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Zim Tourism Increase By 17 Percent

Harare, November 18, 2012- ZIMBABWE'S tourist arrivals increased by 17
percent in the third quarter on the back of restored confidence from the
country’s source markets.
Statistics from the African Development Bank (ADB) economic review how that
tourist arrivals in the third quarter were 768 000 up from 637, 300 recorded
in the same period last year.
The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) is projecting that the industry will
contribute 15 to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2015.
The African Development Bank noted that the mid-year hotel room occupancy
increased slightly from 38 percent in 2011 to 39 percent in 2012.
The African market emerged as the main source after accounting for a 19%
share of the total tourist arrivals.
The European Union market came second contributing 18 percent. Within the
EU, the United Kingdom however remained the main source with a 26 percent
share of tourists visiting Zimbabwe.
The Middle East supplied the least number of tourists with only 1 466
visiting Zimbabwe.
The figure represented a 36 percent decrease compared to last year.
The rise in tourist arrivals showed commitment to the recovery of the
industry government and private sector.
The Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Walter Mzembi says
Zimbabwe's tourism industry is now the fastest growing in the world after
China contributing 8,2 percent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Mzembi said latest figures from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC)
show that Zimbabwe's tourism industry's contribution to GDP will be 8,2% for
the next decade.
"This makes Zimbabwe the second fastest growing tourism industry in the
world second only to China. It is a favourable rating by any standard but we
have to work hard to maintain those figures as the test of the pudding is in
the eating," said Mzembi.
WTTC is a forum for business leaders in the Travel and Tourism industry who
work to raise awareness of travel and tourism as one of the world's largest
industries, supporting 255 million jobs and generating 9 percent of world

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Beware of avenging spirits: Tsvangirai

by Moses Matenga 2012-11-17 14:45:00

BUHERA — Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai Friday warned perpetrators of
political violence that they would invite the wrath of avenging spirits
should anyone lose life in political skirmishes.
Addressing diplomats and villagers during a field day at his rural home in
Humanikwa village in Buhera, Tsvangirai said phenomenal development could be
realised in the country should Zimbabweans heed the call for peace.
“Perpetrators of violence are inviting avenging spirits by killing each
other. Our voices are now getting hoarse as we condemn violence. President
(Robert) Mugabe is also saying it every day. We say no to violence in the
forthcoming elections. If we heed this message, our country will develop and
God will help us go through this transition,” he said.
The Premier said the country had the potential to become the fastest-growing
economy not only in Africa, but in the world. The area’s
traditional leader, Chief Makumbe, urged the people of Buhera to be
exemplary in heeding the call for peace.
“Prime Minister Tsvangirai and President Mugabe are speaking against
violence in rural areas every day. Here in the PM’s area we want to be
exemplary and not embarrass the PM,” he said.Chief Makumbe urged headmen who
were present to go back and preach the gospel of peace to their subjects.
Responding to a demonstration in which some villagers last Thursday accused
him of diverting water to his mother’s homestead the PM said he did not bar
anyone from drawing the water.
Recently Zanu PF Midlands chairman and governor Jason Machaya paid
restitution to the family of MDC-T activist Moses Chokuda who was murdered
by his son Farai and three others in 2008.
Machaya paid 35 head of cattle and his son was slapped with an 18 year jail
term for murder. - NewsDay

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Minority languages: plugging education gap

18/11/2012 00:00:00
by Sen. David Coltart

THE most important building block in every child's education is his/her
ability to read, write and speak his/her mother tongue.

Once those skills have been mastered, it is much easier for a child to learn
another language, such as the world's business language English, and

Since taking office, I have tried to promote the teaching of all indigenous
languages in Zimbabwe. That is why during my tenure for the first time ever
Tonga has been examined at Grade 7, and textbooks in a variety of other
marginalised indigenous languages have either been produced and distributed
to schools or are in the process of being produced through the Education
Transition Fund which I chair and which is managed by Unicef.

It is for the same reason we have now committed ourselves to teaching and
examining all indigenous languages spoken in Zimbabwe. In line with this
policy, I am pleased to announce that the Education Transition Fund (phase
2) has a new budget line of some US$9 million for the production of language

We recently held a "Readers Expo" at our HQ in Harare and invited publishers
and others to exhibit the readers they have on offer. Whilst this was a
successful event, what has emerged is that we have very few readers in all
indigenous languages including the mainline Shona and SiNdebele languages.

The challenge now for Zimbabwean writers and educationalists is for them to
write new Zimbabwean readers in all languages so that we can work to have
them printed and distributed to schools.

Those interested in doing so are encouraged to contact our Curriculum
Development Unit in Mount Pleasant, Harare. I encourage the press and all
those interested to help us advertise this project.

I call specifically on those language and ethnic groups throughout Zimbabwe
to mobilise so that they use this opportunity to address what has been a
major gap in our education system.

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Why Zimbabwe (and Africa) is so poor

Posted On : November 18th, 2012 | Updated On : November 18th, 2012

Eddie Cross says that without property rights there can be no real progress
Fundamentals for the Future – Property Rights

In 1980 when Zimbabwe became a democratic State after 86 years of government
by various white settler dominated governments, the new government took
control of an economy that had been created without significant overseas
aid, had very little debt, a currency that was worth twice the value of a US
dollar and a population that had the second highest per capita income in
Africa. That this was achieved despite the country being at war with itself
for many years, operating under mandatory, universal, United Nations
sanctions enforced by the Security Council, was an astonishing achievement.

In 2008, when the control of the State by Zanu PF was finally broken by
regional intervention and the imposition of an inclusive government
including the MDC, the Zimbabwean economy was in a sorry state. Despite
receiving many billions of dollars in foreign aid over the previous 28
years, the currency had totally collapsed and was worthless. National debt
was 240 per cent of GDP – perhaps the worst in the world and even if all
export receipts had been used to pay back the debt; it would have taken
nearly 8 years to do so. Incomes per capita were the third lowest in the
world, three quarters of the population was living on aid from the west –
mostly the United States and Europe, nearly all schools and hospitals were
closed and the infrastructure collapsing.

What had gone wrong?

There are many of my former compatriots who would say “we told you so”,
arguing on a racist basis that black Zimbabweans simply could not manage the
State properly. Sure, corruption was and is a problem, sure they made
mistakes in macroeconomic policy, but in my view that was not the problem.
The problem was that the new regime destroyed property rights in their
efforts to perpetuate their hold on the State and maintain their privileges
and patronage rights.

When I was a small boy, my father became an alcoholic. I must have been
about 5 at the time. He lost his job as a senior executive with an oil
company, lost the house and car and all his savings. My mother took over
with five children and two years of basic schooling. She taught herself how
to type and write shorthand, got a job as a secretary and quickly
established herself as a personal assistant and secretary to a senior
executive in a local company. We moved from the most exclusive part of town,
to a slum area made up of houses built in the War to accommodate air force

After living in this house rented from the local authority for some years,
the government announced that they were going to sell these houses to their
occupants – the deposit was what we had been paying as rent and in future
the rentals would go towards paying off the bond. The place would be ours in
five years.

I was only 12 when that happened but I will never forget how that decision
transformed out lives. Overnight, our community changed, walls went up,
gardens were planted, houses painted, roofs repaired even house extensions
and basic improvements started. In months, the place was hardly
recognizable. The only thing that had changed was that we now owned the
places we lived in. We were still poor, we still struggled to put food on
the table and meet our bills, but we owned our own home.

If you drive around any town, anywhere, you will be able to quickly identify
where people own their own homes and where they do not. This principle is
universal, operates in all cultures and places.

Nearly all newly independent States in Africa abolished freehold rights to
property early in their new history. The reason being that such rights were
alien to African cultures, where people relied on free access to land as the
only basis on which they could make a living and have any long term
security. But such societies did not allow accumulation or differentiation.
The people were all poor together and the only people, who had any security
of title, were the feudal type tribal leaders and then the leaders who came
out of the bush to claim the right to leadership and control, in most cases
in perpetuity.

Here, because of the constitutional restrictions imposed in 1980, it took
many years for this process to manifest itself and for the first 18 years of
independence there were few changes to the security of tenure and property
rights. In the towns, people built homes and bought and sold them, people
went into business and invested their savings and time and energy to create
businesses, farmers went about their business and agriculture expanded
steadily right up to the year 2000.

