Archive for the ‘MDC’ Category

Prime Minister , Morgan Tsvangirai Friday
warned the inclusive government would
immediately collapse if he was arrested.
The Prime Minister faces possible arrest for
contempt of court following his condemnation
of a Supreme Court ruling which set aside the
election of former Speaker of the House of
Assembly, Lovemore Moyo.
Sources in the AG’ s office said Tsvangirai was
likely to be charged under Section 82 ( 1 )
subsections ( a ) and ( b ) of the Criminal Law
( Codification and Reform ) Act .
But Tsvangirai told journalists soon after
returning from a regional tour where he was
appraising regional leaders on the deteriorating
state of affairs in the country that his arrest
would be the “ final nail to the delicate and
fragile government” .
“ Well , the thing is that if there were people who
want to arrest me, I am here and I don’ t think I
want to run away ,” Tsvangirai said .
“ I have heard about it ( the arrest) and we will
see how they proceed but that will be the last
nail in this whole delicate and fragile
government. ”
He added : “ I think people should not try to be
over reactive. People should just be calm about
it but I will , of course , be waiting to see what
the charges will be should they decide to
proceed on that .
Last week an angry-looking Tsvangirai attacked
the Supreme Court ruling on former Speaker
He said : “ The decision is a clear reflection of the
state of affairs at the Bench , the Judiciary which
in the post -Dumbutshena and post – Gubbay era
largely discredited itself by becoming a willing
appendage of Zanu PF .
“ Dubious and pro- executive decisions have been
made in this era . ”
Tsvangirai warned yesterday the country could
slide back to “ dark days ” of violence unless
regional leaders helped save the power-sharing
deal with President Robert Mugabe.
The PM said he had met leaders of Botswana ,
Mozambique , Swaziland and Zambia and
briefed them about the growing political
tensions in the country .
The security organ of Sadc which brokered the
power-sharing pact is set to meet in Zambia on
March 31 with Zimbabwe high on the agenda.
Tsvangirai said he will be meeting the Sadc
appointed facilitator in the Zimbabwean crisis,
President Jacob Zuma of South Africa this
weekend , to brief him on the situation in the
country .
“ I have told these fellow leaders that the time
for Sadc to act and deliver is now . And we are
all agreed that Zimbabwe should not be allowed
to decelerate into an implosion ,” he said .
“ I have told the Sadc leaders of the renewed
siege mood in Zimbabwe , the arbitrary arrests,
the crackdown on democratic forces in the
country and the culture of impunity that is
seriously threatening the health and the life of
the inclusive government . ”
He said the civilian authority was no longer in
charge of Zimbabwe and called on Sadc leaders
to intervene and ensure that the country does
not explode into chaos.
“ While I was away in the last four days , it
appears the civilian authority is no longer in
charge and dark and sinister forces have
engaged in a hostile take -over of running the
affairs of the country , with or without the
blessing of some leaders of the civilian
authority, ” said Tsvangirai .
“ Together with civic society and other
democratic forces , we had planned to hold a
major peace rally in Harare tomorrow ( today) to
pray for peace in the country . We had duly
notified the police as required by law. I was told
yesterday that the police have refused to allow
that peaceful rally to proceed , against the
provisions of the law and the letter and spirit of
the GPA.
“ There has been an instruction from the Police
Commissioner -General to effectively ban
meetings when there is a Cabinet decision that
no meetings should be banned . ”
Tsvangirai however said the rally would go
ahead because the ban was illegal .
Yesterday a Harare magistrate, Barbara
Chimboza, ruled the MDC-T rally should not be
held because it was not in the interest of public
order .
Lawyers representing the MDC-T were late
yesterday preparing to file an urgent High Court
application to challenge the ruling .
Police banned MDC-T rallies scheduled for this
weekend , saying Zanu PF had either booked the
venues or was holding its own rallies in close
proximity to where the MDC-T wanted to
assemble .

