(AFP) – 5 hours
HARARE — Foreign banks operating in Zimbabwe have missed a deadline to hand
in plans to cede their majority shares under a new equity law, a cabinet
minister said on Thursday.
"We have our Standard (Chartered) Bank who still show a lot of disrespect of
our laws," indigenisation minister Saviour Kasukuwere told journalists.
"Barclays Bank is still trying to find all excuses that they can and Stanbic
Bank which ignores its own commitments to the people of this country."
"It must be clear to them that they will not escape the law."
Zimbabwe gave foreign companies until September 25 to submit plans on how
they will sell 51 percent shares to local blacks as required under new
equity rules meant to benefit local blacks.
Kasukuwere said most major foreign mining companies have complied.
"The major firms that control the entire mining industry have largely
complied with the indigenisation and economic empowerment programme," he
Kasukuwere's statement comes as Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on
Wednesday said the indigenisation regulations were eroding investor
confidence in the country, which is battling to secure investment after
years of economic decline.
The regulations have been met with resistance with 700 companies failing to
meet the deadline, officials said this week.
"You would expect that when you are implementing such a programme there
would initially be resistance by those who probably who are benefiting in
the main," Kasukuwere said.
"We have to remain firm and steady," he added.
Kasukuwere said companies could comply with the law by awarding shares to
employees, but said Zimbabwe also wants to set up a sovereign wealth fund.
He did not explain how the cash-strapped government would start a fund.
Thu Sep 29, 2011 5:57am EDT
* Analysts say law to benefit politicians, not people
* Chinese firms not exempt, minister says (Adds details, background)
By Nelson Banya
HARARE, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Mining firms in Zimbabwe have mostly met a
September deadline by which they were required to submit plans to transfer a
51 percent stake in their operations to locals, empowerment minister Saviour
Kasukuwere said on Thursday.
The heavily criticised law is aimed mainly at mining firms and banks
operating in a resource-rich state that has become an economic basket case
because of what analysts say are years of mismanagement by President Robert
"I am pleased to say that the deadline we set has been largely met by mining
firms," Kasukuwere told journalists.
"I'm happy that the bulk of the major players are engaged with us and are
complying. Areas of disagreement are being handled between the mining firms
and ourselves. What is left now is the implementation."
The world's leading platinum producer, Anglo American Platinum , number two
producer Impala Platinum and Rio Tinto , which operates a diamond mine, are
some of the major foreign mining firms with assets in Zimbabwe.
Critics said a major reason for the law is to allow Mugabe's ZANU-PF party
to build up a war chest ahead of national elections that could come as early
as next year.
They say Zimbabwe, which is emerging from a decade-long slump, has no
capacity to raise the funds needed to take over the mining assets and the
cash generated by the firms would go to top officials, not ordinary people,
who rank among the poorest in the world.
Mugabe was forced to share power with his rival Morgan Tsvangirai, now prime
minister, two years ago after disputed elections in 2008. The two have sharp
differences over the ownership policy.
Tsvangirai said this week the law was hurting investor confidence and
threatened Zimbabwe's economic recovery.
Kasukuwere says Chinese investment is not exempt from the empowerment law.
China has become an increasingly important player in Zimbabwe, which has
been shunned and sanctioned by global powers for suspected human rights
abuses under Mugabe.
Answering a question on the ownership plans for the Zimbabwe Mining and
Smelting Company, the country's largest ferrochrome producer wholly owned by
China's Sinosteel, the minister said: "Every company must follow the
policies and laws of this country. There's no exception, no sacred cows."
Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:37pm GMT
By MacDonald Dzirutwe
HARARE (Reuters) - Government spending in Zimbabwe is a big concern while
disunity regarding black empowerment is discouraging investment, Finance
Minister Tendai Biti said on Thursday.
Biti briefed the media ahead of the 2012 budget he will present to
parliament in mid November.
He said the government was on target to raise $2.7 billion in revenues but
was struggling to put brakes on spending.
"It is the expenditure side that is a nightmare. There is need for a
paradigm shift, that ... we have to live within our means," Biti said.
The government is expected to run a budget deficit of $700 million this
year. A July salary rise for state workers would require extra funding of
Government had spent $40 million on foreign travel by the end of August at a
time the government owed farmers $35 million for maize delivered to the
state grain agency.
Biti said the 2012 national budget would seek to grow the economy while
creating jobs in a country where one in eight people are unemployed but
added that the government was failing to contain spending.
The southern African country's economy rebounded in 2009, emerging from a
decade of recession thanks to the formation of a unity government between
rivals President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
The growth has, however, not created jobs and poverty levels remain high as
the country still grapples with shortages of clean water, electricity and
"Our people want to be economically active so we are going to pay special
attention to this issue of jobs in this budget," Biti said.
Biti also said tension in the unity government was also clouding the
economic outlook, adding that discord over an economic empowerment programme
was discouraging investment.
Mugabe's ZANU-PF party is behind the drive to force foreign-owned firms,
including mines and banks, to surrender at least 51 percent shares in their
local operations to black investors.
Tsvangirai has said the programme is scaring investors and is meant to
benefit Mugabe's allies.
Biti would also have to contend with scant aid flows as donors withholds
funds crucial to boosting the economy.
Thursday, 29 September 2011
Finance Minister and MDC Secretary General, Hon. Tendai Biti has said the
biggest challenge to Zimbabwe’s economic growth is the slow pace in adopting
various reforms that have been agreed to in the Global Political Agreement.
He was addressing a press conference in Harare today where he launching the
2012 Budget Roll out Plan.
Hon. Biti said the conflicting statements on politics, elections,
indigenisation and farming were seriously affecting the economy.
Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF have been uttering inflammatory statements in
recent weeks on the holding of elections before a clear roadmap for free and
a fair election is adopted. The party has also been inciting its youths to
invade private owned companies and commercial farms.
Hon. Biti said such acts could only be done by stakeholders of the past and
called for an end to this impunity that Zanu PF has enjoyed for too long. He
said there is need for a common vision in order to move the country forward.
He said politics had to be saner and have less noise.
Minister Biti said another challenge facing the country was the lack of
human development capacity that the country was experiencing mainly due to
the flight of experienced personnel abroad. He said the country was
operating at a capacity of 35 percent.
He said the 2012 budget should be underpinned by reality and pragmatism.
“We have to live within our means and cut our cloth according to size. The
budget has to be relevant to the needs of the people. Our people need jobs
and economic stability. Therefore, the 2012 budget should be a sound budget.
