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Crackdown on civic groups continues as police raid ZESN offices

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Violet Gonda
19 February 2013

Police have been criticized for intensifying their crackdown on civil
society organizations, after the latest raid on the Zimbabwe Election
Support Network (ZESN) offices in Harare.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights director Irene Petras, who is also vice
chairperson of ZESN, said officers raided the offices on Tuesday looking for
subversive material, documents, gadgets or recordings and illegal
immigrants.

Petras told SW Radio Africa that the police search warrant was the same as
the one used to raid the offices of the Zimbabwe Peace Project recently.

“The raids are carried out by the Law and Order unit of the police but we
don’t know where the instructions are coming from. It’s quite confusing. One
minute we hear from politicians that they have been discussing this, and
that attacks on civil society organizations are going to cease, and the next
minute there is a raid of another organization.

“So it seems the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing,”
Petras said.

Petras said the police are on a fishing expedition to gather information and
intelligence to try and disrupt the work of key organisations as the country
prepares for the referendum and elections.

Social commentator Rejoice Ngwenya was facilitating a Political Parties
Finance Act review planning meeting at the ZESN offices when the police came
to search the premises. He said it was ironic that ZANU PF had also sent its
participants to this meeting.

A ZESN statement said police broke down a durawall panel and went on to
search all offices, after which they took documents pertaining to ZESN’s
projects and plans for observing the referendum. Earlier that same day the
organisation’s Masvingo office had also been broken into at 2 am and
boardroom chairs, one computer and 60 t-shirts were taken by unidentified
assailants.

State sponsored intimidation appears to be increasing as the country
prepares to go to the polls.

Last week scores of activists from the pressure group Women of Zimbabwe
Arise were beaten and arrested during anti-police brutality demonstrations
in Harare and Bulawayo. It’s reported that at least 25 WOZA members had to
seek medical attention after their treatment at the hands of police. One
woman had to have three teeth removed after having been struck in the face.

A Newsday journalists was arrested on Monday at Mutare police station where
he had gone to make a report after he had been threatened with death by a
suspended Zanu PF provincial youth chairman.

The Zimbabwe Human Rights Association says the ZESN crackdown brings to a
total of seven civic groups that have fallen victim to police raids within a
space of two months.

Meanwhile WOZA activist, Bertha Sibanda, who disrobed inside the Bulawayo
police station in protest after she was beaten during their demonstration
last week, was released on bail Monday after spending the weekend in
detention. Last month a ZANU PF activist Sheila Mutsenhu removed her clothes
in front of the US Ambassador to Zimbabwe, protesting the targeted sanctions
imposed by western countries. She wasn’t arrested.

WOZA said in a statement: “It is clear that if you are a member of Zanu PF
you can strip without consequence in front of the American ambassador but if
you happen to be a member of WOZA, you are denied access to food, held in
police custody for 4 days then you are arraigned before court that will
continue to use scarce resources to persecute you by prosecution.”

Last week co-Home Affairs Minister Teresa Makone revealed that cabinet had
discussed the unwarranted harassment and arrest of innocent citizens.
Although the minister is in charge of the police, she admitted that she does
not have the power to make the police respect the rule of law.

Ngwenya said both Makone and deputy Justice Minister Obert Gutu have to make
an effort, even if their hands are tied.

“We want to see serious sounds, we want to hear vibrations, we want to hear
protests, we want to hear them even talk about litigation. We want to see
Teresa Makone getting out meetings with civil society and the police to
reassure Zimbabweans.”

Ngwenya added: “Even if they do not have any legitimate power to do anything
there is nothing that stops them from making the right noises. There is so
much lethargy and paralysis in those two ministries that we wonder if they
are just sitting on the leeward side of the gravy train and forgetting about
the struggle.”

When contacted for comment Minister Makone said she was in parliament. We
could not reach Gutu or ZANU PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo.


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Violent Chegutu ‘war vet’ removed from sanctions list

http://www.swradioafrica.com

The EU has lifted sanctions on Chegutu ‘war vet’ Gilbert Moyo led the beating of Ben Freeth in 2008

By Alex Bell
19 February 2013

Shock is being expressed over the European Union (EU) decision to remove a notoriously violent ‘war vet’ from its list of targeted sanctions against Zimbabwe, despite the man being guilty of serious crimes.

EU diplomats met in Brussels on Monday to decide Zimbabwe’s sanctions future, and decided that 21 individuals and one business entity would be de-listed. The EU said in its reasoning that it “welcomes the breakthrough in the constitution making process as a significant step forward in implementing the Global Political Agreement.”

21 people, including Chegutu ‘war vet’ Gilbert Moyo, have been de-listed, along with one company named as Divine Home (Pvt) Ltd which is linked to one of the individuals who have been removed from the list. Visa bans on six government ministers, including Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi and Media Minister Webster Shamu, have also been lifted.

The other ministers now free from European travel bans are: Herbert Murerwa (Lands), Sylvester Nguni (State in the VP’s Office) Sithembiso Nyoni (Small & Medium Enterprises) and Francis Nhema (Environment). Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi and Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, who are in the EU-Zimbabwe re-engagement dialogue team, had their travel bans removed last year.

The other individuals removed from the ‘sanctions’ list are: David Parirenyatwa, Dani Rangwani, Richard Ruwodo, Patrick Zhuwao, Isaac Mumba, S. Mutsvunguma, John Nkomo, Michael Nyambuya, C. Muchono, Isaac Mudenge, Mudonhi Columbus, Mugariri Botwell, G Mashava, Gilbert Moyo, S. Mpabanga, Cephas Msipa, David Chapfika, Tinaye Nzirasha, Tongesai Chipanga, R Kwenda.

The EU gives only brief details about who they add to their blacklist and why. But research by SW Radio Africa would indicate that Gilbert Moyo is the ‘war vet’ implicated in serious violence in Chegutu for many years.

This includes the abduction and brutal beatings of former Chegutu farmer Ben Freeth and his parents-in-law, Mike and Angela Campbell, in 2008. Freeth and his in-laws were abducted on the same day that Robert Mugabe was being sworn into office after the one-man presidential run off poll that year.

Freeth recounted the experience during an interview with SW Radio Africa on Tuesday, and explained that he identified Moyo as the leader of the gang that abducted him and the Campbells on that Sunday, 29th June 2008.

Mike and wife Angela Campbell were abducted by a gang of ZANU PF supporters lead by Gilbert Moyo and savagely beaten

“They took us to their militia camp and beat us severely. I had a fractured skull, broken ribs, severe bruising. I nearly lost an eye and I had a stab wound to the arm. Mike had seven broken bones and Angela had a serious break to her arm and she was beaten around the face. They also thrust a burning stick into her mouth,” Freeth explained.

Mike Campbell passed away in April 2011 after never fully recovering from his injuries.

Moyo was never brought to book, despite eventually being tracked down in the Mike Campbell’s car, that he stole during the abduction. Freeth explained that they managed to get Moyo detained, but he was set free.

Freeth also explained how Moyo was notorious in Chegutu, particularly in 2008, for going door-to-door at all locals farms and houses “terrorising people and looting their homes.”

