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Zimbabwe charges diamond firm ACR with fraud

Mon Nov 8, 2010 6:16pm GMT

* ACR in dispute with government over diamond concession

* Company accused of fraudulently registering Marange claims

* Charges follow arrest of executives linked to state JV

By Nelson Banya

HARARE, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe-focused African Consolidated Resources
Plc (AFCR.L: Quote) has been charged with fraud and violating the country's
precious stones laws and will soon appear in the high court, the company
said on Monday.

ACR said it faced allegations of unlawfully acquiring diamond claims in
Marange by using subsidiary companies that were unregistered at the time, a
process the authorities considered fraudulent.

"ACR has been legally advised that this should make no difference to the
validity of the Marange Claims and accordingly that the charges are
groundless," the company said.

London-listed ACR is already involved in a court battle with the Zimbabwean
government which cancelled the company's claims in the Marange fields in the
east of the country in 2006.

Zimbabwe's high court confirmed ACR's titles in a Sept. 2009 ruling. It
rescinded that decision this year, citing irregularities in the acquisition
and registration of claims.

Last week, Zimbabwe police arrested six directors linked to a joint venture
firm mining diamonds in Marange, also on allegations of fraudulently
acquiring the concession.

The arrested executives include five officials from the state-owned Zimbabwe
Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) and a Zimbabwean representative of its
South African partner, Core Mining and Minerals, in the 50-50 diamond mining
joint venture, Canadile Miners.

A magistrate will rule on Tuesday on the executives' bail application.

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Diamond Executives In Court

08/11/2010 21:49:00

Harare,November 09,2010 - Harare provincial magistrate, Mishrod Guvamombe on
Monday remanded in custody to to Tuesday six diamond executives accused of
obtaining a licence fraudulently to mine diamonds from the vast Marange
diamond fields.

Guvamombe is set to make a ruling whether the six were arrested lawfully and
have any charges they are facing.

The six are Lovemore Kurotwi, Canadile diamond mine chief executive officer,
Dominic Mubaiwa Zimbabwe Mining Development Company (ZMDC) CEO, John
Tichaona Muhonde, Gloria Mawarire, Ashton Ndlovu and Marck Tsomondo.

Muhonde, Mawarire,Ndlovu and Tsomondo who are ZMDC officials iare accused of
misleading the Mines ministry to ward the licence for Canadile.

Kurotwi is accused of making representations by the state that his company
Core Mining, which is registered in South Africa will inject US 2 billion
dollars in a joint venture with Marange Resources a government owned

Marange Resources which is owned by the ZMDC and Core Mining later formed
Canadile Mine company which Kurotwi is the chief executive officer.

Muhonde, Mawarire,Ndlovu and Tsomondo who are ZMDC officials iare accused of
misleading the Mines ministry to ward the licence for Canadile.

Canadile has since been in operational and has already sold more than one
million carats of diamonds.

Kurotwi, it is alleged duped the Ministry of Mines with the his other five
co-accused that Core Mining will fund mining operations from a US2 billion
dollars which it will get from their main company named BSRG.

The court spend the whole day on Monday with defence lawyers making
aplications for refusal of further remand after they said the police
unlawfully arrested their clients.

However, magistrate Guvamombe is expected to make a ruling on Tuesday
whether the six accused are properly before him.

"You are remanded in custody. Come to court tomorrow morning at 9am,"
Guvamombe said.

Zimbabwe Marange diamonds have been marred by controversy as some members of
the Kimberley Process, a diamond watchdog have called for the ban of the
country's gems, but Zimbabwe has said it will sell its gems whether KP
decides against the sell of the diamonds.

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Diamond arrests raise more questions about government involvement

By Alex Bell
08 November 2010

Questions are being raised over the government’s true intentions of
implicating a diamond mining firm in fraud, after personally giving it the
green light to operate at Chiadzwa.

Police have arrested six directors linked to the Canadile Mining group and a
total of 12 executives have been blacklisted by mining authorities, on
allegations of fraudulently acquiring a concession at the Chiadzwa alluvial
diamond fields. The arrested executives include five officials from the
state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) and a Zimbabwean
representative of its South African partner, Core Mining and Minerals. The
two groups are part of the Canadile joint venture that was granted a licence
to mine at Chiadzwa. The directors are facing charges of misrepresenting to
the government that the joint venture firm had the capacity to fund its
mining operations.

The six officials were set to appear in court on Monday, while Canadile has
since been barred from Chiadzwa, with the ZMDC now running mining operations
on its own. Government investigators say that Core Mining and Minerals
smuggled an estimated US$100 million worth of diamonds out of Chiadzwa in
order to get the working capital to fund Canadile Miners at the mining site.

Canadile has for months been at the heart of fraud allegations, with civil
society groups and even the MDC warning that their operations were not above
board. The MDC warned in February that Core Mining’s board members allegedly
included former mercenaries, smugglers and fraudsters. And in May, the
Mutare based Centre for Research and Development (CRD), implicated Canadile
as the source of rampant smuggling operations out of Chiadzwa. The CRD said
in a report that at least 2,000 carats of diamonds are being smuggled out of
the controversial Chiadzwa diamond claim every day, in direct contravention
of international trade standards. The group stated that smuggling was
rampant, with the prime suspects being employees at the Canadile mining

“Security loopholes at Canadile’s plant in Chiadzwa are costing Zimbabwe
about 2000 carats per day,” the CRD said in a statement. “Company employees
have overtaken illegal panners and soldiers in supplying diamonds to local
and foreign buyers, who descend on Chiadzwa daily in search of the precious
Even the monitor appointed by the trade watchdog, the Kimberley Process,
concluded in his report about the situation in Zimbabwe, that there was
inadequate security at the Canadile sorting and valuation centre in Mutare.
The monitor, Abbey Chikane, also concluded that there was no visible paper
trail to track the movement of rough diamonds through Canadile, and added
that the lax security at the site showed that Canadile Miners “may be
encountering financial difficulties.”

But Canadile only started mining after it was approved by Mines Minister
Obert Mpofu and Robert Mugabe, both of who are also implicated in looting of
Chiadzwa. Questions are now being raised over the government’s true
intentions of implicating the firm.

The arrests have since widely been attributed to bitter infighting within
ZANU PF. It has been reported that the arrested officials “are victims of
ZANU PF rival factions fighting for the control of Zimbabwe diamond

The Zimbabwe Mail news service quotes a senior ZANU PF government official
saying that First Lady Grace Mugabe, Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and
Mines Minister Obert Mpofu are behind the arrests.

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Concern as silence prevails over ongoing farm attacks

By Alex Bell
08 November 2010

Concern has been raised that silence over ongoing farm attacks across the
country is playing into the hands of ZANU PF, who continue to insist that
the agricultural sector is well on its way to recovery.

Robert Mugabe’s party has been quick to claim that all is well in the
farming sector, which has been destroyed by a decade of state sponsored land
grabs. The forced take-overs of commercial land have also wrecked the
economy and left the nation unable to feed itself. But ZANU PF insists that
the sector is recovering, blaming Western targeted sanctions for any

But these claims are far from the truth, with the country still dependent on
food aid, and the remaining handful of commercial farmers living in fear of
land invasions. These invasions have continued unabated under the unity
government, which promised to protect the property rights of all
Zimbabweans. In recent months the attacks have left even more farmers and
their farm workers homeless, while last month a farmer who has been fighting
to remain on his land, was shot and killed on his property.

