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Reveal source of US$20m, Mugabe told

03/11/2012 00:00:00
by Gilbert Nyambabvu

COALITION parties have demanded that President Robert Mugabe explain the
source of the US$20 million used to finance an agricultural input scheme the
Zanu PF leader launched in Harare Saturday.

Said to have been financed by “well-wishers”, the scheme is expected to give
free agriculture inputs to some 800,000 households across the country.

But the programme, launched as parties get into camapign mode for crucial
elections next year, appears to have cheesed-off Zanu PF’s rival.

Senior MDC official and Education Minister, David Coltart said Mugabe should
reveal the identity of ‘well-wishers” funding the scheme, adding it was
surprising the Zanu PF leader could raise such amounts when the government
could only find US$8 million for education this year.

“Zimbabweans have a right to know who the "well-wishers" are and where their
money comes from. Is it clean? Parallel governance at its worst,” Coltart
wrote on his Facebook wall.

“These are not small amounts of money. In context of total money allocated
to education (US$8,1 million to date) this is a huge inputs fund.

"The source of the inputs fund may be legitimate but Zimbabweans will only
know that if President is candid about its source. Transparency!”

Mugabe launched the scheme at his Zanu PF party’s headquarters in the
capital, lending credence to claims by rivals that the programme was a
campaign gimmick ahead of next year's polls.

Zanu PF’s coalition partners accuse the party of skimming off revenues from
Marange diamond mining to finance a “parallel government” as well as build a
war chest for the elections.

Mugabe is insisting new polls must be held in March to end the shaky
coalition government which he describes as unworkable and illegal.

And on Saturday, the Zanu PF leader was clearly in campaign mode, attacking
the coalition administration and the MDC-T – which runs the Finance
Ministry – for failing to fund agriculture, the mainstay of the country’s

He said: “This animal (inclusive Government) wants to eat, but when we say
the food comes from farming, the other side (MDC) says they are inca­pable,
but the Zanu PF side continues to say we should farm, we should get inputs.

“How is this animal supposed to survive? How is the nation supposed to
survive? Are you (MDC) not getting this message?

“They say we don’t have money, but they are the ones in charge of the
Finance Ministry. Hatina mari, hatina mari. Saka hatina mari, hatina mari,
ihurumende yerudziyi? Hatina mari, naizvozvo hatina fertiliser, naizvozvo
hatigone kurima.
“If it were a Zanu PF Gov­ernment without these other partners, do you think
you can tell that to the people? A gov­ernment can dare not say we have no
money to give people to grow food for the country.

“We can’t say that. We must have the capacity even to borrow. No government
does without borrowing from others.”
Zanu PF has accused Finance Minister Tendai Biti of failing to help
re-capiltaise the Grain Market Board (GMB) resulting in farmers failing to
be paid for grain deliveries. Mugabe also said fertiliser companies were
threatening to "sabotage" the new agriculture season because they had not
been paid for previous supplies.

"The fertiliser pro­ducers do not have the fertilisers (and) it is not
because they are failing to produce the fertiliser, but they have folded
their arms say­ing the Govern­ment should first pay for sup­plies that we
gave it last year,” Mugabe said.

“They are saying we do not have money to continue production. Besides, if
our credit has not been repaid, what good is it to supply more fertiliser?
That is the way they have seen it.”

Finance Minister Tendai Biti has previously denied underfunding agriculture,
insisting support for the sector has, in fact, increased over the tenure of
the coalition administration.

And speaking at a pre-budget meeting in Victoria Falls Saturday, Biti he
added: “Government will soon pay everything that it owes to farmers. Over
the past few months Government has provided US$52 million.

“As of today, we are have paid US$20 million to seed and fertiliser
companies and by the time we present the budget on November 15, we would
have paid everything that we owe. We have also given US$5 million to
Agribank for this sum­mer cropping season.”

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Zanu PF to reveal draft verdict: Mugabe

03/11/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has said Zanu PF would, next week, reveal its
position on the draft constitution but insisted that elections would go
ahead in March even if the proposed new Constitution was rejected in the
impending referendum.

Launching the 2012/2013 Presidential Well Wishers Special Agricultural
Inputs Scheme at the Zanu PF headquarters in Harare Saturday, Mugabe said
his party would give its verdict on the contested draft next week.

Zanu PF has proposed a number of changes to the Copac draft but these were
rejected by its coalition partners.
The MDCs have already said they would back the draft when it is put to a
referendum but Zanu PF’s position remains unclear although Mugabe said
elections would go ahead next whether or not the new constitution is

“Whether we have a new Constitution or not the elections will come and they
will come in March next year. So go and prepare yourselves for those
elections,” he told party activists.

Mugabe also slammed senior members of his Zanu PF party, accusing them of
abusing his name to further their own political interests.

“There are those who will be using my name in issues that I would not have
discussed with them, going to the people to say that is what the Pres­ident
wants,” he said.

“We do not want what the President wants, (but) we want what the people
want. If a person comes (to you) saying that is what the President wants,
tell them you are lying.”

The Zanu PF leader also repeated his call for an end to political violence
ahead of the new elections.
Violence, allegations of vote buying and imposition of candidates
characterized the last primary elections that the party conducted before
elections in 2008.

Mugabe expressed confidence that his party would win the elections, which he
has described as the last battle with imperialism. “I know we are going to
win,” he said.

