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AAG visits cause panic

Saturday, 18 September 2010 20:31

BULAWAYO - The Affirmative Action Group (AAG) has started visiting
white-owned companies in the city demanding that the firms must cede10-30%
of their shareholding to employees, officials said last week.
The visits, which the AAG says are in line with the country's controversial
black empowerment laws have reportedly resulted in the firms suspending
re-capitalisation projects as they fear losing their businesses.
Government recently appointed empowerment committees that will recommend the
percentages that foreign-owned companies must transfer to black Zimbabweans.
Sources told The Standard that the southern region AAG executive had taken
advantage of the development to terrorise company owners.
AAG southern region president, Roy Sibanda on Wednesday confirmed that they
had visited some companies but denied accusations that they were threatening
forced takeovers.
"We are visiting the white-owned companies to urge them to give 10% of their
shareholding to employees.
"We are also meeting the employees to educate them about the 10% that they
are entitled to under the country's empowerment laws," Sibanda said in a
telephone interview.
Sibanda said the visits were informed by the failure of white- owned
companies to comply with the government's August deadline to submit plans on
how they intend to transfer their shareholding to black Zimbabweans.
"Most of the companies have not complied with the government's deadline to
submit their proposals," he said.
"We are however facing resistance and hostility from the white owned firms
who are trying to stop us from meeting employees to educate them on how to
demand the 10% shares that they are entitled to."
President Robert Mugabe has pledged to forge ahead with plans to handover
51% of shareholding of white owned companies to blacks to enable locals to
own the country's resources.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai last week said the empowerment law would be
implemented gradually and without forced sales.
However, Tsvangirai's comment that "its willing buyer, willing seller" was
yesterday criticised by Nathaniel Manheru, a Herald columnist.
Manheru is believed to be a pen name for Mugabe's spokesman George Charamba.
Recently, government named committees to spearhead the empowerment
The committees will cover the financial services, mining, agriculture,
energy, transport and motor industry, telecommunications and information
communication technology, trading, engineering and construction.
Other committees were appointed for the tourism and hospitality, arts,
entertainment and culture, education and sport, services, and manufacturing


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Furore over location of diamond centre

Saturday, 18 September 2010 19:50

THE decision by companies mining diamonds in Marange district to build a
processing technology centre in President Robert Mugabe's home province,
over 400 kms from where most of the country's gems are being extracted, has
caused dismay in social and political circles.
The multi-million dollar cutting and polishing centre is being built in
Mashonaland West province's Mt Hampden area, a few kilometres outside
The Zimbabwe Diamond Technology Centre, which is being constructed by
Canadile miners, one of the three firms operating in Marange, is set to
become operational within six months.
Once complete, the US$20 million centre will have among other things banks,
a diamond college and insurance firms.
Political and social commentators said the decision was based more on
political considerations than moral and economic judgement.
They doubted if it was mere coincidence that the diamond centre, which is
expected to create 7 000 jobs in local diamond processing and downstream
activities when complete, was being built in Mugabe's home province, one of
the most developed areas in the country.
They argued that had the centre been built in Manicaland province it was not
only going to stimulate economic development but also create jobs for
locals, most of whom were evicted from their original homes to make way for
mining operations.
Currently, the "beneficiaries" of diamond proceeds have been senior
politicians and service chiefs while the evictees from Chiadzwa in Marange
are now living in squalid conditions in tobacco barns that were converted
into living quarters.
Those who spoke to The Standard last week said this was why some provinces
were calling for the devolution of power during the current
constitution-making process to ensure that people benefited from resources
in their provinces.
Former Finance minister Simba Makoni said setting up a diamond processing
centre in Mt Hampden makes a mockery of the government's policy of
decentralisation which was adopted at independence in 1980.
At independence, said Makoni, Mugabe's administration declared a policy of
decentralisation, which was abandoned along the way.
"What is happening makes a total mockery of that policy to mine diamonds in
Chiadzwa and process them in Mt Hampden," he said. "It also shows that the
government is not committed to the principle of balanced national
Makoni, who is the leader of Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn party, said the location of
the centre in Mt Hampden meant that people of Chiadzwa were being denied a
chance to access better services such as housing, transport and
"There will definitely be no expansion of retail services or downstream
industries to benefit people of Chiadzwa and apart from that they (mining
companies) are increasing operational costs by airlifting the diamonds.
"It also makes the diamonds uncompetitive on the world market," said Makoni.
Pishai Muchauraya, the MDC-T spokesperson for Manicaland province, said the
people from the province were very angry that resources were extracted from
their areas to benefit other provinces.
Had the centre been built in Manicaland, he said, the people of Marange
would not have felt "robbed" because their children would be employed at the
centre and the downstream industries.
"This is economic piracy," fumed Muchauraya who is also MP for Makoni South.
"This is why people are calling for devolution of power to be included in
the new constitution.
"We are saying natural resources must be processed in areas they are found
to generate employment for the local communities."
Muchauraya's sentiments were also echoed by the Catholic Commission for
Justice and Peace (CCJP) director Alouis Chaumba, who added that the people
from Marange were suffering a double tragedy.
They are being evicted from their homes of several years and not benefiting
from the diamonds, he said.
"If the centre was built in Mutare, the affected families would have solace
in that they will be benefiting from employment opportunities created and
development associated with the centre," Chaumba said.
"As we speak, they don't have anything to show that diamonds are being
extracted from their areas except harassment by security forces."
Mutare was the ideal place for the centre, Chaumba suggested, because it was
centrally located and has easy access to the Indian Ocean.
Diamonds are also mined in Masvingo and Matabeleland provinces but most of
them come from Manicaland.
Zapu spokesperson Methusili Moyo described the location of the centre in
Mashonaland West as "exportation of jobs" from Manicaland province.
"Our policy is that natural resources in a particular area must be harvested
and processed in that area as a way of creating employment and further
downstream economic activities," Moyo said.
Moyo noted that apart from diamonds, granite from Mutoko, coal from Hwange
and beef from Matabeleland South and Midlands provinces were mostly
benefiting or processed in Harare and Mashonaland provinces.
Most people from Matabeleland provinces feel they have been marginalised by
Mugabe's regime for a long time and are calling for devolution of power.
Canadile chairman Cougan Matanhire could not be reached for comment to
explain the location of the centre and whether it was influenced by
political considerations.
Early this year, Mugabe's rural home district of Zvimba and other Zanu PF
strongholds in Mashonaland controversially got the largest amounts of money
from tollgate fees collected nationwide, in a move that caused consternation
in government and political circles.
Mugabe and his loyalists have over the years been accused of grabbing
national resources to develop their own regions at the expense of others,
creating imbalances in national development.
An analysis of the distribution pattern of tollgate money contained in the
recent Mid-Term Fiscal Policy review statement showed that most of the US$15
million already disbursed by the Zimbabwe National Road Authority (Zinara)
to different districts for the maintenance of the country's road network
went to Mashonaland West and Mashonaland Central.
Zvimba, a growth point which is Mugabe's home area, and Bindura got the
biggest chunk.
"This is politics of marginalisation," said Moyo. "No resources from
Mashonaland provinces and Harare are ever processed in other provinces."


