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Mugabe meets Service chiefs behind PM’s back

October 1, 2012 in Local, Politics
SECURITY chiefs are meeting behind the back of Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai, sources have said.

Report by Patrice Makova
The revelations come amid fears that the disbanded Joint Operations Command
(JOC) has revived its structures ahead of next year’s elections.
President Robert Mugabe has not called National Security Council (NSC)
meetings for almost five months now.
But the NSC Act stipulates that the body should meet every month to receive
reports and discuss key security issues. The council, which is chaired by
Mugabe, is made up of Tsvangirai, the two vice-presidents — Joice Mujuru and
John Nkomo.
Other members are service chiefs, the two deputy prime ministers, Thokozani
Khupe and Arthur Mutambara, ministers responsible for finance, the defence
forces and the police, and one minister nominated by each of the three
political parties in the Government of National Unity. Sources said although
the NSC had not been meeting with Tsvangirai, security chiefs continued to
meet with Mugabe on a regular basis.
“The securocrats are keen to avoid meeting Tsvangirai until after elections
because up to now they still have little respect for him,” said a source at
Munhumutapa Building.
“To them, Tsvangirai is a stumbling block to a win by Zanu PF, which they
want achieved by any means possible.”
The last time the NSC met to discuss escalating violence in the country,
among other security issues, Tsvangirai reportedly confronted the service
chiefs, accusing them of undermining his authority.
Constitutional law expert, Lovemore Madhuku said failure to hold NSC
meetings was indicative of the entire situation in the GNU, where everything
evolved around Mugabe and members of his inner circle.
“The real business of security is being discussed every week in the absence
of Tsvangirai,” he said.
“They never really wanted to involve him in dealing with security issues in
the first place. The first NSC meetings were pretentions. You reach a stage
where you cannot continue to pretend anymore, hence they are now openly
snubbing Tsvangirai.”
Greg Lennington, another constitutional expert at the University of
Zimbabwe, said failure to hold NSC was a cause for concern.
He said it was indicative of the tensions in the GNU, particularly as the
country moves towards elections.
Political scientist John Makumbe said it was clear that JOC was still
meeting clandestinely, as the body was never abandoned.
“We are heading for a real showdown because if Tsvangirai wins the next
elections, JOC will still not allow him to assume power,” he said.
Makumbe said the behaviour by the securocrats called for urgent need for
security sector reforms and training of the military and police on handling
human rights before elections were held.
JOC was accused of spearheading a violent re-election campaign for Mugabe in
the disputed 2008 Presidential election run-off.
Tsvangirai’s spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka on Saturday said if JOC was
indeed meeting, it would only be to further the agenda of Zanu PF.
“All we want is for formal and recognised organs of the state, such as the
National Security Council, to meet rather than any other informal bodies,”
he said.
Mugabe’s spokesperson, Ge-orge Charamba could not be reached for comment on
Saturday as he was said to be with Mugabe in New York for the United Nations
General Assembly meeting.

Zanu PF plotting to stall democratic reforms: Zamchiya

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition regional co-ordinator Phillan Zamchiya said it
was now clear that the establishment of the NSC was a calculated move by
Zanu PF to deflect attention and not a prelude to democratic institutional
“As things stand, the military can step in at any stage of the electoral
cycle and work to hold back democratisation efforts,” he said.
“The political disposition of the military elites as epitomised by their
support for Zanu PF, presents an unpredictable wild card that can stall
Zimbabwe’s transition.
“The attempt to justify military intervention in politics by Zanu PF
stalwarts because of the history of the liberation war is archaic, to say
the least.”

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Jomic meeting fails to take place

October 1, 2012 in Local, News, Politics
A Tanzanian, David Katye, who is supposed to join the Joint Monitoring and
Implementation Committee (Jomic), flew back to his country after a Zanu PF
representative failed to attend a meeting where he was supposed to be

Report by Nqaba Matshazi

The Zanu PF representative to Jomic, Nicholas Goche, reportedly could not
attend the meeting of the committee scheduled for last week and the assembly
had to be moved to the following day.

“We had a scheduled meeting with them today (Thursday), but Goche is not
around and we cannot proceed in his absence,” Elton Mangoma of the MDC-T,
who is the present holder of the revolving chairmanship, said last week.

“This is a tripartite arrangement and if one of the parties is not there, we
cannot proceed.”

However, the Friday meeting also failed to take place after a Zambian, Colly
Muunyu, who was also seconded to the Global Political Agreement (GPA)
monitoring body said he could not make it, Mangoma confirmed.

He said another meeting had been scheduled for this week, but it depended on
Jomic members’ availability for the meeting to take place.

“We are checking everyone’s diaries to see when they can be available for
the meeting. as long as their diaries do not make it possible, then we
cannot have the meeting,” Mangoma explained.

Southern African leaders seconded two people, one from Tanzania and another
from Zambia to Jomic, in an effort to strengthen the monitoring body, which
Sadc views as a key cog in the functioning of the GPA.

However, bureaucratic bungling and scepticism has seen the two failing to
join Jomic, long after Sadc, which is overseeing negotiations in Zimbabwe,
recommended that they should be party of the body.

Sadc at the end of May at the Luanda summit, recommended the seconding of
two representatives to Jomic, but scepticism remains over their terms of

Absent members committed elsewhere: Nyathi

Jomic spokesman Joram Nyathi confirmed that there was supposed to be a
meeting, but it had been cancelled.

“There was supposed to be a full Jomic meeting, but some members were
committed elsewhere,” Nyathi said.

He said he was not sure where the hold-up had been, but reiterated that the
issue of their terms of reference had been a sticking point.

Nyathi said the two would be working with the Sadc facilitation team, which
is headed by South African President, Jacob Zuma.

The two have previously been to Zimbabwe, but had not formally resumed their
duties with Jomic, as they waited to be officially assigned their duties.

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Zanu PF top official blasts indigenisation

October 1, 2012 in Local, Politics
MASVINGO — The indigenisation policy is “chauvinistic” and not
gender-sensitive, as the majority of women in the country are not benefiting
from it, a Zanu PF senator said last week.Report by Tatenda Chitagu
Maina Mandava, senator for Masvingo, took a dig at the policy, which is
being spearheaded by the Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment
minister Saviour Kasukuwere, saying it did not benefit women, even those in
Zanu PF.
“The whole thing is to the benefit of male colleagues. Most of the
programmes do not benefit women and tend to be a male-only affair and the
indigenisation is one such example, as it is yet to benefit women,” she
Mandava was speaking at an inter-party public meeting organised by the
Zimbabwe Election Support Network ZESN in Masvingo last week.
She urged women to make “noise”, so that they could get a share of the
indigenisation cake.
“Women should claim a stake. We have always been sidelined and discriminated
against, although our male politicians always talk about gender equality,”
she said.
Mandava’s comment comes soon after the Industry and Commerce minister
Professor Welshman Ncube blasted Zanu PF stalwarts benefiting from the
Addressing about 200 supporters in Masvingo last week, Ncube said: “Zanu PF
bigwigs who invaded the Save Conservancy under
the guise of indigenisation are seasoned thieves.”

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Bishops urge govt to enforce healing policy

October 1, 2012 in Local
PEOPLE who fled the country during times of political turmoil are still
reluctant to come back because the government has failed to create an
enabling environment for their return, The Catholic Bishops Conference has
said.Report by Our Staff
The conference, which is made up of the eight Roman Catholic bishops in the
country, said Diasporans found it hard to return because the country had not
set up a proper healing and reconciliation programme.

“The task of healing and reconciliation is not helped by the ongoing culture
of intimidation and abuse of human rights,” the bishops wrote in their
latest monthly pastoral letter.

“Genuine engagement in a process of national healing and reconciliation must
become real rather than notional. Without this engagement, the festering
sore will remain and Zimbabweans will continue to leave their country in
significant numbers.”

An organ of national healing, reconciliation and integration was set up at
the formation of the inclusive government, but so far, its work has been
hamstrung by a critical lack of resources and political will.

The bishops said while they noted the work being done by the civic society
and churches in aiding Zimbabwe citizens in the diaspora, this was akin to
“band aid”, as they were just putting a plaster on a festering sore, without
healing the wound.