Former Chegutu farmer Ben Freeth, whose homestead was burnt to the ground by
land invaders, said on Monday that fear has driven people to silence. He
said that even the country’s main farmers’ union is increasingly afraid to
speak out about the continued abuses on farms, saying the “conspiracy of
silence is playing right into the hands of Mugabe’s party.”

Freeth has expressed concern that the Commercial Farmers’ Union’s new
publication, AgriZim, is shying away from reporting on the truth of Zimbabwe’s
farm situation. Freeth said: “There is no news in the magazine at all of the
main issues, that hamper us all in our quest to want to farm and be a part
of rebuilding Zimbabwe, including lawlessness, corruption of the judiciary,
illegal evictions, farm murders and assaults.”
“In Chipinge there is huge chaos with officials taking over land. Hundreds
of cattle are being stolen, workers are being beaten and no one wants to say
anything because they are afraid,” Freeth told SW Radio Africa,

Freeth also expressed frustration that there has been no further information
made available about the fate of a land invader who had fled to the UK and
appealed to remain in the United Kingdom, on asylum grounds. According to
the UK Daily Mail newspaper the woman, whose identity cannot be named for
legal reasons in the UK, and referred to only as SK, confessed to having
beaten up to 10 people during two land invasions. Her appeal was rejected by
High Court judge, Justice Ouseley.

Sitting at the Upper Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber, he accused the
woman of ‘crimes against humanity’ and said the state sponsored violence was
akin to genocide. The judge said the farm invasions were ‘part of
widespread, systematic attacks’ against white farmers and their black
workers, carried out with the full knowledge of the regime ‘as a deliberate
act of policy’.

Although Justice Ouseley admitted the woman was a ‘lesser participant’ in
the violence he said she took ‘a voluntary, even if reluctant’ part in the
invasions. He said even though she had a ‘peripheral role’ she still made ‘a
substantial contribution to genocide.’ The judge likened her role in the
invasions to that of a concentration camp guard in Nazi Germany during the
Holocaust saying ‘we are satisfied that the two farm invasions were crimes
against humanity.’

Freeth told SW Radio Africa that this ruling was “landmark”, but said it was
“disturbing” that there is no sign of this woman ever facing justice for her

“The UK all but promised to send her back to Zimbabwe where she could,
presumably, commit more crimes against humanity. It’s very disturbing for
those who have been victims of these crimes,” Freeth said.

Freeth meanwhile expressed hope that the UK ruling would be “the first of
many more to come.” He said, as the truth about Mugabe’s land grab campaign
slowly begins to reveal itself, the more likely it is that international
courts will make the same decision.

“What we need is for people to start speaking out against the evil that is
happening, and until people do, then crimes against humanity will continue,”
Freeth said.

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IMF: Zim economy buoyant, more reform needed


Zimbabwe's economy will grow for the second successive year in 2010 due to
positive policies and strong commodity prices, the International Monetary
Fund (IMF) said on Monday, while calling for more reforms to sustain the

The Southern African country's economy, battered by hyperinflation that
reached 500-billion percent in 2008, grew 5,7% in 2009 -- the first time in
a decade -- under a power-sharing government set up by bitter foes President
Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

An IMF team that visited between October 25 and November 3 for routine
discussions with the government and the private sector said Zimbabwe would
have a budget surplus this year, among other signs of improved economic

"Supported by renewed efforts to strengthen policies and favourable shocks,
the Zimbabwe economy is completing its second year of buoyant economic
growth after a decade of economic decline," the IMF said.

"The budget is projected to generate a cash surplus in 2010, governance at
the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is improving, and the government is working
toward strengthening the business climate."

The IMF has projected the economy to grow by 2,2% in 2010, while Finance
Minister Tendai Biti says it is on course for 8,1% growth this year and 10%
in 2011.

The IMF said there should be more funding for infrastructure and social
needs in the 2011 budget and recommended that the government cap cash budget
expenditure at $2,5-billion.

Higher gold and platinum prices have boosted exports and government revenues
in 2010, while favourable weather conditions contributed to higher
agricultural output.

Analysts have said Zimbabwe's shaky coalition government, which has
squabbled over key government appointments and the pace of reforms, was
holding back the pace of recovery.

"Political stability is also key to consolidating gains in macroeconomic
performance," the IMF said, adding that more reforms were needed to realise

"Priority areas include reducing labour market rigidities, establishing
security of land tenure, clarifying ownership requirements under the
indigenisation legislation, and addressing concerns about governance in the
diamond sector."

The IMF also said strict regulation had seen risks in the banking system
easing since the beginning of 2010. It added that aid to Zimbabwe, which
owes multilateral finance institutions nearly $7-billion, would remain
limited to technical assistance. -- Reuters

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Another NGO ban feared as polls loom

by Own Correspondent Monday 08 November 2010

HARARE – A famine early warning system says the operating environment for
aid agencies in Zimbabwe is likely to worsen in the run-up to next year’s
general elections, reigniting fears of another ban on activities of
non-governmental organisations critical of President Robert Mugabe’s

The US-funded Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWSNET) warned that the
government was likely to block critically needed humanitarian support for
the hungry and other marginalised groups as campaigning for polls gathers
momentum next year.

“If conditions become politically volatile, humanitarian agencies might be
called to stop their support,” FEWSNET said in its latest update on

Mugabe’s government banned all NGO field operations in June 2008 after
accusing relief agencies of using aid distribution as a pretext to carry out
political work for Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC-T.

The veteran leader, who lost both presidential and parliamentary elections
to Tsvangirai and his party in March 2008 but survived to fight another day
because the opposition leader just fell short of the required margin to take
over the presidency, has in recent years stepped up pressure against NGOs
accusing them of using food aid distribution as a pretext to campaign for
the MDC-T.

He has hinted on calling an early election in 2011 at the end of the
lifespan of a two-year coalition government he was forced to enter into with
Tsvangirai in February last year.

Zimbabwe, once a regional breadbasket, has grappled with severe food
shortages since 2000 when Mugabe launched his haphazard fast-track “land
reform” exercise that displaced established white commercial farmers and
replaced them with either incompetent or inadequately funded black farmers.

Shortages of seed and fertilizer have regularly hampered planting since the
“land reforms” started and international relief agencies have had to step in
with food aid.

FEWSNET also warned of a significant deterioration in Zimbabwe’s food
security situation until the next harvest around March/April 2011.

“Over the next six months, the most likely food security scenario is a
deterioration of food security status across a greater part of the country
with the exception of the central area which is traditionally a grain
surplus region,” it said.

An increased number of people in other parts of the country are “likely to
become moderately food insecure throughout the lean season and outlook
period from October 2010 to March 2011”.

Close to a million Zimbabweans are estimated to require food aid until the
end of the year and the number could rise by more than 40 percent before the
next harvest.

According to a FEWSNET report published in October, the food-insecure
population in Zimbabwe’s rural areas is estimated at 904 463 between October
and December, up from about 536 000 during the third quarter of 2010.