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Man draws gun at outreach meeting

Saturday, 18 September 2010 20:38

THE constitutional outreach programme was aborted at a school in Chitungwiza
after a gun was pulled out to settle disagreements at the start of the

A dispute arose over who should lead the opening prayer as chaos marred the
beginning of the crucial process in Harare and Bulawayo yesterday.

At Shingai Primary School there was a disagreement over who should lead the
prayer and in the ensuing confusion a participant pulled out a gun sending
other participants scurrying for cover.

The meeting was later aborted.

Before the start of each meeting, team leaders of the Constitutional Select
Committee (Copac) hold prayers.

Copac co-chairperson Douglas Mwonzora told The Standard yesterday he was
advised of the incident and when he went to investigate with his counterpart
Paul Mangwana, police details refused to cooperate.

Earlier on Mangwana is reported to have denied the incident when asked by

"My interpretation of no comment is that he (the police officer) was not
saying that no gun was produced," he said. "To me 'no comment' was
confirming the allegations."

He said the meeting was called off and would be reconvened when the
environment was more stable.

Asked why the team leaders were the only ones who lead in prayer sessions,
Mwonzora said such a position had been taken as some participants were
saying "blasphemous and political prayers".

"At Chizungu Primary School in Epworth today (yesterday) one of those
prayers said in front of myself and Mangwana was political, blasphemous and
called for the death of some people," he said.

In Mabvuku the meeting started late, a situation which Mwonzora attributed
to violent disturbances, with his car being attacked as he was leaving
Tafara Hall.

Violence broke out at Vimbai Primary School in Chitungwiza over dual
citizenship and the meeting only resumed under a heavy police presence.

Youths threw stones and there were some skirmishes over party alliances with
suspected Zanu PF youths expressing anger that they were not being accorded
equal time to speak as was the case with their MDC-T counterparts.

Mwonzora said despite the setbacks, MDC-T would nevertheless proceed with
the constitutional process "to its logical conclusion".

In Bulawayo, the process had teething problems too after drivers and
technicians downed tools over outstanding allowances.

Zanu PF members who are also part of the Copac team were also accused of
disappearing from embarking on the long-awaited programme in a bid to
sabotage the process.

The drivers' and technicians' strike was blamed on Zanu PF, who were accused
of encouraging the strike, in the hope of derailing the outreach.

Copac meetings which were set to begin at 9am at various wards in the city
only began three hours later after an agreement was reached with the
striking drivers and technicians.

Mwonzora confirmed the strike action also laying the blame on Zanu PF. "Zanu
PF wants to sabotage Copac in Bulawayo. Its members are also nowhere to be
seen," Mwonzora said in an interview yesterday.

"We cannot tolerate this nonsense and we have fired all the drivers for
trying to sabotage the outreach programme in Bulawayo.

"I have instructed all the MP's to drive themselves to the venues."

But Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, a senior Zanu PF politburo member, dismissed
accusations that the party had influenced Copac drivers and technicians to
down tools.

"I deny that. Zanu-PF is more than ready to see this process finish.

"We have been having meetings as a party about the outreach programme and
would we all of a sudden sabotage this project.

"Zanu-PF wants to defend all the gains that the party has made since
independence," Ndlovu said in a telephone interview.

The Standard was told that Copac drivers and technicians were initially
promised their outstanding pay on Friday but Copac co-chairperson, Edward
Mkhosi reportedly did not turn up with the money.

The striking workers were yesterday promised that they would get their
outstanding pay before the end of the day.

They vowed not to report for duty today if they were not given the money.

At Unit L Community Hall in Chitungwiza, tempers flared when it was
discovered that one of the participants had the same questionnaire that
Copac members had.

Participants had to be calmed by Copac officials who pleaded that the
meeting had to progress.

Calls by the participants to evict those who had questionnaires fell on deaf
ears as Copac officials feared the move would disrupt the meeting.

The questionnaires were later handed over to the Copac officials.

The participants were unanimous that the death sentence should remain on the
country's statutes.

They called for a self-regulating media which is apolitical and reported in
a balanced manner.

They were also calls for the establishment of an independent commission to
register media practitioners.

Dual citizenship was condemned so were same-sex marriages.

Participants said government should accord citizens the right to education,
health, clean water and the right to choose religion.

Property rights, they said, should be respected and that Zimbabweans should
have ownership of the mineral resources.

Women participants said widows should be protected and that property should
not be confiscated by greedy relatives. They said women should have a choice
on inheritance.

On youths, one participant felt that they should attend national services
but others felt that those institutions should not be abused to turn youths
into thugs who beat up people during elections.

