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ZANU PF attempts to revise constitutional draft thwarted

By Tichaona Sibanda
16 May 2012

A faction in ZANU PF is allegedly pushing for a wholesale revision of the
draft constitution, in an attempt to smuggle in a provision that allows
serving military officers to be active in political parties of their choice.

The current constitution in Zimbabwe prohibits members of the security
services to engage in partisan political activity. However, that has not
stopped the military elite from endorsing Robert Mugabe as a ZANU PF
presidential candidate in almost every election since independence.

The Zimbabwe Defence Act also prohibits any military personnel from engaging
in any partisan political activity. In a normal democracy any military
personnel found involved campaigning for political parties are dealt with

“This is unacceptable and find it very disturbing,” said Dewa Mavhinga, the
regional director for the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition.

He said Wednesday: “It is absolutely alarming that we are witnessing a rapid
militarization of the constitutional reform process. We hear now that the
army is pushing for recognition in the new draft for its members to become
involved in party structures of their choice, like having a Brigadier being
the district chairperson for ZANU PF.”

Speaking on SW Radio Africa’s Hidden Story program on Wednesday, Mavhinga
said the same faction in ZANU PF is attempting to scuttle the constitutional
process by handing in, at this eleventh hour, a position paper whose demands
are inadmissible.

It is believed this ZANU PF faction includes individuals like Jonathan Moyo
and Tafataona Mahoso, who have been vocal in opposing the new draft.
Mavhinga said attempts by this group to block the new draft seem to have

“The efforts have failed dismally and we want to continue on that track to
say it is not for Professor Jonathan Moyo to decide for Zimbabweans whether
or not their views are in the draft. It is for every Zimbabwean to read the
document, to interact with it and to decide for themselves, and reflect
their positions in a national referendum draft,” explained Mavhinga.

He said he believes the views of Zimbabweans cannot be assigned to a few
individuals to decide for them whether or not to accept the draft.

“This is the problem with some of these professionals who think they know
better than all Zimbabweans put together, who think they’re right to
prescribe to Zimbabweans what they think is correct,” Mavhinga said.

He added: “This thinking is driven by narrow parochial interests that seeks
to advance their positions in the belief that if Zimbabwe is to go to the
next election under an uneven political field, under the current Lancaster
House constitution, then it would retain the kind of regime that would
maintain the status quo, which is benefitting the same individuals.”

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Zim parliamentary debate stalled by ZANU PF court challenge

By Alex Bell
16 May 2012

Debate in Zimbabwe’s parliament was once again stalled as it resumed sitting
on Wednesday, with a ZANU PF attempt to block a private members bill.

Speaker of parliament Lovemore Moyo opened the session Wednesday by
announcing that debate on the Urban Councils Amendment Bill would not be
allowed, because Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo is challenging
the bill in the Supreme Court.

The private members bill was introduced by the MDC-T Buhera Central
legislator, Tangwara Matimba in February this year, and seeks to trim the
substantive powers of the Local Government Minister.

Following a ZANU PF caucus meeting this year, Chombo wrote to the Speaker
and the Clerk of parliament stating that under the Global Political
Agreement (GPA), only Government Ministers can introduce Bills in
parliament, not private members. Chombo also argued that parliament
therefore had no power to consider Matimba’s amendment bill.

The Clerk replied in a letter that parliament disagreed with the ZANU PF
argument, which has since led to Chombo filing an application with the
Supreme Court to block Matimba’s amendment bill.

MDC-T Chief Whip Innocent Gonese told SW Radio Africa on Wednesday that
Chombo’s legal challenge is “unfortunate,” not only because it has stalled
parliamentary work.

“It is very unfortunate that this court application has resulted in a
situation where debate cannot take place. It is taking us backwards instead
of forwards,” Gonese said.

He added that it is a “political move to try and frustrate the efforts of
members who have misgivings about the bill as it stands.”

There are now concerns that Chombo’s legal challenge is paving the way for
other private members bills to be blocked, including a bill to amend the
repressive Public Order and Security Act (POSA).

According to the parliamentary watchdog group, Veritas, if Chombo were to
win the ‘sub judice’ argument while the case is with the court, “it would
also benefit his party not to have the other private member’s bills in the
pipeline go through parliament.”

Veritas warned that the court’s final ruling “will serve as a precedent for
other private member’s bills.” The MDC-T Chief Whip Gonese also expressed
concern about the possible implications this court challenge will have.

“Obviously if the argument is sustained it would mean no private member can
then introduce any motion in parliament in relation to any piece of
legislation,” Gonese explained.

Veritas also said that it would be “most unfortunate if this case results in
a precedent for using the ‘sub judice’ rule to stop debate on a
parliamentary agenda item every time a dissatisfied MP lodges court papers
challenging Parliament’s handling of the item.”

“That might encourage flimsy applications to court simply to delay
proceedings in Parliament. Parliament’s legislative work could be disrupted
and bogged down,” Veritas said.

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MPs summon Mpofu, Ncube over ZISCO

16/05/2012 00:00:00
    by Business Reporter

A PARLIAMENTARY committee has summoned Mines Minister, Obert Mpofu, and his
Industry and Commerce counterpart, Welshman Ncube, after it that emerged the
US$750 million sell of Ziscosteel was in danger of collapse.