It is estimated that more than three million Zimbabweans fled the country at
the height of an economic and political downturn, with most believed to be
resident in neighbouring South Africa.

A huge number are said to be in Britain.

The bishops said they felt shamed and pained that many Zimbabweans felt
unwelcome in their own country.

“This experience of being unwanted has been worsened by the overall failure
of political discourse within Zimbabwe to focus with serious intent on the
exodus of its people,” the letter continued.

“Very few politicians have visited border areas or crossed border areas to
witness first-hand the situation of their fellow Zimbabweans.”

The clerical leaders were of the view that politicians were apathetic to the
cause of exiled people, as it was not politically expedient to acknowledge
the reality of the ongoing displacement of Zimbabweans since the inception
of the inclusive government.

“(The) ongoing displacement, at best suggests a political challenge, at
worst, political ineptitude, division and failure,” reads the letter.

“The vast majority of those who leave, are seen as politically insignificant
and expendable. Their only merit is the remittances sent to prop up a
severely depressed economy.”

‘Recognise Zimbabweans in the Diaspora’

The men-of-the-cloth said the diaspora exclusion was particularly acute
during times of elections, as they did not have the right to vote.

There have been calls to include postal voting in the new Electoral Act,
that will allow Diasporans to vote, but these have often fell on deaf ears.

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Critics slam Mugabe’s ‘unrealistic’ election date

By Alex Bell
01 October 2012

There has been ongoing criticism of Robert Mugabe’s intentions to hold
elections in March 2013, with civil society groups warning this date is
‘unrealistic’ and ‘impossible’.

Mugabe has stated in court papers that he intends to hold a general election
next March after a constitutional referendum in November this year. His
legal team has used this as the justification to seek an extension on a
court ordered deadline to call for by-elections for vacant constituencies
across the country.

The ZANU PF leader was originally ordered to call for the by-elections by
Monday, after three MPs last year successfully challenged his refusal to do
so. Mugabe’s legal team has insisted there isn’t money to have by-elections
in all the constituencies where there is a vacancy, with 39 constituency
vacancies and 27 Parliamentary seat vacancies. Observers have said that if
Mugabe does call for by-elections to cover all theses vacancies, this would
amount to a mini general election.

Mugabe instead has unilaterally decided to hold actual general elections
next March, according to court papers submitted by his legal team last week.
His partners in the unity government, the MDC formations, have both said
this is not a final decision because there has been no consultation with its

Civic groups have also said elections in March will not be free and fair,
because of the lack of key reforms that still need to take place by then.
The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) has said in a statement that it
is “adamant that logistically it (elections in March) is impossible.”

“Logistically, the timing of the elections is impossible given a number of
fundamental issues that need time, resources, commitment and the political
will to ensure that these elections are conducted in an environment that
promotes democracy,” ZESN said.

The group said that elections “must not be called for before substantive
electoral reforms take place, including “the reforming of repressive
legislation such as Posa and Aippa that hinder on respect and upholding of
fundamental freedoms.”

“In addition, there is need to ensure that Presidential Powers are removed
in respect of elections. Another critical issue is an end to violence and
intimidation, in particular the dismantling of all structures of violence in
all communities,” ZESN said.

According to Phillip Pasirayi, from the Centre for Community Development,
the ZESN position has been adopted by other civic groups who have warned
that without the proper reforms, there is no chance of a free election.

“There are very serious questions that have not received the adequate
answers. As long as we don’t have proper reforms, the elections will be an
exercise in futility,” Pasirayi said.

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March polls hinge on reforms — Analysts

October 1, 2012 in Local
President Robert Mugabe last week indicated that he wanted elections held
next March, but questions linger on whether polls would be possible then and
if the president was genuine.

Report Nqaba Matshazi

Qhubani Moyo of the MDC says what’s important is to reform key institutions
that run elections, so that the next elections won’t be disputed

Analysts this week indicated that while a poll was possible in six months,
provided there was political will, Mugabe might have been seeking to
frustrate former legislators that want him to declare a date for

Mugabe was supposed to set a date by today, but by saying that he would call
for an election in March, analysts said, he could be trying to pre-empt the
Supreme Court order that compelled him to set a date.

MDC formations are quite sceptical of elections being held in six months’
time, saying they were ready for them but it was important that key reforms
be put in place before a date was set.

“For us, it’s not about the date, but about the milestones that have to be
achieved in reforming key institutions that run elections, so we can produce
an indisputable winner,” Qhubani Moyo, a senior MDC official said.

MDC-T organising secretary, Nelson Chamisa said what was needed were
conditions for a free election and not rushing to set the date for

“Setting a date before key reforms are implemented is akin to putting the
cart before the horse. any talk of elections without reform is futile and
fatal to both the country and whoever is proposing that,” he said.

Both officials said constitutional, security sector, media and electoral law
reforms were needed before polls were called for.

Political analyst Charles Mangongera said while this was a clear indication
of Mugabe’s intent to hold elections, it was not the first time the veteran
leader had made a definitive call for elections.

Mangongera said since 2010, Mugabe and Zanu PF had been demanding polls,
with the party’s last conference declaring that elections be held this year.
Earlier this year, Mugabe said he would announce a date for elections at the
end of May, but this came to nought.

Mangongera said the plan was to set an agenda and have the nation discussing
elections while losing sight of key reforms that were needed before polls
were held.

“There is a whole range of critical reforms that need to be implemented, but
now Zanu PF wants people to lose sight of these issues and concentrate on
elections,” he said.

Mangongera was of the view that elections could be held in six months’ time,
but he feared that there was lack of political will to implement key reforms
by Zanu PF.

This, he said, would scupper the March poll plan.
“Six months is a reasonable time frame to hold elections if there is
sufficient political will, but there are critical political processes that
need to be carried out before then,” he said.

This was a view shared by Trevor Maisiri, a senior analyst for southern
Africa at the International Crisis Group.

“If there is utmost political will among political parties for a free and
fair election, six months is ample time to prepare and hold such a
plebiscite,” he said.

“However, given the gridlock in the Government of National Unity and the
stalling of reforms, I don’t think six months will deliver any significant
reforms for a free and fair election — unless there is a new vein of
political will. Without political will, even another five years will not
produce the pre-requisite reforms.”

Maisiri said while Mugabe might want elections in March, he had to consult
MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube, who heads MDC.

‘MDC-T may prefer delayed elections’

Political analyst, Trevor Maisiri, added that MDC-T may prefer a delay in
elections and would oppose Mugabe’s March poll plans as it had to sort out
issues regarding its support base.

Recent surveys by the Freedom House and Afro-Barometer have indicated that
the party’s support was dwindling.

MDC formations against Zanu PF ‘unilateralism’

The MDC formations have bemoaned President Robert Mugabe’s declaration that
elections would be held next March, saying he could not make such a decision

Mugabe has made no secret of his desire to have elections as soon as
possible. His party wanted to collapse the inclusive government last
February claiming that it only had a two-year life span.

Sadc, on the other hand, has demanded that Zimbabwe first implement key
reforms before holding elections, whose result might be contested.
The High Court will tomorrow decide if Mugabe’s latest appeal to have the
by-elections deferred was urgent.

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Tsvangirai promises free and fair elections at 13th Anniversary celebrations

MDC-T celebrated their 13th anniversary in Bulawayo

By Tererai Karimakwenda
01 October 2012

The MDC-T celebrated their 13th anniversary as a political party at a rally in Bulawayo on Saturday, where party President Morgan Tsvangirai, introduced his new wife Elizabeth Macheka and assured supporters that no rigging would be tolerated in the next election.

Mandhla Sibanda, the MDC-T spokesperson for Bulawayo, told SW Radio Africa the celebrations were mostly peaceful, except for a ZANU PF attack on some cars and minibuses that were bringing supporters to White City Stadium.

“At the venue it was generally peaceful but for some of our members who were travelling from areas like Gweru, there were skirmishes at Shangani where rowdy youths believed to be ZANU PF threw stones at their cars and kombis. There were some injuries but not very serious,” Sibanda said.

As for Tsvangirai’s message, Sibanda said the MDC-T leader admitted the draft constitution agreed to by the political parties was not what everyone wanted, but it had elements that would help ensure a free and fair poll is held, with the results announced immediately.