Zimbabwe is expected to hold a referendum on the proposed new constitution
before the end of this year while general elections have been set for March

Although Mugabe has long declared his impatience to hold elections to end
the coalition government which he has described as “dysfunctional,” the two
MDCs are reluctant as they argue that the playing field was not level.

There is the hope that new elections will bring an end to the shaky
power-sharing government formed three years ago between Zanu PF and the two
MDC formations following a disputed election held in 2008.

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Civil servants promised January pay hike

03/11/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

STATE workers will get an inflation-linked salary hike in January, Finance
Minister Tendai Biti has revealed.

Civil servants have battled the overnment all year, demanding the
near-doubling of their wages in line with the country’s poverty datum line
which is estimated at about US$650.

Biti has resisted the pressure, pleading poverty and insisting that the
government wage-bill was already “unsustainable” at about 74 percent of all
government revenues.

However, on Saturday he told a 2013 national budget consultation in Victoria
Falls that an inflation-related increase would be effected in January.

“We have decided that there must be a cost of living adjustment for civil
ser­vants and it should be inflation related. It should come into effect in
January next year,” he said.

Still, with inflation averaging below five percent this year and the trend
expected to continue in the new year, an inflation related hike is unlikely
to impress the over 230,000 state employees.

But Biti said the squeeze on government finances was unrelenting after being
forced to revise downwards revenue projections for this year.

“Our wage-to-revenue ratio has remained a cause for concern because we are
spending 74 percent of all our revenue on wages,” he said.

“What is happening is that we are even struggling to meet this 74 percent,
but the truth is that salaries are a non-discretionary obligation to
Treasury and so we cannot run away from it.”

The senior MDC-T official is expected to present his 2013 national budget on
November 15 and has already capped government expenditure at around US$3.8

He also lamented the slow-down in the economy, with growth projections
having been cut back to 5.6 percent from an early and optimistic 9,4

“I am concerned by the revision of the eco­nomic growth rate from 9,4
percent to 5,6 per­cent,” he said.
“What is worrying is that this figure could be reviewed downwards to around
4 percent. Our debt levels are 110 percent of the GDP, yet the ideal
situation should be about 60 percent.”

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Mugabe blasts Biti

Sunday, 04 November 2012 14:15

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe yesterday reiterated that the country will
go for elections in March next year with or without a new constitution and
also took a swipe at Finance minister Tendai Biti who he accused of not
financing agriculture.

Speaking at the launch of the Presidential Well-Wishers Special Agricultural
Inputs Scheme at Zanu PF headquarters, Mugabe told scores of his party
supporters that the country will go for a watershed election next year even
if a new constitution is not adopted as envisaged by Sadc and his political
partners in the tenuous unity government.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai who shares power with Mugabe in a
Sadc-brokered coalition has insisted the country will only go for elections
after the adoption of a new charter as well as the implementation of a new
set of electoral reforms that would ensure a free and fair poll.

“We will have elections in March with or without a new constitution — start
preparing,” Mugabe told his supporters.

“Zanu PF will have primaries, there will be no imposition of candidates, no
one should come and say the president installed him as a candidate. No the
president wants what the people want.”

Although the state media claims that last year Mugabe sourced $27 million
under the presidential scheme which went on to benefit 712 400 households
countrywide, the country is yet to feel the positive impact of Mugabe’s

Turning to Biti whom Zanu PF accuses of sabotaging the government work plan
by failing to adequately finance vital sectors such as agriculture, Mugabe
wished Zanu PF was alone in government.

“If only it was Zanu PF alone in power, how can you say the government has
no money, where is it? How dare you say you have no money to buy inputs?

“The government should have the capacity to borrow. Even America when they
had no money they borrowed, they went to International Monetary Fund (IMF)
and asked for money.”

Mugabe whose Zanu PF wing of the coalition government is accused of secretly
stashing money accrued from diamond mining said the rare gems alone cannot
sustain the country’s needs.

“Chiadzwa does not have the capacity to sustain the whole country. When we
auction our diamonds, America goes behind our backs and tells buyers not to
buy,” said Mugabe.

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VP Nkomo's health sparks vicious power struggle

Sunday, 04 November 2012 14:15

HARARE - Amid talk of Vice President John Nkomo’s possible retirement due to
renewed health setbacks, a fresh and vicious power struggle has erupted in
Zanu PF’s top echelons, it has emerged.

This also comes as there is a strong push in President Robert Mugabe’s party
to retire several ailing party cadres, including the coolheaded ex-Zapu

With the latest jockeying reportedly pitting party chairperson Simon Khaya
Moyo and other Zapu stalwarts the former Zimbabwean envoy to South Africa
(SA) is highly favoured to take both Nkomo’s party and national VP posts
should the latter be incapacitated or retire.

But there is talk however, that the resourced Mines minister Obert Mpofu,
could be the most favoured by Mugabe.

Besides being one of the few Zanu PF officials with support in Matabeleland,
he is said to be more trusted by Mugabe having joined Zanu PF before the
Unity Accord between Zanu PF and Zapu.

He will also be an asset to Mugabe because of late he has proved to be more
popular in Matabeleland than his fellow Zanu PF colleagues in the region.

On the other hand, retired general Ambrose Mutinhiri is also tipped to
replace Khaya Moyo as chairperson — a move reportedly favoured by Vice
President Joice Mujuru’s faction, among other groups.

