer version of the draft is written in legal language. The draft
says the only citizenship which is limited is citizenship by descent or
registration, otherwise citizenship by birth allows for dual citizenship is,’
said Mwonzora, adding ‘the constitutional drafters used legal language to
craft the constitution.’

‘The only difference there is the style of writing but the meaning remains
the same,’ he said, adding that the draft has been well received by people
during their publicity campaigns.

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Zim to bar Western observers - report

March 5 2013 at 10:51am

Harare - Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe will not invite Western
observers for a constitutional referendum and general election due in 2013,
state media said on Tuesday, a decision likely to trigger a dispute in his
shaky coalition government.

Mugabe was forced into a power-sharing deal four years ago with his
arch-rival Morgan Tsvangirai, now Prime Minister, after bloody and disputed
elections in 2008.

The southern African country is due to hold a referendum on March 16 on a
new constitution which, if adopted, will pave the way for elections after
June when the current presidential and parliamentary terms expire.

Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, from Mugabe's Zanu-PF party, told
the state-controlled Herald newspaper that Harare would bar US and European
Union observers because of sanctions on Mugabe and his inner circle for
alleged human rights abuses.

“To be an observer, you have to be objective and once you impose sanctions
on one party, your objectivity goes up in smoke,” Mumbengegwi, who is
responsible for inviting and accrediting foreign observers, was quoted as

“I do not see why they need to be invited when they have never invited us to
monitor theirs.”

The pronouncement is likely to cause another quarrel within the fractious
power-sharing government. Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change has
said it will oppose Zanu-PF's plans to hand-pick poll observers.

Mumbengegwi said Zimbabwe had already invited referendum observers from the
African Union and regional trade blocs the Southern African Development
Community and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa.

Mugabe, 89, faces a battle to extend his 33 years in power against
Tsvangirai, who has promised to fix an economy analysts say has been ruined
by policies such as the seizure of white-owned commercial farms to resettle
landless black people. - Reuters

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Election monitors ban a shame: UK

05/03/2013 00:00:00
by AFP

BRITAIN’S envoy to Zimbabwe on Tuesday lamented the n government's plan to
prevent international observers from monitoring upcoming election, urging a
policy rethink.

"It will be a shame if the government doesn't invite the EU," said British
ambassador Deborah Bronnert, acknowledging it is "up to the Zimbabwean
government to decide who to invite."

"If Zimbabwe wants to run a free and fair election I think it will be very
powerful to have outsiders coming saying this is a free and fair election."

Bronnert called on the government to ensure that the polls are peaceful and
"Zimbabweans should be able to exercise their democratic right to vote in
the upcoming referendum and elections without fear and without
intimidation," she said.

On Monday Zimbabwe rebuffed calls for international observers to be allowed
to monitor crunch upcoming elections.
"Zimbabwe will not allow countries that imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe to
participate as observers," at the election -- slated for July -- Foreign
Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi was quoted by local radio as saying.

His comments would rule out the participation of European, US or other
Western observers in monitoring the crucial poll, amid ominous signs of
political violence ahead of the vote.

Mumbengegwi instead called for sanctions to be removed "unconditionally and
in their totality."
The European Union last month eased sanctions against Zimbabwe, but the
United States has said it will only end restrictions after more reforms.

The elections are part of a complex roadmap to put the country back on a
stable footing after a series of votes marred by violence, intimidation and
economic hardship.

On March 16 Zimbabweans will vote on a new constitution which is expected to
underpin fairer elections.
But already a series of arrests and deaths have raised questions about
whether supporters of President Robert Mugabe will chose the baton or the
ballot box.

Mugabe, who turned 89 on February 21 has ruled the nation since independence
in 1980.

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EU Observers Will ‘Strengthen’ Zimbabwe Referendum, U.K. Says

By Godfrey Marawanyika and Brian Latham on March 05, 2013 Tweet Facebook
LinkedIn Google Plus 0 Comments

Zimbabwe should invite the European Union to observe the country’s March 16
constitutional referendum and add credibility to the result, said Deborah
Bronnert, Britain’s ambassador to the southern African nation.

“If Zimbabwe wants to run a free and fair election, I think it will be very
powerful to have outsiders saying this is a free and fair election,”
Bronnert told reporters today in the capital, Harare.

Zimbabweans will decide on a new constitution this month. A vote in favor
will be the first step to ending almost five years of power-sharing between
the Zimbabwe African National Union- Patriotic Front and the Movement for
Democratic Change. Both parties want the constitution approved by voters.

U.S. and European observers won’t be allowed to monitor ballots in the
country because those countries imposed sanctions, the state-controlled
Chronicle reported, citing Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi.

The African Union, the Southern African Development Community, the Common
Market for Eastern and Southern Africa and “friendly” nations will be
permitted to observe the referendum, he was quoted as saying.

President Robert Mugabe is expected to announce a date for presidential
elections after the referendum. Under Zimbabwean law, those elections must
be held before Oct. 31, Finance Minister Tendai Biti said in January.

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Zanu-PF Youth Accessing Empowerment Funds

Gibbs Dube

WASHINGTON — There are sharp differences among Zimbabwean youths over the
country’s indigenization program with those affiliated to Zanu-PF saying
they are now reaping the benefits of the program.

On the other hand, independent youths and others affiliated to the two
formations of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), opposition parties
and some non-governmental organizations claim that they are not accessing
funds set aside for youth economic empowerment.

At least $30 million sourced in the past two years from various
foreign-owned firms, which are partially complying with the indigenization
law in the form of empowerment credits, is being administered by banks such
as the central African building society.

Youths are expected to draft project proposals in order to access the
revolving funds.

One of the beneficiaries, William Shambare, says he received $1,500 after
going through a cumbersome process of writing project proposals, a stage
that discourages most youths.

Harare youth, Chengetai Shumba, has not been as lucky as Shambare. He has
failed to access the funds. But he says some of his friends, including
several youths in the two Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formations,
have embarked on several income-generating projects after getting start up
capital of between $600 and $5,000 each.

However, Promise Mkwanazi, Youth League secretary general of the MDC
formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, believes that the youth
empowerment scheme is too politically-partisan.

Nkosinathi Moyo of the Midlands-based Zimbabwe Organization for Youth in
Politics, concurs, noting that some of his colleagues don’t even bother
writing project proposals as they are skeptical about the program.

According to the ministry of youth and economic empowerment, loan applicants
should be aged between 18 and 35 years and legally constituted in the form
of a business or individuals with viable projects.

The loan term is one year and collateral is in the form of property such as
houses, furniture, livestock, vehicles and other items.

The indigenization ministry could not readily provide figures of the number
of youths that have so far benefited from the empowerment scheme.

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Air Zimbabwe to resume London flights

TUESDAY, 05 MARCH 2013 17:00

By Correspondent

TROUBLED Air Zimbabwe is to resume international London flights in July,
board chairman Ozias Bvute has said.

Bvute revealed this while being interviewed by the Parliamentary Portfolio
Committee on State Enterprises and Parastatals on the current status of the

The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee was chaired by Larry Mavhima.

