The ZIMBABWE Situation
An extensive and up-to-date website containing news, views and links related to ZIMBABWE - a country in crisis
Return to INDEX page
Please note: You need to have 'Active content' enabled in your IE browser in order to see the index of articles on this webpage

Coalition on the edge as Tsvangirai ‘revokes’ appointments

By Tichaona Sibanda
11 October 2010

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has carried out his threat to revoke the
unilateral appointments by Robert Mugabe, in letters to respective
government officials nullifying the appointment of governors, ambassadors,
Judges and the Police Service Commission.

Tsvangirai has upped the stakes with Mugabe after the ZANU PF leader’s
unilateral appointments of provincial governors recently. During a news
conference last week Thursday Tsvangirai said his party will not recognize
the 10 provincial governors re-appointed by Mugabe, outside provisions of
the Global Political Agreement (GPA) that underpins the unity government.

The MDC-T said it would also no longer recognize Reserve Bank Governor,
Gideon Gono and the Attorney General Johannes Tomana. Ambassadors whose
appointments have also been declared null and void are; Phelekezela Mphoko,
former envoy to Russia now posted to South Africa; former envoy to Angola
James Manzou, now at the UN in Geneva; Mary Mubi, recently posted to Italy
from Sweden; former ambassador to Australia, Steven Chiketa, now in Sweden;
Chitsaka Chipaziwa, who was moved from Geneva and reassigned to the UN in
New York; Margaret Muchada, now ambassador to the European communities,
Luxembourg, Netherlands, and Belgium. She was moved from Italy.

Jameson Timba, the Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, told SW
Radio Africa on Monday that letters had been sent to the various countries,
nullifying the appointments of the ambassadors. The Prime Minister is
requesting the host countries not to recognise the appointments, which
Mugabe made ‘illegally and unconstitutionally.’

‘The letters have been dispatched to the respective countries. The Prime
Minister, as promised has also written a letter to the Chief Justice
advising him of the improper appointment in May of five Judges.

‘The President of the Senate has also been sent a letter on the improper
appointment of governors, and the joint Ministers of Home Affairs and the
National Security Council will receive their letters on the illegal
appointment of the Police Service Commission,’ Timba said.

This latest move by Tsvangirai exposes his deep frustration over Mugabe’s
continued intransigence as far as senior government appointments are

The MDC leader last week described Mugabe’s continued unilateral appointment
of individuals to key posts in the government as ‘rank madness and utterly

Political analyst Bekithemba Mhlanga told us Mugabe’s latest action in
reappointing the governors was part of a grand plan by ZANU PF to expose
Tsvangirai as a weak character.

‘Mugabe has unilaterally appointed people from ZANU PF since the birth of
this unity government and Tsvangirai has not been able to reverse any of
them. Mugabe knows Tsvangirai is powerless to do anything, even if he
complains to South Africa, SADC and the African Union,’ Mhlanga said.

‘Not even Zuma as mediator in Zimbabwe will do anything about it because
there is nothing that Mugabe does before consulting the ANC party. This
whole thing is about elections, Mugabe is preparing for the big battle
ahead,’ Mhlanga added.

On ambassadors, Mhlanga said if the respective countries refuse to accredit
them, Mugabe might simply expel their ambassadors from Zimbabwe, in
retaliation. Zimbabwe has never expelled a foreign ambassador, merely
sometimes summoning them to the Foreign Affairs Ministry to complain about
their behaviour towards Mugabe and his ZANU PF party.

However, a diplomat told us that Tsvangirai’s move was the best and most
effective way of dealing with the appointments of ambassadors. He said;
‘Each country will obviously respond differently to the letters from the
Prime Minister. Whether they decide to take any action or not, the message
would have been delivered that the appointments were unconstitutional. In a
way if an envoy has not yet presented their credentials they will be like
tourists in a foreign country where they will not be able to meet any
government officials,’ the diplomat said.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Date for referendum on constitution set for June 30

By Lance Guma
11 October 2010

The Constitutional Parliamentary Committee (COPAC) has said a referendum on
a new draft constitution is likely to be held next year on the 30th June.
Speaking to SW Radio Africa COPAC co-chair Douglas Mwonzora said they had
completed the outreach exercise, except for Harare, where violence disrupted
several meetings.

'Everything remaining constant we must begin uploading the data that was
gathered from the outreach programme and finish that process on the 30th
October. We are expecting in that period that on the 25th October we will
have received contributions from people in the Diaspora.'

Mwonzora said from the 1st November to the 31st December the thematic sub
committees will be sitting, to debate the content of the constitution as
reflected by the views from the people. They expect to start work on the
draft from the 1st to the 31st of January next year. This will be followed
by a second all-stakeholders conference by March 31st and then a referendum
3 months later, at the end of June.

Asked what will happen to meetings abandoned due to ZANU PF sponsored
violence Mwonzora said; 'We have said those meetings which were not
conducted to our satisfaction in 43 wards in Harare are supposed to be
redone. We have identified 68 centres where these meetings are supposed to
be redone.'
Mwonzora said they had already set the 16th and 17th October to redo
abandoned meetings in Harare. The 'political parties liaison committee' was
meeting on Tuesday to agree on the venues he said. He also said they will
identify meetings that were affected by violence countrywide and either redo
them, or have the views expressed under duress struck down from

Last week Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai invited SADC 'to deploy observers
before the constitutional referendum to help protect the rights of
Zimbabweans to express their views freely and without violence or

An MDC activist Chrispen Mandizvidza was killed by ZANU PF thugs shortly
after a constitutional outreach meeting in Mbare. Several other meetings
countrywide have been marred by violence, intimidation and the busing in of
ZANU PF thugs to try and influence contributions at different venues.

Meanwhile Mwonzora told us all the recorded audio and visual material from
the outreach exercise will be stored at two commercial banks for
safe-keeping, to avoid a situation where data is tampered with.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Mugabe-Appointed Ambassadors Face Diplomatic Problems

Peta Thornycroft | Johannesburg 11 October 2010

Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has asked various European
countries, the United Nations, and South Africa not to recognize six
ambassadors he says were unilaterally appointed to the top diplomatic posts
by President Robert Mugabe.

Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has written to several countries
asking them not to recognize ambassadors appointed in July by President
Robert Mugabe to Sweden, Italy, the European Union, South Africa and the
United Nations.

A senior Western diplomatic source in Harare said some of the ambassadors
have already presented their credentials to host governments, and are
therefore properly in their posts.

The European Union says it has accepted Mr. Mugabe's appointee, Margaret
Machada, as Zimbabwe ambassador designate to Belgium, the Netherlands,
Switzerland and Luxembourg.  She is in Brussels, but has not yet presented
her credentials, so is unable yet to carry out diplomatic duties.

Diplomats say European officials will consider Mr. Tsvangirai's request to
not accredit her.

Mr. Tsvangairi's letter to the countries says neither the prime minister nor
any of his Movement for Democratic Change colleagues in the inclusive
government Cabinet recognize the six diplomats appointed by Mr. Mugabe.

Mr. Tsvangirai's anger was sparked a week ago, when he said President Mugabe
informed him that 10 provincial governors had been appointed.

Prime Minister Tsvangirai said he was not consulted on the appointment and
this is a contravention of the two-year-old political agreement that led to
the inclusive government in February 2009.  The political agreement says
"key" public appointments have to be made in consultation with the prime

In August, the Southern African Development Community said Mr. Mugabe had
agreed new provincial governors would be appointed in consultation with Mr.

Mr. Mugabe's spokesman was not available for comment Monday.

Zimbabwe's upper house, the Senate, meets in parliament Tuesday and Mr.
Mugabe's unilateral public appointments are on its agenda for debate.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Botswana detains Zim army, police officers

by Own Correspondent Monday 11 October 2010

HARARE -- Botswana authorities last week briefly detained a Zimbabwean
police constable and an army private after they strayed over the border into
that country, Gaborone officials announced over the weekend.

A Botswana anti-poaching unit near Semalela village in the Bobirwa region
apprehended the two, who were later identified as constable Tawanda Chitauro
and private Sakhile Dlhodlho.

The Botswana government newsletter, the Tautona Times, issued at the weekend
said the Zimbabweans, who were arrested last Monday, were armed with a
single AK-47 assault rifle, but made no effort to resist arrest.

Constable Chitauro was found in uniform but private Dlhodlho was in civilian
attire when arrested.

During questioning the two Zimbabweans stated that they had strayed into
Botswana territory in the course of an investigation. The two were then
detained at Selebi-Phikwe, while authorities were contacted in Zimbabwe to
confirm their identities.

Zimbabwe authorities subsequently arrived in Botswana, where they were able
to positively identify the two detainees. The two were then released for
repatriation on last Wednesday.

The prompt resolution of the incident is in keeping with what has been
standard practice on the part of Botswana authorities in the context of
joint cooperation arrangements with their Zimbabwe counterparts, the Times

Relations between Harare, and Gaborone have been strained especially with
issues related to border patrols.

Earlier this year, Victoria Falls police arrested two Batswana security
officials after they had strayed across the porous border. -- ZimOnline.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Top UN Post For Deputy Prime Minister Khupe

11/10/2010 09:29:00

Harare, October 9, 2010 - Deputy Prime Minister, Thoko Khupe, has been
elected President for the United Nations Aids/Global Women Power Network for

The network is responsible for creating a new and sustainable network of
female legislators and ministers from Africa to fight HIV/Aids and implement
the agenda for accelerated country action at national and regional levels.

"Our objective in Zimbabwe is to have a Zimbabwe which has zero new HIV
infections, zero child, maternal mortality and zero mother to child HIV
transmission," she said.

Khupe was in the United States of America (USA) where she was elected to the
top UN post at a conference.

The conference looked at various issues affecting women and young girls.

It also looked at how young women and girls are infected and how they can
protect themselves and mitigate the impact of the HIV/Aids pandemic.

Khupe revealed that the US had set aside US$48 billion to help developing
nations fight the HIV/Aids scourge.

Zimbabwe is among the top nations with the highest HIV/Aids cases in the

More than 1 000 people die of Aids in Zimbabwe monthly.

Khupe also said she was working towards sourcing donations that will be used
by struggling women to receive quality health delivery care.

Khupe said the maternal mortality rate in Zimbabwe stood at 725 women out of
every 100 000.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Pressure Group calls for Zim debt audit

11/10/2010 09:33:00

A social and economic justice organisation says parliament must audit the
country's financial debt to determine the legitimacy of the debt. The
Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development says parliament must launch a
debt audit.

"To parliament we are asking for an audit of the public debt," said
ZIMCODD Executive Director, Dakarai Matanga who was speaking at
weekend festivities held to make the Week of Global Action Against
Debt and the Financial Institutions.
"The debt audit is basically a transparent and open inquiry into the
origins of the public debt."
Matanga said his organisation would want parliament to apply the
principle of audious debt and reject any contracts found to be in that
The country is sitting on a huge debt of about $ 7 billion going up to
about $ 8, 3 billion if interest costs are factored in.
The huge debt is limiting the government to among other things pay for
social services such as education, health, water and electricity as it
battles to repay money owed to the International Monetary Fund  (IMF),
World Bank and the African Development Bank (ADB) among others.
"We want any money that is borrowed by the country to be used on
social services," said Matanga.
"Parliament should improve its capacity so that they are not just
rubber stamping authorities."
In Zimbabwe according to the Loan Contraction and Debt Management
legislation President Robert Mugabe and Finance Minister Tendai Biti
can contract loans on behalf of the country.
But ZIMCODD wants the parliamentarians to be able to scrutinise the
loans and determine why they are needed, what are the terms, how they
are going to be paid back and how much of the country's resources are
being mortgaged in the process.
As part of the Week of Global Action Against Debt and the Financial
Institutions, ZIMCODD launched a simplified version of the Citizen's
Guide to Debt. The book seeks to explain in simple ways how government
contracts debt. The book was also translated in Shona, Ndebele and
brail to cater for the blind.
The organisation also hosted several artistic events at the weekend in
Bulawayo, Harare and Mutare. The highlight was a play titled "No loans
without us."
The play clearly shows how debt impacts on people's lives and
emphasized the point that citizens have to have a role to play in loan
There are suspicions that the previous Zanu PF government might have
used the money owed to international institutions to prop up its iron
fist hold on power and spread largesse among its members.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe industry warns on labour law proposals

(AFP) - 6 hours ago

HARARE - Zimbabwe's industry on Monday said proposed pro-worker legal
reforms risk slowing the nascent economic recovery, calling the changes
unrealistic with businesses still struggling to survive.