The process to write the country's first post-independence constitution has
been dogged by many problems, many related to financial issues from the


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Senior cop killed, five shot in pub bloodbath

Saturday, 18 September 2010 20:33

BULAWAYO - A senior police officer was killed while a junior officer and
four civilians were critically injured after they were shot by armed robbers
during a raid at a pub in the city centre shortly before midnight on Friday.

The bloodbath at Cape to Cairo pub and restaurant located about a kilometre
from the Bulawayo Central Police Station came after a series of armed
robberies hit the city.
The robbers pounced when patrons were drinking the night away and the city
awoke to news of one of the most violent crimes since armed robberies peaked
last year.

Sources said the drinking spot was frequented mostly by senior police
officers and business executives.

A chief superintendent (name given) who was reportedly having a drink at the
pub with an assistant commissioner (name also given) and other police
officers was shot dead after he allegedly tried to challenge the suspects.

Cape to Cairo workers Nonhlanhla Moyo and Ndodana Tshuma, two unidentified
patrons and a junior officer were also critically injured after they were
shot by the robbers.

The five are admitted at United Bulawayo Hospitals. The suspects allegedly
got away with US$700.

Bonisani Mafela, a Cape to Cairo manager who was on duty on Friday night,
confirmed the shootout, saying the armed robbers fired no less than 20 shots
to scare terrified patrons.

"The four robbers were drinking with other patrons and all of a sudden
ordered everyone to lie down," Mafela said.

"They ordered everyone to cover their heads with their hands and during that
time they were just firing randomly at the ceiling and windows.

"According to people who were sitting near the senior police officer, he was
shot dead after he was seen pulling a pistol from his jacket.

"They took away his pistol. Two of our employees were also shot and are
admitted at UBH.

"The robbers emptied the bar tills and took away all the cash that we had
made at the time.

"The robbers ran away on foot after they had emptied all the tills," said
Mafela who looked traumatised during the interview at the pub yesterday.
The condition of the injured could not be ascertained but they were said to
be in the Intensive Care Unit.

Bulawayo police spokesperson, Inspector Mandlenkosi Moyo refused to comment
when contacted for comment referring questions to his superiors in Harare.

Senior Assistant Commissioner, Wayne Bvudzijena could neither confirm nor
deny, preferring only to say that he will investigate the matter.

The raid at around 11:45pm came less than two days after armed robbers
raided Dickeys restaurant also in the city centre.

It also came less than a month after daring armed robbers raided Nkulumane
police station and made away with a number of guns which have since been

Questions have been raised on how armed robbers obtain firearms despite
government claims that it has tightened its firearm licensing processes.

Police Commissioner-general Augustine Chihuri recently indicated that police
have adopted a "shoot to kill" policy when confronted by armed criminals.
Chihuri expressed concern over the upsurge in armed robbery cases.

According to police statistics, Bulawayo has recorded the highest number of
armed robbery cases.

Police suspect that people who used to survive on black market activities
are behind the spate of robberies and killings around the country.


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Victory for Gukurahundi artist

Saturday, 18 September 2010 20:32

BULAWAYO - Prominent visual artist Owen Maseko who is facing charges of
undermining President Robert Mugabe's authority after he mounted an
exhibition on the Gukurahundi massacres was a relieved man yesterday when
his case was referred to the Supreme Court.
A Bulawayo magistrate Ntombizodwa Mazhandu granted Maseko's application that
the highest court on the land must determine the constitutionality of
charges criminalising his artistic work.
In her judgment Mazhandu said: "It is not a secret that Gukurahundi took
place at a certain point in Zimbabwe and it is not in dispute that it took
place in Matabeleland.
"Whether it was a certain tribe or race that was affected is not known to
the court.
"It can only be determined through leading evidence whether or not the
portrayal of that period is purely a work of art or is the material false."
She said the Supreme Court was also better placed to determine whether or
not any of Maseko's rights had been violated.
On Thursday the magistrate accompanied by the defence and the prosecution
teams visited the National Art Gallery in Bulawayo to view the controversial
This was after the magistrate had pointed out the previous day that she
would not be in a position to make a ruling without first seeing the
Maseko's defence lawyers Lizwe Jamela, Nosimilo Chanayiwa and Jeremiah Bamu
of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights made an application seeking the
Supreme Court sitting as a constitutional court to determine whether or not
criminalising his artistic work was a violation of his freedom of
They placed special emphasis on freedom of thought enshrined in Section 19
of the constitution, freedom of expression, enshrined in Section 20 of the
constitution and the protection at law as outline in Section 18.
The state represented by Tawanda Zvekare opposed the application.
Zvekare argued that the rights in question were not absolute and were
subject to certain exceptions under which they could be waived.
He further noted that Maseko's case was an example of the type of
circumstances under which the exercise of the rights was restricted.
Bamu said the ruling meant that the trial would not continue until the case
was finalised by the Supreme Court and also that Maseko had been placed off
"Human rights are not absolute but they should not be restricted to protect
governments or anyone for that matter from exposure," said Bamu.
Maseko was arrested on March 26 after putting up a Gukurahundi exhibition
named "Sibathontisele" (Dripping blood).
He was charged with violating Section 33 of the Criminal Law (Codification
and Reform) Act which alludes to insulting or undermining the authority of
the president.
The charge was then dropped and he was charged under Section 31 of the
Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act: publication of false statements
prejudicial to the state, or alternately undermining the authority of the
Government last month banned Maseko's art and statue of a naked man titled
"Looking into the future" mounted outside the Bulawayo gallery saying they
fell foul of the country's censorship laws.
Maseko's victory in court came a day after a United States-based human
rights group said Mugabe and several of his cronies should be charged for
crimes against humanity for their role in the Matabeleland and Midlands
Genocide Watch, said the military campaign led by the North Korean-trained
5th Brigade, which human rights groups say left 20 000 civilians dead can be
classified as a genocide.
Mugabe who has referred to the mass murder as "a moment of madness" has
refused to apologise.