“He said the COPAC draft has better provisions that will assist us usher a free and fair poll because it deals with issues of democratic transfer of power, and immediate transfer of power after elections. He assured the people that this around we are going to protect the people’s vote and respect it,” Sibanda explained.

MDC-T members attending the celebrations

Tsvangirai also introduced his new wife to supporters at the rally. Sibanda said Elizabeth Macheka was received with a “rapturous applause” as she greeted party members and supporters. Sibanda said the MDC-T leader apologized for the drama caused by his former lovers and Macheka has been welcomed by the MDC-T family.

An old familiar party symbol showing a child with the open palm was re-introduced during the celebrations. Sibanda said the open palm is still the party symbol and, paired with the image of the child, will be used during elections. He explained that this was done in order to avoid the confusion that happened last time, when voters thought the open palm stood for the other MDC formation.

Senior MDC-T officials also addressed supporters in Bulawayo, including the party spokesman Douglas Mwonzora and secretary general Tendai Biti.

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Judge postpones by-election ruling

01/10/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

A JUDGE on Monday postponed to Tuesday a ruling on President Robert Mugabe’s
application to delay three overdue by-elections until March next year.

The Supreme Court had given Mugabe until September 30 to call by-elections
in three parliamentary constituencies – Nkayi South, Bulilima East and
Lupane East – which fell vacant in 2009 when the MDC expelled three MPs.

But Mugabe, in papers filed at the High Court last Wednesday, argued that
the government was broke and general elections were due in six months

Justice George Chiweshe heard preliminary arguments from lawyers for the
three MPs and President Mugabe in a closed session in his chambers at the
Harare High Court on Monday.

Lawyers Tawanda Zhuwarara and Jeremiah Bhamu, representing the three MPs,
are arguing that the lower court cannot amend or substitute the judgement of
the Supreme Court.

The lawyers also questioned the validity of President Mugabe’s appeal which
was made on his behalf by Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa. Mugabe was
away at the United Nations.

“We had raised preliminary points in respect of whether or not the minister
could depose affidavits on behalf of the President,” Zhuwarara said as he
left court.

“It seems that the court’s view is that we should proceed to the merits on
Tuesday and to facilitate this exercise, we are filing our formal opposition
today and then we will have the whole matter argued and determined at 10AM
on Tuesday.”

Last Friday, the litigants – former MDC legislators Abednico Bhebhe,
Njabuliso Mguni and Norman Mpofu – said in opposing affidavits that
Chinamasa had no legal standing to depose an affidavit on behalf of Mugabe
without presenting proof that he had been granted that authority.

Beatrice Mtetwa, a member of the ex-lawmakers’ legal team, argued that
Chinamasa could not possibly raise the financial constraints argument
because he was not the Finance Minister and his application does not have
the Finance Minister’s supporting affidavit.

In his application, Mugabe said holding the three by-elections now would
require that 29 vacant parliamentary seats and nearly 160 vacant local
government seats be filled, a situation which he described as a
“mini-general election”.

According to government figures, the “mini-general election” would require
US$47,5 million at a time when the government is scrambling to find US$104,6
million for a referendum on a new constitution set to be held in November,
and US$115,3 million for general elections which Mugabe says will be held in
March, if the court grants the requested extension.

Unusually for the deeply divided unity government, Mugabe has received
backing from his main political rival, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, as
he bids to delay the by-elections which observers fear could spark political

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Chihuri urged to declare ‘illicit’ roadblock cash

By Alex Bell
01 October 2012

Zimbabwe’s police commissioner Augustine Chihuri is being urged to publicly
declare how much money is being collected by police officers at the many
roadblocks across the country.

The Coalition Against Corruption (CAC) last week handed over a letter and
petition to the police’s general headquarters in Harare, in an effort to
promote transparency and accountability in the police force. The CAC
director Terry
Mutsvangwa said the public had the right to know where the funds collected
at roadblocks were being channelled to.

“As CAC, we are not saying Commissioner Chihuri is abusing the funds, but we
are just demanding to know where the money is going,” he said.

The number of roadblocks across the country has for months enraged
Zimbabweans, who are forced to pay on-the-spot fines for a range of
‘offences’. A source who recently visited Zimbabwe told SW Radio Africa that
the roadblock situation is “out of control.” The source counted 29 separate
roadblocks on a single journey from Harare to Bulawayo last month, adding
that the police “would even take your drinks if you didn’t have any money.”

Public affairs commentator Precious Shumba told SW Radio Africa that the
roadblocks are widely condemned as “a corrupt, illegal, unjustified burden
on the public.”

“People are being asked to part with their money at every single roadblock
for anything the police say they have done wrong. People feel like
criminals. They are inconvenienced all the time at these extortionate
roadblocks,” Shumba said.

He welcomed the CAC petition for raising awareness about the issue, but said
it was unlikely to make a real difference.

“I doubt the police will take it seriously, because the police justification
is that the roadblocks are for policing and they are maintaining law and
order,” Shumba said.

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IMF report urges Zim to seek donor funds for referendum and elections

By Tererai Karimakwenda
01 October 2012

Faced with a US$400 million deficit in the 2012 budget and huge debt, the
Zimbabwean government has been advised to seek financial assistance from
foreign donors, in order to fund the pending referendum on a new
Constitution and elections due next year.

A report on Zimbabwe released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on
Friday said this would ease pressure on the country’s treasury. According to
the state run New Ziana news agency, Zimbabwe has already turned to South
Africa and Angola for help.

The coalition government was also warned to review its policy on foreign
direct investment in the country, which requires foreign-owned companies to
give up 51% of their shares to locals. The IMF said this was hampering
foreign investment in Zimbabwe.

Time is running out for the select committee in charge of the Constitutional
reform exercise, COPAC, following their announcement last week that the 2nd
All Stakeholders Conference would be held by the end of October. The
government will need the funds for the referendum soon after.

It is not clear how much is needed for the exercise, but Finance Minister
Tendai Biti has made it clear there is no money in the government coffers to
even pay for wage increases that civil servants are demanding. In addition,
census enumerators who worked last month have also not been paid in full.

Meanwhile, the COPAC draft continues to be criticized by civic groups in the
country. The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), who last week
published an analysis of the COPAC draft Constitution , have said the draft
retains the executive powers of the President and is not clear on the issue
of dual citizenship.

Speaking to SW Radio Africa’s “Behind the Headlines” programme, ZLHR
chairperson Andrew Makoni said they analyzed the draft because the version
released to Zimbabweans is full of legal language that the ordinary person
may not understand.

This makes it difficult to analyze before making contributions to the
debate, and before deciding how to vote in the referendum.

Regarding presidential powers, Makoni said: “We still have an executive
which is powerful. He is the head of state, head of government and commander
in chief of the defence forces. Not much has changed, except in one or two
areas where he must consult parliament or the cabinet.”

Makoni explained that without adequate checks and balances, the President
can declare war without much opposition and ignore any objections raised by
parliament. He can simply “consult” them then proceed to make unilateral
decisions that can affect the whole country.

On the issue of dual citizenship, Makoni said: “The issue is very
convoluted. The draft is not clear on dual citizenship. Parliament has been
given enormous powers to look into these issues. It was left to an act of
parliament to decide. We are making a Constitution here and we must be

This week on Crisis Analysis, SW Radio Africa will continue unpacking the
COPAC Draft with the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, to help our
listeners understand the issues at stake before making decisions at the

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Mzembi, Kaseke differ on UNWTO convention centre

Monday, 01 October 2012 11:47
HARARE - With just 10 months left before Zimbabwe co-hosts the United
Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly with Zambia,
government is yet to decide whether or not to construct a convention centre
in the resort town of Victoria Falls.

While Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, ZTA chief executive Karikoga Kaseke has
been on record saying the inclusive government was content to host the mega
event on the basis of a temporary structure that will be erected on Africa
Sun Limited’s Elephant Hills Resort golf course, there are political figures
pushing for the construction of a new convention centre with a sitting
capacity of up to 4 000 people.

Addressing a public lecture at the University of Zimbabwe last week, Tourism
minister Walter Mzembi said it made no economic sense to host the
international delegates in a marquee.