“We have looked at route viability and we have identified the short-term
routes that we think we want to concentrate on and ensure that those routes
are managed and serviced properly for the benefit of our travelling
partners,” Bvute said.

“We would like to systematically work on introducing routes as we perfect
our service on the ones we have so far, increase Harare-Bulawayo–Victoria
Falls and Harare-Johannesburg and on July 1, we would like to return to the
Harare-London route and to be reinstated twice a week.

The Diaspora wants us to come back, so we are actively working to see that
on the 1st of July we have reinstated that route.”

He said to ease load on the Boeing 737 flying on the Bulawayo and Victoria
Falls route, a team of Chinese engineers was in the country to repair one of
the MA60 planes to service domestic routes.

“MA60 is actually a very good plane. Right now we have a team of Chinese
engineers who are at Air Zimbabwe in the process of servicing one of the
MA60s because it is our intention to service Harare-Bulawayo-Victoria Falls
using the MA60. It’s not viable for us to use the 737,” Bvute said.

He also disclosed that they were in the process of acquiring some planes to
service local and regional routes.

“We are in the process of acquiring Embraer planes by way of lease.

Embraers are slightly more fuel efficient for us and they will enable us to
fly more regional routes. So, it’s our intention to have those and we hope
we will do that in the shortest time possible,” Bvute added.

He said there had been a gradual increase in the number of people using the
airline since December last year.

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Police bar NCA ‘no vote’ meeting

By Alex Bell
5 March 2013

Police in Chipinge have banned a meeting organised by the National
Constitutional Assembly (NCA), which is rolling out its ‘no vote’ campaign
ahead of the referendum.

The police on Tuesday told the NCA they could not go ahead with its meeting,
which was set for Friday the 8th of March at the Chipinge Town Council
Boardroom. The police said the meeting was “illegal”.

The Commanding Officer for Chipinge contacted NCA Officer Terrance Maoneke
and said that the meeting could no longer take place as initially agreed,
because the police were not informed on time.

Blessing Vava, the NCA spokesperson, told SW Radio Africa on Tuesday that
they had informed the police last week of their plans to hold the meeting.
He said they believe the move to bar the meeting is an attempt at

“We feel this was an attempt to derail our ‘no vote’ campaign. We are
greatly disturbed by this intimidatory tactic of the police and the state,
which is a clear sign of panic as we head for the referendum. They are using
guerrilla tactics to cow the people of Zimbabwe into voting for their
fraudulent draft constitution in the referendum,” Vava said.

Vava added: “We still contend that a credible referendum is a precursor to a
credible election. If the referendum is not free and fair and credible, then
rest assured the election will not be credible as well.”

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Youth Group Launches Non-Violent Campaign Against Police

Tatenda Gumbo

WASHINGTON — The Zimbabwe Organization for Youth in Politics (ZOYP) Monday
launched a new campaign demanding an end to the on-going police clampdown of
civil society organizations.

Dubbed “We are Fed up Campaign”, the campaign seeks to target the country’s
law enforcement agents demanding an end to what they say is the
criminalization of their activities.

ZOYP said they are planning a protest where they intend, and joined by other
civic organizations, to visit police stations and demand arrest in
solidarity with their colleagues who have already been targeted by the
police ahead of the referendum and crucial elections later in the year.

A number of non-governmental organizations including ZimRights, the Zimbabwe
Election Support Network and Radio Dialogue, have been raided by the police
over the past few weeks with files, computers and shortwave radios being

The police have outlawed the radio sets, though the Ministry of Home Affairs
stated that only transmitters can be confiscated. Radio receivers taking FM,
AM and shortwave are allowed.

Executive director Nkosilathi Moyo with the Zimbabwe Organization for Youth
in Politics told VOA the police crackdown against civil society must end.

Moyo was arrested last year for contriving the Public Order and Security
Act, after organization a peace meeting in Kwekwe that was said to be
unsanctioned by the police.

He said since 2000 the civic society has been criminalized, with the law
being selectively applied, and those who are perpetrating violence against
innocent civilians walk free.

Moyo said CSOs need the opportunity to unite, have purpose and reclaim their
space. ZOYP is yet to announce a date for its protest and march to police
stations nationwide.

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MDC-T Disagrees With Police Findings in Maisiri Arson Case

Jonga Kandemiiri

WASHINGTON DC — Police have ruled out foul play in the fire that killed a
12-year old boy in Headlands, Manicaland Province, saying the fire was
caused by an explosion of tobacco chemicals and ammonium nitrate fertiliser.

Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said
investigations had not established any evidence the fire was caused by a
petrol-bomb attack as charged by the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

Assistant Commissioner Charamba said there was high probability that
ammonium nitrate and tobacco chemicals exploded during the fire, ruling out
foul play.

She said forensic experts did their analysis combined with police

Prime Minister Tsvangirai’s party quickly responded saying the police report
was a cover up to protect some senior Zanu-PF supporters and officials.

Spokesman Douglas Mwonzora said if the Zimbabwean government was serious
about solving the arson case, it could have hired some foreign experts to

Mr. Mwonzora said his party will not rest until the case was solved.

Twelve year-old Christpower Maisiri, son of MDC official Shepherd Maisiri,
was burnt to death in a suspected case of political violence

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14 MDC-T supporters detained in police cells

By Nomalanga Moyo
5 March 2013

Fourteen MDC-T supporters arrested in Chegutu over the weekend appeared in court on Tuesday, charged with hindering a police officer from carrying out her duties.

The 14 were part of a group of 57 MDC-T activists who were on a bus travelling to Gweru for a constitution publicity campaign launch, addressed by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Saturday.

The activists are being held at Chegutu police cells after their application for bail pending trial was opposed by the state. The presiding magistrate reserved judgement until Thursday.

Their lawyer, Tonderai Bhatasara, told SW Radio Africa that the 14 are being charged under Section 184 of the Criminal Law (Reform & Codification) Act. They are all denying the charges.

The 14 are Kennethy Nyanhindi (29), Friday Matawire (19), Chigwada Tatenda (22), Masenda Benson (22), Archieford Mutsagwa (29), Waison Chapfungamoyo (29), Tendai Katsariga (28), Terrence Perk (30), Nash Ngoroyemoto (25), Elisha Mandizvidza (34), Michael Gondo (31), Simba Murigwa (42), Rodwell Madziyire (age not given) and Trouble Hasha (40).

Police spokesperson Superintendent Paul Nyathi said the 14 were aboard a Munenzva bus which was stopped at a roadblock and found to be “travelling ahead of its scheduled time”, leading to the driver’s arrest.

The 14 then disembarked from the bus which had the 54 supporters on board and confronted one of the police officers, demanding the driver’s release.

“One of the accused persons snatched the police detail’s cellphone and went back into the bus,” Nyathi told the Herald on Sunday.

Nyathi said the phone was not recovered, and warned that the “full wrath of the law will be applied” to anyone who obstructed the police from performing their duties.

However, Bhatasara said: “The police are now claiming the MDC-T supporters took the road permit and the driver’s licence from the female officer.

“The mobile phone theft has been left out of the charge sheet. What seemed to have irked the police was that the activists were wearing their party’s regalia and singing.”

