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ZANU PF politburo meets amid worsening infighting

By Alex Bell
11 April 2013

ZANU PF’s top decision making body the Politburo met on Thursday amid
worsening tensions within Robert Mugabe’s party.

The official line is that the Politburo meeting, which was attended by
Mugabe, would focus on the party’s election campaign strategy and the

But it is understood the meeting was also called to try and diffuse the
building tensions within the party, tensions that some analysts say have
left ZANU PF ‘weakened’.

Infighting, which ZANU PF repeatedly denies, has continued to intensify in
recent months, as the battle over who will lead the party after Mugabe hots

The most recent development has been the drafting of a petition by some top
officials in the party, who are asking Mugabe to rein in ZANU PF secretary
for administration Didymus Mutasa. Officials from Manicaland accused Mutasa
of causing divisions in the party and have warned that if his behaviour goes
unchecked, the party would be ‘doomed’ come election time.

Among those believed to have attended last Friday’s meeting are Justice
minister Patrick Chinamasa, Deputy Minister of Energy Hubert Nyanhongo,
suspended provincial chairperson Mike Madiro, acting provincial chair
Dorothy Mabika, Buhera North MP William Mutomba, war vets leader Joseph
Chinotimba and ZANU PF Women’s League leader Oppah Muchinguri.

The NewsDay newspaper reported that most of the petitioners allegedly belong
to a ZANU PF faction led by Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, which has
been fighting a rival faction led by Vice-President Joice Mujuru for years.

By the end of Thursday there was no word of what transpired at the Politburo

But political analyst Pedzisai Ruhanya told SW Radio Africa that ZANU PF is
in a weakened state. He blamed the party’s disunity on Mugabe’s continued
leadership, and his failure to once and for all pick a successor.

“There are different people in ZANU PF who see this as an opportunity to
take over, and there is no unity about what happens when Mugabe is gone. So
ZANU PF is in a difficult position,” Ruhanya said.

He added that this was a prime opportunity for “progressive, democratic
forces” to unite and ensure real democratic change in Zimbabwe.

“If the MDC factions, the other political players, the civil society groups,
the youth, everyone who wants democracy came together to launch a concerted
attack on the political hegemony of ZANU PF, it will weaken its stronghold
on power,” Ruhanya said.

He continued that the onus was now on the MDC factions, particularly the
MDC-T, to “put aside their party parochial issues and challenge all
democratic forces to unite and bring about democracy.”

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Mzembi appeals for cash boost to rescue UN tourism meeting

By Alex Bell
11 April 2013

Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi is appealing for urgent financial assistance
from across Africa in a bid to ensure the successful hosting of the United
Nations (UN) tourism conference in August.

The UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly is set to be co
hosted by Zimbabwe and Zambia in Victoria Falls, but Zimbabwe’s preparations
have been dogged by serious issues. Mzembi has reportedly been at
loggerheads with the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) chief executive
Karikoga Kaseke over fundraising and logistical issues. The main issue
however has been a critical lack of money.

Minister Mzembi has budgeted almost $12 million for the event, which is
meant to include an over hall of the facilities in Victoria Falls and at the
airport there. In February, there were assurances from the Finance Ministry
that more than $6 million would be availed, but this has not happened.

The Mbada Mining firm also pledged more than $2 million for the event, but
so far only $600, 000 has been released. The payment of the ‘donation’ was
also briefly suspended amid accusations that the money was being diverted.
It is understood that the issue has now been cleared up and the money will
be availed.

But the multimillion dollar shortfall for the meeting is understood to have
left Mzembi panicking and he is said to be “frantically” searching for help
from different countries, including neighbouring South Africa.

According to that country’s Mail & Guardian, Mzembi was due to travel to
South Africa last week to look for funds to host the event. Mzembi was
expected to fly to Pretoria to meet with his counterpart, Marthinus van
Schalkwyk, “to discuss how South Africa could help financially and via other
means,” said an official involved in the preparations.

“He has been frantically running around to ensure the success of the
conference, which is a major investment opportunity and chance for Zimbabwe
to show it has been rehabilitated from international isolation,” the
official was quoted by the Mail & Guardian as saying.

Mzembi said he could “not discuss the country’s shopping list in the media”,
but confirmed that Zimbabwe was seeking “capacity-building” assistance from
its neighbour.

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No charges against Bulawayo trio arrested over voter awareness exercise

By Nomalanga Moyo
11 April 2013

Three members from the National Youth Development Trust (NYDT) in Bulawayo,
who were arrested on Wednesday over a voter mobilisation exercise, were
released on the same day without charge.

Garikai Mhendo, Lucky Mutiti, and a third member identified only as
Mayibongwe, were released Wednesday evening, after spending the whole day
being interrogated by officers at Pumula Police Station.

It is understood that the police quizzed the trio over their motives for
conducting the voter awareness exercise.

Liberty Bhebhe, who heads the NYDT, told SW Radio Africa from Washington
that his colleagues were arrested on allegations that they were buying
Econet mobile phone lines for youths to enable them to register.

However, no evidence of this was found forcing the police to release the
three who were represented by Bulawayo lawyer Nontokozo Dube-Tachiwona.

“As a youth organisation most of our members are young people who do not own
homes or properties. As a result, providing proof of address is difficult
for them especially when they have to register as voters,” Bhebhe said.

Concerned that this was affecting eligible residents’ participation in
electoral processes, the NYDT devised a plan which involves using sim-card
certificates issued by mobile phone network Econet, which contain acceptable
proof of residence.

It was during the process of encouraging residents to use these certificates
to register that Mhendo, Mutiti, and Mayibongwe were arrested outside Pumula
Housing Office.

The housing office doubles up as the Registrar-General’s office where
residents from Pumula and the surrounding residential suburbs can register
to vote.

As reported by SW Radio Africa Wednesday, a lot of tenants in the suburb are
lodgers (a scheme where landlords sublet rooms to tenants) and therefore
face problems getting the letters confirming their tenant-status from

This is not the first time that the NYDT has been targeted by the police
over its voter and civic education efforts.

In February, heavily armed officers raided the organisation’s offices
looking for ‘illegal voter registration certificates’. This was in response
to a nationwide campaign by the Trust, which was encouraging youths to
register to vote in the March constitutional referendum and the forthcoming
national polls.

However the officers went away empty-handed, with a threat to return at a
later date: “We suspect the police were just after frustrating our work and
these latest arrests are meant to intimidate and harass us.

“There is nothing illegal in encouraging and educating citizens,
particularly young people, about their voting rights ahead of a crucial
general election,” Bhebhe said.

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Youth Demand Improved Voter Registration Processes

Tatenda Gumbo

WASHINGTON — The Zimbabwe Youth Agenda Trust says it is concerned about the
limited access and assistance of local registrar’s offices for youth to
register to vote.

The Trust is conducting several campaigns on youth and elections across the
country under the banner “It’s Our Time Now,” saying government has not
provided young people enough access to participate in the electoral process.

The Trust said in areas like Tsholotsho, Matabeleland North, there are only
two voter registration centers, and area residents have to pay excessive
travel fees and often find themselves turned away by officials for lack of

In a program called Play Your Vote, a sports tournament recently held in the
area, the Tsholotsho youth leader Challenge Ndlovu said youth complained of
lack of employment opportunities or income generating activities leaving
without funds to travel to registration centers.

Complaints by youth in rural areas in Matabeleland North and South have been
voiced before, but youth in urban centers like Bulawayo and Harare face
similar issues.

Youth Aagenda Trust program officer Lawrence Mashungu told VOA the
organization has continued to push for government to improve the situation
with few results so far.

Common issues affecting youth include dealing with registration officials.

Many youth said they are generally turned away from registering due to lack
of documents, though they furnish required documents.

Mashungu said many youth are asked to provide documents that are required to
be taken from national offices.

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Denmark prepared to help fund Zim polls

11 April 2013
By Violet Gonda

A visiting state secretary of the Danish Foreign Affairs ministry, Ib
Petersen, has said his country is prepared to fund Zimbabwe’s general
elections, as long as fundamental reforms are put in place before the polls.

Peterson, who is on a two day visit of Zimbabwe, told journalists on
Wednesday that his government would join other donors as partners under the
United Nations (UN).

“We are aware that Zimbabwe approached the UN for election funding and
Denmark would only provide assistance in this respect under the
international body’s UNDP. This will be after the UN has concluded its
assessment of Zimbabwe’s election requirements,” the Danish minister said.

A UN fact finding mission is scheduled to visit Zimbabwe to assess
requirements for general elections expected this year, after the
cash-strapped coalition government appealed for assistance to conduct the
polls. However Peterson urged authorities to also make an effort to look for
election funding from the country’s own resources.

