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HR History Made As African Commission Declares Zim Farmers' Case Admissible



20 November 2012

Human rights history made as African Commission

declares Zimbabwean farmers’ case admissible

The campaign to restore the rule of law in Zimbabwe and to reinstate the international court of the SADC Tribunal after its suspension by the SADC Heads of State in August 2011 has seen an important breakthrough.

The African Commission today ruled that the complaint lodged with it on behalf of Zimbabwean farmers Luke Tembani and Ben Freeth against 14 heads of state of SADC countries was admissible despite preliminary procedural objections raised against it by amongst others Tanzania.

The ruling was made at the 52nd Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and People's Rights held at Yamoousskro, Cote d'Ivoire.

The complaint by Tembani and Freeth related to the decision of the SADC Summit at Maputo in July to suspend the SADC Tribunal, which in a series of rulings had held the Government of Zimbabwe in breach of the SADC Treaty and other international legal obligations.

The approach to the African Commission followed an earlier urgent application submitted by a legal team led by Adv. Jeremy Gauntlett, SC, a leading South African advocate, to the SADC Tribunal in April 2011. The application asked for an order that would ensure the SADC Tribunal would continue to function in all respects as established by Article 16 of the SADC Treaty. It was the first time in legal history that a group of heads of state was cited by an individual as the respondent in an application to an international court.

Both applications were filed on behalf of two dispossessed Zimbabwean commercial farmers, Ben Freeth (41), formerly of Mount Carmel farm, the son-in-law of the late Mike Campbell, who initiated the original farm test case with the SADC Tribunal, and Luke Tembani (75), formerly of Minverwag farm. However, at the SADC Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State in Namibia on 20 May 2011, the Ministers of Justice of SADC countries were mandated to initiate a process aimed at amending the relevant SADC legal instruments to change the jurisdiction of the Tribunal. A final report was to be presented the Summit in Maputo in August 2012.

Despite intensive lobbying, the SADC leaders resolved at the Maputo Summit that a new Protocol on the Tribunal should be negotiated and its mandate confined to interpretation of the SADC Treaty and Protocols relating to disputes between Member States.

Consequently individuals in all 14 member states no longer have access to the internationally respected court after being denied access to justice in their own countries. Disputes between the states themselves also now cannot be adjudicated.

Between 2007 and 2010, the Tribunal ruled on 20 cases that included disputes between citizens and their governments as well as cases between companies and governments.

“The move by the Heads of State of SADC to suspend southern Africa’s highest human rights and international law court, the SADC Tribunal, sent shock waves throughout the human rights and legal community in the region and internationally,” said Freeth from Harare.

Freeth and Tembani’s legal team now has 60 days to make further submissions on the merits of their complaint, after which the Commission will consider the complaint.

“We believe this will result in significant pressure to ensure that the SADC Tribunal is allowed to resume operations for the benefit of all victims of injustice and the abuse of power in southern Africa,” said Freeth.

Luke Tembani also expressed relief at the news.

“I was previously a successful commercial farmer and was respected in our community,” said Tembani. “Now I am poor through no fault of my own. All I want is justice - and in Zimbabwe justice has left me.”

In South Africa an international law practitioner who asked not to be named commented that it was “unprecedented” for the African Commission to be considering a human rights matter regarding the actions of 14 governments. “All preliminary procedural objections and hurdles have now been overcome. The case is on track. The matter can now proceed”.

For more information call:

Willie Spies

Legal representative: AfriForum

Cell: 083-676-0639


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Mutambara wades in over dismissal of MDC-N members

By Alex Bell
20 November 2012

Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara has waded into the saga surrounding
the dismissal of some members from his former party, insisting the
leadership contest between him and Welshman Ncube is still on.

The Ncube led MDC, which got rid of Mutambara as party leader in January
2011, has dismissed a number of its members because of their allegiance to
other parties. Deputy Speaker Nomalanga Khumalo (Umzingwane), Maxwell Dube
(Tsholotsho South), Thandeko Mnkandla (Gwanda North) and Senators Dalumuzi
Khumalo (Lupane) and Kembo Dube (Umzingwane) have all been dismissed.

49 councillors have also joined this list, while the MDC-N has also
officially fired the already expelled legislators Abdenico Bhebhe (Nkayi
South), Njabuliso Mguni (Bulilima East) and Norman Mpofu (Lupane East).

Party spokesperson Nhlanhla Dube told SW Radio Africa that this decision was
based on their constitution, which dictates that “termination is automatic”
when members openly support other parties. He said most of the former
members were vocally supporting the MDC led by Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai, and were therefore no longer members of their party.

“We just wanted to clarify the situation. We think this atmosphere of
feigning defection is unhealthy,” Dube said.

Some of the members are also understood to still support Mutambara, who lost
out to Ncube during a party congress in 2011 that voted overwhelmingly in
Ncube’s favour as the new MDC-N leader. Mutambara was also expelled from the
party, which accused him of ignoring a directive to step down as the country’s
deputy Premier.

Mutambara went on to challenge the legality of the congress vote and
insisted that he remained the party leader. However, two separate High Court
bids have been unsuccessful and Mutambara has now turned to the Supreme
Court to appeal.
He has now used this court process as the basis to write to the Senate, in
defence of the members that have been dismissed from his old party. He
argued in a letter on Tuesday that the legislators “were elected under my
leadership as the President of the MDC.”

“Both the issue of whether Welshman Ncube was duly elected President of the
MDC in January 2011, and the matter of the legitimacy of the corresponding
MDC Congress are before the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe. Consequently, all
these issues are sub judice. Hence, the entire leadership led by Welshman
Ncube, has no locus standi to expel members from the MDC. Hence they cannot
purport to terminate the Parliamentary membership of any sitting member of
the MDC,” Mutambara said.

Party spokesman Dube however said that the “status quo” of Welshman Ncube’s
leadership remains until the Supreme Court decides otherwise. He said
Mutambara’s arguments are baseless.

Dube meanwhile also dismissed the Deputy Prime Minister’s insistence that he
still has a following, with the majority of the dismissed members openly
supporting the MDC-T.

“If he believes (the dismissed legislators) are members of his pseudo,
fictitious party then he is the biggest political fool ever to walk the
planet,” Dube said.

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Ncube fires more MPs

Tuesday, 20 November 2012 11:52

BULAWAYO - Industry minister Welshman Ncube’s MDC faction has fired more
MPs, a move that would leave the party with only three seats in the House of

Ncube and party secretary-general Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga dismally
lost the 2008 parliamentary elections and are in government courtesy of 10
seats won by other party members during the election.

That figure is fast dwindling as the MPs desert Ncube’s MDC, a situation
that leaves him and Misihairabwi-Mushonga battling to justify their presence
in the coalition government.

The latest legislators to be axed by Ncube include deputy Speaker of the
House of Assembly Nomalanga Khumalo.

Khumalo, who is the Umzingwane MP, was expelled together with two other
House of Assembly members Thandeko Zindi Mnkandla of Gwanda North
constituency and Maxwell Dube of Tsholotsho South.

Senators Kembo Dube (Umzingwane South) and Dalumuzi Khumalo (Lupane) were
also shown the door on allegations of working with the mainstream MDC party
led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

Ncube broke away from the MDC to form his own outfit using the same party
name in 2005 after accusing Tsvangirai of being a dictator.

In the letters of expulsion signed by Misihairambwi-Mushonga, the five were
fired for disrespecting the party leadership.

Misihairambwi-Mushonga said the five were also thrown out for “refusing to
repent” after they attended a mainstream MDC meeting in Botswana in 2008.

“Following the June 2008 elections, you were recruited to join the MDC-T as
evidenced by your Botswana trip and ever since that day you have
consistently worked with the MDC-T not withstanding repeated attempts by the
party to reach out to you,” reads a copy of the letter sent to the MPs.

“You have refused to work for the party and in fact rejected the authority
of the party’s national leadership and the national council and generally
disassociated yourself from the party,” Misihairambwi-Mushonga said in the
expulsion letters.

The fired MPs received the expulsion letters yesterday.

Misihairambwi-Mushonga said the party would ask House of Assembly Speaker
Lovemore Moyo and Senate President Edna Madzongwe to expel the five from

“We further advise that the party at the time of its choosing will in due
course advise the Speaker that you ceased to be member of the party under
whose ticket you were elected to Parliament,” reads Misihairambwi-Mushonga’s

“When the party decides the timing by which to invoke its right under the
national constitution, you will lose your seat in Parliament which seat
belongs to the party under which ticket you were elected,” she said.

The Ncube MDC faction in 2009 expelled Abednico Bhebhe (Nkayi South),
Njabuliso Mguni (Lupane East) and Norman Mpofu (Bulilima East) for allegedly
working with the mainstream MDC.

The MDC is now left with three House of Assembly members Moses Mzila-Ndlovu,
Edward Mkhosi and Patrick Dube as well as Education minister David Coltart
in the Senate. - Pindai Dube

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Hopes rise for end to COPAC deadlock

By Tichaona Sibanda
20 November 2012

Prospects for a breakthrough on the COPAC deadlock rose on Monday as the
principals seemed to drop their demands to have a final say on the new

The ZANU PF principal to the GPA, Robert Mugabe, previously insisted he and
his coalition partners had the mandate to negotiate the constitution, not

But following a meeting of the principals on Monday, which was in part
attended by Eric Matinenga, the Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs
Minister, it now appears the political leaders are committed to let the
process move forward as outlined in the GPA.

Douglas Mwonzora, the COPAC co-chairmen and MDC-T spokesman, told SW Radio
Africa on Tuesday the principals had asked Matinenga to write to them on the
way forward.

Matinenga’s views on the charter are well known, especially his insistence
that when it came to COPAC, he was guided by Article 6 of the GPA, which
states that parliament should drive constitutional reform.

Analysts believe this is likely to be the same advice he will recommend to
the principals, that COPAC should be allowed to run its course and not be
usurped by the executive.

ZANU PF has been calling for amendments to the draft, claiming it did not
reflect the views of the people. But Matinenga said:‘I had discussions with
Matinenga yesterday (Monday) after his meeting with the principals and
advised us he had been told (by the principals) they had no intention
whatsoever to interfere with the drafting of the constitution.

‘All they wanted to know was the progress of the constitution and advice
from the Minister on how the program is going to be moved forward.’

Asked if this signaled an immediate breakthrough, Mwonzora said it was a
glimmer of hope, but they had to wait until Matinenga submits his written
report to the principals with his recommendations.