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Cruel twist in Anglicans turf war

Saturday, 18 September 2010 19:53

A group of Anglican parishioners in Chitungwiza are searching for a new
venue to hold their services after they were chased away from a church they
built following the acrimonious split of the Harare Archdiocese.
The parishioners from Unit K who are aligned to Chad Gandiya's Province of
Central Africa (PCA) say they were hounded out of their church by police and
people who claim to be followers of Nolbert Kunonga.
Kunonga who has strong links with Zanu PF was pushed out of the church in
2007 after he unsuccessfully tried to pull the archdiocese out of the PCA.
He claims that his bone of contention with Gandiya's group is that they
supported homosexuality in the church, a charge that has been dismissed as
A tussle for the control of properties is currently raging in the courts but
the Chitungwiza incident has brought a new dimension into the wrangle.
Gandiya's group say they moved to the stand in Unit M after they were
evicted from the old church in 2007 by Kunonga's supporters. They started
building the church using money donated by members.
Displaced parishioners who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of
victimisation said trouble started two weeks ago when they were putting
final touches to the church.
A Chief Inspector Chipadze from Makoni police station ordered them to stop
using the premises claiming he was following "orders from above."
Gandiya's group accuses the police of siding with Kunonga as they are always
at hand to disrupt PCA services.
A man identified as Pastor Mugomo from Kunonga's faction allegedly moved
into the church premises with his family and has been living there ever
The parishioners believe he was sent by their nemesis Kunonga.
"He (Kunonga) does not even care about the maintenance of the church, he is
just obsessed with taking properties.
"Look, the vestry side which is supposed to function as the priest's office
and place for keeping holy sacraments and ornaments is being used as a
bedroom," said a distraught parishioner.
Another parishioner said Kunonga's group was taking advantage of its
political connections to terrorise its rivals.
"Surprisingly, they waited for us to build everything from scratch before
they came demanding the property," she said.
Kunonga reportedly wants to seize all church properties that were bought
before the split. He was not available for comment throughout the week.
Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena who in the past has said police were not
taking sides in the dispute was also not answering his mobile phone
The lawyer for the Gandiya group, Michael Chingore said although he was yet
to receive a report of what transpired in Chitungwiza, the continued
interference by the Kunonga faction was in violation of court orders.
"Justice Susan Mavangira's judgement is the latest standing order," Chingore
"We will seek appropriate recourse after the outcome of the Supreme Court
ruling, although it's been some time since we lodged our papers."
Meanwhile, Gandiya's group in Chitungwiza will today hold demonstrations
against Kunonga and the police whom they accuse of bias.
They will also hold a meeting to plan the way forward concerning their
leadership and the acquisition of their own properties.


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Govt admits role in Maguwu arrest

Saturday, 18 September 2010 19:52

BULAWAYO - A senior government official yesterday declared that he was not
prepared to work with Farai Maguwu as a representative of civil society
under the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) partnership.
Thankful Musukutwa, the permanent secretary for the Ministry of Mines and
Mineral Development said this at the end of a two-day capacity building
workshop for the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy held
at a city hotel.
"Maguwu handed over a government document marked 'restricted' to a foreigner
(KPCS monitor for Zimbabwe, Abbey Chikane from South Africa) and when I
discovered this I pointed this out to the minister because it is a serious
matter," he said.
"That is treasonous. In other countries you can be shot for that.
"Maguwu has adopted a confrontational stance against government and as a
civil servant unless government's stance changes on that I am not prepared
to work with him as a focal person for civil society."
Maguwu - who spent more than two years investigating alleged human rights
abuses in the controversial Marange diamond fields in Manicaland - denied
the charges of handing over a secret document to Chikane.
Maguwu was however arrested for allegedly handing the secret document to
Musukutwa said government was prepared to work with civil society but it had
to organise itself and work towards the economic development of the country.
He said at one time, some representatives of civil society approached him
for a meeting in which they were trying to rope him into their "scheme of
things that ended with the activists carrying placards demonstrating against
government in Mutare the following day."
"Had I attended that meeting it would have looked as though I incited them,"
Musukutwa said. "I am a civil servant and would rather leave politics to the
Civil society has been rocked by divisions over the choice of its focal
person in the KPCS agenda with some sections of it against proposals to
appoint Maguwu.
Non-governmental organisations aligned to Zanu PF are trying to appoint
someone from among their ranks.
Musukutwa said Zimbabweans should learn to put politics aside when dealing
with issues of economic development for the prosperity of the nation.
KPCS was formed to stamp out illicit production and trade in "conflict
diamonds" or "blood diamonds".
Conflict diamonds are "rough diamonds used by rebel movements or their
allies to finance conflict aimed at undermining legitimate governments".
Zimbabwe has so far held two KPCS-sanctioned diamond auctions this year
although controversy over human rights abuses in Chiadzwa has persisted.


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Flat tenants up in arms against property developer