While Mpofu has stoked debate about his interest in bigger things by
recently declaring that he was in the top six of Mugabe’s hierarchy,
insiders say he could still fall foul of the octogenarian leader’s political
balancing act under the 1987 Zanu PF-Zapu pact.

“He is rich and has been busy pulling the crowds in the region
(Matabeleland), but it will all count to nothing when it comes to this
contest because if you analyse how Mugabe has been handling this thing —
from a hierarchical and political point of view — he falls way of the
perch,” one insider said.

“But to his advantage he is the only one who is pulling the crowds at his
rallies and has been easily elected in his constituency, while people like
Khaya Moyo have never been elected and have no support on the ground.

“Mpofu is busy donating grain — some might call it vote buying — but the
bottom line is that he is performing better than even the national
chairperson (Khaya-Moyo) in terms of trying to mobilise support for Mugabe.

“Last time, Mpofu was blocked because some said he is not Zapu but this time
Mugabe might look at who will help him better in the region,” said an

Moyo and Mutinhiri’s rise, the party insider said, was not only favoured by
groups aligned to Mujuru, but would also help her ease off pressure from
another faction allegedly led by Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Like the late VP Joseph Msika, Mutinhiri is a former Zapu military leader
with strong Zezuru links and connections — a scenario, which Mugabe also
favoured in building up his top four and party presidium in fulfilment of
the 25-year-old arrangement.

Under a unity accord, which came about following the massacre of nearly 20
000 supporters of Joshua Nkomo’s once-dominant party, Mugabe’s Zanu provides
the president and one deputy, while the former PF Zapu will also bring in
the national chairperson, and a second deputy.

And to add drama, and intrigue to the latest succession plots, Mutinhiri has
been receiving good coverage — if not profiling — in the state media amid
growing expectations of his rise in a revamped Zanu PF presidium.
With Mugabe playing one faction against the other for his own political
survival since taking over the ex-ruling party in 1977, others said the
88-year-old leader was also letting Mpofu “with all these acquisition of
wealth” only to use it against him when the need arises.

Khaya Moyo’s fortunes, meanwhile, are not only dependent on his closeness to
the late Zapu leader, but enjoys a very warm and cosy relationship with
Mugabe, which has seen him being deployed to key assignments such as the
Pretoria diplomatic mission and lately as full-time party functionary.

On the other hand, Khaya Moyo and Mutinhiri’s rise could signal the death
knell of Mnangagwa’s ambitions in the short run, analysts said.

While Mpofu is perceived as a Mnangagwa ally, — or at least that group has
actively sought to court him under a shaky alliance — he is also seen as a
solo campaigner and is actually loyal to Mugabe.

Mpofu has reportedly refused to join any of the warring camps, preferring to
be aligned with Mugabe.

And with renewed speculation over VP Nkomo’s fast-deteriorating health,
Mpofu is seen as having another shot at the presidium without any
equivocation or apologies.

He has not only ruffled feathers in his native Matabeleland Province, but
there is no love lost between him and party chairperson Khaya Moyo as they
have clashed on a number of issues, including provincial leadership

Mpofu’s trump card will be his rising popularity in Matabeleland while the
likes of Khaya Moyo struggle to conduct even a single rally. — Weekend Post

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Biti rules out MPs exit packages

03/11/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

FINANCE Minister Tendai Biti has dismissed a demand for exit packages by
legislators telling the MPs that they were not full-time employees of the

Parliament is set to be dissolved ahead of new elections which President
Robert Mugabe has scheduled for March next year and the MPs asked Biti
during a 2013 budget consultation if they would get exit packages.

Said Mutare West MP Shuah Mudiwa (MDC-T): “We are approaching the end of the
session and we have no assurance that we will be coming back. Can the
minister tell us if he is going to give us exit packages and allowances?”

Mutare South legislator Fred Kanzama (Zanu PF) also demanded that the
government pays up MPs sitting allowances.

Biti however, ruled out payment of exit packages but conceded that the MPs
were entitled to outstanding sitting allowances.
“There is a new term that I am hearing for the first time, that of exit
package. You are not full time employees that would get an exit package,” he

“However, there are things that are statutory . . . things like sitting
allowance pegged at US$75 per sitting are obligatory.”

The request for exit packages was also shot down by President Robert Mugabe
Saturday who said: “I saw in the papers that the MPs want a pension. I have
never heard that MPs get a pension.

"There is no pension in Parliament. If you are thinking of a pen­sion, are
you not standing again next year? You are MPs, go and face the people once
In July MPs were paid up to US$15,000 each in backdated sitting allowances
in a development which outraged civil servants who have battled government
all year for a pay increase.

The allowances covered the three-year period from 2008 to 2011 and were paid
at the rate of US$75 per day. But it was later revealed that some
legislators may have been paid despite failing to attend several
Parliamentary sessions.

Clerk of Parliament, Austin Zvoma also said Cabinet ministers were not
supposed to have taken the money.
“Ministers are not entitled to Parliamentary sitting allowances because
their salaries and allowances are catered for in their ministries even for
their Parliamentary business,” he said.

“To start with, any payments should have been premised on the number of
sittings each legislator had, for a lump sum to be paid without regard to
the number of sittings boggles the mind because that should never have been
done,”Zvoma said.

“Any payments for Parliamentary business should have been done through
Parliament. This was a violation of the rules, which resulted in
mismanagement of public funds.