‘Until he does that, we will have to wait but I have confidence that the
parties would want to move this process forward to enable us to present the
draft to parliament.

‘I think there is real hope for that breakthrough. But obviously discussions
over the next few weeks will tell us whether that hope is well founded or

His optimism was shared by the chairman of the MDC-T UK, Tonderai
Samanyanga, who said a deal was possible.

‘I am very optimistic that the level and quality of the work that has been
achieved so far on the draft has prospects of enabling the country to move
positively on to a referendum and eventually elections.

‘A constitution should not be designed to suit Mugabe, Tsvangirai or Ncube.
A constitution must look at a nation and its people and should last for
generations and not the period Mugabe wants to be in power,’ Samanyanga

Four months ago COPAC released the draft constitution which, although a less
than perfect document, to some extent does curtail the sweeping powers of
the presidency, enhance individual rights and give more power to local

A new constitution for Zimbabwe was an integral part of the power-sharing
deal in 2008 after a disputed election erupted in widespread bloodshed. The
violence killed over 500 MDC supporters, maimed thousands and displaced
close to half a million others.

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ZANU PF threatening MDC-T in Binga with amputations

By Tererai Karimakwenda
20 November 2012

Traditional chiefs, soldiers and police officials in remote areas of Binga
North are allegedly threatening to cut off the arms of MDC-T councillors and
supporters, and forcing villagers to pay fines for failing to attend ZANU PF

Villagers from Chunga and Lusulu areas accused Chief Simupa, Chief
Sinakatenge and Chief Sinamusanga of working with ZANU PF activists and
using their positions to force villagers to attend meetings.

Councillor Temba Toonse Kunjulu (TTK), from Jabuba ward in Binga, told SW
Radio Africa that the ZANU PF activists include Kenias Charuma and a former
intelligence agent named Isaac Ndebele.

“Councillors are being threatened with having their arms cut off, and why,
because of having failed to attend meetings organised by these ZANU PF
activists. The big challenge in Chunga and Lusulu is that people are being
victimised by Ndebele, and at times the police are involved,” a frustrated
TTK explained.

Villagers are also being forced to pay a fine if they fail to attend these
According to TTK, a young MDC-T supporter named Omi was recently fined $40
by Chief Sinakatenge, for failing to attend a meeting that he addressed.

The victims of political violence have no one to protect them since the
police are clearly ZANU PF supporters. Councillor TTK said a policeman named
Edward Muzondo recently told villagers at Lusulu Grain Marketing Board that
only those “who know where they were fathered” will receive food under the
Presidential scheme. This food is donated by the office of the president and
meant for all villagers, regardless of their political affiliation.

“Actually he showed himself to be a true partisan of ZANU-PF because he said
‘pamberi ne ZANU PF. Pasi ne MDC’, which was heard by every participant of
that programme at Lusulu GMB,” Councillor TTK said.

Intimidation of perceived enemies by ZANU PF activists and state agents
loyal to Robert Mugabe has intensified, as the country heads towards a year
in which elections are due to be held.

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Drama As Kunonga Loses

Harare, November 20, 2012- THERE was drama at the Supreme Court in Harare
yesterday as supporters of Anglican Church Bishop Chad Gandiya burst into
song, dance and ululation after the court ruled against excommunicated
Bishop Nolbert Kunonga, bringing to an end a five-year leadership and
property wrangle which had rocked the church.
Supreme Court judge Justice Yunus Omerjee delivered the judgment on behalf
of Deputy Chief Justice Luke Malaba, upholding Gandiya’s appeal in a
fully-packed courtroom in the morning. The Supreme Court said High Court
judge Justice Ben Hlatshwayo was wrong in giving Kunonga and his followers
the right to possess and control Anglican Church property without its
“It is common cause that the property belongs to the church. It has the
right to an order for vindication of its property from possessors who have
no right to have it . . . they had no right to continue in possession of the
congregational buildings when they had departed from the fundamental
principles and standards on which the church is founded. They left it,
putting themselves beyond its ecclesiastical jurisdiction,” Justice Malaba
The court also ordered Kunonga to return all the church properties he had
seized from the Gandiya faction.
Part of the order reads: “The appeal in the case of the Church of the
Province of Central Africa (CPCA) versus Diocesan Trustees for the Diocese
of Harare SC180/09 succeeds with costs. The judgment of the court a quo
(from which an appeal has been taken) in case number HC4327/08 is set aside
and substituted with the following: ‘The application is dismissed with costs’.
“The appeal in the case of the Church of the Province of Central Africa
versus Kunonga and others SC130/10 be and is hereby allowed with costs. The
judgment of the court a quo in case number HC6544/07 is set aside and
substituted with the following order: ‘The claim is granted with costs’.”
Flanked by his wife Faith and over 50 church members and other bishops, an
ecstatic Gandiya hailed the court’s ruling, adding his members would move
back into the properties soon.
“We have waited in exile for five years. We prayed all this time and God has
answered our prayers. I cannot wait going back to my office,” Gandiya told
supporters outside the court building.
Asked when he expected Kunonga to move out, Gandiya replied: “As soon as
Kunonga led a breakaway faction from the CPCA and formed the Anglican
Province of Zimbabwe on the basis that the former condoned homosexuality.
Yesterday, Kunonga’s aide David Kunyongana referred all questions to the
Harare Diocese, whose telephone number remained engaged until the time of
going to print.
The judgment was handed down by Justice Malaba and concurred to by Justices
Vernanda Ziyambi and Omerjee. NewsDay

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Coltart pledges help to restore Kunonga destroyed schools

ZIMBABWE’S Minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture, David Coltart,
has pledged to help restore sanity and improving learning conditions
Anglican schools that had been seized by renegade bishop, Nolbert Kunonga.

by Edgar Gweshe

Kunonga on Monday lost a battle at the Supreme Court to keep control of the
church’s property in the Harare Diocese on Monday.

Deputy Chief Justice, Luke Malaba, ruled that Kunonga and his followers were
no longer part of the Anglican Church as they broke away from the main
church in 2007 and, resultantly, they were not entitled to its property.
Malaba said Kunonga was wrongly in control of the church’s property since

Speaking after the Supreme Court judgment which reversed an earlier ruling
by the High Court realising Kunonga as the rightful owner of Anglican Church
property in the diocese of Harare, Coltart said: “Our prayers have been
answered for the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe. I now look forward to working
with them to restore sanity in their schools which have suffered so much
during this period of insanity.

As usual my door is open if they need help in this regard.” Coltart, like
many other Anglican worshippers, expressed delight at the Supreme Court
judgement which he said would help restore order in the Anglican schools.

Soon after the judgement, social media such as Facebook were awash with
congratulatory messages for Bishop Gandiya who leads the Church of Central
Province of Africa while Kunonga was heavily attacked by jubilant

In an interview with The Zimbabwean, Gandiya admitted that standards in
schools which had been seized by Kunonga had drastically fallen. He admitted
they were facing an uphill task to restore order at the schools.

“The standards were falling. We realise we have a big task ahead of us. Our
Education Committee will be meeting this week to look into the issue and map
out strategies on how best to improve the standards at the schools,” said

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Gandiya to hold cleansing ceremonies

Tuesday, 20 November 2012 00:00

Herald Reporter
Bishop Chad Gandiya has forbidden members of his Church of the Province of
Central Africa Anglican Diocese of Harare from using altars in the church
buildings previously occupied by Bishop Nolbert Kunonga’s side until a
cleansing ceremony has been conducted. Anglican Harare Diocese spokesperson
Mr Precious Shumba yesterday said their leader, Bishop Gandiya, had
authorised members to occupy the rectories and take charge of the buildings
and leave out the altars.
“The Bishop has decreed that no one should use the altars in the churches
until the cleansing ceremonies have been done. But members can occupy the
rectories and take charge of their buildings,” said Mr Shumba.
He said the cleansing ceremony would be held on December 16.
“On December 16, all Anglicans will gather at the Africa Unity Square to
mark our victory, and mark the beginning of the phase of rebuilding the
Anglican Diocese of Harare.
“Anglicans will move into the cathedral carrying the Bishop’s throne and a
lot of cleansing will take place.
“Enough incense has been made available to do the cleansing of the
churches,” he said.
Mr Shumba said the judgment gave them the right to occupy premises
immediately, adding that priests aligned to Kunonga had started packing and
gave examples of those in Mabelreign and Avondale parishes in Harare.
He encouraged members to ensure that the Kunonga-aligned priests leave all
the church property and said legal proceedings would be instituted against
“We want to make sure that every property is accounted for,” he said.

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MDC-T 29 trial adjourned to next week

By Tichaona Sibanda
20 November 2012

The state prosecutor in the ongoing trial of the 29 MDC-T activists accused
of murder, spent Tuesday in court trying to salvage the reputation of the
investigating officer in the case.

The activists face charges of murdering police Inspector Petros Mutedza in
May last year, after he had gone to Glen View to investigate what was
alleged to be an illegal meeting the MDC-T members were holding.

Prosecutor Edmore Nyazamba was re-examining top cop chief Inspector Clever
Ntini’s evidence in the hope of rebuilding his reputation after the court
last week ruled much of his evidence was false and unreliable.

Last week the High Court had ruled that Ntini, who investigated MDC-T youth
assembly president Solomon Madzore and another party activist Lovemore
Taruvinga Magaya, lied to the court. Ntini had said the two had been
identified by undercover police officers as having taken part in the murder
last year.

It emerged that Madzore’s previous bail dismissals were as a result of this
false information supplied to the court by Ntini. This prompted High Court
judge Justice Chinembiri Bhunu to grant Madzore bail, together with Magaya.

Defence lawyer Charles Kwaramba told SW Radio Africa the re-examination of
Ntini was an exercise in futility as he had lost respect of the court. He
said the cop had nothing new to offer and anything he says from now onwards
should be taken with a pinch of salt.

Kwaramba said they applied to the High court to cross-examine Ntini
following his latest submissions to the prosecution team.

The trial was postponed on Monday when a power outage hit Harare’s Central
business district in the morning. On Tuesday the judge adjourned the trial
to Monday next week.

Three of the activists have been released on bail. Of the three, Cynthia
Manjoro was the first to be released after the defense counsel led by
Beatrice Mtetwa managed to convince the court that she was not near the
scene on the day Inspector Mutedza was murdered.