Saturday, 18 September 2010 19:51

A big signpost on a dusty road to a cluster of flats in Tynwald North in
Harare reads: "Always adding value to land".
But the owners of the flats, which have no electricity or proper roads, say
they feel insulted by the imposing signpost erected by Develop-It-Zimbabwe,
a construction company and land developer.
They are threatening to uproot it.
The flat owners, who bought incomplete residential flats over a decade ago,
are up in arms against Develop-It-Zimbabwe, which they accuse of failing to
develop the area despite receiving payment from government.
The four blocks of flats housing 24 households were constructed in the late
1990s by the then Ministry of Public Construction and National Housing.
However, in 2008 the government tasked Develop-It-Zimbabwe owned by Samuel
Mudavanhu to electrify the flats and construct tarred roads in exchange for
a piece of land adjacent to the flats.
But two years down the line, the residents still live in the dark and the
roads have not been built.
"It is insulting to talk of adding value when he has done nothing to develop
this area in the past two years," said one flat owner who requested
The owners of the flats said Mudavanhu reneged on the agreement and
abandoned the project after erecting a few electricity poles.
Some of the poles are already collapsing because of neglect.
"Up to now we are living in darkness after he failed to electrify the
áplace," said another flat owner.
"Worse still the area is swampy and is a no-go area during the rainy
During the rainy season, flat owners and tenants park their cars in other
people's premises at owner's risk some three hundred metres away from their
They also risk being mugged at night because of the absence of electricity
and proper roads linking the block of flats to a nearby suburb.
"Now the rain season is fast approaching but there is no drainage, no road
infrastructure to talk about yet he is busy selling stands to people on a
daily basis," said another flat owner.
What irks the flat owners is that Develop-It-Zimbabwe is developing some
stands around the same area on the piece of land given to it by government
on condition that the company electrifies the flats.
And less than 5km away, the company is also building a private school,
Maranatha Junior School.
When The Standard news crew visited the flats last week, workers from the
Zimbabwe Electricity Authority (Zesa) were busy erecting poles after the
flat owners pulled resources together.
In a letter to the chairman of the residents association a Mr Hlomayi dated
June 2, 2008, the Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities said the
electrification of the flats had been delayed by lack of funds.
The letter says the ministry approached Develop-It-Zimbabwe on the
understanding that the company would be given rights to develop the flats.
"The developer has managed to do at least 90% of the works and is now unable
to complete the outstanding works because of the current economic
difficulties," said one SM Sibanda who signed the letter on behalf of the
secretary for National Housing and Social Amenities David Munyoro.
The letter added: "Given the above we sincerely call for your participation
in the project.
"It is our conviction that if you work as a team with the developer we can
overcome the current setbacks."
Mudavanhu, who is Develop-It-Zimbabwe chief executive officer, denied all
the allegations.
He said the electrification of the flats and road construction had been
slowed down by the economic meltdown that bedevilled the country in the past
Mudavanhu claimed to have bought a 500 KVA transformer and cables. He said
Zesa will start the electrification soon.
"I did almost everything," said Mudavanhu. "The problem is that some of the
residents want the project to be completed over night, which is not possible
considering where we are coming from."
He said some of the flat owners were jealous of him because of the
successful construction projects he was developing in the area.
After the completion of Maranatha Junior School, he plans to construct a
secondary school and a university.
"These are long term projects," said Mudavanhu, who claims to have
successfully completed several construction projects in Harare.
Munyoro last week said he was not privy to the details of the agreement
between his ministry and the developer as the contract was signed before he
assumed office.
He referred questions to Sibanda, who was said to be out of town.


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Divisions rear ugly head at anniversary

Saturday, 18 September 2010 19:26

GOKWE - Just before addressing members of his party at the 11-year
anniversary held in Gokwe, MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai pleaded with party
leaders to stop heckling each other and allow others time to address the

This little incident went largely unnoticed, but exposed the deep divisions
that are rocking the party.
Despite posing as a united party celebrating 11 years of existence, the
schisms within the party could not be papered over.
Trouble started when an unidentified lady, said to represent the Women's
Coalition, was supposed to address the gathering.
There was a chorus of boos from the tent, which had been erected for the
party's hierarchy.
"We do not know her, who is she representing," a woman from the Midlands
Another heckled the woman, saying she had been at her house the previous
morning asking where party cards were sold, meaning she could not have been
a member of the party then.
Issues got out of hand when, Women's Assembly boss, Theresa Makone took to
the podium.
She paid tribute to her predecessor, Lucia Matibenga and immediately that
provoked a round of cheers from a section of the women that were sitting
next to Matibenga.
"She could have joined Welshman (Ncube - secretary general of the other
faction of the MDC) but she remained here, she is still with us today,"
Makone said, generating applause that was probably for the wrong reasons.
She proceeded to thank the women for their resilience and loyalty to the
party, despite the problems they had faced.
"We want the old assembly, that is the one we know," the restless group of
women chanted again.
At this point, Tsvangirai would have none of it and demanded that the
section of the party leaders responsible for the noise keep quiet as they
were disrupting the rally.
Matibenga had the last laugh though, when she got a standing ovation after
she stood up to interpret for party chairman, Lovemore Moyo.
Both party leaders and people in the crowd kept applauding her, with some
women claiming that she was their legitimate leader.
In 2007 Matibenga was dislodged as the Women's Assembly boss and replaced
with Makone.
Two separate congresses were held in Bulawayo, but the Makone grouping ended
up being regarded as the legitimate one due to her close links with
Since then there have been simmering divisions within the party, over the
issue, although it seemed these had been managed.
After this incident the theme of the celebrations changed and all the
speakers were hard pressed to talk about unity and how they did not want
another split in the party.
MDC-T secretary general, Tendai Biti, who has long been regarded as eyeing
Tsvangirai's position, blamed the 2005 split on the Central Intelligence
Organisation (CIO).
"We are never going to split again, the CIO will never be able to create
more divisions within us," he said seemingly hard pressed to maintain the
unity theme.
MDC split in 2005 over participation in the Senate election, while others
claim there was more to it than that.
Among the reasons cited were violence and tribalism within the united party.
Efforts to reunite the party failed in 2008 reportedly after MDC-T leaders
in Matabeleland declined to forge an agreement with MDC-M.
Tsvangirai is often accused of having a "Kitchen Cabinet", which dictates
how the party is run and often contradicts the national executive.


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Apostolic faith members take up health advisers’ role in Chikomba

Saturday, 18 September 2010 19:10

CHIKOMBA — Thirty-one-year-old Nomore Rwambiwa from Gonzo Village in
Chikomba, Mashonaland East is still haunted by several deaths that occurred
in his area a few months ago during the measles outbreak.