Production is still to begin at the Redcliff-based steel-maker more than a
year after it was acquired by Indian firm Essar Africa with the takeover
deal apparently stalled over the transfer of rights to the company’s iron
ore reserves.

Workers at the company, now renamed NewZim Steel, said Tuesday they had been
told Essar would to stop paying salaries, blaming the lack of production,
prompting the Parliament’s Industry and Commerce portfolio committee to act.

“We met as a committee today (yesterday) and legislators expressed concern
on what is happening at Essar. The President officially launched NewZim
Steel and everyone had high expectations, saying operations will now start,”
Committee chair, William Mutomba told The Herald.

“We have decided to call the two Ministers to explain to us. They are
supposed to appear before our committee on May 28 to explain the challenges
they are facing.”

Ncube blamed Mpofu for delays in implementing the takeover deal claiming the
Mines Ministry was stalling over the transfer of mineral rights.

“We are taking 14 months to sign a document which in a normal country should
take a week,” he said Tuesday.

“Essar is saying we have been paying salaries since March last year and we
(the government) are failing to sign a document transferring mining rights.”

But Mpofu said the delays had nothing to do with him, insisting: “That issue
does not fall under my ministry. Talk to Ncube.”

Matomba said Parliament was concerned that workers would no longer get their
salaries and wanted the ministers to explain the delays in completing the

“We don’t understand,” he said. Why is it that these things hampering the
full implementation of the Essar deal were not discussed and agreed before
signing it?

“These are some of the issues we want an explanation on as part of our
oversight role.”

Zisco ceased production in 2009, weighed down by massive debts, the lack of
working capital, alleged mismanagement as well as moribund plant and

But the company’s takeover by Essar sparked hopes of a quick revival for a
company which was once one of Africa’s largest integrated steel producer and
a key economic asset for the country.

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Mayor threatens to drag ZESA before Parliament

Mayor Farai Nyandoro has threatened to report the Zimbabwe Electricity
Supply Authority, ZESA, to responsible Ministers for further action in
Parliament, following what he described as reluctance by the power utility
to provide three dedicated power lines.
by Jane Makoni

The application was made three months ago in an attempt to avoid the town
going for days without water due to haphazard power outages. “I do not want
to think that politics is at play here. If need be, council would take up
the issue with the Minister of Energy”.

“Without constant and adequate power supplies, the water works would not
have the capacity to pump and purify enough water for consumers. Several
towns have been provided with dedicated power supplies by ZESA and this
resulted in minimum water shortages,” Nyandoro reportedly told ZESA

Marondera has virtually run dry as a result of power outages. Residents have
resorted to drawing water from unsafe wells and protected boreholes sunk by

High altitude residential suburbs, such as part of Rusike, have gone for
more than three years without water supplies.Nyandoro said council would
soon invite stakeholders for a question and answer session with service
providers, to help residents appreciate challenges faced by the local

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Mozambique Threatens Power Cuts To Zimbabwe

HARARE, May 16 (Bernama) -  Mozambique's Cabora Bassa Hydro Electricity
Company is threatening to further reduce or suspend power exports to
Zimbabwe over ZESA Holdings' huge debt, a senior government official said

Zimbabwe Deputy Minister of Energy and Power Development, Hubert Nyanhongo
told New Ziana news agency that Zesa Holdings owes the Mozambican utility
US$80 million and is servicing its debt too slowly.

However, he said Zimbabwe is committed to repaying its debt in spite of
financial challenges facing ZESA Holdings.

Cabora Bassa has in the past reduced power supplies to Zimbabwe over the
huge debt.

ZESA imports power from neighbouring countries to bridge a shortfall in
domestic generation and with the onset of the winter season, the country's
power deficit has slightly increased as power demand rises.

Nyanhongo said in most cases, only three out of the six power generating
units at Hwange were functional.

The power utility is currently seeking a partner to build two new generation
units at Hwange.

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Village heads diverting resources to ZANU PF in Lupane East

By Tererai Karimakwenda
16 May 2012

A total of six traditional leaders in Lupane East constituency of
Matabeleland have been accused of working with ZANU PF district structures,
in a scheme to deny donated food and other local resources to MDC

SW Radio Africa correspondent Lionel Saungweme said villagers known to
support any MDC formation are being denied everything from maize seed to
spray dips for livestock and fair trials at traditional courts. The
intensified strategy is meant to force villagers to support ZANU PF in the
next election.

Saungweme said: “The six village heads have been co-opted into the DCC
(District Coordinating Council) structures of ZANU PF and this is happening
in Lupane constituency which is a very big area with many villages.”

According to Saungweme, the village heads recruited by ZANU PF are taking
control of donations made by NGOs in Lupane East and using them to benefit
their party members only.

“Even the bee-keeping projects under Environment Africa are benefitting ZANU
PF youth wing members. The NGOs should know this and realise that their
donations are being diverted to one party,” Saungweme said.

In Lupane’s Gomoza Ward, Councillor Janet Mpofu was accused of diverting
seed maize meant to benefit the community and distributing it to her entire
family, while other villagers went hungry.

Saungweme named village heads Morris Ndlovu of Maphanda, Luke Mguni of
Sikhwehle, Jacob Nxele-Moyo of Wolomoka, Joel Tshuma of Siyatshaya and
Timothy Sibanda of Nzalikhwa Village as the headman working with Gomoza DCC
Chairman Thomas Moyo.