Our duty is to balance the unbalanceable but we are very confident that we
will be able to meet our fiscal target,” he said.
The Ministry of Finance’s roll out plan will start tomorrow with a retreat
for specialist associations in Harare. Some of the organisations that will
attend the retreat are; the Bankers’ Association of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe
Manufacturers Textiles Association and the Confederation of Zimbabwe
Industries. The first provincial consultative meeting will take place in
Gwanda, Matebeleland South.
Together, united, winning, ready change!!!
MDC Information & Publicity Department
September 29, 2011
Peta Thornycroft | Johannesburg
South Africa, which mediates the Zimbabwe crisis on behalf of the Southern
African Development Community or SADC, says a small regional team arrives in
Harare in the next two weeks to help establish conditions for free and fair
Lindiwe Zulu, President Jacob Zuma’s international advisor, and part of his
Zimbabwe mediation team, said Thursday that the last hurdles had been
cleared for establishment of this oversight mission.
Lindiwe Zulu said there had been several hitches and inefficiencies in
establishing this three-person regional team to assist in the three-year-old
political agreement which brought the inclusive government to power in
In March a summit of the three-nation Southern African Development Community
(SADC) decided that a permanent group was needed in Harare to assist the
Joint Operations and Implementation Committee known as Jomic.
The three-person team is now being sent to Harare to help Jomic and set the
stage for elections.
However, President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party objected to SADC’s decision
to send the team saying its sovereignty was threatened.
It demanded terms of reference for the mission, which had to be negotiated,
but Lindiwe Zulu said the way was now cleared for the team to begin work in
about two weeks and she hoped that in time this team would be expanded to
include more people from SADC countries.
“So when the three starts the work with Jomic it will be based on those
terms of reference. Let us have more people from SADC who will reinforce the
process, reinforce us as a facilitation team,” she said.
Zulu said that there are still grey areas in implementation of the political
agreement to ensure Zimbabwe never again has elections as in 2008 when
hundreds were killed. Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democrat Change party
narrowly won that election.
She said that SADC, which guaranteed the political agreement, should become
ever more involved in the long road to Zimbabwe’s next elections.
“As we move closer to the issues of elections for instance, we need to even
have more people from the SADC who are going to be able to assist and make
sure ultimately SADC itself is comfortable not just leaving it to South
Africa, but it’s an addition, and the more hands you have the better in this
situation,” said Zulu.
Mugabe says he wants elections next March but most political analysts
believe implementation of the political agreement, which includes
substantial electoral and political reforms, means there will be no
elections until at least 2013.
By Tichaona Sibanda
29 September 2011
The return of Lovemore Mukandi, a former CIO deputy director-general, may
have been facilitated by someone very senior in ZANU PF, a highly placed
source said on Thursday.
Although media reports suggested Mukandi was deported from Canada, sources
told us he could have challenged the deportation order in court, fuelling
suspicion he may have struck a deal with the Attorney-General’s office to
voluntarily return home.
The former spy chief fled Zimbabwe 11 years ago after he allegedly defrauded
the CIO of millions of Zimbabwe dollars. He was arrested on arrival at the
Harare International Airport last week.
But on Wednesday a Harare magistrate cancelled the arrest warrant and he is
a free man. He is now presumably waiting for the courts to drop the fraud
A retired senior CIO operative told us from Harare that Mukandi still has
many friends in both ZANU PF and the spy agency who have welcomed his
return. The former CIO boss is well known in intelligence circles for his
penchant to send spies to infiltrate and cause mayhem in political parties
opposed to Robert Mugabe’s ZANU PF.
‘He was the chief architect in the demise of ZANU Ndonga. He was the head of
an operation that saw countless operatives infiltrate the late Ndabaningi
Sithole’s party and destroy it from within. I guess his experience in that
type of work might be of a great value to ZANU PF,’ our source said.
Our Bulawayo correspondent Lionel Saungweme said since Mukandi can no longer
work in the civil service, there is a strong feeling he might be contracted
by the former ruling party to do some ‘dirty work’ for them in their
desperate bid to retain power in the next poll. Before he fled the country,
Mukandi was strongly linked to a faction led by ZANU PF strongman, Emmerson
Mnangagwa, his former boss when he was Minister of Security after
‘People in ZANU PF are suspicious that he has come back to work for that
faction to destroy the other led by the late General Mujuru. Only a person
with authority like Mnangagwa can give orders to the AG’s office to allow
Mukandi to be allowed back home and be set free without a trial,’ Saungweme
by Tobias Manyuchi Thursday 29 September 2011
HARARE – Discord within Zimbabwe’s unity government over when to hold new
elections and how to carry out black economic empowerment has become a major
worry to investors wishing to start businesses in the country, Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has said.
The unity government, whose establishment helped easy political tensions in
the country to stabilise the economy, is bitterly divided over the timing of
polls to choose a new government to replace the coalition formed by
Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe in 2009 following inconclusive
elections the previous year.
“The key issues of concern to investors is the uncertainty about elections
and election dates,” Tsvangirai told journalists in Harare on Wednesday.
The former opposition leader said investors were also worried over
disagreements within the government over economic empowerment as well as
over the way Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Minister Saviour
Kasukuwere has so far gone about trying to force foreign-owned businesses to
transfer majority shareholding to local blacks.
“The issue of indigenisation is a matter of conflict, it has caused discord
(within the government) not only the principle itself, but the
implementation,” said Tsvangirai, who has opposed the economic empowerment
drive saying it is a ploy by the powerful elite around Mugabe to loot
thriving private businesses.
Under the controversial economic indigenisation and empowerment law that
came into force last year foreign-owned firms must sell at least 51 percent
shares to indigenous black Zimbabweans or face a host of punitive measures
including fines or withdrawal of operating licences.
A deadline for companies to submit their share transfer plans to Kasukuwere
expired last Sunday and the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment
Board said on Tuesday that it would soon probe foreign owned firms to
establish those that had failed to comply with the law with a view to taking
Mugabe’s previous government used its majority in Parliament in 2007 to ram
through the indigenisation law requiring all foreign-owned companies to cede
at least 51 percent of their shares to black Zimbabweans.
Analysts say concerns by foreign-owned firms that they could lose their
operating licences for failure to comply with the empowerment law as well as
fears of renewed electoral violence should the country rush to elections
have combined to once again make Zimbabwe a dangerous destination for
Under a political pact known as the global political agreement that gave
birth to the unity government, Zimbabwe must first write a new constitution
and implement several electoral reforms before holding new polls.