“Elections are important and it would be a shame if they turn out not to be
free and fair due to lack of funding. We also expect the government to
provide its share, but we will, as other partners, listen carefully to
assessments conducted by the United Nations,” added Petersen.

The Danish official met Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairperson Rita
Makarau, Finance Minister Tendai Biti, and Joint Monitoring Implementation
Committee (JOMIC) officials to assess the needs of the country ahead of the
crucial polls. He was also expected to meet representatives from the
political parties before the end of his two day tour.

“As much as we appreciate the need for Zimbabwe to hold harmonised
elections, we also realise that the country would need the new constitution,
new laws and voter education among other requirements before going to the
ballot,” Peterson said.

The State Secretary’s visit is the highest-ranking visit from a member of
the Danish government to Zimbabwe in years.

The Nordic country, which is one of the major bilateral donors in Zimbabwe,
will make available at least $40 million annually for the next few years to
help strengthen diplomatic and commercial ties between the two countries.

Peterson said his country would also focus on supporting good governance
activities, provide assistance in the agricultural sector, help
infrastructure rehabilitation efforts and the refurbishment of some
magistrates courts in the country.

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UN must be part of observer team: Denamrk


by Farai Mabeza

Denmark wants the United Nations to be part of international election
observers in Zimbabwe together with Sadc after Zanu (PF) said the European
Union and the United States are not welcome.

Danish state secretary in the Foreign Affairs ministry, Ib Petersen told the
media after meeting Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai at his Highlands
official residence in Harare today that his country remains supportive of
the democratic process in Zimbabwe.

“I understand there will be international observers from Sadc and we think
that is necessary that the United Nations is part of the international
observers then we can go in and support financially the holding of the
elections,” he said.

Zanu (PF) leaders in the Government of National Unity including the Vice
President Joice Mujuru have insisted that the EU and the United States will
not be invited to observe the elections.

“We have plans to increase the cooperation between Denamrk and Zimbabwe but
that is based on the expectations that we see good results as we go along,”
Petersen said.

“We have always been in supportive of the democratic process in Zimbabwe and
we would like to support free and fair elections.

“The Prime Minister was open in explaining that there are a number of issues
that need to be resolved including the new constitution that has to be
adopted by parliament and laws that need to be implemented. The election
commission also has to be able to do its work,” he said.

Petersen said he had met ministers from the three parties, MDC-T, MDC-N and
Zanu (PF).

“From those discussions it is clear that there are issues that the parties
in government do not agree on.

“That is normal in any coalition government. Those are political processes
and we respect that. What we look at are the policies that come out of that
and if they are in line with what we can support then we will continue as a
strong partner,” he said.

He said in his discussions with the Joint Monitoring Implementation
Committee all parties have been clear that they share the vision of a
nonviolent election.

“There will be need put in place mechanisms for monitoring at the local
level,” he said.

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Zimbabwe pleads for more agriculture funding from E.U


by Tarisai Jangara

Government has pleaded with the European Union to intervene and help fund
the ailing agriculture sector.

Speaking today (Wednesday ) at the official launch of European Union support
to Zimbabwe’s agriculture sector, the Permanent Secretary for Ministry of
Agriculture Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, Ngoni Masoka said E.U
should consider increasing more funding for the benefit of small scale

The E.U unveiled a $12 million contribution which will be delivered from
2013 to 2015 and is aimed at increasing agricultural productivity and food
and nutrition security among the farmers.

The funds are being channeled through Food and Agriculture Organisation of
the United Nations, the official German Cooperation, GIZ and a
non-governmental organisation HELP, from Germany.

“We appreciate the funds that you have extended to the country today but we
are appealing for more funding. The sector is in need of intervention in
areas such as irrigation and mechanisation as they are central to increasing
agricultural production, said Masoka.

He said smallholder farmers who constitute about 1, 4 million farming
households were facing a number of challenges which included limited access
to working capital, lack of adequate machinery and limited access to working

The European Union Ambassador, Aldo Dell’ Ariccia said E.U would continue
contributing to the agriculture sector so as to create an enabling
environment to improve food and nutrition security.

“ The EU strongly recognises the importance of the agriculture sector not
only in respect of its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product but in
particular as a source of livelihood for the large majority of the
population in Zimbabwe,” he said.

Present at the launch was the country Director for HELP from Germany,
Christoph Laufens, FAO Emergency and Rehabilitation Coordinator Zimbabwe,
Jean Claude Urvoy and Head of Agency GIZ Zimbabwe, Winfried Hamacher.

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Byo plaza kicks-off US$200m roads rehab

11/04/2013 00:00:00
     by Agencies

A ROAD contract worth US$200 million won by a joint venture involving South
Africa’s Group Five was formally launched Thursday with the opening of the
Ntabazinduna toll plaza about 20km outside Bulawayo.
The toll gate is the first of eight toll plazas to be constructed and
operated on the main 822km east-to-west route in the country. Seven other
plazas will be constructed and opened over the next 18 months.

The contract forms part of the government’s strategic initiative to upgrade
the logistics networks in the country to support anticipated growth in the

The east-west route is one of the first roads to be upgraded and links with
Botswana through Plumtree, Bulawayo, Harare and Mutare on the Mozambican

Infralink, a joint venture between the Zimbabwe National Road Administration
(Zinara) and Group Five, was formed to implement the road upgrade. Zinara
has a 70 percent shareholding in the joint venture and Group Five the
remaining 30 percent.

The development loan for the contract was provided by the Development Bank
of Southern Africa (DBSA). It represents the largest single loan granted by
the bank for a development project in Zimbabwe and the state lender’s
second-biggest outside South Africa.

The funding was structured as a three-way loan agreement with Zinara, the
Ministry of Transport, Communications and Infrastructural Development, and
the Finance Ministry.

Group Five chief executive Mike Upton said it was a prime example of what
could be achieved with public-private partnerships (PPPs) when government
utilities and companies worked together.

Transport and Communications Minister Nicholas Goche said the use of a PPP
was in accordance with the strategy of using tolling to the maximum extent
possible to recoup a part of the substantial investment involved and to
alleviate pressure on the government’s budget to facilitate spending on
other socioeconomic needs.

“Instead of using the traditional Government funds termed first generation
money, there has been a move towards second generation money which comes
from user charges in line with user-pay principle,” he said.

“This approach reduces the burden of road maintenance on Treasury to other
needy critical sectors of the economy, while society pays for the
rehabilitation of the roads depending on use.

“PPPs as a strategy are speedy, efficient and cost effective in the delivery
of projects, and are extremely suitable to road infrastructure projects."

Goche added that road infrastructure investment was one of the vital keys to
enable Zimbabwe to unlock the economic potential of areas that were
currently hard to access.

He added thatthe development of road infrastructure promoted national trade
and efficient transit traffic flow between Zimbabwe and neighbouring
countries and to the ports.

Upton said Group Five had implemented its own innovative systems and tolling
solutions on the contract while ensuring substantial local Zimbabwe

He said the contract was testimony to the group’s experience working in
Africa, with almost 30 percent of its current order book comprising work in
the rest of the continent.

More than 2 000 people have been employed on the contract to date. The
project involved 220 local suppliers and 19 sub-contractors.

Group Five has spent a total of US$70 million in Zimbabwe since inception of
the contract in October 2011 while about US$1.2 million was ring-fenced as
part of phase one to benefit a number of community development projects
along the contract route.

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Corruption & incompetence blamed in NRZ salary impasse

By Nomalanga Moyo
11 April 2012

The National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) was this week heavily criticised for
its proposal to pay its workers part-salaries and convert the balance into
leave days.

The parastatal owes its more than 7,000-strong workforce about $1.4 million
in unpaid salaries and allowances, dating back to June 2012.

Now management at the beleaguered parastatal has come up with a desperate
plan to reduce its huge wage backlog.

According to the Chronicle newspaper, the NRZ last week offered to pay its
workers between 50 and 75 percent of their salaries beginning end of April,
depending on their pay-grades, with the lowest grades getting a lower

Under the proposal, which was opposed by the workers’ representatives, the
lowest paid worker will get around $150 every month, to enable workers to at
least pay rent and other bills.

The parastatal’s general manager Retired Air Commodore Mike Karakadzai
downplayed the simmering discontent, telling the media that the proposal was
merely a suggestion.

However, workers have since blasted NRZ management for making such
proposals, which they said only dealt with future salaries but were mute on
the salary backlog.

Calling the arrangement ‘sinister’, one worker told the Chronicle: “We are
not happy at all. From past experience, we know our employer cannot be
trusted. It is further disheartening to note that the proposal is silent on
how the salary dating back to June last year will be cleared.”

Last month, the wives of the parastatals’ workers took the bold step of
protesting at the NRZ Bulawayo offices in a bid to force management to
address the plight of their husbands who had not been paid for eight months.