It was estimated that at the peak, 1.3 million people would be food insecure
during the 2010/11 consumption year which ends in March next year.

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Tsvangirai Wins Democracy Award

08/11/2010 20:43:00

Harare, November 8, 2010 – Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has won
the International Association of Political Consultants (IAPC) Democracy

The award was presented to him at the 43rd annual world conference of the
IAPC in Paris, France, which is being held under the theme “Campaigns
Without Frontiers,” according to a statement from his party, the Movement
for Democratic Change T.

The IAPC is an international association of renowned experts and strategists
in media, politics and democracy. The award is given to an organisation or
individual “courageously fostering, promoting and sustaining the democratic
process anywhere in the world.”

The MDC T said Tsvangirai won the award in recognition of his “unstinting
effort and courageous leadership in the struggle for democracy and freedom
in Zimbabwe.

In his acceptance speech, Tsvangirai said the medal belonged to the people
of Zimbabwe, dead and living, who have borne the brunt and pain of the
struggle for democracy, freedom and real change.

Previous winners of the IAPC Democracy Award include Lech Walesa (Poland),
Aung San SuuKyi (Burma) and renowned freedom icon and former South African
President Nelson Mandela who spent 27 years in prison fighting apartheid.

Tsvangirai becomes the second African leader to win the award after former
South African president Nelson Mandela who won it in 1993.

Tsvangirai is in Paris accompanied by the Minister of State in the Prime
Minister’s Office, Jameson Timba and Nelson Chamisa, the Minister of
Information Communication Technologies and other senior government
officials, including the Zimbabwean envoy to France, Ambassador Hamadziripi.

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Soldiers Declare Mugabe Life President As Panic Sets In Masvingo

08/11/2010 13:12:00

Masvingo, November 08, 2010- Residents here spent Sunday locked indoors in
panic when over 500 armed soldiers marched through the streets of townships
demanding that Mugabe rule "forever and ever".

The marching soldiers brought the town to a halt and blocked roads, forcing
motorists to park on the roadsides.

When RadioVOP bumped into the soldiers near Manjange shopping centre, they
were singing praises about President Robert Mugabe.

“We want our president (Mugabe) to stay in power forever and ever," they
chanted. "Ukadena gamba redu watanga hondo." (If you provoke our hero then
you must be prepared for war).

“I am afraid," said Vongai Mandebvu. "I am confused," adding that he had
spent the day locked inside the house with his family because they feared
the soldiers were after their lives.

Masvingo 4 brigade spokesperson Kingstone Chivave said: “I can not give any
comment today, I need to be cleared with bosses before I say anything.”

Meanwhile in Mwenezi Zanu (PF) youth militia in collaboration with
traditional chiefs were said to be forcing poverty stricken villagers to
contribute US$2 each to buy the party's membership card as their passport to
getting food aid.

Zanu (PF) Member of Parliament for the area Kudakwashe Bhasikiti denied the
allegations saying the buying of his party's cards was voluntary. He said
people were 'rushing" to buy the cards because the party had a good

“Besides us, which party do you think villagers should join? It is no longer
possible for the people to be fooled by MDC-T (Movement for Democratic
Change) again. What is happening shows our popularity in the area. People
actually scramble for the party cards,” claimed Bhasikiti.

But villagers told Radio VOP that they were being threatened with death by
the party's youth who were moving door to door forcing them to buy the

Rashid Muziro of Maranda area said: “The youths are telling us that MDC-T is
a foreign sponsored party hence its members in the rural areas should also
get food from its top party officials.

“We are starving here but the food aid is being politicised by overzealous
youths,” said another villager.

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Army General awarded massive GMB exit package as looting continues unabated

08 November, 2010 08:30:00 Staff Reporter

Harare — Former Grain Marketing Board acting chief executive and operations
director Retired Colonel Samuel Muvuti is entitled to three vehicles and his
gross annual salary for five years, as part of his terminal benefits, an
arbitrator has ruled.

Muvuti's contract of employment was terminated in August 2007. He was then
arrested on criminal charges for allegedly corruptly issuing GMB fuel to
friends and relatives. However, Muvuti was cleared of the charges of
criminal abuse of duty after a fully contested trial.

The Rtd army officer is still enjoying another exite package from his former
employer, the Zimbabwe National Army who gave him a government house in
Belvedere and a flat in Mabelreign.
Arbitrator Mr Arthur Manase recently ruled that Rtd Col Muvuti was entitled
to his terminal benefits. He ordered GMB to give Rtd Col Muvuti a Toyota
Land Cruiser he was using at the time of his employment, a Mazda 4x4 Eagle
and another vehicle with the same value as the Land Cruiser.

"Claimant is entitled to terminal benefits stipulated in terms of the
operative agreement between the parties and the law. The contract which was
being tacitly renewed and which was terminated at the end of January 2008
was the acting chief executive's contract," ruled Mr Manase.

In a quantification award by the same arbitrator, it was stated that Muvuti
was entitled to: Toyota Land Cruiser, Mazda Eagle, Vehicle (same status with
the Land Cruiser), Annual gross salary for five years.
The following benefits covering the five-year period, are payable in
monetary value as gratuity: A board house or housing allowance, Fully paid
medical insurance for children and spouse, Clothing allowance (covering four
suits, four shirts, four neckties, two pairs of shoes), Two business class
return airfares per annum for holiday to a regional destination plus
spending money for 15 days.

Entertainment allowance

Security guard for 12 hours daily

Housemaid and a gardener

Telephone allowance (covering 100 percent of his cellphone bill and 60
percent of landline phone)

Tuition fees and levies for children

Full membership fees for him and spouse to a professional or recreational
club of choice.

However, GMB, through its lawyers have filed an appeal at the Labour Court
against the arbitrator's decision. Rtd Col Muvuti's lawyer Mr Blessing Diza
of Musunga and Associates said Muvuti would wait for the appeal outcome
before executing the award.

"We got the award, but we now have to wait for the Labour Court challenge.

"The benefits should be worked out in monetary value, but at the time we
cannot talk about the figures," said Mr Diza.

Rtd Col Muvuti was appointed operations director for GMB on August 1, 2002
and the contract was valid for five years.

Six months later, Rtd Col Muvuti was appointed acting chief executive
officer, on a contract that was expected to run until February 2008. But the
acting chief executive's contract ended prematurely after the parastatal
accused him of criminal abuse of duty.

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Zim Journos Summoned To Court

08/11/2010 21:48:00

Harare, November 09, 2010 - Zimbabwean police have summoned journalists at
the Zimbabwe Independent over a story exposing Police Commissioner-General
Augustine Chihuri’s opposition to electoral reforms.

Detective Inspector Henry Sostein Dowa, delivered the summons to the
newspaper’s offices in Harare on Monday.

The police want to question Zimbabwe Independent Editor Constantine
Chimakure and Farai Mutsaka, the newspaper’s former news editor, who wrote
the story in August.

In the story headlined “Chihuri opposes electoral reforms” the newspaper
disclosed that Chihuri demanded a reversal of sweeping electoral reforms
agreed to by coalition government partners and suggested that police
maintain a presence in polling stations as well as the postal voting system
seen as aiding vote rigging.

