The ZIMBABWE Situation
An extensive and up-to-date website containing news, views and links related to ZIMBABWE - a country in crisis
Return to INDEX page
Please note: You need to have 'Active content' enabled in your IE browser in order to see the index of articles on this webpage

Top Zanu, MDC officials in major scam


by Staff Reporter

The Zimbabwean has unearthed shocking details of how high profile people,
among them the late Vice President Joseph Msika and a current top MDC-T
official, were engaged in a cross-border money laundering scheme that
resulted in unsuspecting Zimbabweans being sold condemned agricultural

The names of the alleged money launderers cannot be published at this stage
as we have been unable to secure their side of the story, but it has been
established that President Robert Mugabe and Vice President Joice Mujuru
were tipped off about the criminal activities by the syndicate.

Correspondence from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe dated 16 May 2007 and
addressed to Mujuru by the late RBZ Senior Division Chief in charge of
Exchange Control, Paul Sigauke, titled “International Money Laundering
Operation” indicates that the top MDC-T official formed a shelf company that
was used to import fertiliser and maize from South Africa.

The document, which shows that senior police officers shuttled between the
two countries during high level investigations, says the company operated in
direct contact with another South African firm (name supplied) that was
responsible for shipping the inputs back to Zimbabwe.

The scam basically involved raising US dollars by one of the officials (who
had strong links with Msika) by selling maize to the Grain Marketing Board
and subsequently depositing it in offshore accounts of conspiring partners,
one of whom is a former Zanu (PF) heavyweight currently living outside the

The money was then transferred to a number of accounts in South Africa to
buy the inputs. The fertiliser, Sigauke claimed, was tested in South Africa
and passed for transmission to Zimbabwe in the full knowledge that it was
bad and would not be suitable for agricultural purposes. When it got to
Harare’s GMB Aspindale depot, it was tested again and found to be
unsuitable, yet GMB officials proceeded to sell it to farmers.

“The imported fertiliser … failed three independent tests in Harare but was
sold by GMB knowing that it would not grow maize in Zimbabwe,” reads the
document. The report says RBZ financed the Harare tests on the fertiliser.
The shipment of the condemned grain and fertiliser commenced in 2007, but
the document does not indicate the amounts involved, even though it says the
contract to ship grain to Zimbabwe was “awarded by the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe…without Mugabe’s knowledge”.

RBZ officials, in communication copied to RBZ Governor, Gideon Gono, and the
then State Security Minister, Nicholas Goche, warned of the corrupt
fertiliser imported through the company owned by the top MDC member.

The named company banked with a leading financial institution headed by the
official’s close relative.

“(The intention) was to sell this fertilizer to communal farmers who did not
know that crop failure was guaranteed. I am of the opinion that it was a
plot to ensure that certain parts of the population would buy this and their
crops would fail,” reads Sigauke’s letter to Mujuru.

The alleged transactions happened when the country was reeling under a
severe inputs shortage.

According to Sigauke, Msika approached the RBZ and convinced its management
to enable his colleague, who in the mid-2000s was also named in illegal
grain exportation deals to countries like Mozambique, to pay back the money
he had allegedly externalised when the police net closed in on him. This was
done so that the colleague would not be prosecuted.

When RBZ subsequently dispatched an investigator to South Africa to verify
the quality of the fertiliser, it was discovered that there was no such
factory - as had been claimed when a certificate to export was given to the
company based in Tzaneen.

Instead, “the fertilizer was being mixed manually by labourers with shovels
on a platform at the old railway siding on the outskirts of Tzaneen
and …there were 4 piles of different blends plus bags of rose quartz finely
crushed to mix in the finished blend as was noticed at GMB Aspindale”.

Mugabe recently lambasted corrupt officials in his party, but analysts say
he lacks the political will to take any action.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Onslaught against farmers threatens future investment

By Alex Bell
19 December 2012

Future investment in Zimbabwe remains under threat, because of the ongoing
campaign to remove all commercial farmers from their land.

This week a farmer in Mashonaland West, Piet Zwanikken, was shot in the face
as part of efforts to force him to leave his farm. Zwanikken, a Dutch
national meant to be protected by an international agreement (BIPPA) between
Zimbabwe and the Netherlands, is still recovering in hospital from a serious
wound to his nose and cheek.

He has been fighting for his property rights since January after his farm
was gazetted for ‘redistribution’ by the Lands Ministry. But Zwanikken told
SW Radio Africa on Tuesday that he will do all he can to remain on his land.

This is not easily done when the legal system is biased against the farming
community. On Friday another BIPPA protected farmer, this time a South
African citizen, faces losing his farm once and for all, after years of
intimidation and harassment.

Piet Henning, who has owned land in the Chiredzi district since 1965, will
be appearing in court on charges of illegally occupying government land.
Henning told a South African newspaper that Friday’s court date is his “27th
or 28th” appearance and he expects to be found guilty.

The farm that the Land Ministry has gazetted for takeover is a small portion
of the original farm he was forced to give up as part of the land grab
campaign in 2003. Since 2008 Henning has been in and out of court trying to
secure the rights to his farm, but with little success.

Former Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) President Deon Theron, who was another
victim of the land grab, told SW Radio Africa on Wednesday that until
property rights and the rule of law are honoured in Zimbabwe, the country
can never recover.

“We desperately need new investment, but investors need confidence and there
is no confidence in placing any investment in Zimbabwe. There are no
property rights, there is only rule by law, not rule of law,” Theron said.

Theron said the ongoing seizure of land, which is being done under the guise
of ‘indigenisation’, is “a complete farce and a vote buying gimmick,” that
does not benefit the ordinary Zimbabwean. He said that hundreds of working
Zimbabweans lose their jobs every time a commercial farm is seized, “so
there is only empowerment of the few, not the masses.”

“We all know there is a role for indigenisation, but if it’s done to garner
votes or boost ZANU PF’s popularity, then it will not work,” Theron said.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Media Alert From The Commercial Farmers' Union In Zimbabwe

Farmer Shot in Banket

On 17 December 2012, Mr Piet Zvanikken of Riverhead Farm, Banket, north west
of Harare, was approached at approximately 6.00 pm by three people who told
him that tobacco was being stolen from the barns.

He indicated that he did not want to go down to the barns to check as it was
late. Mr Zvanikken thanked him for the information and turned around to go.
The man then pulled out a pistol and aimed for his head but shot him in his
face with the bullet passing through the cheek bone and nose.

Mr Zvanikken knows the identities of the individuals and is treating this as
an attempt on his life. He is a Dutch national.

He is now in Avenues Clinic in Harare receiving treatment and will have
reconstructive surgery on his face and nose. He is out of danger.

We are very disturbed by this incident of attempted murder and urge our
farmers to remain extremely vigilant at all times.

Charles Taffs


Commercial Farmers' Union

Cell: +263 (772) 284 847

Tel: +263 4 309 800 landline to 19


Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Dutch Embassy Press Release on the shooting of Pieter Zwanikken

Information for the press (on request)

1. Late Monday afternoon (17.12.12) a 50-year-old Dutch man shot was shot
in Banket, Mashonaland West, Zimbabwe. The man is in the hospital.

2. The man has a farm where he grows tobacco. Three armed men came to the
farm to demand his harvest. When the man refused, he was shot.

3. Two suspects have been arrested.

4. The embassy in Harare has contact with the family of the man and will
visit him in hospital.

5. The embassy is in contact with the police and has also drawn attention
of other local authorities to the case, including the Ministry of
Agriculture and the Joint Monitoring Commission, which examines cases of
(political) violence in Zimbabwe.

6. The ambassador had just visited the farm on 14.12.12 because it had
been under threat to be taken over by others. The ambassador had already
intervened with the local authorities on behalf of this Dutch investor.

7. The position of white farmers in Zimbabwe remains shaky. Many
thousands have lost their possessions, but still there are hundreds who are
active as farmers in Zimbabwe. Virtually all of them now work on smaller
pieces of land, sometimes no longer as owner, but only as a co-owner or as a

8. At present, there are two other Dutch investors of whom it is known
that their investments are threatened.

9. The Dutch embassy in Zimbabwe will pursue the interests of Dutch
citizens and businesses, amongst others by appealing to Zimbabwean
authorities and by supporting organizations that strive to combat
(political) violence.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

ZANU PF is unelectable with Mugabe as presidential candidate

By Tichaona Sibanda
19 December 2012

ZANU PF has already blown its chances of winning the harmonized elections
set for next year by fielding an unelectable Robert Mugabe as their
presidential candidate, a political analyst has said.

Pedzisai Ruhanya, a director with the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute said as a
result of its failure to change its leadership, the former ruling party is
being ‘propelled into the wilderness by political and economic plans that
repel voters.’