He also led the violent invasion of different farms as part of the land grab campaign, including the property belonging to James Ogden Brown. Moyo terrorised the family and their children in their home before eventually succeeding in running them off the property. He also led the invasion of the farm owned by Bruce and Netty Rogers, who were also brutally beaten in that attack.

“This is the guy the EU says is fine now. I don’t understand how they can take a man who has been committing crimes against humanity off their list. He has never been brought to trial. He has had absolute impunity for his crimes. Of course the police don’t touch the untouchables and nor it appears does the European Union,” Freeth said.


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Supreme Court Judge new ZEC chairperson

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Tichaona Sibanda
19 February 2013

Supreme Court Judge Rita Makarau is to become the next chairperson of the
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), SW Radio Africa learnt on Tuesday.

The former Judge President of the High Court, appointed to the Supreme Court
in 2010, came out as the consensus figure when President Robert Mugabe and
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai met in Harare on Monday to choose the new
ZEC chair.

The principals to the GPA, who included Deputy Prime Minister Arthur
Mutambara, agreed on Makarau during their Monday meeting but refused to
identify her to the media.

Tsvangirai explained to journalists that they needed to consult with the
candidate first before releasing the name. The former law lecturer at the
University of Zimbabwe will replace Simpson Mutambanengwe, the former ZEC
chair who resigned last week citing health reasons.

If she agrees to her new appointment, Makarau is expected to take charge of
ZEC immediately. SW Radio Africa is reliably informed Makarau’s appointment
was by consensus, although both the MDC formations know of her past links to
ZANU PF.

In the 1990’s she was appointed a non-constituency MP by Mugabe before she
left parliament to join the bench. Political commentator Daniel Molokele, a
former law student of Makarau’s at the UZ, said the MDC formations have
limited options when it comes to the appointment of the ZEC chair.

The constitution is clear that the chairperson should be an active or
retired judge. Since independence all judges, current or retired, have been
appointed by Mugabe and may be perceived as close to or pro-ZANU PF. But
Makarau apparently received a seal of approval from the MDC formations, who
describe her as a principled judge.

‘I think in terms of background, she’s one of the few judges the MDC
formations view as a moderate. I think they can work with her as someone who
is professional,’ Molokele said.

Another appointment has been that of Jacob Mudenda to replace Professor Reg
Austin as the chairperson of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission.

Molokele offered a damning critique of Mudenda, described as a strong ally
of party strongman Emmerson Mnangagwa. He has been alleged that he has been
behind a series of human rights abuses, especially in the Matabeleland
provinces.

‘I find his appointment very difficult to accept. He’s one person who hasn’t
been outspoken on human rights issues. He hasn’t been a human rights
advocate, he’s more of a political appointee than a rights advocate,’
Molokele said.

He emphasized that he had no faith in Mudenda’s ability to crack the whip on
human rights abusers from ZANU PF, a party he belongs to and once served as
governor for Matabeleland North.

‘He’s a former high ranking official of ZANU PF and there’s no way you can
expect him to crackdown on people from that party…its not going to happen,’
Molokele explained.


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Zanu PF lawyer to head human rights body

http://nehandaradio.com

on February 19, 2013 at 9:52 am

HARARE- Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Monday announced new heads for
the country’s human rights and electoral commissions ahead of crucial polls
this year.

Tsvangirai told journalists a former governor from President Robert Mugabe’s
Zanu-PF party was the new chairperson of the human rights commission
following the resignation of top lawyer Reg Austin in January.

Austin cited lack of facilities including an office for the commission among
reasons for his resignation.

“Jacob Mudenda will chair the human rights commission,” Tsvangirai said. “We
have considered his past. We believe he is capable, being a lawyer and a
member of the commission.”

Zimbabwe is expected to hold a constitutional referendum on March 16 and
elections in July, which will end the shaky coalition, but no dates have
been set. Elections in Zimbabwe have been marred by human rights violations
including killings of political opponents, beatings and intimidation.

Tsvangirai said a high court judge would replace former judge Simpson
Mutambanengwe who retired last week as the electoral commission chief on
health grounds.

“There were a couple of names but we arrived at somebody on the bench,”
Tsvangirai said. “I am not at liberty to reveal the name at this stage
because the individual has not been informed.”

Tsvangirai confirmed Mutambanengwe’s resignation was voluntary, adding that
the former commission chief had undergone an operation and needed close
medical monitoring.

Ahead of the votes the two main political parties – Mugabe’s Zanu-PF and
Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change – have said they support the
adoption of the draft charter.

But the MDC has said it would want more reforms in the media, security and
electoral sectors for the southern African country to hold free and fair
elections. Tsvangirai said $100m was needed for the referendum and that the
money would be raised in the country through taxes and loans from local
companies. SAPA


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Reporter arrested while reporting death threat by ZANU PF official

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Nomalanga Moyo
19 February 2013

A journalist with the privately-owned NewsDay newspaper, Obey Manayiti, is
in police custody after he was arrested in Mutare on Monday.

Press reports indicate that Obey had gone to Mutare Central Police Station
to report death threats made against him by Tawanda Mukodza, the ousted ZANU
PF provincial youth chairman.

Manayiti told NewsDay that Mukodza spotted him in the city centre and
pursued him, threatening him with death. The reporter is said to have jumped
into a taxi and fled to the police station, where he intended to make a
report.

However on arrival, Manayiti was arrested and charged with criminal insult
after Mukodza had lodged an earlier complaint claiming the reporter had
insulted him.

Manayiti was then asked to report back at the police station Tuesday, when
he was charged under the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act. He will
spend the night in police cells and is expected to appear in court
Wednesday. He is represented by Takaidza and Mubata Legal Practitioners.

A source at NewsDay said: “This case demonstrates the selective and partisan
application of the law by the police. Instead of investigating both cases,
they were biased in favour of a ZANU PF official.”

Mukodza was the ZANU PF provincial youth chairman for Manicaland, before he
was sacked on allegations of corruption, nepotism, provoking divisions
within the ruling party and insubordination.

Nyasha Nyakunu, spokesman for media rights watchdog MISA-Zimbabwe, expressed
concern at yet another arrest of a journalist but could not comment further
as details of the case were still sketchy.

Zimbabwe’s media environment remains one of the most tightly restricted in
the world, characterised by arrests and harassment of journalists working
for the independent media.

Last year, the US-based Freedom House ranked the country 172 out of 197
countries, the worst overall ranking in the southern Africa region.


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EU makes diamonds-for-democracy offer to Zimbabwe

http://euobserver.com/

TODAY @ 09:26

BY ANDREW RETTMAN

BRUSSELS - EU countries have said Zimbabwe can start selling diamonds and
gold in Europe if it holds democratic elections.

The deal - between Belgium, the home of the world's largest diamond
exchange, and the UK, the former colonial power in Zimbabwe - says the
Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZDMC) will be taken off the EU's
blacklist one month after the vote, expected in July.