Rwambiwa says many children succumbed to the preventable disease in the
He said parents of most of the victims were members of Apostolic Faith sects
who were against the use of modern medicine.
“It was a very difficult time for us because we watched helplessly as
children died like rats,” Rwambiwa said.
“It pains me up to now because there was nothing we could do as we had no
power to stop the tragic loss of life.”
Rwambiwa said even after reporting the deaths to the police and health
officials they were unable to save many other affected children.
“Whenever health officials visited their homes they would run into the
mountains and hide their sick children or even hide them in granaries at
their homesteads,” he recalled.
Rwambiwa is himself a member of one of the sects known as the Church of God,
which however does not discourage its members from using modern medicine.
He says the deaths spurred him to become a village health worker under a
programme promoted by the Community Working Group on Health (CWGH) with
support from the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef).
He was among 300 volunteers who graduated at a ceremony held at Chikomba
growth point recently and will be expected to play a key role in providing
desperately needed primary health in their area.
“When I heard about the village health worker’s programme I immediately knew
that was a calling from God,” he said.
“I knew that this was a chance to help my community and prevent what
happened during that measles outbreak.”
Rwambiwa believes that being a member of an apostolic faith sect will help
him convince those who still shun modern medicine to reconsider.
CWGH’s programme se-eks to reduce the high rates of maternal and neo natal
deaths in Zimbabwe by bringing health services closer to rural communities.
Sarah Munyanyi from Masaraure Village also in Chikomba who is a member of
the Zviratidzo Zvevapostori sect and now a volunteer health worker believes
she can also make a difference.
“The measles outbreak was very unfortunate as a lot of children died because
of the ignorance of their parents,” said Munyanyi who was one of the
“Had I been a village health worker then I don’t think I would have allowed
such suffering and loss of life.”
“I want to reach out to these religious objectors and show them that going
to hospital is simply moving with the times.
“The world is now full of sin that’s why there are many diseases, which
makes seeking treatment important.
“It is now different from the times of Jesus and that’s what people need to
Munyanyi said she aims to reach out to women who are easily influenced by
their husbands who may be religious extremists.
“Many times during the measles outbreak I would speak to these women after
losing their children and they would say they don’t want to lose another
“They wanted to take those who survived to hospital but they were afraid of
their husbands.
“Women are easily touched by pain and death than men.”
Itai Rusike, the CWGH director speaking at the graduation ceremony said he
believed the inclusion of members of the apostolic faith sects in the
progamme will go a long way in changing attitudes towards modern medicine in
the traditional churches.
“Being members of apostolic faith sects themselves they are better
positioned to talk to their own since they are all believers,” Rusike said.
The government and its partners were early this year forced to embark on a
nationwide emergency vaccination programme to stop the measles outbreak that
killed hundreds of children.
At least 90% of the measles deaths were attributed to the refusal by
religious groups to have their children immunised.


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Mining investors wary of empowerment laws

Saturday, 18 September 2010 19:07

FOREIGN investors are ready to do business in Zimbabwe but want clarity on
the empowerment laws, stakeholders at the second mining indaba heard last
Estimates by the Business Council of Zimbabwe, an amalgamation of all
business associations, say that the industry requires a staggering US$5
billion injection to optimally exploit the vast mineral resources in the

The mining industry has been starved of fresh capital injection in the past
10 years as the economic crisis took a toll on the sector.

Fidelis Madavo, representing the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), South
Africa's leading investment managers, told stakeholders that certainty in
the mining sector is paramount if the country is to lure investors into the
capital intensive industry.

He said the country's proposed empowerment laws have to be explained clearly
to remove the uncertainty which scares away prospective investors.

Under the empowerment laws, locals should have 51% shareholding in foreign
owned companies operating in Zimbabwe in the next five years.
"The 51% is a number but it scares away a lot of people, particularly new
investors," Madavo said.
"But if it is explained that the government is bringing in the resource and
the company is, let'sá say, bringing in US$100 million and you meet
together, you agree either a 50-50 split in the profits or 49: 51,á I think
it can become palatable."
PIC manages assets valued at R800 billion (about US$112 billion) and has
invested half of that amount in South African equities.
He said PIC has taken a decision to invest outside the borders of South
Africa and "Zimbabwe will be practically competing with other African
countries for a slice of the money".
"The PIC is now putting money outside the borders.
"We are going to be learning from the way IDC (Industrial Development
Corporation) and DBSA (Development Bank of Southern Africa) and others who
have been doing this for a while have been doing it.
"We will be open for business pretty soon," he said.
Abel Malinga, who is the IDC's head of mining and beneficiation, said the
development finance institution was open for business in Zimbabwe.
"We have started financing projects in Zimbabwe.
"To date in the last 12 months we have approved projects and those funds are
at a stage where we are ready to disburse the funding.
"We are still negotiating one or two things with the Reserve Bank to enable
those monies to be disbursed to those projects."
IDC has a pipeline of projects in Zimbabwe worth US$380 million of potential
"As IDC we are open for business in Zimbabwe in project development," he
In the last 12 months, IDC made two investments in Zimbabwe totaling US$114
Malinga said the IDC was looking at financing new mines and rehabilitation
of precious and base metals among others.
He said the development finance institution was also interested in large
scale beneficiation projects that would be a catalyst for job creation in
downstream industries.
There has been little beneficiation in Zimbabwe's minerals as exports are
mainly done on raw products.
Zimbabwe's second mining indaba, which ended in the capital on Thursday
brought together captains in the mining industry and other related sectors
as well as prospective investors.
The mining industry is undercapitalised and weighed down by erratic power
supplies which affect production.
In his mid term Fiscal Policy Review statement, Finance Minister Tendai Biti
said the realised output during the first half of 2010 had prompted
downwards revision of overall mining sector growth to 31% from 40% this


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Editor's Desk: Chingoma’s toilet party set to fly like his chopper