Speaking on SW Radio Africa’s Hidden Story program on Wednesday, Ruhanya
predicted that after 32 years in power, at which he presided over the worst
economy in the world, Robert Mugabe is now unelectable and so is ZANU PF.

‘Mugabe is going to turn 89 in February next year and will become one of the
oldest political candidates to contest an election. Zimbabwe will reject him
at the ballot box. The inability to change its leadership will almost
certainly condemn ZANU PF to political history.

‘Zimbabweans cannot invest their future into an 89 year-old candidate and
this is a quandary for ZANU PF and a huge problem for Mugabe and this is not
opposition driven, it is self inflicted,’ Ruhanya said.

He said Mugabe failed to implement the GPA because that would also mean his
defeat: ‘ZANU PF being aware that it has survived for 32 years because of
repressive media and security laws would not dare implement the provisions
of the GPA’

He emphasized that Mugabe abuses, disregards and celebrates violence, which
has seen him survive for this long, including in his own party.

‘Violence is part of ZANU PF’s DNA and this is why they say ZANU PF
ndeyeropa (ZANU PF is for blood). That is why in his own party Mugabe is not
contested, he’s intolerant to internal democratic processes.

‘Now….what do you think will be his attitude when he is contested by a
foreigner, someone outside ZANU PF. If you look back to 2008, the results
are there for everyone to see,’ observed Ruhanya.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

March poll push dead

By Fungai Kwaramba, Staff Writer
Wednesday, 19 December 2012 13:29

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe’s dream for a March 2013 poll is
effectively dead and buried after the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec)
requested at least three months to carry out a comprehensive voter
registration exercise.

Officials from Zec — the body mandated with presiding over electoral
processes in the country, last week met Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and
minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, Patrick Chinamasa and requested for
urgent funding to kick-start a voter registration blitz that would take
three months to carry out.

William Bango, Tsvangirai’s spokesperson, said Zec’s request effectively
means that elections are impossible by March as envisaged by Zanu PF.

Mugabe, who is in a coalition government with bitter rival Tsvangirai, and
Welshman Ncube, the Industry and Commerce minister and leader of the smaller
MDC formation, has been insisting that the country would go for an election
before end of March next year with or without a new constitution.

However, Zec’s request for three months to register voters, notwithstanding
that a referendum is held or not, means Zimbabwe will not be ready for polls
by end of March.

“The fundamental thing that was discussed at the meeting, apart from a
revised Zec budget and the dropping-off of the delimitation of the country’s
constituencies, is that Zec requested three months in order to register

“A decision was taken in that meeting that Zimbabwe should embark on an
intensive voter registration and voter confirmation exercise contacted by
Zec for three months,” said Bango.

Mugabe has already told the courts the country will go for harmonised
elections come March in order to fulfil an obligation to hold by-elections
in all vacant seats that were left vacant either by deaths of incumbents or
defections to other political parties.

“The request from Zec basically scuttles the March election. What that means
is if we start registration on January 3, it means it would end on the 3rd
March then a proclamation of the electoral dates must take place,” said

“If all things go well without any delays an election is certainly not in
March and maybe in the middle of the year. The suggestion that Zec needs
three months came from Zec itself,” said Bango.

Joyce Kazembe, Zec acting chairperson who
attended the meeting, however, said time needed for registration does not
rest with the body but with the Principals.

“This is an area that is beyond us. The issue of time was discussed but
those are principles that are not cast in stone. They may be changed,” said

Zec, which is currently broke and urgently needs at least $20 million to
start the voter registration blitz, should also procure indelible ink which
will take eight weeks to deliver.

Mugabe’s election point man Chinamasa, says it is premature to fix election
dates because a final constitutional draft is yet to be completed owing to
disagreements among coalition partners.

“Everything depends on the finalisation of the constitution-making process,
so we cannot determine when the referendum and elections will be held,” he

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Ncube ready for elections without new constitution


by Brenna Matendere

Welshman Ncube, leader of the smaller MDC, says his party is ready to
participate in elections even without a new constitution. He was speaking on
the side lines of a rally at Maboleni business centre in Lower Gweru.

In a direct jibe at President Robert Mugabe, who has been insisting on early
elections since 2010, said his party was ready for polls even if they were
to be called next month.

Mugabe is on record saying the two MDC formations are afraid of an early
poll because they are afraid of losing. During his party’s conference in
Gweru a fortnight ago, it was resolved that Mugabe should dissolve
parliament and fix dates for elections if the impasse on the new
constitution is not broken by Christmas.

The new constitution is expected to level the playing field and guarantee
the holding of free and fair elections by introducing key reforms.

“We want to say to Mugabe we are not afraid of elections. If he wants the
polls in January or February we are ready,” Ncube told The Zimbabwean.

He added that his party has resolved to go for the polls even without a new
constitution because it was unlikely that there would be a breakthrough on
the current draft document any time soon. “Zanu (PF) has said either you
agree to our amendments or go back to the old constitution as a way of
trying to factor in their impossible demands.

So our position is that if it is not possible to have a democratic
constitution, then let’s have elections without a new constitution. We can
always fight for one after that exercise,” said Ncube. He reiterated that
his party had agreed to give in on some of Zanu (PF)’s demands but could not
give in on key matters.

“Zanu said they want separation of phrases like development and empowerment
in the constitution and we agreed. But we can’t accept to delete fundamental
issues,” said Ncube.

MDC-T and civil society are adamant that elections can only be held after
fundamental reforms and a new constitution are in place. The pronouncement
by Ncube on holding elections without a new constitution is likely to
complicate further the road map to a new democratic dispensation, as it
plays into Zanu (PF)’s hands by further alienating his party from MDC-T and
other smaller movements.

John Makumbe, speaking in his capacity as a political scientist, described
Ncube’s position on having elections without a new constitution and reforms
as “dangerous”

“Ncube is shooting himself in the foot. Without the full implementation of
the Global Political Agreement, there is no guarantee that what happened in
2008 will not recur. He is just politicking and I would be surprised if his
supporters agree with him,” said Makumbe.

“Ncube seems to be saying what he said in order to spite Tsvangirai. He
wants to give the impression that he is his own man and cannot define a
position different from that of MDC-T,” he added. Ncube was Secretary
General under Tsvangirai in the formerly united MDC, but bad blood has
developed between the two since their split in 2005 over disagreements
relating to whether or not they should back the reintroduction of the Senate
that had been abolished in 2007.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Elections not possible till 2015: academics


by Mkhululi Chimoio

Academics here believe it is only practical to hold elections in 2015 as
there are lot of processes to be put in place.

Dr Lawton Hikwa also says 2015 perfect for elections
Speaking at a public meeting organised by Bulawayo Agenda recently,
political analyst Ibbo Mandaza said the country was not ready for elections
until the new constitution is completed.

“We can only have the elections practically in 2015 as we need to complete
the constitution first and harmonise it with old and new laws of the
country,” he said. Mandaza emphasised that there was still a long way in the
completion of the new constitution which he labelled as a ‘political deal’
meant to safeguard and promote the interests of political parties.

“The constitution is a political deal which was merely sold to the public.
We need a constitution that is near perfect so as to protect the citizens
from having another Mugabe –like leader in the future,” he said. NUST
Faculty of Communication and Social Sciences, Lawton Hikwa, said there was
need for reforms first before any talk of elections.

“We cannot talk about elections without the reforms as spelt out in the GPA,
especially media reforms as the media is a major player in promoting any
democratisation process through the free flow of information,” said Hikwa.

“The challenge is that we have politicians developing policies and
attempting to implement them but failing dismally as they have political
ideologies and interest to protect. What we need are technocrats who will
occupy ministerial positions and serve the nation without compromise,” he
said. Zanu (PF) has strongly dismissed institutional reforms especially in
the media and the security sectors, which have underpinned their stay in
power over past three decades.

There were calls for the Cabinet to be composed of technocrats instead of
Members of Parliament like in countries such as the United States of America
and Kenya.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe population growth slows, 3 million fled in a decade of political, economic turmoil

By Associated Press, Published: December 19

HARARE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe’s official statistics agency says the nation’s
population rose to 12.9 million in the past decade but the annual growth
rate declined to a low of 1.1 percent. Average growth stood at about 3
percent before political turmoil and an economic meltdown beginning in 1998
drove more than 3 million Zimbabweans abroad as economic fugitives and
asylum seekers, according to United Nations and World Bank reports.

The state Zimstats office, releasing first results of a new census, did not
acknowledge the absentees Wednesday, saying its tally was based on
Zimbabweans living in the country on the night of Aug. 18. It said
households have declined to an average of 4.2 members.

The last census in 2002 gave the population as 11.6 million, mainly in
households of more than six.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Bulawayo City Council trashes census results

19/12/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

THE Bulawayo City Council is disputing the census results showing the city
having far less than 1 million people, and being the least populated.