Belgian foreign minister Didier Reynders told press in Brussels on Monday
(18 February) that ZDMC will get off the hook automatically, unless all 27
EU countries agree "the elections have not been peaceful, transparent,
credible or they have reasonable grounds to believe ZMDC has been involved
in activities undermining democracy during the election."

He had earlier pushed the UK to get ZDMC off the list immediately.

EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton said the diamond offer comes "in
recognition of significant political progress in the country."

EU foreign ministers on Monday also took 27 people and one other company off
the Zimbabwe register with immediate effect.

Twenty one of the individuals are former regime members or military officers
and policemen, some of whom, such as Shuvai Ben Mahofa, former youth
minister, or Dani Rangwani, a police chief, are said by the EU to be guilty
of campaigns of "terror" or of running "torture camps" in the 2008
elections.

The six others are serving government ministers in minor portfolios, such as
tourism or media.

The company, a real estate firm called Divine Homes, belongs to David
Chapfika, a former deputy agriculture minister, who is one of the
group-of-21.

The rest of the sanctions, on nine firms and 85 people, including President
Robert Mugabe, will stay in force until 20 February 2014.

But EU ministers also promised that if a referendum on a new constitution in
March goes well, then there might be "an immediate suspension of the
majority of all remaining EU targeted restrictive measures against
individuals and entities."

For its part, the Zimbabwean government met the news with derision.

"We don't accept any conditional lifting of these illegal sanctions. We
don't expect it to be piecemeal, that is nonsensical as the sanctions are
illegal anyway," a spokesman for Mugabe's Zanu-PF party told Reuters in
Harare.

The EU ministers also agreed to tweak the arms embargo on Syria so that
member states can "provide greater non-lethal support and technical
assistance for the protection of civilians."

Ashton said EU lawyers will work out the details of which "non-lethal"
equipment will be allowed in the coming days.

"There is nothing fudgy or mushy about this," she said.

British foreign minister William Hague, who wanted to go further by allowing
EU shipments of arms to rebels, said the decision will make it "more easy"
to give "aid and assistance," without specifying what kind of non-lethal
equipment he plans to ship.

The ban on arms will be reviewed in three months' time.

But Polish foreign minister Radek Sikroski warned "we really don't want to
support radical elements" in the opposition, referring to concerns that
weapons could end up in the hands of jihadists in Syria.

Sikorski also dropped a small bombshell on EU relations with former Soviet
countries.

Looking forward to an EU summit in Vilnius in November with the so-called
Eastern Partnership states - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova
and Ukraine - he said the six countries might get a promise of one day
joining the EU.

"A series of countries was supportive on attaching a declaration [to the
Vilnius summit conclusions] referring to Article 49 of the EU treaty on a
European perspective for these countries," he said.


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‘$1 billion for war veterans’

http://www.dailynews.co.zw

By Chengetayi Zvauya, Parliamentary Editor
Tuesday, 19 February 2013 11:49
HARARE - Zimbabwean war veterans — often seen as rowdy and President Robert
Mugabe’s shock troopers in any election — have demanded $1 billion in fresh
gratuities and diamond mining claims in Marange, it emerged yesterday.

In a shock appeal before Parliament’s Defence and Home Affairs committee on
Monday, the ex-combatants’ representatives Shadreck Makombe and retired
major-general Richard Ruwodo said their 50 000-strong members wanted $20 000
each, and gem mining concessions in the east.

“We are now a laughing stock in society as everyone is looking down upon us.
We are not getting the recognition we deserve for liberating this
country...,” said Makombe, adding the Z$50 000 packages they received in
1997 had been exhausted and were now living like paupers.

While the “black October” hand-outs are believed to have triggered the
collapse of Zimbabwe’s economy, the latest demand for diamond mining
concessions also come as active members of the uniformed forces have been
handed similar concessions in Chiadzwa.

To this end, Ruwodo said they were seeking an urgent meeting with the
octogenarian leader – their patron – to push for their benefits sine they
have not “received anything from the State for 15 years”.

The appeal to Mugabe was also motivated by the fact that their efforts were
being frustrated by a number of senior government officials, he said.

“We worked on a national project for the past 10 months to sustain
ourselves, with all the paperwork… being approved by the Zimbabwe Mining
Development Corporation. However, when we got to the Ministry of Mines…
everything collapsed as there is too much politics,” Ruwodo told the
committee yesterday.

“This is why we are knocking on many people’s doors, including you the
legislators (and) we are looking for help to access the president,” he
added.

At the meeting – also attended by Defence secretary Martin Rushwaya, Basten
Beta and Lazarus Ncube – the liberation war fighters also said they were not
benefitting from Zanu PF’s indigenisation programme.

The war veterans’ demands also come as chiefs – seen as quite central to
Zanu PF’s re-election campaigns – have made almost similar demands for
outrageous benefits at a time Treasury is bankrupt.

However, the timing is also curious as the country hurtles towards a
watershed election.

In their view, though, the 1970s fighters say they are justified as their
claims are in line with global trends and where war heroes were “feted” like
kings, and in their belief the Marange diamonds would do just that.

Paul Madzore, a Movement for Democratic Change MP and the committee’s chair,
had to quell tempers at the highly-charged meeting and where the
ex-liberation fighters also expressed dissatisfaction over their treatment
since independence in 1980.

At the meeting, the group also demanded a review of their monthly $165
allowances, which they said was insufficient given that poverty line was
$500-plus.

The war veterans also blasted Finance Minister Tendai Biti’s Treasury for
failing to look after their families, especially their children’s school
fees, medical needs, money for income-generating projects and reburials of
their deceased.

“We got $18 million as budget funds out of a request for $58 million… and
the money was not provided,” Ruwodo said.

“Most of our members are suffering as they are not able to fend for
themselves and their families. These benefits are not privileges, but our
rights,” he said, adding the state had an obligation to look after them.

With Zimbabwe’s war veterans treated as a reserve force under Emmerson
Mnangagwa’s Defence ministry, the bunch yesterday hinted at a separation and
the formation of their own ministry in line with regional trends or
countries like Namibia.


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War vets want mining licence

http://www.herald.co.zw

Tuesday, 19 February 2013 00:00

Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter

War veterans want to be given a diamond mining licence as part of an income
generating project aimed at ensuring that members are weaned from the
fiscus, an official has said. Director responsible for war veterans in the
Ministry of Defence, Retired Major General Richard Ruwodo said they had gone
to Marange to conduct due diligence with the Zimbabwe Mining Development
Corporation and have since signed a memorandum of understanding.

He was giving oral evidence before a Parliamentary Portfolio committee on
Defence and Home Affairs chaired by Glen View South MP, Mr Paul Madzore
(MDC-T)

Rtd Maj Gen Rowodo alleged that efforts were being stalled by the Ministry
of Mines and Mining Development that appeared reluctant not only to give
them licences but to meet President Mugabe.
t some people were deliberately blocking them.

Contacted for comment yesterday, Mines and Mining Development Minister Mpofu
shot down the claims saying they have not seen their application.

“We have not seen their application. Due diligence is done with ZMDC and it
is ZMDC that would then make recommendations to us. Many people are making
lies about the Ministry of Mines, there is nothing like that,” he said.