In his story Mutsaka, a veteran journalist, who resigned from the newspaper
last month quoted a letter written by Chihuri to the co-Home Affairs
ministers, Kembo Mohadi and Theresa Makone in July protesting against the
agreed electoral reforms.

Dowa reportedly told Chimakure during a meeting held Monday at the newspaper’s
offices that the police were keen on knowing the source of the story.

The journalists are likely to report to Harare Central Police Station on
Tuesday morning in the company of their lawyers.

Dowa is amongst senior police officers who are regularly linked with the
arrest and harassment of rights and political activists.

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New cholera outbreak in eastern Zimbabwe kills 16, sickens hundreds

8 November 2010

HARARE (BNO NEWS) -- At least 16 people have been killed and hundreds more
are ill after a fresh cholera outbreak in eastern Zimbabwe, according to
state-run media on Monday.

The state-controlled Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation reported that the
epicenter of the latest cholera outbreak is in Marange District of
Manicaland Province, killing at least sixteen people since October.

"Thirteen were community deaths where the people died at their homes and 3
were institutional deaths," said Zimbabwean Deputy Minister of Health and
Child Welfare, Douglas Mombeshora.

Mombeshora said another 669 people are suspected to be suffering from
cholera, while 86 others are confirmed to have cholera. Most of the cases
are reportedly linked to illegal diamond mining activities in Chiadzwa,
where miners live in unhygienic conditions.

The new outbreak comes only months after most of the country's ongoing
cholera epidemic appeared to have passed. The epidemic, which began in
August 2008, killed at least 4,300 people and sickened up to 100,000 others.

"We have noticed also that there is a general tendency by people to slacken
when they think that the worst is over," said Mombeshora, referring to the
cholera epidemic. "After last year’s cholera outbreak, people had learnt not
to shake hands but that is all a thing of the past now, people are back to
their old ways of doing things including eating cold food."

Mombeshora also added that the new outbreak might be the result of illegal
immigrants who came from Mozambique. "Investigations are still being done
because we want to determine the exact cause of the outbreak again, but we
are not ruling out the unhygienic conditions and illegal border jumpers from
Mozambique," he added.

The broadcaster said the Zimbabwean Ministry of Health and Child Welfare is
working in collaboration with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) to
contain the outbreak in the area, which could get worse by the rainy season.

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Army deployed to ‘assist’ shambolic ZANU PF structures

By Lance Guma
08 November 2010

The chances of another violent election have grown following reports that
Mugabe’s regime has enlisted the services of the army to try and revive ZANU
PF and its crumbling party structures.

The weekly Zimbabwe Independent newspaper reports that ‘serving military
officers and other security agents have been deployed to ZANU PF, including
at the party’s headquarters in Harare.’ The team of soldiers, codenamed
‘Boys on Leave’, will work with the party to ‘rebuild and renew’ it’s
collapsed structures.
Air Vice-Marshal Henry Muchena from the Air Force of Zimbabwe is leading a
team of 300 army officers who have been deployed around the country. Central
Intelligence Organisation (CIO) Internal Director Sydney Nyanhongo, is also
part of the team and is said to be now working directly with ZANU PF.

According to the Zimbabwe Independent there will be ‘three top commanders
stationed at each of the country’s 10 provinces. These commanders were being
assisted by three soldiers per district deployed around the country.
Zimbabwe has 59 districts and 1 200 municipalities. The soldiers deployed at
district level were stationed at all the 59 districts.’

Although the official line is that the army is helping to rebuild ZANU PF
structures, past history suggests a more sinister motive. After the March
2008 elections the Joint Operations Command, which groups the army, police
and CIO, similarly deployed 200 senior army officers who led a murderous
campaign of retribution. Hundreds were killed and tens of thousands tortured
or maimed.

Mugabe is all too aware he cannot win a free and fair election and is
pushing for an election next year, and signs are that he wants the army to
again play the same role they did in 2008. This prospect is even more likely
given the admission by ZANU PF’s political commissar, Webster Shamu, who
reminded last Wednesday’s politburo meeting that their grassroots structures
‘had crumbled and were in a state of chaos.’

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Police Hunting Down MDC-T Bikita Executive

08/11/2010 13:15:00

Bikita, November 08, 2010 - Police are hunting down the executive of the
Movement for Democratic Change from the Morgan Tsvangirai faction here and
two legislators who defied police orders not to go ahead with a roadshow at
several places in Bikita on Sunday.

The MDC-T held the roadshows at a last minute at Nyika growth point,
Makuvaza, Matsvange and Mutikizizi townships.

MDC-T provincial chairman Wilstuff Sitemere said: "The police had called off
the roadshow, but we went ahead. We were just moving about and not
addressing anyone. We are suprised they wanted us to seek clearence first
when Zanu (PF) is just holding rallies and meetings, doing whatever it

"Two detectives approached us but we did not want them to disrupt our
programme, so we sped off. I am told they want me for a questioning but I am
yet to go to the police," Sitemere said.

He said the police targetted him as the provincial chair for Zaka North.
They were also looking for Zaka North Member of Parliament Ernest Mudavanhu
and Bikita West legislator, Heya Shoko.

Asked to comment, provincial police spokesperson Inspector Tinaye Matake
said: "We just want them for questioning. The roadshows were turned down. It
is not like we want to arrest them. Talk to my seniors for more details."

Shoko and Mudavanhu could not be reached for a comment as their mobile
phones were switched off.

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No More Joy In Unity Govt - Nkomo

08/11/2010 13:07:00

Bulawayo, November 08, 2010 - Zimbabwe's Vice President John Nkomo said
there was no more joy in the country's unity government as the parties that
signed the Global Political Agreement (GPA) had failed to work together.

“Zanu PF and MDC can’t sit down in government and map the way forward as
there are wide differences in the way we view development," Nkomo told a
Zanu (PF) Matabeleland South provincial conference in Esigodini on Sunday.

"There is absolutely no unity between these parties in government,” said
Nkomo who is also Zanu (PF) deputy secretary.

Nkomo also claimed “war veterans are Zanu (PF) base and should continue
campaigning for the party in preparation for elections scheduled for next

Zimbabwe’s unity government formed in February2009 has been further strained
following the recent unilateral appointing of government officials by
President Robert Mugabe without consulting the Prime Minister Morgan

Tsvangirai recently described the coalition government as a mixture of oil
and water saying elections were the only way out of frustrations by Zanu
(PF) which continued to violate GPA which gave birth to the unity

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Zimbabwe's Influential Law Society Weighs in on Constitution

Peta Thornycroft | Bulawayo 08 November 2010

Zimbabwe's influential Law Society has launched a draft of a model
constitution it hopes will influence negotiations for a new charter. The
country is committed to creating a new constitution which will be put to a
referendum ahead of fresh elections.

Josphat Tshuma, who is Law Society president and a senior lawyer in
Bulawayo, released the organization's draft charter saying they spent more
than a year in preparing it. He said the process involved getting ideas from
its members and from the public, and consulting experts both inside and
outside the country.

Map of Zimbabwe

Tshuma said a new constitution was an historical moment and the most
important law reform since President Robert Mugabe came to power in 1980
after the country won its independence. He said the Law Society was obliged
to get involved with drawing up a new charter.