A multi-party parliamentary committee leading the writing of the new
constitution expects to have a draft charter ready to be taken before
Zimbabweans in a referendum by year-end.
The time need to adopt the new charter as well as implement all relevant
reforms makes a new ballot possible at the earliest by mid-next year.
But Mugabe says the second quarter of next year is too far and has hinted he
could call polls by next March even without the consent of his coalition
Tsvangirai has warned that a rushed ballot will lead to violence, while
saying he would boycott any election hastily called either without a new
constitution or without giving the proposed new governance charter time to
Any election boycotted by Tsvangirai – the analysts’ favourite to win the
next presidential poll if held under free and fair conditions – would be
rejected by the international community to plunge Zimbabwe back into
political crisis and the economy back into turmoil. -- ZimOnline
James Kunofiwa, Masvingo, September 29, 2011 – Retired Major General- Kudzai
Mbudzi‘s life is in danger after calling for Zimbabwe’s ageing President,
Robert Mugabe’s exit.
Mbudzi a Zanu-PF’s prodigal son and probably the most outspoken politician
from Masvingo was part of the infamous Mavambo/Kusile project said Mugabe
was no longer giving positive image of Zanu-PF due to his old age.
However, Zanu- PF youths in Masvingo have come out with guns blazing
demanding for Mbudzi’s head on the cross saying it was an abomination and
highly rebelliousness of Mbudzi to call for Mugabe’s exit.
Zanu-PF national deputy youth commissar Talent Majoni said they will not
rest until justice is done to Mbudzi.
“He has gone to the deep end of the pool and he just deserves a lesson that
others would understand that it is not good to say such utterances against
the President. In fact, Mbudzi must go not Mugabe.
Who is Mbudzi to challenge Mugabe in public?
“We know Mbudzi as a frustrated gold digger who tried his luck in politics
and failed. Now that he has also failed to impress in politics, he is trying
to paint everyone black – we then want to punish him for that,” said Majoni.
Before doing anything physical to Mbudzi, Majoni said they were planning for
a massive demonstration against him soon.
Although he confirmed that his life was now in danger, Mbudzi said he would
rather die than retracting his statement.
“I am still Zanu-PF and I shall never be intimidated to the extent of
retracting my statements. I am simply saying the old guard in Zanu-PF
including Mugabe must go so that they pave way for the young blood.
Only focused youths will appreciate what I am saying because we can only
call ourselves future leaders if the older men and women are willing to cede
power and allow new minds to lead.
“They are threatening me with unspecified actions but I will stand for what
I believe,” Mbudzi said.
Mbudzi is a war veteran who once became very powerful in the party when he
acted as its think tank before he left to join Simba Makoni in 2008.
The South African Department of Home Affairs has confirmed that there will
be no deportation of Zimbabweans until the documentation of Zimbabweans
project has been officially completed.
by Regina Pazvakavambwa
The DHA was responding to questions fielded by various civil society
groupings representing Zimbabwean interests in South Africa who had attended
an all- stakeholders meeting with the department as part of an on-going
documentation project targeting Zimbabweans living on the other side of the
The civil society groupings had raised the concern that it appeared the
South African Police Service was deliberately targeting Zimbabweans for
arrest and consequent deportation.
“We will implement the Immigration Act after the project is finished,” said
the Department’s Chief Director of Operations, Jack Mnedi. Zimbabweans who
took advantage of the DZP will not be deported.
He further reiterated that the agreement between the Zimbabwean and South
African governments did not support the deportation process. He also
observed that there would be administrative problems if deportations were to
commence before the documentation project was finalised because SAPS would
not be able to tell who was waiting for their permit to come out and who was
Many Zimbabweans have expressed exasperation over delays in permits being
issued. However, the DHA also revealed that no progress was made throughout
July as the department brought in new staff to address capacity shortages in
the process of adjudicating applications. With the new staff having
undergone training, the process took off again in August and is expected to
run smoothly until completion.
In an interview, Gabriel Shumba, Executive Director of the Zimbabwe Exiles
Forum, said his organisation was happy with the way the process had been
managed and the involvement of the civil society organisations. However, he
expressed concern over some ‘grey areas’ which needed clarification such as
the issue of appeals and the review of more than 11,000 applicants that have
so far been rejected by the department.
The DHA said it would reject applications of people with criminal records.
Shumba further stated that there was confusion on the status of children, in
particular children born in South Africa. There was also a consensus between
the DHA and the civil organisations that there seemed to be miscommunication
between the department’s Head Office and its local branches which were
issuing conflicting instructions to Zimbabweans who had been notified to
tender supporting documents such as passports or letters of employment in
order for their applications to be advanced to the next stage.
Since the closing of the application process in December 2010 the DHA
received 275,762 applications in total under the DZP, and have approved and
issued almost 142,732 permits.
In a related matter, the Zimbabwe Consulate says it has processed 69,875
passports that were applied for under the DZP and of that total only 1,829
passports are still being expected from Zimbabwe. The numbers of the
passports does not match the number of the permit applicants who applied
without a passport. According to DHA figures, not more than 32,500
applicants stated they had no passports.
By Alex Bell
29 September 2011
Civil society members of the international diamond trade watchdog, the
Kimberley Process (KP), are set to boycott the group’s next plenary session
over its failure to end diamond fuelled human rights abuses.
The KP, which was created in 2003 to curb the trade in ‘blood diamonds’, has
faced serious criticism over its inability to end diamond related human
This has been particularly evident in Zimbabwe’s controversial Chiadzwa
diamond fields, where violence and rampant smuggling have continued with no
decisive action from the KP.
Zimbabwe was suspended from international trade in 2009 over human rights
concerns, but the KP has fallen short of ensuring that these concerns are
fully addressed. Instead the group, now led by the DRC’s Mathieu Yamba, has
been trying to bring Zimbabwe back into international trade circles, despite
the local industry still not meeting international standards.
Yamba has said twice this year that Zimbabwe has the green light to resume
trade, despite a lack on consensus from the rest of the KP. These unilateral
decisions have been slammed as an attempt to whitewash the issues at
Chiadzwa, said to be the richest alluvial deposit of diamonds to be found in
The KP’s civil society wing, which includes Partnership Africa Canada (PAC)
and Global Witness, is now making steps to distance itself from the main
group. In June the civil society groups walked out of a meeting on Zimbabwe’s
trade future, which ended with no decision. The groups have now indicated
that they will boycott the KP’s next plenary in November.