In his evidence Rtd Maj Gen Ruwodo said Treasury had failed to give them
money for projects. They had hope that extraction of diamonds at Marange
would go a long way in alleviating the plight of war veterans.

“We have met ZMDC, went to Marange, identified the place we wanted, did all
the paper work and signed a non-disclosure agreement and the papers were
physically moved to the Ministry of Mines where they have been bogged down,”
said Rtd Gen Ruwodo.

“ We want to have our own mortuary, clinics and that would have succeeded if
the Marange project had succeeded.

“Everything that was required by ZMDC was done. ZMDC did not have any
problems with our documents but when it went to the Ministry of Mines there
was a lot of politics. We were told that if we wanted to extract coal it was
okay but with diamonds you have to see his Excellency, the President.”

Members of the committee said it was strange for former liberation fighters
to claim that they were failing to secure an appointment with the President
when they have a fully fledged ministry with a Permanent Secretary and a
Minister.

ZNWVA secretary-general Cde Shadreck Makombe said there was a need to have a
stand-alone ministry for them so that their issues could effectively be
dealt with.

He said war veterans had been reduced to destitutes and were being buried as
paupers owing to the failure by Treasury to sufficiently fund them.

Cde Makombe said war veterans were the laughing stock not only in the
country but in the region.
“When you talk about war veterans you are talking about the country’s
history. If we had a stand-alone ministry, our application for a diamond
licence would have long reached the President,” he said.

Secretary for Defence Mr Martin Rushwaya said the ministry had bid for US$58
million for war veterans that would have included US$28 million for projects
but only got US$18 million for education, health and funeral expenses.

Zimbabwe War Veterans Trust chairperson Cde Bastan Beta said there was a
need for a quota to be reserved for former freedom fighters in all spheres
of the economy, including Cabinet posts.


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Calls for Kasukuwere probe mount

http://www.thezimbabwemail.com

Staff Reporter 11 hours 36 minutes ago

HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has called for a Parliamentary
investigation into the country’s indigenisation programme saying he was
concerned about allegations of gross irregularities and claims only a few
individuals were profiting from the deals.
Tsvangirai’s party has long opposed the programme claiming it does not
address the country’s unemployment crisis in addition to scaring away
much-needed foreign investment. But the MDC-T leader said Monday that
allegations some of the deals may have prejudiced the country warranted a
Parliamentary probe.
“I am concerned about the possibility of a few individuals benefitting from
a programme purportedly meant for the majority of the Zimbabweans,”
Tsvangirai said in a statement.
“I am equally concerned with reports that some relevant Government organs
were kept in the dark about the full nature of some of these transactions.”
Tsvangirai’s call follows a scathing attack on Reserve Bank governor Gideon
Gono by Zanu PF politburo member Jonathan Moyo who accused the central bank
chief of working with the MDC-T to undermine President Robert Mugabe’s
re-election campaign.
Zimbabwe is due to hold fresh polls later this year and Zanu PF has centred
its campaign on the empowerment programme which forces foreign companies
transfer to locals control and majority ownership of their operations.
Leading mining firms, among them platinum majors Implats and Amplats, and a
host of other foreign companies have already agreed compliance deals with
the government in an exercise spearheaded by Empowerment Minister Saviour
Kasukuwere who now says he will target the banking sector next.
But allegations of irregularities in the main deal - Zimplats’ US$750
million transaction - as well as reports a single Harare firm is pocketing
millions from advising on nearly all the arrangements, having been handed
the contract without going to tender, have raised eyebrows.
“Only a proper investigation will expose the truth about what happened and
whether or not the State and the people of Zimbabwe were prejudiced in any
way and whether all procedures and statutes were followed,” Tsvangirai said.
“It is therefore imperative and in the interest of transparency that
Parliament through its relevant committees should probe this matter.”
Finance Minister Tendai Biti, also warned that an MDC-T government would
review and possibly cancel all the indigenisation agreements, along with
diamond mining concessions at Marange.
“The MDC … will revisit and review all clandestine and incestuous agreements
made at night and in secret. We will not legitimise such agreements,” Biti
told a campaign meeting in his Harare East constituency over the weekend.
“The MDC wants to know how many jobs each company will create. We want value
addition on our raw materials thus creating jobs. Let platinum be used to
make cars in our country, so that our children will have jobs in here.
“Right now, we do not know what is happening to our diamonds. We are going
to audit all the diamond income, to trace where the money came from and went
to.
“We are watching these things. The people of Zimbabwe are watching. White
collar crimes will cannot be hidden because there will always be an audit
trail.”


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Zanu (PF) rejects Gono plan to delay share grabs

http://www.bdlive.co.za

BY RAY NDLOVU, FEBRUARY 19 2013, 08:21

RESERVE Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono has proposed a supply and
distribution model on indigenisation, a suggestion that has placed him at
loggerheads with Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere
and Zanu (PF) bigwigs, who favour a more aggressive approach to empowerment.

Mr Kasukuwere is spearheading the 51% indigenisation programme, which is the
central plank of President Robert Mugabe’s bid for a seventh consecutive
term in office. Mr Gono’s proposal is hinged on wealth creation for the
ordinary masses and a gradual approach at taking over foreign-owned firms.
It moots delaying the 51% takeover of the firms by almost 20 years.

Other features of Mr Gono’s model include giving indigenously owned small to
medium enterprises the exclusive right to supply a given proportion of all
inputs relating to a specific economic sector.

Mr Gono said his model "is inspired by the recognition of the fact that only
a few can fit or benefit from the equity-ownership model being pushed under
the Indigenisation and Empowerment Act, with the overall implication being
the unsustainable alienation of the majority of indigenous people from the
noble indigenisation and economic empowerment drive."

"The model also envisages a gradual approach towards attainment of the
company ownership thresholds by indigenous Zimbabweans, in a manner that
ensures sustainable empowerment, inflows of much-needed foreign capital and
minimal disruption to economic activity."

Economic analyst Eric Bloch, a senior partner at H&E Bloch consultancy,
welcomed Mr Gono’s proposal to indigenisation, but said the central bank
chief’s proposals would be overridden by political interests. "It’s an
election year and Zanu (PF) is concerned about what gives it leverage. It’s
unlikely to give room to the latest proposals from Mr Gono," said Mr Bloch
on Monday.

Mr Kasukuwere dismissed Mr Gono for being a "noisemaker" and resisting the
fullscale roll-out of the indigenisation programme to the banking sector.
Political observers intimated that the spat exposed the deep divisions and
policy inconsistency that the law had caused within Mr Mugabe’s Zanu (PF)
ranks.

Jonathan Moyo, a Zanu (PF) politburo mem ber, rebuked Mr Gono at the weekend
for his indigenisation proposal and accused him of being "treacherous".

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Tendai Biti has indicated his ministry would
soon launch a probe into reports of corruption and irregularities around
recent empowerment deals.