"Industry is recovering but very slowly. The recovery that is taking place
now is nowhere what we envisaged when the Global Political Agreement was
signed," Joseph Kanyekanye, president of the Confederation of Zimbabwe
Industries said, referring to a political deal concluded in February 2009.

"It's not going at the pace that we wanted. We had expected at least a
double-digit growth and certainly last year some of us were quite optimistic
that GDP would at least exceed 10 billion US dollars and we would build on
that momentum."

The organisation argues that proposed amendments to the Labour Relations Act
are biased toward workers and will stifle business.

Industry's main concerns are over expanded strike rights, paid study leave
for up to a year, a ban on contract work beyond six weeks and increasing
sick leave to six months on full pay.

"Inadvertently architects of such a scheme may actually cause further
decline," said Kanyekanye, warning that "businesses are barely surviving."

CZI acknowledged that Zimbabwe salaries are low, but Kanyekanye said
Zimbabwe could not hope to match first world labour principles after a
decade of economic freefall that devastated the country.

The government revised its economic growth forecast from 5.4 percent to 8.1
percent on the back of increased tobacco production, but Kanyekanye said he
expects a figure of 6-7 percent.

The 2009 agreement was a power-sharing deal concluded by veteran President
Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, now prime minister,
following disputed elections.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Chombo asked to explain how he acquired vast properties

10 October, 2010 01:25:00

HARARE - Residents in Harare have demanded that the controversial Minister
of Local Government, Ignatius Chombo, declare the vast properties he has
acquired since he became a minister and prove that he did not corruptly
acquire his vast wealth.

Residents in Harare have demanded that the controversial Minister of Local
Government, Ignatius Chombo, declare the vast properties he has acquired
since he became a minister and prove that he did not corruptly acquire his
vast wealth.

The Combined Harare Residents Association of Zimbabwe (CHRA) has written to
Chombo demanding that he disclose his property interests.

Other residents associations and local authorities throughout the country
are also said to be in the process of demanding the same from Chombo.

Besides Harare, Chombo owns houses and stands in the border towns of
Victoria Falls, Mutare, Beitbridge, Kariba, and Chirundu, and also in Binga,
Chegutu and Chinhoyi, among others.

In Harare, he is said to own vast tracts of land, including the
controversial Helensvale recreational land, which he is accused of illegally
acquiring from the city council.

This has raised questions as to the source of his wealth, given that as a
minister in government, he earns less than US$500 a month. Ironically most
of his property was acquired from different town councils, all of which fall
under his ministry.

Chombo, a close aide of President Robert Mugabe, owns more than 100
residential stands and more than 25 known houses as an individual and
through shelf companies and trusts.

Court papers in which he is divorcing his wife Marian also show that he owns
dozens of vehicles, haulage trucks, hunting safaris, investment companies
and even diamonds.

The documents reveal that Chombo has properties in South Africa and has also
accumulated a fortune in illegal rhino horn dealing.

According to his estranged wife, when they married 25 years ago, her husband
was a poor man, but he started amassing wealth when he joined government in
the mid-1990s.

A letter to Chombo from CHRA dated 23 September partly reads: "Since you are
responsible for local government and overseeing the work of local
authorities on the one hand and on the other you have through your companies
acquired some of the stands that are central to this controversy, it is only
proper for the good name of your office and for the public interest of
Harare residents that you make a public disclosure of your properties in the
city of Harare acquired from the time you became in charge of local

In March, Chombo and Phillip Chiyangwa, who claims to be Mugabe's nephew,
were named in a Harare city council special investigation report which
exposed how influential people irregularly acquired prime land from the

Chombo was unavailable for comment.

A Harare city councillor said they supported the CHRA in its bid to force
Chombo to disclose what he had acquired from the council.

A Victoria Falls councillor said they would follow suit and also write a
letter to Chombo.- Sunday Times

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

ZCTF Report - Oct 2010

11th October 2010
Last Thursday, 7th October 2010, in Gokwe, President Robert Mugabe held a ZANU PF rally combined with the official opening of the Women's Empowerment Bank.
In order to entice people to attend this event, 3 elephant, 3 buffalo and a number of smaller animals were shot and cooked. It is common knowledge that under the current economic climate, many people in the rural areas are starving and will make an effort to attend any function where free food is available.
The baboon population in Mwenezi is in danger of being wiped out as villagers in the area have resorted to eating them in an effort to avert hunger and starvation.
Prior to the Land Reform Programme in 2000, Mwenezi had an abundance of wildlife but everything was slaughtered by the land invaders shortly after 2000. Baboons are now the only animals left there.
Mwenezi is a very dry area, suitable only for game farming and the villagers say they are now killing the baboons in desperation in order to feed their families. Under normal circumstances, humans would not dream of eating baboon meat but the villagers feel they have no option since their appeals to the government for assistance have fallen on deaf ears.
We would like to congratulate the South Africa Police, National Parks and the Hawks for their sterling efforts in trying to combat the rhino poaching problem in South Africa. In the past few weeks, 26 suspected rhino poachers have been apprehended.
Amongst those arrested was a large group of 11 suspects, including well known South African businessman, Dawie Groenewald and his wife, Sariette. The Groenewalds own Out of Africa Adventurous Safaris - an outfit that has frequently been linked to illegal hunting and poaching. The 11 poachers were released on bail pending the court case in April 2011.  Dawie Groenewald wasted no time paying his bail of one million rand.
Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Landline:        263 4 339065
Mobile:           263 712 603 213
Temporary website:
The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force relies soley on public donations. Your donation can help to preserve the wildlife in Zimbabwe. If you would like to assist, please contact us.