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Demonstrations against President‘s Field Day, a charade

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

We note as absurd the wicked Zanu PF machinations in an attempt to disrupt
President Tsvangira’s well intended field day programme at his rural
homestead at Humanikwa Village in Buhera.

That Zanu PF’s aspiring candidate for Buhera, who is also a Police
inspector, Oliver Mandipaka chose to abuse poor villagers and the junior
police officers who escorted the charade of hapless villagers is not only
the heist of notoriety but clear abuse of office by the Zanu PF activist cum
senior police officer.

It is shameful that Mandipaka, a well known Zanu PF chalatan, takes
advantage of a “platoon” of ill informed villagers to walk 4 km to
demonstrate against an issue of no relevance to them, let alone an issue
they have no knowledge about.

Surely for Mandipaka to take advantage of some people’s parents to
demonstrate against what they weirdly referred to as depletion of the water
table purportedly as a result of the president’s well, is not only cruel but
downright lunacy. It was mischievous for Mandipaka to coerce the
unsuspecting villagers into such a display of foolery in an attempt to prop
up his political ambitions.

This charade is one among many such Zanu PF calculated efforts to humiliate
the MDC president ahead of the 2013 plebiscite. We are aware that Zanu PF
has incredibly invested 100 million US Dollars, obviously looted from the
diamond Fields in a media campaign blitz to character assassinate the MDC
President. However the president and the MDC remain unfazed and are more
focused towards winning next year’s elections.

The Last Mile: Towards Real Transformation!!!

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Mugabe can't be a donor in his own country - Tsvangirai

By Richard Chidza, Staff Writer
Tuesday, 20 November 2012 10:54
HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Saturday railed against the $20
million presidential farming inputs scheme, questioning the source of

The former trade unionist and leader of the ruling MDC was addressing
thousands of people at Murambinda Growth Point in his home area of Buhera

“I have never heard of a president who becomes a donor in his own country,”
Tsvangirai said referring to Mugabe’s $20 million inputs scheme that has
been dogged by allegations of politicisation and exclusionary politics.

Tsvangirai queried where Mugabe was getting the money to bankroll the scheme
claiming the President does not have that kind of money. Mugabe, who is also
a cattle rancher and farmer, says the scheme is being bankrolled by

Tsvangirai said the declaration by Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo that
the scheme is meant for party members only must result in electoral rebuke
for Mugabe and his party from those disenfranchised from the scheme.

Tsvangirai said Zimbabwe’s toxic politics had created two groups of people;
the oppressors and the oppressed.

“In this country there is this group that is oppressing others and the
oppressed,” the MDC leader said.

“However, in the contest that is going on; the beauty of it all is that
while the oppressors tire, the oppressed do not tire,” said Tsvangirai who
has campaigned on Mugabe’s frail health and advanced age.

The MDC leader castigated the state-controlled media for undermining and
belittling his office.

“I am not worried though, neither will I have sleepless nights about it. All
I know is that I represent the aspirations of the oppressed people of
Zimbabwe,” he said.

Tsvangirai’s wife Elizabeth called for peace in the run-up to and after the
forthcoming elections.

“We must never forget that we are all children of Zimbabwe. As we go to
elections we must campaign peacefully. There must be no violence,” Elizabeth
said to deafening applause.

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Agriculture Ministry Not Backing Mugabe Farm Input Scheme

Gibbs Dube

Deputy Agriculture Minister Seiso Moyo says his ministry has nothing to do
with President Robert Mugabe’s $20 million farming input scheme as Zimbabwe’s
prime minister questions the source of funding for the program.

Moyo said the president’s program is independent and is not being run by the
state-owned Grain Marketing Board which is currently distributing limited
maize seed and other inputs to poor households.

Mr. Tsvangirai is quoted in the independent Newsday newspaper questioning
the president’s program which he linked to diamond revenues generated from
the controversial marange field in Manicaland Province.

Moyo said Mr. Tsvangirai’s concerns stem from indications that the inputs
are only being accessed by Zanu PF supporters.

Zanu PF central committee member Godfrey Malaba said party leaders are free
to source farming inputs for their supporters.

President Mugabe's spokesman George Charamba was quoted by the
state-controlled media last night as saying that the inputs scheme is being
financed by local and foreign donors who “threw coins into the president’s
begging bowl."

Cabinet ministers are suspected to have been involved in the looting of
state subsidised farming inputs last crop season that were provided by the

Vice President Joyce Mujuru in March informed President Mugabe about the
abuse of the farm input scheme saying some Zanu-PF and GMB officials were
believed to have
resold the inputs including ammonium nitrate and maize seed to communal

No action was taken by Mr. Mugabe though indications were that the
Anti-Corruption Commission was investigating the issue.

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Charamba admits Mugabe receiving foreign donor money

Staff Reporter 10 hours 50 minutes ago

HARARE - Robert Mugabe's spokesperson Mr George Charamba has lashed out at
MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai for what he called undermining President
Mugabe’s input support scheme and admitted foreign donor money is involved.
Mr Tsvangirai told his supporters in Buhera at the weekend that President
Mugabe should not be the country’s donor. He said it was high time farmers
sourced their inputs.
The presidency felt under pressure to respond after MDC-T leader Morgan
Tsvangirai accused his Zanu PF rival of diverting diamond revenues to
finance a party programme.
However, Mr Charamba said President Mugabe introduced the Presidential Well
Wishers Special Agricultural Inputs Scheme after realising that farmers were
not receiving support from Government institutions such as the Grain
Marketing Board and the National Budget. He said it was absurd that Mr
Tsvangirai was irked by a programme that was designed to ensure food
security in the country.
“I find it very strange that the MDC-T president and his henchmen have no
difficulty in lauding the President being an IT warrior for his
computerisation programme yet they have problems with him as a food warrior
who fundraises for agriculture.
“Against the instruction of the President, let me tell you as his
spokesperson that every time the President goes on a foreign trip he carries
with him a food hamper in order to save from travel and subsistence
allowance which he is perfectly entitled in order to turn those savings into
a fund to buy computers for school children.
“Meanwhile his opposite number in Government finds enough money to atone his
carnal excesses whilst the farmer out there does not have a single bag of
fertiliser. Essentially they are saying we should rather have children, who
are IT compliant and not life compliant,” he said.
Mr Charamba said President Mugabe was not being a “donor” by supporting
He dismissed allegations by the MDC-T that the Presidential Well Wishers
Special Agricultural Input Scheme was funded using diamond proceeds.
“The donor is not the President. The donor are the men and women of goodwill
who made available the resources to buy inputs so that the Zimbabwean
farmers after being failed by their own Government can still go back to the
“Those donors are not only African but some of them come from foreign
countries who have been charitable enough to drop coins into the President’s
begging bowl,” said Mr Charamba.
He said the President decided to fundraise for farmers to make up for the
glaring weaknesses in the country’s national budgetary allocation towards
Mr Charamba said farmers were also getting a raw deal from banks.
“By the admission of the Finance Minister (Tendai Biti) himself, banks in
this country are inhospitable to local enterprises and that includes
“If a secure instrument like Treasury Bill cannot be supported, what more
with farming which is dependent on nature’s goodwill?”
Mr Charamba said estimates for the 2013 National Budget clearly showed a
bleak picture for farmers.
He said there was a misconception among some ministers in the inclusive
Government that funding agriculture amounted to supporting Zanu-PF.
“Certain parties in the Inclusive Government view agriculture as synonymous
with supporting Zanu-PF which is why it never occurs to them that it feeds
their stomachs more than it feeds the Zanu-PF ballot,” he said.
Mr Charamba said it was unfortunate that Zimbabwe was spending more money on
importing food.
Trade between Zimbabwe and South Africa showed a trade deficit of nearly
US$2 billion and much of the money was spent on luxuries.
Addressing stakeholders at the Zimbabwe Independent Banks and Banking Survey
recently, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Dr Gideon Gono said there was a
worrisome dependency syndrome in the country where Zimbabwe was spending
more than US$65 million on importation of chicken feet and gizzards.
In this regard, Mr Charamba said: “We are seeing a dependence culture being
promoted in the National Budget so that we end up begging for our stomachs.”

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Farming inputs: Mugabe hits back at Tsvangirai

19/11/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

A $20 MILLION farming inputs scheme launched by President Robert Mugabe to
bridge funding cuts by central government is being financed by local and
foreign donors who “threw coins into the President’s begging bowl,” his
spokesman said on Monday.

The presidency felt under pressure to respond after MDC-T leader Morgan
Tsvangirai accused his Zanu PF rival of diverting diamond revenues to
finance a party programme.

But Mugabe’s spokesman George Charamba accused Finance Minister Tendai Biti,
who is the MDC-T secretary general, of failing to support poor farmers –
seen as the bedrock of Zanu PF support – ahead of the planting season.

Biti unveiled his $3,8 billion 2013 budget last Thursday but it offered
little joy to small scale farmers requiring government support. The minister
blamed constrained resources.

“Certain parties in the inclusive government view agriculture as synonymous
with supporting Zanu PF which is why it never occurs to them that it feeds
their stomachs more than it feeds the Zanu PF ballot,” Charamba said.

Tsvangirai “finds enough money to atone his carnal excesses whilst the
farmer out there does not have a single bag of fertiliser,” Charamba
charged, mocking the Prime Minister who recently paid $280,000 to his
estranged wife Locardia Karimatsenga Tembo to settle a maintenance claim.

Mugabe, he went on, was a “food warrior who fundraises for agriculture”.
Charamba added: “The donor is not the President. The donor are the men and
women of goodwill who made available the resources to buy inputs so that the
Zimbabwean farmers, after being failed by their own government, can still go
back to the field.

“Those donors are not only African but some of them come from foreign
countries who have been charitable enough to drop coins into the President’s
begging bowl.”

The $20 million project, dubbed the ‘Presidential Well Wishers Special
Agricultural Inputs Scheme’, has sparked fears of vote buying in the ranks
of Mugabe’s rivals ahead of elections slated for next March.”

Seeds, fertiliser and dipping chemicals will be distributed to 800,000
farmers countrywide.

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'Zimbabwe Leaders Not Hijacking Constitution Making Process'

Jonga Kandemiiri

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga says principals in Zimbabwe’s
unity government do not want to take over the country’s constitution-making
process following the holding of what has been widely regarded as a
successful All Stakeholders’ Conference recently in Harare.