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Judges' Protest Over Poor Salaries Expose Disgruntlement

http://www.radiovop.com

By Professor Matodzi Harare, February 18, 2013 - A protest by Zimbabwean
judges has exposed the high level of disgruntlement among the country’s
senior judicial officers.
The judges who have since 2011 been complaining about poor working
conditions have now demanded a meeting with their employer, the Judicial
Service Commission (JSC).

In a memorandum dispatched to Judge President George Chiweshe early this
month, the judges outlined the topical issues they want the JSC to tackle
during their proposed meeting with JSC chairperson Godfrey Chidyausiku.

The judicial officers have cited poor salaries, poor apparel, old computers,
and outdated library and as some of their concerns.

They say the government’s failure to adjust their salaries had left the
judges depressed and frustrated.

The judges want the JSC to allocate a “relief motor vehicle” whenever a
judge’s personal issued vehicle is unavailable.

The judges charge that their offices need to be spruced up as they are
working under “inhospitable conditions”.

The JSC, the judges said must also provide them with research assistants to
alleviate the heavy workload which they shoulder and replenish the judges
library which is severely depleted of “relevant books and reading material”.

In 2011, Chiweshe gave judges a dressing-down after reading the riot act to
them over scruffy dressing and delinquency. Chiweshe said he was concerned
that judges were wearing creased jabots.

But in response, the judges demanded to be supplied with suits to give a
face lift to their dressing. The judges implored the JSC to supply them with
three suits, five shirts or five blouses and three pairs of shoes per year.


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100 Farmers Stranded at Mashonaland West GMB Depot

http://www.voazimbabwe.com/

Gibbs Dube
18.02.2013

WASHINGTON DC — More than 100 communal farmers in Zimbabwe’s Mashonaland
West Province are stranded at Magunje Grain Marketing Board (GMB) depot
after the parastatal failed to pay them for maize delivered last
agricultural season.

According to three lawmakers, the farmers have nowhere to go as they come
from as far afield as Hurungwe West and other areas.

They said at least 150 farmers received varying amounts of money last Friday
and Saturday but some were left stranded.

Hurungwe West lawmaker, Severino Tall Chambati said the situation is chaotic
at the GMB depot. “It’s sad that farmers are being illtreated by the
parastatal which has over the years failed to meet its financial
obligations,” said Chambati.

Hurungwe East Member of Parliament, Sarah Mawoka, said she is among farmers
who have not been paid by the GMB for maize deliveries for almost three
years.

Mawoka claimed that the Ministry of Finance is not concerned about the
plight of these stranded farmers who make a living through crop cultivation.

Parliamentary agriculture committee chairman Moses Jiri said the GMB now
owes farmers only $750,000 after it paid $20 million for last year’s maize
deliveries.


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Air Zimbabwe Readies For Airbus Flights

http://www.radiovop.com

By Professor Matodzi Harare, February 18, 2013- AIR Zimbabwe has engaged
South African Airways (SAA) to carry out some maintenance check on one of
its Airbus aircraft as the airline readies itself to re-launch regional and
international flights next month.
Insiders at Air Zimbabwe told Radio VOP that the aircraft maintenance which
commenced last week will last three weeks and will enable the ailing airline
to start operating the Airbus aircraft at the end of March.

The troubled airline was forced to engage SAA to conduct a bridging check on
its aircraft as it currently has no engineers skilled to work on Airbus
planes.

Air Zimbabwe has already rolled out an ambitious plan in which it will
operate two of its Airbus aircraft on flights to Ghana, Mauritius, Kenya and
Nigeria including on the Harare-Johannesburg, Dar es Salaam, Lubumbashi and
Kinshasa jaunt.

The airline will also operate one of its Boeing aircraft on flights into the
German city of Munich and reintroduce the London-Harare flights, which were
suspended in January last year.

Meanwhile, the ailing airline which broke aviation records after flying an
empty aircraft from Johannesburg to Harare upon the resumption of regional
flights last November will at the end of the month take delivery of two
planes from Embraer, a Brazilian aircraft manufacturer.

The government, which is the majority shareholder for Air Zimbabwe sealed
the aircraft lease agreement deals last year. The embraer ER jets will
complement the airline’s depleted fleet on local and regional flights
including Harare-Lusaka, Lilongwe and Johannesburg routes.


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NCA hauls Mugabe and ZEC to court

http://www.swradioafrica.com

Information Alert
19 February 2013
NCA HAULS MUGABE AND ZEC TO COURT OVER REFERENDUM

THE National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) on Tuesday 19 February 2013 filed
an urgent chamber application in the High Court seeking an order
interdicting the Zimbabwe Election Commission from conducting a referendum
on the COPAC Draft Constitution scheduled for 16 March 2013.

In the application, which was filed by prominent human rights lawyer Alec
Muchadehama of Mbidzo, Muchadehama and Makoni Legal Practitioners, who is a
member of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, the NCA and its chairperson
Lovemore Madhuku wants Proclamation No. 1 of 2013 issued on Friday 15
February 2013 as Statutory Instrument No. 19/2013 to be declared unlawful
and ultra vires Section 3 of the Referendum Act Chapter 2:10.

The constitutional reform body also wants the High Court to set aside the
proclamation issued by President Robert Mugabe gazetting 16 March 2013 as
the date for the referendum.
Besides ZEC and President Mugabe, the NCA also cited Justice and Legal
Affairs Minister, Patrick Chinamasa and the Director in the Attorney General’s
Civil Division.


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Dualisation of national trunk roads begins

http://www.herald.co.zw/

Tuesday, 19 February 2013 00:00

Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter

THE Zimbabwe National Road Administration has started dualising national
trunk roads after securing a US$147 million loan from the African
Development Bank for the dualisation of the road between Norton and Kadoma.

The section of the highway between Harare and Norton has since been dualised
using Government resources.

Zinara chief executive Mr Frank Chitukutuku, however, told the Parliamentary
Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructure Development yesterday
that Government would soon announce plans for the dualisation of the
Beitbridge-Harare Road.

“We have received some good news from the African Development Bank on the
dualisation of the same road that is going to take us from Norton to
Kadoma.

“This US$147 million loan will result in the dualisation of the road to
somewhere just after Kadoma and will also include structures on the road
that include bridges and road signs,” he said.

Mr Chitukutuku said the bank was carrying out due diligence on the project
and would complete the exercise by the end of next month.

He said disbursement of funds and construction would start in the last
quarter of the year.
On the Beitbridge-Harare highway, Mr Chitukutuku said the road could finance
itself because it was a viable road with enough traffic.

“So the ministry (Transport, Communication and Infrastructure Development)
is working to see who can get a concession to invest on the road. The
traffic on the road can pay for the investment on that road and I think the
ministry will be making an announcement soon.”

AfDB provided the US$206 million to the rehabilitation of the
Plumtree-Bulawayo-Harare-Mutare highway that will also see the construction
of state-of-the-art toll plazas that are fully computerised to reduce
leakages.

The rehabilitation is expected to be completed by April next year.
The Zinara boss said last year the organisation collected US$84 million
through the Road Fund and expected the amount to increase slightly above
US$90 million this year.

He, however, bemoaned corrupt practices by foreign motorists who were not
paying transit fees saying this had cost Zinara US$2 million between 2010
and 2012.