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350 Chimani families denied maize by ZPF chef at GMB

By Tererai Karimakwenda
16 May 2012

At least 350 starving families were recently denied maize seed under the
government’s grain loan scheme in Chimanimani, because officials at the
Grain Marketing Board (GMB) refused to deal with their MDC-T councillor.

The GMB is required to release the maize to councillors who present a list
of needy families in their constituency, regardless of the political party
they support. The councillors in turn work in collaboration with chiefs and
headmen, but no political interference is required.

According to activist Peter Chanetsa in Chimanimani, Manicaland Province,
officials at the GMB at Bumba depot recently turned away councillor David
Munengu, of ward 15 in Chimani urban. The councillor had a list with 350
families from different political parties, but was told only the ZANU PF
chairperson had the authority.

Chanetsa said the MDC-T councillor was infuriated because the families in
his ward are struggling to feed themselves.

“Some are surviving by cooking raw bananas because they had no harvest this
year,” Chanetsa told SW Radio Africa.

He explained that the grain loan scheme was designed to assist hungry
villagers to grow their own food and then repay the GMB by the next harvest.
Each family receives a 50 kg bag of maize seed.

“Some of the maize now ends up being sold on the black market and the
government is not paid back,” Chanetsa added.

Reports of ZANU PF using food as a political weapon have intensified
countrywide. The MDC-T has criticized this abuse of state resources and
reported documented cases to the Joint Monitoring and Implementation
Committee (JOMIC). It is not clear what JOMIC intends to do with these
cases, but the abuses have continued.

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Zanu-PF smarting from EU sanctions stance

By Staff Reporter 15/05/2012 21:00:00

HARARE - Zanu PF says there is nothing to celebrate from the so-called
progress reported to have been made in last week’s talks between Zimbabwean
officials and the European Union in Brussels.

In a sign of frustration, Zanu PF Chairman, Simon Khaya Moyo told the
Norwegian Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Ms Ingbrik Stofring at his party offices
in Harare that Zimbabwe does not celebrate any so-called progress from the
EU-Zimbabwe dialogue.

Moyo said there is no need for Zimbabweans to celebrate any concessions made
as the party believes the whole sanctions regime should never have been
imposed on Zimbabwe in the first instance.

“We don’t celebrate anything from Brussels as those sanctions are illegal.
There is no need to make noise about them, they should just be removed
unconditionally,” said Ambassador Moyo.

The Norwegian Ambassador revealed unlikely sentiments which are a departure
from the stance when the country joined Britain and the EU in imposing
illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe, saying Zimbabweans must finish their
constitution on their own.

“Norway believes Zimbabwe must handle its own issues on its own without
interference,” the envoy said.

Zimbabwe-Norway relations hit an all time low when the European country
sided with Britain and the EU in imposing illegal sanctions on the country.

The EU has said the wholesome removal of sanctions now lies on how the
country conducts its elections as the European Union in Zimbabwe is
objectively recording the country’s political situation.

EU ambassador to Zimbabwe Aldo Dell'Ariccia has said, “If the elections are
held freely and fairly then there will be no reason for the measures to
remain and a credible progress towards that aim and goal of having a total
regularisation of the situation in the country can be taken into

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US won't lift Zimbabwe sanctions before reforms

(AFP) – 5 hours ago

JOHANNESBURG — The United States vowed Wednesday that it would not lift
sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe and dozens of top
officials before there are signs of permanent political reforms.

Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, Johnnie Carson told a telephone
conference that Washington will maintain its targeted sanctions until it
sees "sufficient progress in the area of democratisation."

"The US continues to maintain sanctions on Zimbabwe and will do so until we
believe that substantial and irreversible progress has been made in the
implementation of the comprehensive peace agreement," Carson said.

The United States slapped sanctions against more than 50 government,
military and ruling party officials in protest at controversial elections
and alleged human rights abuses by Mugabe's government.

"We will continue to review our sanctions and we have taken a few people off
the list, not as many as the European Union," he added.

Zimbabwe's two main political parties announced this week that they have
ironed out issues stalling the crafting of a new constitution that would
pave the way for fresh polls.

The southern African country currently runs on a wobbly unity government
between former arch-rivals President Robert Mugabe and now Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai.

The government was formed three years ago to avoid an all-out conflict in
the wake of a 2008 bloody presidential run-off election.

The EU has also kept a travel ban and asset freeze on Mugabe and his inner

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Attorney General Ordered To Pay Pension Arrears

By Professor Matodzi Harare, May 16, 2012 - Justice Nicholas Mathonsi has
ordered the country’s Attorney-General, Johannes Tomana, to pay more than $4
260 to National Social Security Authority (NSSA) as payment for allegedly
defaulting on remitting workers’ pension contributions.

Court papers seen by Radio VOP, said Tomana, who owns Maryland farm in
Darwendale, in President Robert Mugabe’s home province of Mashonaland West,
did not remit workers’ pension contributions from April 2010 to August
2011.NSSA said such evasion was in contravention of the NSSA Act.

“The defendant (Tomana) refuses, avoids and or neglected to settle the
amount notwithstanding written demand by plaintiff (NSSA) and dated 7th of
October 2011,” reads part of NSSA’s declaration against Tomana.