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Use reforms to abolish death penalty: Amnesty

by Naume Muza Monday 11 October 2010

HARARE - Amnesty International has urged Zimbabwe's political leaders to use
ongoing constitutional reforms to abolish the death penalty.

The world rights watchdog's Zimbabwean chapter said in a statement yesterday
to mark the international day against the death penalty that the reforms
being implemented by the coalition government of President Robert Mugabe and
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai were an opportunity for Zimbabwe to join
many other countries in Africa that have abolished capital punishment.

It said: ''Amnesty International believes the constitution reform process
provides an opportune moment for Zimbabwe's political leadership to support
abolition of the death penalty.

"Abolition of the death penalty in Zimbabwe will bring the country into
league with progressive trend in Africa, where more countries are abolishing
this inhuman and degrading punishment in defence of human rights.''

Amnesty urged political parties driving the constitutional reforms to ''play
a leading role to persuade the Zimbabwean people to abolish death penalty in

There is growing push in Africa and the world at large for abolition of the
death penalty that human rights activists say is the ultimate cruel,
inhuman, degrading and a violation of the supreme right to life.

Of the African Union (AU)'s 53 states, 49 did not carry out any executions
during 2008 and 2009 including many that still have capital punishment on
their statute books.

The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights has repeatedly called on
AU member states to abolish the death penalty.

The United Nations General Assembly has also adopted resolutions calling for
a moratorium on executions, with a view to abolishing the death penalty.

In Zimbabwe, statistics show that no execution has taken place since 2005,
although the courts have continued imposing the death sentence on offenders.

According to the latest figures available from the Ministry of Justice there
were 52 prisoners on death row in Zimbabwe in 2009.

Zimbabwe expects to complete writing a new constitution next year that will
pave way for the holding of new elections to choose a new government to
replace Mugabe and Tsvangirai's coalition administrator.

There is hope that a new constitution will guarantee basic freedoms,
strengthen Parliament and limit the President's immense powers. - ZimOnline

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Heavy Presence Of Soldiers Terrifies Zim Villagers

11/10/2010 09:41:00

Masvingo, October 11, 2010 - Thousands of heavily armed soldiers in full
army regalia were deployed in Masvingo West constituency on Saturday,
leaving villagers terrified.

The soliders, who were spotted on Sunday in the area were moving in groups
of not less than 20 soldiers.

Villagers told Radio VOP that the situation reminded them of liberation
struggle - more than 30 years ago when groups of soliders caused terror
among the people.

Member of Parliament for the area, Tichaona Mharadze said he took to his
heels on Sunday after he was surrounded by a group of over 40 armed soldiers
at Bhuka shopping area.

"I came face-to-face with the soldiers yesterday. I ran away fearing for my
life and my security.They were very many and armed as if they were going to

"We don't know what they are doing in my area, but I feel as the MP for the
area, they should have informed me of any development before deploying the
gunmen," said Mharadze.

Mharadze who was nearly shot by army major general Engelbert Rugeje at
Chevron hotel in Masvingo last year following a heated argument said since
then, he has never trusted soldiers.

Having discovered that he was losing an argument to Mharadze last year,
Rugeje pulled out a gun in the bar and threatened to "squash the MP like a
fly or make him disappear without trace".

"Personally, I am still in shock with what I saw with my eyes in my
constituency, I am afraid of soldiers. Since last year when Rugeje nearly
killed me in a bar, I have never trusted soldiers," said a visibly shaken

Masvingo 4 brigade public relations officer Kingstone Chivave said people
should feel secure when they see soldiers in their area.

"Why should they panic? Soldiers are there for protection and I think anyone
must be happy that at least soldiers are in the area," said Chivave.

However, villagers maintained that they were living in fear.

"We are greatly terrified; we don't know what they are planning to do in our
area. We beg the responsible authorities to withdraw the soldiers from
 here," said Simon Munemo.

Masvingo governor Titus Maluleke said he was not the right person to comment
about 'those soldiers who were deployed without my knowledge'.

"You are seeking comment from a wrong person altogether. Those soldiers were
deployed without my knowledge, I am not the right person to comment," he

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Natural resources debate on Chiadzwa causes havoc in Harare

By Maxwell Sibanda
Monday, 11 October 2010 08:06

HARARE - There was drama at Harare's Book Café on Friday  when suspected
senior army soldiers in civilian clothes tried to disrupt a debate in which
representatives from Chiadzwa and Mutoko were giving testimonies on the
exploitation of natural resources in their areas.

The debate was part of the Week of Global Action Against Debt and the
International Institutions activities organised by the Zimbabwe Coalition on
Debt and Development (ZIMCODO).

The suspected soldiers, who occupied a full table booed and tried to drown a
testimony by Lovemore Mukanda, a representative from the Chiadzwa community.

Mukanda said: "Is it a crime that we come from Chiadzwa? We are beaten on
our buttocks because we were born in Chiadzwa."
He said his community was ready to engage government on the issue of

He said: "We say the natural resources at Chiadzwa are for everyone, all
Zimbabweans. We must be partners with government. Government should initiate
dialogue with us and together we can map a way forward."

Mukanda said relocating meant a lot of things.

"We have our ancestors buried in Chiadzwa. Is government going to help us
relocate our ancestors' graves? What about our cattle, dogs, our chickens?"
asked Mkanda.

"Sell your goats, sell everything and move away!" shouted the suspected
soldiers who throughout the discussions noisily argued over bills with
Mukanda urged ZIMCODO to hold such debates in Chiadzwa.

"This is very far away from Chiadzwa. Why don't you come to Chiadzwa with
your debates, there we can speak our minds freely and openly."

Mukanda said problems encountered with the people of Mutoko whose black
granite has also been exploited were the same with those from his community.
He added: "Except that Chiadzwa is a restricted area."

Peter Sigauke, the Chief Executive Officer of Mutoko Rural Council said
while his area produces 75 per cent of the total black granite in Zimbabwe,
there was nothing to show of it in terms of community development.

Said Sigauke : "While we have our black granite selling in countries like
Italy, German and Spain, people in Mutoko remain poor. What we can pride
with is possibly the building of Mutoko High School. But look at Mimosa in
Zvishavane, the company there has changed the lives of people and turned
that place into a fast growing town."