Responding to the latest arrests, the MDC-T said in a statement that the party was disturbed by this selective application of the law by the police.

The party said “the charges are not just flimsy but irreconcilable” as the mobile phone was not found despite the 14 having been under police custody all the time.

“Such flimsy excuses by the police to arrest our people smirks of double standards for a force that has dismally failed to fulfill its constitutional duties.”

The MDC-T also reminded the police of acts of violence perpetrated against its members by ZANU PF supporters, who are yet to be arrested.

It said: “In Mbare, the police were on Friday unable to arrest ZANU PF thugs who assaulted MDC members in custody, opting to let the thugs go and leave the attacked in custody.

“Lamped Matava had to be admitted in hospital while Frank Kanyenze remained in custody.

In Headlands, a 12-year-old disabled boy, Christpowers Maisiri, was on February 23rd killed in what is widely suspected to be an arson attack by ZANU PF supporters.

The police have since ruled out any foul play but the Maisiris have slammed the shoddy investigation carried out by the police into their son’s death. – See more here

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Welshman Ncube bids to scuttle Mudenda appointment

Tuesday, 05 March 2013 12:05

HARARE - A special parliamentary committee is this week expected to endorse
or reject Jacob Mudenda as the new chairman of the Zimbabwe Human Rights
Commission (ZHRC).

ZHRC is the first statutory body tasked with investigating rights abuses.

Parliament’s Standing Rules and Orders Committee — the legislature’s policy
making body — is due to meet this week to decide on Mudenda’s appointment by
the executive arm of government.

Welshman Ncube, leader of the smaller MDC by legislative representation,
told a civil society-State interface forum held at the Crisis in Zimbabwe
Coalition offices in Harare last week that he believed the ex-Zanu PF
politburo member was not the right candidate for the job of ZHRC chair.

The ZHRC is one of the bodies expected to steer reforms towards free and
fair elections.

“The issue of Mudenda has not been brought to the Standing Rules and Orders
Committee yet,” Ncube said.

“If the MDC-T stands with us, we will win, but if the MDC-T and Zanu PF
stand together they will prevail over us.”

Mudenda, who was picked up to replace Reg Austin who quit citing meddling
and lack of resources, was a consensus candidate agreed to by President
Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

Ncube’s attempt to scuttle Mudenda’s confirmation is likely to run into a
brick-wall, given the agreement between Mugabe and Tsvangirai.

Asked if he believed Mudenda — a lawyer by profession — was qualified to
lead the crucial commission, the MDC leader said: “On the specific
qualification he qualifies, but on the general qualification which requires
a history of interest in human rights he might not qualify.

“For you to be an effective chair of the Human Rights Commission you must
have a clear history, you must not have a partisan history.

“I don’t see how Mudenda having risen to a high position in Zanu PF can
satisfy that requirement.”

Ncube said Austin had highlighted to him that the encroachment in the
mandate of the ZHRC was one of the reasons he threw in the towel.

“One of the reasons why Austin resigned is the provision in the Electoral
Act that there should be anti-violence committees, saying it would
compromise the independence of the commission,” Ncube said.

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EcoCash craze hits Zimbabwe

Staff Reporter 4 hours 14 minutes ago

HARARE - Each week, Shingirirai Kativhu sends about $35 to his wife, who is
raising their four children in a far-flung village in eastern Zimbabwe.
But Kativhu cannot afford a bank account and has lost some money sending it
through bus services, so he sends the cash using his mobile phone.

Kativhu, who sells various artefacts along Harare-Bulawayo Road, is part of
a micro banking revolution that is sweeping Zimbabwe’s high density suburbs
and rural areas.

EcoCash, a mobile money facility by Zimbabwe’s largest telecommunications
services provider, Econet Wireless, has become the cheapest and most secure
way of transferring money in the country.

Its popularity with the lower class has spawned to previously unbanked areas
and financially excluded people in Zimbabwe.

“Before, I would send money with the bus company,” said Kativhu, a short man
with a cleanly shaven head and a bushy beard.

“Sometimes the bus conductors would tell me funny stories about how they
would have lost my money. With EcoCash, once you send it, the money is
immediately there.”

Kativhu recently walked into an EcoCash agent operating out of a small
corrugated metal kiosk in Kuwadzana.

He removed two crumpled $20 from his trousers’ back pocket and handed it to
the agent who sent a text message through to his wife in the eastern village
of Chikwizo in Mutoko.

A minute later, he called his wife and told her to collect the money from an
EcoCash agent on her end.

Econet launched EcoCash two years ago and already there are more than 1,7
million registered users.

The service allows customers to transfer up to $1 000 per day, although the
average transaction is only $30.

Still, EcoCash moves $2,5 million each day in this country where almost
every rural household has a family member working in a city and sending
money back home.

Hundreds of EcoCash agents across the country offer banking services to
people in remote villages and high density areas, places traditional banks
have not penetrated.

Econet chief executive Douglas Mboweni said the arrival of EcoCash means
that the millions of Zimbabweans without access to traditional banking
services will now have the ability to send and receive money, without first
having to travel to the nearest bank.

“You will not find a bank at every corner of the country, but, thanks to the
extensive coverage we have built over recent years, mobile phone access has
spread to virtually every corner of the country,” said Mboweni at the launch
of EcoCash adding that sending and receiving cash will now no longer take
days, it can now be achieved virtually instantly.

“The success of EcoCash is down to first mover advantage and
differentiation. Where banks are doing little to give more value to
consumers, EcoCash is stealing the scene by engaging with customers,
providing a convenience and practical consumer proposition,” said MBA
graduate Natalie Paida Jabangwe who spent the better part of 2011 trying to
sell mobile technologies to Zimbabwean banks.

“Consumers can pay for the kombi by EcoCash, something my bank card or
cheque does not facilitate. Soon people with be paying for goods by it too,”
wrote Jabangwe in a paper urging banks to diversify.

“First of all, it is important to understand that the mobile financial
services sector is a nascent market. This means that the market environment
is in an early stage of formation characterised by an undefined industry and
unclear product definitions where pioneering firms enter the market with
various products and new competitors are inspired to expand the market
further through process improvement or unanticipated product versions.

Inevitably, the application of the mobile phone in the financial services
industry has created an opportunity for interaction with the financial
sector by various stakeholders in a way that traditional financial services
have never done before.”

Rumbidzayi Motsi, a second-hand clothes vendor at Mbare’s Mupedzanhamo
market stall used to carry around her cash, but would frequently lose the
money in an apartment she shares with her four friends. Now, she keeps her
money with EcoCash.

“I use EcoCash like a bank,” she said. “I keep my money with them so it
doesn’t get lost.”

Econet has engaged over 500 EcoCash agents countrywide, providing employment
to small businesses in some of the country’s most remote areas.

Post Offices have also been registered as agents and discussions are
on-going with the major retail chains.

Mobile money transfer services have significantly stimulated economic
activity in other African markets, especially in East Africa.

In 2010 alone, some 14 million Kenyans transferred $7 billion across their
country through mobile money transfer.