– Mar 18 2011 17 : 49

JOHANNESBURG – To show how the party led
by President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe uses
brute force against its opponents, Elton
Mangoma , a cabinet minister in the country ‘s
troubled power -sharing government, rolled up
a pant leg during a recent interview at his
home to reveal scars from a 2007 police
beating that he said shattered his kneecap.
” If South Africa, the African Union and the
international community fold their arms , then
Zimbabwe can descend into chaos, ” warned
Mr . Mangoma , a leader in the Movement for
Democratic Change, or M. D . C . , the party that
fought Mr . Mugabe ‘s rule for a decade before
regional leaders pressured it into governing
with him for the past two years .
On Thursday , the police came again for Mr .
Mangoma , the minister of energy and power
development, who now stands accused of
criminal abuse of office in a deal to procure
fuel – charges he denied through his lawyer.
Also on Thursday , Zimbabwe’s Supreme Court –
viewed by many as partial to Mr . Mugabe, 87 –
invalidated the 2008 election of a speaker of
Parliament from the Movement for Democratic
The day ‘s events provided yet more evidence of
Zimbabwe’s rapidly deteriorating political
situation .
” The fact of the matter is that Zimbabwe is in a
crisis ,” Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai ,
leader of the Movement for Democratic
Change, said in a statement on Thursday .
Mr . Tsvangirai , who in March 2007 was badly
beaten at the same police station where Mr .
Mangoma said he was beaten , cited signs of
what he called a campaign by Mr . Mugabe’ s
party, ZANU-PF , to ” promote chaos and fear in
the country ” : 73 meetings of the M. D . C .
banned or disrupted by the police in recent
weeks; assaults on Mr . Tsvangirai ‘s supporters
in the slums of the capital, Harare , and in the
countryside; a propaganda onslaught against
him and his party in the state- controlled media ;
and the arrest and jailing of M. D. C . leaders and
activists opposed to Mr . Mugabe ‘s 31 -year rule.
Mr . Tsvangirai , who won more votes than Mr .
Mugabe in a March 2008 general election but
withdrew before a June runoff after widespread
attacks on his supporters , contended that
members of his party were being hounded by a
police force and criminal justice system
controlled by Mr . Mugabe .
” But ZANU-PF cadres and securocrats who
murdered people in the run-up to the 27 June
election are roaming free, ” Mr . Tsvangirai said .
He said Mr . Mangoma and six activists accused
of treason after watching videos of the
uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia were ” innocent
victims of a barbaric and senseless
dictatorship . “
Mr . Mugabe ‘s supporters said that the activists
were plotting to overthrow him. Jonathan
Moyo, a member of ZANU- PF ‘s Politburo , wrote
in the Feb . 27 Sunday Mail , a state-controlled
newspaper, that with the uprisings in North
Africa, ” no doubt vigilance has become the
order of the day all around .
” Only God knows why these hopeless copycats,
whose death wish is to be arrested at the
Harare Gardens and be charged with treason in
accordance with the rule of law they love
preaching about, honestly think they can do an
Egypt or Libya in Zimbabwe,” Mr . Moyo wrote.
ZANU-PF ‘ s crackdown seems driven by anxiety
about revolutions against autocratic rulers
sweeping North Africa and the Middle East , as
well as by the party’ s own push for elections
this year – elections that leaders of the
Movement for Democratic Change have warned
could lead to another violent and discredited
election .
In interviews in recent days , spokesmen for
both Mr . Mugabe and his party have said that
the elections must happen this year .
But South Africa, tasked by regional leaders
with brokering Zimbabwe’ s power- sharing deal ,
is pushing back against Mr . Mugabe ‘s rush to
the polls with unusual vigor that marks a
surprising break with its long and much
criticized ” quiet diplomacy ” in responding to its
neighbor ‘ s decade -long economic and political
In a statement on March 1 , Marius Fransman ,
the deputy minister in South Africa’s
Department of International Relations and
Cooperation, said South Africa and the region
took the position that any election held before
Zimbabweans adopted a new constitution
through a referendum would violate the power –
sharing agreement .
Told that ZANU-PF officials had said there
would be an election this year , Lindiwe Zulu , a
special adviser to South Africa’s president ,
Jacob Zuma , said in a recent interview that
pulling one off that soon would take a miracle .
And on a recent visit to Zimbabwe, Ms. Zulu
said , Mr . Zuma ‘s team plainly voiced concern
about a recurrence of violence and
intimidation .
” If they are going to have an election by
October , they would have to do a 360-degree
turnaround at high speed, ” she said .
Even more forceful comments came from
South Africa’ s deputy president , Kgalema
Motlanthe, who acknowledged the harsh
realities confronting his own country , where
more than a third of working – age people are
jobless and often resent the estimated two
million Zimbabweans who have settled here to
escape their devastated homeland .
Mr . Motlanthe called for the next Zimbabwean
elections to be a watershed in the country ‘s
history, free of violence and observed by
international monitors from the region and
Europe, his spokesman , Thabo Masebe,
confirmed .
” It is the will of the Zimbabwean people which
must determine the future of Zimbabwe as a
country , and it is in our interest as a country
that indeed we proceed in that direction ,” Mr .
Motlanthe said last week. ” Because if we fail
and Zimbabwe implodes , literally the border
between Zimbabwe will disappear and we will
sit with all the problems. “