“There is a school of thought that is saying we should use a tent. This is
an indication of a small vision. In 2010, South African government put
everything on hold and concentrated on building world-class stadiums which
will continue being a legacy in many years to come,” said Mzembi.

“You are faced with a similar event and all one can think of is (private
events management company) Rooney’s. We pitch a tent and dismantle after the
event, then what?” asked the Tourism minister.

“If those in decision-making at the time had decided against building
Rainbow Towers Hotel to make use of a temporary structure (when Zimbabwe
hosted the Non-Aligned Movement leaders’ summit 20 years ago), the country
would have been losing on a lot of opportunities and revenue now.”

The new convention centre, he said, can still be built, but not in time for
the event.

Kaseke said a viable option would be to build a semi-permanent structure for
the event, and in line with Transport secretary Munesu Monodawafa’s
recommendations, for government to build an aluminium glass fabrication
structure which will last for up to 20 years.

Despite Mzembi’s call for the country to erect a permanent structure,
Transport minister Nicholas Goche last week said infrastructural development
was moving at a pleasing pace in the rest of the country except in Victoria
Falls, the host town to the general assembly.

“I am impressed with the progress being made in Bulawayo and many towns
including what I have seen here (at the Harare International Airport) except
in Victoria Falls.

Progress has been slow and I do not know why,” said Goche during his tour of
the country’s largest airport.

Kaseke recently announced Zimbabwe expects up to 2 000 delegates to attend
the event next year.

At least 1 500 delegates attended the last general assembly in Korea.

Nkosilathi Jiyane, Victoria Falls mayor, says about 30 000 jobs are expected
to be created with the construction of the tourism convention centre in
Victoria Falls. -
Wendy Muperi

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Chombo wants MDC graft probe report

Monday, 01 October 2012 11:30
HARARE - Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo says he has written to
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai demanding a copy of the MDC graft probe

The damning report, drafted by deputy secretary general Tapiwa Mashakada,
reports widespread corruption in MDC-run councils.

Chombo, a man the MDC accuses of having an axe to grind with its
councillors, told a news conference last Friday that while he has written to
Tsvangirai requesting the report, there has been no response from Charter

The MDC councillors’ lifestyle audit resulted in the dismissal of 12
councillors countrywide from the party, while several others faced censure.

“I have written to the Prime Minister so that he can give me their probe
report, I am still waiting for the PM’s office to furnish us with their
report so that we can act from government side,” said Chombo
“The MDC has long promised us the report but up to this day they have not
done so.”

Chombo’s request is strange given that in 2010 he flatly refused to give
effect to the dismissal of Chitungwiza councillors fired from the MDC on
allegations of corruption.

The 2010 Chitungwiza probe followed allegations of corruption in the
dormitory town which resulted in the entire MDC council being dismissed from
the party.

But Chombo, a person who as minister has power to remove councillors from
office, refused to cooperate with the MDC claiming that the party had not
furnished him with their report, an assertion the party said was a lie.

Since his Zanu PF party lost control of most local authorities countrywide a
decade ago, Chombo has engaged the MDC in pitched battles, dismissing MDC
councillors on charges of vice while refusing to fire those whom the party
would have recommended for dismissal.

Chombo has so far dismissed more than a dozen councillors countrywide while
several others are still on suspension.

The MDC, on the other hand, claims it has written to Chombo advising him of
their decision to fire the 12 councillors in the latest case.

But Chombo claimed the MDC was lying.

“They have not done so, I am still waiting and they should be sincere to
whatever they say,” said Chombo. - Xolisani Ncube

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Zanu PF's time is up: Mutinhiri

By Jeffrey Muvundusi, Own Correspondent
Monday, 01 October 2012 10:11

BULAWAYO - Former Zanu PF Women’s League national commissar Tracy Mutinhiri
has blasted her ex-party as “blood-crazed murderers” facing ouster in the
next election.

Mutinhiri, who to the mainstream MDC earlier this year, was speaking at the
13th MDC anniversary in Bulawayo on Saturday.

Officially introducing Mutinhiri to thousands of MDC supporters who packed
White City Stadium, MDC national organising secretary Nelson Chamisa
described her as a “big catch” from the Zanu PF river.

Mutinhiri, who was received with a rapturous applause from the overwhelming
crowd, said MDC was a God-fearing party that deserves to lead this country.

“Each of us here knows the party that is good, the party that fears God and
that party is MDC,” said Mutinhiri, a former minister of Labour and Social

“If a party fears God it does not kill people, it does not kidnap people and
it does not engage in corruption.

“We no longer need corruption in this country. Our children graduated and
they need jobs. Everywhere in the streets you hear: Mushonga wemakonzo pano,
mushonga wemapete pano, ndizvo zvatakaendesera vana kuchikoro izvozvo? (We
are selling rat poison, cockroach poison — did we send our children to
school so that they can be street vendors?)” she asked to rapturous

Mutinhiri said it was time for the former revolutionary party to call it a
day as it had nothing to offer.

“The time for Zanu PF is up,” she said. “It is a fact that their time is up,
if their time wasn’t up they could have not been doing all these tricks to
kill people. They can’t stop a process, you can only delay it but you can’t
stop a process.”

She urged the MDC to fight on as change was just around the corner.

But before she left the podium, the visibly energetic Mutinhiri, who had
chanted the party slogan, coined another slogan which goes “Spirit of
killing, stealing and destruction?”

“Out,” the crowd roared back.

Mutinhiri crossed floor from Zanu PF to the MDC earlier this year after
falling out with her former party over her liberal views and inclusive

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3 MDC supporters stoned, hospitalised

Monday, 01 October 2012 10:10

HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC has said Zanu PF “thugs” in
Shangani stoned and injured at least three party members heading for the
13th MDC anniversary.

MDC spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora told the Daily News yesterday that three
party members wrere admitted at Mpilo General Hospital after the weekend
barbaric attack.

“Some of our members were attacked at Shangani by a group of Zanu PF
supporters while travelling to Bulawayo,” Mwonzora said. “A group of Zanu PF
supporters wearing party T-shirts stoned our buses carrying our supporters
and this saw three of our members severely injured and they are at Mpilo

No comment was immediately available from Matabeleland South police
spokesperson Sergeant Nkosilathi Sibanda as he was out of office yesterday.

The continuous escalation of violence cases has heightened mainstream MDC’s
call for reforms before the forthcoming election.

During the attack on MDC supporters, one person identified as Darlington
Serewu was severely injured while Trust Shayanewako is in Intensive Care
Unit at Mpilo General Hospital.

In an emergency response to the violent developments, Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka told the media in Gweru that the
country cannot go for the next election without a solution to political

“We cannot go to the next election without coming up with lasting solutions.
The electoral reforms should be observed. This violence explains what to
expect ahead of the election slated for March next year. The next election
should be centred on reforms and not date-driven,” said Tamborinyoka.

“We need to put our house in order instead of thumb-sucking a figure. The
recent violent encounter is a clear indication that Zimbabwe is not ready
for an election, despite President Mugabe’s call for elections in March next
year,” he added.

Meanwhile, six other MDC supported were seriously injured while travelling
from Bulawayo when a commuter omnibus they were travelling in burst a front
tyre on the 40km peg along Gweru Kwekwe road.

Some of the accident victims were hospitalised at Gweru General Hospital
include Tendai Moyo, Fanny Nyoni, Tinasher Karikodzi and Ruth Chinanayi
among other. -
Pindai Dube and Alfred Tembo

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Zanu PF MPs furious over Copac confusion

By Chengetayi Zvauya, Parliamentary Editor
Monday, 01 October 2012 10:00
HARARE - Zanu PF Members of Parliament (MPs) are up in arms with the party’s
Constitutional Parliamentary Committee (Copac) team, which they claim is
flip-flopping on the party’s position on the Copac draft.

A Zanu PF parliamentary caucus meeting held at the Zanu PF headquarters
descended into chaos as MPs were up in arms against their Copac team led by
Paul Mangwana and his deputy Monica Mutsvangwa over the manner the team had
performed in the negotiations for the draft constitution.