Preliminary data released this week said while the national population rose
marginally to 12,9 million over the past 10 years, Bulawayo’s count fell
from 750 000 to 655 675, or 5 percent of the national population.

But like many Bulawayo residents and activists, city mayor Patrick Thaba
Moyo isn’t convinced.

“It is surprising that our population would go down when the cost of
providing housing in the city is going up, Moyo told NewsDay. "The last time
(2002) it was 750 000 and now it is 655 675.”

“We are worried that we have never had the population of Bulawayo going up
considering that Bulawayo is a city where many people across tribes and race
prefer to settle in.

“Our census has never reached 1 million (officially), although as Bulawayo,
we have always budgeted for 1, 5 million people,” he added.

The census findings may have serious policy implications for the second
city, activists say.

Harare was found to be the most populous, accounting for 16 percent with 2,
098 199 people.

Manicaland Province is second with 1, 755 000 or 14 percent. Midlands is
third at 13 percent, which translates to 1, 622 476 people.

Masvingo and Mashonaland West are tied at 11 percent, with 1, 486 604 and 1,
449 938 people, respectively.

Mashonaland Central’s population stands at 1, 139 940, or 9 percent.

Matabeleland North has 6 percent or 743 871, while Matabeleland South - the
least populated after Bulawayo, has 685 046 people or 5 percent.

The final report will be released in March 2014.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zim govt slammed for live elephant exports to China

By Alex Bell
19 December 2012

Zimbabwe’s government is facing serious criticism for allowing the export of
live elephants to China, with accusations that entire families of elephant
are being ‘destroyed’.

According to the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force (ZCTF) four juvenile
elephants were exported last month, in a journey that included a 12 hour
drive in the back of a truck from Hwange to Harare, before being shipped by
air for 10 hours to Dubai. From Dubai the animals were then flown to

ZCTF chairman Johnny Rodrigues told SW Radio Africa on Wednesday that, “the
fact that these elephants are juveniles indicates that they are being taken
away from their mothers, and family units are therefore being destroyed.” He
explained that the family links within elephant herds are very strong and
removing the very young is devastating to a herd.

Another 14 juvenile elephants are reportedly being held at Hwange, also
awaiting exportation in January 2013. The ZCTF said in a report that the
final destinations of the elephants are two zoos in China.

“Some elephants do not survive the stress caused by such long trips, not to
mention the fact that the ones that do survive will be subjected to a life
of captivity in a habitat they are not born to live in,” Rodrigues said.

Rodrigues had strong words for the government’s wildlife authorities, who he
said “are meant to be the guardians of our wildlife.”

“We already have a poaching problem and we believe the authorities are now
in business with the same poaching syndicates to export live animals. So the
people who are meant to be protecting wildlife are the same perpetrators,”
Rodrigues said.

He also dismissed the government’s repeated arguments that Zimbabwe is
‘overpopulated’ with elephant, explaining how no audits have been done in
recent years to support this claim. Rodrigues argued that rampant poaching
has decimated the elephant population and more should be done to protect the

“The whole world should stand against what is happening and be the guardians
of these majestic animals. Because one day there won’t be any left if this
keeps happening,” Rodrigues warned.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

ZCTF Report - Dec 2012

Only after the last tree has been cut down.
Only after the last river has been poisoned.
Only after the last fish has been caught.
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.
Cree Indian Prophecy
18th December 2012
We have received a very disturbing report that on the 25th November 2012, 4 elephants were exported to Bejing. The elephants were transported by road, a trip that took 12 hours from Hwange to Harare Airport where they were loaded onto an Air Emirates aeroplane and flown to Dubai. This flight took 10 hours and from Dubai, they are allegedly being flown to Bejing.
The total weight of the elephants was 3,9 tons which implies they were very young and the handling was done by AGS. The fact that these elephants are juveniles indicates that they are being taken away from their mothers and family units are therefore being destroyed. It is further reported that another 14 elephants are being held in a boma in Hwange, also awaiting exportation in January 2013. It is said that the final destinations of the elephants are 2 zoos in China.
We are very concerned because we believe this constitutes cruelty to animals. Some elephants do not survive the stress caused by such long trips, not to mention the fact that the ones that do survive will subjected to a life of captivity in a Chinese zoo.
It is a well known fact that Zimbabwe has a serious poaching problem and to compound that, live animals are also being sent out of the country.
Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Landline: 263 4 336710
Mobile: 263 712 603 213
The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force relies soley on public donations. Your donation can help to preserve the wildlife in Zimbabwe. If you would like to assist, please contact us.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Road crashes claim 34 lives in 3 days

18/12/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

A STAGGERING total of 34 people have been killed in road accidents across
the country just in the past three days, police said Tuesday.

Almost 200 crashes were recorded since the outset of the traffic festive
season on Sunday, 25 of which were fatal.

The shocking statistics include the smash that killed Zimbabwe soccer legend
Adam Ndlovu and injured his young brother, Peter, along the
Bulawayo-Victoria Falls highway early Sunday.

A female passenger identified as Nomqhele Tshili was also slain.

On the same day, and along the same road, another accident killed five
people and injured eight near Insuza.

Deputy national traffic police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Luckmore
Chakanza described the obtaining situation as “frightening.”

He urged motorists to exercise caution especially at this time of the year
when volumes of traffic swell on the roads.

Some 147 people died during last year’s festive season, and Chakanza
cautions the number of casualties could rise this year.

“From 15 December we have so far recorded 183 road accidents, 25 of which
were fatal leading to 34 deaths and 160 injuries.”

“At this rate the figures could surpass last year’s where there were 118
fatal accidents, 1 304 injuries and 147 deaths from a total of 1, 785
accidents countrywide during the 30-day [festive season] period,” Chakanza

Police say the number of crashes recorded between January and October this
year reached 28 929 compared to 26 500 during the same period last year.

They blame human error for most of the crashes, including speeding and
ill-timed overtaking.

And to ease the prevalence, Chakanza urged motorists to stick to speed
limits and avoid overtaking on blind spots such as bends and uphill slopes.

Faulty vehicles will not be allowed on the roads, the police spokesman said,
adding there will be a heavy deployment of police to deal with traffic
regulation violators.

“We want to remind people that we are getting into a busy holiday on the
roads because of increased volume of traffic, and we encourage motorists to
make sure that their vehicles are serviced and in good condition to avoid
breakdowns and accidents.

“They should also ensure their vehicles have necessary documents to avoid
delays at roadblocks. These include vehicle and passenger insurance, vehicle
and drivers’ licenses, fitness test certificates and radio licences,” said

He added that there will be zero-tolerance for overloading, especially by
public passenger vehicles.

“Operators should ensure that drivers carry the specified number of people
per vehicle and we would want to appeal to passengers as well to inform
police when vehicles they would be travelling in are overloaded.”

The police traffic department is currently running a public campaign to
promote road safety under the theme “Drive Safe, Arrive Alive.” The
awareness started December 15 and runs through January 15.

“We are distributing pamphlets with phone numbers of police stations
including the police headquarters so that people report any form of
behaviour like drunken driving, corruption and bribery which are likely to
cause accidents,” Chakanza said.

“We do not condone corruption and we want to appeal to motorists not to give
bribes to police. Otherwise we as police would want to wish everyone a Merry
and accident-free Christmas so we all get into the New Year healthy.”

Chakunza urged owners of public vehicles not to overwork drivers and ensure
that tyres are in good condition.

Zimbabwe has some of the most dangerous roads in the region that many call
"death traps."

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

MDC-T declares Adam Ndlovu a national hero

By Tichaona Sibanda
19 December 2012

The MDC led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Wednesday declared the
late Highlanders and national team legend Adam Ndlovu a national hero, in
recognition of his ‘unstinting contribution to football in Zimbabwe.’

This was decided following a full MDC national council meeting in Harare.
This symbolic gesture has been greatly welcomed by the Ndlovu family who
announced that Adam will be buried at Lady Stanley cemetery on Saturday.

The 42 year-old Chicken Inn FC coach died together with Nomqhele Tshili, 24,
in the crash near Victoria Falls that left his brother Peter critically
injured. It has been confirmed Nomqhele was Peter’s girlfriend.

Peter underwent a successful operation on Wednesday to insert pins in both
his fractured legs. He also broke some ribs in the horrific crash, but is
expected to fully recover.

In a statement the MDC-T, whose MPs and top leadership are keen sportsmen,
sent consolations to the Ndlovu family.

‘The party wishes Peter Ndlovu a speedy recovery. Further, in recognition of
Adam’s unstinting contribution to the Zimbabwe football fraternity, the
Party declares Adam Ndlovu a national hero,’ the statement said.

A friend of the Ndlovu family told SW Radio Africa they had been been
overwhelmed by the gesture and recognition coming from Tsvangirai’s party.

‘This comes at a time when the family and whole country are still trying to
come to terms with the shocking death of Adam,’ the family friend said.