"It is a statutory mandate for the Law Society to peruse, critique and
through some informed advice to the legislators on any law reform in
Zimbabwe and there cannot be any greater law reform in Zimbabwe than the
constitutional drafting that we have embarked," said Tshuma.

Sternford Moyo, a previous Law Society president, said the proposed model
constitution significantly reduces concentration of executive power and
restores the independence of Zimbabwe's courts.

"The reduction of concentration of power in the hands of the executive. It
has a completely new power architecture. It respects democratic rotation.
There is a term limitaion imposed on those who hold executive authority of a
country," Moyo said.

In addition, power over provinces would by dramatically reduced.

"So there is distribution of power from central government to local
government to provincial government both executive and legislative
authority," he added.

Moyo said the concentration of power in the executive branch was the most
important difference compared with the draft constitution promoted by Mr.
Mugabe and ZANU- PF. Known as the Kariba draft, it leaves the presidency
with sweeping powers.

The Law Society's model constitution guarantees the right to life, which
Moyo said would mean that there would be no death penalty in Zimbabwe.

He also said that people with so-called "natural differences" or
homosexuals, have the same rights as any other person - a significantly
widening of the bill of rights. Homosexuality is illegal in Zimbabwe and Mr.
Mugabe has said he despises people with sexual differences.

Property rights would be enshrined in the constitution giving people the
right to go to the courts over loss of property.

Moyo said the Law Society draft ruled out impunity and suggsted a commission
be formed that is committed to recovery of the truth to protect citizens
from suffering injustice in the future.

"We also need to be able to commit ourselves to the never again slogan ,
never again will we allow this to happen, and the only way in which we can
make that commitment is if we know exactly what happened so that in the
future we are able to guard against its recurrence," Moyo said.

Most political analyts say a new constution will emerge after intensive
negotations between the three parties which make up the inclusive

Next week the Law Society hosts its summer school program and said it hopes
negotiators from the three political parties will attend and debate its
model constitution.

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New South African Immigration Laws Could Cause Humanitarian ‘Catastrophe,’ say Activists

Mass expulsions of Zimbabwean migrants from South Africa would be a
‘catastrophe,’ warn activists

Darren Taylor | Johannesburg, South Africa 08 November 2010

“We expect everyone, whether you are a foreigner or a South African, to
abide by our laws…. And anyone who flouts the law will have to face the

Many human rights monitors are convinced the South African government is
committed to expelling as many Zimbabweans as possible, as soon as possible.

“Their harsh words recently seem to prove this. The announcement that they’re
going to be deporting people next year is one that gives them the
opportunity to deport very large numbers of people,” says Braam Hanekom, the
founder of Cape Town-based refugee rights group, People Against Suffering,
Suppression, Oppression, and Poverty.

New immigration legislation says only Zimbabwean migrants who the South
African authorities establish are working, studying or owning businesses in
South Africa, and who apply for revised residence permits by December 31 and
are granted the documents, can remain in the country legally.

“We expect everyone, whether you are a foreigner or a South African, to
abide by our laws…. And anyone who flouts the law will have to face the
consequences,” says Jackie McKay, chief of immigration and one of the Home
Affairs officials driving the state’s “Zimbabwean Regularization Project.”

The “consequences” McKay speaks of are arrest and expulsion from South
Africa of all Zimbabweans who do not have the “correct” residence papers.
“If you are in the provinces you are deported through the point of entry
nearest to your province. If you are arrested elsewhere you will be taken
to our holding center at Lindela (near Krugersdorp in Gauteng province) and
from there you will be transported back to Zimbabwe,” he explains.

Up until now, the South African authorities have allowed “illegal”
Zimbabweans to remain in the country under a “special dispensation.” This
policy – widely praised by international human rights advocates – took into
account the intense political and economic instability in Zimbabwe.

But the revised regulations governing migrants from the country north of the
border, where unemployment is more than 80 percent, have reversed this

Hundreds of Zimbabweans cross into South Africa daily

“All indications so far are that the government of South Africa has
completely lost patience with illegal immigrants, and Zimbabweans in
particular,” says Hanekom.

McKay says South Africa indeed has a “huge problem” with illegal
immigration. “Things can’t go on like this, with people just pouring over
the border without consequence,” he states.

The latest United Nations Refugee Agency Global Report says South Africa
continues to receive the largest number of asylum applications in the world,
with 222,000 applications submitted in 2009 alone.

According to analysis by South Africa’s main opposition party, the
Democratic Alliance, 300 to 400 Zimbabweans arrive in South Africa every
day. The International Organization for Migration estimates there are
currently up to two million illegal Zimbabwean immigrants in the country.
But Gabriel Shumba, a lawyer and director of the Zimbabwe Exiles Forum, says
this figure’s “far too conservative…. I’d say it’s about double that.”

Amid the clamor of hundreds of thousands of people, mostly Africans, who are
trying to settle in Africa’s strongest economy, McKay says South Africa must
protect its interests. “Anywhere you go in the world, deportation is a way
of controlling illegal immigration. That said, this is a documentation
process, not a deportation process,” he says.

Hanekom responds, “We will try our best to hold the South African government
to its word that this new process is a means to document Zimbabwean
immigrants, rather than to get rid of most of them.”

Into the lion’s den

Tara Polzer, of Wits University’s Forced Migration Studies Program, says
South Africa’s stricter policy regarding Zimbabweans will have several “very
negative” effects on some migrants.

“That does include the potential for quite a few people being arrested and
deported without really having had the chance of duly getting into the
systems that are being offered, just because of bureaucratic issues, because
of timing issues,” she explains.
“At this stage, a lot of Zimbabweans will be deported next year….There will
be mass deportations,” says Austin Moyo, the leader in South Africa of the
MDC, one of the parties that shares leadership in Zimbabwe’s government.

Shumba’s convinced this will be “a human rights and humanitarian
catastrophe….Some (migrants) do not even have homes or jobs to go back to.”

The lawyer says other Zimbabweans who don’t qualify for the new residence
documents fled to South Africa after suffering political persecution.
Deporting them, Hanekom maintains, will be their “death sentence.”

Shumba agrees, saying, “It will be like throwing them into the lion’s den
because they hold political opinions that are at variance with (President
Robert Mugabe’s) ZANU-PF (party) and these people will be targeted – myself,
for example.”

Monitors say in advance of a proposed election next year, heightened tension
between the two main players in Zimbabwe’s unity government, Mr. Mugabe and
the MDC’s Morgan Tsvangirai, sets the scene for intensified violence in the
near future.

“With what we have seen during the constitutional outreach process, violence
is going to be on the increase. It can even be dangerously higher than
2008,” says Shumba.

“The reality is that if there’s another election in Zimbabwe there’s no
guarantee for the Zimbabwean people that they won’t be beaten up, they won’t
be assaulted, they won’t be killed; that they won’t suffer the same kind of
violence they suffered in (election) 2008,” says well-known Zimbabwean
academic, Elinor Sisulu.

New policy won’t stop illegal immigration

McKay says he can’t comment on Zimbabweans’ fears of being forced back to
their unstable homeland.