Matinenga, who met Monday with President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara in Harare, said
the three wanted to get an update about the draft constitution.

The principals’ meeting comes at a tricky time in the constitution writing
process, as political parties in the unity government are deadlocked on the
way forward following the release of the Second All Stakeholders’ Conference

Last week, Zanu PF and the two Movement for Democratic Change formations
disagreed on how to deal with the report.

Zanu PF demanded that the report be sent to the principals first, and the
MDC asked for the report to be presented to parliament, threatening to refer
the matter to the Southern African Development Community.

The president has already indicated that the unity government principals
will have the final say on the draft before it is submitted to parliament.

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ZANU PF infighting behind chaos in Masvingo

By Tererai Karimakwenda
20 November 2012

A ZANU PF provincial congress that was held at Masvingo Polytechnic College
on Saturday is reported to have descended into violence and chaos, after
some party officials who were denied entry to the venue clashed with police.

Reports said the police ended up unleashing dogs on the protesting members,
after their anger turned to violence and they threatened to force their way
into the closed-door meeting.

Tapiwa Mukaro and George Mudukuti Jr., son of former Masvingo North
legislator George Mudukuti, were arrested and later released without charge.
Mudukuti and several other party members sustained minor injuries from the
dogs and were treated at a hospital in Masvingo.

ZANU PF politburo member Dzikamai Mavhaire, is reported to have confirmed
the Saturday incident and apologised to party members. But his comments to
the press also alluded to infighting within ZANU PF as the cause for the

Mavhaire was quoted as saying: “It is known that district structures in
Masvingo are in shambles. There was manipulation of district structures
through the disbanded DCCs (district co-ordinating committees) by people
fighting for power.”

Political analyst Bekithemba Mhlanga told SW Radio Africa that Masvingo
province has always reflected ZANU PF’s strengths or weaknesses, giving a
view into ZANU PF’s national character.

Mhlanga said Masvingo has also been the centre of struggles between the
Josiah Hungwe, Stan Mudenge and Edson Zvobgo factions, which are well known
in political circles.

As a party ZANU PF likes to present the impression that they are together
and intact, but the run up to the next election is revealing all the
tensions that have been growing between the old guard and so-called “young
turks”, and the greedy who want more.

Mhlanga also pointed to Robert Mugabe’s old age as a factor, saying the ZANU
PF leader can no longer exert as much energy as he used to, to keep the
party together.

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Civic Groups Seek Regional Support Ahead of Elections

Blessing Zulu

The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition is dispatching delegations to Mozambique
and Tanzania as part of its regional offensive to urge leaders to push
Harare to implement crucial reforms ahead of polls expected next year.

Mozambican president Armando Guebuza is the current chairman of the Southern
African Development Community (SADC) and Tanzanian president Jakaya Kikwete
heads the influential SADC Organ on Politics and Defense.

Political rhetoric in Zimbabwe indicates that the three major political
parties are preparing for a ballot next year but critics in civil society
charge the environment is not yet conducive for a free and fair poll.

President Mugabe has indicated that he may call for general elections in
March but the Research and Advocacy Unit said in a statement that it is
impossible for elections to be held at that time as the country is currently
behind schedule in its constitution-making process – one of SADC's key
indicators for the holding of elections.

Changes that civic groups and other political parties are demanding include
electoral and media reforms, as well as an end to political violence and

The Brussels-based International Crisis Group warned recently that Zimbabwe
could slide back into turmoil if the president and hardliners in the
security sector continue to block political and economic reforms.

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition coordinator McDonald Lewanika said SADC, as one
of the guarantors of the Global Political Agreement that led to the
formation of the unity government, has the right to push Harare for reforms
ahead of crucial polls to avoid bloodshed.

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War veterans groups fight over land

Tuesday, 20 November 2012 10:24
HARARE - Two war veterans’ groups are fighting over land in the southern
parts of Harare currently held by Magamba eChimurenga group.

Clifford Hokonya and Charles Mpofu, from Harare province of the war veterans
association, are allegedly leading the fight against Magamba eChimurenga.

Magamba eChimurenga —headed by Andrew Ndlovu — is demanding an eviction
order against the “marauding war veterans”

In a case filed at the High Court, Magamba eChimurenga wants the invaders
ejected from Amsterdam Park, just outside the capital city near Boka Tobacco
Sales Floor, saying it is theirs.

“The plaintiff is the owner of a certain piece of immovable property known
as Amsterdam Park Township, Harare,” the court papers say.

“The defendants (Mpofu group have allocated and parcelled out stands for
themselves at Amsterdam Park, without approval and blessings of the
plaintiff who is the owner thereof,” read the November 13 papers.
The defendants were given ten days to make their presentation before the
court or face eviction from the land.

“The defendants are in illegal occupation of the stands mentioned in the
declaration and plaintiff regards them as nothing more than illegal
occupants,” court papers further state.

Mpofu is also charged with Austin Chindedza, Nesbert Chidzambwa, Langton
Chiza, Jameson Tshababa, and Kenneth Guruza, Thomas Muuya, Emmanuel
Mandizvidza, Maxwell Malufa, Norman Magama and Nicholas Macheme.

The group is represented by Lawrence Chikwakwa from Sansole and Senda Legal
Practitioners in Bulawayo.

The matter is yet to be set down for a hearing. - Xolisani Ncube

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Mugabe survives Zanu PF plot

BY EVERSON MUSHAVA 7 hours 43 minutes ago

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has once again survived low-level campaigns to stop
him from representing Zanu PF in next year’s elections after nine of the 10
provinces endorsed him.
There were reports that Zanu PF factions were pushing for next month’s
annual conference scheduled for Gweru to be turned into an elective
If the plot had succeeded, the conference — to be held in Gweru from
December 4 to 9 — would have seen the emergence of a new leader to represent
Zanu PF in the elections Mugabe wants held in March next year.
Zanu PF politburo member Jonathan Moyo at the weekend wrote that there were
some people in the Constitution Select Committee (Copac) who were delaying
the constitution-making process so that the 88-year-old veteran leader would
not stand in the polls.
“Millions and millions of dollars have been squandered to essentially
underwrite time-wasting to ensure that the constitution-making process does
not emphatically conclude one way or the other as long as President Mugabe
is the Zanu PF candidate at the next polls,” he wrote.
Zanu PF has accused some of its representatives in Copac of pushing a regime
change agenda. But the outcome of provincial inter-district meetings held at
the weekend virtually ensured that Mugabe will clinch the Zanu PF ticket
provided that elections are held next year.
He is likely to face younger opponents in MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai
(60), Welshman Ncube (53) of MDC and Simba Makoni (61) of
Three provinces — Harare, Manicaland and Midlands — at the weekend endorsed
Mugabe’s candidature, joining six others that had already endorsed him by
Friday last week.
But a source told NewsDay yesterday that Mugabe’s endorsement was simply
politics of appeasement, saying the move could be costly to the party
because the old guard would be reluctant to step down.
“Mugabe has outfoxed the factions. No one can come out openly and declare
his or her ambition,” said one insider.
There are reportedly two factions vying to succeed Mugabe allegedly led by
Vice-President Joice Mujuru and Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa
respectively. - NewsDay

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First time voters get training ahead of polls

A civic organisation called Youth Agenda Trust last week in Banket trained
first-time voters ahead of next year’s polls. The training workshop was held
at Sanganai Creek in Banket, Mashonaland West province.

by Jeffrey Moyo

The training workshop for first time voters which drew youth leaders from
the country’s six provinces attracted scores of civil society leaders.

The camp was held on the backdrop of proclamations by President Robert
Mugabe and his Zanu (PF) party that elections will be held in March

2013 with or without a new constitution, even though the party’s political
competitors and civil society are strongly against that.

According to a statement released by Youth Agenda Trust, young first time
voters were trained how to handle polls in volatile conditions.

“The youths were also fully cognisant of the violent, corrupt and
undemocratic history of elections in Zimbabwe. These factors have been
proven in various studies that they tend to stifle the quantitative and
qualitative participation of young Zimbabweans,” read a statement from the
civic organisation.

According to the organisation, a number of resolutions related to concerns
of first time voters were made at the end of the workshop.

“The young people of Zimbabwe will tirelessly work towards resisting any
machinations by the State machinery to subvert the will of the youths and
the broader Zimbabwean society through the State-sponsored technical and
political frustration of young people to register as eligible voters,” read
part of the statement.

Youths were urged to go back to their provinces and engage in mass
identification, recruitment and mobilisation of young voters in endeavors to
chart a democratic dispensation in Zimbabwe.

Meanwhile, the organisation said youths were fully aware of the political
risks they will be exposed to as they execute their constitutional mandate
of encouraging broader society to proclaim their right to vote and choose
political leaders through popular participation and a democratic process.

Youth Agenda Trust said it had a mandate to set up networks with relevant
institutions that offered social solidarity, legal aid, medical aid and
psychosocial counseling to affected young people mostly at election time.

The organisation took aim at the state media for remaining partisan,
subsequently rendering it irrelevant in disseminating crucial information to
young people on the voting process.

“The state media continues to be the epicenter of hate speech,
indoctrination, intolerance and the instigation of political violence
amongst young Zimbabweans. The youths resolved to set up a parallel
political information programme that will flood the social media, mobile
networks, print media, electronic media and community information centres
that will act as the hub of informing and educating Zimbabweans on the
electoral process and peaceful conduct during and after elections,” said the
civic organisation in a statement.