On Tuesday, the family finally broke the news of Adam’s death to Peter and
this left him shattered.

There will be a church service for Adam on Friday at Luveve stadium where
everyone is invited to attend. There will also be a funeral procession in
Bulawayo, which will be led by the Highlanders football club.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Council in $5,4m tender row

Wednesday, 19 December 2012 13:29

HARARE - The Harare City Council (HCC) is in the eye of a $5,4 million
“roads and garbage truck” tender storm, as one of its lead suppliers has
been struggling to meet its end of the bargain, and fulfil the key mandate.

With Paul Chenjerai’s Paza Buster winning a bid to supply a majority of the
27 utility vehicles needed by Muchadeyi Masunda’s municipality, delays over
the five-month project have allegedly angered some councillors in the
MDC-led local authority.

However, the defiant Harare businessman told the WeekendPost last week that
he would meet the HCC’s December 31 deadline.

“I have delivered five vehicles so far (and) seven more are in the country
waiting delivery. Council is the one to blame (for delaying to give me the
tender,” Chenjerai said.

“I was supposed to get the tender in May, but council released it end of
August. These are special vehicles manufactured abroad. They are
manufactured per order (and) it is unfortunate that some people think I have
failed, no, I am delivering.”

According to documents, Chenjerai’s share of the spoils is not only in the
region of $3 million, but he tendered at a much higher price of $202 000 per
truck as compared to other bidders.

Victor Chifodya, the HCC’s procurement board chairperson insists the company
had won them over on a 24-month payment-free after sales service plan, says
they were miffed by Paza Buster’s dilly-dallying.

“This person (Paza) has been promising to deliver the vehicles for quite
some time. He has been telling us never-ending stories.

“He was supposed to deliver 27 refuse trucks (and) we only hear he has
delivered one. He was supposed to deliver the whole consignment, but he has
not done so,” he said.

The complaints come as a probe team appointed by Local Government minister
Ignatius Chombo has rapped Masunda’s Council for mishandling key procurement
mandates, in a city or jurisdiction handling over $400 million worth of
procurement jobs annually.

“Councillors lack depth in what is required of them. They seem to be
drowning and their decisions are based on personal benefits,” claimed the
Ellen Chivaviro-led team.

“We feel they should look at technical issues and capacity. At the end of
the day, you find those who would have been given the tenders have no
capacity to supply,” it said.

Although HCC has also taken the flak for undertaking key projects over $300
000 without going through the State Procurement Board, independent observers
also say the agency itself lacks capacity to handle the council’s
procurement needs.

Regional banking group BancABC is bankrolling the facility to retool the
Council fleet.

In recent years, the bank has also extended or provided similar facilities
to Zimbabwe’s biggest municipality, in efforts to augment its fleet. —

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Released Glen View activist “rejuvenated”

By Tererai Karimakwenda
19 December 2012

An activist from the MDC-T who was released from Chikurubi maximum security
prison on Tuesday, after ten months in jail, has told SW Radio Africa that
she feels “rejuvenated” and happy to be with her family.

Linda Musiyamhanje and 20 others, accused of murdering a Glen View cop last
year, walked out on bail just in time to celebrate the holidays and were
welcomed by MDC-T supporters and officials outside their Harvest House

Five more remain in jail after being denied bail as flight risks. With the
courts closed till next year, they will have to spend Christmas and New
Years’ holidays in jail.

Linda said her release came as a surprise because she had given up hope of
being freed before Christmas. She said although there was no evidence
against her, she is not angry and will continue to fight for democracy in

“They don’t have any evidence at all against all the accused persons. They
just wanted us to stop being MDC activists. But we are not going to give up.
They have made us grow and mature politically,” Linda said.

The police say officer Petros Mutedza was killed by MDC-T activists who held
a meeting at a local Glen View pub. But the MDC-T insists many of their
supporters were not at the pub the day Mutedza died. They say the arrests
were politically motivated and meant to destroy MDC-T structures. A total of
29 party members were arrested at the time.

The Youth Assembly chairman , Solomon Madzore, and two others were granted
bail last month.

The MDC-T Youth Assembly is demanding the release of the last five activists
who were denied bail. The five still detained are Last Maengahama,
Tungamirai Madozkere, Rebecca Mafikeni, Yvonne Musarurwa and Simon

The call came from Clifford Hlatywayo, spokesperson for the MDC-T Youth
Assembly. He told SW Radio Africa that no evidence was presented in court to
warrant the five being denied bail. He said they are being persecuted
because of their political affiliation.

“There is no reason why Justice Bhunu should say the five are flight risks,
yet all of them were on bail before. The circumstances were the same for all
the accused. This generally shows the political affiliation of the judicial
system,” Hlatywayo said.

He added: “We seriously condemn this move and call for their release. We
call for their freedom. Once again we reiterate that their continued
incarceration is political, and not criminal. It is ZANU PF’s tricks.”

Two other MDC-T youth officials have also been charged in connection with
Mutedza’s death. Tarirai Kusotera and Jackson Mabota were arrested in late
October and were held in detention for a month before being released on
The two are being tried separately from the original Glen View 29. Their
case will also resume in the New Year.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Call to screen bottled water

Wednesday, 19 December 2012 00:00

Business Reporter

A Chitungwiza businessman has called upon the Ministry of Health and Child
Welfare to screen bottled water being sold on the market to ensure that only
quality water gets to the people.Mr Sydney Farirai,

who recently established a state-of-the-art water bottling plant at
Chikwanha Shopping Centre, said on Monday that bottled water not certified
by the Standards Association of Zimbabwe should be removed from the market.

“Those who want to buy quality water must look at the label that shows them
the quality of water and that it meets the SAZ standards,” he said.

“I got interested in establishing a water bottling plant after reports that
some of the bottled water being sold in Chitungwiza was of poor quality.

Tap Water
“Some people had gone to the extent of bottling tap water.”

Mr Farirai, who is the managing director of Bobby Enterprises, said the
water bottling plant the company established about two months ago had the
capacity to produce 20 000 litres of water a day.
He said the company offers some of the water to Chitungwiza Central Hospital
for free so that patients can drink quality water.

“They can bring containers to collect the water for their patients for
free,” he said.
“We also allow residents to fetch water from our boreholes whose water was
certified by SAZ before even being purified.”

Mr Farirai said his company would soon establish water bottling plants in
other cities and border towns, starting with Bulawayo.

Bobby Enterprises has another water bottling plant in Nyanga.
The plant at Chikwanha has a computerised water purification system that has
filters for sand and carbon and a water softener.

The company also uses oxidation to remove odours and pollutants and
disinfecting bacteria and viruses.

There has been an outcry from consumers in recent months over the presence
of bottled water on the market that does not meet standards.

In fact, the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare recently warned consumers
against taking bottled water without verifying its quality.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

PM bemoans abuse of justice


by Edgar Gweshe

Harare- PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has said that Zanu (PF) is abusing
its overbearing influence on the country’s judicial system to persecute his
party supporters.

Tsvangirai made the remarks at the MDC-T’s headquarters in the capital while
addressing 21 of the party’s activists who were released on bail in a case
in which they are being accused of murdering a police officer in Glen View
in May last year.

The justice ministry is headed by Patrick Chinamasa, a top Zanu (PF) member,
while Johannes Tomana, the Attorney General, is also a self-confessed
sympathiser of the party.

Augustine Chihuri, the Police Commissioner General, is also a member of Zanu
(PF), together with the more influential Co-Minister of Home Affairs, Kembo
Mohadi, and there are concerns that judges are appointed along partisan

The 21 activists were granted bail yesterday by High Court Judge, Justice
Chinembiri Bhunu, who said that the state’s case had “weaknesses and

As part of their bail conditions the activists, most of whom paid $500, were
ordered to report twice a week at Glen View Police Station.

However, five others were denied bail after Bhunu ruled that they were a
“flight risk”.

“There has never been a legal case here. It has been mere persecution rather
than prosecution. If it was prosecution, what could have taken so long to
grant these people bail,” said Tsvangirai.

He said that the selective application of the law in Zimbabwe had led to
many MDC-T activists being arrested on trumped up charges.

“In this country we are very unfortunate that there is a deliberate
selective application of the law and our supporters are being accused of
anything,” said Tsvangirai.

He said his party would continue to fight until justice prevailed for the
murder suspects.

“You are out on bail but you are not yet free. As a party, we shall continue
fighting until justice prevails,” he said.

Tsvangirai expressed concern over the filthy conditions in the country’s

“You need to be very strong to stay in those prisons. I was there in 2008
when things were very hard and I saw people dying because they were
malnourished,” said Tsvangirai.

Meanwhile, there was jubilation at Harare Remand Prison on Tuesday following
the release of the MDC-T activists.