“All that I will say is that we have laws in South Africa. Our mandate as
the Department of Home Affairs and more specifically the Department’s
immigration section is to regularize movement into South Africa, and people
need to have correct documentation for that. And that is internationally
accepted. And that is what we will do, and that is what we will police,” he

Many Zimbabweans say if they’re deported, they’ll return to South Africa
illegally as soon as possible. McKay says his government will respond by
“stepping up military operations” on the border. “We believe that we will
be doing enough to keep out people that want to enter South Africa
illegally,” he says.

But Polzer says the South African authorities “just don’t have the capacity”
to fully prevent illegal immigration from Zimbabwe. “The borders are so
porous; even with all these extra army patrols, Zimbabweans are entering and
leaving whenever they want and relatively few get caught,” she says.

According to Sisulu, “no matter what laws are made” migration from Zimbabwe
to South Africa will continue for as long as Zimbabwe’s ravaged economy
relies on US dollars and South African rands. “Where do people get access
to that money, unless they work outside (of Zimbabwe)?” she asks.

Sisulu adds that illegal immigration will also carry on as long as there’s
political violence in Zimbabwe. “The reality is that a fresh election is
going to cause an outflow of people again (because of violence). The same
people the South African government will deport are going to be heading back
across the border to South Africa as soon as there’s another election.”

‘Genuine’ reform in Zimbabwe before deportations

Moyo says the MDC is advocating “a managed repatriation of Zimbabweans”
living illegally in South Africa, rather than “a wave” of deportations. “We
need foreign direct investment into Zimbabwe, to create fresh employment,
which can absorb those people that are coming back into the country,” he
says. “And that sort of big investment is going to take quite a long time,
because the international community still has little confidence in

Sisulu’s convinced the “real solution to uncontrolled Zimbabwean migration
in South Africa is a genuine political solution in Zimbabwe which guarantees
the security of the Zimbabwean people.”

When this happens, she maintains, “the natural consequence will be
re-investment in Zimbabwe, and life will begin to improve for ordinary
Zimbabweans. Such improvement on the ground will naturally stem the flow of
migration into South Africa.”

Moyo also calls on South Africa to wait until there’s “true political
reform” in Zimbabwe before deporting Zimbabwean migrants and to therefore
extend its deadline for applications for new residence permits.

“We’ve got a pending election in Zimbabwe. We’re hoping that, because the
next election will be run under a new constitution and a new electoral act
and there will hopefully be credible international monitors, the election
will be free and fair,” he says. “So we are saying to the South African
government, at least wait until that election goes through.”

Only after the polls, says Moyo, will South Africa be in a position to make
a “clear judgment” about whether or not it’s stable enough for Zimbabweans
to return to their homeland.

If violence mars another Zimbabwean election, says Shumba, the South African
authorities should suspend immigration reforms pertaining to Zimbabweans,
and should exercise “leniency” with regard to Zimbabweans in South Africa
illegally, “in the interests of basic human rights.”

But in the meantime, South Africa’s head of immigration is unmoved by all
the controversy and comment surrounding the implications of the new policy.

Jackie McKay says both the Zimbabwean and the South African governments have
agreed that all Zimbabweans in South Africa illegally “should now return
home” and he has “no intention of backtracking” on this agreement.

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MISA criticises government for maintaining broadcasting controls

by Irene Madongo
08 November 2010

Sections of Zimbabwe’s government are still fighting plans to liberalise the
airwaves, a media organisation has said, despite promises of change,
The Media Institute of Southern Africa Zimbabwe (MISA) says that independent
broadcasters are not allowed to operate in Zimbabwe because of resistance
from the top.

Zimbabwe’s unpopular state broadcaster has maintained a monopoly on the
airwaves and is used by ZANU PF as it’s mouth piece. Robert Mugabe’s party
has forced through laws which have maintained the ban on independent
broadcasters, while journalists working for independent newspapers are still
harassed. Others have been tortured and many have fled the country.

On Monday, Nhlanhla Ngwenya director of MISA, attacked the unity government
for its failure to help democracy in Zimbabwe. “The issue is we are dealing
with some pockets in government who do not want to see a liberalised media
environment,” he said.
Hoping to come up with an ideal broadcasting model for the country, MISA
held a broadcasting conference in Harare last Friday.

The meeting was attended by 50 participants made up of journalists and civic
organisations, as well as the state broadcaster. Also present was a
representative from the Zimbabwe Association of Community Radio, which
joined calls for a repeal of the repressive laws.

“This conference managed to re-state civic society’s’ position around the
broadcasting sector, particularly repressive laws. We re-stated our dislike
for the situation as it stands at the moment,” he said.
“The resolution we came up with is the repeal of laws like the Broadcast
Services Act (BSA) and an overhaul of the policy framework itself. MISA’s
advocacy programme will be informed of that way forward,” he said.
MISA pointed to the unpopular BSA which gives only the Broadcasting
Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) the authority to issue licenses. And BAZ has
still made no effort to licence any independent broadcasters.
“We wanted to have BAZ present, but then they pulled out last minute. They
did not give reasons for not coming,” Ngwenya said.

Ngwenya also defended the fact that MISA had asked ZANU PF Justice Minister
Patrick Chinamasa, a well-known ZANU PF opponent of democracy, to open the
conference. He said it was a way to bring negotiators to the table.
However, Chinamasa did not turn up and the Industry Minister Welshman Ncube
opened the ceremony instead.

Zimbabwe is widely known for its laws which are hostile to the media, such
as the Criminal Law and Codification Act which focuses on what it calls
‘publishing false statements prejudicial to the state’ plus penalties for
‘undermining the authority of the President.’

Another law, the controversial Access to Information and Protection of
Privacy Act, states that journalists must be accredited to work in Zimbabwe,
yet accredited journalists are often still prevented from doing their work.

Wilbert says that Chombo’s divorce case, which has exposed the extent of his
assets, has shown the root cause of Zimbabwe's economic meltdown. It is
Mugabe & his cronies who are responsible for the destruction of the country
and he believes the MDC should call for investigations into the looting;
while Simms says the UN has been donating fertiliser & seeds to peasant
farmers of Mash Central, but ZANU PF is now accusing the UN of having an
agenda to campaign for the MDC in the area.

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Zim Has Gone Through 268 Million Condoms

08/11/2010 20:41:00

Harare, November 08, 2010 - Zimbabwe has used 268.5 million male condoms and
10 million female condoms for the past five years which have assisted the
country to reduce HIV prevalence rate, Population Services International
(PSI) has said.

PSI Country Director for Zimbabwe Louisa Norman said constant use of condoms
in Zimbabwe was the major contributor to the country’s reduced HIV
prevalence which was now at 13.7% from over 28% five years ago.

“Over the past five years a staggering 268.5 million male condoms were
distributed through 12.000 private sector outlets leading to the reduction
of the country’s HIV prevalence over the period.

In one of the most successful female condom programmes a total of 10 million
care female condoms were also sold over the same period.

A total of 1,9 million individuals were also counselled and tested for HIV,"
she said.

She said the New Start was expecting its 2 millionth client to be tested
this month.

In an effort to further reduce the HIV prevalence rate to reach a single
digit Zimbabwe has joined the growing list of countries in Southern Africa
that is pushing for adult men to get circumcised. Studies have shown that
men without a foreskin were 60 'per cent' less likely to catch HIV.