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PM’s office under probe over abuse of funds

Tuesday, 20 November 2012 00:00

Takunda Maodza Senior Reporter

The Institute for Democratic Alter­native of Zimbabwe that is reportedly
funding Prime Minister Morgan Tsvan­girai’s press and research department
has opened investigations into the alleged abuse of donor funds by the
Pre­mier’s office.
The Herald is reliably informed that Idazim is funding the PM’s press and
research office but senior officials have been siphoning funds for personal
An administrator is said to have fled to the United Kingdom after Idazim
launched the investigations.
Sources say Idazim pays rentals for number 14 Bath Road in Avondale, which
houses offices for the PM’s press and research team. The press team is
responsible for the production of the Prime Minister’s Newsletter.
The non-governmental organisation also pays salaries for employees in the
press and research department.
The employees in the PM’s press department earn between US$1 200 and US$1
700 net salaries depending on grades.
According to sources, the office cost US$750 in rentals a month but senior
officials from the PM’s press team have been claiming US$1 500 for the past
two years.
“The officials were also in a tendency of hiring and firing employees. They
would go for months pocketing the dis­missed employees’ salaries without
notifying Idazim, which is responsi­ble for the salaries. As a result the
NGO lost thousands of dollars in salaries for the ghost workers,” a source
that declined to be named said.
“As we speak the administrator (name supplied) in the PM’s office
responsible for all activities at 14 Bath Road offices — from rentals to the
dis­bursement of salaries — has since fled to the UK following
investigations by Idazim.”
The funding of the PM’s press and research team has confirmed the exis­tence
of parallel structures in the inclusive Government and interference by
West­ern funded donors.
Yesterday Idazim tried to distance itself from the PM’s Office when
con­tacted for comment.
“There is some data which is missing in your story,” said its director Mr
Joy Mabenge, in a telephone interview with The Herald from South Africa.
He professed ignorance about Idazim’s investigations into abuse of funds by
the PM’s Office.
“There are no investigations taking place but an institution has many
peo­ple, some of the things that happen are beyond my knowledge,” Mr Mabenge
Mr Mabenge promised to call The Herald after verifying facts later. He
claimed the administrator was in the UK on holiday.
Idazim works closely with the United States Agency for International
Development in Zimbabwe, Royal Netherlands embassy in Zimbabwe, German
International Services Zim­babwe Office, Research Triangle Inter­national
and the United Nations Devel­opment Programme Zimbabwe.
Registered in South Africa in Febru­ary 2008, Idazim claims to be a
think-tank and high-level facilitation platform whose mission is to deepen
the search “for a democratic alternative to social exclusion and political
The NGO works with what it terms “a network of pro-democracy institu­tions
and actors”.
Minister of State in the Prime Minis­ter’s Office Mr Jameson Timba could not
comment on the matter as he was attending meetings yesterday. He promised to
phone, but his phone later went unanswered.

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Zimbabwe mining: mixed messages and wishful thinking

November 20, 2012 5:38 pm by Tony Hawkins

Ever since the Zimbabwe government published its plans to localise majority
ownership of the country’s mines, mixed messages have dominated the debate
over investment and growth.
Last week was no different, with the finance minster, Tendai Biti, and miner
Amplats making positive noises about investment which seem rather
optimistic, to put it mildly.
Presenting his 2013 budget last week, Biti quoted a World Bank study on the
mining industry in Zimbabwe, and predicted a five-fold increase in gold
production by 2018, along the tripling of ferrochrome output, increases of
72 per cent in diamonds, 50 per cent in platinum and a nine-fold surge in
coal production. According to the Bank study this, allied with expansion in
the iron ore and nickel sectors, will cost over $9.6bn in fresh investment –
or 85 per cent of Zimbabwe’s current GDP.
Shortly after Biti’s presentation, South African platinum mining group
Amplats, which earlier this month agreed to sell 51 per cent of the shares
in its Unki platinum mine to Zimbabwe investors in compliance with the
country’s Indigenization and Economic Empowerment law, revealed that it was
considering a $400m investment in a second platinum mine in Zimbabwe.
Colin Chibafa, chief financial officer of Amplats Zimbabwe, said: “We are
expanding various options to expand production, including building a new
mine that could cost up to $400m” and which could possibly double production
from the 2012 level of 65,000 ounces.
This comment ranks high on the mixed message index, coming just weeks after
Amplats sold control of its existing mine property, Unki, to Zimbabwean
investors. “Selling” is something of a misnomer since Angloplat
shareholders, despite facing intense pressure from falling output and
industrial unrest in South Africa and weak metal prices internationally,
will ultimately finance the purchase. Ten per cent of the shares will go to
the Unki workforce, 10 per cent to a community trust, 10 per cent to local
unnamed investors and the balance of 21 per cent to the government’s
National Indigenization and Economic Empowerment Board. Since none of these
“buyers” can pay, Amplats is to provide a 10-year loan which will be repaid
from dividends earned by Unki.
It comes as a surprise then that Amplats should be seriously considering a
major new investment in Zimbabwe at a time when it will still be trying –
with no certainty – to get its money for the Unki sale and when Amplats top
management is undertaking a review of its strategy. It is also difficult to
understand why Amplats shareholders should be willing to invest a further
$400m in Zimbabwe, providing 100 per cent of the capital, to get 49 per cent
of the profit.
The idea that the mooted investment is a way of growing output outside South
Africa and its mining problems also takes a leap of faith. Cross-border
contagion is as likely in southern Africa as in the eurozone. Why should
Zimbabwe escape the kind of labour unrest that has crippled South Africa
mineral production given that poverty and unemployment levels are far
On the government side, the deep divide on investment policy is once again
illustrated in the latest public spat between Biti and Indigenisation
minister, Saviour Kasukuwere. In his budget speech Biti called for changes
to the indigenisation law to foster foreign investment. Kasukuwere was quick
to respond, insisting that the act would not be changed. Since some
companies have already complied, he said, it would be unfair to penalise
them by allowing newcomers and those who are resisting the law, to enjoy
more favourable terms.
In the light of this background, the target of almost $10bn in new mining
sector investment alone over the next five years looks hugely optimistic. It
is certainly not an impossible dream, since a change of government in Harare
and the revival of the commodity price super cycle might just create the
conditions for such an investment boom. But on current trends, that seems

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Unlocking the potential of Africa's youths

20/11/2012 00:00:00
by Ambassador Trudy Stevenson

THIS year’s theme for the Mo Ibrahim Forum, “African Youth: Fulfilling the
Potential”, was extremely apposite, since 70 percent of Africans are under
30, yet our unemployment rate is so high that the vast majority try to
emigrate, and otherwise “just get by somehow.”

Indeed, Prof. Alcinda Honwana vividly described the “waithood” of most young
people, who cannot earn enough money to go through the normal rites of
passage of their parents’ and grandparents’ generation, i.e. lobola,
marriage, family. They spend long years in limbo, waiting for a hopeless
situation to improve.

Former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo recounted his trip to South
Africa to consult Archbishop Desmond Tutu (this year’s Special Prizewinner
“for speaking truth to power”) who told him: “Tell God what you want” – and
that’s how he eventually became president.

Iman Bermaki, a Moroccan student at the African Leadership Academy in
Johannesburg, said that she did not feel African at all until she met
athletes from other African countries and realised she had much in common
with them. She highlighted the need to review Africa’s curriculum to make it
more appropriate, and summarised youth’s needs as self-confidence,
opportunities and practice.

Mamadou Toure of Africa 2 insisted that internship should be automatic, and
that a mentorship scheme could help enormously at no financial cost to the

On role models, Obasanjo was glad Obama won the election, for three reasons:
it proved black brains were not inferior to white brains; as a half-African
he was a huge success story for Africans, and it showed that in a democracy
someone could be elected on merit and not because of ethnicity or other
social construct.

Lamido Sanusi, the Nigerian Reserve Bank Governor, lamented the fact that
Africa prefers to import products instead of creating employment by
manufacturing itself. He identified the problem of transport within Africa,
citing corruption at most borders as a major impediment to inter-continental

Franny Léautier of African Capacity Building Foundation proposed that the
young go into higher value services, such as culture, instead of being

Trevor Manuel, the South African Minister for National Planning and former
minister of finance criticised the West for leaving Africa out of solutions
to the world economic crisis, and bemoaned the fact that Africans were
beginning to lose their ethics instilled within the family because of the
fracturing of this basic unit of society.

Mary Robinson, the former president of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for
Human Rights described how Ireland was leveraging its Diaspora, for example
by organising a big cultural gathering in Ireland in 2013. The possibility
of borrowing “dead” pension funds to support initiatives from the Diaspora
was raised, the challenge being to create sufficient trust.

Carlos Lopes, secretary general of the UN Economic Commission for Africa
mentioned that the AU has made the Diaspora the 6th region of Africa.
Alcinda Honwana warned that crime can be an attractive solution to the
“wait-hood” she had found throughout Africa, while Lai Yahaya of Facility
for Oil Sector Transparency said the reality is that in Nigeria you can
become very rich by becoming a politician.

South African former minister Jay Naidoo challenged the young to get out
into the streets to make things happen, like Steve Biko did. Rakesh Rajani
pointed out that in Kenya, 4 out of 5 children remain illiterate after 6
years of school, indicating that school is where the first effort should go
to get the youth out of their hopelessness. He also called on governments to
liberalise migration to give the young fresh ideas, opportunities and

In the closing session, Archbishop Desmond Tutu reminded the forum that they
were not God’s stepchildren because of the colour of their skin, but that
each person is His Very Special Person – VSP. He proposed that women take
over the world, as they know how to nurture the young.

Fatou Fall, a Harvard student, encouraged the young to be positive, and take
the initiative instead of waiting for others. Tanzanian pilot and engineer
Susan Mashibe (Tanjet) described how she started her two very successful
airline companies.

Sudanese founder Mo Ibrahim recounted how he saw an opportunity in Africa
when he realised there was a gap between perception (Africa is a basket
case) and reality (there are success stories and much potential). He tries
to bring Africans back from the Diaspora and lets workers own their
companies for better results.

He reiterated Archbishop Tutu’s observation that young people dream of a
better world without hunger and poverty, saying: “For goodness sake, go on

Finally, he pleaded for Africa to unite economically, decrying the futility
of small states imagining they could be economically viable in the face of
massive competition from the major economic blocs.

“Wake up, Africa!” he cried.

Trudy Stevenson is Zimbabwe's ambassador to Senegal. She attended the Forum
held on November 11 in Dakar

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Notes on the Harare Groundwater Situation – October, 2012

T.J. Broderick

Underground water in Harare, and everywhere, is a finite resource. Its presence is dependent on the hydrological cycle, which is climate related. It depends on rainfall for its recharge to groundwater storage. The means to store and transmit underground water is controlled by the geological formations that prevail. Figure 1 is a simplified geological map of Harare based on the mapping of Tyndale-Biscoe (1957). Baldock (1991) with others remapped the geology around Harare, and it is this work that has provided an increased understanding of the city’s lithological variation and its structural deformation. The geological map and its explanation are available from the Department of Geological Survey, Maufe Building, Fifth Street and Selous Avenue.