Besides providing those with limited access to financial services a way to
make safe, secure transactions, EcoCash has now also managed to create a
seamless link into banks, allowing customers with bank accounts the ability
to move money into an electronic wallet, from anywhere in the country.

Cuthbert Tembedza, EcoCash’s new chief executive this week said with such
partnerships, Econet is addressing the problem of the last mile to enable
more coverage for banking services.

Tembedza added that Econet would like to just focus on the infrastructure
issues to facilitate banks to do “what they do best”, banking.

CBZ Holdings group chief executive John Mangudya said the impact of EcoCash
is yet to be felt by his bank, which partnered Econet late last year.

“It’s too early to say. For instance look at, if you had asked
me its impact three years ago I wouldn’t have given you a convincing answer.

“Currently is doing well to the extent that we had to provide
branches exclusively for it due to high demand,” he said.

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‘DJ’ Eric Knight to neutralise Chipangano?

Tuesday, 05 March 2013 10:22
HARARE - Former radio and TV personality Eric Knight says he has devised a
plan to neutralise Chipangano’s violent activities in Mbare ahead of
harmonised elections set for later this year.

Knight, who is eyeing the Mbare parliamentary seat riding on Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC ticket, promised MDC supporters in the restive
constituency of peace ahead of polls.

Already, the former disc-jockey has ruffled feathers in Mbare where a group
of people suspected to be from Chipangano, a Zanu PF-aligned paramilitary
group, attacked a family for dining with him last week.

Despite the attack, Knight says Chipangano is easy to deal with since it did
not originate from Harare’s oldest suburb.

“Chipangano’s days in Mbare are numbered because the people in the
constituency are fed up,” he said.

“We want to put an end to the terror that has characterised the period
before and after elections in the constituency and we are driven by the
realisation that the people involved are not from here.”

The former radio announcer, who made his name at ZBC’s Mbare studios before
fleeing into exile, said he would engage the community and create
neighbourhood watch teams in conjunction with the police to stomp any
violent activities.

“We are working closely with the community both resident and those that do
business in the market.

“The people here have seen enough violence and we have made a covenant with
them to ensure there is no repeat of the 2008 election violence and to
ensure people go about their business freely at the various markets and bus
termini,” Knight said.

Knight who was based in the Diaspora since he was fired from ZBC in 2003 is
not blind to the fact that some senior police officers have in the past
demonstrated that they are pro-Zanu PF.

“As a party we are alive to the fact that our police tends to be partisan
when dealing with political issues but remember not all of them are.

“Most of them sympathise with our cause and they have promised to help us,”
said the former DJ.

Knight, who has to battle it out at his party’s primary elections against
senior officials who include former Mbare legislator Tichaona Munyanyi, ward
4 councillor Friday Muleya, and Sten Zvorwadza has an insurmountable task of
convincing a sceptical electorate that he has what it takes to stand up to
the task. - Mugove Tafirenyika

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Lawmakers: Divisions in Zimbabwe State Unions Retrogressive

Irwin Chifera

HARARE — Parliament on Monday ordered civil servants unions to unite so they
can resume salary negotiations with the government.

Speaking during a meeting with some of the unions’ representatives, Members
of Parliament’s Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare portfolio
committee said unions’ failure to work together was harming workers.

Bulawayo East lawmaker Tabitha Khumalo of the Movement for Democratic Change
formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said it will be difficult for
the committee to assist the unions as long as they are divided, adding that
civil servants are unable to negotiate now because no one agrees who should
lead the Apex Council, the body that negotiates on behalf of government

Collin Gwiyo of Zengeza West agreed with Khumalo, saying such a situation
favours the government.

Under the law, civil servants unions are supposed to choose nine
representatives to the Apex Council, which then negotiates for salaries and
working conditions.

But last's year's elections to choose Apex representatives were boycotted by
the Public Service Association, citing irregularities.

The Ministry of Public Service refused to endorse the outcome, saying it had
also received a list of negotiators from the Public Service Association.

Meanwhile, civil servants organisations that attended Monday’s meeting said
there was nothing to celebrate about the 5.3 percent pay increase, awarded
by government last month, calling it “too little.”

Zimbabwe Teachers Union secretary general Richard Gundani said his union
would prefer to see a salary scale in which the lowest-paid government
worker would earn a salary equal to the poverty datum line, now pegged at
just over $500.

Gundani said the government must do more to bring in more resources so that
it can pay workers what he called “realistic salary increments”.

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'Zim seeks 50% of Zimplats’ claims'

March 5 2013 at 12:49pm

Johannesburg - Impala Platinum said about 50 percent of its Zimbabwean unit’s
mining claims would be seized by the nation’s government.

Implats and its Zimplats unit “are taking legal advice in order to protect
their rights and, in addition, remain in consultation with the relevant
government authorities,” the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement

The Zimbabwe government intends to “compulsorily acquire 27,948 hectares
(69,061 acres) of land from the company to be used for the benefit of the
public,” according to a decree in the March 1 Government Gazette.

Impala, which owned 87 percent of Zimplats and is the world’s biggest
producer of the metal after Anglo American Platinum, signed the terms to
sell 51 percent of the unit to the country’s black citizens in January.
Mines Minister Obert Mpofu said on February 12 the nation had seized some of
Zimplats’ land and would offer it to new investors.

Zimbabwe has the largest known platinum and chrome reserves after South

Implats gained 2.2 percent to 134.96 rand by 11:36 a.m. in Johannesburg.

The stock has declined 20 percent this year. - Bloomberg News

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Implats contests government take-over as indigenisation falls apart