“However, it will be difficult to recover the money from ministers because
they don’t claim anything from Parliament, while for the deceased and those
who were expelled . . . the onus should be on those who gave them the money
to recover it.”

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Chombo probe teams drain council

Sunday, 04 November 2012 14:15

HARARE - Harare City Council has lost more than $100 000 in less than four
months to two investigating teams set up by Local Government minister
Ignatius Chombo, the Daily News on Sunday can reveal.

The money paid out to the probe teams is enough to buy three refuse
collection trucks that could ease the city’s mounting garbage woes.

In less than four months, Chombo has set up two different teams to probe
Harare on the same matter of tenders.

Chombo has also been recycling some members of the investigating teams.

Well-placed sources revealed to the Daily News on Sunday that council has
been forced to pay at least $5 000 to each member of the first probe team
headed by director of civil protection Madzudzo Pawadyira and deputised by
former Masvingo town clerk Tsungai Mhangami.

Other members of the team included Florence Ziyambi from the
Attorney-General’s office, Environmental Management Agency (Ema) director,
Petronella Shoko, State Procurement Board member, Patrick Mushonga, Albert
Wakandigara, a consultant on hazardous substances and Comedy Piti, a mining

The team led to the suspension of Warren Park councillor, Julias Musevenzi,
who was the procurement board chairperson for council.

A month later, Chombo assembled another team headed by Ellen Chivaviro, the
finance and administration director at Tel-One.

She is deputised by Ziyambi.

Other members of the team include Jabulani Nyoni, Shingai Ndoro, Charity
Nyambira, Joramu Mumbwandarika, Enock Magaisa and Taurai Maja.

Sources at the council revealed this team is being paid daily allowances
ranging from $200 to $450 on top of weekly fuel allowances.

The team was supposed to have finished its work by month-end, but is still
camped at Town House.

Some of the members on the second team have previously featured in other
investigating teams set up by Chombo in other local authorities, particulary
in Chitungwiza.

But Chombo refused to divulge how much he had recommended for the team’s
stay in the dormitory town east of Harare.

Maja has been on several probe teams, including the group that investigated
Bindura Town Council and were paid not less than $5 000 each.

This is not the first time Harare City Council has been made to pay huge
amounts to teams set up by Chombo. In 2010, council paid $39 000 to a probe
team led by one Kwenda, which was investigating allegations of corruption on
the part of councillors. Harare mayor Muchadeyi Masunda said council refused
to pay the other teams that followed the Kwenda group — which had demanded
$114 000 for investigating the council.

This team was headed by Andrew Makoni.

Between the Kwenda team and the Makoni group, Chombo appointed another team
headed by Christopher Shumba, the provincial administrator for Mashonaland
West Province. According to Masunda, the team comprised mainly of civil
servants but demanded $42 000, with Shumba saying he wanted $7 000 and then
$5 000 each for the rest of the team.

But Masunda said he stood his ground and refused to pay.

“We also refused to pay them because we felt that these are just civil
servants who should not be paid for their jobs. Because they did these
investigations as part of their job,” said Masunda.

Chombo had not responded to questions sent to his office last week. -
Xolisani Ncube

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Tsvangirai's spokesman fights for life

04/11/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s official spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka is
battling for life at a private hospital in Harare after he was involved in a
car accident early Sunday.

By mid-day, Tamborinyoka was reported to be on life support at Avenues
Clinic, with restive relatives, workmates and party supporters waiting for
the lunch time visiting hour to see him.

Douglas Mwonzora, the spokesman for Tsvangirai’s MDC-T party, said
Tamborinyoka’s Toyota Prado overturned in Domboshava while he was visiting
his rural home.

“A rear tyre burst and the car overturned. He has suffered head injuries,
broken ribs and his lung was also affected,” Mwonzora said.

“But we hope he will be fine.”
Some of his workmates told New that the vehicle rolled three
times before landing by its roof, leaving Tamborinyoka seriously injured and
his five brothers who were in the car with minor injuries.

It is believed he broke five ribs, ruptured a lung and suffered horrific
head injuries.
The vehicle was removed from the scene of the accident at around 11AM and
taken to the Vehicle Inspection Department (VID) in Harare while the
accident is investigated.

Tamborinyoka’s boss, Tsvangirai, was said to be in the United Kingdom on
Sunday at the start of his two-week honeymoon with his new wife, Elizabeth.

The former Daily News reporter joined the MDC-T's information department
before taking over as Tsvangirai's spokesman in 2010.

Road accidents kill thousands in Zimbabwe every year. Most are blamed on the
poor state of roads, unfit vehicles and drunk drivers.

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Monitor Calls Zimbabwe Diamonds 'Model', Stirs Ire

04.11.12, 11:00 / World

A Kimberley Process monitor announced that Zimbabwe's diamond mining
operations meet and exceed international standards, All Africa reports. A
human rights group dismissed the announcement and insisted that mining
operations there are wholly suspect.

Abbey Chikane, the KP monitor who will be speaking at Zimbabwe's diamond
industry conference later this month, told Zimbabwe's state-run journal The
Herald that all diamond mines in the country "stand as a model for many
diamond-producing countries".