Sigauke said the community in Mutoko have not benefited from the
exploitation of black granite in their area. He said: "Everything to do with
the mining of black granite was transferred to the Ministry of Mines. We
receive nothing from them to plough back to communities who have been
affected by the noise, the dust. The air is polluted and the water is no
longer clean."

He said Zimbabweans had well trained technicians and engineers who should be
doing work in Mutoko. "We need to employ our own, so we can empower

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Teachers unhappy as they celebrate international day

By Maxwell Sibanda
Monday, 11 October 2010 16:32

HARARE - Zimbabwean teachers last Friday celebrated The World Teachers' Day
amid disgruntlement over  poor salaries and working conditions.

Sifiso Ndlovu, a Zimbabwe Teachers Assciation (ZIMTA) official, said
teachers' struggles continued 44 years on since the signing of the 1966
UNESCO recommendation for teachers.

"Teachers continue to fight for their rights, albeit these laid down
recommendations agreed upon by world countries forty-four years ago." He
said the teaching profession in Zimbabwe was no longer attractive.

"We have engaged government and all the stakeholders as we tried to
negotiate for an increase in our salaries, but we have yielded nothing."

Ndlovu said government should view financing of the education sector as an

He said: "Money put towards education is money well spent. Today Zimbabwean
teachers are poorly remunerated and there is lack of in-house training."

"We are saying that any form of recovery starts with the education sector.
Teachers are the engine and are Raymond Majongwe , leader of  the
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, (PTUZ) and former school headmaster
Bob Nyabinde played music for the teachers.

"PTUZ is disgruntled and disappointed, a dark cloud is in fact hovering
above our heads. We can't celebrate when our little allowances were
unilaterally frozen. We can't celebrate misery, impoverishment and
destitution," read part of  a statemetn issued by the PTUZ.

"Teachers are not morons; teachers are not political nonentities.  We demand
better salaries, dignity and a quick restoration of our social status. We
demand the future of our children, our pensions and traditional respect."

PTUZ said the introduction of incentives at schools was meant to divide

Education, Sport, Arts and Culture Minister Senator David Coltart told the
House of Assembly last week that government intends to abolish the payment
of incentives to teachers as some schools were flouting regulations
governing such payments.

Coltart agreed with PTUZ that the incentives had divided the teachers as
those in urban schools now earned more than those in rural areas.

He added: "It iscriminates between teachers teaching in poor areas and
teachers in wealthy areas. We will abolish the incentives after consultation
with teacher trade unions."

Coltart said his ministry was always meeting with teachers' unions, most of
them are now incorporated in advisory boards.

He said "Their inclusion in these boards creates greater levels of fairness.
And it is through deliberations and consultations with various trade unions
that my ministry managed to draft the 2010 - 2011 strategic plan for the
education sector."

Coltart queried Zimbabwe's proclaimed status of having the highest literacy
rate in Africa. He said: "I have challenged that and it is time that we
confronted the truth. The local education sector has been under funded for
the past two decades and we are producing a small proportion of graduates."

Coltart said government had failed to deliver on those great promises.

"There are children still walking to school 5 to 10 kilometres and this
compromises their learning as they arrive at school already tired, and most
probably hungry as well."

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Starving villagers trade daughters for maize

By Staff Reporter
Monday, 11 October 2010 15:38

MASVINGO - As hunger wrecks havoc in arid Masvingo province,  some desperate
and starving villagers in Chikombedzi in the Low-veld district of Chiredzi
are giving their daughters away in marriage for as little as ten bags of
maize each to elderly  businessmen.

In a visit to Chikombedzi last week, the Daily News learnt with shock that
some villagers claiming to have harvested very little maize last season due
to poor rains and input shortages are exchanging girls as young as 14 to
elderly businessmen for maize or maize meal.

The businessmen cross the border into South Africa where they buy large
stocks of maize meal to sell to the starving villagers.

Most of the villagers cannot pay in cash so they end up exchanging their
daughters for maize meal.

Some of the young girls are given away in marriage for 10 bags of maize

"We have no option that's why we are trading our daughters this way because
we can't let the rest of the family starve to death. In any  case ,the girl
child will get married and leave the family, so we don't see any problem
with that," said Hlalati Baloyi of Mhlanguleni village.

Chief Chilonga from the same district was quick to defend the practice by
his people saying nothing was amiss as it is part of traditiona and is
called kuroodza mwana which is done during times of crisis like drought.

"I don't think this should attract debate from people in the country. What
we are doing is not something out of this world if we are to consider some
of our  traditional practices. You know very well that our fore fathers did
this sort of thing, especially in times of drought and here we are
experiencing it so we cant let our families die when tradition allows us to
give away our daughters  in marriage," said Chief Chilonga.

He said that his people will only stop the practice if they get food aid
from the government.

The Daily News understands that some donor oaganisations wre forced to pull
out of the area  by Zanu PF officials who accused them of pushing the regime
change agenda in cahoots with MDC.

Efforts to get a comment from the  Provincial Adminstrator Felix Chikovo
were fruitless.

Children rights groups have criticised the villagers and urged  the
government to take action as the practice was violating the girl child

Sungano Zvarebwanashe, a representative of  The Girl-Child Network in
Masvingo said the government should see that those who forced their
daughters into such
marriages should be arrested and tried.

"Government should instruct police to arrest all those who are doing this.
They are violating children rights by forcing minors into marriages with old
men who already have their wives. It is utter rubbish to claim that they
were doing a traditional practice in this modern world," she said.

She added that besides violating child rights the young girls were exposed
to the risk of teh deadly HIV and AIDS from these men as some have scores of
partners .

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Senior zanu pf officials defect to zapu

11/10/2010 09:35:00

MUTARE - Zanu PF politburo member, Stanley Sakupwanya and former Manicaland
governor, Tineyi Chigudu have crossed the floor to join the revived Zapu
political party.

Sakupwanya and Chigudu were PF Zapu officials before it was swallowed by
President Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF after the signing of the unity accord in

The revival of Zapu is being led by Dumiso Dabengwa, a former Zipra
intelligence supremo who later became a Zanu PF politburo member and Cabinet

Zapu officials in Mutare said Chigudu will get a senior post in the national
executive led by Dabengwa while Sakupwanya is already a member of the party's
Council of Elders which also constitutes senior politicians such as Thenjiwe

Chigudu served as provincial governor and resident minister before he was
replaced by Chris Mushohwe in 2008.