As can be seen the geological expression across the city is highly variable, but what is certain is that all rocks are of either igneous or metamorphic origin, which makes most of them massive and crystalline in nature. That is we class them in the category of ‘hardrock’, which effectively means that in their fresh and unaltered state the rocks are impervious and are unable to store water in a primary sense ie. between the mineral grains that make up the rock. Therefore, any aquifer that we have in the city is referred to as being ‘unconfined’ as it is open to the elements, and in consequence the available groundwater is superficially stored. This storage is in what we refer to as ‘secondary porosity’. That is the groundwater storage depends on the degree of fracturing and weathering that the bedrock has been subjected to. Some rock-types are more susceptible to weathering than others due to their mineral make-up, the degree of imposed shear, and the intensity of jointing and fracturing, all of which may provide open space to facilitate the ingress of recharge water and its subsequent storage. Therefore the main area for groundwater flux is at the highly fractured interface between completely weathered, and often silty, bedrock and the highly weathered to weathered fracture zone. This interface profile, which also responds to topographic gradient, is hugely irregular in shape, and it is the more deeply weathered and fractured pockets that sustain the more effective boreholes. Stress and strain on the bedrock mass has introduced fracturing, which tends to describe linear traces relating to the attitude of the introduced planes of weakness in the ground. These features may be evident due the presence of say a dolerite dyke or a quartz reef infilling. They effectively create the targets for groundwater development, but are by no means ubiquitous in their distribution.

Much of the southern portion of Harare is underlain by massive granite, extending from Amby and Msasa through Hatfield and Waterfalls to Highfield and the western suburbs. Most of this area is notoriously poor for the development of groundwater from boreholes due to the massive and resistant nature of the bedrock. The available groundwater tends to be perched at high level, and is often only exploitable by means of hand-dug wells. It is over the granites that most of Zimbabwe’s classic dambo or vlei features develop across our regional watershed. These have recently been defined by Government Notice as the Cleveland, Mabvuku, Greengrove, Prospect, Budiriro and Manyame wetlands in Harare, all of which play an essential function in the control of rainfall runoff to the Mukuvizi, Ruwa and Manyame rivers together with countless others in the catchment that feeds to Lake Chivero, our prime water source for which the function of the seasonal wetlands is to attenuate the base flow of our rivers beyond the cutoff of the rains. The granite terrain may not be the most appropriate for groundwater development from boreholes, but it is important that the defined wetlands are protected and managed for the sake of our extended surface water supply. That management includes the control of inappropriate agricultural practices, the restriction of imposed drainage to make way for construction development, and encouragement in the construction of artificial wetlands in order to rehabilitate the function of these natural features. The water table over granite generally remains perched and high due to annual direct precipitation, but the ravishes of the 1987 and 1992 droughts were telling, judging from the frequency of stressed complaints from those people dependent on shallow wells, notably in the Ruwa area, when the available groundwater then became severely depleted.

So, the groundwater cycle is dependent on rainfall of which Harare receives on average 850 mm per year in a season lasting from November to April in any one year. There appears to be a cycle with a number of years when above average rainfall, say in excess of 1000 mm, is achieved followed by a succession of years when below average rainfall is realized. Less than 400 mm of rain fell over Harare in the 1987 drought year, and in other years the adverse distribution of rainfall plays havoc with groundwater recharge potential. Thus in the 2010-2011 rainfall season we received close on an average total, but whereas January was wet, February, March and April were dry months. This created chaos with groundwater availability in Harare such that groundwater levels depressed rapidly and people with marginal boreholes set in shallow weathered and fractured ground profiles suffered water draw down to pump intake as early as June 2011, a situation that introduced a great deal of stress to a water-starved city. This year the same impact is making itself felt as we speak in October, following a more normal rainfall distribution during the critical months.

The chaotic drilling of private boreholes in response to a failure in the regular supply of Municipal water, notably across the northern suburbs of Harare, peaked through the years 2007 to 2009. There would seem to be no doubt that the increased abstraction of groundwater through this dense array of borehole use is aggravating drawdown of the water table. This may have been further aggravated by the localized large-scale abstraction of groundwater for commercial purposes, an additional response to the unsatisfactory water supply in the city. When one considers that the greater percentage of rainfall is accounted for in runoff to the river system and evapotranspiration to the atmosphere, the average recharge to groundwater might only be in the range of 2 to 5% of that rainfall in any one year. Groundwater is also lost in its discharge to base flow in the river systems through the season to provide a water balance. The static water level that relates to the water table behaves elastically, being at its lowest ebb in say December and highest in May or even June in any one season. Excessive groundwater abstraction occurs when more water is drawn out than can be replaced by natural recharge. This may be referred to as ‘groundwater mining’, and the result is a progressive depletion of the water table. This undesirable state of affairs can only be rectified by collective appreciation of the problem and conscious management and control of groundwater abstraction. If borehole water users cannot recognize the excesses of their use of this delicately balanced resource through say the over irrigation of gardens and road verges, then it is up to the Sub-Catchment Councils to earn their keep, provided for in the payment of quarterly ‘monitoring fees’ on registered boreholes, by enforcing the sound management principles provided for by the water law, regulations and standards that exist.

Referring again to Figure 1, the west, central, northern and eastern suburbs of Harare are underlain by a variety of rock types, which make up what is collectively known as the Harare Greenstone Belt. The trends of these rocks are generally orientated to the north-east, becoming folded to the north, west of the City. The basic building blocks comprise ancient basaltic and felsic lavas, interspersed by metasedimentary rocks of a shaly to sandy consistency that include ironstone and in places limestone, and which have been intruded by masses or sheets of later porphyry, gabbro or dolerite. These rocks respond differently to the influences of weathering and deformation, and those that are compact and resistant tend to control the topographic expression. A regional watershed traverses Harare by following Arcturus Road to Pockets Hill, then crossing the Borrowdale racecourse to follow the Domboshawa Road to the north. This crest separates those streams rising to the Manyame catchment in the west from those directed north and north-east to the Mazowe and Nyagui rivers. Due to regional tectonic responses, the latter streams are more aggressive in their backward erosion into the landscape, hence the more pronounced topographic expression relating to resistant bedrock say in the Glen Lorne, Kambanje, Greystone Park, Helensvale, Borrowdale Brooke, Shawasha Hills and Glen Forest areas. It is often said that views and water do not go together, and yet it is these suburbs where the greatest demand for borehole drilling is perceived. It is also here that the greatest number of dry, marginal or seasonal boreholes are sunk, which is not to say that many sustainable boreholes are also in existence. This outcome is a direct reflection of the generally adverse hydrogeological environment that might prevail in relation to resistant bedrock, notably the felsic volcanics and the dolerite intrusions, the more pronounced topographic setting, the accelerated rainfall runoff, a retarded groundwater recharge potential and a consequent depression of the water table. The reducing availability of groundwater therefore is a response to the stresses brought about by variable rainfall, its runoff, restricted recharge potential, evapotranspiration, the adverse geology underfoot, excessive borehole pumping, and a failure to respect the hydrological cycle and realize that the water resource is not infinite.

Groundwater across the Manyame catchment is also under stress, and drawdown problems in marginal boreholes become seasonally apparent. This is most marked in the elevated parts of Greendale, and Highlands, in Newlands, parts of Borrowdale and in a zone that transgresses through parts of Pomona, Vainona and Mount Pleasant to Emerald Hill. The massive felsic volcanic rocks and dolerites of Monavale, Mabelreign, Bluff Hill and Marlborough are generally not friendly, and the so-called University Porphyry in Groombridge is distinctly negative in terms of groundwater development. Locally there are symptoms of severe seasonal drawdown in the basaltic greenstones, felsics and adjacent metasediments, a situation that is aggravated by excessive groundwater abstraction.

A little history of the development of the groundwater resource in and around Harare may put this in perspective. Tanser (2011) in his history of Highlands describes the wetlands as vleis, which restricted the expansion of the town in the 1890’s. “In the marshes, tall reeds and bulrushes grew, and on the land immediately around the vlei, water-logged each year during the rainy seasons, there was grass, but no trees. Only on the higher slopes below the ridges and above the grassy areas were there trees. The water from the north-eastern slopes drained into two streams, the Chiripagura and the Nyarangwa. The source of the Chiripagura is the Borrowdale racecourse. Though the Chiripagura is now a dry ditch except after heavy rains, an examination of its course shows that it had, before modern drainage systems and plots and buildings interfered with the runoff, many deep water holes which retained water throughout the dry season so that the stream flowed throughout the year, even though in July it was only a foot or so wide and an inch or so deep. During the rains, however, when the stream was in flood it became impassable; the water over-flowed and, joining that of the Nyarangwa, converted the area into a wide lake. It was this obstacle which compelled the early tracks leading from Salisbury to follow the Hartmann Hill ridge, route of the present Borrowdale Road.” And beyond this road to the north-west the same can be said of the Borrowdale Vlei, an important source to the Gwebi River. Both wetlands are now under further threat of inappropriate development.

The first drinking water in the infant settlement that is now Harare was from two springs on either side of the ‘Kingsway’ vlei (now Julius Nyerere Way) that was forded by the ‘Causeway’. This source was supplemented by the collection of water from roofs and, from 1891, by the digging of wells (Wurzel, 1972). The town continued to depend upon such sources (and there are some 20 metre-deep wells along Orange Grove Drive for instance that are now dry) until 1913 when Cleveland Dam was commissioned and a reticulated system was introduced. Groundwater continued to be of importance, especially in the peripheral settlements, but it was not until after the Second World War that the availability of underground supplies exercised its most profound influence of the development of Salisbury. The influx of migrants coupled with several poor rainy seasons (notably 1947) created a severe water crisis.

The city could only expand if the housing developer could provide his own water and manage his own waste. Hence plot sizes were regulated to be an acre or more in extent and the 1954 bye-law (still applicable today) prohibited the drilling of a borehole within 10-metres (15 metres in the case of a well) of a boundary, septic tank or sewage line. In many instances this simple management tool has been flouted, and continues to be ignored. Also the tendency towards smaller plot sizes and the need for an owner to supplement his water supply by drilling a borehole has meant that the bye-law cannot be universally applied. Vainona and Pomona, for instance developed in this way during the 1960’s. Prior to that borehole drilling had been a combination of shot drilling, which produced a core, and cable tool drilling. Whitehead and Jack, and other companies, then used cable tool or jumper rigs exclusively and most new plots in Vainona reported boreholes, sometimes no more than 27 metres deep, which produced in the order of 1100 to 2200 gallons (5 to 10 cubic metres) of water per hour. There were even pilot water reticulation schemes to houses based on supplies from boreholes managed by the Municipality. Everyone was happy, and they could wait for the formal water supply from the Hunyani Poort Dam (Chivero) built in 1956. My own groundwater consultancy had its origins in 1947, along with Whitehead and Jack, based on geophysical methods developed by the 42nd (Geological) Unit of the South African Army Engineers in East Africa, Abyssinia, the Western Desert and the Middle East. A first for the Allies.