Staff Reporter 49 minutes ago

Impala Platinum Holdings Limited (IMPLATS) says it will engage its lawyers
on the recent compulsory acquisition of 28 000 hectares of ZIMPLATS platinum
reserves by the government of Zimbabwe.
In a statement issued on Tuesday to its shareholders, IMPLATS which partly
owns platinum giant ZIMPLATS announced its intention to engage its lawyers
on the compulsory acquisition, adding that the company remains in
consultation with relevant government departments.
The statement by IMPLATS follows the gazetting of a General Notice 123 of
2013 giving effect to the compulsory acquisition of the platinum reserves.
According to the General Notice 123 of 2013, in terms of Section 398(1) of
the Mines and Minerals Act chapter (21:05), the President intends to acquire
compulsorily part of the land held by ZIMPLATS Holdings Limited under
Special Mining Lease Number One for the utilisation of such mining location
for the benefit of the public.
The intention by IMPLATS to engage its lawyers and to possibly contest the
acquisition of the claims is in line with the government’s gazette which
states that in terms of Section 5 of the Land Acquisition Act 20.10, any
person having an interest or right who wishes to contest the acquisition
should lodge a written objection with the acquiring authority within 30 days
of publication.
The 28 000 hectares repossessed by the government are set to be opened up to
new investors who are willing to mine platinum.
The move is also part of the government’s 'use it or lose it’ concept which
seeks to curb speculative tendencies among investors.
Zimbabwe's beleaguered indigenisation policy has been dealt several big
blows in the last few days. Alleged corruption, arguments over deal fees,
calls for a parliamentary probe – and to top it all, even president Robert
Mugabe criticising the process.
The controversial black empowerment policy, which forces foreign firms to
divest 51 per cent of equity to locals, is one of Mugabe and his party, Zanu
PF’s key strategies. But is it falling apart?
In a dramatic turn on Friday Mugabe finally admitted that Saviour
Kasukuwere, the Indigenisation minister, has blundered over the much-touted
Zimplats deal announced in January.
Under the agreement, Impala Platinum (Implats) agreed to sell a majority
stake in its Zimbabwe unit to local blacks for $971m, facilitated the
transaction through vendor financingat an interest rate of 10 per cent per
Mugabe said: “That is the problem, they gave us 51 per cent saying that it
is a loan that we are giving you, and we are paying for you in advance and
then you can pay us back tomorrow.
“I think that is where our minister made a mistake. He did not quite
understand what was happening, and yet our theory is that the resource is
ours and that resource is our share, that is where the 51 per cent comes
It seems that it has finally dawned on Mugabe that the policy may on the
surface be about empowering black people, but actually has lumbered them
with a vast bill.
Also on Friday Zimplats was given 30 days notice to appeal an order from
Mugabe directing the firm give up 28,000 hectares of ground containing
platinum reserves.
The company has become embroiled in another row – refusing the pay a US$17m
consultation fee slapped on it by Brainworks, an advisory company involved
in the $971m Implats deal.
On Friday, Implats spokesman Bob Gilmour told beyondbrics that “Brainworks
was contracted by the NIEEB [National Indigenisation & Economic Empowerment
Board], so that is for them, and not for us. Zimplats [Implats Zimbabwean
unit] will not be paying the bill.
Zimplats refused to pay the bill saying it did not engage Brainworks to act
as advisors to the government hence it could not be expected to pay.
Observers questioned the sense in Brainworks’ demands – Masimba Kuchera, an
economic analyst said: “It’s like telling someone that they should pay the
transfer costs of a house that you’ve forcibly taken away from them.”
Other problems abound. In February Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai called
for a Parliamentary probe into alleged corruption in the handing of
empowerment deals for several companies. And on Friday it was announced that
the Anti-Corruption Commission has officially launched an investigation into
the deals.
There have also been reports of wrangling over community share ownership
trusts funds, which are contributed by companies that have complied with
indigenisation laws and are meant to benefit local communities. The
Indigenisation authorities have denied the allegations.
Kasukuwere has recently insisted that the policy is working and benefiting
Zimbabweans, stating two months ago that the programme’s sovereign wealth
fund stood at $4bn.
But Harare-based economic analyst John Robertson says: “The dollars [claimed
to be] in the fund are not dollars, they are shares that are said to have a
market value of that much. Whether you would actually get that much if you
put them on the market is a huge question, but it is not in the form of
“Most of the claims that companies have complied with indigenisation demands
are exaggerations propagated by the indigenisation ministry,” he added.
With all this going on, what is the fate of the beleaguered policy? Zimbabwe
holds a constitutional referendum in two weeks’ time and has an election
coming up later in the year. Mugabe is in no mood to back down on what is
perceived to be one of his party’s key election ploys, and recently said he
will stick with the policy.
UK-based Zimbabwe analyst Lance Mambondiani said: “As a model for economic
growth, the indigenisation model is rooted in Communist nostalgia. The
assumption that in any economy anywhere in the world everyone and anyone can
be an owner of a company is patently dishonest.”
Kuchera said: “In the short term they will try and protect it but won’t have
those grandstand announcements. I think Zanu-PF has nothing else to offer
and they will try to save at least the idea in the short term”.
Tsvangirai’s MDC-T would ditch the policy, saying it deters badly-needed
foreign investment for the cash-strapped country. It says it will review the
policy if it comes wins the impending elections. But even this may not be
“The policy is already law, it’s unlikely that it will be repealed even if
the MDC were to come into power. In its economic policy, the party proposes
a review of policy to make it a lot more consultative. Like the land policy,
it is difficult to reverse the changes already done,” says Mambondiani. -
Plus Financial Times

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Implats pondering legal options after Zimbabwe land grab

3:35 pm by John Harrington

Impala Platinum is taking legal advice over the land grab announced by the
Zimbabwean government last Friday.

The company said today that the 27,948 hectares of land which the government
of Zimbabwe is appropriating constitutes half of the mineral claims the
platinum miner owns in the country; however, the land under threat does not
include any of the locations where the company currently has operational

Nevertheless, the land grab would put a serious crimp in the company’s
ability to develop more mines.

The Zimbabwean government gave the company 30 days to appeal against the
move when it announced the plan to “indigenise” the land last Friday. The
company could also lodge a compensation claim.

Impala Platinum, commonly known as Implats, said: “Implats and Zimplats are
taking legal advice in order to protect their rights and, in addition,
remain in consultation with the relevant government authorities.”

Zimplats is the Zimbabwean subsidiary of Implats.

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HOT SEAT: Interview with Home Affairs Minister Theresa Makone

Theresa Makone is Violet Gonda’s guest on Hot Seat

BROADCAST: 28 February 2013

SW Radio Africa journalist Violet Gonda’s guest on the Hot Seat Programme is co-Home Affairs Minister Theresa Makone, with her assessment of the general state of affairs regarding security in Zimbabwe. She has in the past accused the police of being partisan towards ZANU PF – why has she not resigned from her job if she is powerless to act? Find out why the Home Affairs Minister feels the 2013 elections will be ‘bloodier” than the violent 2008 polls.

VIOLET GONDA: My guest on the programme Hot Seat is the co-Home Affairs Minister, Theresa Makone. Let me start by asking you for your thoughts on the general state of affairs in the country regarding security.

THERESA MAKONE: Until very recently we had all bought into the idea of a peaceful Zimbabwe, especially after all the pronouncements that the President has been making. Without fail we were all convinced that this was going to be an election with a difference and what has been happening of late has been a rude awakening for all of us gullible Zimbabweans. It is quite clear that the kind of violence we are going to see this time is probably going to be at an unprecedented scale. I’m saying this because this is the very chance that the two MDCs and Zanu PF were supposed to be campaigning together, preferably on the same platform for a YES vote at the referendum, but it would look like the referendum is not going to happen; that the other party has already gone into its default position which is power at all costs, never mind that we have got something that we have in common. I personally would not be surprised to hear that we won’t have a referendum after all and everybody is now being catapulted into a rushed election, which would have had to follow a referendum.

So, if you ask me what I think – I think I am in a state of hopelessness, a state of disappointment and a feeling of betrayal because I think that when people have shared a cabinet room for four years, you must be in a position to look at each other in the eye and tell each other the truth. The role that the police played is dictated by the role that Zanu PF plays in different areas. To me it looks like – yes instructions were given to teach people in the considered area that is criminal to support MDC but at the same time, I strongly believe that the Zanu PF leadership in that constituency (Headlands) would put pressure on the police not to act or react and try to downplay the death of a person as if it is nothing.

GONDA: By the death of a person, you are talking about 12 year old Christpower Maisiri who was allegedly killed in Headlands?

MAKONE: Yes. While we speak free and fair elections by day, at night we are talking win at all costs, even if it means repeating or exceeding the violence of 2008.