In a note emailed last week to KP Chairman Yamba and other KP members, the
NGO coalition said the decision to boycott the meeting was based on several
“We have grave concerns about the ability of the Kimberley Process to
respond effectively to situations where diamonds are fuelling armed violence
and gross human rights violations,” said the email, signed by the PAC’s Alan
Martin. “We remain particularly concerned that this plenary will likely end
all meaningful oversight of (Chiadzwa) Marange, despite ongoing and credible
concerns about its compliance and cooperation with the KP in meeting minimum
Martin told SW Radio Africa on Thursday that he hopes their refusal to take
part in this “sham” meeting will force the KP membership to revaluate its
“The entire diamond supply chain is infected by stones from Chiadzwa. But
the KP has displayed an inability to effectively deal with this,” Martin
He added: “We don’t want to be part of a plenary where these issues are
thrown aside as part of some expedient attempt to ignore the issues and make
face-saving attempts to get Zimbabwe back onto the market.”
The decision comes as another death has been reported at the controversial
diamond fields. According to NewsDay 39 year old Tsorosai Kusena died last
week after being assaulted by police. Kusena, of Betera village in the
diamond-rich Chiadzwa area, died last Friday allegedly in police custody.
His two brothers are reportedly still in hospital after they were also
By Tererai Karimakwenda
29 September, 2011
Thousands of employees at the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) went on
strike Wednesday, demanding payment of outstanding salaries and improved
safety conditions at work. All four unions are taking part in the strike
Shadreck Mutakura, President of the Railway Artisans Union, said most rail
services have ground to a halt nationwide as unions await a response from
the Ministry of Labour, who had been warned of pending action since August.
Mutakura explained that salaries have consistently been paid months behind
schedule since 2009, after Zimbabwe switched to an economy based on the US
Since June 2011 some workers have been paid allowances on time but salaries
continue to be 2 to 3 months late. Many are still owed between $5,000 and
$9,000 for the period starting from 2009 up till now.
“Workers cannot keep carrying the burden,” Mutakura said, adding: “Their
medical aid is also not acceptable. This is causing much suffering,
especially to those who have lost loved ones and to some who are ill.”
The union leader explained that workers contribute to a health fund run by
the railways company, which in turn is supposed to make payments to health
service providers. But this has not been done and workers are being denied
“We also have reports about some areas which are unsafe to work in,
workshops and locomotives that are old,” Mutakura added.
This was confirmed by SW Radio Africa’s Bulawayo correspondent Lionel
Saungweme, who said railway drivers have to improvise in order to avoid
accidents because signals do not work. “Baton sticks are used by drivers who
pass them to each other to avoid congestion,” Saungweme explained.
Our correspondent said like most state-run parastatals, the national
railways has been crippled by mismanagement, corruption and lack of
maintenance on their equipment.
“This is characteristic of institutions run by the ex-army generals who have
taken over in Zimbabwe, especially at the railways,” Saungweme said. He
added that NRZ general manager, Mike Karakadzai, a former Air Force chef,
has been known to use money from ticket sales as personal petty cash.
Union leader Mutakura said the contentious issues were submitted to a
“principal officer” at the Ministry of Labour, who then referred the case to
Labour Minister Paurina Gwanyanya-Mupariwa. Unions are currently still
awaiting a response.
By Tichaona Sibanda
29 September 2011
Two Harare city councillors, Warship Dumba of Ward 17, Mt Pleasant and
Casper Takura from Ward 20, Tafara, were granted US$100 bail each on
Wednesday following their arrest last week.
The two councillors were arrested in Mabvuku on trumped-charges of fraud.
The complainant in the case, Josephine Ncube, is a Harare city council
chamber secretary. Dumba and Takura earlier this year reported Ncube to the
police for stealing council land.
The MDC-T strongly denounced the arrest of the councilors saying that they
are being persecuted for fighting corruption in Harare city council.
Dumba and Takura were part of the eight-member team that investigated and
exposed local government Minister Ignatius Chombo and businessman Philip
Chiyangwa’s alleged land theft, in a damning 54-page report.
MDC-T spokesman for Harare province, Obert Gutu, says the crackdown on the
two councillors has nothing to do with fraud but is an attempt by Chombo and
Chiyangwa to settle old scores.
When Dumba and his team gave the incriminating report to the police to
investigate, the police instead arrested them and the journalists who
covered the story. In March Chombo claimed to have sacked Dumba and Casper
Takura, accusing them of dishonesty, fraud and mismanagement of council
By Alex Bell
29 September 2011
The MDC Women’s Assembly has called for the immediate release of the leaders
of pressure group Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA), who have been jailed for
more than a week.
Jenni Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu are still being held in custody at
Mlondolozi prison after their arrest last Wednesday. The pair was arrested
along with 10 other WOZA members during a peaceful march, which was
violently disrupted by riot police.
The 10 other women were released last Thursday after ‘criminal nuisance’
charges against them were dropped.
But Williams and Mahlangu have been charged with ‘kidnapping’ and ‘theft’,
which WOZA have called ‘malicious’ and ‘spurious’ allegations.
This sentiment has been echoed by the MDC’s Women’s Assembly, which said in
a statement on Thursday that it “stands firmly behind our sisters from WOZA
and support their principled and peaceful methods of exposing the vicious
dictatorship that the people of Zimbabwe are living under.”
“As the Women’s Assembly we dare ask what harm can these poor women cause by
marching for peace? The same women have been arrested in the past for
dishing out red roses on Valentine’s Day! This would have been funny if it
was not tragic,” the Women’s Assembly said.
Williams and Mahlangu have been denied bail and have been remanded in
custody until next month.
Harare, September 29, 2011 - The MISA Zimbabwe Chapter is today holding a
half-day indaba on "media ethics in Zimbabwe".
The move comes amid reports that journalists are wondering exactly when the
draconian Public Order and Security Act (POSA) and the Access to Information
and Public Accountability Act (AIPPA) will be completely removed from the
POSA and AIPPA were introduced by former Zanu-PF spokesman and Minister of
Information and Publicity, Professor Jonathan Moyo, to try and curtail media
freedom and expression in Zimbabwe before elections.
Moyo was, however, later kicked out from President Robert Mugabe's "gravy
train" after he tried to organise a revolt in Tsholotsho, his constituency.