Sure over that whole period the regime became steadily more corrupt and they
violated the fundamental rules of macroeconomic management, but the economy
carried the burden and there was a slow but steady improvement in life for
most people. Then came the challenge to the control of the State, this time
from an unexpected quarter and suddenly the people who came in from the bush
to assume control in 1980, felt threatened. They then attacked what had been
the basis of the fragile stability and growth over the previous century –
property rights. The reason – the people who lived on the farms were just
too independent and held the balance of power between the towns (where
secure property rights prevailed) and the communal areas where there were no
property rights and feudal political structures prevailed.

The problem was that when you attack such fundamental rights you undermine
those rights throughout the economy. The net effect was not just the
collapse of agriculture, but the entire economy. Once they did that, the
whole edifice came tumbling down, the consequences of living for years on
credit and beyond their means came home to roost, business took steps to
protect themselves and the productive elements in our society looked for
greener pastures. Suddenly, in a mere 7 years, we were a basket case.

What made Rhodesia such a resilient and self sufficient place was the issue
of ownership. It is the only explanation for why farmers, living in isolated
areas, were able to put up with the pressures of the war, sanctions and the
real sacrifices that had to be made. They were defending their homes and
families. But in an urban context, even though the relationship is more
complex, it is the same and if that is threatened then everything else is
vulnerable. This is why indigenisation is such a threat to all of us. In
Zambia, the Mulungushi declaration by Kenneth Kaunda (essentially the same
thing as indigenisation) stopped the Zambian economy in its tracks and there
was no significant growth in that country for the next 20 years.

Property rights are fundamental to economic growth and stability. They are
also the very foundation of democracies and not just in Europe or America,
but wherever men and women choose to make a place their home.

Eddie Cross is MDC MP for Bulawayo South. This article first appeared on his

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‘A Soft Genocide’ – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 17th November 2012

The Vigil will be submitting a petition to the Zimbabwe Embassy in London on Wednesday 21st November calling on President Mugabe to establish a Commission of Inquiry into the billions of dollars of missing diamond money.

The diamond inquiry was one of the demands agreed for the global diaspora ‘Operation Take Back Zimbabwe’ campaign which has been protesting outside Zimbabwean diplomatic missions on the 21st of each month since January 2012.

Other demands include:

Parliament should be responsible for finalizing the draft constitution without interference from the principals as agreed upon in the GPA

A free and fair referendum to complete the constitution making process

Implementation of all the outstanding GPA reforms

A new voters' roll

An independent Zimbabwe Electoral Commission

The confinement of soldiers to barracks

International monitors allowed to move about freely

An end to the political violence now re-emerging

The diamond conference at the Victoria Falls this week was overshadowed by allegations by the human rights organization Partnership Africa Canada (PAC) that billions of dollars in government revenue had been lost by corrupt diamond activities. It said: ‘The scale of illegality is mind-blowing’.

The PAC report was predictably rubbished by Mines Minister M’puffed-up who has mysteriously emerged as one of the richest men in Zimbabwe. Cathy Buckle says in her latest diary (Diamonds or water? – ‘Mines Minister, Obert Mpofu complained to delegates about the diamond watchdog groups: “How then are you expected to be transparent when there are hyenas chasing you?” he said. “They want to know what car you drive, which house you are living in and what plane you are flying.” The Minister’s gripes are a world away from the grinding struggle of ordinary mums in the heat and dust as they try to keep their families clean and healthy with only eight litres of water per person per day. Diamonds, houses, cars and aeroplanes on one hand and eight litres of clean water on the other; there’s something desperately wrong with Zimbabwe’s priorities.’

The MDC-T MP Eddie Cross estimates revenue from diamond sales could be as much as $4 billion a year. “You do not need to be a genius to see where some of this money is going”, he says. “Harare is awash with luxury cars and you can see even new Rolls Royces on the streets as well as all other luxury models. Drive around the country and look at the houses going up – many covering over 2000 square metres. Some with tennis courts on their roofs, indoor heated swimming pools, elevators” (see:

The consequences of this looting were spelt out by Tendai Biti in his budget statement this week. He said that only a derisory amount had been raised by the Treasury from the diamonds. The result was what he called ‘a soft genocide’: ‘If you look at our social indicators; 90 out of every 1 000 children born are dying at infancy, secondly our ‘maternal mortality stands at 96 mothers dying per every 1 000 during child birth and our life expectancy is 41 years. The figures of infant mortality and life expectancy are by any description soft genocide.’ ( - Biti budgets for watershed elections).

It’s clear that a parallel Zanu PF treasury is receiving vast amounts of looted money to pay for such things as the vote-buying $20 million ‘Presidential’ agricultural input scheme and the huge conference hall being built at Gweru for the Zanu PF conference next month.

Minister M’puffed-up’s line was predictably parroted by ousted South African President Mbeki who was invited to speak at the Victoria Falls diamond conference. M’puffed-up praised his parrot, introducing him as an ‘international negotiator on Syria’. The Vigil notices how many thousands of desperate civilians are fleeing Assad’s murderous regime and thinks Mr Mbeki’s alleged efforts for Syria measure up to his genocidal attempt to persuade his people that garlic and lemon were the cure for AIDS.

In his speech Mbeki again defended Zanu PF, making a point of citing the controversial research on land seizures by a British academic Ian Scoones. The Vigil notes this research has been comprehensively criticized by the Zimbabwean human rights campaigner Dale Dore (see: – Myths, Reality and The Inconvenient Truth about Zimbabwe's Land Resettlement Programme).

Dore sums up Scoones’ research: ‘Those expecting a robust academic study based on sound research principles and solid analysis will be disappointed. The study's references to understanding 'complexity' based on 'mountains of data' turns out to be detailed descriptions of localised complexity and a reticence to make meaningful and objective comparative analyses. Nor do the study's caveats stop the authors from inappropriately extrapolating their finding from Masvingo Province to cover the entire land reform programme.’

The Vigil is dismayed that President Zuma seems to have disengaged from the Zimbabwe question at its most acute point. We understand he is preoccupied by the ANC conference next month which could, conceivably, send him out to pasture with Mbeki. But the Vigil reminds South Africa that if they fail to meet their obligations to Zimbabwe, South Africa and the whole region will be jeopardised.

Other points

In the past week the Vigil has received a sudden surge of calls from Zimbabweans in detention facing possible deportation. We suggest people concerned contact the Zimbabwe Association. Check: for contact details.

There will be a screening of the film ‘Robert Mugabe: Villain or Hero?’ at the British Film Institute at 2 pm on Saturday 15th December which includes a panel / audience discussion. For full details check ‘Events and Notices’.

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

FOR THE RECORD: 44 signed the register.


Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum’s children’s competition for UN human rights day. Zimbabwean children are asked to submit a story / picture on 'The Portrait of a Great Zimbabwe'. For full details check: Closing date 20th November 2012.

Eleventh 21st Movement Free Zimbabwe Global Protest. Wednesday 21st November from 12 – 1.30 outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London WC2R 0JR.

50th anniversary service for the Prisoners of Conscience Appeal Fund. Thursday 22nd November at 3 pm. Venue: Southwark Cathedral, Montague Close, London SE1 9DA. The service will be an interesting mix of readings by PoC patrons including Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, ZoŽ Wanamaker CBE and Reverend Dr. Nicholas Sagovsky, music by a Zimbabwean choir and personal stories from prisoners of conscience who have been helped by the charity. See:

Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 1st December from 10 am – 1 pm. Venue: Swazi High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB. Please support our Swazi friends. Nearest stations: St James’s Park and Victoria.

Election of Substantive ROHR UK Executive. Saturday 8th December. Further details as they become available.

Film ‘Robert Mugabe: Villain or Hero’. Saturday 15th December at 2 pm. Venue: British Film Institute, BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, South Bank, London SE1 8XT. There will be a panel / audience discussion. For full details:

Zimbabwe Vigil Highlights 2011 can be viewed on this link: Links to previous years’ highlights are listed on 2011 Highlights page.