“In 2010 we collected US$18 million in transit fees but in 2012 we collected
US$16 million.
“What we are seeing is that there is a problem at the borders hence our
programme to computerise the system,” he said.


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WOZA: Bertha released on $100 bail


Press statement
Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA)

WOMEN of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) member, Bertha Sibanda, appeared in
Tredgold Magistrates Court Bulawayo charged with contravening section
132 of the Code that is publicly exposing herself and being a
nuisance. She was granted bail of $100 on condition that she resides
at her given address and that she must not interfere with witnesses.
She appeared before Court 2 presiding magistrate Mr. Mthethwa. She is
defended by Kossam Ncube deployed by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human
Rights. She will appear for a further remand hearing on 4th March
2013.

The outline of the state case reads, “Charge C/S 77 (a) of the
criminal law codification and reform act Chapter 9:23 “Public
Indecency”. The complainant is the state. It reads; “4. On the 14
February 2013 at about 1600hrs, a group of women was brought at Z.R.P
Bulawayo Central by Byo police reaction group following an unnotified
gathering at Southampton Building. 5. Accused was amongst the other
group of women that followed at Byo Central protesting against the
police officers who had taken their partners. 6. Whilst gathered at
Z.R.P Byo Central courtyard, accused Bertha Sibanda indecently exposed
herself by taking off her blouse and skirt and remained wearing a pant
in a public place and within view of Police officers and the crowd
that was gathered at Z.R.P Byo Central courtyard. 7. Accused was
arrested by number 9916561 cst Nkenjana who escorted her into the
charge office where a report was opened. 8 accused acted unlawful.”

WOZA wish to make known that disrobing is a form of non violent
protest practiced in many cultures and recognised by the foremost
scholar of Nonviolence Professor Gene Sharp. Professor Sharp’s
authored 198 methods of protest and symbolic public acts. Protest
disrobings appears as number 22.

WOZA wish to object to the selective application of the law and waste
of court resources in this case.
“It is clear that if you are a member of Zanu PF you can strip
without consequence in front of the American ambassador but if you
happen to be a member of WOZA; you are denied access to food, held in
police custody for 4 days then you are arraigned before court that
will continue to use scarce resources to persecute you by prosecution.


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Zimbabwe/Zambia electricty debt

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk

19.02.13

by Rebecca Moyo

ZESA Holdings says the creation of a sinking fund with a local bank would
enable Zimbabwe clear its US$70,8 million debt owed to Zambia after the
creation of a sinking fund with a local bank.

Giving an update on operations before the Parliamentary Committee of State
Enterprises and Parastatals today, Zesa chief executive Engineer Joshua
Chifamba said

Chifamba said Zesa had made progress on the old debt owed to its northern
neighbours clearing the way for work on the Batoka electricity project to
begin.

“Zesa has paid US$20 million after the creation of a sinking fund with a
local bank and should have paid an additional US$20 million by the end of
March this year,” he said.

“The amount should be cleared by the end of March next year with work on the
project expected to begin within 18 months as expressions of interest had
been advertised,” he said.

Batoka is situated 50kms downstream of Victoria Falls and would provide 800
MW of hydro power generation capacity for each of the two countries (1 600MW
for both).

Zambia said they would not partner Zimbabwe until the asset debt accrued
during the Federation-era was cleared. The principal amount owing was
US$70,8 million but there was also an interest charge of US$115 million
which has been accruing since dissolution. Interest is being charged at 5,2
million per annum.

The debt also includes proceeds of the sale of assets belonging to former
Central African Power Corporation disbanded in 1987, where Zimbabwe
reportedly benefited more. CAPCO was running the Kariba power project for
the two countries during Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland era.

He said the amount owed to Zesa Holdings by customers has ballooned to
US$730 million since dollarisation of the economy in 2009. Chifamba said.
huge corporates were the biggest debtors, accounting for nearly a third of
the amount.

“The money we are owed has risen to US$730 million and of the total amount,
domestic consumers owe us US$261 million,” said Chifamba. “This puts us in a
very tight position (in terms of viability).”

Zesa embarked on a rollout programme of prepaid meters last year in a bid to
improve revenue inflows, but this is moving at a much slower pace than
anticipated due to funding problems. By last month, Zesa had installed only
55 000 prepaid meters in domestic premises countrywide since August last
year against a target of 600 000 households.


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The MDC Today

Tuesday 19 February 2013

Gutu-Albert Musvosvo an MDC branch chairman in ward 17, Gutu Central Constituency, was severely assaulted by a mob of Zanu PF supporters at the weekend and sustained deep facial injuries.

According to Gutu Central legislator Honourable Oliver Chirume, the incident happened at Rasa Business Centre around 5 pm on Sunday when Musvosvo and fellow party members were coming from a party meeting .When they arrived at the business centre, the Zanu PF mob allegedly began to shout abusive words at the MDC supporters.Musvosvo, who is in his late 50s then told the Zanu PF mob to behave in a dignified manner.

The mob reportedly surrounded him and started assaulting him.

“The group was led by Stan Mukotami who is the Zanu PF chairman for ward 17. Musvosvo tried to advise the 20 Zanu PF supporters that they should behave in a more dignified manner .The Zanu PF mob told him they had been looking for him for a long time .They surrounded him and beat him up.Mukotami punched him on the face and he lost two front teeth. He was rescued by fellow party members who then accompanied him to Basera Police camp before going to Gutu Mission Hospital for treatment .We have not received anything regarding police

investigations and we understand no one has been arrested so far. This could be an indication Zanu PF is not sincere about ending political violence, “said Honourable Chirume.

Although no comment could be obtained from Mukotami, Gutu Central Constituency secretary for Information and Publicity Lloyd Mupfudze said the Zanu PF supporters behaved in an overzealous manner.

“The Zanu PF supporters reflected their unwillingness to repent. Our members were coming from a district meeting that was held at Dewure Business Centre and they simply intended to buy some refreshments at

the business centre. That is when Zanu PF supporters began to insult them and proceeded to attack a hapless Musvosvo.In actual fact Musvosvo told them that they should show some semblance of discipline and that is why they assaulted him, “said Mupfudze.

”This incident has once again exposed Zanu PF `s lack of commitment towards ending political violence. It is most disturbing to encounter such an unfortunate incident as the nation gears for the

referendum. However we hope the new constitution will effectively address matters of political hooliganism and we are also believe that elections will be held under a conducive environment. We must remain cautious as we go to the referendum, “ Mupfudze added.

The Last Mile: Towards Real Transformation


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Message from the HRT Director

Dear Colleague,

The HRT is in the process of going through the whole Draft Constitution as
agreed by the principals in the Inclusive Government of Zimbabwe. But we
particularly bringing to your attention Chapter 14 herein attached that
deals with the issue of Provincial and Local Government for your
information. We would appreciate your feedback on this and other matters
related to the Draft Constitution, knowing that if you are available you
will participate in casting your Yes/ No vote. In our view it is important
for you to know what you are voting for. In case you need the whole document
please let us know or just visit the Constitutional parliamentary Select
Committee (COPAC) website www.copac.org.zw

Thank you for your time, hoping that you find this useful.