He doubled as Zanu PF provincial chairman in Manicaland. He was blamed for
Zanu PF poor showing in Manicaland during ther March 2008 general election.
He was subsequently removed from the post and left in the wilderness.

Sakupwanya is a senator. He is Zanu PF politburo secretary for welfare of
the disabled and disadvantaged persons.

Zapu sources said an announcement was likely to made any time soon to inform
the country about the developments.

The Zapu executive is scheduled to hold a mini-provincial congress where a
new executive will be elected.

"That is when we are likely to be officially told that Chigudu and
Sakupwanya have rejoined the party,' said a member of the Zapu executive in
The sources also hinted Zapu was likely to form a coalition with Simba
Makoni's Mavambo and the MDC formation led by Arthur Mutambara should
elections be held next year

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zim tycoon Mutasa buys BP assets

By Chris Goko, Business Editor
Monday, 11 October 2010 19:39

HARARE - Oil major BP and Shell has sold its Zimbabwean assets to TA
Holdings Limited executive chairman Shingai Mutasa through his newly-founded
Masawara plc investment fund.

While BP's special projects advisor Richard King and another senior
executive Samuel Mupanemunda were in Zimbabwe Monday to oversee the
transaction, a Masawara spokesman said an agreement to acquire "the entire
business of BP and Shell Marketing Services" in the country was hammered out
with the London-based firm's wholly owned FMI Zimbabwe subsidiary.

However, the deal is still subject to approvals by various regulatory

Although earlier calls to Mutasa - a pioneering and millionaire
entrepreneur - went unanswered, the transaction encompasses BP and Shell's
entire business portfolio in Zimbabwe, including 73 retail outlets and 60
million litre-storage tanks or depots across 10 strategic centres.

The multinational oil partnership also employs 87 people of which some will
benefit from a broad based empowerment initiative, Masawara says.

"With their experience and existing businesses in Zimbabwe, we believe that
FMI Zimbabwe will be able to build on BPSMS's good assets and grow the
business further in line with their plans," Sipho Maseko, BP Southern Africa's
chief executive said.

Apart from a share trust for staff and management, Masawara has also
fashioned out an elaborate dealer ownership scheme as part of the
empowerment drive or tool.

Although figures on the transactions were not given, the companies in 2009
sold 66 million litres of petroleum products and the projected sales for
2010 at 85 million-plus litres.

In launching the US$100 million fund in August, Mutasa and his partner
Invesco Perpertual's Neil Woodford said they were hoping to buy cheap assets
in Zimbabwe before a much hoped-for economic swing back and return to

With the cash war chest, the Masawara chief executive (Mutasa) said he was
targeting resource assets such as mining and agriculture as well as

The multi-million dollar fund is listed on the London Stock Exchange's AIM
market and says it is pursuing "high quality investment opportunities in
Zimbabwe to add" to its existing portfolio of assets, including the central
Harare Joina high-rise building and TA's agricultural, hospitality and
insurance businesses.

While there have been so many bidders for the on-sale assets, including Kuda
Tagiwirei's Sabrex Energy consortium and the splinter Positive consortia,
the Daily News understands Exor Petroleum's John Makova had unsuccessfully
tabled a US$45 million bid for the assets.

On the other hand, the fate or status of United Kingdom-based trading
company Strauss Logistics' US$20 million lawsuit could not be ascertained in
the latest arrangement, although observers say an out of court settlement
was in the offing.

Ketan Joshi, a representative of the company, said he could not respond to
Daily News inquiries until Thursday.

In the meantime, BP and Shell's anguished sale comes after Caltex Zimbabwe
has also sold its entire portfolio to a consortium led by Moses Chingwena's
Croco group, Engen Petroleum of South Africa and the group's employees.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe’s indiginisation policy hurts local business

by Irene Madongo
11 September 2010

Zimbabwe’s economic policies, including the indiginisation law, are damaging
local businesses who are failing to get finance from foreign investors.

The indiginisation law was passed this year and forces foreign-owned
companies to cede more than half of their investment to locals. However,
instead of helping locals, the law has merely put off potential investors.

In August Zimglass in Gweru, the country’s only glass manufacturer, had to
shut down after struggling with power cuts which affected the running of
their electric furnaces. The country’s damaging electricity cuts have forced
the company to try to raise $18 million, for an alternative form of energy.
But finding new sources of funds is extremely difficult at a time when
foreign investors are concerned about investing in the country.

On Tuesday, economic analyst Masimba Kuchera used the case of Zimglass as an
example. He said that potential foreign investors, like any investor, wants
to make a profit. “Businesses unfortunately are a profit and loss issue. I
don’t think it makes sense that if you put 100% investment into a business
and you end up with 49%, and 51% has to be taken over by someone else, who
may not have contributed that much,” he said.

A number of businesses have shut down in Gweru, effectively ‘killing’ the
town, once known as the “City of Progress”. The major companies that have
shutdown in the past two years are Radar Castings, Zimcast, Foseco, Kariba
Battery Manufacturers, BOC Gases and Zimbabwe Alloys.

Zimglass’s managing director Jacob Dube told SW Radio Africa on Tuesday that
his company will reopen if they manage to raise the $18 million they need;
“Our biggest challenge was availability of electricity and we run electric
furnaces which need continuous supply of power. The load shedding regime
meant that we were disrupted most of the time”

He said his company did not get any financial help from the Zimbabwean
government but said the Ministry of Industry and Commerce wants to assist it
with a credit facility.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe Group Urges Constitutional Commission to Replace Parliament Panel

An eventual referendum on a new constitution looks more distant than ever -
panel co-chairman Douglas Mwonzora said it will be held by the end of June
2011 though it was to be held late this year under the original timetable

Patience Rusere | Washington 11 October 2010

Zimbabwe's National Constitutional Assembly, a civic group, has again called
for the establishment of a constitutional commission to lead the country's
deeply troubled revision process, replacing the parliamentary select
committee currently in charge of the exercise which has stalled amid
political partisanship and violence.