Published: March 11 , 2011

IN a landmark ruling , the Supreme Court
yesterday nullified the election of Mr Lovemore
Moyo ( MDC- T ) as Speaker of Parliament , saying
the process was fraught with irregularities and
in breach of the Constitution of Zimbabwe .
Mr Moyo was elected Speaker in August 2008
after garnering 110 vo -tes against former MP
Mr Paul The-mba Nyathi who got 98 votes .
The majority decision was that the Clerk of
Parliament Mr Austin Zvo -ma did not properly
conduct the election as required by the
Constitution of Zimbabwe.
The ruling was made in an appeal in which
Tsholotsho North Member of the House of
Assembly Professor Jonathan Moyo ( Zanu- PF ) ,
together with Mr Moses Mzila Ndlovu , Mr Patrick
Dube and Mr Siyabonga Ncube all MDC MPs ,
were challenging the High Court decision that
validated Mr Moyo’ s election .
An appeal can be heard by three or more judges
of the Supreme Court and this particular one
was heard by five judges .
Mr Terence Hussein of Hussein and Ranchhod
law firm , appeared for the quartet while Ms
Choice Da-miso represented Mr Zvoma.
South African Advocate Matthew Chaskalson
acted for Mr Moyo.
Prof Moyo had argued that during the election ,
MDC-T parliamenta -rians were rowdy and some
of them brazenly exposed their completed ballot
papers before they deposited them in the ballot
box .
He had also accused Mr Zvoma of failing to
stamp his authority on the election process .
The effect of the judgment is that there is now a
vacancy for the post of the Speaker of
Parliament .
Mr Moyo, who gave up his seat as MP for the
Speaker ‘ s position , can now no longer sit in
Parliament .
He now has to cross his fingers that MDC-T will
nominate him for the post of Speaker and more
so that the party would be able to garner
sufficient votes to retain the position .
This is far from certain as the numbers and
dynamics in the House have completely changed
since the flawed election .
In the nullified election , six MPs Deputy Prime
Minister Thokozani Khupe , Tendai Biti , Piniel
Denga, Tall Chambati, Amos Chibaya and
Lovemore Moyo displayed their ba -llot papers
before depositing them in the ballot box .
Writing for the majority, Chief Ju-stice Godfrey
Chidyausiku ruled that the vote was not cast in
secrecy as required by the Constitution.
” Parliament is one of the most revered
institutions in any society. It consists of the
highest concentration of the political leadership
of the country . Parliament makes the laws that
we all obey.
” Parliament should , therefore , lead by example
and should scrupulously obey its own laws, ” said
Chief Justice Chidyausiku .
He added that the election of the Speaker
should be an example of how an election should
be conducted .
This, he said , was important in Zimbabwe , which
had been plagued by contestation of election
” Parliament should use the election to set the
best example to the rest of the country . It is
unacceptable that Parliament should seek to
salvage a shambolic and chaotic election of a
Speaker through the doctrine of substantial
compliance ,” said the Chief Justice .
He said the six named MPs did not vote by
secret ballot and therefore , their votes were
The inclusion of such votes in the determination
of the final outcome of the election , he said ,
constituted a failure to comply with Section 39
of the Constitution, as read with Standing Order
The Order provides for the election of Speaker
of Parliament by secret ballot.
” The appeal is allowed with costs , to be paid by
respondents jointly and severally , the one paying
the other to be absolved .
” The order of the court a quo is set aside and
the following substituted . The application
succeeds and the election of second respondent
as Speaker is hereby set aside ,” ruled the Chief
Justice .
Justices Vernanda Ziyambi and Paddington
Garwe agreed with the judgment while Deputy
Chief Justice Luke Malaba and Justice Wilson
Sandura disagreed.
However , the Chief Justice ‘ s ruling is binding
since it had the majority favour .
Deputy Chief Justice Malaba felt that a voter was
perfectly entitled to reveal his vote during an
In his dissenting judgment , Deputy Chief Justice
Malaba said there was no legal obligation that a
voter must vote secretly adding that he or she
may opt not to vote by secret ballot.
” As the voter must exercise the right to vote for
the Speaker by a secret ballot given on the
ballot paper freely, he or she can waive the right
to the secrecy of the ballot at the time the vote
is cast or at any time before he or she deposits
the ballot paper in the ballot box .
” A secret ballot is not compulsory insofar as the
voter who is not desirous of taking part in the
election by a secret ballot is concerned ,” said
Justice Malaba .
Justice Sandura noted that the Standing Order
was complied with in the election of the
Speaker .
He said of the 208 MPs who voted, only six ( 2 ,9
percent of the total ) displayed their marked
ballot papers before depositing them in the
ballot boxes .
Two hundred and two ( about 97 ,1 percent )
voted in accordance with the provisions of the
Sanding Order, Justice Sandura noted.
” Quite clearly , the degree of non-compliance
was insignificant , whereas the degree of
compliance was nearly one hundred percent .
” In the circumstances, as the object to be
achieved by the Standing Order was achieved
and not defeated or frustrated by the non-
compliance complained of , the degree of the
alleged non-compliance was insignificant. It
follows that the Standing Order was complied
with in the election of the Speaker ,” said Justice