Relatives of the activists could not contain their joy as the alleged
murderers walked out from remand prison.

The crowd, led by MDC-T Youth Assembly Chairperson, Solomon Madzore, burst
into song and ululation before heading to Harvest House where Tsvangirai
addressed them.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimrights officers arrested... 'Intruders' planted documents


by Staff Reporter

Four ZimRights officials accused of forgery and fraud appeared at the Harare
magistrates court on Tuesday and were remanded in police custody, after the
State applied for time to research on submissions presented by the defence
counsel. The matter continues today.

The state, represented by Area Prosecutor, Jonathan Murombedzi and Michael
Reza, said it needed time to study bail submissions made by defence lawyers,
since the accused were facing serious charges.

Human rights lawyers led by Trust Maanda denied the charges and described
them as baseless and void of evidence on which the state can prosecute.

“These are frivolous charges by the state. My clients deny ever possessing
the mentioned documents and the state has failed to provide evidence before
the courts to support its case.

“In fact, one of my clients was actually abducted by some militia in the
absence of police. The militia did not search her house but actually
ransacked it. She was also thoroughly beaten up. I am advised that when the
militia arrived at her place, they had some unidentified objects in the
hands,” said Maanda.

He added that, an “intruder” also raided another accused’s place and failed
to identify himself, subsequently emerging holding mysterious documents that
he claimed to have obtained from the house.

He said police failed to bring credible evidence before the courts, save for
a blank white copy which meant nothing at all. “Evidence must be brought
before the courts in a complete manner. The accused should also be taken to
the site of search and an inventory has to be made. Nothing of that sort was
ever done in this respect. The state is simply trying to lie in this case,”
said Maanda.

Maanda said reasons given by the state to deny bail were a mockery to the
judicial system.

“Surely, how can a respected court of law deny the accused bail on the
grounds that they will be unlawfully attacked by war veterans if they are
let free? Under normal circumstances, the detained innocent would be granted
his liberty, while the known violent war veterans would be brought to
justice,” said Maanda.

The defence lawyers applied for $50 bail each, accompanied with reporting
instructions. It challenged the state to speed up the process ‘since
innocent people’s liberty was at stake.”

The State was urged to speedily carry out its “research”.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Minister upbeat over Air Zimbabwe audit

18/12/2012 00:00:00
by Rebecca Moyo

AIR ZIMBABWE is undergoing an audit by the International Air Transport
Association (IATA) to determine if the national airline in now fit to fly
international skys.

Deputy Minister of Transport and Communication Infrastructural Development
Morgan Komichi says he has his fingered crossed fo a IATA thumbs up.

"The last time they came, they could not do much as the airline's staff was
on strike," he said.

"This time there is no strike and we hope they will be assisted accordingly
as we look forward to seeing Air Zimbabwe resume international flights,"
said Komichi.

IATA is a global aviation body that works with airlines and the air
transport industry to promote safe, reliable, secure and economical air
travel for the benefit of travelers.

The body conducts a biennial Operational Safety Audit, which measures an
airline’s system of operations, covering the operation of flights, boarding
procedures and other aircraft safety

To retain IATA membership, members must submit and pass the audit.

Air Zimbabwe was suspended from IATA in September for failing to comply with
global safety standards.

At that time, Transport Minister Nicholas Goche said the national airline
had been given a grace period of up to November 30 2012 to comply with the

If it fails to meet the deadline, Air Zimbabwe will be banned from using
international airports and air spaces of other countries forever.

Said Minister Goche in September: “Air Zimbabwe is at the moment suspended
from IATA. However, the national airline was given up to November 30 to
carry out the audits.

"The letter we received is not that bad as they were encouraging us to
comply with global safety standards and this we are going to do,” he said.

Auditors visited Zimbabwe early this year but there was nothing to audit as
the airline’s workers were on strike.

The audit, done after every two years, is carried out by firms accredited to
IATA at the expense of the national airline seeking certification.

The auditors, who come from various countries worldwide, include experts in
the global aviation industry such as aircraft engineers, pilots, accountants
and cargo operators who are former senior airline workers.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe bid to buy SA coins from Common Monetary Area

Staff Reporter 22 hours 49 minutes ago

Zimbabwe is asking if it can purchase South African coins for use in
commerce, but since Zimbabwe is not a member of the Common Monetary Area the
South African Reserve Bank has yet decide on the request.
The CMA is a monetary union comprised of Lesotho, South Africa, and
Swaziland. Namibia was been a member of the CMA, but withdrew from the
organization in 1993. Botswana is also formerly a member, but replaced the
South African rand with the pula in 1976.

Today the Namibian dollar is on par with the South African rand. Swaziland’s
lilangeni and Lesothos’s loti currency is also on par with the rand, however
the rand can circulate freely in these two nations, while it cannot in
Namibia or Botswana.

As of late November, when this article was being written, SARB officials
said discussions with Zimbabwe were ongoing. Hlengani Mathebula is the head
of the SARB strategy and communication department. According to Mathebula,
“Zimbabwe is not a member of the Common Monetary Area (CMA), but there are
conversations that are happening with regards to the coins issue.
A decision has to be made at the highest level beyond the two central banks
and that decision would be communicated.”

Zimbabwe’s currency is a problem. When the Zimbabwe dollar was introduced in
1980 it was considered to be one of the highest valued currency units in
Africa. Due to continuing political crisis and hyperinflation the currency
degenerated into one of the least valued currency units in the world.

The currency was revalued in 2006, 2008, and in 2009. On April 12, 2009, the
Zimbabwe dollar was officially abandoned. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
legalized the Botswana pula, British pound, European Union euro, South
African rand, and the U.S. dollar for all domestic transactions. Officially
Zimbabwe currency will only be reintroduced if industrial output improves.

Zimbabwe had issued 1-, 5-, 10-, 20-, and 50-cents as well as a Z$1 coin in
1980. A Z$2 coin was added to this in 1997, and a Z$5 denomination in 2001.
In June 2005 Zimbabwe announced it was planning new Z$5,000- and
Z$10,000-coins for circulation, but this never materialized. New Z$10 and
Z$25 coins were introduced in 2008. The value of Zimbabwe’s coinage became
confused due to their continued use even following each of the three
currency redenominations.

Zimbabwe began experiencing a coinage crisis once the domestic currency
system was abandoned in 2009. Retailers often give clients credit notes or
candy as change. During 2011 banks repatriated coins with a face value
totaling about 8 million rand as retailers resisted purchasing them even
though banks offered retailers prevailing rand-U,S. dollar exchange rates.

South Africa’s coins have only carried the name of the nation in one of it’s
11 official languages since 1994. Although inflation in South Africa pales
when compared to that of Zimbabwe, in March 2002 1- and 2-cent coins ceased
being issued due to their low purchasing power. (The two coins are still
legal tender, but are seldom seen in circulation.) All cash transactions
were to be rounded to the nearest 5 cents. On April 1, 2012, the 5-cent coin
met the same fate for the same reason, with cash transactions now being
rounded to the nearest 10 cents.

In recent years South Africa has added higher denomination circulating coins
to its currency system, these being the 2 and the 5 rand.

According to Mathebula, there has been resistance to the acceptance of newly
redesigned South African bank notes in Zimbabwe as well. These notes feature
former South African President Nelson Mandela.

Ironically Mathebula noted, “There is high demand for new notes as some
people are framing the notes.”

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Kunonga surrenders

Staff Reporter 13 minutes ago

HARARE - The beleaguered excommunicated Archbishop of the Anglican Church of
Zimbabwe, Nolbert Kunonga says his church will abide by the court ruling to
surrender all Anglican Church property to the Church of the Province of
Central Africa (CPCA).
He however said his church will continue with its operations at various
locations around the country.

Reverend Admire Chisango, who is the church’s spokesperson, told journalists
in Harare that the Kunonga led church respects the judgement by the court
but stressed that the ruling does not mean his church is disbanded.

“The Anglican Church of Zimbabwe is still alive and kicking but continues to
differ with CPCA on their doctrine which supports homosexuality,” said
Reverend Chisango.

He dismissed all rape allegations laid on the Kunonga led church, describing
them as unfounded.

Probed by reporters over his personal feeling over the unfolding events in
the church, Archibishop Kunonga said he had delegated all the duties to his

The Supreme Court of Zimbabwe last month ruled in favour of the CPCA led by
Bishop Chad Gandiya and ordered the Kunonga group to surrender all church

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Mugabe stuck with Zuma

Wednesday, 19 December 2012 13:29

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe will remain saddled with the tough
mediation of South African President Jacob Zuma after the African National
Congress (ANC) retained the Zimbabwean crisis mediator as party leader.

Zuma’s re-election at the party’s congress yesterday effectively means he
will remain Sadc’s key man to Zimbabwe, which is heading towards a watershed
general election next year.