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

ZBN News. The Vigil management team wishes to make it clear that the Zimbabwe Vigil is not responsible for Zimbabwe Broadcasting Network News (ZBN News). We are happy that they attend our activities and provide television coverage but we have no control over them. All enquiries about ZBN News should be addressed to ZBN News.

The Zim Vigil band (Farai Marema and Dumi Tutani) has launched its theme song ‘Vigil Yedu (our Vigil)’ to raise awareness through music. To download this single, visit: and to watch the video check: To watch other Zim Vigil band protest songs, check: and

Vigil Facebook page:

Vigil Myspace page:

To sponsor the Mike Campbell Foundation expedition ‘Sailing across the Makgadikgadi Pans’ which will raise money for the work of the Foundation, go to

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

Vigil co-ordinators

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

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Zanu PF to mark members’ houses with stickers

November 18, 2012 in Politics

ZANU PF says it will mark its members’ houses with stickers during the
coming elections, as was done during the last census, for easy
identification of its supporters.


Addressing a Zanu PF inter-district meeting held at Masvingo Teachers’
College last week, Masvingo provincial party chairman, Lovemore Matuke said
it was mandatory for every supporter to have the sticker for “easy

“You are supposed to have stickers at every household so that we identify
you,” said Matuke. “Our real supporters should have them wedged at their
places. If you do not have that sticker at your place, you will be skipped,”
he said.

Sources said those with stickers on their doors would get freebies from Zanu
PF as the party dishes out goodies in return for votes ahead of next year’s

The party has in the past used food and agricultural inputs to lure voters.

But there are also fears that the stickers would be used to identify people
who do not support Zanu PF, who would then be victimised during the

It could not be established if the stickers would be put at every Zanu PF
supporter’s house countrywide.

This identification system brings back the sad memories of the run-up to the
June 27 2008 Presidential run-off elections, where scores of people were
murdered, tortured while others were displaced by Zanu PF militia.

The MDC-T has said at least 500 of its supporters were murdered during the
2008 elections.

Meanwhile, Zanu PF youths in Mashonaland West province have resolved to
demand a quota of seats allocated in the coming elections, saying they had
been sidelined for a long time.

This was one of the resolutions they came up with at a provincial youth
conference last week in Kadoma.

The youths accused the party’s leadership of trying to side-line them by
putting a regulation that bars members with less than five consecutive years
in the party from contesting Primary elections.

Zanu PF’s national youth political commissariat, Mike Gava said there were
no sacred cows this time around as the youth would contest any constituency
as long as they had the capacity.

“The youth are going to challenge in every constituency, unlike previously
when the youth were barred from contesting those regarded as seniors in the
party,” said Gava.

But Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said there was nothing wrong with
their youth aspiring for higher offices, as long as they could measure up to
the standard.

“There is nothing wrong with our youth aspiring to be MPs or councillors, as
long as they are competent and capable of delivering. That is the reason we
as a party are in the process of empowering them,” said Gumbo.

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Tsvangirai to co-opt Zanu PF ministers if he wins next year

November 18, 2012 in Politics

PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday said he would not hesitate to
co-opt level-headed Zanu PF ministers in his government should he win next
year’s elections.

Report by Moses Matenga

Addressing party supporters at a memorial service of victims of political
violence in Buhera, Tsvangirai ruled out retribution once he assumed power,
pledging to work with his foes in the former ruling party.

“It is better if Tsvangirai wins and they accept and we work together. We
will say this person was better and work with him in our new government,”
said Tsvangirai. “We are not motivated by retribution or violence, but we
want the perpetrators of violence to say they will never do that again.”

He added: “We chose constitutionalism, not militarism. I have no problem if
someone wants a gun over a ballot, let them, but they will get nowhere.”

Senior MDC-T officials last week told The Standard that they had for a long
time been working with some level-headed Zanu PF ministers to dislodge
President Robert Mugabe who has been ruling for the past three decades.

They could not name the officials for fear they would be victimised.
Former Zanu PF women’s league commissar Tracy Mutinhiri, who was dismissed
from Zanu PF for being too close to the MDC-T, is now a member of the party.

Tsvangirai’s pledge to work with Zanu PF’s ministers comes barely a month
after the Justice minister Patrick Chinamansa told the BBC recently that his
party would not accept a “foreign-sponsored” victory for Tsvangirai and
hinting that the military would stage a coup.

Security chiefs have also issued similar statements, vowing that they would
not salute the former trade unionist if he won presidential elections
because he had no liberation war credentials.

The Premier also admitted that there were clashes in the MDC-T but said that
the party would unite to fight for victory in the forthcoming harmonised

He said although there were misunderstandings within the party, there was a
common vision to win the elections and move the country forward.

“The party has been there for long. We could not be here without party
unity. Sometimes there are misunderstandings, we can trade insults, but when
it comes to fighting, we fight as a party,” said Tsvangirai.

“I know others say the party is down and out, but do that at your own peril.
We know what we want and where we are going. I am speaking on party unity as
we go for elections. The next election is not about Zanu PF or Mugabe’s
failures, but what we can offer as MDC.”

Tsvangirai’s admission of clashes in the party comes a week after The
Standard reported attempts by MDC-T to haul Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani
Khupe before a disciplinary committee, the latest indication of a major
fall-out between the two.

The move to haul Khupe, accused of instigating violence in Bulawayo ahead of
the MDC-T congress 18 months ago, over the coals has raised eyebrows, with
some party members saying it was part of internal fighting in the party.

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March election date impossible — Research unit

November 18, 2012 in Local

A local research unit has said it is almost impossible for the country to
hold elections in March next year as demanded by President Robert Mugabe
because the draft constitution is not yet ready.


The Research and Advocacy Unit (RAU) said the time frames that Mugabe wants
are almost impossible to meet, considering that the Copac draft was yet to
be debated by parliament.

The draft charter is also not ready for a referendum.

“So, if one step follows the other immediately and without delay, it is
legally possible to have a new constitution in place before the end of
March, as the only mandatory maximum is the 30-day period, which must be
allowed between the gazetting of the Constitutional Bill and the passage of
the Bill through parliament,” reads a report by the research unit released
on Friday.

The report however, says considering that many time frames had been missed,
it was highly unlikely that the constitution would be debated before the end
of this month, making a March election highly improbable.

It says if Mugabe wants an election in March, he should declare an election
date by the beginning of next January at the earliest or mid-February at the
latest, to allow the nomination courts and other electoral processes to be

The two MDC formations are demanding electoral reforms and an end to
violence to level the playing field before elections.

The RAU report says if Zimbabwe had to follow the Sadc roadmap then the
draft should have been, presented to parliament at the end of last month.

If it was approved, it would have been gazetted within one month and then
introduced before parliament no earlier than 30 days after gazetting, making
the end of December the earliest date for this process.

“And, as has been seen, the maximum periods provided by the GPA have been
ignored and exceeded in every step of the process so far, and there is no
reason to think that this pattern will not continue,” reads the report.

If approved, the President must sign the act into law within 21 days,
meaning this can only happen towards the end of January.

However, the draft constitution is yet to be brought before parliament,
making it almost impossible for the election to be held in March, if the
road map were to be followed.

Considering that most government services shut down from early December to
late January, it was highly unlikely that the draft would have been approved
in time for March elections.

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Harare City Council attaches residents’ properties

November 11, 2012 in Local

Harare City Council last week attached household goods from several
residents for failing to pay rates.


Some of the residents now fear they could lose their houses.

A messenger of court last week swooped on the defaulting residents in Rugare
and Kuwadzana high-density suburbs, attaching everything from fans to sofas.

“They sent me a letter of final demand last week and my son went to talk to
officials at the city treasury department, where he was given up to today to
pay US$100,” Eveline Njazi of Rugare said on Friday.

“But the messenger of court came yesterday (Thursday) and attached our
household goods.”

She added: “My son only got the money later in the day and when he went to
the council offices today he was told that the property can only be released
after payment of US$350.”

Njazi owes the city council US$1 050,80 in unpaid rates.

The messenger of court attached a four-piece sofa set, a room divider, a
kitchen table, two fans, a carpet and a heater.