Regards,

(Mr) Precious Shumba

HRT Director

P.O.Box HR2686

5 Tudor Gardens Corner Mazowe Street and Josiah Tongogara Avenue

Harare

Email: pshumba@hrt.org.zw/ hretrust79@gmail.com

Website: www.hrt.org.zw

Mobile: 0772 869 294

Landline: 04-797357/ 790394

Facebook: Harare Residents' Trust Hrt

Twitter: @InfoHRT


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Commercial Farmers Union – way forward pt 2

http://www.swradioafrica.com/Documents/wayforward2.pdf

Please click the url to read the article


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EU Sanctions‏, Global Witness, and ZMDC

http://www.zimeye.org

By David Hwangwa

Published: February 19, 2013

The London-based campaigning group, Global Witness today (Tuesday)welcomed
the European Union’s (EU) decision to keep the Zimbabwe Mining Development
Corporation (ZMDC) on the list of sanctioned businesses, while at the same
time warning the EU that there are now gaps in the sanctions list, which
could result in diamond revenue funding President Robert Mugabe’s military.

ZANU-PF’s outburst at EU sanctions lifting a fore-warning there will not be
a free and fair election

On Monday the European Union lifted a travel ban on 21 individuals who
include six ZANU-PF ministers as well as one company. The target based
sanctions, imposed on Zimbabwe by the West at the height of the land reform
in the early 2000s, were mainly placed on Mugabe’s cronies and their
businesses. Over the years, since the signing of the Global Political
Agreement in 2009, have been eased and relaxed gradually
with the western nations reviewing whether to lift the sanctions annually.

The latest lifting of the ban is attached with certain conditions, chiefly
the holding of peaceful free and fair elections. ZANU-PF, instead of
responding to the EU with a pledge of hosting free and fair elections
attacked them with vengeance.

“The decision by the EU to remove certain individuals and companies from
their illegal sanctions list is outrageous and preposterous.

ZANU-PF will never accept any conditional removal of the illegal sanctions,”
Rugare Gumbo, the ZANU-PF spokesman responded when asked about this latest
development. ZANU-PF wants an “unconditional and total” lifting of the
elections.

EU did not however remove sanctions on the Zimbabwe Mining Development
Corporation, keeping those measures at least until the conclusion of the
upcoming elections. The keeping of the sanctions on ZMDC is a welcome
measure considering that the company is responsible for funding ZANU-PF in
all its endeavors, including state-sponsored violence against members of the
former opposition, the MDCs. The lifting of the ban on ZMDC was requested by
Belgium, where Antwerp, the world’s biggest diamond trading centre, is
based, who pushed for it to be freed from the sanctions ban.

ZMDC was given a grace period of at least a month after the elections to see
whether it can be fully rid of the sanctions by the EU. ZANU-PF has, since
the discovery of diamonds in the eastern province of Manicaland been
dependent on the revenues from diamonds to fund their loyalists in their
political rivalry against their fierce rivals, the MDCs. They will not be
affected by the EU’s refusal to lift sanctions on ZMDC because the diamonds
from ZMDC are still in demand in Asia and thus, they are guaranteed more
revenue for their state-sponsored and target based violence against their
rivals.

Whilst ZANU-PF may have dismissed the latest developments as “outrageous and
preposterous” it leaves one wondering what it is that ZANU-PF really wants.
In 2012 they sent their chief lawyer, Attorney General Tomana to go and
challenge the EU to lift the “illegal sanctions” they imposed on Zimbabwe.
Now that there is an impartial lifting of the sanctions, they are still
reluctant to accept such developments because they still want the EU to
remove them wholly without them playing a part also.

The EU has demanded that ZANU-PF allow a free and fair election to take
place and this latest outburst on EU shows that they are not willing to play
along with the EU by guaranteeing a just and fair election. Zimbabwe has a
record of bloody and unjust elections and since 2001, all the elections that
have taken place in Zimbabwe are nothing but a farce that have legitimized
Mugabe’s hold on power at the expense of the people. SADC have over the
years certified these elections as free and fair because they always succumb
to Mugabe’s
pressure.

Why is it that ZANU-PF does not wish to reciprocate to these measures by EU?
The EU ambassador to Zimbabwe, Dell’Ariccia assured ZANU-PF that all these
restrictive measures would be removed if the elections are free and fair.
Only through a peaceful free and fair will result in “an immediate
suspension of the majority of all remaining targeted restrictive measures
against individuals and entities,” Ambassador Dell was quoted on Monday at a
press briefing in Harare. Since independence, ZANU-PF are yet to guarantee
Zimbabweans such conditions for a free and fair election and thus all this
noise is just a message to the EU that unfortunately ZANU-PF cannot
guarantee a free and fair election.

Such utterances are the last thing that Zimbabweans want to hear as we are
only weeks away from the constitution referendum, penciled for the 16th of
March. Memories and wounds from the 2008 harmonised elections are still
fresh on the people of Zimbabwe. Everyone is aware that ZANU-PF will not
succumb to any pressure from anyone to host peaceful elections if it means
them losing their grip on Zimbabwe. They will do everything in their means
to ensure that their challengers will not taste victory. 2008 is testimony
to that. Rugare Gumbo’s statements are not only addressed at the EU’s
partial lift on sanctions but to all their political foes in Zimbabwe as we
approach Election Day. The partial relax on the sanctions was dismissed as
nothing but plans by the West to further their economic interests in
Zimbabwe. ZANU-PF has for ages dismissed the MDC-T as a puppet of the EU and
such developments are just seen by ZANU-PF as an attempt to appease the
people to vote for the MDC-T now that there sanctions are being relaxed,
albeit gradually. ZANU-PF fails to understand that the west will not remove
sanctions without any reforms because it is because of ZANU-PF’s autocratic
rule that brought these sanctions to Zimbabwe in the first place. The only
way in which the West will remove these sanctions is if ZANU-PF reforms. The
latest lifting of sanctions was brought about by ZANU-PF’s part in the
drafting of the constitutional draft. All the countries that had placed
Zimbabwe on sanctions were encouraged by this.

Zimbabwe hosting free and fair elections this year is a long short because
the conditions facing the country at present are the same conditions we
faced in 2008. The draconian laws such as POSA that give ZANU-PF an unfair
advantage over their rivals are still there. Most of the reforms that were
meant to be implemented at the signing of the GPA are yet to be implemented
and unless if their implemented before June a repeat of 2008 is upon us.
ZANU-PF have failed to guarantee Zimbabwe a peaceful free and fair election,
they are more concerned with starting a verbal warfare with the EU than
guaranteeing their own people a just election for once.