Mugabe and his Zanu PF party have warmly embraced Zuma’s rivals such as
expelled ANC youth leader Julius Malema in a clear sign of their unhappiness
with Zuma’s insistence on Zimbabwe creating conditions for a free election.

Close Mugabe allies such as political flip-flopper Jonathan Moyo have also
repeatedly shown disdain for Zuma, with some quietly praying for him to lose
the ANC election to deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe.

Although Zuma’s term as President of South Africa will end in 18 months,
political dynamics in the mineral-rich country point to the fact that the
leader of the ANC will continue leading the country due to ANC’s massive
command of the majority support. This means Zuma is likely to lead South
Africa well beyond that country’s 2014 election, giving him space to oversee
Zimbabwe’s transition.

In a recent interview with a British newspaper, Zuma did not mince his words
saying while Mugabe was a liberation war comrade, the quest for a democratic
Zimbabwe where the people’s vote is respected is the primary focus.

Zuma said although Zanu PF and the ANC share the same revolutionary roots,
he does not give preferential treatment to the 88-year-old strongman when he
meditates in Zimbabwe’s long-drawn political crisis.

“I deal with issues as they come as the ANC and as an individual. What we
need in Zimbabwe is to ensure that Zimbabwe is democratic, that’s why we
talk to all of them (Zimbabwean politicians), let the Zimbabwean people
decide which party leads them. We can’t interfere,” said Zuma recently.

On Mugabe’s propaganda that the MDC is a stooge of the West, Zuma said:

“We don’t say that in the ANC. Much as it is true that we come from the
liberation movement with Mugabe, but that to us does not give anyone a
licence to mishandle his country, so if at all there was mishandling of the
country we’d be critical,” he said in the interview.

Although Zuma has publicly denied any major rift between him and Mugabe, his
mediation has been a pain for Zanu PF, some party officials have admitted.

Deviating from predecessor, Thabo Mbeki, who employed “quiet diplomacy” to
deal with Mugabe’s intransigence, Zuma has been a constant thorn in the
flesh to Zanu PF.

He has repeatedly insisted that Zimbabwe government partners fully implement
the power-sharing Global Political Agreement (GPA), the founding accord of
the fragile coalition government.

Zuma and his team have also repeatedly dismissed Zanu PF moves to sabotage
the constitution-writing process and call an election under the current
Lancaster House Constitution.

This has seen Zanu PF moving closer to the anti-Zuma lobby fronted by
Malema, who was in the country recently.

Malema, who says he views Mugabe as a hero, whose ideas should be tried in
South Africa, has told local state media that Zuma “hates” Mugabe despite
pretences of friendship.

In turn, Mugabe’s Zanu PF has become like a second home for Malema.

In the past, top Zanu PF leaders have reinforced the Malema sentiment that
“Zuma hates Mugabe” and have publicly attacked his mediation on the
Zimbabwean crisis.

Others such as Moyo have suggested Zuma and his mediation team are driving a
United States regime change agenda to push Mugabe out through Sadc

The ANC on its part has expressed serious reservations on Malema and Zanu PF’s
relationship, which the party fears could be used to destabilise Africa’s
biggest economy.

Simon Khaya-Moyo, the Zanu PF chairperson who attended the ANC elective
conference, yesterday sought to downplay Mugabe and Zuma’s widely recognised

“We have a common liberation history and culture. We are one,” he said
delivering his party’s message of support after the announcement of the ANC’s
leadership election results.

“The two parties successfully led the demolition of apartheid in both
Zimbabwe and South Africa,” he said.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Security forces deployed as historians
Photo: IRIN
The security services remain under the control of President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party
HARARE, 19 December 2012 (IRIN) - Security forces are being deployed across Zimbabwe ostensibly to record accounts of the country’s liberation struggle against white-minority rule, but both political parties and independent analysts view the tactic as a prelude to political violence ahead of next year’s scheduled elections.

In the aftermath of the violent 2008 polls, a government of national unity was formed between President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF and two wings of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). It was decreed that both presidential and parliamentary elections would be held simultaneously between March and October 2013. But no date has yet been set for the elections, and no referendum on the adoption of a new constitution - a prerequisite for the polls - has been held.

Mugabe has been president since the country’s 1980 independence from Britain, and, in accordance with the 2009 unity government agreement, ZANU-PF has retained control of all security portfolios.

Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa has told local media the Military History Research Project is an urgent issue. “People must know where this country came from and how we got our freedom. The process of capturing this vital historical information and events is a race against time, as people who have this information in their memories are dying. With the passage of time, the memories naturally fade away or get distorted with age,” he said.

The ZANU-PF project involves the deployment of soldiers as well as “historians and researchers” to interview people - such as traditional leaders, chiefs, headmen and veterans of the liberation war - about pre- and post-independence military history.

The deployment of security forces comes after senior military commanders declared they would not serve under any government that was not led by ZANU-PF.

Sticker campaign

Meanwhile, ZANU-PF is embarking on a strategy to visually identify which households support the party.

ZANU-PF chairman for Masvingo Province, Lovemore Matuke, told local media, “You are supposed to have stickers at every household so that we identify you. Our real supporters should have stickers at their homes. If you do not have that sticker at your place, you will be skipped,”

Being “skipped” is thought to mean that those without the markers will be ineligible for agricultural inputs, such as the seed and fertilizer being distributed in a recently launched ZANU-PF initiative.

''ZANU-PF wants to remind voters of the role played by the military in the presidential election run-off [in 2008] in which hundreds of people were butchered or maimed''
But Pedzisai Ruhanya, director of Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI), an independent research organisation, told IRIN, “The two exercises [the history project and sticker campaign] are simply designed to harvest fear from the electorate. ZANU-PF wants to remind voters of the role played by the military in the presidential election run-off [in 2008] in which hundreds of people were butchered or maimed.”

The 2008 poll saw ZANU-PF lose its parliamentary majority for the first time since independence and forced a second round of voting in the presidential race. MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai pulled out of the running to protest the political violence.

Ruhanya said insisting on stickers to show support for ZANU-PF would make those who did not comply vulnerable to political violence. “Deploying soldiers in rural areas just before elections is an excuse for intimidating voters, while the claim of conducting research is ludicrous. Are soldiers researchers? Are soldiers authors of history books? Are soldiers historians?” he said.

Spokesperson for MDC Douglas Mwonzora told IRIN, “This is not genuine research which is being conducted. It is a tactic of intimidation in which war memories are going to be revived, including the 2008 trauma in which the military campaigned for ZANU-PF. History is not written by soldiers but by scholars and historians.”

War veterans

Mwonzora said, “We wait to see what they will do about marking people’s houses, but the national and international community should not allow that. At this point, we will hope the statement was just a wild remark made by some crazy party official.”

Read more
Divisions over a new constitution
Security sector refom key to peaceful elections
The mean season for gays
Major Mark Mbayiwa, a retired soldier and liberation war veteran, told IRIN there were two possible explanations for the security force deployment.

“The first reason could be that there could be a genuine desire to record the country’s military history, given that it has not been properly recorded and that ZANU-PF realizes they will not be in power after elections and they feel that this is the time to correctly record history.

“The second possibility, which is most likely, is that they want to use that as an excuse to intimidate people ahead of elections. These are typical ZANU-PF [election] tactics.”

Jabulani Sibanda, chairperson of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA), denied his members were involved in political violence.

“What needs to be understood is that, as freedom fighters, we fought against a violent, cruel and evil system of colonialism, and as such, it would be foolish to associate us with violence. While I may support ZANU-PF, I do not tell people to beat anybody up. Why do people question my support for ZANU-PF when descendants of colonialists in Zimbabwe are being funded by western countries?”

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

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Operations at New Zim Steel to resume next month

on December 19, 2012 at 1:02 am

By Lloyd Gumbo

OPERATIONS at New Zim Steel are expected to resume next month after Cabinet
guaranteed the investor that the initial deal signed between the Government
and Essar Group stands.

This brings relief to over 3 000 workers who have gone for almost a year
without salaries after the investor suspended payments in March this year.
The investor, who is apparently impressed by the latest arrangement,
reportedly agreed to pay the workers before Christmas.

Industry and Commerce Minister Welshman Ncube said the Essar Group had
requested a Cabinet guarantee that there would be no changes to the original
deal signed between the Government and Essar last year.

“This was sparked by statements that were attributed to (Gift) Chimanikire
(Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development) in the media recently that
they were not going to give New Zim Minerals iron ore claims at Mwanesi,”
said Minister Ncube.

According to the original deal, Essar Group would take 53 percent of New Zim
Steel (former Ziscosteel-manufacturing arm) and 80 percent of New Zim
Minerals (former Buchwa Iron Mining Company – mining arm) while the
Government takes the remaining shares in both firms.