While it remains to be seen whether Karakadzai will implement his suggestion
to commute part of his staff’s wages to unwanted leave days, many
Zimbabweans will be wondering how the country’s only rail service provider
got into this position.

Bulawayo-based journalist Lionel Saungweme, who has been following the NRZ
saga, said there was a general feeling that conditions at the firm have
worsened since the arrival of Karakadzai, who is accused of incompetence by
the workers.

Saungweme told SW Radio Africa: “There are several factors that have led to
this mess. The NRZ has lost several business packages because of

He added: “A lot of business has been moved from the NRZ to people with ZANU
PF links such as Mines Minister Obert Mpofu who has taken over the
transportation of coal from Hwange to Bulawayo. There is no other reason why
this would happen considering that rail is cheaper than the road transport
that Mpofu uses.”

“Before Mpofu was awarded that contract, Billy Rautenbach, an ally of ZANU
PF bigwigs Emmerson Mnangagwa and the Mujurus, was transporting the coal.
This has contributed to the decline in the NRZ revenue base, hence its
failure to pay workers,” Saungweme continued.

Another key dimension to the circus at the NRZ is the knock-on effect of the
violent and disastrous land reform programme which almost killed the country’s
once-vibrant agricultural sector.

“While the NRZ used to get a lot of business transporting tobacco, maize,
and livestock from commercial farmers, when these were forced off the land,
it reduced production substantially and cut off that revenue line for the
NRZ,” Saungweme said.

A few years back, SW Radio Africa reported on the theft of NRZ signal
equipment, which is made of copper, for onward sell to syndicates in China
allegedly by individuals with links to Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi.
Mohadi was allegedly destabilising NRZ operations and imposing huge costs on
the parastatal.

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Mugabe set to sack Justice Hungwe

HARARE – President Robert Mugabe is set to sack Zimbabwe High Court Judge, Justice Charles Hungwe after the pro-regime Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku controversially wrote a letter recommending his removal.

Justice Charles Hungwe

Justice Charles Hungwe

Hungwe angered the regime when he ordered the release of human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa and granted a search warrant to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission to search the offices of three Zanu PF cabinet ministers.

Last month the state media began a campaign to scandalise Hungwe claiming he had denied justice to a 55-year-old man he convicted of murder in 2003 by failing to sentence him over the past 10 years after losing the court records.

No mention was made of who in the court system lost the records.

In the other case it’s claimed Hungwe “unprocedurally granted a notice of withdrawal in a house wrangle pitting Old Mutual chief executive Jonas Mushosho and a man who bought the latter’s property.”

Those close to the case said the documents were simply forged and the judge was also a victim.

Chidyausiku is said to have written a letter to Mugabe ‘explaining’ the charges leveled against Hungwe. We understand the letter is in terms of section 87 (3) of the Constitution that deals with the removal of judges from office.

Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku officially opens the 2013 legal year at the High Court in Harare yesterday. Looking on (from left) are Justices Charles Hungwe, Samuel Kudya and Hlekani Mwayera

Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku officially opens the 2013 legal year at the High Court in Harare yesterday. Looking on (from left) are Justices Charles Hungwe, Samuel Kudya and Hlekani Mwayera

A report in the Zanu PF controlled Herald newspaper claims; “After explaining the charges to Justice Hungwe, the Chief Justice asked him if he had anything to say in his defence to which Justice Hungwe said ‘No, I am in your hands.”

Under the constitution Mugabe will have to appoint a tribunal to inquire into the alleged conduct of Justice Hungwe. This we understand will just be a formality. The regime has already made a decision to get rid of Hungwe.

The Law Society of Zimbabwe has already issued a statement expressing concern at what they perceive as the deliberate targeting of Justice Hungwe.

Last month Justice Hungwe granted the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) permission to search the offices of Mines minister Obert Mpofu, Indigenisation minister Saviour Kasukuwere, and Transport and Infrastructural Development minister Nicholas Goche.

The commission also pounced on the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board (NIEEB) and Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) offices which fall under Kasukuwere and Goche respectively.

It was only Justice George Chiweshe who blocked the searches.

Chiweshe is a key Mugabe ally who as past chairman of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission withheld presidential election results for weeks in March 2008, amid reports the period was used to manipulate and massage the figures that denied Morgan Tsvangirai an outright victory.


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‘Poor Mugabe’ remarks costs woman

Thursday, 11 April 2013 09:57
BULAWAYO - A woman who allegedly referred to President Robert Mugabe as a
poor man was yesterday left banking on her advanced age to walk free after
being hauled to court.

Stella Scouter, who runs a crèche in Bulawayo, is facing four counts for
insulting or undermining the authority of the 89-year-old president after
she allegedly told an employee to go and get his salary from “poor” Mugabe.

Scouter is 75 and her lawyers say at such an advanced age, she poses no

Scouter’s lawyer Modicai Donga told a magistrate yesterday that the State
summoned her to court without being authorised by the Attorney General as
stated by the rules.

He also argued that Scouter was harmless due to her age.

The magistrate ruled that the case will resume after the State has been
authorised by the AG.

Prosecutor Tarisai Mutarisi told the court that in November last year,
Souter’s employee, Tafadzwa Satimburwa demanded his salary but was told:
“You should go and claim the money from Mugabe. You and your president are
very poor; you can’t win the case against me.”

In January, the 75-year-old is alleged to have also told employees: “I want
to chase you from work and see what Mugabe would do to me.”

The State says an informant reported to police after Scouter continued
insulting Mugabe on different occasions. - Nyasha Chingono

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No compensation for Chiadzwa families

Thursday, 11 April 2013 12:52
View Comments
Clemence Manyukwe, Political Editor
CHIADZWA families affected by the mining of diamonds in their area are still
to get compensation, more than four years after organised extraction of the
gems started in Marange.
On average, each household is supposed to get US$40 000 in compensation to
pick up the pieces after being relocated but up to now that has not
This comes as it also emerged this week that the Agricultural Rural
Development Authority (ARDA)’s Transau Estate, where families from the
diamond fields are being relocated, can no longer cater for 4 000 additional
families affected by diamond mining activities in Chiadzwa.
Government is now looking for alternative land outside the district to
resettle the 4 000 families.
Manicaland provincial administrator, Fungai Mbetsa, is said to have told a
Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy in Vumba a fortnight
ago that diamond mining companies in Chiadzwa were reluctant to implement
projects that sustain relocated families’ livelihoods and were failing to
prioritise social amenities as well as monetarily compensate the relocated
This week, the Zimbabwe Environment Law Association (ZELA), weighed in,
saying the mining companies were delaying the implementation of an
irrigation scheme at ARDA Transau Estate that would provide a sustainable
livelihood for the affected families due to lack of consensus on the funding
The companies were also said to be taking long to conclude projects such as
the refurbishment of Wellington Primary School, yet they were championing
other causes outside areas they were operating from namely sponsoring major
sporting activities in Harare when owners of the ancestral lands on which
they are earning huge profits were suffering.
ZELA said while the legal and policy framework provides for communities to
be relocated when minerals are discovered, this must be done in a way that
does not negatively impact on the livelihoods of communities.
“The legal position is very clear that communities do now own land. Communal
lands where most mining activities take place is state land,” said ZELA
director, Mutuso Dhliwayo.
“The state has an on obligation to ensure that the eviction of communities
and their subsequent relocation when mineral resources like diamonds are
found is done in a manner that does not negatively affect their rights
before, during and after the process.”
The failure by diamond firms to meet their obligations to displaced
villagers comes at a time when some of their officials’ lives have become a
tale of from rags to riches. Some are building up market houses in foreign
countries after siphoning profits.
Finance Minister Tendai Biti has also said government finances were in a
precarious state, with the situation being worsened by failure by the firms
to remit all that is due to treasury.
The minister said Anjin, a joint venture between the local and Chinese
military was the worst culprit in terms of flouting the country’s laws.
“Clearly, we fear as the Ministry of Finance that there might be a parallel
government somewhere in respect of where these revenues are going, and are
not coming to us. There is opaqueness and unaccountability surrounding our
diamonds,” said Biti.