David Hwangwa is a Human rights Activist and political commentator


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BILL WATCH 7/2013 of 19th February [PLC Adverse Report on Youth Council Regs; AG's Office Amendment Bill]

BILL WATCH 7/2013

[19th February 2013]

Both Houses of Parliament are sitting this Week

Zimbabwe Youth Council (General) Regulations [SI 4/2013]: Update

Parliamentary Legal Committee [PLC] adverse report The Committee has agreed on an adverse report on SI 4/2013. It will be presented to the Senate this week. The adverse report does not itself invalidate the regulations, but if it is approved by the Senate, the House of Assembly then has up to twenty-one days in which to reverse the Senate’s decision – otherwise President is under a constitutional obligation to revoke the SI.

The decision of Parliament to accept or reject the adverse report depends on voting in the Houses – this decision does not have the same status as a court ruling that the SI is or is not unconstitutional or ultra vires and invalid. Only a court can deliver a legally binding decision on that question. If Parliament does not accept its own Legal Committee’s opinion, there is nothing to stop a challenge to the regulations in the High Court.

Attorney General’s Office Amendment Bill

The Attorney General’s Office Act, although passed by Parliament and gazetted in early 2011, has never been brought into operation, because concerns were raised about some of its provisions. This Bill aims to address those concerns and will, if passed into law, enable the Act to be brought into force at last.

The Bill was gazetted on 8th February [available from veritas@mango.zw]. Under Parliamentary Standing Orders it cannot be formally introduced in either House until two weeks after gazetting [the first opportunity would be 26th February]. The explanatory memorandum accompanying the Bill says that its purpose is “to amend the Attorney General’s Office Act in such a manner that the Attorney-General is enabled to uphold the independence of his or her office in the discharge of his or her constitutional mandate under section 76 of the Constitution”. Section 76 of the Constitution states the Attorney General’s powers as the nation’s chief prosecutor and vests them in the Attorney-General to the exclusion of any other person or authority”.

The Bill proposes changes in the composition of the Attorney General’s Office Board as follows:

The Attorney-General will be the chairperson of the Board. Under the current provision the Attorney-General is merely an ordinary member and the chairperson is a legal practitioner from outside the Office.

All Deputy Attorneys General will be ex officio members of the Board. Under the current provision they are not on the Board. This change would give members of the Office greater representation on the Board. There are three Deputy Attorneys General at the moment.

The only other change is the insertion of a statement that the powers of the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs to give general policy directions to the Board must be exercised “subject to the provisions of section 76 of the Constitution”. This is in fact an unnecessary change – as the Constitution is the supreme law, the Minister’s powers must be exercised subject to section 76 whether or not the Act says so in as many words.

Comment: It is strange that after such a long wait the Bill is coming up at this stage. The draft Constitution may be enacted into law before mid-year. If it is, it will necessitate not only major changes to the Attorney-General’s Office, but also setting up of separate National Prosecuting Authority [NPA] headed by an independent Prosecutor-General, to take over the Attorney-General‘s prosecuting functions. The NPA will require an Act of its own – the draft Constitution explicitly lays this down.

In Parliament Last Week

House of Assembly

Bills [all available from veritas@mango.zw]

Income Tax Bill This Ministry of Finance Bill had its First Reading on 12th February and was referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee [PLC] for its report on the Bill’s constitutionality. The Second Reading stage cannot start until the PLC report is received.

Microfinance Bill The Speaker announced that the Parliamentary Legal Committee [PLC] had returned a non-adverse report on the Bill, which can proceed to its Second Reading.

Securities Amendment Bill The House approved a motion by the Minister of Finance restoring this Bill to the Order Paper at the stage reached when it lapsed at the end of the last Session. This means the PLC can complete its consideration of the Bill.

Motions Debate started on motions concerning:

Historical importance of certain prisons Hon Kanzama introduced his motion calling for the renaming and declaration as national monuments of Hwahwa, Sikhombela and Gonakudzingwa Prisons.

Residential care institutions The Portfolio Committee on Public Service Labour, and Social Welfare’s report on The Status of Residential Care Institutions in Zimbabwe was presented [report available from veritas@mango.zw]

Question Time Questions included several for the Minister of Finance on funding for the Referendum and the UNWTO conference, and others for the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance on mining policies and revenues, and the Minister of Education on examination results and education problems. Detailed responses were given.

Senate

Bills There were no Bills on the Order Paper. So far this year no Bills have been passed in the House of Assembly and transmitted to the Senate for its consideration.

Motions

There were further contributions to the debates on the Vice-President Nkomo condolence motion and the motion to thank the President for his speech opening the Session.

Motion on the death penalty approved Senator Marava’s motion calling for Government action to move towards abolition of the death penalty was debated on both Tuesday and Wednesday. All contributors to the debate were opposed to the death penalty and many stressed that capital punishment was introduced by the colonists and had no place in traditional culture. Senator Chief Charumbira and Senator Mohadi, while not speaking in favour of the death penalty, reminded Senators that they had only a few days before enthusiastically accepted the draft constitution, which expressly permits it. At the end of the debate the motion was passed by 16 votes to 15. [Note: The clause in the draft constitution merely permits the law to provide for the death penalty in limited circumstances; it certainly would not prohibit Parliament from passing an Act to abolish the death penalty.]

Coming Up in Parliament This Week

House of Assembly

Bills

Microfinance Bill Item 1 on the Order Paper for 19th February is the Minister of Finance’s speech explaining this Bill at the commencement of the Second Reading stage.

The Minister’s two other Bills are under consideration by the PLC.

Motions Debate on motions carried over from last week is due to continue. New motions near the top of the Order Paper for 19th February include presentations of portfolio committee reports on the Asiagate Scandal, Local Authorities, and the ESSAR deal.

Questions The ten questions listed for Ministerial reply on 20th February include questions on:

the Chisumbanje Ethanol project

the War Victims Pension Fund

Senate

Bills There are still no Bills for the Senate to work on.

Motions

Motion to revive POSA Amendment Bill First item on the Order Paper for Tuesday 19th February is Hon Gonese’s motion asking Senators to restore the POSA Amendment Bill to the Order Paper – this is a lapsed motion from the last Session and from the Session before. The Bill but has been stalled in the Senate ever since it was passed by the House of Assembly in December 2010 [see Bill Watch 4/2013 of 5th February ]. Note: Another option for Mr Gonese is to ask the House of Assembly to send the Bill straight to the President for signature, in terms of Constitutional provision Schedule 4 para 3, as the Senate has taken too long to deal with it.

Debate is also due to continue on motions carried over from last week: the vote of thanks to the President, and the Vice-President Nkomo condolence motion.

Question Time on Thursday One question is listed, for the Minister of Mines and Mining Development: it seeks information on haphazard illegal mining activities at Benson Mine in Mudzi district.

Government Gazettes of 12th and 15th February

Statutory Instruments [SIs]

Referendum date proclamation SI 19/2013 set 16th March as the date for the Referendum on the draft constitution [SI available from veritas@mango.zw]. Also published with the same Government Gazette was the full text of the draft.

Mandatory blending of unleaded petrol and ethanol SI 17/2013 requires mandatory blending of unleaded petrol imported by pipeline or rail. [NOT available from Veritas]

Collective bargaining agreement: Tourism Industry SI 18/2013 sets wages and allowances for this industry, effective 1st October 2012. [NOT available from Veritas]

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


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