Minister Chimanikire recently told The Herald that his ministry was not
going to “give away” mining claims at Mwanesi Ranch that have rich ore
deposits. He said there was a need to avoid a monopoly by giving other
players an opportunity to mine iron ore at Mwanesi in Chivhu.

Said Minister Ncube: “The investor then requested that the Office of the
President writes to them telling them the correct position. Their problem
was that Government was speaking in so many contrary voices.

“The Office of the President and Cabinet then wrote to Essar Group last week
Tuesday telling them that the Cabinet decision of September 10 this year
confirming the agreement of March last year was going to stand.”

“The Essar people then responded to us this morning (yesterday) expressing
their happiness with the Chief Secretary’s letter (Dr Misheck Sibanda). What
we have now agreed is that we will have ameeting between Essar, ourselves
and our colleagues in the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development to
finalise all the issues to do with joint exploration and the transfer of
mining rights to New Zim Minerals.

“We are hoping to have that meeting before the end of this month,” said
Minister Ncube. He said his ministry had been negotiating with Essar Group
to pay workers some money ahead of the festive season.

“They (Essar) are sympathetic to the workers’ cause so in principle they
have agreed to pay the workers some money before the Christmas holidays so
that they can go to the holidays with something,” said Minister Ncube.

Industry and Commerce deputy Minister Michael Bimha concurred with Minister

“The position is that Cabinet made a resolution a long time ago and that has
since been communicated to Essar. As far as the ministry is concerned
whatever decision is made by Cabinet is the final decision and that is what
we do.

“We will follow the Cabinet resolution that was made sometime in September.

“We are now expecting them to resume operations because for a long time they
have been waiting for us to make a decision (on iron ore claims) and now
that the decision has been made, they should start operations soon,” said
Deputy Minister Bimha.

The deal at one point hit a brickwall after Mines and Mining Development
Minister Obert Mpofu expressed reservations with the 80 percent shareholding
of iron ore reserves by New Zim Minerals.

He said the deal was supposed to be revisited because Essar Group would pay
only US$700 million for resources worth over US$30 billion.

Minister Mpofu told a Parliamentary Committee that iron ore reserves in
Mwanesi near Chivhu, which are supposed to be controlled by Essar Group
under the agreement, had a cumulative value of US$30 billion.

Government recently endorsed the implementation matrix that was agreed to by
the Government and the Essar Group management.

It is now up to the Essar Group board to give a position on the matrix.
Government, Minister Ncube said, had resolved all the issues around the
supply of water and energy, transportation of coal and steel and investment
incentives, which it was supposed to do.

On its part, the investor, Minister Ncube said, was supposed to take over
the plant and set up a US$10 million fund for the youths and small to medium
enterprises. He said Essar Group was also supposed to pay the Zisco debt to
China and Germany.

Minister Ncube recently said Essar Group workers who have not been paid
since March this year would be paid as soon as the operations resumed. Essar
Group stopped paying salaries to its employees in March this year amid
indications it had forked out millions in wages without production.

The firm was reluctant to continue pumping money into New Zim Steel which is
yet to get iron ore mining rights from the Government. The Redcliff-based
company owed its employees over US$12 million, a debt it assumed from
Ziscosteel. The Herald

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Govt retains majority stake in POSB

By Ndakaziva Majaka, Staff Writer
Wednesday, 19 December 2012 13:27
HARARE - Cabinet has restructured the People’s Own Savings Bank (POSB), with
government retaining a 51 percent stake, while private players will get a 49
percent share, a Cabinet minister has said.

Gorden Moyo, the State Enterprises and Parastatals minister, yesterday told
journalists that government had decided to modernise the bank and improve
its services.

“After a memorandum from the inter-ministerial committee on parastatals,
government is shaving off 40 percent of POSB shareholding and taking on
board other partners,” he said.

Moyo said the bank will retain its original mandate, which is serving the
grassroots to boost banking services in the country.

He said plans are underway to restructure the Zimbabwe Grain Bank (ZGB).
Moyo said Tredger Holdings will get first preference in partnering
government in ZGB since it already has ties with the entity.

The National Oil Company of Zimbabwe has already been restructured while
Agribank’s restructuring is still in the pipeline.

Arda Chisumbanje is also on the restructuring list.

Moyo said parastatal board reshuffling is necessary.

Government will with effect from January 2013, implement stiffer conditions
concerning the funding of state-owned enterprises following a series of
misappropriation of funds by parastatals.

Moyo said the decision resonates with good corporate governance standards.

“From January 2013 onwards, requests for financial support by state-owned
enterprises and parastatals will only be considered by Treasury after
compliance with statutory obligations, provisions of the corporate
governance framework and the public finance management Act,” he said.

Moyo said recommendations from line ministries should be accompanied by an
annual budget and strategic plan. Audited financial reports and audited
annual reports are also needed.

Performance agreements between boards and chief executive officers and
approved restructuring proposals are also a necessity, he said.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Zimbabwe's bush toliets and disease


By Factmore Dzobo

Forests and bushes in Zimbabwe's rural areas have since turned into toilets
and have become major sources of outbreaks of communicable diseases.

Mrs Senzile Ndlovu (38), a mother of six who lives in Ndikimbela Village in
Ward 22, Nkayi District, is among the villagers who are living without

“We are finding it difficult to do without toilets especially us women. A
non-governmental organisation promised to build some toilets for each
household here but the programme is yet to start.

“We used to have a makeshift toilet but it collapsed so we are back to using
the bush,” she said.

Mrs Nothando Dube from the same village said most families had no toilets
after most of the toilets were destroyed by cyclone induced floods in 2000.
She said they were as a result using the bush to relieve themselves.

Mrs Dube said what has compounded the situation was shortage of water for
both domestic use and for their livestock.

“We are facing difficulties especially now when the few boreholes have dried
up. We have serious challenges when it comes to hygiene. We need toilets and
access to safe drinking water. People are using the bush for toilets and
this is causing pollution of water bodies,” said Mrs Dube.

Nkayi District Administrator, Mr Moses Mbewe, admitted that several wards in
the district had no toilets and that people had problems accessing clean and
safe drinking water.

“Many wards have no toilets as many of them were destroyed by Cyclone Eline
in 2000. Most boreholes have broken down and as such people travel long
distances to fetch water,” said Mr Mbewe.

Unicef recently compiled a report titled A Situational Analysis on the
Status of Women and Children's Rights in Zimbabwe 2005 to 2011 the (SITAN).

The survey which looked at the issue of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
(WASH), revealed that in the last decade rural water and sanitation
development management has deteriorated and worsened by the decline of
support for health and hygiene education.

The SITAN reported that most rural children are dying of mainly water-borne
diseases such as cholera, bilharzia, and diarrhoea because of poor

The report revealed that there is need to educate villagers on the
importance of having toilets, especially the older generations.

It is also reported that about 60 percent of infant mortality worldwide is
linked to poor hygiene and water related infectious and parasitic diseases
including common ailments such as diarrhoea, intestinal worms, trachoma,
bilharzia and cholera mainly in the rural communities.

In his key note address at the launch of the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
programme early this year, Unicef’s representative, Dr Peter Salama said
WASH’s objective was to improve access to clean and safe drinking water,
sanitation and general hygiene. He said this was in line with one of the
Millennium Development Goal (MDGs) which is to ensure people have access to
safe clean water and hygiene by 2015.

“Investment in safe water and appropriate sanitation is critical to prevent
outbreaks of water-borne diseases and will assist Zimbabwe to meet many of
the Millennium Development Goals,” said Dr Salama.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Gideon Gono economical with the truth

on December 19, 2012 at 5:48 pm

By Stancilus Makotore

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor Gideon Gono’s latest unpleasant
utterances that his Bank lacked the capacity to pay off retrenched workers
not only displays the highest form of deceitfulness by the Bank but also
exposes Gono as a slimy character and the RBZ as an awfully bad corporate

Gono loves play-acting and whenever he gets a chance, especially before
cameras and notebooks, he likes being economical with the truth to buttress
the little that is left of his personal credibility.

So when Gono says his Bank does not have the capacity to pay the retrenched
workers, he is unfortunately trying to sound like a good, caring Governor,
in the process, hoodwinking the nation into feeling sorry for him – that he
is a good hearted Governor ominously seized with a difficult situation.

But those of us who have worked with him know that he only cares for
himself – which explains why he is still holed up at the Bank when the
majority of the workers were made to join the grimy ranks of the unemployed.

The cold and un-transparent manner in which Gono has presided over the
retrenchment exercise clearly demonstrates his lack of concern. If the truth
be told, the ex-workers were heaved off the bank on the basis that they
would be paid the remainder of their dues by end of June 2011.

Gono and his Bank disgustingly failed to honour this agreement confirming
everyone affected’s worst worries that these tricksters knew from the
beginning that they did not have the enough resources to fund their purge.