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Chinese firm wins bid to expand Hwange

Thursday, 11 April 2013 12:30
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Phillimon Mhlanga, Business Reporter
THE State Procurement Board has awarded the tender for the extension of
Hwange Power Station to China Machinery Engineering Company, The Financial
Gazette’s Companies & Markets (C&M) has learnt.
Hwange thermal power station is currently using six units and the expansion
would see the plant adding two more units.
The additional units would have a combined generation capacity of 600
megawatts (MW).
Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC)’s public relations executive, Fadzai Chisveto,
confirmed the development this week when contacted by C&M.
“The adjudication process has come to an end and last week we received the
final bidding papers from the State Procurement Board. The tender for the
expansion of Hwange Power Station was awarded to China Machinery Engineering
Company,” she told C&M.
Also vying for the contract to expand the thermal power station was another
Chinese company, Sino Hydro Corporation, which last November was awarded the
tender to extend Kariba South Power Station by two more units to add 300MW
to the national grid.
China Machinery Engineering Company tendered its bid at US$1,38 billion
while Syno Hydro Corporation’s bid price was US$1,17 billion for extension
of the Hwange power plant.
ZPC and China Machinery Engineering Company are now expected to sign a
contract that would pave way for the commencement of expansion work.
Last year, ZPC managing director, Engineer Noah Gwariro, said work at Hwange
thermal power station was expected to start during the course of this year.
“We are aiming to conclude the contract negotiations by early next year
(2013). That will help us to move on and organise the funding and get the
work started. I firmly believe that work at Hwange power station will start
during the course of 2013,” he said.
Zimbabwe is currently facing crippling power shortages with the national
power demand at peak periods estimated to be at 2 200MW against available
generation of about 1 000MW with the shortfall being imported from regional
power utilities.
Installed capacity amounts to 1 960MW.

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Teachers denied legal reps


by Edgar Gweshe

Teachers being hauled before Disciplinary Committees are being denied their
right to legal representation, claims the Progressive Teachers Union of

The union’s Information, Education and Research Officer Fannuel Mabhugu said
teachers were being victimised as a result. “According to the Public Service
Regulations of 2000, it is clear that someone who has been summoned for a
disciplinary hearing is free to consult a legal representative.

“One is free to go with a legal representative or trade union official to
help you, but the teachers are being denied this right. Sometimes when the
legal representative is allowed into the hearing, they are told that only
the teacher is allowed to answer to questions from the disciplinary
committee,” said Mabhugu.

Most of the personnel on the committees are political appointees with little
knowledge regarding the conduct of the disciplinary hearings, he added. In a
statement, the PTUZ said: “In a recent case, Wilbert Muringani, a graduate
of the PTUZ Paralegal Training Project was barred access into an office
where a PTUZ member Sister Catherine Munekani was appearing to answer
misconduct charges before a Disciplinary Committee in Gweru, Midlands

“This was despite the fact that the letter notifying her of the convening of
the disciplinary hearing advised her of her right to be represented by a
registered legal practitioner or a Union official. The hearing was chaired
by the Provincial Education Director, Mrs. Agnes Gudo.”

The PTUZ cited another case in which the right of teachers to legal
representation was violated.

“Enock Paradzayi, another PTUZ paralegal was told by Danny Moyo, the
Provincial Education Director for Bulawayo Province and Chairperson of the
Disciplinary Committee hearing the misconduct charges preferred against PTUZ
member Kudzai Makumbe and that he could only be present but was not supposed
to say anything during the hearing,” reads the statement.

The Minister of Education, Sport, Art and Culture, David Coltart was not
available for comment at the time of going to press.

Minister of Education David Coltart said: “I strongly believe in the right
of all people to have legal representation and also for the rule of law to
apply to all. I will investigate these allegations and will do all in my
power to ensure that Teachers’ rights are respected.”

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Summit called to address water crisis

10/04/2013 00:00:00
     by NewZiana

THE government expects to mobilise funding from private investors for water
development at a water summit scheduled for Bulawayo later this month, a
cabinet minister said this week.

Zimbabwe is struggling to supply clean and safe water to its citizens mainly
due to poor planning, technical and financial constraints over the years.

The country experienced its worst cholera outbreak, blamed on lack of clean
water, in 2008/9 which killed over 4,000 people countrywide.

The water summit will run from April 23-27.
Water Resources Development and Management Minister Sipepa Nkomo said a
number of potential investors were expected to attend the summit.

"The Water Summit is a private initiative by a South African company called
M&N Capital based in Johannesburg and has been endorsed by the government,"
Nkomo said.

"Zimbabwe will be represented at government level at the summit," he said.

Nkomo said government will articulate its vision, and the challenges it has
faced in developing the water sector.
"The summit will help identify priorities and mechanisms for more effective
water resource integration and will focus on rural and urban water supply as
well as hygiene and sanitation," he said.

"The Government is in need of funding to help with water supply and this is
why we are hoping that the Water Summit will be a good platform to lure
investors in water sector," he said.

Some suburbs in Harare have gone for months without water, prompting
increasing calls for government to come up with robust measures to expand
existing water infrastructure to match the growing urban population.

The government has a number of projects such as Kunzvi Dam, Musami Dam,
Mtshabezi Pipeline and Zambezi Water Project which, if undertaken, would go
a long way in addressing water problems in the country.

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How Zanu-PF ties stopped UN boss from acting on cholera


The UNDP's new resident coordinator in South Africa has come under fire for
his role in Zimbabwe's disastrous cholera outbreak in 2008.

It is alleged that due to the warm relations between Agostinho Zacarias, the
former United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) chief in Harare and
Zanu-PF in 2008, the UN in 2008 ignored internal cholera warnings months
before an outbreak that claimed more than 4 000 lives.

This has come to light after a recent tribunal hearing looking into the
unfair dismissal in 2009 of Georges Tadonki, who headed the UN humanitarian
office in Harare at the time. He was dismissed by Zacarias.

The UN tribunal's 104-page ruling reveals how Zacarias, who, it says, was
close to President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party, was unable or unwilling to
take measures to combat cholera — which affected about 100 000 people in

The UN tribunal found that Zacarias wrongfully fired Tadonki after run-ins
over how the Harare office was managed.

Months before the outbreak, Tadonki said he warned his superiors of a
looming crisis, telling Zacarias that 30 000 cases or more of cholera were
possible. But, according to the tribunal, Zacarias ignored that warning
because of his close links with senior Zanu-PF officials.

Zacarias, a Mozambican national, is said to be particularly close to the
party's politburo member and Transport Minister Nicholas Goche, as well as
to other people he had met before 1980 during the liberation war days in
Maputo, Mozambique, Tadonki's lawyers said.

The UN said Zacarias failed poor Zimbabweans by opting to protect the image
of Zanu-PF, a move that has exposed misplaced priorities at the UNDP Harare
office at the time.

Cholera outbreak
In 2008, rocked by galloping inflation and an economic meltdown, Harare was
unable to provide water to residents in its high-density townships for
months, leading to the cholera outbreak.

Following relatively peaceful ­general elections in March 2008, in which
Mugabe was defeated by rival Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader
Morgan Tsvangirai in the first round of the poll, Zanu-PF launched a fierce
campaign of ­violence and intimidation, which was directed by the military,
to retain its leader in office.

Facing defeat, Mugabe unleashed a vicious campaign of brutality. Tsvangirai
said this operation had claimed the lives of more than 200 of his
supporters, and he dropped out of the race.

In the middle of that crisis, Zacarias decided that his own closeness with
Zanu-PF "overrode his responsibility to the UN's missions and values", the
ruling says.

Tadoniki fingered UN officials for condoning Zacarias's behaviour by giving
in to his demands, which included his marginalisation and eventual firing.

The report says the leadership in New York targeted and sacrificed Tadoniki
for the benefit of Zacarias.

It further dismissed that the alleged poor performance of Tadoniki by
Zacarias was not based on any proper appraisal process and lacked substance.

During the hearing Tadoniki also accused Zacarias of conspiring with the
Zimbabwe government to deny him and his family accreditation to work in the
country. Tadoniki says as a result his family had to leave Zimbabwe and stay
in a South African hotel for months.

The UN said it cannot comment as the ruling is being appealed.

​The ruling puts the UNDP office in the spotlight given its current role in
Zimbabwe. The country recently asked for funding for an election planned for
this year. In line with  the UN guidelines on electoral support, the request
was sent to Turtle Bay and a needs assessment mission will be dispatched.
The UN's Focal Point for Electoral Assistance Activities arm is expected in
the country soon.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti and Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, tasked
by the government to source funding for the referendum and general
elections, have asked the UNDP for $250-million.

In a letter to Zimbabwe's UNDP resident representative, Alain Noudehou,
dated February 4, the two ministers said Zimbabwe only had "a combined
budget of $25-million, yet the two processes are currently estimated to be
in excess of $250-million".

Zimbabwe's broke coalition ­government recently raised $50-­million from Old
Mutual and the National Social Security Authority for the referendum on the
new Constitution last month. It is now hoping private companies and the UNDP
will fund the elections.

The UNDP also helped the country with cash for its constitution-making
process last year.

Under the unity government, Zanu-PF and the MDC have agreed not to hold
elections under the old Constitution.

The UN tribunal ruling also raises questions about the role of the UN during
a typhoid outbreak last year that claimed an undisclosed number of lives.
The organisation has been criticised in non-governmental circles for not
alerting the international community to the outbreak.

Civil society organisations that spoke to the Mail & Guardian but did not
want to be named because they work closely with the UN or receive funding
from it, said the ruling raises questions about what the UN will do if the
events of 2008 repeat themselves ahead of the looming elections.