The 50-year-old widow said she now lived in fear of eviction from the house,
together with her two unemployed sons.

Her only source of income is the National Railways of Zimbabwe’s Widows’
Pension Fund, which pays her an average of US$13 per month after bank

“We are just living in this house, but we are no different from those who
have been evicted,” Njazi said.

“There is no one who wants to access somebody’s services for free, but we do
not have the money”.

She said her family had no way of raising the money and was waiting to hear
from the council, if what it attached tallied with the debt.

Several other residents in the suburb also received letters of final demand
last week and were running around sourcing money so that they could pay.

“I owe them US$500 and they sent me a letter last week,” a man who
identified himself only as Gidza said.

“We have tenants renting some rooms in the house, but what we realise from
the rent is not adequate for our day-to-day needs, so how can we prioritise
paying for water which we sometimes go for months without. It’s unfair.”

Move unwise: Mazorodze
Mazorodze said it was disheartening that the attached properties were being
sold for a song.

One woman’s deep freezer, which was attached over a US$1 000 plus debt, was
allegedly sold for US$64, he said.
Efforts to get a comment from Council spokesperson, Leslie Gwindi, were

But Rugare councillor, Peter Moyo, raised the issue at a full council
meeting on Thursday, expressing shock that people in his ward were having
their property attached without a council resolution.

Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda, whose name appears in some of the summons seen by
The Standard, told the meeting that he had not authorised the attachments.

The attachment of residents’ properties come at a time when the local
authority is failing to provide basic social services such as clean water,
collection of refuse, maintenance of roads or traffic lights.

Water from the council is usually dirty and smells of human waste.

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BCC loses war against open-air worshippers

November 18, 2012 in Community News

BULAWAYO — A clampdown on open-air churches by the Bulawayo City Council
(BCC) has been temporarily stopped after some of the churches accused the
local authority of tribalism.


Open-air churches — mostly Apostolic Faith sects — do not have toilets or
running water, exposing the congregants to diseases.

The council has been clamping down on such churches since 2011, arguing that
they were a nuisance because they made noise and exposed worshippers to
diseases such as cholera and typhoid.

A recent study by BCC indicates that in spite of fines of up to US$20 per
head issued to open-air church worshippers, the churches keep increasing.

The authority has since resolved to dialogue with the churches following
allegations of tribalism.

In one incident, Nkulumane councillor Ngwalo Nyathi and other community
members approached one church gathering and raised the issue of sanitation.
They suggested the use of a property with ablution facilities.

“They had met resistance including accusations of regionalism/tribalism and
this underscored the complexity of the problem,” reads minutes of a recent
health, housing and education committee report from.

BBC Sport to engage the open-air churches
Deputy mayor, Amen Mpofu said due to the sensitivity of the matter, council
would be engaging the open-air churches to find an amicable solution.

“It would be prudent to invite these gatherings for dialogue prior to any
stern enforcement of the by-laws,” he noted.

The report however, does not mention which tribe accuses the council of
Bulawayo mayor, Thaba Moyo on Thursday laughed at charges by the open-air
churches that the council raids were motivated by tribalism.

He said it was unfortunate that the churches were accusing the council of

“God is for each and every tribe and there is no council by-law that is
tribalistic,” said Moyo. “We are only saying do not worship in undesignated
places. There is no tribalism in that.”

The BCC says the churches are a source of discomfort to residents as they
make noise through loud singing.

“Some churches had spilled on to residences where they were a source of
discomfort and inconvenience for other residents through loud music and loud
hailers,” reads the council report.

The council once offered to accommodate the open-air churches at its
abandoned beer halls in an effort to curb the outbreak of diseases.

But the offer was shot down as satanic.

A significant number of churches have been allocated stands but they are
reluctant to develop them and put ablution facilities.

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Kunzwana: Helping women in farming communities

November 18, 2012 in Community News

A group of women sits by the roadside with small dishes full of tomatoes and


They are braving the sweltering heat, patiently waiting for customers in
Macheke, about 100km east of Harare. They occasionally wave their dishes at
passing motorists.

It is their endurance and tenacity that enables them to provide food for
their families.

For some of them, it has paid off.

“I have actually opened a tuckshop and am presently building a lavatory and
another house in my compound,” said Antorio Nyemba. “I can also buy inputs
to do my farming and by next year I will have bought quite a number of

Nyemba is one of the many beneficiaries of Kunzwana Women’s Association, a
non-governmental organisation that provides practical survival skills to
unemployed women in farming and resettlement community.

Naomi Mhlanga, another beneficiary, said she attended sewing, garment-making
and gardening courses.

As a result, she no longer depends on government’s basic education
assistance module (Beam) targeted at underprivileged children, to send her
kids to school.

“Even though I didn’t do so well at school, I now do my planning on how best
to survive because I’m making good money from this market gardening
project,” she said.

Members of the association are trained in sustainable agriculture,
nutrition, and garden management as well as how to lay and maintain drip

Kunzwana director Emmie Wade said the association had 5 000 members dotted
around the country’s former farming areas.

“The major problem that we encounter is that of illiteracy since most of the
rural women have not progressed much in terms of formal education,” Wade
said. “We have had to be very creative in the ways that we teach them so
that they understand the basic concepts.

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Biti delivers ‘demand-driven budget’

November 18, 2012 in Business

FINANCE minister Tendai Biti last week delivered what he termed a US$3,8
billion “demand-driven budget” against the background of a dual enclave
economy, a massive debt overhang and an acute absence of foreign direct


Biti said Zimbabwe needed at least US$4 billion as a stimulus package but
nobody in the international finance community could assist.

Speaking at a Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries post-budget review in
Harare last week, Biti said that it was a difficult budget to craft for the
“simple and bad reason” that 2012 was a challenging year.

“Between 2009 and 2011, Zimbabwe experienced some kind of economic boom,
with an accelerated growth rate. However, the talk of an early election
deterred that growth although this was shot down at a Sadc Heads of State
and Government meeting in Luanda, Angola,” he said, adding that this
development negatively affected business confidence.

He said the country’s current account deficit presently stood at 29%, with
imports constituting close to 9% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and an
imports/exports ratio pegged at 3:1.

“We depend on a false accumulation model where we think we can create wealth
by extracting and importing. The loot committee mentality is still with us
in this present day,” he said.

“One of the key pillars of this budget is industrialisation, [focusing on]
value addition and beneficiation as a response to false accumulation. Let’s
process the goods here in Zimbabwe.”

He said another factor that militated against economic growth was the
unhelpful rhetoric around indigenisation, partially contributing to the poor
performance of the stock market and cyclical depression of market activity.

Biti also revealed that last month, the World Bank and International
Monetary Fund removed restrictions on engagement with the country that had
resulted in the mobilising of money destined for Zimbabwe.

“The World Bank is mobilising money, a figure which I disclosed in cabinet;
they are also sending a team to look at the RBZ [Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe]
and public finance systems to see whether Official Development Assistance
can be channelled through government,” he said.

The Finance ministry also revised the GDP growth rate downwards to 4,4% from
9% due to the high budget deficit and cost of wages.
Of the total budget, 73% would cater for civil service wage bill.
Biti said the government had in 2012 consumed more than had been budgeted
for, making a travesty of the whole cash budgeting principle.

He however, said cash budgeting would be maintained throughout 2013 and
beyond, while anticipating capacity utilisation levels of 40 to 50%.

Total revenues of US$3,8 billion are anticipated next year and of this
figure, recurrent expenditures are set at US$3,3 billion, with only a
balance of US$500 million left for the capital development budget.
The budget introduced a 15 point road map to address growth slowdown,
including attention to macro-economic stability, savings mobilisation,
agricultural food security, leveraging on mining, social services and safety
nets, youth and women and attention to Small to Medium Enterprises,
scheduled to receive a US$20 million line of credit.

Turning to the banking sector, Biti said government would soon amend the
Banking Act in a similar fashion to section 26 of the Insurance Act, which
allows the state to prescribe insurance assets.

This move, he said, was tailored to use the money for the country’s
development needs as foreign banks were unwilling to participate in the
country’s growth objectives.

The budget also introduced Paid Up Permanent Shares (Pups) with tax-free
status and any commercial bank that wants to issue Pups would also benefit
from tax-free status.