Other Zanu PF MPs in the Copac team are Joram Gumbo, Olivia Muchena, Lazarus
Dokora, Walter Chidhakwa and Tambudzani Mohadi, with Patrick Chinamasa
heading the management committee.

Mangwana and his Copac team faced angry MPs who were charging that they did
not know what to tell their constituencies on the party position as the
Copac team was flip-flopping.

They demanded to know whether they were in agreement or not of the draft.

Zanu PF MPs expressed their displeasure at the way the Copac team had made a
volte face and condemned the draft constitution which they signed and agreed

The MPs said they were being confused by the Copac team on the draft
constitution and did not have correct and accurate feedback to brief their
supporters on the ground.

According to party sources, Zanu PF secretary for legal affairs Emmerson
Mnangagwa cooled the temperatures after suggesting that the party was going
to organise a workshop on legal issues on the draft constitution for the MPs
before the Second All-Stakeholders Conference.

Mangwana appended his signature to the draft constitution document on July
18, this year on behalf of the party. However, Mangwana and his team are now
disowning the draft constitution and saying it does not capture the views
gleaned during the outreach programme in 2010.

Mangwana argues he had not signed the document but had only initialled it as
an acknowledgment that it was a Copac document.

Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo confirmed the draft constitution was
discussed by Zanu PF legislators in their meeting.

“I was not in the meeting but I was briefed the matter was raised up by
legislators who wanted to know what the party position on the draft
constitution is. They asked the management committee led by Patrick
Chinamasa and Paul Mangwana on what is happening with the draft
constitution,” said Gumbo.

“However I urge the MPs to be disciplined and toe the party line and wait
until we are done with the Second All-Stakeholders meeting soon. We shall
have the chance to discuss what we want to be added or removed in the draft
after that meeting because we have our own position on the draft

Contacted for comment, a fuming Mangwana alleged the MPs who leaked the
caucus meeting details to the Daily News were “sell outs and
counter-revolutionaries” that must be expelled from the party.

“I do not discuss the party business with press and whatever we talked about
is for the party members only and not for press consumption,” said Mangwana.

“We have procedures and processes to follow in the party, if members have
grievances they should follow due procedure rather than go to the press.
Your source is an MDC agent. The MPs must know that I am senior party member
and I cannot be just pushed around by some Jack and Tom in the party who
have their hidden agendas. The party leadership is happy with the way my
team worked in Copac, otherwise I could have been demoted from that post,”
added Mangwana.

MDC formations have endorsed the draft constitution, while Zanu PF wants
over 200 amendments to the draft.

The draft constitution will be discussed at the end of this month by more
than 1 200 delegates, before being referred to Parliament for further

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Zinasu leader arrested ahead of demo

Monday, 01 October 2012 09:56
HARARE - Zimbabwe national students union (Zinasu) secretary-general has
been arrested ahead of a planned demonstration against government’s failure
to pay university fees for students under the cadetship scheme.

Zinasu secretary-general Tryvinne Musokeri was arrested whilst attending a
court hearing at the Harare magistrates’ court on Friday.

He was at the courts in connection with a demonstration that was staged at
Midlands State University.

His arrest comes as the students’ union had been calling for peaceful
demonstrations charging that government was displaying misplaced priorities
and weakening the education system in Zimbabwe.

The fiery Zinasu says it was shocking that government fails to pay fees for
tertiary education students at a time it was acquiring top of the range
vehicles for ministers, jet setting with monolithic delegations and paying
out of hefty back-dated allowances to parliamentarians.

“This move by the GNU can be likened to a father who buys expensive cars for
himself and makes many costly foreign trips but fails to pay school fees for
his children,” Zinasu president Pride Mkono said.

Zinasu claims police has taken out a warrant of arrest against Mkono, who
has since gone into hiding.

Hundreds of university students from poor backgrounds have been unable to
register after the government failed to provide funds for the cadetship

Meanwhile, a student preparatory meeting with the Masvingo student leaders
was disrupted by the police over the weekend. - Staff Writer

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Supreme Court to decide on Anglican row this month

Monday, 01 October 2012 00:00

Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter

THE five-year wrangle over property owned by the Anglican Diocese of Harare
is set to end on October 22 with the Supreme Court deciding on all the seven
outstanding appeals.
The appeals were grouped following a directive by Chief Justice Godfrey
Chidyausiku last year in a bid to finalise the dispute.

The cases will be heard one after the other on the same day, but the parties
are yet to agree on the order to be followed.

In 2007, the Diocese of Harare under Bishop Nolbert Kunonga withdrew from
the Church of the Province of Central Africa and founded a new independent
Angican Province of Zimbabwe with Bishop Kunonga elected as Archbishop.

The new dioceses in the new province claimed the ownership of the property
owned by the original Harare diocese.

The Church of the Province of Central Africa continued to function in the
area of the old Harare diocese and elected Bishop Chad Gandiya as the Bishop
of Harare within the older province.
The core of the dispute is whether a synod of the Harare diocese could
retain the property when it switched provinces without the consent of the
former province.

The High Court dealt with numerous applications and judgments were made,
resulting in both parties appealing to the highest court.
The Supreme Court is now expected to determine the following cases on
October 22:

Bishop Elson Madoda Jakazi and another versus The Anglican Church of the
Province of Central Africa and two others (SC118/10).
Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa versus Diocesan Trustees
of Harare (SC180/09).

Church of the Province of Central Africa versus Bishop Nolbert Kunonga and
10 others (SC130/10).
Diocese of Harare versus Church of Central Africa and another (SC17/08).
Right Rev Dr Nolbert Kunonga and another versus Church of the Province of
Central Africa and three others (SC72/08).
Right Rev Dr Nolbert Kunonga and other versus Church of Central Africa and
three others (SC83/08).
The Diocesan Trustees for the Diocese of Harare versus The Church of the
Province of Central Africa (SC134/10).
In all the cases, Archbishop Kunonga and those associated with him are
represented by Chikumbirike and Partners, while Gill Godlonton and Gerrans
are acting for Bishop Gandiya and the Church of the Province of Central
Deputy Chief Justice Luke Malaba is expected to preside over the cases in a
panel that includes Justices Vernanda Ziyambi and Paddington Garwe.

Chief Justice Chidyausiku’s letter of September 29, 2011 stressed the need
to end the property ownership wrangle once and for all.
“ . . . I issue the following instructions to the Deputy Registrar:
“All the matters relating to the above parties will be determined by the
same court,” he said.
“All matters should either be consolidated or set down before the same court
on the same date or one after the other.

“The Deputy Registrar is directed to set down all the matters on the next
available date upon being advised of the readiness of the matters to be set
The court is expected to determine the rightful owner of the property.

It is also expected to decide on the legal consequences of the withdrawal or
ex-communication of Archbishop Kunonga and his supporters from the Church of
the Province of Central Africa in line with property ownership.

Spokesperson for Archbishop Kunonga and his province, Reverend Admire
Chisango welcomed the decision to group the cases.
“We really welcome the development. We hope the disputed will be quickly
ended,” he said.

“Finality of the wrangle is long overdue considering that the problems
started in August 2007.”

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31 perish in weekend road accidents

Monday, 01 October 2012 00:00

Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Reporter

AT least 31 people were killed, while several others were injured in road
accidents that occurred in one of the bloodiest weekends on record.
The country recorded 13 fatal accidents between Friday and Sunday.
On Friday, 15 people died when a commuter omnibus collided head-on with a
haulage truck in Rusape along the Harare-Mutare highway.
The figure rose to 21 on Saturday after a bus smashed into a rock and killed
six more people along the Matange-Mkwasine Road in Masvingo.
At least 26 people were injured in the same accident.
Another person died yesterday in an accident at Shangani along the
Harare-Bulawayo Road.
Nine others were killed in separate road accidents in the last three days in
several provinces.
National traffic police spokesperson Inspector Tigere Chigome confirmed the
accidents, saying they were mostly attributed to speeding, faulty vehicles
and substandard tyres.
“This weekend we have recorded 13 fatal accidents in which 31 people were
killed countrywide,” he said.
“Several people were injured as a result of the accidents. We suspect that
most drivers are speeding. For example, in the Masvingo case, the bus driver
lost control of the vehicle and veered off the road before hitting a big
rock and landing on its left side.
“There is an element of speed and drivers should abide by the speed limits.