In Zimbabwe, the UNDP's focus is underpinned by the millennium development
goals, which include eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, humanitarian
relief, support for domestic and international dialogue to help build
consensus on the country's problems, strengthening the capacity of national
institutions to deliver on the goals and providing basic social services
with particular attention to vulnerable groups.

The ruling said Tadoniki must be paid, among other things, two years salary
and $60 000 for moral damages and abuse of proceedings he suffered.

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Tsvangirai's CNN interview

See the video of Tsvangirai's CNN interview

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Informal employment sustains Zimbabweans

HARARE, 11 April 2013 (IRIN) - Five years after Zimbabwe’s political and
economic crisis peaked in 2008, the economy continues to perform poorly,
with the manufacturing sector still shedding jobs and unemployment estimated
at 75 percent. But the real level of unemployment is almost impossible to
gauge as countless Zimbabweans are making a living in the informal sector.

Kumbirai Katsande, President of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries
(CZI), told IRIN Zimbabwe has become a “nation of traders”. The municipal
markets in Mbare, a sprawling low-income suburb of Harare, the capital, are
overflowing with people selling goods. Trading space and the money to rent
it are scarce, so entrepreneurs have set up shop outside markets and in
other open spaces.

The police crack down on them every once in a while but Robert Guveya, who
sells pirated DVDs, thinks it’s worth the risk. “I cannot get a job and am
just trying to earn an honest living,” he said.

Informal trading is not limited to low-income areas. Harare’s city centre
has its fair share of sidewalk salespeople and flea markets, one of the
largest of which is located behind a shopping centre in middle-class
Avondale. Rumbidzai Gava, who quit her job as a dental assistant and now
imports second-hand clothing from Mozambique for $250 a bale, rents a stall
there for US$10 per day. “I make gross more than $700 per bale and sometimes
the clothes go very quickly. I am making much more than the $250 [a month] I
got at the dentist’s,” she said.

The Zimbabwe Cross Border Association represents traders who import goods
for resale, primarily from South Africa, but also from as far afield as Hong
Kong, Taiwan and Britain. Killer Zivhu, the president, estimated that at the
peak of the economic crisis - when the informal economy supplied almost
everything that could not be found on supermarket shelves - up to
three-quarters of adult Zimbabweans were involved in some form of trade.

Low wages mean that many Zimbabweans continue to live off the proceeds of
informal trade. They import car parts, electronic goods, clothes and even
cars, and often employ other people to sell the goods, thus creating jobs.
However, they are not recognized legally and face harassment and arrest by
local authorities and the police. Zivhu said their lack of legal status also
limits their access to capital.

Shrinking manufacturing sector

Before the Zimbabwe dollar was replaced in 2009 by a multi-currency
financial system using the US dollar, Botswana pula and the South African
rand, many Zimbabweans were forced out of formal-sector jobs because
hyperinflation had made their salaries almost worthless. Tapfumaneyi
Tirivanhu left his job at a furniture factory in 2007 when he could no
longer make ends meet and moved to Botswana for several years. He returned
to Zimbabwe in 2011 and started a carpentry shop in a bay at the Harare Home
Industries shed in Mbare with some tools and machinery he had bought in

“It was slow in the beginning, as I had little money to buy materials with,”
he told IRIN, but after his former employer went bust in 2012 and an
ex-colleague joined him, they started supplying the old company’s customers.
“There are four of us here and three upholsterers, so I am providing
employment for seven people including myself,” Tirivanhu said.

In a good month they each take home as much as $300. “It’s much more than I
would earn working for a company, and though I do not have benefits such as
medical aid and a pension, I am doing alright,” he said.

CZI’s Katsande said the manufacturing sector had been shedding jobs since a
slump started around August 2012. “Some of the companies that are still
operating are introducing shorter working weeks so they can manage the wage
bill. In a lot of instances they would retrench if they could afford to pay
the workers off, but they do not have the money to do so.”

He noted the lack of government and infrastructural support. “We need new
technology, as in some factories everything is obsolete, which makes
production inefficient and expensive. Too many people are employed, it’s
very wasteful.”

Replacing the Zimbabwe dollar with a multi-currency system has been a
double-edged sword, he said. “We now have stability, but are at the mercy of
the fluctuations of the currencies of wherever we are importing materials or
machinery from. We cannot devalue the US dollar, which we could do with our
own currency. As a result, our products can be uncompetitive on the
international market.”

The high cost of manufacturing in Zimbabwe means that some local goods are
more expensive than imported ones, which the government could remedy by
levying higher duties on imports, Katsande said, warning that without more
government support, the manufacturing sector would keep shrinking.

In contrast, the mining sector is growing rapidly and now employs some
43,000 workers, up from less than 3,000 at the height of Zimbabwe’s economic
crisis. “There has been substantial growth in the sector and we expect it to
keep growing,” said Edward Mubvumba, of the National Employment Council for
the Mining Industry. He added that thousands more unregistered artisanal
gold and diamond miners are operating illegally.

Informal sector crucial

Agriculture remains the largest sector in the economy. Zimbabwe National
Statistics Agency (Zimstat) figures put the number of people employed in
agriculture in 2010 at 815,000 - more than double the pre-crisis figure,
which peaked at 355,000 in 1997. Prof Tony Hawkins, the head of the
University of Zimbabwe’s business school, said this was partly because up to
2009, the figures only took into account employees in the commercial farming
sector, but since then they have included communal farmers in resettlement
areas, and those who work for them.

Hawkins said Zimbabwe’s informal sector was playing a crucial role in
reducing poverty and unemployment. He argued that current unemployment
estimates ignored the role of the informal sector, and put the true
unemployment figure at less than 50 percent. “Half of the economy is
informal but it’s difficult to measure,” he said. “They don’t pay taxes, so
they contribute little to the fiscus but… [the sector] definitely has a
positive impact on poverty levels.”

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

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Britain will roll out red carpet to whoever wins
By Guthrie Munyuki, Senior Assistant Editor
Thursday, 11 April 2013 10:38
British Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Deborah Bronnert.
HARARE - This week, in the Guthrie Munyuki Interview, we bring you British Ambassador to Zimbabwe Deborah Bronnert, whose country is fresh from hosting the Friends of Zimbabwe (FoZ) meeting in London. Below are the excerpts.

Q. Recently Britain hosted the Friends of Zimbabwe (FoZ) meeting in London which was attended by three representatives of the parties in the Zimbabwe inclusive government.

What are the positives that have come out of the meeting?

A. It’s about engagement and planning for a better future.

The Friends of Zimbabwe (FoZ) meeting brought together the international donor community to gain a shared understanding of events in Zimbabwe over the next crucial period when elections are due to be held.

It was a chance to consider together the best ways for us to continue working closely with any government that emerges from free and fair elections, to help accelerate its path towards prosperity.

Most importantly, this time, the three Zimbabwean ministers were invited and contributed, along with Sadc representatives, to the discussions to ensure that we all understood directly what the Zimbabwean parties wanted in terms of engagement and future priorities both in the run-up to the elections and afterwards.

Their contributions set the framework for all the discussions.

We also re-affirmed our support for Sadc’s lead role as guarantor of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) in its efforts to secure peace and democracy for Zimbabweans, and all our governments’ continued strong commitment to the Zimbabwean people and support for a prosperous and democratic Zimbabwe.

Finally, it was the first time in about 14 years that the UK government had invited a Zanu PF minister to London. 

We have of course had Zanu PF ministers visiting the UK in that period and have had some political level meetings elsewhere as well. But it was still a further step forward in terms of engagement.

We were also very pleased that the MDC ministers were able to accept the invitation.

The presence of the three parties underlined to the international donor community how the Government of National Unity (GNU) is able to work together, despite the clear differences between the parties, and engage with external partners in discussions about the future of Zimbabwe.

Q. What are Britain’s and FoZ longer term development assistance areas?

A. Collectively, FoZ development support has amounted to around $2,6 billion between 2009 and 2012.

The UK bilaterally contributed over $120 million in the last UK financial year and this year; this is set to rise to around $175 million.

The focus is on health, education and other essential services, infrastructure — including access to water, as well as support for livelihoods. 

For example, we have helped provide textbooks for all Zimbabwe’s schools and we have a $50 million project that will improve water and sanitation to millions of Zimbabwean families. 

We’ve also helped with governance projects including the constitution-making process. 

We and other donors provide the ministry of Finance with information about what is being done so they have an overview of donor spend. 

You’ll have seen that minister Biti gives quite a lot of detail in his annual budget statement to Parliament about the various strands of support.  

Since the inception of the GNU, assistance has already shifted in focus from humanitarian relief towards longer term development aid. We want this to continue.