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Afreximbank to fund industrial revival

November 18, 2012 in Business

THE Africa Import-Export Bank (Afreximbank) is set to provide the bulk of
the US$100 million fund for the revival of industries through a local fund,
Finance minister Tendai Biti said last week.


The fund, Zimbabwe Economic Trade Revival Facility (Zetref), is meant to
provide cheap financing to industries and help drive capacity utilisation.

The new fund, Zetref II, would see Afreximbank contributing US$70 million
while US$30 million would come from government.

The bailout package comes at a time a recent survey showed that capacity
utilisation in the manufacturing industry had declined to 44,2% from 57,2%
recorded last year, painting a gloomy picture in the outlook.

Zetref II is a successor to the US$70 million released last year to help
revive productive sectors of the economy.

Biti said under Zetref I, approvals amounted to US$53 million while
disbursements were US$27 million. He said the low rate of disbursements was
caused by some banks’ delays in fulfilling the conditions precedent.

The government would also come up with another fund to revive industries in
Bulawayo. Currently, there is US$40 million under the Distressed Industries
and Marginalised Areas Fund (DiMAF), where US$12,2 million has already been

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Ncube, agricultural officials to finalise setting up of Comez

November 18, 2012 in Business

INDUSTRY and Commerce minister, Welshman Ncube is set to meet officials from
the Ministry of Agriculture later this month to finalise the setting up of
the Commodity Exchange of Zimbabwe (Comez).


Comez is an organised market place where trade, with or without the physical
commodities, is funnelled through a single mechanism, allowing for maximum
effective competition among buyers and sellers.

Its operation had apparently been stalled by lack of co-ordination between
various government bodies and a chronic shortage of funding.
“We are yet to meet with the Agriculture ministry officials but cabinet
decided that government should come up with capital to set it up,” said
Ncube. “That is why there is the participation of permanent secretaries in
the ministries of finance, agriculture, industry.”

An inter-ministerial committee tasked with assessing the operational
requirements for setting up Comez had not yet provided feedback on progress
made to date.

Delays in setting up the exchange were primarily caused by overlapping
mandates and “turf wars” between the envisaged commodity exchange, the
Agricultural Marketing Authority and the Ministry of Agriculture,
Mechanisation and Irrigation Development.

“Issues centred on the responsibility of marketing the commodities once the
exchange was set up and there was a lack of clarity over who was in charge
of what,” said Ncube.

He said a Private Public Partnership initiative with financial institutions
and other concerned private sector stakeholders would go a long way towards
facilitating the smooth functioning of the exchange, in consideration of the
prevailing economic challenges.

“Private sector participation is certainly encouraged, as it will be a
public company with stakeholders such as financial institutions and other
interested institutions,” Ncube said, adding that a prospectus has already
been drawn up.

In his budget presentation last week, Finance minister Tendai Biti
underscored the importance of setting up Comez, noting how farmers’ fortunes
depended on its functionality.

“The commodity exchange must be established next year. Farmers must be able
to take their crop to the market and be paid there and then.
Cabinet has spent a lot of time dealing with this issue,” he said.

For agricultural commodities, trading would be on the basis of warehouse
receipts issued by the exchange operated or approved warehouses which
guarantee quality and quantity of products.

The preceding exchange, the Zimbabwe Agricultural Commodities Exchange,
folded in 2001 after the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) was granted a monopoly
to purchase wheat and maize.

Market distortions which consequently affected the smooth flow of trade
became prevalent as the GMB set the maximum buying and selling prices.

GMB monopoly ended in 2009 following the market liberalisation that came
with the inclusive government.

The exchange would also maintain a system of market surveillance where
experts monitor market player’s behaviour in order to protect the market
from manipulation, speculation and other malpractices.

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‘Diamond benefits to cascade to masses’

November 18, 2012 in Business

ZIMBABWE made a great leap forward in polishing its battered image, soiled
by the controversy surrounding the Marange diamonds, where issues such as
upholding transparency and removal of sanctions took centre-stage.

An inaugural diamond conference in Victoria Falls last week brought together
the who-is-who in the industry.

From pledges to moral support, delegates were at pains to explain how their
would-be interest was affected by the embargo imposed by the European Union
and US on Marange diamonds.

Ernie Blom, president of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses, said the
potential opportunities created by the diamond industry to the country were
enormous and if managed well, would transform the economy.

“The diamond reserves available in this country will go a long way towards
filling the gap left by mines nearing their end life in other diamond
producing countries,” he said.

However, Blom said for Zimbabwe to become one of the greatest diamond
centres of the world, it had to become part of the global industry.

“The process from mine to consumer needs to be managed in order to create
wealth and skills for the producing country,” Blom said.
Stephane Fischler, president of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC),
told delegates that due to little competition, Zimbabwe diamonds were not
exposed to the international markets resulting in failure to get the right

“We believe that, if goods from Zimbabwe and more specifically from the
Marange area could be traded on Antwerp, fair and optimal market prices
would be obtained, increasing the Zimbabwe government revenue and allowing
the local communities to reap the full benefits of the country’s resources,”
Fischler said.

Fischler said AWDC is regarded as one organisation that upholds the highest
ethical standards with maximum transparency requirements and had no
intention of lowering the bar on its standards.

“Neither should we be naÔve nor turn a blind eye towards key issues such as
legal, economic and political stability as well as beneficiation for the
government and the people of Zimbabwe,” Fischler said.

He said while durable cooperation between Zimbabwe and Antwerp could be key
in building a new chapter, such a development was obstructed by sanctions.
He said the sanctions were not an end in themselves, neither would they last

Other delegates said government had to ensure there was transparency on
Marange diamonds.

In his address at the Zimbabwe Diamond Conference, former South African
President Thabo Mbeki urged the country’s political leadership to ensure
that the benefits cascaded to the masses.

“. . . all the parties which serve in the current inclusive government
established because of the GPA, must absolutely ensure that the diamond
mining industry is not governed by a predatory elite which uses its access
to state power to enrich itself, against the interests of the people as a
whole, acting in collusion with the mining companies,” Mbeki said.

Shamiso Mtisi, Kimberley Process civil society coalition representative in
Zimbabwe, told delegates there was need for transparency in the issuance of
licences for new players in the cutting and polishing industry.

Mtisi said there should be transparency in the supply chain.
“Wherever diamonds are coming from, the rights of communities should be
respected and we have to ensure that there is transparency and
accountability, how our mining companies are operating there — those are
critical issues that should be promoted,” Mtisi said.

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Hwange in deal with Chinese

November 18, 2012 in Business

HWANGE Colliery Company Limited (HCCL) has signed a deal with a Chinese firm
whereby the coal miner would export coal worth over US$28 million annually.


According to information at hand, HCCL would export an average of 250 000
tonnes of coal per year to Norinco Motors.

The deal was concluded recently and is part of a two- pronged approach by
the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed firm to up production and ultimately
drive profits.

HCCL also signed a US$22 million equipment deal whereby it would get
equipment from the Chinese firm.

Farai Mutamangira, HCCL board chairman told Standardbusiness on Friday the
two transactions “are huge and will have a major impact on productions and
bottom line”.

Mutamangira recently led a delegation of colliery executives to the Asian
country where a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between HCCL
and Norinco Motors for the supply of coal.

The delegation had HCCL acting managing director Stanford Ndlovu and company
secretary Tembelani Ncube.

The objective of the MOU was to establish a framework that enabled
negotiations to focus on an initial delivery of 30 000 tonnes of coking coal
per month and subsequent 20 000 tonnes per month on a three- year deal.

In the six months ended June 30 2012, HCCL recorded a net profit of US$500
000 from a loss of US$1,5 million in the same period last year.

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Oil search fuels tension over Lake Malawi

November 15, 2012 in Business

Lake Malawi, Malawi- Following recent oil finds in Uganda and Kenya, Malawi
hopes to be the next East African country to strike black gold.

Report by CCN

Malawi has awarded British oil company Surestream Petroleum the only
contract to search for oil beneath Lake Malawi, the body of water that
borders Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania.

“We feel this area has a very high potential in the order of billions of
dollars of recoverable oil,” says Keith Robinson, of Surestream.