“In the night accidents, we suspect poor lighting affects most drivers and
we urge motorists to take their vehicles for service regularly to ensure
lights and other essential components are working properly.”
Insp Chigome said burst tyres were also a major cause of accidents
considering the high temperatures this season.
“There is need for motorists to check their tyres and ensure they fit
quality tyres that are meant for our roads and temperatures,” he said.
Insp Chigome said the police were not happy with the statistics.
“We are not happy with the statistics recorded this weekend. People should
follow the rules of the road, especially abiding with the stipulated speed
In the Masvingo accident, five people died on the spot, while one died on
the way to Mashoko Mission Hospital.
The Rusape accident involved a commuter omnibus and an Isuzu double cab.
Nine people died on the spot, while four others were pronounced dead on
admission at Rusape General Hospital.
Two others died the following morning.

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Security sector reform key to peaceful elections
Photo: Flickr
A billboard urging Zimbabweans to return home and vote in the 2008 elections
MUTOKO, 1 October 2012 (IRIN) - An attack on a political rally by uniformed soldiers is stoking fears of a reprise of state-sponsored violence against NGOs, human rights activists and parties opposed to President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF in the lead-up to a referendum on a draft constitution and scheduled parliamentary and presidential elections in 2013.

Welshman Ncube, the leader of the smaller Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), addressed a gathering of about 1,000 people at the 21 September rally in Mutoka, in Zimbabwe’s Mashonaland East Province, before the assault occurred.

Two MDC supporters, Nicholas Chitowa and Kezias Makanjera, have reportedly been missing since the attacks. Kurauone Chihwayi, the deputy spokesperson for Ncube’s MDC, told IRIN the assault illustrated the country’s culture of political violence.

“These are early days ahead of a constitutional conference, a referendum and elections, and the soldiers are already beating up people. What this means is that Robert Mugabe is negotiating with other parties in bad faith, knowing that he will use the military against the people of Zimbabwe,” he said.

The attack bodes ill for the coming parliamentary and presidential elections, which are scheduled for 2013, though no date has yet been announced. Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the larger MDC formation, and Mugabe have both called for presidential and parliamentary elections to take place in March 2013. The current session of parliament ends in June, and, according to the 2009 unity government agreement, the polls must be held by October of next year.

Zimbabwe is also scheduled to conduct a referendum on the proposed adoption of a
draft constitution, which ZANU-PF has expressed reservations about as it curbs presidential powers, while opposition parties have endorsed it. No date has been set for the referendum, although Mugabe wants it held this November.

Military back ZANU-PF

The military has been unambiguous in its support of ZANU-PF. Zimbabwe Defence Forces Chief of Staff Maj-Gen Martin Chedondo reportedly told about 3,000 soldiers of 2 Brigade earlier this year during a training exercise that they should accept no political party but ZANU-PF.

''As the military establishment, we have an ideology that is represented in the mission of ZANU-PF''
A week later, at Lt-Col Thabani Khumalo’s funeral in June, Maj-Genl Trust Mugoba, the army’s chief of staff in charge of administration, told mourners, “Society must understand that the land reform and the indigenization programmes are part of our revolutionary history. As the military, we do not only believe, but act in defence of these values, and we will not respect any leader who does not respect the revolution. We will not even allow them to go into office because they do not represent the ideology we fought for. As the military establishment, we have an ideology that is represented in the mission of ZANU-PF.”

The formation of the unity government saw ZANU-PF retain control of the security apparatus, including the army, air force, police and the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), the national intelligence agency and headed by Happyton Bonyongwe. The CIO reports directly to the office of the president.

Security sector reform

The unity government agreement - which was brokered by Southern African Development Community (SADC) after the 2008 elections erupted in violence - included proposals for security sector reform, but little headway has been made.

According to the Global Political Agreement, the bedrock of the agreement, “state organs and institutions do not belong to any political party and should be impartial in the discharge of their duties… there [shall] be inclusion in the training curriculum of members of the uniformed forces of the subjects on human rights, international humanitarian law and statute law so that there is greater understanding and full appreciation of their roles and duties in a multi-party democratic system.”

Lindiwe Zulu, international relations advisor to South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma and member of the SADC team facilitating the implementation of the unity government agreement, called for “security sector realignment… It must be implemented before elections,” she said.

But Zimbabwe’s security minister Sydney Sekeramayi has rejected out of hand any reforms of the security apparatus, telling local media “[Security sector reform] is a project by the country’s enemies who want to weaken the state… This is a mere project to destabilize the country and it is not acceptable.”

Douglas Mwonzora, a spokesman for Tsvangirai’s MDC told IRIN, “The security sector reforms that we seek are aimed at the reformation of the security services that will eliminate bias, unprofessionalism and partisanship. It would entail reorientation and re-education on their constitutional obligations.”

The reforms would ensure the military is not used as “a private militia” by ZANU-PF, he said.

Ensuring free and fair elections

A March
2012 report by the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa said, “[Security sector reform] is now seen as an essential measure to ensure free and fair elections in Zimbabwe. Calls for security sector reform usually arise in post-conflict situations, but in the case of Zimbabwe, they are linked to the high level of politicization of the security institutions. The military and the police top brass support President Mugabe’s ZANU-PF.”

In previous elections, military personnel have manned voting booths.

Centre for Community Development, a development NGO, said in a recent statement: “We urge the Southern African Development Community to effectively and decisively deal with the problem of militarization of elections in Zimbabwe in the context of the ongoing mediation.

“The forthcoming referendum and elections must be preceded by institutional reforms, including weeding out the country's security apparatus of political activists masquerading as genuine soldiers. The forthcoming elections will not be free and fair elections if the state security agencies are not held accountable for the abuses that they continue to perpetrate against citizens.”

Civil society is also calling for the army to be confined to barracks during next year’s scheduled elections, a demand that was issued to no avail during the last polls.

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

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Reforms first before elections

October 1, 2012 in Editorial, Opinion
Assertions by President Robert Mugabe that elections should be held in March
next year has received mixed reactions, with gullible smaller political
formations welcoming the move which they believe will lead to a new
political dispensation. Standard Comment

They are wrong.

The wily Mugabe has been pushing for elections for more than two years now,
notwithstanding dictates of the Global Political Agreement, which clearly
spell out what needs to be done before polls are held.

These critical requirements were given impetus in the roadmap which the
principals in the Government of National Unity (GNU) agreed to follow last
year. The holding of elections should be guided by the roadmap and not
parochial political concerns.

The country is currently off-track, far away from the route agreed to be
followed towards elections. This suits Mugabe perfectly, as it has for a
long time been his wish to hold elections on his terms and not on the basis
of agreed conditions.

The whole idea of Sadc mediation which culminated in the formation of the
GNU and the plotting of the roadmap, is to avoid the re-enactment of the
2008 chaos in future polls.

Ingredients for another sham poll are still there because Mugabe is not
interested in rolling out the reform agenda as spelt out in the roadmap. It
is worth noting that the greatest short-term risk to the consolidation of
peace in the country remains the administration and conduct of the upcoming
2012 elections under current conditions.

Failure to reform the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act means that
human rights defenders, journalists and political activists will continue to
be arrested and charged on a regular basis. The regime will also continue to
use Section 33 of the code to charge opponents for “insulting or undermining
the authority of the president”.

Added to this is Section 121 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act
which is oftentimes abused by prosecutors to block release of suspects after
bail has been granted.

The role of the military as a campaign agency for Zanu PF is a major source
of worry. The reform agenda is way behind schedule. Zimbabwe cannot afford
to once again have elections which do not represent the will of the people.

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Editor’s Desk: Immediate gain behind plunder

September 30, 2012 in Editorial
During last Wednesday’s News Hour, ZBC screened footage of the ruined citrus
plantations in Guruve district in Mashonaland Central.