Following the FoZ meeting, we are continuing our engagement to agree on the best way to use long-term development assistance, and the strengthening of our commercial ties, to help Zimbabwe accelerate on its path towards prosperity.

We are focussing on the best ways for aid to support Zimbabwe in building the strong, non-partisan State institutions that it needs — to achieve stability, growth and wealth creation.

We hope to see Zimbabwe one day become an aid donor, rather than an aid recipient.

Q. What is the FoZ’s shared understanding of how things are likely to unfold in Zimbabwe in the coming year given that the country will be holding elections later this year?

A. The FoZ Communiqué acknowledges the work done by the GNU to stabilise the economy and implement the necessary political reforms ahead of elections.

We look forward to continuing to engage constructively with the GNU and the region in order to support the Zimbabwean people in achieving a peaceful, prosperous and democratic future.

We recognised the key importance of the referendum on the new draft constitution in March. 

But also that much remains to be done to implement the reforms agreed by the three GNU parties in the GPA.
We welcomed calls by Zimbabwe’s political leaders for peace and non-violence and the statements by party leaders that Zimbabweans should be able to choose their own government in free and fair elections, and to be able to vote without fear or intimidation.

We highlighted the importance of all Zimbabweans, including State institutions and the security sector, heeding the calls of the party leaders.

We also expressed concern about the current harassment of civil society and reports of political violence and made clear that we think such incidents should cease.

We also stressed the importance of a vibrant civil society to Zimbabwe’s development. 
Again, we are very clear on Sadc’s leading role here. Our key hope for the year ahead is that there will be free and fair elections and that Zimbabweans will be able to make their own choices, without fear or intimidation, about who governs them.

Q. How significant was the London meeting?

A. The timing of this year’s FoZ meeting is clearly significant.

It came 10 days after Zimbabwe’s successful constitutional referendum and comes in an election year.

For the first time at a FoZ meeting, members of all three parties of the GNU attended.

This demonstrated a commitment to engagement and partnership and a desire to have fruitful exchanges from across the political spectrum on issues that affects them all ahead of polls and about the future.

Q. Are there signs on the ground that the Zimbabwe leadership is prepared to help FoZ in their re-engagement efforts?

A. Members of all three parties of the GNU were invited. We were very pleased that the three GPA negotiators minister Chinamasa, minister Mangoma and minister Misihairabwi-Mushonga attended.

This demonstrated a real willingness to have fruitful exchanges from across the political spectrum on issues that affect all parties ahead of polls and engage in conversations about the future.

Q. Britain is blamed by President Robert Mugabe for drawing up sanctions and seeking to remove him by allegedly funding the mainstream MDC.

In the wake of the London meeting and EU’s removal of sanctions on his key allies in Zanu PF, what opportunities are there for Britain to rebuild ties with Zanu PF and its leader?

A. Our aim is clear: we want to support the Zimbabwean people and the implementation of the GPA in order to enable free and fair elections and a peaceful, prosperous and democratic Zimbabwe.

Before I came to Zimbabwe, my Prime Minister told me that he wanted me to engage with everyone.

I talk to all parties from across the political divide and am ready to engage with everyone.

There have also been ministerial meetings and, as I have already noted, we were pleased that minister Chinamasa came to London and participated both in the FoZ meeting but also, alongside his colleagues, with other political meetings, including with the FCO minister Mark Simmonds (MP). 
Q. We have heard and been told repeatedly that Britain refused to honour its “agreement” to help fund and raise money for land reforms during the Harare donor conference held in September 1998.

Did the frosty relations arise from this meeting?

A. The UK Government has never agreed to accept responsibility for compensation to those whose land was compulsorily acquired, often having legally purchased it after Independence.

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Pre-Election Detectors: ZANU PF’s attempt to re-claim political hegemony

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition have released a reportwritten by Dr Philan Zamchiya that explores how Zanu PF will seek to reclaim its political hegemony in the next elections. The reports abstract is as follows:

The classic question is why do political parties and governments manipulate elections. This paper offers a more nuanced investigation of why and under what circumstances do authoritarian regimes decide to adopt and drop certain political strategies of manipulating elections. In order to answer this question the article investigates the political strategies at the centre of the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU PF)’s attempt to win the next harmonised polls and re-establish its hegemony. Other commentators reduce the ZANU PF electoral strategies to the use of physical violence against opposition supporters conceptualised as the ‘margin of terror’. Whilst I agree that state sponsored violence is endemic in Zimbabwe, I argue that ZANU PF is embarking on a more sophisticated and multipronged approach to cover its terror tactics in order to re-gain political legitimacy. The reign of terror unleashed by ZANU PF in the run-up to the June 27, 2008 ‘election’ undermined the party’s legitimacy in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), African Union (AU) and internationally. Hence, physical violence in 2013 will not be as blatant and as extreme as in the previous June 27, 2008 ‘election’. ZANU PF is aware that naked physical violence will not be accepted in SADC and yet at the same time a relatively free and fair election might undermine its electoral chances. Pitied between a rock and a hard place, what strategies can ZANU PF use in the next harmonised election? The party prefers a psychological warfare premised on manipulating the fear inculcated in communities over years among other strategies. These include partisan registration of voters, ideologically appealing to popular groups; state financed patronage, control of state media and targeted persecution (devoid of physical harm) against civil society leaders and opposition supporters. Whether these political strategies will work in favour of ZANU PF only the next election will tell.

In this report published by CiZC,  Dr Philan Zamchiya weaves his exploration of how Zanu PF will re-claim its political hegemony from four theoretical dimensions that he claims explains the nature of the Zimbabwean state:

We need to understand the nature of the Zimbabwean state for us to fully appreciate the nature of the election strategies. We start weaving our theoretical understanding from four dimensions. Thefirst dimension is the margin of terror. This has its genesis in the late Professor Masipula Sithole, who predicted that MDC was going to get 75 seats in the 2000 parliamentary election but when the MDC garnered 62 seats, he said that the difference was not because of his survey’s fault or margin of error but because of the margin of terror during the elections. By this he meant ZANU PF’s use of torture, intimidation and coercion to force people to vote for them which he had understated [...] The second dimension is what I term the margin of error on the part of the state. This refers to the padding of votes, a situation where ZANU PF inflates the votes in its favour and deflates the votes of its opponents. The third dimension is patronage where the party dishes out land, farm inputs, money, mining licences, et cetera to its supporters in order to gain electoral support (Alexander 2006, Brett 2012, Bratton and Masunungure 2008, Zamchiya 2011, Raftopolous 2006). The fourth one is ideology, where ZANU PF appeals for support to potential voters through propaganda or genuine track record in delivery in some sectors [emphasis added].

The report goes on to challenge two myths in Zimbabwe's political circles, which they argue are

  1. Myth 1: ZANU PF will go for a liberal democratic election
    The first myth being peddled by optimists is that Zimbabwe will hold a free and fair election. This is premised on the misplaced notion that SADC is able to arm-twist ZANU PF to fulfil all the tenets in the GPA.
  2. Myth 2: ZANU PF will go for a closed authoritarian election 
    On the other hand, the pessimists are also peddling a myth that Zimbabwe will witness a ‘bloodbath’ in the next election synonymous with the June 27 2008 election .

The article argues that the crux of the next election depends on Zanu PF winning swing constituencies, and it goes on to elucidate which constituencies those are and describe some of the tactics Zanu PF will use, extracted breifly from the report below:

  1. The first tactic of electoral alchemy in the swing constituencies is the postal votes.
  2. Second is candidate manipulation - the report writes: "as one respondent asserted, ‘I can assure you that there will be attempts to buy some of the Chinja [MDC] candidates a few hours before the election especially those in constituencies that may decide’?"
  3. Third, ZANU PF is targeting swing constituencies in terms of voter intimidation and bussing in people to register.

Download the full report here

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Why commercial farming in Nigeria is so hard

Apr 13th 2013 | GITATA |From the print edition

SEVEN years after 18 white Zimbabwean farmers settled on a chunk of land in
Nasawara state at the invitation of the then governor, only one family is
still there. All the others have given up in despair. Bruce Spain, aged 35,
and his father Colin, 66, together with their doughty wives and a pair of
toddlers, are hanging on—but only just.

On flat, dry scrubland two hours’ drive east of Abuja, the capital, the
Spains and their Zimbabwean compatriots have experimented with a variety of
farming enterprises. But crop yields were dismal, mainly due to poor-quality
seed and fertiliser. Spares were hard to get when machinery broke down. The
Spains’ last hope is a factory that churns out chicken feed. “Until good
seed is available and the theft factor is dealt with there will be very
little commercial farming in Nigeria,” says the older Mr Spain.