“In a country the size of Malawi — it is not a large country, it does not
have a large GDP — the income that could be generated for Malawi financially
would be very, very significant,” he adds. “We think it could be a serious
game changer for this country.”

But some fear that if oil is found, it could turn out to be more of a curse
than a blessing.

Lake Malawi provides a livelihood for local fishermen. It’s also a UNESCO
World Heritage site, invaluable for studying the evolution of fish,
according to UNESCO.

Since the contract was won a year ago Surestream has been conducting an
environmental survey to establish what impact drilling in this freshwater
lake could have. The findings will be published shortly.

“Once all the environmental work is all understood, and it is agreed and
accepted, we will then go to the lake and start the exploration process in
earnest,” says Robinson. “That process will take a number of years.”

The prospect of drilling is a cause of concern for some of the people who
earn a living from the lake.

Michael Kanjira has been fishing on the lake since he was 10. He fears the
search for oil may prevent him from plying his trade. “It will be a big risk
for us,” he says. “Our children are going to school through this money we
get from fishing.”

Max Ngochera is a marine biologist. He says that if the lake becomes
polluted with oil, a clean-up operation would be costly and any contaminant
would take up to 700 years to drain naturally through the only river outlet.

“It is the lake with the most abundant fish species in the world, so it is
very unique, it is very clear. It is not polluted yet so it is very unique
in that sense,” says Ngochera.

He fears an oil spill could devastate this fragile ecosystem. “It would take
lot of time until it either flushed itself out or the pollutants spread
out — so it would be a huge task to bring the lake back to its pristine
levels,” he says.

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Garbage now part of Mbare landscape

November 18, 2012 in Opinion

Of all the not-easy-to-comprehend things that are allowed to happen in Mbare
suburb, the proliferation of the huge amounts of litter there has to be the
scariest thing.

Report by Chipo Masara

I have never in my life seen as much litter as I saw when I went around the
area with a friend last Sunday.

It’s like everywhere you look; you are greeted by filth.

From the mounds of litter that characterise virtually the entire area, you
can tell that the habit of dumping garbage just anywhere, mostly by the
roadside, has become a deeply entrenched culture in Mbare.

But judging by the attitude exhibited by the generality of people in the
high-density area, living with the dirt and the stench that it produces has
become part of life.

On the part of Mbare that is along Simon Mazorodze Road, you could see a
number of people working through enormous dirt, struggling to push the
litter to the edges, in a desperate attempt to prepare the land for another
planting season.

What I found most worrying was how, in clearing the land, people did not
wear gloves or any protective clothing. They were using bare hands to work
through the mounds and mounds of garbage.

Although it was being done like it was the most natural thing to do, it
looked to me like the kind of thing that could seriously jeopardise anyone’s

Vending, unhygienic conditions could trigger cholera, typhoid outbreaks
Moving around in Mbare, you could see people selling foodstuffs including
drinks, buns, polony and boiled eggs — mostly near piles of garbage infested
with huge flies (green bombers).

Most surprisingly, a fairly large number of people would actually come over
to purchase the goods, and some even saw it appropriate to eat right there.
Judging from what I saw, it certainly looked like another major cholera or
typhoid outbreak in the making.

Someone might be forgiven to argue that Zimbabwe, and especially its capital
city, is generally dirty nowadays. Sadly, it is a claim I would have to
agree with completely.

The city centre and most suburbs (especially high-density suburbs) in Harare
are infested with filth.

The Harare City Council (HCC) has since admitted that waste management has
become, to the institution, an overwhelming task.

Waste management however, is evidently not a challenge for just HCC as
almost all of the country’s councils are struggling in that department.

Even Kwekwe, which used to be one of the cleanest cities in the country, is
not as clean anymore. Chitungwiza is another very filthy place and the
constantly bursting sewer pipes only add in making the area’s environment
even more unpleasant.

After my visit to Mbare however, I was left convinced that the area had to
be one of the filthiest of all filthy places in the country. In fact, if a
first-time visitor to Harare was to choose Mbare for their first drop-off
point, he/she would be forgiven for thinking Harare was one of the filthiest
cities in the whole world — which would be unfair on all the clean and
well-kept suburbs Harare has.

But just why is Mbare so dirty anyway?

“I don’t think Mbare is one of the council’s priorities inasfar as providing
service is concerned. If they do not collect the litter, what are we
supposed to do?” queried one visibly irate Mbare resident, who requested

The majority of the residents I managed to talk to bemoaned the lack of a
reliable refuse collection service. They expressed anger at HCC as they
insisted they were each month paying a refuse collection fee but were not
getting value for their hard-earned money.

Mbare, like many other suburbs in Harare and the rest of the country,
evidently has very few bins, which, coupled with non-collection of refuse,
has been pointed as one of the reasons they littered.

Corrective measures should be a matter of priority for both HCC and the
residents of the area. If clean up measures are not put in place soon,
bigger problems surely loom.

Serious recycling companies in Zimbabwe would do good to recognise the big
business opportunities in Mbare.

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Manicaland is also for devolution

November 18, 2012 in Opinion

The concept of decentralisation as a developmental policy invited serious
debate during the constitution-making process.

Opinion by Itai Zimunya

The argument mainly advanced by Bulawayo-based civil society institutions
was that the Harare-centric developmental formula had failed Zimbabwe.

Unfortunately, that noble argument risked being dismissed as a regional
argument marketing the interest of the people of Matabeleland.

Manicaland has played a big role in national development but some of its
achievements are getting extinct due to the continuous trek to the capital

The theory that the summation of parts is greater than one whole cannot be
more valid than now. For a post-colonial resource-rich country like
Zimbabwe, development of the country’s parts and districts needs to be
brought back to the centre of the policy process.

A collection of strong and developed regions not only eases the
socio-economic pressure on the capital city, but makes Zimbabwe stronger.

The city of Mutare has an estimated population of 300 000 and is now known
as the city of diamonds as both Marange and Chimanimani produce more than
70% of Zimbabwe’s diamond quantum.

Fruits like bananas, peaches, mangoes, litch and avocado among others are
produced in its environs.

Rolling mountains with spectacular views, fertile lands and the port that
links with Beira is located there as well. The total value of production
that takes place in its environs easily tops US$1 billion yearly.

Amidst all this splendour, the city of Mutare proposed a shallow budget of
US$18,6 million for the year 2013. There is a paradox here and several
questions need to be asked.

To demonstrate how shallow the City of Mutare’s 2013 budget is, it is better
to use a comparative analysis with other economic transactions.

In 2012, Mines minister Obert Mpofu, bought ZABG for US$24 million, meaning
he is more liquid than a whole city.

How can a provincial capital whose geography contributes US$1 billion to the
national developmental matrix only get US$18,6 million to service it? From
a pedestal perspective, one may ask where the US$980 million that Manicaland
generates is going.

Is it an effect of sanctions, looting or a result of poor developmental
policy frameworks?

This focus on Manicaland and Mutare in particular aptly displays how the
Harare-centric developmental models have weakened Zimbabwe. It also shows
that the demand of a devolved state is not a Matabeleland question, but a
national issue.

Firstly, to understand this debate, it is important to state some historical
and socio-economic facts on the role of Manicaland to national development.
We have the liberty to substitute Mutare with the province of Manicaland
since Mutare is the capital city of that province.

That province’s people suffered immensely during and post the liberation
struggle due to its long frontier with Mozambique from Gaza in the south to
Tete in the north. As late as 1987, security was an issue as apartheid South
Africa sponsored cross-border raids targeting villages along the border with
livestock, women and girls emerging the biggest victims.

In spite of its illustrious history and its huge contribution to the
national economy, Manicaland lags behind other provinces in development. The
province, for instance, has no state university.

The city only enjoys US$20 million of the estimated US$1 billion its
environs generate every year.

Mutare and much of Manicaland are often serviced by Mozambican radio
stations. None of the diamond mining companies in Marange and Chimanimani
have head offices in Mutare. The big Russian and South African-owned gold
mining companies in Manicaland have offices in Harare.

Tea and timber companies relocated their offices to Harare.

The province has indeed fallen from grace.