Conflict diamond critics Global Witness took issue with Chikane's blanket
statement, pointing to irregularities at diamond mines in Chiadzwa. GW
campaigner Mike Davis said that Zimbabwe's diamond industry could only be
considered a "model" if the KP constrained their criteria to technical
issues only.

Davis accused President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party of pilfering profits
from Chiadzwa mines to fund their re-election campaign, according to All
Africa. Davis contended that Chikane's statement is a sign that in practice,
the Kimberley Process provides a "fig leaf of legitimacy" for illegitimate

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Open prison system for women on the cards

by Staff reporter
2012 November 04 20:41:46

Female inmates are set to benefit from an open prison system that the
government is proposing to introduce very soon, a senior government official
has said.

Speaking at a UN Human Rights Mechanisms for the Implementation of
Zimbabwe's Universal Periodic Review National Plan of Action workshop in
Nyanga last week, permanent secretary in the Justice ministry, David Mangota
said preparations to introduce the open prison system targeting women,
especially those with babies, were at an advanced stage.

"The imprisonment of mother and child has been worrisome and we have tossed
a number of ideas and are convinced that women are not as dangerous as men,"
said Mangota.

"So we decided to have open prisons for women folk. All mothers will benefit
from open prisons for the benefit of the child."

Mangota, however, said the open prison system had challenges as some women
might get pregnant during the time they would be serving their sentence.

Some participants suggested that the open prison system should only apply to
breastfeeding mothers, but others insisted that it must be applied to all

Father Edward Ndete of the Roman Catholic Church told participants to the
three-day workshop that women were "special species" and deserved
preferential treatment.

Zimbabwe Association for Crime Prevention and Rehabilitation of the Offender
(Zacro) director Chief Edson Chihota bemoaned lack of resources to start the
open prison in the country.

"As Zacro we are happy with such an initiative because looking at the
conditions that are currently prevailing in prisons, we feel that there is
need for an open prison for female inmates, but the unfortunate thing is
that the corporate world or even the international community are not coming
up with the much needed support," said Chihota.

The country's new draft constitution proposes abolishing the death sentence
for women and those under the age of 21 and above 70 years.

However, pro-life activists say the draft does not go far enough.

Organisations such as Zacro and Amnesty International are pushing for the
total removal of the death penalty.

Zimbabwe prisons can hold 19 000 inmates. At the moment there are 14 000
prisoners countrywide of which about 600 are female.

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KLM ready to co-operate with Air Zimbabwe

by Business reporter
2012 November 04 20:44:23

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, is ready to co-operate with Air Zimbabwe in a
massive boost for the national flag carrier struggling to find friends in
the skies.

Pieter Bootsma, KLM executive vice-president Marketing, revenue management
and network, told stakeholders at a breakfast meeting last Tuesday that the
airline stands ready to help once Air Zimbabwe is back in the skies. Air
Zimbabwe resumed domestic flights last week while international flights were
set for today.

"If Air Zimbabwe is back in the air, we are ready to co-operate with it. We
are ready to find synergies between our two airlines and see how we can grow
the market jointly.

"We believe in strategic partnerships. We believe in connections. We believe
in friendships, which is one of the true values of KLM," Bootsma said.

KLM resumed flights to Zimbabwe last Monday after 13 years and will fly into
the country three times a week on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

It would also offer 11 weekly flights to Harare via Nairobi in partnership
with Kenya Airways.

Bootsma said partnerships would drive the airline forward, adding that its
partnership with Kenya Airways had created a hub in East Africa.

KLM was joined in the partnership by Mozambican airline, LAM, which also
pledged to work with Air Zimbabwe. LAM commercial manager Claudio Banze said
the airline was "here to stay" after resuming flights to Zimbabwe last week.

"We hope that very soon we will announce not only LAM flights, but LAM
flights in code-share with Air Zimbabwe," Banze said.

Analysts say the country has to sort out the high-landing fees so as to
attract more airlines to Zimbabwe.

Airlines flying to Zimbabwe have raised concern about the high-landing fees
charged by the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe.

Bootsma said high fees would be a major determinant on whether or not it
increases direct flights to Zimbabwe.

Calculations made by Standardbusiness showed that KLM would pay over US$1
600 in fees alone per flight.

The calculations were made using fees on the CAAZ website.

KLM would pay inbound navigation charges of US$113,6, landing fees of US$1
130, docking fee of US$290 (assuming it has two-hour turnaround) and
navigation fees of US$113,6 per flight.

Adding handling fees of US$2 000, means that KLM has to pay US$3 647,2 for
every flight to Zimbabwe.

The fees, according to experts, work against efforts of luring airlines.

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Harare-Dubai Emirates flight in mid-air scare

by Staff reporter
2012 November 04 15:08:01

About 135 passengers aboard a Fly Emirates aircraft that plies the
Harare-Dubai route had the scare of their lives when the plane developed an
engine fault and had to negotiate an emergency landing at Kenneth Kaunda
Inter­national Airport in Lusaka, Zambia, recently.

The four-star-rated Airbus 330-200 took off from Harare at 18:45 hours on
October 21 carrying "a sizeable number" of Zimbabwean passengers on board
and briefly made a stop-over in Lusaka.

It is reported that the left-hand side's Rolls Royce aircraft engine caught
fire 30 minutes after the plane took off from Zambia at 23:00 hours forcing
the aircraft to turn back and land while operating on one engine.

KK International Airport manager Mr Fri­day Mulenga confirmed the incident
to The Sunday Mail in a telephone interview.