Apart from Tomana, NSSA has also sued Munyaradzi Kereke, the former advisor
to central bank governor Gideon Gono, former Mashonaland West Governor
Nelson Samukange who owns Rukoba Farm in Banket, Local Government, Rural and
Urban Development Minister Ignatius Chombo, Air Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Corporation and its reporter Reuben Barwe, who runs a farm in
Norton over unpaid pension contributions.

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Zanu (PF) Politburo Meets Over Divisions

Harare, May 16, 2012 - Fireworks are expected at a special politburo session
on Wednesday called to deal with the serious divisions in Zanu (PF) seen
threatening President Robert Mugabe’s re-election bid in polls he wants held
this year without fail.

“We are meeting at the usual time on Wednesday, that is 10am sharp as
promised,” said Rugare Gumbo on Tuesday evening.

"It is indeed the special politburo meeting in which everything to do with
District Coordinating Committee (DCC) elections and other issues raised by
the political commissariat in the last meeting will be discussed,” said
Gumbo. “We will be looking at the state of the party,” he added.

A report presented at the last politburo meeting revealed that the party was
ravaged by a myriad of problems, top among them factionalism, an indication
that problems bedevilling Zanu (PF) were deep than what was initially

The politburo is expected to act on reports of chaotic DCC elections whose
results were disputed in Masvingo, Midlands and Manicaland provinces.

Insiders said the special politburo meeting indicates a specific seriousness
on the part of Zanu (PF) to sort itself out ahead of their self proclaimed
elections. The fights in DCCs were indicative more of political ambition
than they were of divisions.

Apart from the hullaballoo over DCC polls, Zanu (PF) is facing other
political squabbling.

In Mashonaland West provincial chairman, John Mafa, faces a plot to oust him
once again through a vote of no confidence while in Bulawayo the provincial
chairman Isaac Dakamela remains on suspension. In Matabeleland North’s
acting provincial chairperson, Zwelitsha Masuku, was suspended for alleged
incompetence and was replaced by former chairperson Headman Moyo who in turn
was also dropped last month on similar charges and replaced by Matabeleland
North governor Sithokozile Mathuthu.

President Mugabe has previously blamed infighting for the party’s poor
showing during the 2008 polls, a situation that forced him to share power
with MDC-T leader Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai who is the premier in the
inclusive government.

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Minister Acquitted Of Gukurahundi Case

Bulawayo, May 16, 2012 — Hwange Magistrate, Collet Ncube, on Tuesday
acquitted Minister of Healing, Moses Mzila-Ndlovu, who was facing charges of
conducting a Gukuruhundi memorial meeting.

Mzila- Ndlovu, who belongs to the smaller MDC faction led by Welshman Ncube,
was arrested in April last year at a road block along Bulawayo–Victoria
Falls highway just days after addressing a Gukurahundi memorial meeting in
Lupane, Matebeleland North.

He was being charged for communicating false statements prejudicial to the

Hwange Magistrate dismissed the matter due to lack of evidence.

Meanwhile the trial of Roman Catholic Priest, Father Marko Mabutho Mnkandla,
facing the same charges is yet to commence at Hwange Magistrate

More than 20 000 civilians were killed by the North Korean trained Fifth
Bridage Army in 1982 during the gukurahundi era to fight dissidents. They
were buried in mass graves while some were thrown alive in disused mines.

The Washington DC-based Genocide Watch last year called for the prosecution
of Mugabe and his allies for genocide and crimes against humanity for the
Gukurahundi massacres.

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'Politics Rather Than Capacity, Reason Why Zimbabwe Won't Open Airwaves'

15 May 2012

Tatenda Gumbo | Washington

Zimbabwe has the capacity to license at least 120 national radio and
television stations, but the Zanu PF arm of the coalition government is
reluctant to open up the airwaves for political reasons, says chairman of
the parliamentary committee on media, Settlement Chikwinya.

The lawmaker, from the MDC formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
told journalists in Harare the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe's decision
not to license more radio stations was merely political.

He said Transmedia, the country’s signal carrier, has the capacity for 68
radio and 51 television stations, and could expand if Harare made the full
switch from analogue to digital transmission.

Zimbabwe, under the SADC regional mandate, is falling short in meeting the
2013 move from analogue to digital.

Speaking on the recent licensing of two new commercial radios, Chikwinya
said potential "groups like Kiss FM and Vox Media productions should be
allowed to operate as there is space for them and many others who want to
join the fray."

According to a legal statue, any potential broadcasters must be prepared
in-house to begin broadcasting; furnishing equipment to enable broadcasting,
then apply to be licensed by the authority and if awarded a license, seek
transmission only through Transmedia.

Last year BAZ officials told parliament the regulatory agency had not issued
new licenses because they lacked capacity to monitor new commercial radio
stations as missioned by law.

In the testimony officials, including Chairman Tafataona Mahoso said they
are using rudimentary equipment and would face challenges once new player
launch radio stations, and said it would take US$3 million to properly
monitor new broadcasters.

But critics have complained BAZ has lagged behind in issuing licenses, only
to award two commercial licenses last year to Zanu PF-aligned stations - AB
Communications and Zimpapers.

Director Gift Mambipiri of Community Radio Harare told reporter Tatenda
Gumbo potential broadcasters are ready to go on air once given the
greenlight by the government.