The drilling technology graduated to down-the-hole hammer rigs using air-flush rotary bits that allowed for rapid borehole completion. New company’s emerged and borehole drilling proliferated past Independence and into the 1980’s and 1990’s. These years were characterized by drought years and the shortage of Municipal water increased the demand for boreholes. The local rigs were supplanted by a number of visiting crews from South Africa, and chaos crept into the equation as the demand for drilling service accelerated. The shallow boreholes in Vainona and elsewhere dried up as a consequence of the successive drought years with retarded groundwater recharge. The water level became depressed in places to below 30 metres from surface. The effective fracture-related storage was left high and dry, and increased groundwater mining aggravated the situation. The stifled base flow from wetlands to streams ceased or took its main source of recharge supply from septic tanks. A cycle of above average seasons allowed for recovery of the groundwater. The foundation investigations for Kunzvi Dam on the Nyagui River were completed in 1996 and plans were in place for that supply to augment the ever-growing Harare by 2004. Those plans were stalled, and the population still waits and expands. Then the disastrous move to take water supply responsibility from the Municipal authority and give it to Zinwa, coupled with power woes, consequent pumping problems, an unchecked pollution of Chivero and Manyame waters, and our economic crash through into the new millennium put renewed demand on an overtaxed and basically unmanaged groundwater system. Many of the established drilling companies had gone into liquidation, new companies mushroomed, and many of these were based on a shoestring under the umbrella of middlemen. Drilling standards dived along with ethics, and chaos prevailed. New regulations and a revamped Water Act were introduced in 2001, which recognized the hydrological cycle and the need for management of water use in all its forms. With the Dollar-crash the law was ignored, monitoring fees were charged as a money-spinner rather than to fuel the management of the water resource, and respect for the process was not there. The regulations for permitting for borehole drilling and abstraction, and the registration of consultants, drilling contractors, pump fitters and suppliers are now mandatory. National standards for the siting, drilling, construction, testing, fitting and rehabilitation of boreholes are now in place. The principles are sound, but the willingness and need for all involved to comply must come into play. The time has come for all concerned to enter into the spirit of groundwater and surface water conservation, through its managed and proper use. The resource is limited and taxed. It is up to the user population, both domestic and corporate, and the appropriate authorities to play their part in this process for an equitable solution. There will always be borehole users, and those who do not have access to a groundwater supply. The latter have as much right to such water, so the water suppliers have a role to play. They too require to be registered with Zinwa, and the abstraction from boreholes must be regulated both in its quantity and quality.

The stream heads that overlie rocks in the greenstone belt usually occur across wide valley bottoms where the surface water drainage is restricted. They may not be characterized by a high groundwater table, but they do represent important zones for runoff accumulation and groundwater recharge. The surface flow is attenuated and downstream where a channel develops, base flow to the river system is regulated. The soils do not require to be represented by ‘black cotton soils’ in the lower catena. The presence of so-called ‘gleyed’ and ‘mottled’ sub-soils in the profile is sufficient to indicate periodic saturation on a seasonal basis. Historically the open grassed extent of the Borrowdale Vlei has been seasonally inundated, and as such has been protected as open space in Harare’s town planning. The periphery to the vlei, bounded by Borrowdale Road, Whitwell Road, Teviotdale Road and New Alexandra Park, with its schools, old-age condominium and the Celebration Centre has been encroached upon. New corporate development adjacent to the racecourse and housing in Borrowdale West has been created. New boreholes now encircle the vlei area, itself the focus for informal cultivation. As there is no rock outcrop through the vlei, it was mapped as being underlain by shaly phyllites that give rise to silty clay soils. The boreholes have shown that the subsurface geology is more complex and that fractured felsic rocks are intruded by a north-east extension of the Harare Gabbro, itself sheared and displaced by the Umwindsi Shear Zone before giving way towards the Teviotdale Road to more resistant felsic rocks, an extension of the massive University Porphyry and interbanded phyllites. It is known that some large-yielding boreholes have been developed in the gabbro and felsic volcanic rocks adjacent to the racecourse and in Borrowdale West, and that drawdown of the water table is a feature. The area leading up to Teviotdale Road is less favourable for groundwater development, but downstream where the Mount Pleasant stream is channeled, base flow is fed from groundwater, supplemented by surrounding septic tank recharge.

The fate of the Borrowdale Vlei has come under contention with the intent to change its designated land use as open space for construction of the Millennium Mall and adjacent projects. The water supply for such a major development with its associated water features must have to come from groundwater. Excessive abstraction from this important groundwater recharge zone must impact on its balance and it can be anticipated that the water table will be lowered, base flow will be reduced, runoff will accelerate due to the imposed drainage, hard standing and roof cover, and increased flood peaks can be expected down the Gwebi River. The rehabilitation of these vlei areas can be achieved through their protection and construction of artificial wetlands. The commendable conservation work of COSMO on the Monavale Vlei is a case in point, and is a positive step towards preserving the true function of our wetlands in their supply of water and all that depends on them. Most importantly our City and you.


15th October, 2012


BALDOCK, J.W. 1991. The geology of the Harare Greenstone Belt and surrounding granitic terrain. Zim. geol. Surv., Bull. No. 94, 213 pp.

TANSER, G.H. 2011. The History of Highlands. New Zanj Publishing House, Harare. 96 pp.

TYNDALE-BISCOE, R. 1957. Explanation of the geological map of the country around Salisbury. Sth. Rhod. geol. Surv., Short Report No. 36, 10 pp.

WURZEL, P. 1972. Underground Water in Salisbury. Rhod. Sci. News, Vol. 6 (7) (July), pp. 213-215.

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A season of violence looms

The only peaceful, free and fair election in Zimbabwe was probably in 1980
when ZANU PF was confident that it enjoyed popular support which would
result in resounding victory. Thereafter, we have had a litany of shameful
and farcical formalities disguised as elections as the progressively
unpopular but increasingly tyrannical party sought to advance its dangerous
and retrogressive ambition of a one-party state.

Three decades down the line, the ominous pipe-dream has not deserted the
party despite the clarity of writing on the wall that Zimbabweans have
matured politically and are determined to see a new and truly democratic
dispensation evolve. Rugare Gumbo and Patrick Chinamasa have come out in the
open, unashamedly, to declare that results of the next election will be
overturned unless ZANU PF wins. Adding his voice to the moronic competition
of lunacy was Lovemore Matuke who recently told a meeting in Masvingo that
ZANU PF supporters will be given stickers to be affixed to their doors for
easy of identification. There is no better recipe for electoral disaster!

Even the dumbest person will not struggle to see the real motive behind this
development. By marking their homes with stickers, ZANU PF supporters will
actually be exposing those who do not support the moribund but violent party
making them easy targets for traditional and unrepentant thugs who can kill
and maim an innocent neighbor for a twist of mbanje, a jar of beer or a
piece of barren land. Indeed, another “moment of madness” to borrow from the
geriatric emperor.

It might be relevant to revisit Exodus 12:23;

“When the LORD goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will
see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that
doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and
strike you down.”

Lovemore Matuke and his like-minded vampires in ZANU PF have bastardised
this verse in their quest to feast on the blood of innocent Zimbabweans once
again. If this insidious plan is not swiftly and effectively nipped in the
bud, there will certainly be gnashing of teeth come election time. MDC,
civic society, Sadc and anybody else who cares about the future of Zimbabwe
despite their geographic location, must not allow buffoons that have clearly
run out of both time and ideas to drag the nation into yet another violent

What is there to kill or maim for other than protecting ill-gotten wealth as
well as the unfounded fear of retribution for years of oppression and
heinous crime? There comes a time when people should start thinking
seriously of whether those who have been involved in violent political crime
over the years should continue to enjoy our good spirit of forgiveness. What
is the case for clemency where there is not even an iota of remorse? The
leopard has not changed his sports despite President’s Mugabe’s call for a
peaceful election. Either this call is cunningly insincere or the president
has totally lost control of his party. Whatever the case, this is dangerous
and unfortunate. Recent incidents of violence in Mutoko, Zaka and other
parts of rural Zimbabwe are just a microcosm of the grand plan.

Why should those who have been yearning for elections since 2009 be the ones
to start sharpening instruments of violence and torture? What’s the point of
calling for early elections when people will not be allowed to make their
own choice without fear? If Events and treasonous statements of the past few
weeks are anything to go by, we are not going to have any semblance of a
peaceful election next year. The traditional monster believes in power
retention at any cost. These cruel men and women won’t be bothered even if
the country deteriorated to the levels of Somalia, Afghanistan or any other
failed state as long as they and their families continue to plunder and
enjoy unfettered access to national resources.

Anybody who believes in a peaceful election in this explosive environment
needs to have his head examined. Recent statements made by leaders and
zealots of the oppressive and recalcitrant party can’t be dismissed as mere
sabre-rattling. Therefore, the question to ask is “what can we do to defend
ourselves against sponsored violence and hooliganism?”

Moses Chamboko writes in his personal capacity and can be contacted at

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Driving in Zimbabwe now expensive because of corrupt police cops

November 20th, 2012
I think twice whenever I plan to have a journey out of the city centre.
Although my vehicle is fully licensed in accordance with the country’s road
regulations, I still fear to travel. Despite having a spare wheel, wheel
spanner, jack and fire extinguisher the police will still find fault with my

What worries me most is the number of roadblocks I encounter on way to any
destination out of the city centre.

Police roadblocks are found at least every ten kilometres. It is rare for
one to pass through any of the roadblock without being stopped and asked for
a bribe. Needless to say, they do not issue a road traffic offence ticket
but ask for a “small” amount.

There is a new and accepted language spoken at these road blocks. You could
hear them saying “So you just want us to leave you without leaving
anything?” This was a real comment which I heard after a driver had
apologised even though he had committed no offence.

In fact, Zimbabwe motorists have to budget in enough surplus cash to
accommodate traffic cops and their demands.