Fidelis Munyoro And Daniel Nemukuyu
Published by the government of Zimbabwe

HARARE ( Reuters) – Zimbabwe’ s Supreme Court
on Thursday nullified the election of the speaker
of parliament , who came from opposition ranks ,
about two years after President Robert
Mugabe’ s party lost the post for the first time .
The country ‘ s highest constitutional court ruled
that the election of Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai’ s ally , Lovemore Moyo , did not follow
proper procedures after a challenge by a senior
member of Mugabe ‘s ZANU-PF party, lawyers
said .
The ruling is likely to escalate tensions in the
fragile unity government at a time Mugabe’ s
ZANU-PF is pushing for elections this year . This
also means Tsvangirai ‘s MDC will have to fight
for the position again .

Thu Mar 10 , 2011 11 : 33 am GMT

HARARE — Zimbabwe ‘s Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai called on Thursday for a ” divorce” in
the unity government, proposing elections under
a roadmap by the Southern African
Development Community .
” We have reached a moment where we are
saying , let’ s agree that this is not working , it ‘s
dysfunctional,” Tsvangirai told a news
conference at his party ‘s headquarters.
” Let’ s make arrangements to go for elections
under a roadmap designed by SADC so that we
have a clear, legitimate government. “
” Even those with legendary patience, like some
of us, have reached a stage where we are saying
enough is enough. There is obviously a
breakdown in the relationship between the
parties,” Tsvangirai said .
” If people find that a marriage has reached
irreconcilable differences , then agree to a
divorce. “
Tsvangirai spoke hours after police detained
energy minister Elton Mangoma , a key member
of his Movement for Democratic Change ( MDC) ,
on undisclosed charges.
The MDC suffered another blow Thursday when
the Supreme Court nullified the 2008 election of
party chairman Lovemore Moyo as speaker of
parliament , following an appeal by Mugabe’ s
close ally , Jonathan Moyo.
Tsvangirai said Mangoma ‘ s arrest by a police
constable was a reflection of Mugabe ‘s ZANU-PF
party’ s ” total disregard to the basic tenets of
decency . “
” His arrest is an assault on the global political
agreement , ” the deal that created the unity
government two years ago, Tsvangirai said.