He is now an independent Member of Parliament (MP).
Several journalists, especially from the independent media, have been
arrested for allegedly not adhering to stringent POSA and AIPPA regulations
Misa Zimbabwe National Director, Nhlanhla Ngwenya, said: "The ethics indaba
will discuss the state of media ethics in Zimbabwe with the aim of
instilling and fostering adherence to ethical and professional journalism
with the media".
Senior journalists, including editors, have been invited to attend the
half-day event being held in Harare.
The MISA Zimbabwe Chapter, currently led by Financial Gazette Assistant
Editor, Njabulo Ncube, regularly holds workshops and conferences in various
parts of the country in their bid to ensure that the local media is free and
fair to everyone.
28 September 2011
A shortage of sugar looms because some invaded farms are sugar-cane
plantations in the national sugar-producing region of Chiredzi
Some 5,000 families in Zimbabwe's southeast province of Masvingo have
invaded farms and wildlife conservancies, among them thousands of members of
an apostolic sect, and refused to budge despite pressure from police and the
national Land Inspectorate.
A recent visit to Chiredzi by Land Inspectorate officials, led by Deputy
Commissioner of Police Godwin Matanga, failed to convince the invaders to
move off the properties – most of which are sugar cane plantations in the
tropical lowveld part of Zimbabwe.
Chiredzi West lawmaker Moses Mare told VOA reporter Chris Gande the farm
invasions have reduced national sugar production by more than 70 percent.
Edward Mkhosi, a member of the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee
set up to track compliance by Zimbabwe political parties with the 2008
Global Political Agreement for power sharing, said JOMIC has urged an
immediate end to such invasions.
There were 4,000 mainly white-owned commercial farms in Zimbabwe when
President Robert Mugabe launched a disorderly and often violent land reform
program that most observers say devastated the country's agricultural
sector. Today there are a few hundred white-owned commercial farms, many of
them still under pressure from invaders.
28 September 2011
The International Bar Association said the Zimbabwean political environment
is “gravely polarized and characterized by a resurgence of violence,
arrests, intimidation and hate speech” running counter to the spirit of the
Blessing Zulu | Washington
The International Bar Association has issued a report saying hardliners in
the ZANU-PF party of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe are using the state
apparatus to frustrate political reforms, rendering it almost impossible to
hold a free and fair elections.
The IBA report, entitled “Zimbabwe – Time for a New Approach,” says Harare
remains in crisis three years after the September 2008 signature of the
Global Political Agreement for power sharing, basis of the unity government
formed in February 2009.
The London-based IBA said the Zimbabwean political environment is “gravely
polarized and characterized by a resurgence of violence, arrests,
intimidation and hate speech” running counter to the spirit of the GPA.
The lawyers called on the United Nations and European Union to remain
diplomatically engaged to support efforts by the Southern African
Development Community and the African Union to promote broad-based
democratic reforms in Zimbabwe.
ZANU-PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo told VOA reporter Blessing Zulu that
organizations such as the bar association are in business to criticize
Douglas Mwonzora, spokesman for the Movement for Democratic Change formation
of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said ZANU-PF has indeed frustrated
The new British Ambassador to Zimbabwe Deborah Bronnert met with Vice
President Joice Mujuru in Harare Thursday where she reiterated the UK's wish
for free and fair general election, which President Robert Mugabe is aiming
for by-early 2012.
by Chief Reporter
Despite accusations by President Mugabe's party that Zimbabwe's former
colonial master Britain was undermining the unity government in Harare,
Ambassador Bronnert said that the UK believes it is for Zimbabweans to
choose their own government and that the UK would work with any party or
parties that form a government based on a genuine mandate from the
Zimbabwean people, which includes Zanu (PF).
Mugabe has shot down a request by the Madam Ambassador for a British mission
to observe the forthcoming crunch polls.
The UK has noted that although the economy was improving, Zimbabwe needed
more time to work on political reforms, including repealing repressive
legislation, opening up the media, introducing new electoral laws, and
updating the voter register.
Ambassador Bronnert updated the Vice President on the development programmes
the UK is undertaking in Zimbabwe and the growing trade relationship between
the two countries. London was helping to revive essential services in
health, education, water and sanitation, and had spent millions in these
sectors since last year.
Ambassador Bronnert said: “The UK is a friend of Zimbabwe and will continue
to support initiatives that raise the living standards of ordinary
Zimbabweans. This is demonstrated by DFID’s support to the recently launched
Child Protection Fund, to which $35 million has been committed over a period
of four years. This support will reach over 300,000 children and 80,000
"In 2011, the UK will channel $130 million towards projects in Zimbabwe
which is the UK’s largest support to Zimbabwe ever. This support will reach
millions of Zimbabweans particularly women and children.”
Ambassador Bronnert noted that trade between the UK and Zimbabwe has
increased by 85% in the first half of 2011 against the comparative period
last year. She said: “I’m delighted to see that trade is growing between
Zimbabwe and Britain. This shows there is a healthy and strengthening
working relationship between the two countries that benefits both our
The Ambassador also expressed her condolences to Vice President Mujuru,
following the death of her husband, the late Retired General Solomon Mujuru
who perished in a mysterious inferno at his farm in Beatrice. The VP has
said she suspects foul play, and police say an inquest is still to return
Posted On : September 29, 2011 1:21 PM
Southern Africa’s Bishops have reaffirmed their support for Anglicans in
Zimbabwe, as Archbishop Thabo Makgoba prepares to accompany the Archbishop
of Canterbury on his pastoral visit there next month.
At their twice-a-year meeting held in Benoni this week, the Synod of Bishops
repeated their concerns at the difficult situation faced by Anglicans in
Zimbabwe, and voiced their continuing support and prayers. Dr Makgoba will
travel at the invitation of Dr Rowan Williams, who will also go to Malawi
and Zambia during his visit to the Church of the Province of Central Africa.
Dr Makgoba commented ‘I am glad of this opportunity to be able to
demonstrate in person our support for and solidarity with Bishop Chad of
Harare, and the wider Anglican Church in Zimbabwe. In Southern Africa’s
troubled past, our Church was enormously strengthened and encouraged by the
continuing expressions of support we received from around the Anglican
In response to a presentation by the Most Revd Katharine Jefferts Schori,
Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church (centred mainly on the USA), the
Bishops acknowledged some deep differences, including over human sexuality,
but affirmed the value of continuing dialogue, in a spirit of truthfulness
and sensitivity. The Bishops also underlined their African heritage and
commitment to continuing engagement with the Church in the rest of the
continent, and welcomed the participation in their meeting of Canon Grace
Kaiso, General Secretary of the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa.