"Zimbabwe does have that capacity just like any other country in southern
Africa, Transmedia and the ministry of information and publicity have been
trying to keep a lid over how many frequencies the country has," said

He challenged all stakeholders to open the airwaves as Zimbabwe has more
than enough frequencies to accommodate both television and radio stations
that are willing to go on air.

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Harare Hospital in Dire Straits

By Paidamoyo Chipunza, 16 May 2012

Harare Central Hospital is in serious financial trouble and is appealing for
funding from the corporate world to enable it to offer timely and quality

Health and Child Welfare Minister Dr Henry Madzorera last week said the
corporate world and donors should consider bailing out the referral public
health institution.

Speaking to stakeholders attending the hospital's Open Day, Minister
Madzorera said Government could not do it all by itself.

"We need everyone's involvement. This institution should go back to the old
days," he said.

The hospital's chief executive officer, Ms Peggy Zvavamwe, said at the same
accession that they relied on funding from the National Budget and revenue
collections which is not enough.

In the last quarter, the hospital received approximately a tenth from the
National Budget of what it had budgeted.

Many patients are evading payment by giving false addresses, sabotaging
follow-ups on revenue collection.

"We are in a dire financial situation," said Ms Zvavamwe. "We practically
have no money.

"We only received a tenth of what we had budgeted for from the fiscus and
that fraction is not enough to buy medicines for three months."

Chronicling the road that the hospital has travelled since its inception in
1950, Ms Zvavamwe said services offered at the institution were actually

She said the financial crisis that the hospital found itself in had affected
every department ranging from training of nurses and doctors to staff
accommodation, hospital wards, laundry and equipment.

"Most of our equipment is now obsolete and is always down," said Ms

"Specialists are no longer interested in working here as there is literally
no equipment to use in the wards and those available require replacement as
they are always down.

"Because of shortage of funds, we can barely get all the needed supplies for
our patients and the efficient running of the hospital."

Harare Central Hospital was officially opened on May 2, 1958 as a 630-bed
health institution.

Then the institution had 28 Government medical officers (GMOs) but now there
is only one GMO despite an increase in the workload.

Ms Zvavamwe said the hospital used to offer more than 20 services, which
included clinical, surgery, maternity, children, renal and an eye unit, but
now some of the services are no longer offered.

The hospital has now expanded its capacity to 1 100 beds, but little has
been done to match the growing number of people needing care.

There are only 34 nurses in the Intensive Care Unit when a full complement
of 60 is required.

The casualty department is supposed to have an establishment of 64 nurses,
but there are only 49, while the outpatients department has 11 nurses
instead of the required 26.

Other challenges faced by the hospital include water problems characterised
by dry taps at night and frequent pipe bursts.

But Ms Zvavamwe said some programmes implemented by the inclusive Government
in 2009 went a long way in reviving the institution following its closure
the previous year.

With the assistance of donors, some departments such as theatres in the
children's hospital, Intensive Care Unit, Renal Unit and a few adopted wards
got a facelift from local and international sympathisers.

The hospital's laundry superintendent, Mr Naison Muchaya, said they were
relying on one machine after others were beyond repair.

"All things being normal laundry should be done in one day and sent back to
the wards, but it takes an average of three days to do that," he said.

In the maternity ward, Sister Joyce Willis, said some mothers were forced to
deliver on beds without linen.

She said the labour ward assisted an average of 50 mothers daily.

The Open Day was attended by Harare Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda, Health Services
Board chairperson Dr Lovemore Mbengeranwa and HSB members and consultants,
among other stakeholders.

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Sikhala spokesman ‘drove off in display car’

16/05/2012 00:00:00
    by Staff Reporter

THE spokesman of Job Sikhala’s MDC-99 party has been arrested after
allegedly driving off in a US$57,000 display motor at a car show.

Aaron Muzungu, 38, chalked up 1,300km in eight days before cops caught up
with him, the Harare Magistrates’ Court heard on Tuesday.
Muzungu denies auto theft and was bailed to appear on June 19 by magistrate
Hosea Mujaya.

Prosecutors say on May 4 this month, Muzungu attended a Croco Motors
promotional event in Harare and had presented himself to staff as a
potential buyer.
He took a liking for a Ford Ranger T6 truck which had keys in the ignition
and a full tank of diesel.

Muzungu allegedly drove off while staff was busy with other customers. He
was long gone when the vehicle was finally reported missing.

Over the next eight days, Croco Motors offered a US$5,000 reward for
information leading to the recovery of the vehicle which had done just 17

Detectives from the CID Vehicle Theft Squad finally traced the vehicle to
Muzungu, who told the investigators he had BOUGHT the truck at the car show.
Its new mileage was 1,317km.

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‘Exorbitant’ Zim mining fees will not be reviewed

By Alex Bell
16 May 2012

New mining fees in Zimbabwe, which have been condemned as ‘exorbitant’, will
not be reviewed, after Mines Minister Obert Mpofu said the new fees were
proving profitable.

The new licence fees for the mining sector were gazetted in January this
year and range between US$3000 and US$5 million. This has represented an
increase of up to 5000% which analysts and observers have warned will impact
local mining ventures the hardest.

A parliamentary committee on mining has also said that the new fee increases
could be illegal and called on Mpofu to explain his decision. The committee
said in a report last month that the fees “impose a hefty financial burden
on citizens and non-citizens alike who opt to invest in the mining sector.”