GONDA: How bad is the situation in the police force exactly?

MAKONE: The rank and file takes instructions from the top but how far to the top do you go because the Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri on matters of operations, he answers to the President of the country and the ministers only pronounce policy. So between the two of them I don’t know who is not doing their job because if I was the state President I would insist on knowing why we are having these parts of violence with no-one really being arrested or tried.

GONDA: As Home Affairs Minister, what have you done to find out where these instructions are coming from?

MAKONE: Well we have meetings with the police and only last week we called the Commissioner General in and we talked to him – when I say we I mean Kembo Mohadi and myself – we talked to him about the perception out there of police brutalizing civilians, possibly under political pressure and we cited Matabeleland North and Lupane in particular. This was following the arrest of people who had come to register for voting and he gave us an undertaking that this was going to be his best policing – that there would be no nonsense as happened in 2008. But within a few days we get a child being burnt to ashes because his father is an MDC official and it took the police more than eight hours to get to the scene and yet the police station is not far away.
So I think that in line with the Zanu PF position, which is that the party is bigger than the state, the instructions from the party are taken more than those from government. So if the policy is don’t arrest, they won’t arrest. As long as the person who gives the instruction is more senior and in this case the senior person of the constituency is Didymus Mutasa so obviously what he says is what goes. So all the denials and all the threats of suing to me mean nothing. They will only make sense when Zanu PF switches off its violence machinery. We have come a long way, four years later to be still doing this sort of thing.

GONDA: If this is the case, as Minister of Home Affairs can you take legal proceedings against people like the Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri or even Didymus Mutasa the Minister of State in the President’s Office – as you said he has also been accused of being a perpetrator of violence?

MAKONE: It is unprecedented; in fact there are no such procedures that a Minister will take their own ministry to court because if I sue the Commissioner General and the police, I’m literally suing myself because I am the person responsible and if anyone else in the state of Zimbabwe is suing Commissioner General, the ministers are the first and second respondents and then the Commissioner General is the third respondent -so technically it’s not even a possibility. Those people who are aggrieved can sue us, but there is no way I can go and put my case against myself.

GONDA: But isn’t that the worst kind of insult though for the victims? You have already said one of the culprits is Minister Didymus Mutasa and you are then seen working with him in government? So how do you respond to people who ask why you keep working with people you know are perpetrators of violence?

MAKONE: What would they be expecting us to do at this stage, two months before a general election?

GONDA: This has been going on for a very long time and…

MAKONE: It has, it has, I agree with you except that we cannot every day that we come out of cabinet tell you the kind of wars and battles that take place in there almost on a daily basis, it would be too tedious. Because of the secrets of cabinet, as a cabinet minister you cannot go out and start saying all the things that you say in the cabinet but I can tell you it has never been a pleasant place to be in. It’s been a war zone from day one to this day.

GONDA: So what would you say you have achieved if you are powerless and would it not have been better to step down in protest?

MAKONE: Because that is exactly what they expect me to do. I’m expected to walk away and to surrender because Zanu PF has no conscience, it won’t stop anything. If I am given the two options – stand and fight or to turn and run – I would sooner stand and fight because by running away you’re just giving them free play. There are so many things that could have happened that didn’t happen because I’d taken a stand. They are violent and everyone knows it. And if we had not stared at them in their eyes and stood our ground, things could be much worse than they are now.

GONDA: Well we’ve received quite a lot of emails from Zimbabweans who are concerned that the situation seems to be volatile right now. If I can just read to you one particular email from one of our listeners, Simudzai, and basically he says I want to check with you if Theresa Makone made any comment or condemned this incident regarding the 12 year old boy? She is said to be related to Didymus Mutasa, the alleged sponsor of violence in Headlands. Is this true?

MAKONE: Well for a start I’m in my hospital bed right now as I’m speaking to you. I had an operation done on Monday before that incident took place. It’s only today I’ve started following things because I’ve been heavily sedated and as I’m speaking to you, I’m still in my hospital bed, I only leave on Friday. So there’s only so much one woman can do but I know that my colleagues went to cabinet yesterday, did whatever needed to be done and I’m sure that now that the President is talking about having those perpetrators found and arrested, it is as a result of that fight but whatever his name is, you can tell him that the minister said I’m just a normal being like anybody else, when I’m sick I’m sick and I can’t be in two places – under the theatre table and fighting the police at the same time. What was the last part of his question?

GONDA: About being related to Didymus Mutasa.

MAKONE: I don’t know how many times I’m going to say this – I have no relationship of any kind with that man except that he was in Birmingham at the same time as Ian and I were in Birmingham, and we had our daughter at Birmingham Hospital and his wife helped me with the delivery. That’s the end of the relationship. What I did when Mutasa’s son was arrested is what I should have been able to do in all the things that followed afterwards, including the arrest of the 31 MDC activists, but I was not able to do it anymore because of this big outcry about Mutasa’s son – ‘because they are related and whatnot’ – but that was nonsensical because it’s not every day that you get a Zanu PF person being arrested. So the public made it very clear that they were agreeing with the Police Commissioner General who said that I had no business in the police station. So I stay away from now on. Now what do they want me to do?

GONDA: Obviously a lot of people want the violence to stop and… (Interrupted)

MAKONE: So do I.

GONDA: …especially as we have two major elections coming. So in terms of trying to find ways of stopping this violence as Home Affairs minister, what role does the Human Rights Commission for example, play in this kind of situation?

MAKONE: Well the aggrieved parties are expected, if the police don’t act, to go and report their case to the Human Rights Commissioner. For me it’s a very circuitous route. By the time you get redress it will be long, long after the action has been taken. What to me, in these circumstances would be better is – once something like that happens, the police immediately react, the people are apprehended and put before the courts. It’s going to take forever for Mr. Maisiri to go and find where the officers on the Human Rights Commission. Has the Human Rights Commission started work at all? Do they have offices and if so where? By that time you will just be expending yourself for a very, very little result. So I don’t know. We must think before we act sometimes and people make the ministers lives very difficult.
When the police don’t respond it’s my fault and I take that because it’s my department but when I do respond, then I’m interfering with the course of justice – so I don’t know how this is supposed to work.

GONDA: So how do you think you can force the police to respond, especially when they don’t even listen to you?

MAKONE: It’s not a question of they don’t listen to me because no minister in any government talks to people below their departmental head, it’s just not done, nowhere in the world does that happen. It’s our legislation, which was made purposefully for that purpose so that the President has got the power to act on a daily basis in direct communication with the Commissioner General – excluding the Minister of Home Affairs. This is why in the past, even before the formation of the GNU, you never heard Mohadi making a statement or talking to anybody because the legislation is such that the ministers are not even in the loop. Suddenly we have started talking because I deliberately made a point of circumventing that and making comments when I shouldn’t; making myself very unpopular with the police. But at the same time not following that procedure because you have got to make sense once in a while. You can’t just sit and watch but the legislation is made like that and it is for all the security ministers.
So all the security ministers are just ministers who pronounce policy but don’t get involved with the day-to-day process, they don’t give any direct command and you can’t say a particular ministry, minister is powerless, actually he is disempowered by the law. That is the constitution of this country as of now.