The Bishops stressed the need for considerable sensitivity in the cultural
expression of the Christian faith, and for vigorous debate around inherited
cultural values ranging from the ethos of ubuntu to honouring God,
respecting the elderly and virginity testing. They noted that some
practices, such as isangoma training, were incompatible with Christian
Other matters which the Bishops discussed included a range of pastoral and
theological issues. Among these was a recent CCMA ruling affirming that in
South African law, licenced clergy are not viewed as employees of the
church, as such, but in line with their vocation as ‘servants in God’s
vineyard’. Other visitors to the Synod included theologians Professor Denise
Ackerman and Dr Nomboniso Gasa, and Mrs Jeanette O’Neill, the first woman
and layperson to be appointed General Secretary of USPG, the Anglican
mission agency based in Great Britain and Ireland, which this year
celebrates the 300th anniversary of its founding
The full text of the Synod of Bishops’ Statement follows below:
Statement by the Synod of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa
“The Signs of the Times”
“… Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness.
Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life, to which
you were called ...” (1 Tim 6:11-12)
28 September 2011
We, the Synod of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, gathered
from 26 to 28 September, 2011, at the Kopanong Conference Centre, Benoni,
East Rand, for a time shaped by prayer, and by theological and pastoral
Presentations were made by Professor Denise Ackerman and Dr Nomboniso Gasa,
which provided a context for reflection upon, and dialogue and engagement
with, our formal agenda. We became aware of the need for a more
contemplative spirituality, given expression in diaconal service in and to
the world. We were also challenged to become interpreters of the signs of
the times, analytically discerning the course of events in Southern Africa
and the wider world. In this respect, we noted the challenges the media
pose, through rapid and effective communication, which sometimes causes the
churches’ voices to be drowned out.
True expression of the Gospel of Jesus Christ within our cultures must be
exercised graciously and with great carefulness, for example, in the
pastoral care given to those claiming to have a call to Isangoma training –
recognizing that these two worlds, of Christianity and this aspect of
African traditional life, will never meet. Other inherited cultural values
(such as giving honour to God; respecting grey hair; virginity testing for
young people; upholding honesty, and the values enshrined in the philosophy
of ubuntu) need to be vigorously debated as Bishops continue to speak to
The theme of leaders as enablers of the people of God entrusted to them was
a thread running through the presentations. This means enabling through
assessment, discerning and auditing gifts, and putting these gifts at the
service of God’s mission. We were reminded of Jesus’ leadership, shown in
taking a towel and washing his disciples’ feet. We also acknowledged the
challenges that leadership poses for exercising episcopacy, management and
We received with great regret the news that Archbishop Ian Ernest of the
Indian Ocean and Chairperson of the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa
could not be with us, incapacitated by illness. Our prayers are with him at
this time, and we wish him speedy recovery and the Lord’s anointing healing.
Our relationship with other Anglicans in Africa was nonetheless reinforced
by the welcome presence of Revd Canon Grace Kaiso, the General Secretary of
CAPA. We hope that CAPA will be more fully informed about us, and how we
pursue our life and mission, as Bishops of ACSA. For our part, ACSA must
give expression to its heritage and historical connection with the Church in
the rest of Africa. We need constantly to bear in mind our role within the
African continent as a whole.
We were encouraged and energised by the presentation from the Most Revd
Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, centred
mainly within the USA. She shared insights emanating from the colonising
history of the Episcopal Church, which gave rise to the continuing
re-expression of the phrase ‘We do not have Missionary Societies – we are a
Missionary Society.’ While we acknowledge some differences between TEC and
ACSA (for example, with respect to human sexuality), nevertheless we affirm
the value of ongoing dialogues, exercised through truthfulness and
sensitivity towards one another.
We also welcomed Mrs Jeanette O’Neill, the first woman and layperson to be
appointed General Secretary of USPG, the Anglican mission agency based in
Great Britain and Ireland, which this year celebrates the 300th anniversary
of its founding.
The situation within Zimbabwe continues to pose a great challenge to our
engagement with and support of Christians there. Canon Kaiso affirmed that
this is also a priority for CAPA. We are praying for our Archbishop as he
accompanies the Archbishop of Canterbury to Zimbabwe next month, as part of
Dr Rowan Williams’ pastoral visit to the Church of the Province of Central
Through all these discussions, we were reminded again of our vocation to be
apostolic in our ministry and to be pastors in the Church of God. As we
joined in worship together, daily homilies brought the Scriptures to life
and shed light on our deliberations. We shared the need for prayers for
Angola and Swaziland, as well as Zimbabwe.
The Synod of Bishops is a unique opportunity for Bishops to gather to engage
in dialogue to foster the deepening of relationships which sharpen the focus
for ministry, recognising the call always before us to energise mission and
ministry in our Dioceses and Province. We noted that our understandings of
ecclesiology and episcopacy are being appreciated, strengthened and
celebrated in all that is happening in Mozambique to extend God’s kingdom,
sometimes despite the heat of the day. We applauded the growth of the
Province, and considered the possibility of additional Bishops to provide
episcopal ministry through new episcopal areas, as a necessary act of faith,
despite envisaged financial constraints. We were also inspired and
encouraged by the presentation of a Lent Study for 2012 from the Diocese of
Johannesburg, focussing on discipleship.
It has been very satisfying to see the depth of gifts amongst our clergy and
young laity. The role of believers in leadership within Dioceses,
particularly participation in diocesan administration, needs careful
consideration. Another challenge is to look again at clergy stipends, and to
explore further the new system which the Diocese of Pretoria has put in
place. We note with love and appreciation that our understanding of the call
to serve God’s church has recently been vindicated again, through the CCMA
affirming that all licensed clergy are servants in God’s vineyard, rather
than employees as such, in terms of the law within South Africa. Other
pastoral matters we considered included baptism; pastoral guidelines in
relation to civil unions; lawsuits involving clergy; and vocations and
Issued by the Office of the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town
Public Affairs Section
Harare, September 28, 2011: The United States Government takes note of recent judicial verdicts and sentences holding accountable the perpetrators of political violence in 2008 and 2009. The U.S. commends the police officers, prosecutors, judges, and magistrates who serve their country through diligent investigations and due process to ensure the integrity of the rule of law in such cases.