The diamond cutting training industry, though private, is being proposed for
another province. The aerodrome ever constructed in Zimbabwe after 1980 was
built in Marange, to fly out diamonds to Harare for sale as soon as they are

Villagers are left to contend with the silting and poisoned waters of the
Mutare, Odzi and Save Rivers.

The fuel refinery at Feruka was closed as the fuel hub was transferred to
Harare through the fuel pipeline.

Feruka, once a thriving firm, now lies dead and obsolete. The country lost a
chance to import crude oil from Angola, Mozambique or elsewhere and refine
its own fuel, all for wanting to bring everything to Harare.
What makes this discussion interesting is the fierce refusal for
decentralisation by some policy makers, often wrongly arguing that it would
weaken or split Zimbabwe.

The story of Mutare is similar to Matabeleland and other provinces whose
industries and civilisations are either moving to Harare or closing. So the
issue is neither a Matabeleland nor a Manicaland one, but national issue.

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Zimbabwe cannot avoid elections next year

November 12, 2012 in Opinion

Whether we like it or not, that time of electioneering, campaigning, and
de-campaigning each other is upon us.

Report by Mamuse Maunganidze

Zimbabweans are faced with the mammoth task of putting back on track a
country which has by and large been reduced to a pariah state, thanks to the
powers that be.

Whether we are going to have a new constitution or not, in 2013 there will
be elections. Whether President Robert Mugabe is going to consult his Global
Political Agreement (GPA) partners on the date for elections or not,
elections are still going to happen in 2013.

Even if Zanu PF wants the election to be deferred by some more years, they
are still going to be held next year. It is because constitutionally, the
lifespan of the Government of National Unity ends next year.

Among a plethora of issues that the GPA has to address before the nation
holds free and fair elections, is the issue of “security sector reform”.
There is now a growing list of officials from Zanu PF, elected or appointed,
who are desperately trying to cover up for their failures by singing the
loudest in support of the uniformed forces’ involvement in politics.

This team of praise-singers is actually doing more harm than good to Zanu PF
as a party. The recent utterances by Patrick Chinamasa, Zanu PF’s negotiator
in the GPA, who is also the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, to the
effect that Tsvangirai will not be allowed to form government by the army
even if he won elections, cannot go unchallenged.

In a recent interview with the British media, Chinamasa is reported to have
said that the army will not allow Tsvangirai to lead the country even if he
won. “We will not accept it. We will just not accept it. Isn’t that clear?”
he is reported to have said. How could Minister Chinamasa forget that he was
not talking to ZBC?

Chinamasa’s utterances show how shaken and stiff scared the party is, on the
prospect of losing the coming elections. It is an admission that the party
has no chance in free and fair elections. In fact, that statement lays bare
the fact that the former ruling party has conceded electoral defeat.

As we slowly but surely edge towards the elections, the nation awaits with
abated breath as the constitution-making process enters its last but
certainly most important stages. It is the hope of all progressive
Zimbabweans that we have a new constitution before the next elections.

After having spent three years writing this charter, having also spent more
that US$40 million, most of which was sourced from outsiders, can we just
throw away all this effort? I am sure we can get a medal for the worst
performance, although some people are working flat out to make sure that we
fail in making our constitution so that we use the Lancaster House one,
amended a record 19 times for the coming elections.

If one listens when the so-called African Pride programme is on air,
sometimes you get the impression that all is not well within the Zanu PF
party. Very recently, Vimbai Chivaura and Tafataona Mahoso went ballistic
denouncing the three political parties for neglecting the people’s views in
the draft constitution.

I was not surprised by their attack on Douglas Mwonzora and his party, it
was the attack on Munyaradzi Mangwana of Zanu PF which caught my attention.
Reading through the lines, one is tempted to think that all is not well
within the former ruling party. Infact, it is not far-fetched to suggest
that there could be more than one political party within Zanu PF.

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MDC-T’s diaspora campaign ill-conceived

November 12, 2012 in Opinion

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T was reported in the press on Friday
to have lined up international rallies aimed at wooing an estimated three
million Zimbabweans living in the diaspora to “come back home and vote in
the forthcoming general elections”, which President Mugabe is manoeuvring to
schedule for March 2013.

Report by Geoffrey Nyarota

The MDC-T is reportedly working on this strategy despite the fact that the
draft constitution categorically denies Zimbabweans in the diaspora the vote
in elections held back at home.

It was reported that the MDC-T was planning to sell its election manifesto
in the hope that most of the economic refugees scattered all over the globe
would be persuaded to return home to cast their ballot.

Tsvangirai was also expected to brief the diaspora community on the current
political situation in Zimbabwe, the constitution-making process and about
the diaspora vote, or absence thereof, I would say.

Tsvangirai, who appears to have already embarked on this mammoth project, is
to be accompanied by a high-powered delegation, comprising Tendai Biti,
Nelson Chamisa, Lovemore Moyo, Sibusisiwe Bhuda-Masara and Costa

Tsvangirai was scheduled to address a rally in Johannesburg, South Africa,
yesterday to kick off the tour before embarking on the world-wide tour. The
trip will take him further afield to New Zealand, Australia, Canada,
Botswana, the US and the United Kingdom, among other nations “where we have
Zimbabweans”, according to Chamisa.

While the Zimbabwean diaspora community is now scattered in every corner of
the world, the majority is based in South Africa. On a balance of
probabilities, it is in this neighbouring country that the MDC-T campaign is
likely to achieve its greatest success.

But, as the Minister of Information Communication Technology, Chamisa will
pertinently and eloquently testify that in today’s high-tech world it is
much easier logistically, less expensive financially and much more effective
practically to disseminate information in general and political campaign
messages, in particular, through the internet than it is to address
political party supporters physically attending political rallies.

The election manifesto and other political messages that the MDC-T wishes to
disseminate to the diaspora community, can be transmitted in a matter of
hours from the party’s information department, assuming that has not already
happened. Facebook, Twitter and other social media were created for exactly
that purpose.

On average, the majority of Zimbabweans living in the diaspora, especially
those with an interest in political developments in their country, spend
much time on the internet. What they do not know already about the
constitution-making process may not be worth knowing after all.

NewsDay, The Daily News, The Herald, The Chronicle, The Standard and The
Sunday Mail have collectively done a commendable job of keeping Zimbabweans
adequately informed about political developments.

These publications all have internet versions for the benefit of diaspora
readers. Loneliness makes Zimbabweans in the diaspora prisoners of the
internet. MDC-T should know this.

In any case, the MDC-T has performed exceedingly well in elections held in
2000, 2002, 2005 and 2008 without the diaspora vote and without undertaking
any expensive international tour by the party’s leadership. In the UK and
the US, the need to work shifts in order to survive renders it difficult for
many to find time to attend rallies in their millions to be educated on the
politics at home. It is common knowledge that hundreds of thousands in those
countries and in South Africa remain in those countries as illegal

Even if they could afford the return trip to Harare, which many clearly
cannot, they are not in a position to travel from their countries of current
residence. It is also common knowledge that thousands of Zimbabweans fail to
travel back home to bury parents and other loved ones because they simply
cannot afford it or they do not have the required papers. The MDC-T and
other parties should have campaigned for the diaspora population to be
allowed to vote in situ.

The MDC-T appears to be under-estimating the capacity of Zanu PF to
infiltrate the proposed rallies to bombard speakers with awkward questions
about the source of funds to undertake such unprecedented political campaign
itineraries and the source of funds to underwrite the Prime Ministers
numerous and expensive marital escapades. It is erroneous, anyway, to assume
that every Zimbabwean in the diaspora will vote for the MDC-T.

If the MDC-T now genuinely believes that a world tour is absolutely
necessary in order to dislodge Zanu PF from power, then the former ruling
party must be much stronger than what the former opposition party has been
telling the electorate over the past three years or so.

Meanwhile, Zanu-PF is reported to be preparing to hold meetings country-wide
to be addressed by the party’s politburo members to mobilise voters at home.

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Residents at the mercy of council

November 12, 2012 in Opinion

The Harare City Council is not relenting in its quest to force residents to
pay for outstanding rates, refuse and water charges.