"I am aware of the incident that occurred on the 21st of October but I am
not obliged to divulge the full details of what transpired on that night,"
he said.

"The airline involved, Fly Emirates, is the one which is mandated to give
you all the information that you require."

Details gathered by The Sunday Mail from Zambia show that the port side fan
blades snapped off the propeller and shot through the engine cover, causing
a big hole.

The incident is believed to have started a fire inside the engine causing
extensive dam­age.

The pilots are said to have managed to put out the inferno using inbuilt
fire extinguishers, which are operated from the cockpit.

Mr Frank Chinambu, director of Zambia's Air Navigation Service, told this
paper that a "number" of Zimbabweans were on board the flight though he
could not ascertain the exact number.

"I am aware that a sizeable number of Zimbabweans were on board the flight
though I cannot say off-hand how many were on board," he said.

A Zimbabwean passenger who was on board described the horrific details that
occurred on the ill-fated flight.

"Our flight from Lusaka was rather eventful. About 30 minutes after the
flight took off there was an explosion followed by smoke in the cabin and a
fire and sparks from the engine," said the passenger.

"After an initial panic on board and once the crew had been able to
stabilise the air­craft the plane rattled non-stop back to land in Lusaka
where we were met by the fire brigade and ambulances to attend to some

Emirates Zambia country manager Mr Khalid Ali Hassan told the local Press in
the wake of the near disaster that flight EK 714, which was flying at an
altitude of 34 000 feet above sea level, returned safely to Lusaka after an
engine failure.

A senior ranking Fly Emirates official at the airline's Zimbabwean office
could neither deny nor confirm the incident.

"All media reports are conducted by the head office in Dubai and we can only
release a statement once we have consulted with them," she said.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Constitution-making process: The big lie

Sunday, 04 November 2012 14:01
HARARE - The big news since the Second All-Stakeholders meeting has been
President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Industry
minister Welshman Ncube’s role in the constitution-making process. Mugabe
opened a can of worms when he stated that the Principals had ultimate
authority over the crafting of the MUCH-AWAITED new governance charter.

Tsvangirai and Ncube immediately distanced themselves from the statement,
claiming that Copac, a Parliamentary select committee mandated by the Global
Political Agreement(GPA) to craft the charter, will own the process.

In this week’s Follow Up, Daily News on Sunday’s Bridget Mananavire shows
how, true to Mugabe’s word, the Principals have all along been in charge of
the process, at times reducing Copac chairpersons to mere

It would be politically incorrect for Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Ncube to be
seen dictating the writing of a constitution vaunted as people- driven.

But, throughout the process, Zimbabwe’s constitution-making process has been
guided by the three, with Mugabe and Tsvangirai dominating.

Nothing could have illustrated how the Executive is effectively in charge of
a process that is publicly acclaimed to be led by Parliament than events
last week.

Even before Mugabe infamously let the cat out of the bag by stating that
Principals had ultimate authority over Copac, the principals, through a
“deadlock-breaking” team named the management committee, have been fiddling
with the constitution-making process.

Analysts and Copac insiders say Tsvangirai and Ncube are just playing to the
political gallery by denying what they have been doing all along through the
management committee.

The management committee comprises of high powered Zanu PF and MDC ministers
who also represent the three principals in inter-party power sharing

Even after elected principal of his party, Ncube continued to attend
meetings of the Management Committee and especially so in the final meetings
that resulted in the signing of the July 18 Copac draft at Imba Matombo just
outside Harare.

Its role is defined as supervisory, powers conferred by the three principals
without provision in the GPA, which is touted as the coalition’s bible.

National Constitutional Assembly chairperson Lovemore Madhuku, a fierce
critic of the Copac process, said the fact that the principals’
representatives in the management committee have been supervising the
process, at times taking over the entire project, rendered Tsvangirai and
Ncube’s statements a farce.

An example is when, after a Copac deadlock, the management committee took
over and retreated to Nyanga where they negotiated the content for the

At the meeting, held at Inn on the Rupurara in Nyanga, Copac chairpersons
Paul Mangwana (Zanu PF), Douglas Mwonzora (MDC) and Edward Mkhosi were
barred from contributing but ordered to take notes as the power sharing
negotiators carried the mandate of Principals.

Madhuku said Mugabe’s statement was meant to perch him as a tough leader to
his party’s factions while Tsvangirai and Ncube were desperate to appear
democratic by disagreeing with him.

“Ncube and Tsvangirai think they can fool people, this is just a smoke
screen. There is a difference between being principled and pretending to be
principled. Mugabe is being fairly consistent here,” said Madhuku.

“Mugabe is being more honest politically than those two. The process has
always been run by the Principals as they have always been interfering.

“Tsvangirai once admitted in a meeting with us that the Management Committee
is made up of Principals’ appointees. The difference now is that Mugabe is
saying they are to do what they have been sending others to do all along,”
the law professor and constitutional reforms campaigner said.

According to Copac co-chairs, the management committee will have the final
say on what happens to the second All-Stakeholders’ report after it has been
completed tomorrow by the Copac subcommittee.

Political analyst and University of Zimbabwe lecturer Charity Manyeruke said
the Executive should not shy from the process now.

“Executive means full responsibility and they are accountable to the process
because of our trust. But if they deviate from what the people said then
there will be a problem,” she said.