The litany of problems seems endless. “There’s just no organised marketing
here,” says the younger Mr Spain. “No marketing boards, nothing—in Nigeria
you’re on your own. In Zimbabwe you knew what your pre-planting price
was—and the government guaranteed to buy what you grew. There are no support
structures…In Zimbabwe you’d send a soil sample to the fertiliser company
and they’d tell you what sort would be best. There’s nothing like that

The Spains have no mains electricity, no piped water, no land-line, no
trained labour force, no one handy with basic accountancy, no available
research facilities, no easy access to agricultural data. Roads are lousy.
Theft is endemic.

The biggest initial headache was persuading a bank to make a long-term loan
at less than 20% interest. And when a bank did agree, the money might not
come through. “It was always next week, then next week,” says the younger Mr
Spain. “That’s the general story in Nigeria.” For two of their first five
years they did no farming, due to the lack of bank finance. “You always need
contacts,” he sighs. “Corruption can be helpful,” he chuckles. “At least it
means if you want something done you can get it done—instantly.”

The older Spains, resilient as ever, have built a neat single-storey house
surrounded by a tall electric fence on a rocky outcrop. It is reminiscent of
Zimbabwe, where their farm was confiscated; during the guerrilla war, before
independence in 1980, their homestead had been burned down. Here in Nigeria,
in the searing heat, they sleep peacefully on the veranda under a mosquito
net. “We get malaria between three and six times a year.” It seems the least
of their worries.

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The Battle for Zimbabwe Part 2: Emmerson Mnangagwa the spymaster

Nehanda Radio, publishes the second article, to this three part installment on the controversial succession of President Robert Mugabe, in light of presidential and parliamentary elections taking place soon in Zimbabwe.

The report is intended for you the Zimbabwean reader to make your own informed view, based on new details, which hitherto could have not been known to you. Pleasant reading!

By Itai Mushekwe

Defence minister, Emmerson Mnangagwa, who appears to be having a new spring in his step is not giving up on his bid to become the next President of the Republic of Zimbabwe.

Vice President John Nkomo, Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa (who led the CIO during the Gukurahundi Massacres) and President Robert Mugabe

The late Vice President John Nkomo, Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa (who led the CIO during the Gukurahundi Massacres) and President Robert Mugabe

Looking at the Zanu PF presidium, Ngwena (The crocodile) as he is popularly known is nowhere near the radar to attain power, yet one thing we might overlook is his ability to flash an ace from up his sleeve even when there are no political prospects and all odds being against him.

Senior figures in Zanu PF holding influential posts, such as secretary for administration, Didymus Mutasa have openly said it’s impossible for Mnangagwa to circumvent party procedure, while launching himself to replace Mugabe ahead of Mujuru who has always been acting president time and again when Mugabe goes on his annual Asian excursions.

Zanu PF insiders told Nehanda Radio, that the one asset Mnangagwa has at his disposal is covertness and shrewdness in underhand political manoeuvres, allowing him to operate in proximity to power, thus being able to control and manipulate political business without being easily traced.

Mnangagwa is by far the most experienced spy in government, and as we found out from our briefings even his foes acknowledge they are no match for him in this realm. The minister, Zanu PF officials maintain, is like a duck appearing peaceful on the surface, yet its feet are moving frantically under the water.

Ngwena for illustrations sake can be paralleled to Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, who used his mastery of KGB covert power politics to ascend to the top,” a Zanu PF minister said.” Putin had always been around, but not a serious contender to become Russia’s leader since he was an agent posted in East Germany during the cold-war.

How he managed to become Boris Yeltsin’s successor ahead of formidable and more senior politicians we may never know, but my guess and linking it to how Mnangagwa is now closing in to seal the presidency is related to the dirty world of covert intelligence operations.

Russian Vice President, Alexander Rutskoy was next in line to the throne, but Putin a young and inexperienced prime minister at the time was Yeltsin’s surprise pick.

“Everywhere the world over, you notice that strong leaders are likely to have a military or secret service background and they are many examples. They usually sweep to power after a first republic leader leaves the stage.

“Mugabe has already in a way written Mujuru off, although not in words because he doubts her leadership qualities and that she was heavily dependent on her late husband, Solomon.

“I want you to look at Mnangagwa, without journalism prejudice, so that you understand where I’m coming from and what it might mean for our country. Did you know that Mnangagwa is credited to this day, for foiling a putsch on the Zanu leadership in the late 70s while in Mozambique?

“His efforts saw him being elevated to Zanu’s intelligence chief, taking over from Cletus Chigowe. The defence minister went on to become the first head of the Central Intelligence Organisation at Independence in 1980. So where do you think such a person’s career is headed?”

Mnangagwa, who was doubling as Mugabe’s personal bodyguard while at the helm of Zanu’s intelligence machinery, also flashed out Rugare Gumbo, Henry Hamadziripi, Zivavarwe Muparuri and Crispen Mandizvidza, all of whom were implicated in the attempted coup to overthrow the Zanu leadership headed by Mugabe.

Had the coup succeeded, Mugabe might not have become Zanu PF leader and president sources said.

Closer home, South African leader, Jacob Zuma is another example our informants contend. Zuma who had been tainted by corruption charges, and surviving expulsion from the ANC under Thabo Mbeki, seems to have used his experience and skills of guiding underground ANC structures in 1987, during his stint in exile in Lusaka, Zambia.

Zuma was immediately appointed to be chief of the ANC intelligence department, and today it would seem he might have used covert politics, to force Mbeki out using the ANC Youth League, under its ousted leader, Julius Malema, a one-time close Zuma ally whom he has discarded.


* Emmerson Mnangagwa, is a notable figure of the liberation struggle who as we have come to know thwarted an attempted coup on the Zanu leadership led by Mugabe.

* Credited for integrating the Rhodesian intelligence machinery, into the new Zimbabwe government in 1980. The Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), has however largely kept the Rhodesian spying playbook intact. The Joint Operations Command (JOC)’s philosophy of being a shadow government has not been disbanded.

Key faction protagonists

General Constantine Chiwenga (ZDF commander); General Phillip Valerio Sibanda (ZNA commander); Augustine Chihuri (Police commissioner general); Happyton Bonyongwe (CIO boss); Major General Douglas Nyikayaramba (Army chief of staff-Quartermaster); Patrick Chinamasa (Justice minister); Oppah Muchinguri (Zanu PF Politburo member); Jonathan Moyo (Politburo member); Mike Madiro (Suspended Zanu PF Manicaland chairman); July Moyo (Former cabinet minister); Josiah Hungwe (Former Masvingo governor); Owen Ncube (Midlands security secretary).

Power comes from the barrel of a gun

One thing Mnangagwa has perfected is to, consolidate influence within the military, intelligence and foreign affairs realm, which gives him a cutting edge over his opponents vying to replace Mugabe.

Only in September last year, it became crystal clear during his 66th birthday party in Kwekwe that the qualified lawyer had managed to court the military to support him, as witnessed by Chiwenga’s endorsement of Mnangagwa.

Chiwenga was interestingly the guest of honour at the banquet held at the minister’s Sherwood Farm.

“Mnangagwa is the only surviving member of the first politburo meeting because in the first days, the president (Mugabe) did not attend the politburo,” Chiwenga said according to media reports in the capital.

“All the others who attended the first meetings are now dead. I’m sure he is alive for a reason which we all know.”

Mnangagwa and the military generals are now inseparable, as they accompany him across the country to officiate at government and private meetings.

Reports indicate, the defence minister and his army strongmen, now enjoy being airlifted in the country using military helicopters, including a new one said to have been purchased from Russia for Mugabe.

Mugabe usually goes about the length and breadth of his presidential campaign, aboard army helicopters to reach the many rural constituencies inaccessible by road.

Only last month the army generals snubbed Mujuru in Kwekwe, where she was officiating at the Sables Chemicals plant in favour of a small function in the same home-town of Mnangagwa.

The military top brass chose to grace the commissioning of two blocks of new classrooms, at Mbizo High school, an open message some say to who matters the most for the soldiers.

Statesman in waiting?

Ever since Mnangagwa cherry-picked for himself the defence portfolio, after engineering Zanu PF’s survival following a defeat in the 2008 elections, believed by many to have been a landslide victory by Prime minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, he began what can be seen as a personal foreign policy crusade to strategically promote his “Statesmanship”.

The defence minister has met counterparts in China, Iran and South Africa among other countries. Sources also say, links between the ZDF and Russian military are also growing, as Zimbabwe opens up more outlets for the possible sourcing of arms.

Of the many foreign visits Mnangagwa has made, one made to Iran in 2012 remains outstanding, because he did not just meet the Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his generals to consolidate military cooperation, and to organise the training of army officers in that country.

Mnangagwa was given a red-carpet welcome by Iranian generals, who he said were good friends of Zimbabwe dating back to the days of the armed struggle, against Britain.

“We have now been independent for 30 years,” Mnangagwa is captured by a news clip from Press TV.