From the Editor’s Desk by Nevanji Madanhire

In the news clip, provincial Governor and Resident minister Advocate Martin
Dinha ordered the Guruve council to surrender all plantations allocated to
it during the land reform programme with immediate effect. He said failure
to do so would be in contravention of the Consequential Provisions Act (of

The footage showed that all citrus plantations given to the local authority
were in what ZBC understated as a “sorry” state as a result of neglect. The
ZBC footage showed that the plantations — all seven of them — given to the
council had been vandalised and the bulk of the trees destroyed by veld
fires. In an attempt to salvage the situation the government had allocated
the plantations to some farmers deemed productive and given them offer
letters, but the council was against the idea and continually disrupted the
new farmers’ activities.

The dispute between the farmers and the council had led to the continued
dereliction of the plantations, hence the move to invoke the Consequential
Provisions Act. Dinha said he was concerned over the under-utilisation of
the plantations, saying the disruption of farming activities by the Guruve
council was a form of sabotage of the land reform programme. Dinha was
probably referring to Clause 6 of the Act which validates all offer letters
issued before the fixed date and are not withdrawn by the acquiring

The state of the trees — most of them burnt in wild fires — some just dried
up due to lack of moisture and the rest almost invisible due to the long
wild grass choking them, must have left a lot of people in tears. Irrigation
infrastructure had been ripped apart and workshops vandalised by workers.

Reports from around the country and Google Maps reveal that this is the
general state of citrus plantations in the country, particularly in estates
around Chegutu.

ZBC was very courageous to flight the footage during the same week that
President Robert Mugabe was in New York City attending the 67th United
Nations General Assembly. Mugabe has used the land reform programme, which
he has touted as a resounding success, to throw brickbats at Western
countries he accuses of trying to sabotage the programme by slapping
sanctions on him and a coterie of his officials to effect a regime change

But the citrus plantations debacle is a manifestation of everything that has
gone wrong with the land reform programme and all other programmes
ostensibly meant to redress colonial imbalances. The plantations were, in
the heat of the moment, allocated to people who had no clue of how to use
them productively.

During the days of land occupations when this was pointed out, many
Zimbabweans who said the land was being allocated to people who did not have
the requisite skills and wherewithal, were labelled racist. Such sentiments,
according to the proponents of wholesale acquisition, implied that blacks
were incapable of doing what whites could do. But common-sense, not racism,
was at the heart of the sentiments, as the plantations now show.

Now it’s time to swallow humble pie!

But what must get Zimbabweans thinking is the puncture on our pride that the
plantations have inflicted. Zimbabweans had inured themselves to the
relentless criticism of the land reform programme from around the globe and
were beginning to speak with one voice that the programme had indeed gone a
long way in redressing historical imbalances, and was irreversible. The
local private media and the foreign Press were beginning to publicise
success stories.

Recently, a powerful American news organisation had carried a story on the
land programme and how it had empowered thousands of new tobacco farmers who
would otherwise never have had access to land and would still be living in
abject poverty. What the report did not say was that these thousands of
farmers were mere appendages of foreign capital, mostly Chinese, as they
were contract farmers financed by foreigners who reaped bigger benefits.

But the major point to note is that what has happened in the citrus
plantations is not unique to the orange sector. Besides the tobacco sector,
which is heavily foreign funded, all other sectors have been left derelict
due to the lack of expertise and finance. What has become clear is that
faced with lack of money and skills, the new farm occupiers chose the
easiest way to survive, though temporarily. They chose to loot whatever was
available and vandalise the infrastructure; ripping it apart and selling
whatever could be sold.

It happened at Kondozi Farm where the most successful horticulture concern
was torn to the ground in a matter of a handful seasons, striking a mortal
blow to a sector Zimbabwe was among the global leaders. Now there is no
horticultural sector in Zimbabwe to speak of. All the flowers and vegetables
we used to export have dried out. All the jobs this sector used to sustain
have been snuffed out.

But instead of learning a lesson from all the mistakes that were made in the
farming sector, the leadership of this country has decided to employ the
same wanton tactics in industry, commerce and mining through an
ill-thought-out indigenisation programme which is already beginning to have
devastating results on the country’s economy.

The point is that indigenisation, like land reform, is not being done for
the noble reasons that are touted. It is being done so that the same people
who invaded farms and discovered that farming wasn’t as easy and as
rewarding as they thought, can have another dip into the cookie jar, before
sanity is restored.

Anyone who doubts this ought to just take a peek at what is happening at
conservancies, particularly the Save River Conservancy! What all the noise
emanating from the Save debacle is hiding, is that all the other
conservancies around the country have been destroyed leaving the Save the
last one where rich pickings can still be made; hence the dog-eat-dog
fighting among comrades. What is most disheartening is that the same model
is being used:

Make as much money as you can, while you still can. So the animals are being
hunted down and much money made without putting back any penny into the
venture to ensure its sustainability.

It has happened to the vegetables and flowers, then to the fruits and now it
is happening to the animals and also the minerals. And soon it will be to
the money in the banks.

What will be left of the country for our children?

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Resolutions of the MDC National Council - 28 September 2012 (Bulawayo)

Monday, 01 October 2012

The MDC National Council met in Bulawayo on Friday and came up with the
following resolutions.

CELEBRATES and hails the party for surviving thirteen years of brutal
dictatorship, violence, repression and emasculation by an autocratic
predatory state,

ACKNOWLEDGES and is indebted to the people of Zimbabwe for supporting and
standing by the Party and its leadership and for remaining firm and resolute
in the struggle for socio-economic development and democratic change in

MOURNS, remembers and celebrates the lives of our departed heroes and
heroines including Tichaona Chiminya, Talent Mabika, Trynos Midzi, Learnmore
Jongwe, Gift Tandare, Isaac Matongo, Susan Tsvangirai, Simangaliso
Chikadaya, Dr. Tichaona Mudzingwa, Enna Chitsa, Tonderai Ndira, Better
Chokururama, Machiridza, Remius Makuwaza, Cephas Magura, Nicholas
Mudzengerere, Senator Josiah Rimbi and many others,

RECOGNIZES and acknowledges the roots of our movement, our umbilical cord to
the struggle for national liberation in Zimbabwe, our mandate being
fulfilling the unfinished business of the national liberation struggle,

ACKNOWLEDGES the maturity of our movement and struggle from the National
Working People’s Convention of February 1999, and indeed the preceding
struggles led by the workers through the ZCTU, the Student, Women and
Constitutional movements,

CELEBRATES the achievements of our peaceful democratic struggle including
our mass resistance campaigns such as Final Push and the March 29 2008
election victory,

Now therefore this Council resolves,


The Party congratulates itself for attaining 13 years under a hostile
environment characterized by murder, terror, and dictatorship.
Further, the Party congratulates itself for attaining 13 years without
resorting to violence or any illegitimate process.


Restates and reaffirms its resolution of the 3rd of August 2012 to endorse
the Copac Draft constitution as a panacea to the socio-economic and
political crisis confronting Zimbabwe.
Calls for a peaceful 2nd all-stakeholders conference that will respect the
progress and efforts made by all Zimbabweans to date.
Reiterates that elections should be held in Zimbabwe after the
implementation of the agreed Road Map, when all requisite reforms have been
attended necessary to create a legitimate credible and sustainable election.
That no party or individual has the right to call for an election
unilaterally and the next election can only be called with by the parties in
consultation with each other.


The Party notes with uttermost disgust the continued incarceration of our
Youth Assembly National Chairperson, Solomon Madzore and twenty-eight others
who include Edwin Muingiri, Simon Mudimu, Gabriel Banda, Zwelibanzi Dube,
Stefani Takaedzwa, Francis Vambai, Sydney Chirombe, Abina Rutsito, Stanford
Mangwiro, Cynthia Manjoro, Last Maengahama, Lazarus Maengahama, Stanford
Maengahama, Rebecca Mafukeni, Kerina Gweshe, Solomon Madzore, Memory Ncube,
Paul Rukanda, Linda Musiyamhanje, Yvonne Musarurwa, Simon Mapanzure,
Tafadzwa Billiart, Jephias Moyo, Lovemore Taruvinga, Tendai Chinyama,
Phineas Nhatarikwa, Gapare Nyamadzawo, Augustine Tengenyika and Tungamirai

The Party demands the immediate release of arrested cadres and in any event
demands the expeditious due process with regards to those that have been
The Party notes with irony that while no stone has been left unturned with
regards to the arrests and harassment of MDC activists many perpetrators of
violence against MDC members continue to walk scot-free.