Saturday, 18 September 2010 19:23

DANIEL Chingoma never got to know why Zimbabweans did not appreciate that he
had “invented” a chopper. Year-in-year-out, for several years, he would
exhibit it at the Harare Agricultural Show at the Exhibition Park.
Show-goers at first would only give it a curious look and pass by without
comment. Later when he produced a second version he became somewhat popular.
But eventually out of frustration he dragged it out of the grounds and left
it on the open ground adjacent to the show grounds where it rusted away.
He claims to be an engineer but he is not; he works at a firm that
manufactures water pumps. The lesson that he never learnt was that one
cannot invent a chopper just as much as one cannot invent the wheel! Simply
put, one cannot invent something that has been invented already. To invent
is to come up with something that is original or has not been made before.
If someone chooses to expend his energies re-inventing the wheel he shouldn’t
expect the public to applaud him.
But Chingoma is not entirely without originality. He has just formed a
political party; we would say forming a political party is not an original
idea. Fair enough, but he has alsocome up with an original idea to sell his
party to the public.
“Everyone goes to the toilet and so I have decided to put up my posters in
the toilets for both men and women,” he said when asked how he was
advertising himself.
“Since the ZBC TV and radio only allow Zanu PF to advertise I will do so in
The rationale behind his forming the party is also refreshingly new.
“I think Zimbabweans need a party that is for intellectuals,” he said in an
“There are no parties for intellectuals in Zimbabwe and that is why things
are going down especially the infrastructure. This is very bad and that is
why I have formed my own party.”
He himself was educated in Rusape and at St Mary’s Mission. “I’m a natural
engineer,” he says. That, one may suppose, makes him a natural intellectual
According to reports he says he is putting up his posters and campaign
message in toilets throughout the country. He already has put up several
photocopied posters in toilets in Harare at several bus terminus and people
are laughing all the way because they have never seen such a political
The question to ask is: Is Chingoma’s Zimbabwe Integrated Revolutionary
Party going to be the next Tea Party?
Ever heard of the Tea Party? In history lessons long ago we used to be
taught about the Boston Tea Party. This was an invent in 1773 when American
colonists in the middle of one night went on board a ship anchored outside
Boston and threw its whole cargo of tea into the sea. They were protesting
against various acts by the British government which, among other things,
attempted to establish a monopoly on the importation of tea into the
colonies by giving a cut on re-importation tax imposed on theEast-India
The Tea Party has now caused a stir in American politics. It was founded
amid a groundswell of populist anger over government bail-outs of failing
banks, insurers and auto companies following the economic meltdown of 2008.
Now it is winning elections and has shaken the US establishment.
Chingoma says he will soon approach “well-wishers especially academics to
help him raise funds for his campaign against the MDC-T, MDC-M and Zanu (PF)
in the next election”. But the toilet is hardly the best place to begin; few
intellectuals ever go into toilets at bus stops so the “Toilet Party” is
likely to suffer a stillbirth but it’s great for a laugh.


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Sundayview: GPA: success and its perils

Saturday, 18 September 2010 19:22

Last Wednesday marked the second anniversary of the signing of the Global
Political Agreement (GPA) by the three main political parties on September
15 2008. In the wake of a massive social, economic and political crisis
triggered by an extremely violent presidential runoff election whose outcome
was rejected many within and outside Zimbabwe, the three principals, set
down to craft the GPA with SADC's assistance.
As they signed the GPA, the principals expressed a determination, as noted
in the GPA preamble, "to build a society free of violence, fear,
intimidation, hatred, patronage, corruption and founded on justice,
fairness, openness, transparency, dignity and equality". They further
declared and agreed to work together to create a genuine, viable, permanent,
sustainable and nationally acceptable solution to the Zimbabwe situation and
to chart a new political direction for the country. After two years of the
GPA the question that remains to be answered is: Has the implementation of
the GPA achieved these stated objectives?
Reflecting on the GPA brings to mind a phenomenon known in Shona as "kubatwa
nechadzimira". This occurs when travelers through a bush lose their bearings
and all sense of direction but remain convinced that they have the correct
bearings and sense of direction. Often, as a result of this disorientation,
people travel in circles, without realizing this, until they come to the
point where they began their journey. Those who believe that immense
progress has been made in implementing the GPA maybe suffering from such or
similar delusions.
MDC Home Affairs co-minister Theresa Makone maybe under the chadzimira
delusion when she pronounces, as she did recently, that Zimbabwe's police
force has turned over a new leaf. Evidence on the ground strongly suggests
that key sections of the police force remain highly politicised and
partisan. Clear confirmation that the leopard will not change its spots come
from recent comments by senior Zanu-PF official and government minister
Didymus Mutasa who has allegedly vowed that Tsvangirai will never be
president of Zimbabwe even if he defeats Zanu-PF at the polls.
The GPA dispensation is credited with restoring some stability in the
economy, bringing inflation down from quintillions to single digits levels,
and putting food back on the tables of ordinary Zimbabweans. Schools and
hospitals have re-opened and there is a sense of hope that Zimbabwe may now
be on a firm path to recovery. But the bigger challenge that the three
principals face is how to build public confidence that these small gains
will last. This point is critical especially considering that the same
Zanu-PF that held the reins of power during the birth of the crisis
continues to wield pretty much the same powers under the GPA dispensation.
The capacity of those that control the election violence machinery to
unleash violence on the scale witnessed in 2008 has not diminished. Our
security sector remains pretty much what is was in 2008, with pretty much
the same capacity and determination to block democracy. A key benchmark on
the success of the GPA would be in designing a mechanism to address the
security sector factor. Without this mechanism, there is no guarantee that
the outcome of a fresh election will be respected leading to a transfer of
power to whoever would have won elections under free and fair conditions.
Where the security sector poses a significant risk to democratic processes,
external intervention is crucial. And Sadc, as the guarantor of the GPA, can
play the role of facilitating a democratic poll in Zimbabwe. The United
Nations has carried out similar missions in Cambodia and East Timor.
If the GPA cannot create an environment free of violence, where there is
certainty of hope, then it has failed to meet its objectives. If the GPA
cannot facilitate reforms that enable a peaceful transfer of power to
whomsoever wins a democratic election, then again, it has failed dismally.
We all want to have hope, but a reality check cautions us not to be na´ve.

Freedom Chari

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Comment: Has Tsvangirai joined Mugabe praise singers?