AIDS specialists say the foreskin has more cells that are easier for HIV to
infect. The findings have sparked a regional drive to make circumcision a
routine party of prevention efforts.

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Zimbabwe’s caretaker coach resigns over row with football administrators

APA-Harare (Zimbabwe) The caretaker coach of Zimbabwe’s national soccer team
Norman Mapeza announced on Monday that he was quitting the Warriors job due
to differences with the country’s football administrators.

Mapeza told private radio station Radio VOP that he was “fed up with the the
Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA)”.

Mapeza was unhappy about the recent elevation of a fellow former Zimbabwe
international Madinda Ndlovu to the post of joint caretaker coach.

Ndlovu has been given the assignment to run the show with the aid of Mapeza.

"I wish Madinda and the Warriors well. I however cannot continue to be used
by some individuals who do not have football at heart. I will find something
else to do soon," Mapeza told the station.

Mapeza has been caretaker coach for the Warriors since the departure in May
of former substantive coach Sunday Chidzambwa.

He temporarily relinquished the position in September to make way for Tom
Saintfiet but the Belgian was deported a few days after assuming the post
over problems with his work permit.

Mapeza’s resignation is a major blow to the Warriors whose CAN 2012 campaign
got off to a bad start following two draws in as many matches.

The Zimbabweans currently lie in third place in Group A, two points adrift
of log leaders Cape Verde which has four points.

Zimbabwe’s next CAN game is against Mali in Bamako in March 2011.


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Interview: Joseph Chinotimba

08/11/2010 00:00:00
by Veneranda Langa
Interview ... Joseph Chinotimba

Bill Watch 45/2010 - 6th November [Parliamentary Update]

BILL WATCH 45/2010

[6th November 2010]

Both Houses of Parliament will resume on Tuesday 9th November

On the Parliamentary Order Paper for the Coming Week

House of Assembly

Bills: Two Bills are listed for attention on Tuesday:

Zimbabwe National Security Council Amendment Bill – for Second Reading.

POSA Amendment Bill – for Committee Stage. [See Bill Watch 43/2010 of 16th October for a summary of the proposed amendments that have been tabled for consideration during the Committee Stage. Although there was time for it to be taken further during October, the Bill seemed stalled. Police meanwhile continue to invoke POSA against MDC-T meetings – on 26th October police attempted to stop a party meeting in Mbare that was due to be addressed by the Prime Minister, notwithstanding MDC-T insistence that prior notice had been given to police as required by POSA. The meeting eventually went ahead after considerable delay.]

Motions: Motions on Tuesday’s Order Paper include: a motion to adopt the Public Accounts Committee’s report on the Comptroller and Auditor-General’s Special Report on the 1st Quarter of 2009 [the report that exposed the irregular engagement by Government of thousands of “youth officers”]; the motion on the Portfolio Committee’s report on local government service delivery in Norton, Chitungwiza and Harare; and motions to consider adverse reports from the Parliamentary Legal Committee [PLC] on statutory instruments [see Bill Watch 42/2010 of 11th October for more on these adverse reports].

Question Time [Wednesday]: 22 questions with notice are listed for reply by Ministers, including questions about:

for the Minister of Education, teachers pensions, Grade 7, O and A level pass rates in urban and rural schools, and comparisons between ZIMSEC and Cambridge examinations

for the Minister of Transport, a dispute between Zambia and Zimbabwe over Zimbabwe’s new vehicle number plates

for the co-Ministers of Home Affairs, complains of police brutality at a police post in Lupane District

for the Minister of Youth, alleged discrimination against known or suspected MDC youths in the allocation of loans by his Ministry

for the Minister of State Security, officers of the Central Intelligence Organisation [CIO] belonging to political parties, citing a Deputy Director-General’s membership of ZANU-PF

for the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, awards under the Presidential Scholarship Scheme for studies at South African universities.


There are only two items on the Senate Order Paper – the continuing debates on the motions on the President’s speeches opening the present session of Parliament and the previous session.

Parliamentary Legal Committee

Three Bills are with the PLC for reports on their constitutionality. Only after the PLC reports to the House can the Bills have their Second Readings. [Electronic version of Bills available.]

Criminal Law Amendment (Protection of Power, Communication and Water Infrastructure) Bill

Attorney-General’s Office Bill

Energy Regulatory Authority Bill.

Portfolio and Thematic Committees

At close of business on 5th November Parliament had not released the schedule of committee meetings for the coming week. A separate bulletin will give details of meetings, if any, open to the public as soon as they are available.

Electoral Amendment Bill

The Electoral Amendment Bill has not yet been published, in spite of the President’s recent pronouncements about his desire to see the constitutional referendum in February and the next elections not later than mid-2011. The latest draft of the Bill is still stuck in the Cabinet Committee on Legislation, notwithstanding the parties’ earlier agreement on the points to be covered. Only once approved by Cabinet can the Bill be sent for printing and gazetting. After gazetting comes the 14-day wait required by Parliamentary Standing Orders before the Bill’s formal introduction in Parliament. This means that its introduction in Parliament is not imminent. If normal procedures are followed, and if the Bill is to be properly considered by Parliament and its committees with the assistance of public input at portfolio committee hearings around the country, it will not be possible for Parliament to deal with it before the end of the year.

Parliament did not sit from 1st to 6th November

Special Duties for Parliamentarians: As neither House sat, MPs and Senators were able to attend the following:

Monday 1st November – Induction and Consultation Meeting for all members at an upmarket venue just outside Harare – this was an opportunity for legislators to reflect on developments during the first two years of this Parliament.

Wednesday 3rd to Saturday 6th November – Pre-Budget Seminar at the Elephant Hills resort, Victoria Falls.

Committee Meetings: There were a few portfolio committee meetings on Tuesday 2nd November, to discuss draft reports and evidence received. These meetings were not open to members of the public.

Resume of Parliamentary Sittings from 19th to 27th October

The House of Assembly had two relatively busy weeks, sitting on 19th, 20th, 26th and 27th October, until 4.38 pm, 5.40 pm, 5.58 pm and 4.40 pm, respectively, before adjourning until 9th November.

[The Senate did not meet, having adjourned until 9th November at its last sitting on 12th October.]


POSA Amendment Bill: There was no movement on this Bill, although it was listed for its Committee Stage in the House of Assembly. The Order Paper also listed proposed amendments tabled by the Bill’s sponsor, Mr Gonese of MDC-T.

Zimbabwe National Security Council Amendment Bill – this Bill received a non-adverse report from the PLC on 19th October.

Energy Regulatory Authority Bill – this Bill was given its First Reading on 20th October and referred to the PLC.

Debate on Portfolio Committee Report on Local Government

On 26th October there was a lively debate lasting over three hours on the report of the Portfolio Committee on Local Government on the State of Service Delivery in the municipalities of Harare, Chitungwiza and Norton. [Electronic version available.]

Question Time – Wednesdays 20th & 27th October

There were no written questions with notice on the Order Paper on Wednesday 20th October, but the Deputy Speaker acknowledged the “sizeable number” of Ministers present to deal with members’ oral questions without notice. This followed complaints about non-attendance by Ministers at the previous Question Time on 6th October. MPs made full use of the time set aside for questions. On Wednesday 27th October the turn-out of Ministers was not quite as good, but Ministers present fielded questions both with and without notice. [For answers to key questions see below.]