( AFP )

The US Ambassador to Zimbabwe , Charles Ray ,
has rubbished claims Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai got political advice and instructions
from the US Embassy in Harare .
Ray , who was touring the Bulawayo Public
Library ’ s American Corner , told NewsDay he no
longer paid attention to the accusations, mainly
coming from the state media .
“ I do not pay attention to political rhetoric . I do
not try to give Tsvangirai instructions.
“ Knowing him ( Tsvangirai) I don’ t think he will
take what I would say, ” he said .
A UK-based writer , Blessings-Miles Tendi , last
week claimed former South African president
Thabo Mbeki told him in an interview Tsvangirai
consulted the former US Ambassador , James
McGee , during inter-party negotiations about
Zimbabwe’ s future in 2008 .
According to Tendi , Tsvangirai ’ s conversations
with McGee were reportedly recorded by
Zimbabwean intelligence and passed on to their
South African counterparts .
“(President Robert ) Mugabe ’ s narrative all along
has been that the MDC is a stooge of the West .
What is that then ? And people are surprised
when Sadc leaders don’ t take the side of MDC.
“ It is things like these that cause mediocrity. It ’ s
really pathetic that a leader would call the US
Embassy and ask for advice, ” Mbeki is alleged to
have said in the interview , which was later
leaked to WikiLeaks.
The MDC- T shot back saying Mbeki had revealed
his soft spot for Zanu PF and claimed he was
responsible for the split of the opposition
movement in 2005 .
Ray said it was not American policy to dictate to
any leader how to run their country but it was
the duty of the American ambassador to help
individuals who wanted to help the country
“ We have to distinguish between rhetoric and
reality. The reality is that you have a lot of
people in Zimbabwe who want to help the
country do better and we have to work with
those people.
“ It has nothing to do with which party they are
in ,” he said .