The question to ask then is, when Gono says there is no capacity to pay off
workers now, when and where did he and his board think they were going to
‘grow” the funds when they made promises to the odd 1000+ hapless men and
women. Isn’t this the highest form of unethical behaviour?

When the retrenchees protested and then contested Gono’s modus-operandi
following the collapse of the agreed payment plan and demanded prompt
payments through the courts, Gono’s Bank through its lawyers said under oath
the Bank would offset the worker’s dues from income derived from the sale of
the Bank’s non-core assets. It is in the public domain which assets the Bank
has identified for disposal.

So far, the Bank has successfully disposed off two assets which include a
part of Homelink and the entirety of Tractive Power Holdings. So why is the
“good” Governor telling humankind that his Bank has no capacity to pay the
workers? What does he want to do with the money from the disposal of the
assets? Besides, Treasury has reliably provided him with money to fund this

To save his skin and himself, from an inglorious exit from the cookie-jar
the Bank has been, Gono agreed to adopt the Government of National Unity and
World Bank’s advised reformation of the Bank. Through this action, the
retrenchment becomes the creation of government.

Tendai Biti, the Ministry of Finance as principals of the RBZ along with
Gono become willing accomplices to this malice and therefore should equally
shoulder responsibility for the exercise and should JUST please find the
money to finance the retrenchment and bring closure to this matter. It is
only fair.

It is such a shame that the ex-workers, whom no one now sympathizes with,
worked their socks off under Gono’s era and some even lost lives working
24/7 executing many of Gono’s hare-brained projects – performed to stroke
his twisted EGO as well as to please his incorrigible masters.

And yet nobody in government wants to come to the party for the workers in
their moment of need, by ensuring they get their entitlements. When Gono
says that he is troubled by the plight of the former workers, again, he is
lying to the world – like he always does to look like a nice guy.

The same world should know that same Gono, as the CEO of the Bank has
refused to meet AT ALL with the workers. He has refused to discuss their
future, to entertain their grievances or tell how he intends to pay off what’s
left of their packages.

The ex-workers are thus very surprised when the ‘good” Governor tells the
workers and the nation, through newspapers that he is troubled by their
plight, when he has spurned numerous efforts to dialogue with him. Once the
workers left the Bank on that fateful day on January 31 2011, the “troubled”
Governor turned his bank on them.

Another famed mistruth by the Governor is that the retrenched workers have
been paid more than their former colleagues at the Bank including the
Governor. Gono must not insult the workers with such unkind remarks. In the
first instance, what is he comparing?

Comparing an unemployed person who has been receiving his package in bits
and pieces with someone earning a very comfortable salary every month? The
new RBZ salary structures effected at the time of the retrenchments indicate
that the least paid person at the Bank has to date been paid way better than
those retrenched and Gono knows that.

If Gono was really serious about paying off the workers, he would have done
so a long time ago, for example, by adopting the retrenchment model used by
Fidelity Printers and Refinery where all the workers identified for
retrenchment did leave work until they were all fully paid – starting with
the least paid.

Again, if Gono really cared for the workers, why can’t he convince
government or argue for a once-off payment of the workers with the same
gusto he pushed his irrational policies and agendas during his peak as the
commanding Governor of the Central Bank.

In a world where overall strategic management of an organization is
inseparable from the strategic management of stakeholder’s issues, the way
the RBZ has handled the issue of ex-workers portray with a shadow of doubt
bad corporate citizenry by an institution the sheer size and social standing
of the Central Bank.

Stancilus Makotore is a former RBZ worker seriously aggravated and perturbed
by Gono and the Bank’s conduct.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Chihuri got it all wrong


by Editor

Last Saturday the Zimbabwe Republic Police Commissioner General, Augustine
Chihuri, castigated MDC-T Secretary General, Tendai Biti, for pointing out
that generals should not be partisan.

Biti had, while delivering a lecture in the UK, complained that service
chiefs had demonstrated their brazen bias towards Zanu (PF) once again by
attending the party’s recent annual conference in Gweru as delegates.

Chihuri then took advantage of a police Christmas church service in Harare
to berate Biti for saying so, and lamely tried to justify service chiefs’
presence—which he vowed would continue in the future—on the basis that they
had fought for Zimbabwe’s independence.

He said: “We are part and parcel of the revolution. We cannot be divorced
from that revolution; those who are thinking of leading this country without
respecting those who fought for it must stop dreaming”. He also lamely
attempted to have us believe that, as service chiefs, they should go
wherever the President goes. The Zanu (PF) conference is a private event and
service chiefs have no obligation to be there. They should only attend
national events such as Heroes’ Day and Independence Day.

Of course, most of the utterances he made are not new. We have heard these
pronouncements from service chiefs since 2002 when Vitalis Zvinavashe, then
head of the military, talked of Zimbabwean leadership being a
straight-jacket, albeit with different versions.

But Chihuri, just like the other generals, ought to be disabused of this
very wrong way of reasoning things out. Nobody has said Chihuri or any other
service chief should not defend the revolution. What is wrong is the
platform they are using to do it.

As Biti says, they are public servants, and Zimbabwean law makes it criminal
for them to be engaged in active politics, or, worse still, to openly back
one party. As we move towards the next election, this is very important.
Zimbabweans have had enough of the police chief’s selective application of
the law.

Chihuri and his colleagues ought to be told in no uncertain terms that
respect for the liberation struggle is not their preserve. They should avoid
talking as though they are the only ones who contributed towards freeing

We are not a mouthpiece of any political party, and do not intend to become
one. However, just what is it that makes the likes of Chihuri think that if
people vote for any party other than Zanu (PF), they are selling away the
country? Who are they to decide what the people of Zimbabwe should do or not
do? If they want to be Zanu (PF) activists, people like Chihuri should just
quit their jobs and apply to become full-time political commissars. We
challenge them to do that and see if anyone will complain.

In this issue we highlight yet another incident of the ZRP’s acute bias. In
Masvingo, the MDC-T was recently denied permission to hold a rally on the
basis that they had not applied properly, yet Zanu (PF) held a rally without
applying. There are several other cases whereby Zanu (PF)’s opponents are
denied freedom of association and assembly yet Chihuri’s party enjoys that
without restraint.

Zimbabwe is not a one-party state, but even if it was, the office of the
Commissioner General should be a neutral one.

Click here or ALT-T to return to TOP

Comment on Procurement and Corruption

The Minister of Finance, Tendai Biti, appears to believe that moving procurement from Local Authorities to the State Procurement Board will end corruption and reduce inefficiency. I somehow doubt it and the Minister himself has little faith in the SPB (see Biti slams Tender Board” Newsday, 22 Feb 2012). The eighty-nine local authorities in the country will now be sending their tender documents to a centralised body for approval: it is unlikely that this small and opaque body will be able to handle the volume of work suddenly dumped upon it, even if the SPB is itself can avoid corrupt practices.

The solution to corruption and inefficiency is institutionalised accountability and transparency, not dictatorial centralisation. Make the councils publish every last detail of all municipal transactions online so we, the ordinary citizens, can carry out our own audits, using the power of crowd-sourcing to expose corruption. Backed by an independent media, we have the capacity to examine council business and expose questionable activities. For example, let us have the full details of what the City of Harare has spent on water chemicals, who they have purchased these from, and who are the directors and owners of the companies who supplied the chemicals. Harare is our city, these are our elected officials and our employees so why should we not be fully informed? Any bureaucrat or politician opposing such a suggestion obviously has something to hide or seeks to perpetuate the system of opacity and corruption.

However there is a bigger question that the Minister’s dictat raises - has he forgotten which party he belongs to when he acts this way? Does he remember the meanings of “movement” or “democratic” or “change”? “Movement” in its political sense implies a gathering of many people of differing opinions for the purpose of achieving specific goals, “Democratic” means a process of involvement of many people in political decision making – the exact opposite of autocratic. And, of course, “Change” means doing things differently from the past.

Nothing that we have seen in the past 3 or 4 years leads one to believe that any of these qualities are being upheld by the MDC-T. From the imposition of an unelected Mayor in Harare (and one who by his own admission was only approached by the party on the morning of his swearing-in and who belongs to no political party) thereby over-ruling the democratic process, to the arrogance of some councillors who, having being elected, now think they are beyond accountability, one may be forgiven for assuming that we were conned by those in democratic sheep's clothing who were actually wolves wanting their piece of the pie. The ordinary members of the MDC-T should be on their guard against the influence of our insidious political culture on their party: patronage, patriarchy, personality cultism, violence and intolerance should be opposed if they wish to avoid ending up becoming ZANU-Lite.


Mike Davies

(Former Chair, CHRA)

"Biti urged to implement recommendations on procurement board" Chronicle, 19 August 2012

"Tender boards directive sparks uproar" Standard 16 December 2012

Back to the Top
Back to Index