Approval of International Agreements

On 20th October the House passed resolutions approving the following International Agreements in terms of section 111B of the Constitution:

Loan Agreement between Government of Zimbabwe and Export-Import Bank of China relating to Zimbabwe’s 2G and 3G National Network Rollout Project being implemented by Net One

Agreement on the Establishment of the Zambezi Watercourse Commission

Convention on Wetlands

Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade

Basel Convention on Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal

Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds

SADC Protocol on Fisheries

Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants

Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer

Bonn Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species

SADC Protocol on Wildlife Conservation and Law Enforcement.

Answers to Members’ Questions

Constituency Development Funds: In his Budget speech in December 2009 the Minister of Finance Biti promised funding for each Constituency Development Fund to receive $50 000. So far the funds have received only $38 000 each. Minister Biti undertook to ensure that the outstanding balances would be made available before year-end.

Army Deployment to Districts and Involvement in ZANU-PF activities: Minister of Defence Mnangagwa denied that senior serving officers had been deployed to all districts, as alleged by a questioner. He suggested that misconceptions about Army presence might be attributable to retired commissioned officers [major and above] having the right to wear uniform on appropriate occasions and to the fact that at any one time up to 10% of Army personnel might be off duty in their home districts. He also said there was nothing wrong in retired Army personnel joining ZANU-PF or any other political party. But he conceded in response to a supplementary question that it was “not national policy” for serving senior members to chant ZANU-PF slogans on public occasions, and he assured the House that retired Army personnel were subject to the ordinary laws of the land regarding possession and use of firearms.

Donation to Disappointed TV Reality Show Contestant: Finance Minister Biti assured the House that State funds had not been used for the $300 000 “consolation prize” presented by the President to Big Brother runner-up Munyaradzi Chidzonga.

Update on Bills

Bills Gazetted on 22nd October

Deposit Protection Corporation Bill

General Laws Amendment Bill

A proposed copyright law amendment in the General Laws Amendment Bill has already been discussed in Bill Watch 44/2010 of 31st October.

As soon as a Bill is gazetted it is automatically referred to the relevant House of Assembly Portfolio Committee for consideration. These Bills should be considered next week.

When sittings resume on Tuesday both these Bills will be eligible for their First Readings as they have been gazetted more than 14 days previously.

Bills Gazetted on 5th November

Small Enterprises Development Corporation Amendment Bill

National Incomes and Pricing Commission Amendment Bill.

Statutory Instruments and General Notices

Accounting Officers and Receivers of Revenue: SI 168/2010, gazetted on 29th October, lists receivers of revenue and accounting officers for the purposes of the Public Finance Management Act. Accounting officers are those officials, usually Permanent Secretaries, responsible for accounting for the use of public money and the safekeeping of State assets by Ministries.

Supreme Court and High Court Calendar for 2010: This was gazetted on 29th October in GN 291/2010. [Electronic version available.]

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

JOSEPH Chinotimba says in a new interview that war veterans, whom he leads, want President Mugabe declared "life President" in the new Zimbabwe constitution which is at drafting stage.

Chinotimba (JC) tells NewsDay's Veneranda Langa (ND) that he entertains ambitions of being Education Minister, but has no interest in the presidency: "It would take me 3,000 years to reach that position."

ND: President Robert Mugabe has announced that the country will go for elections in June 2011; do you think the country is ready for those elections?

JC: My view is that Mugabe is 100% right. We need elections soon in this country, whether other people want it or not. We become surprised when we hear other leaders in the GNU saying they do not want elections.

ND: But they have said they want elections in a free and fair environment?

JC: It is not true that there was intimidation during elections. People should now choose whoever they want.

ND: Are you saying the environment for elections has always been free and fair?

JC: Even in court when someone is accused of stealing they deny the charge. As I see it myself, the previous elections were free and fair.

Even when you study the American elections, you will find that they also disagree.

However, Zimbabwe is the only country where people say elections are not free and fair.

In Afghanistan, where there was a lot of killing the Americans said the elections were free and fair.

I can confirm to you that there are many war veterans who were killed and beaten up by MDC supporters during elections. So, let us go for the elections.

ND: Supposing Morgan Tsvangirai wins the elections, are you going to endorse the results and salute him?

JC: If I cannot vote for Tsvangirai, how can I salute him?

Mugabe will win, but if Tsvangirai wins the elections, he should know that war veterans brought independence and he is the one who is supposed to salute us. It would be very dangerous for him to expect that we will salute him.

How can people who did not vote for Tsvangirai salute him?

He should clearly understand who war veterans are and why they are important in Zimbabwe. If he does not salute us, it would become a very big problem.

Even the British know that the two MDC factions should salute war veterans and if they do not do that, it would be a big mistake.

We will only salute Mugabe because we suffered together with him in the bush and we have never been cowards. As war veterans we will only salute leaders who are war heroes.

ND:What are your sentiments on life presidency for Mugabe?

JC: What is the problem with that?

If he dies today, would we not say he was a life president?

We do not know when he is going to die and why should we start asking why he is not dying? We are not talking about death here; we are talking of someone with leadership qualities to be a life president.

What we are saying is that Mugabe should always be there for the benefit of Zanu PF. We still need him even if it takes 20 more years.

In the new Constitution, the people should indicate that they want Mugabe to be life president. How can we stop people from saying that when it is their wish?

Right now, we do not have anyone with leadership qualities in the country like Mugabe and so he must remain President.

War veterans say that he is our leader because we were together in the war.

ND: Is it true that there is factionalism amongst war veterans?

JC: War veterans have no factions. War vets will always be war veterans. If we were divided into factions, we would have a situation like the one in MDC where there is MDC-T and MDC-M.

Have you ever heard of a group called War Veterans –Mugabe or War Veterans – Nkomo?

We are united; it is only the Selous Scouts who want to divide us like the Minister of Education, David Coltart. We do not have two names.

Even those war veterans who are in the MDC factions work for us and we planted them there.

Even the war veterans who are in leadership positions in Zanu PF work for us. We send people to do our work in political parties.

ND: Do you have any political ambitions for high-ranking government posts?

JC: I can be an MP, senator or minister, especially the Ministry of Education, Arts, Sports and Culture. I can handle that one; it is a very good post for me.

I cannot be President myself because we already have a President. When he dies then we will have another President. It would take me 3 000 years to reach that position. The Presidency is for Mugabe, Vice-President Joice Mujuru and Vice-President John Nkomo and they will succeed each other by death. That is what we do in Zanu PF.

ND: But you are young and when all these people are no longer available to take the post of Presidency, would you not be interested?

JC: We do not know when they are going to die and we are not prophets.

As a child you cannot be too ambitious to want to take your father’s position whilst he is still alive.

That is witchcraft and I cannot comment on that.

The only position I want is to be Minister of Education, or even the Ministry of Lands.

ND: Would you agree that the land reform programme spearheaded by the war veterans was chaotic?

JC: That is a Coltart style of talking and that is cheap politics. People are doing very well in the farms.

When the whites took over our land, the Rhodesian Front supported them with cheap labour by Africans and they never paid for electricity and water.