Standard Views

The authority has sent out letters of demand to thousands of residents in
the past five months and has also unleashed debt collectors on people with
little means of income.

Recent reports also suggest the city has now started attaching property from
defaulters ranging from resting chairs, room dividers, kitchen tables and

While the move by the council can be justified from a debt recovery point of
view, it is fundamentally flawed because it is akin to robbing residents of
their hard-earned cash and furniture.

The city council’s billing system is archaic and no-one can vouch for the
accuracy of the amounts they are demanding from ratepayers. Worse still, the
council bills for water that is prevalently scarce.

The little that drips out of the city taps is not safe to drink.

There are numerous studies indicating that the water is heavily contaminated
with carcinogenic chemicals that can cause a range of illnesses.

Frequent outbreaks of cholera and typhoid, that have left residents out of
pocket as they constantly seek treatment, have been blamed on municipal

Think about when refuse trucks last visited your suburb, yet council
continues to bill for refuse collection.

The council has also failed to resuscitate pothole-laden roads and
malfunctioning street lights, which have allowed criminals to operate at
night. Council’s dismal performance in service delivery is amplified by its
failure to maintain its very own buildings, which are crumbling.

In view of the above, there can be no justification for the city council to
play hardball with residents who have, for years, paid for services not
rendered by council.

Instead of enlisting the services of debt collectors and the messenger of
court, the city council should find a way to first improve service delivery
i.e to ensure clean water is always available, refuse is collected and sewer
pipe bursts are attended to in time.

Only when all these are accompished can the city council expect residents to

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Learn from Democrats’ approach to voting groups

November 18, 2012 in Editorial

American elections are based on the study of the voting patterns of
population groups (demographics); Zimbabweans should take a leaf from this.
Only the party that addresses most soundly the different interests of these
groups wins the election.

Editorial by Nevanji Madanhire

At the end August, a little over two months before the November 6 US
Presidential election, a Republican senator had a hunch.

He said: “We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business
for the long term.”

His hunch proved true; the Republican loss in the elections has been put
down to the party’s failure to appreciate the ever-changing face and shape
of the American electorate.

Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina knew that early, that the
Republicans were losing the race for the hearts of the different voting
groups in America because the party had remained suicidal in its attachment
to angry white male voters to the exclusion of almost everyone else.

Jack Noland, a high school student in Washington made the analysis below:
“In 1965 the nation was 89% white and 11% black, about the same as it had
been during the previous century. Since then, high levels of Asian and Latin
immigration have produced an America today which is 66% white and 33%
‘people of colour’, a tripling of the minority population in only four
decades. Remarkably, 10% of Americans are of Mexican descent and about 5% of
the electorate speaks primarily Spanish. For the first time in US history, a
president of mixed race … resides in the White House,
“The white male population is dwindling, and it is not a basis for a
sustainable political model. Every election statistic supports the idea that
independent numbers are rising, and rising fast, and the current right-wing
rhetoric is not winning over many new supporters. If it stays on its current
track, the Republican Party may find itself a minority, just like its
demographic of choice.”
In February 2000 when the then ruling Zanu PF party lost in the
constitutional referendum by a wide margin, one of its strongmen Emmerson
Mnangagwa said the loss was a “wake-up call” to the fact that the party can
lose elections. Zanu PF had not lost an election since independence in 1980.
It should have been a wake-up call to the fact that Zimbabwe’s demographics
had changed since then, which fact Zanu PF had chosen to ignore.

In the 1980 Independence election, more than 95% of all black people voted
for liberation movement parties, Zanu PF and PF-Zapu. Then, it could be
argued, history had made them a standardised group.

Colonial history was a white master versus an oppressed black servant
affair, so the first post-colonial election was basically a way of
correcting this.

But soon after the liberation euphoria, surely, the population naturally
mutated into many groups with varied interests. The civil service, for
example, became larger and predominantly black.

Its interests naturally differed from those of the rural peasant population
which remained large and looked up to the new government for support, mainly
during the planting seasons. Because of the recurrent droughts, it was
always going to be difficult to wean off this group from its dependence on

Civil servants on the other hand were generally an educated lot that sought
pride in self-sustenance and therefore looked up to government for
reasonable remuneration.

Between these two huge groups were various others that sought their own ways
of benefiting from the country’s independence.

These included people driving the country’s industrial, mining and financial
sectors. There was also the huge farming community population which depended
almost entirely on the success of the commercial farming sector.

Very importantly, the born-free population was growing pretty fast. These
were the people born after independence and were voting for the first time
in 2000.

The free education policy launched in 1980 had also produced a huge
population of literate people who however could not find jobs. The majority
of these had drifted into urban centres where they were prepared to live in
backyard shacks and engage in all manner of informal activities to eke out a

An educated elite also developed due to the expansion of tertiary education.
Add to this, the group that dabbled in business.
By the turn of the millennium, the demographics had therefore changed in a
revolutionary way.

Zanu PF did not recognise this and continued to treat everyone as the poor
chap in 1980 who was thankful for being liberated from colonial rule.

This lack of a demographical appreciation of the population explains the
tragedy that was to befall the country from the year 2000. It explains all
the violence that ensured on the farms, in the communal lands, in the urban
centres, generally in the whole length and breadth of the country.

Instead of addressing the concerns of the various groups separately, Zanu PF
sought to “collectivise” the entire population’s thinking. Collectivism
simply could not be achieved without coercion.

In the rural areas where the policy stood its greatest chance of success,
civil servants stood in the way, hence teachers as a group were the biggest
casualties of the coercion that was necessary to bring them into line. On
the farms, the hundreds of thousands of farm workers had realised they were
better off sticking with the commercial farmers because their livelihoods
depended almost entirely on the farmers than on government.

They had to be dispersed so they didn’t remain such a huge voting bloc. The
sickness of the whole strategy came to a climax in May 2005 with Operation
Murambatsvina; the urban poor had coalesced into a huge mass of
anti-government sentiment and had voted en masse for the opposition. They
had to be dispersed in manner that has now been defined as a crime against

The wanton disregard for the changing voting patterns seems likely to
continue in the elections next year, hence pockets of violence are already
beginning to appear across the country.

Political parties continue to think that voters can be wooed by the
distribution of certain things. Giving out US$20 million to communal and
small-scale farmers alienates a party from other voting groups, so does the
distribution of bicycles. Not everyone needs seed, neither does everyone
need a bicycle.

A holistic approach to all various interest groups is the winner. The
Democrats of America have just shown the validity of this approach.

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Deeds, not words Mr President

November 18, 2012 in Editorial

President Robert Mugabe delivered a lecture on leadership in Mutare on
Friday where he implored Zimbabwean leaders to be morally upright and

The Standard Opinion

He also denounced officials in his Zanu PF party who subverted the will of
the people by imposing candidates.

“We should let the people decide who they want to be their leaders. The
whole issue is about principles, principles [and] principles. Morality,
morality, morality,” said Mugabe in an eloquent address at the Methodist
church-run Africa University.

For talking about issues that are at the heart of Zimbabwe’s governance
problems, Mugabe should have earned plaudits for his speech. However, for
him to get all the kudos, he should act on what he says otherwise bystanders
will justifiably accuse him of doublespeak.

Mugabe, over the years, has presided over the worst breaches of principle
and morality, be it in the observance of the rule of law, in corruption and
in subverting the will of the people, specifically regarding free and fair
elections and the people’s choice of who they want to be governed by.

Election rigging, political violence and corruption are worst breaches of
morality and principle.

His party has engaged in, and continues to engage in these vices, even as he
speaks against them. The nation expects him to be forthright in his
condemnation of these and set a precedent by really fighting political
violence on the ground.

He should also embrace security sector reform, repeal laws that impinge on
people’s right to free expression, and ensure Zimbabweans get a new
people-driven constitution, that will lead to free and fair elections.

Above all, Mugabe should consider retirement and allow a new crop of
leadership to give the country a new start. The Chinese Communist Party on
which Zanu PF is modelled, has set a good example by renewing its leadership
every 10 years and setting on a path to really fight corruption.

Mugabe’s words would carry more weight if he spoke as a retired elder
statesman advising a new generation of leaders than as the leader of a party
that needs such a lot of cleaning up.

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