At the same time, the United States is concerned by other recent cases that suggest excesses and a continued partisan bias on the part of law enforcement officers and prosecutors in the conduct of their duties.
ˇ The U.S. is alarmed by the September 23 death of Tsorosai Kusena and the beating of three other individuals allegedly at the hands of police officers at a police base in Marange after having been taken from their village by private guards from a local diamond concession.
ˇ The unrestrained show of violence and extortion along political lines around Harare by the ZANU-PF-allied Chipangano gang fosters an unacceptable environment of fear and intimidation that will only perpetuate violence and undermine the peace and stability which the police are sworn to protect.
ˇ The U.S. is concerned about persistent reports of harassment, targeting, and heavy handed tactics used by police officers in arresting civil society activists– most recently leaders from Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) on September 22– and MDC leaders and supporters as they conduct civil demonstrations or peaceful political activities.
ˇ The reported occupation of city council or privately owned properties in Harare and Bulawayo, and of foreign owned companies in Masvingo, by youths acting in the name of ZANU-PF fundamentally undermine constitutionally-assured property rights, investor confidence, and Zimbabwe’s economic recovery.
ˇ The routine invocation of Section 121 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act to hold politically-oriented and civil society detainees despite judicial rulings granting them bail nullifies judicial checks on the excesses of the executive and suggest a strong partisan bias from the Attorney General’s Office.
If left unchallenged, actions such as these lend credence to public perceptions of ZANU-PF as a party committed to violence and intimidation unconstrained by the laws of the land. They further paint the police force and prosecutors as serving the interests of that party, rather than the Zimbabwean people or the state.
The United States calls on the ZANU-PF leadership to insist that party members and supporters abide strictly by the laws of the country and to hold accountable those members who violate President Mugabe’s directive against violence. We further call on the Government of Zimbabwe– particularly the Zimbabwe Republic Police, state prosecutors, and judicial officers- to investigate scrupulously and accord expeditious due process in these and all cases of alleged abuse or violations of the rule of law.
As the Government of Zimbabwe is scheduled to appear before the Human Rights Council’s Universal Period Review from October 13-14, we ask that it honor the pledge made in its submission, namely to uphold and protect human rights principles and to promote international and domestic instruments in the advancement of these principles.
# # #
Comments and queries should be addressed to Andrew Posner, Acting Public Affairs Officer. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel. +263 4 758800-1, Fax: 758802.
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Remarks by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe, the Right
Honourable Morgan Tsvangirai, following his visit to the United States,
Wednesday, 28 September 2011
Good afternoon everyone.
We meet today after a long time and a lot of events have taken place in the
country and elsewhere.
However, today I wish to talk about my recent visit to the United States
where I attended the highly successful summit of the Clinton Global
Initiative from the 20th to the 23rd of September.
My visit followed an invitation by former US President Mr Bill Clinton. For
three successive years, I had turned down the invitation But this year, I
decided to attend this important platform where business leaders and
entrepreneurs across the world meet to exchange ideas and discuss global
matters affecting business and the ordinary person.
The issues we discussed included generating employment for the 21st century,
the Arab spring revolutions and their impact, sustainable consumption and
ensuring long term prosperity on a finite planet, advancing the cause of
women and the girl child as well as some bilateral meetings with prospective
investors, fund managers and influential global players.
The CGI meetings
Our discussion on employment showed that some 205 million people are
unemployed worldwide while another 1, 5 billion are informally employed. As
these workers seek stable employment in the wake of global recession, they
face serious challenges in accessing jobs. The good news is that the world’s
strongest economic growth is occurring in the developing world which has
become a major driver of the production and consumption of global goods and
services. Across the world, the promise for economic opportunity has
stimulated migration of people to urban centres.
The 2011 summit highlighted the need for effective workforce training
programmes and government incentives that could catalyse job creation and
create an environment for increased profits, productivity and prosperity
around the world.
Micro-finance institutions were also called upon to reform and accommodate
rural farmers, women and the girl child.
The summit noted that the world is living beyond its means in a way that
endangers the environment and ecological systems around the world.
Furthermore, major corporates have seen that reducing packaging, waste,
water and energy consumption can improve profitability, create new marketing
opportunities and entice new customers.
The issue of climate change came up for discussion and arid nations such as
Mali gave a sad story of how their economies are reeling under the effect of
climate change as temperatures are rising beyond habitable levels leading to
a massive exodus of skilled personnel in the country.
For other countries, the threat of extinction is real and it is in this
context that the forthcoming summit in Durban on climate change would be an
important platform and Zimbabwe should be part of these critical
The Chicago leg
Before attending the CGI meetings in New York, I was in Chicago from 15-19
September to meet with business people, potential investors and to
officially open the Zimbabwe Travel Expo, an initiative of young Zimbabwean
I toured Luster Products, held meetings with renowned businessman Jim
Reynolds and other black business people, met with management at plane
manufacturers Boeing and had bilateral discussions with prominent people
such as Reverend Jesse Jackson and the deputy governor of Chicago.
Mr Reynolds and his team are likely to be in Zimbabwe around March to
explore investment opportunities and to visit some of our tourist
Throughout these meetings, the flawed nature of the current indigenization
policy and our toxic politics proved to be major issues affecting investor
Key issues that were of concern to investors, Heads of State and all the
prominent people I engaged with included the following:
1. The continued violence in the country where even elected MPs are beaten
up in Parliament and no one is apprehended,
2. The warped indigenization policy that has eroded investor confidence and
created a skeptical international business community that has developed a
3. The uncertainty about elections and election dates. I learnt from the
Sunday Mail that I had a major boob in Chicago. I want to say it is not
criminal for me as Prime Minister to support the initiative of young
Zimbabweans keen to promote their country. The only boob that was exposed in
Chicago was our implementation of the indigenization regulations which has
tarnished the image of the country and chased away investors.
Apart from Reverend Jackson and other business people in Chicago, I also met
with several African Heads of State in New York who expressed similar
concerns about our toxic and poisonous political environment.
It was clear that the world is ready to do business with us as long as we
stopped violence, developed a clear indigenization policy that empowers
ordinary people without punishing investors and adopted a clear roadmap to
free and fair elections that would lead to a legitimate government.
And on Friday, 23 September, I had a fruitful meeting with the United
Nations secretary-general, Mr Ban Ki-Moon who pledged to leave no stone
unturned in ensuring that Zimbabwe holds a peaceful, violence-free election.