The Party directs its appointees in Government to raise this matter as
matter of urgency in Government structures including Cabinet, Council of
Ministers, Parliament and the National Security Council.


1. In terms of Article 5.11 A the Party, expels the following Councillors
pursuant to the decision and recommendation of the National Executive of the
15 August 2012;






Cllr Emmanuel Chiroto

Cllr Peter Marange

Cllr Phumulani Musagwiza

Cllr Xavier Vengesai

Cllr Tedius Chimombe

Cllr Clemence Kwaru

Cllr Holly Dzuda

Cllr Alois Zhou

Cllr Vengai Mudadi

Cllr Rickson Kaseke

Cllr Ivory Matanhire

Cllr Johannes Ngozo


The Party notes with regret the continued vitriolic attacks particularly by
the State media on the party and its leadership. The party condemns all
forms of hate speech, slander and malice.
In this regard, the Party congratulates its president Morgan Tsvangirai and
wishes him and his new wife a happy and successful marriage.


The Party notes the desperate food situation prevailing in the country and
the parlous state of livestock particularly in the Matabeleland region.
The party calls in Government to ensure the expeditious and impartial
distribution of food in the country and calls on the Ministry of Agriculture
to openly and effectively address the livestock from the resources that
Treasury has allocated.


The party notes the continued existence of violence and lawlessness in the
country characterized by the deployment of the army, Zanu PF militia such as
the Tendai Savanhu sponsored Chipangano in Mbare, Harare and Emerson
Mnangwagwa owned Al Shabab in Kwekwe.

The party too notes the continued invasions and assaults on property rights
including the ongoing invasion of Save Conservancies

The party condemns these acts of predatory banditry and instructs its
deployees in Government to immediately address the issue in appropriate
government fora.

Committing our Party and our Country to God!!!

MDC @ 13 - The last mile: Towards Real Transformation!!!

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Draft Constitution: The History Of Property Rights And The Flawed Zim Constitution - Ben Freeth


Ben Freeth, Harare

30 September 2012

The history of property rights and the flawed Zimbabwe Draft Constitution

Titled land and the protection of property rights is not a recent phenomenon. It has a long and fascinating history that is especially relevant today while the highly flawed new draft constitution in Zimbabwe is debated, causing dissent and division.

Acclaimed Russian author Ayn Rand notes in a 1964 collection of essays, “The Virtue of Selfishness”, that the right to life is the source of all rights – and the right to property is their only implementation. Without property rights, no other rights are possible.”

Rand also notes that, “Since man has to sustain his life by his own effort, the man who has no right to the product of his effort has no means to sustain his life. The man who produces while others dispose of his product is a slave.”

In a 10-page document released today by Ben Freeth, executive director of the Mike Campbell Foundation, he explores the early history of titled land and property rights, starting with the earliest documented transfer of property rights in Hebron in 1675 BCE – 3,678 years ago. This transaction is described in detail Genesis, the first book in the Bible.

Freeth, a committed Christian, lists the three Biblical principles relating to property rights:

The prohibition of theft, enshrined in the 8th commandment in Exodus, “You shall not steal”

The world ultimately belongs to God (and not to the state)

Humans are temporary tenants upon God’s property – in effect, custodians.

With respect to Zimbabwe’s new Draft Constitution and property rights, Freeth discusses the contentious section on land.

This section relates specifically to land that has been acquired already, as well as to land to be acquired in the future. It allows land to be taken without compensation, without the owners being allowed a hearing in court, and on a discriminatory basis.

“Such draconian clauses that allow theft to take place on a discriminatory basis and without a hearing in court, need to be looked at in the light of property rights throughout history and what the Bible says in this regard,” warns Freeth.

He explains that at the dawn of civilisation in Samaria and Babylonia (where the prophet Abraham had come from) the right of holding property was already in force. Careful surveys were made and anyone who interfered with property rights could invoke the curse of “the gods”.

As a result of the protection of property rights, sophisticated irrigation schemes could be set up and an agricultural revolution occurred. Detailed laws protecting private property were written, administered and enforced – more than 4,000 years ago. Consequently, the people flourished.

Freeth says that studies have proved that property rights are central to the prosperity of all great civilisations, notably the ancient Greeks and Romans. Disciplined life and hard labour on the thousands of small, independent Greek farms developed Greek character, generated wealth and defended their city states. This was the precursor to private ownership in the West.

In Africa, private ownership of land was established in ancient Egypt as early as the middle of the third millennium BC. Long before the dawn of democracy, laws relating to private property were in place and the sense of private ownership was well developed.

In Zimbabwe, the consequences of the chaotic farm invasions, which began in 2000 immediately after President Robert Mugabe lost a constitutional referendum which would have further entrenched his power, have been catastrophic.

Substantial, well-run agricultural enterprises, many involving sophisticated irrigation schemes, have been replaced largely by erratic subsistence farming. As a result, Zimbabwe has become dependent on food aid, ironically from the West which Zanu PF politicians malign.

In the Bible, property rights and titled land was already a given more than 2,600 years ago. Without property rights the Bible says, the land becomes a desolate waste, without men or animals. Zimbabwe has become a wasteland for exactly this reason.

Title deeds in the Bible were scrupulously protected – Jeremiah stored his in a clay jar, which proved to be an extremely effective method of preserving ancient documents.

In the book of Ruth, written in 1,000 BC, over three thousand years ago, people worked the land diligently and it was privately owned land, not a communal system of patronage.

In Deuteronomy, God promised curses on anyone who moved his neighbour’s boundary stone and stole his land.

The New Testament is also very clear about the rule of law and property rights. Jesus accepted that the private ownership of land was God-ordained for the ordering of society and feeding of the people.

The Jubilee laws of Leviticus 25 ensured that a family would always have land. Furthermore, a father could not dispossess his family from the land because of poor stewardship, carelessness or debt. Fathers were instructed to lay up an inheritance for their children.

Every attack on private property is an attack on a man’s liberty, says leading theologian, Rev Rushdooney.

In every dictatorship, there is a tussle between Godly law in private ownership of property and man’s law in State ownership, notes Freeth.

If the State becomes both sovereign and owner, it displaces God, he says. Private property encourages the wise use of scarce resources, while nationalisation provides no such incentive.

Nationalisation of land in China led to starvation and the deaths of more than 70 million people over a period of four years. This was the result of Mao spurning God’s laws on property rights, cautions Freeth.

In the USA, with only a third of the arable land of Africa, approximately 320 million tons of maize are produced annually, while Africa produces just 60 million tonnes. In Zimbabwe since the land invasions, wheat production has fallen by more than 90 percent.

Jesus’s parable of the good shepherd demonstrates that the owner will lay down his life for his sheep, while the hired hand will run away if a wolf comes, because he lacks the commitment.

“Faith is fundamental to our spiritual lives and is synonymous with a title deed, which is fundamental to our physical lives,” says Freeth.

“It is abundantly evident that as a country, the further erosion of property rights – as contained in the draft constitution – offers little hope to Zimbabweans for feeding themselves, educating their children and developing as a nation,” he contends.

“Such is the curse of nations that choose to go against the holy and immutable laws of God.”

Freeth says that Christians and Christian leaders are obliged to stand up and speak out for righteousness.

“If the highest law of the land is to go against God’s law, we cannot vote for it or urge others to vote for it.”

Freeth calls on the drafters to come up with a constitution that does not allow theft, that does not allow discrimination and that does allow recourse if Zimbabwean’s homes and livelihoods are taken away from them – because continued theft will not bring blessing to anyone.”

He reminds Zimbabweans that God promised to cut off Ahab and his descendents, just as Jezebel had dispossessed Naboth of his vineyard – and his descendents.

“When we look at what God did to Ahab and Jezebel, our politicians would do well to listen,” concluded Freeth


Submitted by/For further information:

Ben Freeth

Executive Director

The Mike Campbell Foundation

Cell: +263 773 929 138


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Opinion Pieces On Draft Constitution

Click here to read Ben Freeth's opinion piece on Draft Constitution Property Rights

Click here to read an Anonymous Opinion Piece

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