Saturday, 18 September 2010 19:21

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was in South Africa last week where he
addressed an investment conference sponsored by The Economist magazine. In
his address and in the interviews he gave to various media including the UK's
Guardian newspaper he waxed lyrical about President Robert Mugabe's heroism.
He described his weekly meetings with the president as "cordial" saying of
Mugabe, "he's as human as you are".
"Because he will want to secure his legacy, he will not want to be
remembered as a villain," Tsvangirai said. He referred to Mugabe's
liberation war credentials saying he was a liberator and a founding father
of the nation.
"I suppose Robert Mugabe has been portrayed as a demon," he told the
Guardian. "He himself made a contribution to that caricature because I
cannot defend what he did over the last 10 years in terms of violence, in
terms of expropriation and all these other activities.
"But there is also a positive contribution to our country that he has made.
Remember that he was the national liberation hero, and so those are positive
years. I suppose there is the personality conflict between a hero and a
villain, of which you have to make an assessment. History will have to judge
Tsvangirai repeated what he has said before that Mugabe is part of the
solution to Zimbabwe's problem.
Many people may not agree with this. Tsvangirai seems to have been taken in
by the personality cult that has, over the years, been attached to Mugabe's
Over the past 30 years Zimbabwe's history has been so cleverly rewritten
that a person can be forgiven for believing that Mugabe single-handedly
fought and won the war of liberation.
But a look back at 1980 will show that his name was only one among the many
luminaries of that war. In 1980 he would probably have only just made the
top 10 of Zimbabwe's most illustrious war heroes. Read Edgar Tekere's
autobiography if in doubt!
Even a cursory glance at the past 30 years would show that Mugabe's
apotheosis is misplaced. Only last week Genocide Watch, a United
States-based genocide watchdog classified the Gukurahundi massacres as
Its chairman, Professor Stanton, said: "It's been clear to us from the
beginning that this was genocide. The reason why it is important to label it
as genocide is because genocide is the crime of crimes. It is the worst of
all crimes against humanity."
Gukurahundi refers to the mass killings of civilians in Matabeleland and
parts of the Midlands between 1982 and 1987.
By praising Mugabe as a hero Tsvangirai may have alienated himself from the
thousands of people who have been in the trenches with him since the
beginning of the millennium in a bid to do away with Mugabe's tyranny.
Hundreds have died in this fight while thousands have been displaced. Only
five years ago Mugabe left hundreds of thousands of people internally
displaced or homeless during Operation Murambatsvina.
Millions of people have been denied their birthright and have found solace
in foreign lands where the have endured xenophobia and the sheer humiliation
of not belonging.
Those who have remained in the country still cannot come to terms with how
the economy spiralled completely out of control leaving a once-vibrant
country a basket case.
All these people, inside and outside the country, would be hard pressed to
see how Mugabe could even remotely be said to be part of the solution to the
country's problems. He is the architect of the problems and the earlier he
removes himself from the scene the quicker the problems will be solved.
Tsvangirai has been entrusted by the people who have stood by him and who
have given him their mandate in polls to remove the scourge that has haunted
them for the past 30 years.
We appreciate he wants to promote reconciliation and nation-building in the
post-Mugabe era. But disregarding the plain truth is not the way to go about

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Sundayopinion: Diasporans want dual citizenship

Saturday, 18 September 2010 19:20

Our nation called Zimbabwe is at the crossroads. This is arguably one of the
most defining moments in our post-independence experiences as a nation.
The current conditions in Zimbabwe are tough but they present an opportunity
for permanent change. Zimbabweans in the Diaspora are eager to help in
rebuilding the country. They are eager to play their part. But they have
concerns and fears which can easily be addressed.
I followed the comments made by Trevor Ncube at the Economist conference in
South Africa concerning dual citizen.
The Diaspora thinks that the constitution should allow dual citizenship for
Zimbabweans. Zimbabwe can adopt the American or Israeli citizenship models.
This will make a Zimbabwean always be a Zimbabwean. This will make it easy
for the Diaspora to invest in their real home called Zimbabwe. Israelites
have the guaranteed constitutional security that their home is in Israel and
as such they always invest back home.
It is a fact that a significant number of Zimbabweans have left the country
and they still love to be Zimbabweans. But the fact is many in the Diaspora
have found stable jobs and established families abroad. The trouble they
have is where to invest their earnings. It is secure to invest back home
when they know that the question of dual citizenship is solved.
This is partly because most children born to Zimbabweans abroad have adopted
non-Zimbabwean citizenships when in most cases both parents are Zimbabweans.
I have learnt some lessons here in Scandinavia on how Diasporas can help
rebuild their countries. In Sweden, Norway and Denmark, the governments have
advisory boards which help their Diaspora citizens to invest back home.
This means that if someone wants to buy a house in Zimbabwe there should be
a clear-cut, transparent, reliable and efficient organ to help people in the
Diaspora to invest in the property markets in the country.
The private sector can also play the same role. But the private agencies
need clear public oversight and monitoring so that they don't steal from
people. We might have these things in Zimbabwe but there is need to bring
transparency and remove corruption.
This will make it easier for people to decide to invest funds in the
country. These are simple things that people in and outside the country need
in order to invest in Zimbabwe.
Another key issue is that people want the freedom to express their thoughts
on anything concerning national reconstruction. The negotiators of the power
sharing agreement are totally disregarding the will of the people of
Zimbabwe. The negotiations are so secret as if they are negotiating family
What they are negotiating are national issues that affect everyone in the
country. The suggestion is that the national media, especially TV and Radio
should have public programmes where people can publicly call or have talk
shows where people can contribute their opinions on the way forward.
Zimbabwe belongs to Zimbabweans and not politicians. People must have the
right to know what is negotiated before it becomes law. It is people who
should decide if something becomes law or not. This will increase the
democratic credentials of the country and people can freely invest in an
environment where they can air their genuine opinions.

Ocean Marambanyika is a Peace and Conflict Expert in the Department of Peace
and Conflict Studies, University of Oslo, Norway.

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