But Mpofu told the committee this week that the new fees regime had started
paying dividends.

“Since we increased the fees we have so far collected US$10 million because
now we have serious miners who are mining than the scenario we had before,
where people would hoard mining claims for speculative purposes,” Mpofu

He explained his reasoning behind the fee increase, saying it was an effort
to curb ‘speculative behaviour’ by some claim owners.

“We have been tracking the listing of companies and we realised most of them
are registered and listed in foreign countries,” said Mpofu.

Mpofu said: “On the ground they won’t be doing anything but just use the
mines to count them as their assets. We thought if we could come up with
these fees it would be a deterrent measure for those who hoard claims for
speculative purposes and I must say it has started paying off.”

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CZI chief backs mandatory ethanol blending

16/05/2012 00:00:00
    by Staff Reporter

THE Confederation of Zimbabwe Industry (CZI) has warned that the standoff
between government and the US$600 million Chisumbanje ethanol project is
sending the wrong signal a time the country is in desperate need of

Green Fuel, the company behind the project, has struggled to convince the
government to introduce mandatory blending of petrol and ethanol leaving the
future of the project in doubt with production at the Chisumbanje plant
600 employees have already been sent home with the jobs of another 4500 said
to be uncertain.

CZI president, Joseph Kanyekanye told reporters in Harare Wednesday that
Green Fuel’s E10 could cut help cut the country’s fuel import bill by up to
US$2.4 billion with the servings used to bridge the country’s trade deficit.

“The amount of money saved by utilising the ethanol from Chisumbanje will be
channelled towards the country’s national debt, payment of civil servants
among other pressing issues,” Kanyekanye said.

Low uptake of the Green Fuel’s 90-10 percent Petrol-Ethanol blend, called
E10, has forced the company to stop production after stockpiling 10 million
litres of product at Chisumbanje and exhausting storage capacity.

The government has resisted pressure from Green Fuel to introduce mandatory
blending with Energy Minister Elton Mangoma claiming the company has failed
to address concerns over the pricing of the product which is just marginally
lower than unleaded petrol.

Said Mangoma recently: “The Cabinet committee dealing with the issue has
been asking for answers on why Green Fuel’s ethanol costs more than US$1.00
while in other countries prices average around $0.75?

“We want to know who is benefiting from the balance and why? The company
should justify their prices and they have not done that; they are not
cooperating with the cabinet committee.”

Green Fuel insist they have addressed all the concerns regarding pricing
adding ethanol was cheaper in other countries such as Brazil because of
heavy government subsides there adding high blending ratios could also help
reduce the price.

“The price quoted (by Mangoma) is Brazilian, where there is a 47 cents
subsidy by the Brazilian government. They have a 30 year ethanol industry
and produce 30 billion liters a year with a blend mandate of 25%,” a company
spokesperson said.

“The cost of ethanol in Malawi is a $1, 36 and they have a mandatory
blending policy of between 10- 20%. Even at a dollar per liter, ethanol is
still cheaper than importing dirty fuel from the Arab states.”
However Kanyekanye said the stand-off was unhelpful and gave the wrong
signals to potential investors.

“The ethanol plant is the yardstick for other investors and the failure to
ensure its success will impact negatively on the inflow of investment in the
country,” he said.

“Those who are advocating for the exportation of the product are misplaced
as the country is under sanctions imposed western nations.”

Mangoma has told Green Fuel to export their product but the company says the
option is a logistical nightmare because of the country’s virtually
collapsed rail infrastructure.

Officials also claim that exporting the ethanol self defeating because the
country would then re-importing the same product as blend but at a much
higher cost.

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The MDC Today - Issue 356

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Corruption allegations involving grain loan maize are escalating amid revelations that Agritex officials are allegedly offloading truckloads of maize onto the black market, prejudicing drought-stricken villagers in Manicaland province.

The officials are illegally demanding top-up transport and administration fees.

Traditional leaders are said to be involved in this sscam of extorting villagers by demanding lunch allowances for Agritex officials as evidenced on 11 May in Buhera North Ward 9 at Bere-Nyazvivi Business Centre where Headmen Chitsunge, through his 28 kraal-heads demanded 50c from each of the 600 drought stricken-villagers who wanted to collect the grain.

MDC chairman for ward 9, Robison Ushe said despite the kraal-heads having collected 50c from each person, only $5,00 was given to the Agritex official and the rest was shared among the kraal-heads and headman.

The people’s struggle for real change: Let’s finish it.

MDC Information & Publicity Department

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Zim's women's groups to chart way forward on constitution

‘Zim still patriarchal to allow woman president’- women’s rights activist


Harare, May 15, 2012: A top official of the Women’s Coalition said on Tuesday that Zimbabwe is still too patriarchal to allow a woman to assume the presidency, but the organization continues to engage the Parliament-led constitution making process in order to entrench women’s rights in the final document.


“(It’s about) getting a woman or a clique of women who are strategic enough to position themselves to take over as the president of a country; no one will allow us. I think we simply have to take it by force. I think Zimbabwe can have a female president even as early as five to six years from now… (but now) we are still in a patriarchal state,” said Netsai Mushonga, National Director of the Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ). Mushonga was responding to an question from a member of the audience during a Food for Thought discussion session held at the U.S. Embassy Public Affairs auditorium in Eastgate.