NCA Information Officer Blessing Vava said his organization proposes that
the commission be composed of civil society members and chaired by a retired
judge to prevent manipulation by political parties. The constitutional
revision public comment process which started in June has been marred by
logistical problems, intimidation and violence.

One person died in Harare last month in violence allegedly committed by
militants of the ZANU-PF party of President Robert Mugabe. Various ZANU-PF
officials have denied any role by the party in such violence.

A senior official of the parliamentary select committee dismissed the NCA
proposal for a civil society-led commission. Douglas Mwonzora, a co-chairman
of the parliamentary committee, said there will be conflict in the process
no matter who is in charge of it because of political party rivalry and
Zimbabwe's culture of political violence.

Meanwhile, an eventual referendum on a new constitution looks more distant
than ever - Mwonzora said it will be held by the end of June 2011 though it
was to be held late this year under the original timetable.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

How Chinese mines are killing wildlife

Oct, 11 2010

(Zimbabwe) -- Chinese companies are mining chrome in northern Zimbabwe in
areas designated for wildlife conservancy and safari operations.

The companies, San He Mining Company Private Limited Zimbabwe and Lebbenon
Investments, are doing so in the Guruve area of northern Zimbabwe, in
operations that appear to be secret.

A notice at the entrance of the Lebbenon Investments has 10 commandments for
the workers. Two of them read: "Thou shall not speak about the company
operations, anyone who talks about the company operations will be fired" and
"entry is not automatic".

The companies are said to be operating without environmental impact
assessment (EIA) certificates.

An environmentalist who works in the area told The Sunday Times that the
mining started in 2004. "They have been here since 2004, but their
operations have not been that big. But now they have intensified, destroying
water sources and polluting rivers as they process their chrome," he said,
asking not to be named.

The area, known as Mavuradonha Wilderness Conservancy, is under siege from
the Chinese, who have installed state-of-the-art mining and processing
machinery enclosed in Great Wall-like surroundings. Several dusty roads have
been built and huge open holes and heavy Caterpillar equipment now litter
the landscape.

Some villagers have abandoned their homesteads because the roads which the
trucks use are right next to their homesteads. The dust from the open-cast
mines makes life unbearable.

The mining is concentrated at the Penrose Farm and near Tengenenge Arts
Community Centre, threatening its survival and that of the 200 artists and
their families.

Mavuradonha Conservancy is a vast area of pristine land surrounded by
mineral-rich mountains and wild animals, such as elephants, lions, cheetah,
buffalo, giraffes and kudus.

The area is also regarded as the breeding ground for the wild animals found
in the Zambezi Valley.

It is protected under the National Parks and Wildlife Resources legislation.
The area measures about 600 square kilometres and houses the important
ecosystems of the Great Dyke and its special species. Local conservationists
have been working for years to have it accorded World Heritage status by the

An attempt to talk to the Chinese manning the mining sites was futile. They
pretended not to understand English, although they speak to their workers in
the language. Efforts to get comment from the Chinese counsellor for
economic and commercial affairs in Harare were unsuccessful as phones went

The Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Obert Mpofu, said he did not
know the two Chinese companies. "I don't know those companies but all of
them should be subjected to the country's mining regulations and have an EIA
done to guide their activities, I will take up the issue with the mining
commissioner," he said.

"We don't condone activities that destroy the environment, it is unfortunate
that people tend to ignore that, especially when they are mining out of the
glare of the public, like in Guruve."

But the Minister of Environment, Francis Mhema, said his ministry had
already ordered the companies to stop mining. "We have stopped them, we had
not authorised any EIA. They must go out forthwith because that area is our
pristine land."
But the Chinese were still at work when we visited the area last week.


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Bill Watch 42/2010 - 11th October [Dispute over Provincial Governors]

Bill Watch 42/2010 - 11th October [Dispute over Provincia lGovernors]

BILL WATCH 42/2010

[11th October 2010]

The House of Assembly sat on Tuesday and Wednesday and will sit again on Tuesday 12th October

The Senate will meet on 12th October after its three-month recess

Dispute over Provincial Governors Likely to Affect Tomorrow’s Senate Meeting

When the Senate resumes after its three-month recess there is likely to be controversy over the ten Senate seats allocated to Provincial Governors.  Provincial Governors are ex officio members of the Senate.  Given the MDC-T rejection of the President’s reappointment of the ten ZANU-PF governors as illegal and unconstitutional, MDC-T Senators can be expected to object to the presence of  any provincial governors who may report for Senate duty on Tuesday.  Mr Tsvangirai in his statement last Thursday [see below] said “I will be advising the President of the Senate of the improper appointment of Governors, and that they should therefore not be considered members of the Senate”.   On 27th September MDC-T parliamentarians attending a Pan-African Parliament workshop at the Victoria Falls walked out in protest when Matabeleland North Provincial Governor Thokozile Mathuthu addressed the gathering; they said she was not the legitimate governor because her term of office had expired at the end of August.

The row over the Provincial Governors came to a head when on Thursday 7th October Prime Minister Tsvangirai issued a strong statement complaining of breaches of the GPA by President Mugabe.  This followed a meeting on Monday 4th October with President Mugabe, who told the Prime Minister that he had unilaterally re-appointed the ten ZANU PF provincial governors.  This, said Mr Tsvangirai, was one breach too many of the Constitutional provision requiring his agreement as Prime Minister to the making of key appointments by the President.  He said that with immediate effect the MDC would refuse to recognize all the unilateral appointments that have been made by Mr Mugabe.

POSA Amendment Bill – Committee Stage

Having gone through its Second Reading with the support of both MDC and ZANU PF, this Bill goes into Committee Stage [during this stage the House sits as a Committee and the Bill is debated clause by clause; it is during this stage amendments can be made]. The Bill’s sponsor, Innocent Gonese, has tabled one amendment for consideration – the deletion of clause 7(3) of the Bill – a provision which would empower a magistrate who has imposed a temporary ban on public demonstrations to vary or revoke the ban.  This amendment was prompted by a suggestion from the Parliamentary Legal Committee when it examined by the Bill.  Further amendments are expected to be tabled by Makhosini Hlongwane of ZANU-PF, but these are not yet known and are not on tomorrow’s order paper. 