“And throughout, the 30 years we have received support from the Islamic Republic of Iran. I have come here to consolidate and deepen our relations with the minister of defence, and the defence of The Republic of Zimbabwe.”

Blue-eyed boy

To more serious disclosures in our findings, Zanu PF sources say, Mnangagwa has always been Mugabe’s blue-eyed boy. Although they have been frosty relations, here and there, the two seem to find each other against the odds.

During the 2004 Tsholotsho fallout, caused by the alleged plot to push Mnangagwa as VP ahead of Mujuru, Mugabe punished most of the culprits including his favourite minister at the time, Jonathan Moyo and six other Zanu PF provincial chairmen.

Mnangagwa remained unscathed, and Mugabe allowed his anger to cool down while still keeping the minister.

Over the years Mnangagwa has lost parliamentary elections, but Mugabe has come to his rescue, making room for him in his cabinet and at one time even personally seeing to it that he became Speaker of Parliament.

“There are many occasions, when Mnangagwa was supposed to be fired from government,” but Mugabe would not hear any of it.

“It became clear that there were people plotting to frame Mnangagwa with various serious charges including a coup, so he could be blamed and charged for it,” another minister told Nehanda Radio.

We have since established, the coup incident referred to, is that of 2007 where Mnangagwa was alleged to have mobilised for a political putsch. The coup d’état, involving 400 soldiers and other high ranking officers was to occur between 2-15 June.

Mnangagwa who was visiting China during the saga, dismissed the coup allegations as “stupid” after holding a crisis meeting with Mugabe in Harare upon his return.

Alleged leaders of the coup, who included retired army Captain Albert Matapo, ZNA spokesman Ben Ncube, Major General Engelbert Rugeje and Air Vice Marshal Elson Moyo were all arrested and charged with treason.

Speculation was rife, that the late Solomon Mujuru’s hand was heavily involved in the affair, in an attempt to damage Mnangagwa, but state and military intelligence reported to Mugabe of Mnangagwa’s “clean-hands” in the issue.

A former head of the presidential guard, Brigadier Paul Gunda was eliminated and declared a national hero due to the explosive putsch attempt, military sources said.

Solomon Mujuru remained untouched, and as we were to learn during our brief with sources, incidents such as the coup attempt of 2007, and the 2008 mushrooming of the Mavambo party to pose electoral challenges, among other highly sensitive intelligence secrets could have caused the eventual mysterious death of Solomon.  


Some of Mnangagwa’s long-time allies, such as Josiah Hungwe have anointed him as a redeemer sent by God, likening him to Ezra in the bible.

“In the Bible, Ezra was a legal advisor sent by God to redeem the Israelites,” Hungwe is reported by the press to have said.

“Now in Zimbabwe we also have Emmerson, who happens to also be a legal expert, and was also sent to redeem the children of Zimbabwe. He is our own Ezra.”

Another major boost is Chiwenga’s seemingly new role in the faction, as a campaign wizard for the defence minister. The general is criss-crossing around Zimbabwe, promoting Mnangagwa’s candidature after dropping his own early ambitions to be president.

SWOT analysis

Strengths: Mnangagwa has taken the move to court, all the important levers of power for his presidential bid. Having the military and intelligence apparatus backing him is a huge advantage over Mujuru.

In Zimbabwe political parties have power only on paper, just as the coalition government, but the centre of all command power revolves around the security establishment.

Weaknesses: Not charismatic, and not being in the Zanu PF presidium.

Opportunities: The fact that Mugabe will not immediately leave office after this year’s election, gives Mnangagwa and his troops ample time to plan an assault of a total and complete power usurpation, since his realistic chances of being voted into power through the ballot are remote.

Threats: Mnangagwa’s involvement in the Gukurahundi Massacres stands out as his biggest stumbling block. This alone hinders his presidency, and even when in power, the atrocities can be raised once again by those wanting him to be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court.

Is Mnangagwa a cunning political fox?

As the curtains comes down on Mugabe’s three decades in power, it remains to be seen if the spy master will pull a fast one.

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ANC and ZANU-PF: Partners in non delivery

Vince Musewe
11 April 2013

Vince Musewe says the role of the liberation movements is past

I was not at all surprised by the support of the ANC to ZANU (PF) because
they have a common past and a common destiny. What these two moribund
organizations fail to understand is that the black African's needs and
aspirations have gone beyond liberation to economic freedom.

Both the ANC and ZANU (PF) are organizations that are showing us their lack
of imagination with regard to the future of Africa. They continually show us
that they cannot shed the old habits and language of liberation, and must
use it on every turn to try and convince us of their relevance. As I have
said before, they continue to divide Africans based on their skin colour
because it worked well for them in the past

In the case of Zimbabwe, most of us are well educated and progressive in our
view of the world and our aspirations can hardly be represented by freedom
fighters of yester year. Yes, they performed a risky and vital role in
dislodging the colonialist, and it should have stopped there. South Africa
is getting there too, as the enlightened black middle class realizes that
their deliverer from apartheid cannot and is not necessarily qualified as
their deliverer to economic freedom.

In Zimbabwe we face a challenge in that, the majority of our most educated
and progressive middle class is outside the country simply because of the
failure of ZANU (PF) to create a modern democracy. We are therefore missing
a large number of those who can help us accelerate change towards the
creation of a modern state. South Africa's middle class is also becoming
educated, but there is a general level of apathy when it comes to politics,
and this continues to limit the country's political talent for the future.
We made that mistake in Zimbabwe.

Unfortunately, what happens is that, the masses, through their sheer
numbers, become the deciding factor in our politics. I continue to argue
that, the poor sectors of the population that continue to deliver the vote
to ZANU (PF) in Zimbabwe or the ANC in South Africa, do not necessarily know
what is best for them. They continue to sell our future for food hand outs,
bicycles, goats and airtime at election campaign rallies, and are soon
forgetful of why they are poor.

The question is how do we deliver true freedom to Africans?

Firstly we must acknowledge that the role of liberation political parties is
now over. It is time for new progressive and diverse political organizations
to emerge and take over leadership.

Second, we must realize that unless you and I become politically active, it
will always be a case of the average thinkers leading us. Africa deserves
better. We need to change our economic systems and manage them better and
that requires new blood.

Third, progressive Africans must collaborate in the same manner as
liberation parties collaborated during the struggle, to create a momentum
towards change and economic freedom.

The problems that we Zimbabweans and South Africans face are similar. We are
all tired of unaccountable politicians enriching themselves at our expense.
We are tired of their inability to deliver on our economic freedom and
blaming the West. Corruption, incompetence and greed continue to dominate
public office, while poverty continues to increase. Politicians continue to
recycle the same people, robbing our countries of fresh ideas from the young
educated progressive African. Black racism continues to stifle racial
integration and social development.

We must see more Lindiwe Mazibukos of the DA in South Africa as middle class
blacks rise to the challenge, see beyond their current circumstances and
ignore negative political rhetoric of the ANC. In Zimbabwe, we must see more
Beatrice Mtetwas, Zimbabwe's human right lawyer, as we reject the narrative
of ZANU (PF) of our future. But more important, we must realize the fact
that Africa can never go beyond the limits set by our liberation struggle
political parties, unless we all actively participate in politics and build
modern democracies that deliver economic freedom. We can no longer afford to
watch and exclude ourselves from determining the future of our countries and
then complain for lack of change. That is irresponsible.

We would be foolish to leave these responsibilities to the ANC in South
Africa or ZANU (PF) in Zimbabwe simply because their mentality cannot
imagine beyond liberation. So let them support each other and disregard what
we Zimbabweans think for, sooner or later, they will be bedfellows in the
dustbin of African history.

Vince Musewe is an economic analyst based in Harare. You may contact him on

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Who Gets to Eat? Political Food Manipulation in Zimbabwe
Think Africa Press has obtained a video revealing Zimbabwe's main parties using food to secure votes.


Think Africa Press has obtained a film revealing rival political parties in Zimbabwe using food and farming inputs to manipulate voters ahead of elections scheduled in July 2013. Made up of footage obtained from various meetings, the video highlights the ways in which both ZANU-PF and the MDC-T use the promise of farming supplies in a bid to secure votes.

The video begins with an MDC activist explaining that when the political environment is active, parties look for a way to keep people close, and in an environment of drought and hunger, the promise of food and farming supplies is one of the most powerful methods of ensuring this.

In the town of Bindura, situated 88 miles north-east of the capital, Harare, ZANU-PF distribute maize seeds under strict instructions that the seed is for ZANU-PF supporters only. Meanwhile, an MDC-T supporter based in Shamva, Mashonaland Central Province, explains that those who acquired fertiliser from the MDC-T party will not receive anything from ZANU-PF.

The video ends with footage of ZANU-PF officials warning supporters that if they share their seeds with individuals who “demonise the president”, they will be arrested and taken to jail.

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