Mushonga said her organization continues to engage with COPAC to ensure their demands as far as women’s rights and governance are concerned and the women’s groups are scheduled to meet within the next two weeks to chart a way forward on the proposed draft constitution. 


“We have a national workshop coming in about two weeks time and in that meeting the women are going to decide on the way forward,” said Mushonga. “On whether to vote (for or against the draft constitution), we will really be able to decide when we have the constitution in our hands -- the final draft.  What we have is the zero draft and uncompleted drafts and we are not able to conclude on those.”


The Global Political Agreement (GPA), which led to the formation of the inclusive government, mandates the writing of a new constitution.  The process is led by the Constitutional Parliamentary Committee (COPAC), with three co-chairpersons from the MDC-T, MDC-M, and ZANU-PF.


Mushonga, whose organization brings together a network of women’s rights activists and women’s organizations, is championing the inclusion of women’s rights in the constitution.  She says there are still machinations of trying to prevent women from getting into the governance arena.


Explaining her organization’s decision to participate in the Parliament-led constitution-making process, Mushonga likened the constitution-making process to a train that moves from New Dehli to Bombay in India.


“It’s not a perfect train, it can break down along the way, it is overloaded, people can come in through windows, people can go in without paying, some can sneak and contribute, but we knew (eventually) the train would reach its destination at some point in time,“ said Mushonga.


She added, “When we decided to participate, we didn’t pretend that it was a perfect process, (but) we were willing to get on the train and endure whatever was endured so that we get our demands into the new constitution.”


She said in her organization’s engagement with COPAC, they had tried to include every sector of society.


“We also had a special conference for rural farmers and they expressed their rights in as far as land and natural resources are concerned,” said Mushonga, whose organization has chapters in Bulawayo, Masvingo, Beitbridge, Kariba, Gweru, Gwanda, Bindura, Marondera and Mutare.



According to WCoZ website, the women’s groups have listed five minimum demands for women in the constitution. These are: the quota system for women’s political participation; socio-economic rights; non-discrimination (all forms of disability); customary law subject to the Bill of Rights; and Access to and control of resources.


“It’s a women’s struggle, not a political struggle, which we are fighting for,” said Mushonga– ZimPASİ May 2012.


# # #


ZimPAS is a product of the U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Section. Comments and queries should be addressed to Sharon Hudson Dean, Counselor for Public Affairs, Url:


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Forget the environment, we need hotels

A government minister recently dismissed as trivial the call to preserve
wetlands, urging instead that the natural environment should be exploited to
boost tourism.
by Tonderayi Matonho

Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister, Walter Mzembi. Tourism and
Hospitality Industry Minister, Walter Mzembi.

At a recent media briefing, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister,
Walter Mzembi, told journalists that wetlands would not bring development to

He was referring to the ongoing debate around the construction by a Chinese
company of a hotel in a wetland next to the National Sports Stadium in
Harare. Environmentalists are opposed to the building of the hotel, arguing
that the wetland should be preserved to improve underground water flows.

The area where the Chinese have been awarded a tender to build the hotel is
part of the Conservation Society of Monavale (Cosmo) Project and is a
seasonally partially flooded wetland with pristine ecosystems.

“This area is known worldwide in ornithological circles as an important
breeding ground for five of the rarest Southern African Bird species, in
particular the secretive migrant rails and crakes which find the vlei’s
inundated fine summer grasses an ideal nesting habitat,” said Toga Fakarayi
of Birdlife Zimbabwe.

Joseph Tasosa, Executive Director of the Zimbabwe National Environment
Trust, said building on the wetland would disturb the ecosystem - killing
organisms, including locusts and lizards.

“It’s a contentious issue for other people to worry about locusts and
lizards. Since when did locusts and lizards take precedence over a country’s
development,” said Mzembi, adding that China and Zimbabwe had signed a
Preferred Destination Access Agreement that would see the Chinese promoting
tourist visits to this country.

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Jongwe running scared

The former liberation movement, Zanu (PF), is running scared because of two
phenomenal developments. President Mugabe’s party is desperately scared of
the Constitution Parliamentary Committee’s first constitution draft leaked
to the public a few weeks ago.
by John Makumbe

The draft is so democratic that Zanu (PF) is painfully aware that going for
elections under that document will be committing political suicide. They are
also dead scared about the impending visit by Prophet TB Joshua, the man who
prophesied Malawian president Bingu wa Mutharika’s death months before it
actually happened. I suspect that there is fear that when and if he gets
into this country, TB Joshua might prophesy Mugabe’s demise and the chaos
that may follow such a tragedy.

This is a classic misunderstanding of how prophets and prophecies work. The
man of God does not have to be in this country in order to prophesy events
relating to Zimbabwe. TB Joshua was not in Malawi when he prophesied about
wa Mutharika’s death. In a recent broadcast on his TV channel, TB Joshua
prophesied about an unidentified African leader who would fall seriously

Zimbabweans are aware that Mugabe’s health is reportedly deteriorating as
the dear leader approaches four score and 10. His party should know that
denying TB Joshua a visa to enter Zimbabwe will not change whatever God may
have ordained will happen to Mugabe or to any of us, for that matter. In
fact, denying the man of God a visa may anger God.