There are some smart drivers who having resisted paying bribes find
themselves spending long hours parked at roadblocks. More often than not,
their frustrations brought on by the ‘busy’ road traffic cops who do not
have time to attend to the driver who refuses to pay the bribe, ends up
giving into to corruption.

The same story happens over and over when one visits a police station to
report a case. One ends up being treated like the accused. Police officers
do not pay attention, they rather instruct you to bring the accused person
instead of them investigating the case. It only you offer them “something”
that you can get their service.

That is the police force of Zimbabwe.

This entry was posted by Tawanda Makusha on Tuesday, November 20th, 2012 at
8:17 am.

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Class And Rural Differentiation After Land Reform In Zimbabwe And Two New Land Reform Books
By Ian Scoones

A new paper in the Journal of Agrarian Change by the team that wrote the Zimbabwe’s Land Reform book examines the processes of rural differentiation that have occurred following land reform in 2000, and their political and economic consequences.

The paper points out that “acquiring land through reform processes… and allocating it to a mix of largely land and income poor people from nearby rural areas is not the end of the story. As new livelihoods are established, investments initiated and production, business, trade and marketing commence, processes of differentiation begin – within households, between households in a particular place and between sites”.

A simplistic, populist back-to-the-land narrative is therefore insufficient. Rural economies are always dynamic – some win, some lose. So what happened across the 16 sites studied over a decade in Masvingo province?

The story is interesting – and complex. The paper shows how, among 400 households, 15 different livelihood strategies are observed, classified into four broad groups (stepping up, stepping out, hanging in and dropping out, following Andrew Dorward and Josphat Mushongah). These can be broadly associated with rural classes. These include an emergent rural bourgeoisie, and a larger group of petty commodity producers doing quite well by stepping up through agricultural production and stepping out through diversified livelihoods, and often a combination of both. There are worker-peasants who farm but also sell their labour, and the semi-peasantry who are struggling.

Linking the diversity of livelihood strategies – what Karl Marx in his treatise on the method of political economy called ‘the rich totality of many determinations’ focusing on real life on the ground – and broader patterns, tendencies and class formations (‘the concrete – the unity of the diverse’) is not an exact science, but the paper makes an attempt.

Why is this important? First, it is vital to realise that the new resettlements are not static or homogenous. The instability of class formations, and the overall fluidity of social and economic relations is emphasised. Efforts to support the new resettlement areas must take this into account. Who to back? The new emergent middle farmers or the poor and struggling? Second, the dynamic formation of class – cross-cut by differences of gender, age and ethnicity – have implications for political dynamics in the countryside. Again, who will have the political voice in the future? Will it be the ‘chefs’ who are small in number but who have grabbed land, or a larger group of emerging farmers who are doing well? And will workers, poorer peasants and others ally with them in pushing for a better deal?

These political dynamics are discussed at the close of the paper. Much is speculation, but informed by an understanding of emerging patterns of socio-economic differentiation. If political parties in forthcoming elections want to know a bit more about their constituencies, then the paper offers some food for thought.

Two new books on Zimbabwe’s land reform

This month sees the publication of two, long-awaited, books on Zimbabwe’s land reform. Both are excellent. Buy them both if you can!

The first, Zimbabwe’s Fast-Track Land Reform, is by Prosper Matondi, director of the Ruziwo Trust, and a very well-informed commentator on Zimbabwe’s land issues. The book is based on work largely carried out in the mid-2000s in Mazowe, Shamva and Mangwe by a large team of Zimbabwean researchers, supported by Oxfam among others. By offering a broad geographical scope – from highveld Mashonaland to dryland Matabeleland – it offers an excellent overview of the diversity of processes and outcomes. As emphasised many times before in this blog, things are complex and diverse. But there are some important patterns that emerge: A1 smallholder farmers are doing well, while A2 medium scale farmers are struggling; violence and intimidation occurs, but is highly varied, and investment and production is occurring at a scale often not acknowledged. Clearly, as Matondi emphasises, more could be done, and the land reform beneficiaries have not reached their potential. The book lays out a set of challenges for policy which everyone concerned should take note of.

The second book is by Joseph Hanlon, Jeannette Manjengwa and Teresa Smart: Zimbabwe takes back its land. This is more up to date, covering more comprehensively the period since the formation of the GNU and the stabilisation of the economy after 2009. It is based on some new empirical material centred on Mazowe, but its main contribution is to highly offer a readable overview of the land reform experience in Zimbabwe. In so doing it draws extensively on the findings of the three major studies to date – the AIAS district studies, our Masvingo work and the work by Matondi and colleagues. It is an important synthesis, and offers highly pertinent insights which will hopefully find their way into the wider debate.

With these books published, together with the earlier contributions by ourselves and AIAS, plus the JPS special issue, no-one can say that we do not have the evidence base to understand the complex contours of Zimbabwe’s land reform. What is interesting is that, while there are differences in emphasis, there is a remarkable coherence in overall message. And, crucially, this contrasts dramatically with the mainstream commentary in the international media, many policy circles and (still) some academic writing. Maybe now – finally – the myths of Zimbabwe’s land reform will be put to rest, and we can debate more productively the complex realities.

Below are some more details on the two books:

Zimbabwe’s Fast-Track Land Reform

The Fast Track Land Reform Programme in Zimbabwe has emerged as a highly contested reform process both nationally and internationally. The image of it has all too often been that of the widespread displacement and subsequent replacement of various people, agricultural-related production systems, facets and processes. The reality, however, is altogether more complex. Providing new, in-depth and much-needed empirical research, Zimbabwe’s Fast Track Land Reform examines how processes such as land acquisition, allocation, transitional production outcomes, social life, gender and tenure, have influenced and been influenced by the forces driving the programme. It also explores the ways in which the land reform programme has created a new agrarian structure based on small- to medium-scale farmers. In attempting to resolve the problematic issues the reforms have raised, the author argues that it is this new agrarian formation which provides the greatest scope for improving Zimbabwe’s agriculture and development.

Table of Contents:

1. Understanding Fast Track Land Reforms in Zimbabwe
2: Land Occupations as the Trigger for Compulsory Land Acquisition
3: Interrogating Land Allocation
4: Juggling Land Ownership Rights in Uncertain Times
5: The Complexities of Production Outcomes
6: Accessing Services and Farm Level Investments
7: ‘Revolutionary Progress’ without Change in Women’s Land Rights
8: Social Organisation and the Reconstruction of Communities
Conclusion: From a ‘Crisis’ to a ‘Prosperous’ Future?

‘More than a decade on, Prosper Matondi provides a comprehensive, evidence based analysis through which surfaces the ‘emerging order’ and a future out of the ‘chaos’ of Zimbabwe’s controversial Fast Track Land Reform Programme.’ – Mandivamba Rukuni, Director, The MandiRukuniSeminars

‘Refreshingly measured in its evidence-based analysis, Matondi’s work is scholarly, non-partisan and eschews the entrenched, dogmatic and often vested stances and positions that have been adopted by many of the analysts of the FTLR Programme. This book not only constitutes a valuable addition to the growing literature on the programme, but also is a sound academic addition to the corpus of international land and agrarian reform literature.’ Professor Rudo Gaidzanwa, dean of the Faculty of Social Studies, University of Zimbabwe

‘The study addresses an extraordinarily rich array of issues with economy, nuance and insight. In its attention to the role of the civil servants and in its disaggregation of multiple actors from the centre to the grassroots, it confronts the important question of whether the beneficiaries of land were predominantly political cronies. This is an exceptionally useful and intelligent response to a chaotic and complex moment of history.’ Diana Jeater, professor of African history, University of the West of England, Bristol

Zimbabwe Takes Back Its Land

The news from Zimbabwe is usually unremittingly bleak. Perhaps no issue has aroused such ire as the land reforms in 2000, when 170,000 black farmers occupied 4,000 white farms. A decade later, with production returning to former levels, the land reform story is a contrast to the dominant media narratives of oppression and economic stagnation.
Zimbabwe Takes Back it Land offers a more positive and nuanced assessment of land reform in Zimbabwe. It does not minimize the depredations of the Mugabe regime; indeed it stresses that the land reform was organized by liberation war veterans acting against President Mugabe and his cronies and their corruption. The authors show how “ordinary” Zimbabweans have taken charge of their destinies in creative and unacknowledged ways through their use of land holdings obtained through land reform programs.
US and European sanctions are a key political issue today, and the book points out that sanctions are not just against a corrupt and dictatorial elite, but also against 170,000 ordinary farmers who now use more of the land than the white farmers they displaced.

Table of Contents:
Abbreviations 1) Veterans and Land 2) Starting Points 3) Land Apartheid 4) Independence and the First Land Reform 5) Adjustment and Occupation 6) The Second Land Reform 7) Tomatoes, Maize, and Tobacco 8) New Smallholders 9) New World of Commercial Farming 10) Women Take Their Land 11 )Cutting Down Trees 12) Workers, Water, and Widows 13) Conclusion: Occupied and Productive Bibliography Index
“Land and farming rights have been the most powerful issue in Zimbabwe for over 100 years, as I discovered when I wrote my MSc thesis on this subject in the 1960s. While white farmers were evicted in a brutal fashion and many of Mugabe’s cronies were the beneficiaries, this is not the whole story. This excellent book describes how agricultural production is now returning to the level of the 1990s. If tens of thousands of poor Zimbabwean farmers are now able to make a livelihood from the land, some significant good will have emerged from a terrible period of Zimbabwe’s history.” – Sir Malcolm Rifkind, MP, Former UK Defence Secretary and Foreign Secretary

“This book provides a panoramic assessment of the land question in Zimbabwe over the last century, tracing how European settler land grabbing and farming was built through state subsidies and protection against black peasants and external markets. It examines how land reform since 1980 has reversed this trajectory of land ownership and agrarian development, and provided live narratives on the struggles of various classes of people to secure land and farm inputs, and gain access to markets, while revealing their hopes and pride as new farmers. Although it is critical about various deficiencies of the fast track land reform process and the subsequent agrarian reforms, it represents one of the few comprehensive renditions of the multi-faceted progressive outcomes of these reforms, which bring life to the social transformation underway and the challenges that remain. The authors combine various research approaches in their investigation, with an extensive reading of the relevant literature cutting across the ideological and political divide of the narratives, before independence and since 2000. It is a must read for scholars and lay people alike.” – Professor Sam Moyo, Executive Director of the African Institute for Agrarian Studies (AIAS), Harare

The above first appeared on Ian Scoone’s blog Zimbabweland.

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