In the House of Assembly last week

POSA Amendment Bill:  The Second Reading of the POSA Amendment Bill was completed on Tuesday, with contributions from several members, including two ZANU-PF MPs who said ZANU-PF supported the Bill.   

Questions Without Notice:  On Wednesday most of the sitting time was taken up by the hour set aside for questions without notice on aspects of Government policy.  MPs complained that some Ministers were not present to field questions.  There were no questions with notice on the Order Paper [these are questions on matters of fact and detail requiring prior written notice to the Ministers concerned, and they are printed in the Order Paper].

Note the PM has made a strong statement that he will ensure Ministers turn up for Question Time.  The Prime Minister has also said he will be introducing a Prime Minister’s Question Time.

Parliamentary Legal Committee [PLC] – Adverse Reports:  On Wednesday the Speaker announced that the PLC had reported on all statutory instruments gazetted during June, July, August and September.  SIs 102, 106 and 113 were given adverse reports, signifying the PLC’s opinion that they are inconsistent with the Declaration of Rights.  All other statutory instruments received non-adverse reports.  [See below for more on the adverse reports.]

Motions:  The debate on the President’s speech opening the last session of Parliament was concluded with the passage of the traditional motion of thanks to the President.  On Wednesday debate commenced on the President’s speech opening the present session [see Bill Watch 28/2010 of 16th July for details of the speech.].  No new motions were tabled. 

In Parliament This Week

House of Assembly

First Readings for Three Bills:  The Criminal Law Amendment (Protection of Power, Communication and Water Infrastructure) Bill, the Zimbabwe National Security Council Amendment Bill and the Attorney General’s Office Bill are down for First Reading on Tuesday.  They will then be referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee [PLC] for its report on whether or not they are consistent with the Constitution, particularly the Declaration of Rights.  Only after the PLC has reported to the House can the Bills be taken further.  [The Energy Regulatory Authority Bill, although printed and gazetted and therefore ready for presentation, has not been set down for First Reading.] 

Motions:  The only motion on the agenda is the motion for the debate on the President’s speech opening the present Parliamentary session.


The Senate agenda is light.  There are no Bills for consideration.  The only motions for discussion are those on the President’s speeches opening the previous Parliamentary session and the current session. 

PLC Adverse Reports on Statutory Instruments

Three statutory instruments have been given adverse reports:

SIs 102/2010 [Epworth heavy vehicle parking by-laws] and 113/2010 [Epworth land and building by-laws]:  The PLC report states that both are unconstitutional to the extent that they allow officials to collect fines from alleged offenders without recourse to the judicial system. 

SI 106/2010 contains Plumtree Town Council by-laws:  The PLC report finds the statement of possible penalties for breaches of the by-laws to be unconstitutionally vague. 

The Constitution provides that all adverse reports on statutory instruments are tabled in both Houses but it is the Senate that first has to consider whether or not they agree with the PLC’s adverse report.  If the Senate passes a resolution agreeing with the PLC’s adverse report and if the House of Assembly does not thereafter override the Senate by resolving that the statutory instrument should remain in force, the matter must be reported to the President and the President must gazette a notice annulling the statutory instrument [Constitution, Schedule 4, paragraph 8].

Parliamentary Committees

Standing Rules and Orders Committee – Changes in Membership:  Following their appointments to ministerial positions in the June MDC-T Cabinet Reshuffle, Tapiwa Mashakada, Obert Gutu and Tongai Matutu have resigned from the committee.  Their replacements are three MDC-T nominees: Dorcas Sibanda and Ellias Mudzuri from the House of Assembly and Jabulani Ndlovu from the Senate.  Their unopposed election to the committee was announced by the Speaker on Tuesday.  The Committee is expected to meet next week.  [The SROC is Parliament’s most important committee.  Among other functions it is responsible for nominating members for appointment to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission,  the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission,  the Zimbabwe Media Commission, and the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe Board; it must also be consulted on the appointment of members of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission.]  [Full list of current members available on request]

Parliamentary Legal Committee [PLC]:  The PLC is expected to meet this week to consider new Bills introduced and any amendments made to the POSA Amendment Bill.

Public Accounts Committee – New Chairperson:  Webber Chinyadza is the new chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee, succeeding Tapiwa Mashakada, who became Minister of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion in the June Cabinet reshuffle.

Portfolio Committees – Changes in Membership:  MDC-T has made changes in its representation on portfolio committees, deploying MPs who have become available for service on committees since leaving ministerial office in the June Cabinet reshuffle.. 

Portfolio and Thematic Committee meetings:  These committees will sit this week for inaugural meetings and meetings to consider work plans for the session.  None of these meetings will be open to members of the general public.

Update on Bills

Bills Ready for First Reading  [Brief Summaries of all four Bills ready for First Reading were given in Bill Watch 39 of 4th October} 

Zimbabwe National Security Council Amendment Bill  [Electronic versions available: (1) Bill and (2) Zimbabwe National Security Council Act showing effect of proposed amendments]

Criminal Law Amendment (Protection of Power, Communication and Water Infrastructure) Bill [Electronic version of Bill available]  

Attorney-General’s Office Bill:  See also a fuller discussion of the Bill in Bill Watch 41 of 7th October.  [Electronic version of Bill available]

Energy Regulatory Authority Bill[Electronic version now available]

Bills being printed [content not yet available]

Deposit Protection Corporation Bill:  In his speech opening Parliament in mid-July the President said this Bill would transform the existing Deposit Protection Scheme, set up under the Banking Act, into an independent statutory entity. The object is to provide compensation for depositors if banking institutions fail.

General Laws Amendment Bill:  The proper purpose of General Laws Amendment Bills is to make minor updating amendments to Acts of Parliament, but they are sometimes used to make important changes. 

Small Enterprises Development Corporation Amendment Bill:  no details yet available.

Statutory Instruments and General Notices

No statutory instruments or General Notices of general interest were gazetted last week.


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


Back to the Top
Back to Index