Manyeruke said the absence of the management committee provision in Article
6 of the GPA was a non-issue as the article only provides a framework for
Copac operations.

“It is not a constitution and some of these things are very administrative.
The GPA cannot spell out everything. It is a transitional framework,” she

Opening the fifth session of the seventh Parliament last Tuesday, Mugabe
affirmed the position.

“Copac should work frantically to produce a report of the (second
All-Stakeholders’) Conference summarising the views expressed by the
stakeholders, in particular divergent views and submit a report to the
Principals who will take necessary steps to set up an appropriate mechanism
to build required consensus on the way forward, mindful that our major
objectives remain the holding of harmonised elections in March 2013 under a
new constitution,” Mugabe said.

Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka yesterday told the Daily News on
Sunday the premier’s involvement in the constitution will not be as an
Executive of government but as a party leader.

“If the management committee approaches him, it will not be in his capacity
as the Prime Minister but as the president of MDC,” said Tamborinyoka.

“What we are disputing is Mugabe’s statement that Copac’s job is finished
before they have presented the draft and report to Parliament, that the
executive has taken over,” said Tamborinyoka.

What Article 6 says

Acknowledging that it is the fundamental right and duty of the Zimbabwean
people to make a constitution by themselves and for themselves;

Aware that the process of making this constitution must be owned and driven
by the people and must be inclusive and democratic;

Recognising that the current Constitution of Zimbabwe made at the Lancaster
House Conference, London (1979) was primarily to transfer power from the
colonial authority to the people of Zimbabwe;

6.1 The Parties hereby agree:

(a) that they shall set up a Select Committee of Parliament (Copac) composed
of representatives of the parties whose terms of reference shall be as

(i) to set up such subcommittees chaired by a member of Parliament and
composed of members of Parliament and representatives of civil society as
may be necessary to assist the Select Committee in performing its mandate

(ii) to hold such public hearings and such consultations as it may deem
necessary in the process of public consultation over the making of a new
constitution for Zimbabwe;

(iii) to convene an All-Stakeholders Conference to consult stakeholders on
their representation in the sub-committees referred to above and such
related matters as may assist the committee in its work;
(iv) to table its draft constitution to a Second All-Stakeholders
Conference; and

(v) to report to Parliament on its recommendations over the content of a new
constitution for Zimbabwe

(b) that the draft constitution recommended by the Select Committee shall be
submitted to a referendum;

(c) that, in implementing the above, the following time frames shall apply:

(i) the Select Committee shall be set up within two months of inception of a
new government;

(ii) the convening of the first All Stakeholders conference shall be within
3 months of the date of the appointment of the Select Committee;

(iii) the public consultation process shall be completed no later than four
months of the date of the first All-Stakeholders Conference;

(iv) the draft constitution shall be tabled within 3 months of completion of
the public consultation process to a second All Stakeholders Conference;

(v) the draft constitution and the accompanying Report shall be tabled
before Parliament within 1 month of the second All Stakeholders Conference;

(vi) the draft constitution and the accompanying report shall be debated in
Parliament and the debate concluded within one month;

(vii) the draft constitution emerging from Parliament shall be gazetted
before the holding of a referendum;

(viii) a referendum on the new draft constitution shall be held within three
months of the conclusion of the debate;

(ix) in the event of the draft constitution being approved in the referendum
it shall be gazetted within one month of the date of the referendum; and

(x) the draft constitution shall be introduced in Parliament no later than
one month after the expiration of the period of 30 days from the date of its

Constitution-making process: The big lie

THE big news since the Second All-Stakeholders meeting has been President
Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Industry minister
Welshman Ncube’s role in the constitution-making process.

Mugabe opened a can of worms when he stated that the Principals had ultimate
authority over the crafting of the MUCH-AWAITED new governance charter.

Tsvangirai and Ncube immediately distanced themselves from the statement,
claiming that Copac, a Parliamentary select committee mandated by the Global
Political Agreement(GPA) to craft the charter, will own the process.

In this week’s Follow Up, Daily News on Sunday’s Bridget Mananavire shows
how, true to Mugabe’s word, the Principals have all along been in charge of
the process, at times reducing Copac chairpersons to mere note-takers.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Crumbling away – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 3rd November 2012

A UK daily newspaper The Independent has asked the Vigil to write a blog explaining what has kept us going for the past decade. Here is what we are sending them:

The Zimbabwe Vigil recently marked – not celebrated – our tenth anniversary protesting outside the Zimbabwe Embassy in London against human rights abuses and in support of free and fair elections. Since 12th October 2002 Zimbabwean exiles and supporters have gathered every Saturday, come what may, overlooked by Jacob Epstein’s sculptures slowly crumbling away on the Embassy’s neo-classical façade.

When the Vigil started we were hopeful that the then newly-formed Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) would soon sweep away President Mugabe’s sclerotic Zanu PF party which had ruled since independence in 1980. Robert Mugabe had taken over what had been described by President Nyerere of Tanzania as ‘the jewel of Africa’ but, despite achievements in expanding education, had steered the economy onto the rocks and increasingly resorted to violence to deal with opposition.

The invasion of white-owned farms, aimed at undermining support for the MDC, had destroyed commercial agriculture and prompted the exodus of millions of people. More and more Zimbabweans began turning up in the UK – not primarily the dispossessed white farmers, who could use their skills elsewhere, but impoverished black Zimbabweans, many of them professionals from towns which collapsed as large swathes of formerly productive land were looted.