He said the country should not hold elections similar to the one-man event
of June 2008 which was characterized by violence, coercion and intimidation.
We are heartened by his position that the UN was fully behind the SADC
effort for free and fair election and would move in to ensure that the will
of the people of Zimbabwe is protected and respected.
The Zambia elections
While I was in New York, the people of Zambia opened yet a new chapter and
voted in for a new President. I have since sent my congratulatory message to
President Michael Sata following his victory in that election.
It is indeed a major lesson for Zimbabwe, SADC and the rest of Africa that
it is possible to respect the will of the people and to effect transfer of
President Banda did not abuse his incumbency to stand in the way of the
people’s will. State institutions, including the security sector, quickly
respected the people’s testament and as we speak, Zambia has set yet another
record for the region.
This trip showed that it is possible to rebuild this economy. There is a lot
of goodwill out there to do business with Zimbabwe as long as we have policy
consistency and as long as we come up with an investor-friendly model that
balances the interest of investment and the need to empower the ordinary
person and not a few, well connected elite.
It is also true, from my engagements with African leaders and other global
players that the world is ready to stand by us in ensuring that we have a
credible election which will lead to a legitimate government in Zimbabwe.
We will not walk alone.
I Thank You
MDC Information & Publicity Department
Thursday, 29 September 2011 07:03
President Robert Mugabe is keeping his lieutenants in line because he has
dossiers on their illegal activities which he can use to get them arrested
should they challenge him.
According to a cable released by Wikileaks a lot of heavyweights in the
Zimbabwe African National Union- Patriotic Front really wanted Mugabe to go
before the 2008 elections but they could not openly challenge him because of
fear of the repercussions.
The cable says when former Finance Minister Simba Makoni announced his
candidacy for presidency in the 2008 he had a lot of support from these
The Independent newspaper said Makoni had the support of Vice-Presidents
Joseph Msika and Joice Mujuru, party chairman John Nkomo, Defence Minister
Sydney Sekeramayi, Women’s Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri, Youth Minister
Saviour Kasukuwere, Solomon Mujuru, retired general Vitalis Zvinavashe, and
Mashonaland East governor Ray Kaukonde, but none of them crossed to join
“While numerous ZANU-PF heavyweights in addition to Mujuru would undoubtedly
like to see Mugabe go, they are afraid to challenge him openly. First, they
continue to enjoy ZANU-PF patronage, and a challenge to Mugabe would result
in an immediate end to their benefits,” the cable says.
“Secondly, many, including Mujuru, are corrupt, and they know Mugabe has
dossiers on them documenting their illegal activities. A challenge to Mugabe
could result in their arrest and prosecution. Therefore, these individuals
are hoping to ease Mugabe out without a direct challenge.”
Wednesday, 28 September 2011 19:06
Though most members of the Zimbabwe African National Union- Patriotic Front,
especially those from the Mujuru faction, have wanted President Robert
Mugabe to go for some time, Mugabe has managed to maintain his control over
the party through patronage and fear, according to Wikileaks.
A cable dispatched by the United States embassy in Harare on 8 November
2007, just a month before the crucial extraordinary congress which had been
called by the Mujuru faction ostensibly to force Mugabe to step down, said
although the shrinking economy had reduced the benefits that could be
parcelled out to the party faithful, there was still enough in the trough to
“Perhaps more important is the fear engendered by Mugabe that his departure
could result in internecine party struggle jeopardizing the relative
stability of Zimbabwe and the ill-gotten gains of party members; and that
anyone challenging him will be marginalized,” the cable says.
The cable said Solomon Mujuru, because of his stature, had challenged Mugabe
but had failed. Former Finance Minister Simba Makoni was afraid to openly
“With the exception of a handful of ZANU-PF dissidents such as publisher and
businessman Ibbo Mandaza and Mugabe's former comrade in arms Edgar Tekere,
there has been no public criticism of Mugabe from ZANU-PF.”
It added: “As part of his sidelining of erstwhile allies Solomon Mujuru and
Vice President Joice Mujuru, Mugabe rehabilitated Emmerson Mnangagwa who had
fallen out of grace after the alleged Tsholotsho plot against Mugabe in
2005, and stirred rumours that Mnangagwa might be his anointed successor.”
By Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, 29/09/11
The report about a Chiadzwa family demanding justice from Police over the
alleged fatal assault of one of their members and serious injury to two
others over suspected illegal diamond panning (NewsDay, 29/09/11) deserves
urgent attention from the Zimbabwean authorities.
The tabloid’s online news says a post-mortem conducted at Mutare Provincial
Hospital on Monday by a Dr Kasongo, the alleged victim, Tsororai Kusena (39)
succumbed to traumatic shock due to assault.
Kusena, of Betera village in the diamond-rich Chiadzwa area, died on Friday
23 September allegedly in police custody while his two brothers are battling
for life at Mutare Provincial Hospital following the alleged assault.
The distressing news comes in the wake of the discovery by a BBC Panorama
programme last month of a torture camp run by Zimbabwe’s security forces in
Marange diamond fields (BBC, 08/08/11).
Witnesses talked of beatings and dog maulings. A man who still could not use
one of his arms after the beatings told the BBC: “They beat us 40 whips in
the morning, 40 in the afternoon and 40 in the evening.”
Although, the European Union which was suspected of pushing for the lifting
of a ban on Marange diamonds said it would consider the evidence produced by
the BBC programme, it is not clear if it has taken any action, while
Zimbabwean authorities were dismissive of the report.
However, Human Rights Watch has condemned Zimbabwe for failing to prosecute
killings and torture.
Last week’s tragic incident also comes at a time when Kimberley Process
Certification Scheme (KPCS) Chairperson, Mathieu Yamba has reportedly
expressed disappointment at the civil society’s decision to boycott the
forthcoming plenary scheduled for Kinshasa, DRC.
Unless human rights abuses committed by Zimbabwean security forces in
Chiadzwa and Marange areas are addressed, the KPCS will remain deadlocked on
the way forward as far as the certification of the country’s controversial
diamonds is concerned.
It is hoped that the KPCS will exert pressure on the Zimbabwean authorities
to cooperate fully with investigations surrounding the tragic death of
Tsororai Kusena and the serious injuries sustained by his two brothers from
the alleged police assault at Chaidzwa.
Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, Political Analyst, London,