GONDA: So basically at the end of the day the buck stops with the president?

MAKONE: Exactly, exactly. That’s where the people should be getting their answers because he is the one who directs day-to-day operations according to the law.

GONDA: Well the president has called for peace – what do you make of those statements?

MAKONE: Oh well, that’s where we want a new constitution to start with. It’s one thing having a constitution and quite another following that constitution and we want people to be spared the roughness of the previous elections so that they are allowed to actually vote in peace and see which party they would rather have in a government. Under this three-headed animal, as the president calls it, it’s not going to be possible; it is not going to be possible. But we were rather naively expecting Zanu PF to be embarrassed to continue killing people that they sit with in cabinet. We thought at some stage they would examine their conscience and do the right thing and to be quite honest with you – I said it two years ago and I’ll say it again – this election is going to be bloodier than 2008. The makings of a horror election are there in front of us for all to see. The odd place is bombed, the odd place is into raping, murder, arson – this is meant to prime people to remind them of what they are capable of doing.

GONDA: If you are saying that the violence is going to be worse than the 2008 elections violence, why are you putting up with this? You can easily walk out for example, walk out of cabinet or… (Interrupted)

MAKONE: And how would that help the country?

GONDA: Or why not name and shame them then? Why don’t you name and shame the perpetrators?

MAKONE: We did all the time.

GONDA: So in government are you saying that Didymus Mutasa is the only one who is doing it? Because so far he is the only one you’ve mentioned in this interview for example.

MAKONE: Yah it’s only because this particular one happened in his constituency and happened at this particular moment but there’s so many other things that Zanu PF ministers are doing which we are confronting them with on a daily basis in cabinet…

GONDA: Can you give us an example?

MAKONE: I cannot and the reason I cannot is because it has not gone public. We are required to keep state secrets so if it has not been publicized the only other person who can reveal that is the prime minister.

GONDA: The organization Aids Free World say the South African government has opened investigations into rape allegations leveled against Zanu PF supporters – you know those people who are said to have raped during the 2008 elections, what are the implications of this from an MDC point of view?

MAKONE: We welcome it and we encourage it. This is going to tell people, the resilience of the party, what we’ve had to put up with to be where we are, nowhere in the world do people go as far as Zanu does and now that the South African government, through its courts has been forced to reveal and investigate because they are signatories to the ICC, Zimbabwe is not, and they are required to take certain actions. We are looking forward to those actions being taken because it is about time people started behaving like people not barbarians when you are going into an election. This happens because the security sector has been forced into a situation where they have to support even the unsupportable and I think this investigation should be followed to its bitter conclusion whether Zanu PF likes it or not, people should be arrested and the necessary steps should be taken.

GONDA: But I understand that in calling for peace the prime minister appealed to Zanu PF ministers – during that explosive cabinet meeting we heard about – and I understand that he actually appealed to the Zanu PF ministers to stop the violence telling them that the MDC will not have a retributive agenda. So he was basically appealing to them to stop the violence if they were thinking that they were doing it to stay in power. So with what you’re saying, isn’t there a contradiction here?

MAKONE: When I was not in cabinet yesterday I was just giving you my personal thoughts. If the prime minister doesn’t want them prosecuted then that’s his position. I was giving my personal reaction to this and I will say it again – if anyone raped, if anyone killed and the ICC require South Africa to act then they should follow the signatures to the papers that they signed as members of ICC. As far as I’m concerned because I’m a woman, if I was raped I would want justice – make no mistake about that. The only time I would think maybe let’s push this thing into the past is if this election was different, was handled differently by Zanu PF and do all the things that we have agreed should be done, then I would say well maybe there is merit for not taking this issue forward. But what we are seeing now are the tell-tale signs of even more horrors coming and in the face of that, how do we then say to people keep on murdering but we will not be taking you to court.
I mean for me it defies logic but it doesn’t mean that everybody in that party is bad, there are quite a few MPs that one can mention and in their particular constituencies, there were no deaths, nothing happened, they just won the election freely. So we know who the perpetrators of violence are. We can’t possibly say that the whole party is violent. Look at what happened in Mashonaland East and see how many people were killed in Marondera. Look what happened in Mash Central…You can literally look at the map of the country and see where, but I don’t want to be forced to start naming names right now because I don’t think that was the purpose of this interview. What I’m saying if you want to know who are the perpetrators just look at that list and it will tell you.

GONDA: So how do you respond to critics who say that there is nothing that can actually be done about violence in Zimbabwe given what we have seen in the last elections but that what you have to do is to develop strategies to combat it? Do you agree?

MAKONE: Well I don’t know what plans they have of combating. We definitely know that we have one particular agenda and ours is a non-violent method of responding to the murderers, to the arsonists, to the rapists, which is to expose their actions and hope that our neighbours in SADC and African Union in general, begin to force Zanu PF to behave like modern democracy.

GONDA: You say the African Union should force Zanu PF to stop the violence but how can they do that?

MAKONE: Well in the same way they refused to accord Robert Mugabe the presidency in 2008 after the elections. They simply refused to accept the result from Zimbabwe and that was enough to de-legitimise a stolen election forcing the three parties to come together and thrash it out at the negotiating table and for a whole year this country went without a cabinet. If the African Union had not reacted the way it did, we wouldn’t be where we are today.

GONDA: But that was a reaction after a violent election so I’m asking what can they do right now before.

MAKONE: Right now they should be talking to the president of Zanu and telling him to stick to the letter and spirit of the GPA, failing which they would have to pronounce what kind of steps they are going to take because obviously Zimbabwe cannot operate like an island; we are part of a continent, we are landlocked. All sorts of actions can be taken against this government and if need be then that is what should be done and that should be done by the Africans themselves, not waiting for people from Spain and Italy to come and fight our wars.

GONDA: But as the MDC what can you do outside what the international or regional community can do?

MAKONE: Well as MDC we can fight in court, we can fight via the public media and you know very well that there’s been issues to do with radios and phones – this is their way of stopping us from communicating with our followers in Zimbabwe and for us it was a way of countering Zanu Broadcasting Corporation and this has not worked. And then this week I think the minister in the Prime Minister’s Office did a letter scheduling all the actions of Zanu PF in the recent past, and we wait for their reaction. And quite honestly apart from talking directly to your people and telling them what they are setting themselves again by voting Zanu PF back and talking to your neighbours, the only other option is fighting and for us that is not an option. It’s not even on our agenda.

GONDA: What’s your reaction to statements that were made by vice president Joyce Mujuru saying that Zimbabwe will not allow international observers from hostile countries?

MAKONE: I personally and I know that the whole party does not subscribe to that. We have nothing to hide as MDC, there is nothing that cannot be open to scrutiny so people can come from any place on earth and observe.

GONDA: But at the end of the day isn’t it true that Zanu PF will have the final word on this whether or not the MDCs agree.

MAKONE: Well the rule in this country and the constitution in this country says that the president of the country is the one that controls the security sector and that is in black and white. It’s not meant for MDC only, it’s meant for the whole country and if the president of this country says no, then it’s a no. It doesn’t matter whether the president is Tsvangirai or Mugabe. And if the president has got a party with something to answer I do not see him allowing people to come and observe him.