As Mugabe increasingly subverted the judicial system and police force, the rule of law in Zimbabwe became the rule of force, backed by an increasingly politicized army and a subservient media parroting the Zanu PF mantra that the mounting economic woes were caused by ‘illegal’ Western sanctions imposed on a number of Mugabe’s cronies. The fact that trade with the West continued to increase – along with Western aid – was conveniently ignored.

Developments at home were watched with growing dismay by Zimbabweans in London who formed a branch of the MDC. Encouraged by visiting speakers from Zimbabwe, including the MDC MP Roy Bennett, it was agreed to launch a regular Vigil outside Zimbabwe House, independent of the MDC, along the lines of the anti-apartheid protest which had been held outside the South African Embassy.

At our first Vigils we had a few posters and a petition to the UN Human Rights Commission and not much else. A report appeared in the UK newsletter of the MDC on 8th November 2002. The first two Vigils, it said, had been well-attended but on the third it rained steadily. ‘But that Vigil was the best ever. If it rains, you have to sing and dance to keep your spirits up . . .’ The report went on to say of the Vigil ‘It’s only going on for a limited period . . . all signs are that Mugabe is finished . . .’ Such optimism! But we prepared for the future and bought a tarpaulin which we strung from the four maple trees outside Zimbabwe House and gradually became, in the words of the Observer newspaper, the largest regular demonstration in London.

In the early years a good proportion of Vigil supporters were white Zimbabweans – perhaps 40%. But, as hope died, this dwindled until the Vigil became a 90%+ black protest, now averaging about 60 people a week. In the intervening years we have carried out many demonstrations apart from the weekly Vigil. One of the first was to hire an open-top double decker bus, adorn it with our banners “No to Mugabe No to Starvation’ and ‘End murder, rape and torture in Zimbabwe’, and tour London delivering petitions to Parliament, the Commonwealth and the UN. On another occasion, a group of about 25 went to Lisbon to protest at the presence of Mugabe at a meeting there.

As the Vigil enters its second decade, we remember friends who have supported us: Remus Makuwasa, the gaunt, dying MDC shadow minister who sat huddled silently in blankets for the whole of a bitterly cold Vigil, Archbishop Pius Ncube who came and comforted people at the Vigil kneeling at his feet, the silent benefactor who would from time to time stuff a wad of £20 notes into our startled hands, the Oxford music professor who joined us in a local pub to tutor us on singing, the film stars such as Tim Robbins and Emma Thompson who signed our petitions, not to mention Simon Callow who stopped his taxi to get out and give us some money.

Zimbabwe is now a gangster state, its democracy a travesty, with impunity for the rich and powerful and poverty and disease for the majority. On one level there is a vibrant economy fed by money made serving Mugabe’s corrupt mafia, on another there is mass unemployment, power cuts and water shortages. The Vigil has no doubt that there will be violence as Zanu PF seeks to steal the upcoming elections. We expect the same outcome as in 2008 with another ‘government of national unity’ denying true democracy.

But as Epstein’s statues continue to crumble like Zimbabwe’s towns, environment and wild life, we are determined to continue alerting the world to what is going on in the former jewel of Africa -- reduced to one of the poorest countries in the world. A recent South African report ( Zimbabwe, a lesson in how not to do things) says that from being one of the most advanced economies in Africa, Zimbabwe’s GDP per person is now the second lowest of 185 listed. (It is ironic that the country listed last, the DRC, is even richer in natural resources than Zimbabwe.)

Other points

· Some Vigil management team members are going to a meeting ‘Triumph over Tyranny’ in Parliament on Tuesday chaired by Kate Hoey MP at which Ben Freeth, John Sentamu (the Archbishop of York) and Sir Jeffrey Jowell will speak. Ben, together with his father-in-law Mike Campbell, took Mugabe to the SADC International Court over the eviction from their farm and won. During the course of the case they were abducted, beaten and tortured by Mugabe supporters. Ben is coming to the Vigil next Saturday and will be speaking to us at our Zimbabwe Action Forum afterwards. For details see ‘Events and Notices’ below.

· Thanks to Cynthia Mutede (the new ROHR Central London branch Secretary) who, in the absence of regular supporters, looked after the register and merchandise on our back table today.

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

FOR THE RECORD: 54 signed the register.


· Special Zimbabwe Action Forum (ZAF). Saturday 10th November from 6.30 – 9.30 pm. OUR SPECIAL GUEST WILL BE BEN FREETH. Venue: Strand Continental Hotel (first floor lounge), 143 Strand, London WC2R 1JA. Directions: The Strand is the same road as the Vigil. From the Vigil it’s about a 10 minute walk, in the direction away from Trafalgar Square. The Strand Continental is situated on the south side of the Strand between Somerset House and the turn off onto Waterloo Bridge. The entrance is marked by a big sign high above and a sign for its famous Indian restaurant at street level. It's next to a newsagent. Nearest underground: Temple (District and Circle lines) and Holborn.

· Next Swaziland Vigil. Saturday 17th November from 10 am – 1 pm. Venue: Swazi High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB. Please support our Swazi friends. Nearest stations: St James’s Park and Victoria.

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

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

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

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

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

· Vigil Facebook page:

· Vigil Myspace page:

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

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

Vigil co-ordinators

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

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