But back to the draft constitution - one of the things the people of this
country said loud and clear was that one person, the President, has too much
power, and that this should be changed to ensure that whoever will be
elected President under the new constitution would lead this country
together with others.

He will have to consult some committee, commission or Parliament on most of
the serious decisions pertaining to the governance of this country. Zanu
(PF) reads this to mean that Mugabe’s power will be diluted, but this is far
from the truth. The point is that Mugabe will not win the next election so
the President whose power will be diluted is certainly not Mugabe.

The draft constitution also provides for the creation of a National
Prosecuting Authority, thereby reducing the Attorney General to the role of
a mere legal advisor to the government of the day. As matters stand right
now, the AG is actively doing Zanu (PF)’s bidding when it comes to the
prosecuting of that party’s political enemies - real or imagined.

The two MDC formations in Copac will be best advised to insist on this
constitutional provision for the creation of the NPA. After all, they have
for too long been at the receiving end of Tomana’s hatred of all Zanu (PF)’s
political rivals. Several meetings to be held this week will determine
whether this provision and several others will remain part of the draft
constitution. It is true that we are headed for a negotiated constitution,
but the nation must stand firm with regard to the rejection of the Kariba

Accepting the noxious Kariba draft will be tantamount to returning this
country to the period prior to the inauguration of the inclusive government,
something we can ill-afford given our experiences since 1980. -

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New constitution: a tokenistic exercise for rich, corrupt, powerful

The Lancaster House Constitution was the best our country has had – so far.
At least it represented a good start for a newly independent, democratic
nation. The drafters did a good job that enabled stability and peace to
prevail at least for a few years after independence. After that, political
actors of all shades and orientations manipulated it into something quite
by Maxwell V Madzikanga

Some argue that the Lancaster document was heavily influenced by Western
powers. The excesses and human rights violations happened during the
struggle and the constitution had no inbuilt mechanisms to curtail or
prevent or ensure accountability for a series of sad chapters and
derelictions. The massacre of innocent civilians and the bombing of
villages, heavily populated areas and camps as well as poisoning of water
sources was unjustified and the constitution should have been more forceful
and clearer as a framework.

It is indisputable that the Lancaster House Constitution was a compromise
between the then Rhodesian Front and Zanu (PF) at the expense of other
critical political and economic actors including ZAPU. The result was
unjustified loss of blood in Matabeleland and the Midlands.

My thinking is that The Lancaster Constitution was more a sanitised
political document than a constitution representing the aspirations, wishes
and expectations of the broader Zimbabwean people - including the peasants
and the disenfranchised. Anyway, after, a long, bloody and terrible war, who
cared! Then we woke up one day and started thinking of a people-owned

In 2000 the first constitution-making process came up with a document,
which, though not perfect, was a massive improvement from the Lancaster
House treatise. The NCA came up with an equally substantive document but it
lacked grassroots input particularly from rural communities. True, the NCA
would argue that the political ground was very uneven, dangerous and that
broader community based consultation was not possible. But the fundamental
issue remains, the NCA draft though excellent was perceived largely as a
one-person constitution - thought out and written by Lovemore Madhuku in the
confines of his NCA headquarters.

The constitution is not about regime change

On reflection, I think that draft contained very critical ingredients that
the government could have borrowed, shared with the populace and
mainstreamed into their draft constitution. The government draft was roundly
rejected. I have met many political analysts who vehemently expounded the
view that the people did not reject the draft constitution, they did not
reject the process but it was a rejection of Zanu (PF) and what it stood

In the district I was working then, you would ask people why they were
voting NO and which sections of the draft were unacceptable and
paradoxically, many people had not even read the draft constitution
document. I voted NO and then read the draft constitution later. How wrong I
had been!

This background serves to inform the current mayhem. The consultation
process was highly politicised yet Zimbabweans aired their views candidly
and fearlessly. A national constitution is not a political and partisan
document. All political and non-political actors were expected to unite
around this very noble cause. This did not happen as politicians from the
major political parties selfishly promoted their partisan position at the
expense of national virtues, ethos and reason.

The constitution is not about regime change. The constitution-making phase
was not supposed to be a stone-throwing, political space expansion exercise.
The forums were supposed to be focus group reflections, listening tours and
detailed discussions of fundamental and cross-generational virtues, values
and thinking.

Sadly, this was not the case. A process that could have been harnessed to
promote national unity and reconciliation ended up being hijacked by
political heavy weights that stubbornly postured and arrogantly promoted
their partisan agendas.

The least we expect is a document that accurately captures and synthesises
the variegated views from all walks of life - a document that reflects
maturity and values that cut cross and inform all generations. A document
that is not authored to reflect the whims of MDCs, ZANU (PF), and any
political or non-political formation but one that captures the veins and
arteries of the country.

There is still room for salvaging this embarrassing scenario. The coalition
principals should for once courageously stand up and relieve the drafters of
their duties and responsibilities. Second, the principals should publicly
admit that the constitution-making process outcome has not been successful
despite the massive investment committed by the fragile inclusive

We now have several drafts and pieces lying all over the landscape including
the NCA draft. Why not immediately hire apolitical, professional,
non-partisan, reputable drafters and use the document that would come out of
this process for the referendum. A nice name like Constitution Synthesisers
could do the magic. And Zimbabwe is rich in talent, intelligence and
intellectual firepower! - Pambazuka News

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