GONDA: With just a few months before general elections, do you think this coalition government was worth it especially given what you have told us in this interview?

MAKONE: It was never going to be 100%. There were things that we badly needed to come out of this. Some we got, some we didn’t get. As far as I’m concerned, what we pushed for – a constitution – we got that constitution which as far as we are concerned, if implemented, will change the character of this country beyond recognition and that is if there is a government, which is constitutional in behaviour. But if we have got a government that has never been following constitutionalism then it won’t make a difference because for us fighting was never an option. The very first few days after the formation of this government, we walked out and there was a big outcry of ‘why did you walk out, go and fight, we know that it is not easy but it’s better that things are done and you are present and you are defending us than to stay outside’, and we responded and we went back into government. So towards the end of term you can’t then say I wish I had not said no. We walked out and our party told us to go back in and we are there because the people that elected us wanted us to be in that playing field and we played the ball as well as we could and we hope that the few changes that have happened – having medicine in hospital, having food in the shops, having a few doctors, specialists – I’m here because not because I can’t afford to go anywhere – as a minister of the Republic I could have gone anywhere for treatment but I opted to be treated at home because all our experts are beginning to make their way home and some are already here.
And we tried to control inflation and the economy is ticking somewhat, better than zero growth, better than negative growth so those are the things we feel we have managed to do for the country. We have stopped it going over the precipice just in time and if that was not enough for people then people should have to remember that when this thing falls apart and the government falls back into violent hands and the world shuns us, we are going to be exactly where we were in 2007 if not worse.

GONDA: Thank you very much Mai Theresa Makone for talking to us on the programme Hot Seat especially as you are in hospital. Hope you feel better soon.

MAKONE: Thank you very much Violet.

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Allan Savory: How to green the world's deserts and reverse climate change

A very interesting video clip . Click the address above to view it

Allan Savory works to promote holistic management in the grasslands of the world.

Why you should listen to him:

Desertification of the world's grasslands, Allan Savory suggests, is the immediate cause of poverty, social breakdown, violence, cultural genocide -- and a significent contribution to climate change. In the 1960s, while working in Africa on the interrelated problems of increasing poverty and disappearing wildlife, Savory made a significant breakthrough in understanding the degradation and desertification of grassland ecosystems. After decades of study and collaboration, thousands of managers of land, livestock and wildlife on five continents today follow the methodology he calls "Holistic Management."

In 1992, Savory and his wife, Jody Butterfield, formed the
Africa Centre for Holistic Managementin Zimbabwe, a learning site for people all over Africa. In 2010, the Centre won the Buckminster Fuller Challenge for its work in reversing desertification. In that same year he and his wife, with others, founded the Savory Institute in Boulder, Colorado, to promote large-scale restoration of the world's grasslands.

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Constitution Watch 12/2013 of 4th March [Referendum - Observers and Media Practitioners - Accreditation]


[4th March 2013]

The Referendum – Observers and Media Practitioners

Part I – Accreditation

Referendum Observers

Accredited observers will be allowed to observe Referendum processes, including being present in polling stations and at the subsequent counting and collation of ballot papers. The accreditation process is as laid down in Part IXB of the Electoral Act [Act available from]. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission [ZEC] is responsible for accreditation, and has already called for applications from or on behalf of would-be observers.

Who can be an Observer?

The following persons can be accredited as observers:

a) individuals representing foreign countries or international organisations and foreign eminent persons who have applied for accreditation

b) individuals representing local organisations and eminent persons from within Zimbabwe who have applied for accreditation

c) individuals representing bodies similar to ZEC in other countries which have been invited by ZEC to observe the Referendum

d) individuals representing foreign countries or international organisations and foreign eminent persons who have been invited by the Minister of Foreign Affairs to observe the Referendum

e) individuals representing local organisations and eminent persons who have been invited by the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs to observe the Referendum.

Applications for accreditation

There is no special prescribed application form. A application for accreditation must be made in writing to ZEC’s Chief Elections Officer, either by:

the individual or eminent person wishing to be accredited, or

the organisation wishing to have representatives accredited, or

the Minister of Foreign Affairs or the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs in respect of persons invited by them.

An organisation or Minister making an application must state the names of the individuals to be accredited and ID number or other identification details.

ZEC contact details

Delivery: ZEC Headquarters, corner Jason Moyo Avenue and Kaguvi Street, Harare

Telephone numbers: Harare 759130, 774095 or 781903

Fax: 781903 or 770660

Email: or

Observers Accreditation Committee

ZEC’s Observers Accreditation Committee [see below for the composition of the Committee] will consider all applications for accreditation and the Commission’s own list of individuals representing foreign Electoral Commissions that it wants to be accredited. The Committee must “pay due regard” to any objections lodged by the Minister of Foreign Affairs to the accreditation of any foreign individual or eminent person. Paying due regard does not mean that every objection must be accepted, only that the objection must be taken into account before a decision is reached.

The Committee will make recommendations to the full Commission, which has the final say on accreditation and can overrule the Committee’s decisions. It is important to note that a Committee recommendation will be presumed to be the Commission’s decision unless the Commission rejects it within 48 hours [Electoral Act, section 40I].

Membership of Observers Accreditation Committee

The seven-member Committee consists of three ZEC commissioners and four representatives of the Executive [Electoral Act, section 40H]. ZEC has published the following details:

Chairperson: ZEC chairperson [currently filled by acting chairperson Mrs Joyce Kazembe following Justice Mtambanengwe’s recent resignation].

ZEC commissioners: Professor Geoff Feltoe and Dr Petty Makoni

Members from Government [individuals not yet named]:

President’s Office nominee

Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs’ nominee

Minister of Foreign Affairs’ nominee

Minister of Home Affairs’ nominee.

Note: If a new ZEC chairperson is appointed in time, he or she will become the chairperson of the Committee, and either Professor Feltoe or Dr Makoni will cease to be a member.

Accreditation certificates and Observers Code of Conduct

Applicants approved by ZEC will be notified and advised when they can, on payment of the prescribed fee [see below], collect their accreditation certificates and copies of the code of conduct applicable to observers. They must not carry out any functions as observers until these documents have been issued to them.

Accreditation fees

ZEC will be gazetting new accreditation fees for the different classes of observer shortly.


Disputes within the Accreditation Committee have been predicted, following statements by Vice-President Joice Mujuru that observers from Western countries will not be allowed and counter-statements from both MDC formations that international observers are essential.

Media Practitioners

Local Media Practitioners:

Only media accredited in terms of either the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act by the Zimbabwe Media Commission [ZMC] or the Broadcasting Services Act will be allowed inside a polling station. Additional accreditation by ZEC will not be required and is not offered.

Foreign Media Practitioners:

Foreign media practitioners can apply to the Zimbabwe Media Commission for temporary accreditation for up to 60 days. The application fee is $20,00 and the accreditation fee is $80,00. The Media Commission’s offices are situated in the Media Centre in the grounds of the Rainbow Towers Hotel and Harare International Conference Centre.

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

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