2011 18 : 10

After hours of waiting in the baking sun and
then rain thousands watched as generals ,
church leaders and other top figures queued up
to sign the document .
The rest of us must wait our turn, which will
come in the form of a door -to -door campaign
in which Zanu -PF militants will arrive at our
homes and ask us to sign a petition to the
European Union and the United States to end
sanctions against President Robert Mugabe and
his circle .
” Conscious of illegal and unilateral sanctions
imposed by the West on my country Zimbabwe,
I therefore do hereby append my signature to
register my protest at the said illegal sanctions
and to demand an immediate end to this form
of aggression against my country and my
people,” reads the petition . Below this , we must
write down our names , give our ID numbers ,
state where we live , and sign .
The Movement for Democratic Change calls it a
” Zanu -PF violence petition ” , but Zanu -PF insists
it is the document that will put an end to all our
troubles . At the ” anti -sanctions ” rally on
Wednesday , Mugabe’ s strategy to get the world
to take notice of his new crusade was carried by
the young men who stood behind us . ” Hit list :
Old Mutual , Rio Tinto , Standard Chartered ,
Barclays and many more,” a poster screamed.
By threatening foreign businesses, he hopes to
make the world more amenable .
Mugabe once said the measures against his
ruling elite were a pinprick that would not worry
him. But a frenzied propaganda campaign in
recent weeks has tried to convince
Zimbabweans that all the country ‘s economic
woes are the result of sanctions .
Among the Zanu- PF rank and file, it is taken as
gospel . At the weekend , at a district Zanu -PF
meeting in Mbare to organise Wednesday ‘ s rally ,
the district chairperson , Onesimo Gore, blamed
potholes on sanctions . A youth leader rose to
say if it wasn’ t for sanctions , he would have a
job .
Campaign of intimidation
Few believe this . But even fewer will refuse to
sign the petition when the youths come
knocking . There is little doubt this is the start of
a new campaign of intimidation .
Zanu -PF sees it as some sort of pledge of
allegiance to Mugabe . He has ordered that two
million people must sign the petition , which will
be handed to Western governments as proof
that Zimbabweans are on his side . The road to
the two million signatures began on Wednesday ,
as crowds gathered at dawn at an open ground
on the outskirts of Harare .
Many were supporters, but many others had
been forced to attend , with their markets shut
down by militants and some of them force-
marched to the venue . On one side a group
that has recently been at the sharp end of Zanu-
PF attacks jostled for space , hoping to make
sure the powerful people on the podium saw
their huge banner: ” Nigerian community says
‘NO ‘ to sanctions !”
Mugabe warned again that he would target
foreign businesses if the West did not lift the
punitive economic measures. He mentioned
foreign banks and mines , which he claims are
conspiring to steal mineral earnings. The West
depends on Zimbabwe in many ways, he said ,
and ” we are ready to hit back” . ” We have been
sending our beef to them and they say it ‘s the
tastiest beef they ‘ve ever had , ” he told the rally .
” Our tea goes into the blend they call Lipton and
they call it English tea . “
Zanu -PF ‘ s campaign has entailed hour -long TV
news bulletins dedicated to convincing
Zimbabweans that the economic crisis of the
past decade is the result of sanctions , not Zanu –
PF misrule . The West is blamed for everything,
from the poor drug supply in hospitals to the
run-down stadiums . Zanu -PF says America’ s
Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery
Act, enacted in 2001, has destroyed the
But the US embassy in Harare pointed out this
week that the US had provided more than $ 1 ,4 –
billion in aid to Zimbabwe since 2001 . In the
five years after the US applied targeted
sanctions in 2003 trade between Zimbabwe and
the US doubled and Zimbabwe currently runs a
trade surplus . The EU and US measures include
travel bans and asset freezes on more than 100
Zanu -PF figures and an arms embargo .
However , no asset freezes have been
confirmed . Some argue the list of targeted
companies includes corporations and banks in
which government has only minority shares and
other state-owned enterprises that provide basic
services .
Recently , one of the country ‘ s largest internet
service providers , ZOL , said the sanctions were
more general than Mugabe’ s critics let on . ” Any
business will tell you that sanctions are hurting
all businesses in Zimbabwe and therefore all
citizens. They [ the sanctions ] raise the cost of
supplies since some companies simply refuse to
deal with us, whether or not we are on the
[ sanctions ] list ,” ZOL said .
” PayPal, an online payment [ service ] provider , is
a perfect example . It has banned anyone in
Zimbabwe from using its system on that basis ,”
said ZOL .

JASON MOYO Mar 04 2011 15 : 17

If there is something that has been nagging at
Zimbabwe’ s politics for the past decade , it is the
issue of sanctions , and yesterday , ZANU PF
whose business has been declared to be the
protection of the country ’ s sovereignty and
independence , unleashed its campaign
machinery tow -ards mobilising against the
sanctions . It is an issue that has dogged the
inclusive government since its inception in
February 2009 . The MDC party formation led by
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has insisted
the sanctions are mere “ restrictions ” , but Dep-
uty Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara , the
former leader of another MDC formation, has
loudly condemned the sanctions , which the
West argue are targeted against President
Robert Mugabe and members of his inner circle .
“ There is no economic sanctions regime in this
country , there are restrictive measures,” Prime
Minister Tsvangirai told a public accountability
seminar orga – nised by the Media Institute of
Southern Africa ( MISA ) and the Centre for
Public Accountability ( CPA ) last year , adding:
“ We have agreed as principals to tackle the issue
of restrictive measures as this isolation has
affected the lines of credit . ”
But President Mugabe and his ZANU PF party
insist that the sanctions are not targeted but
were rather put in place to accelerate Zimba –
bwe ’ s economic collapse in order to undermine
his government under what ZANU-PF describes
as “ the regime change agenda” .
ZANU-PF began mobilising support for two
million signatures to accompany a petition
against the sanctions by the EU and the US
government yesterday at an event where
President Mugabe was the chief guest. Prime
Minister Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister
Mutambara had been invited to the occasion,
but reports indicate that they snubbed the
event .
In a campaign advertisement, ZANU-PF
highlighted that Article 1 V of the global political
agreement ( GPA ) , the instrument that facilitated
the creation of the inclusive government, had
bound all three political parties in the inclusive
government to fight “ illegal sanctions impo- sed
on the Zimbabwean people by the United
Kingdom , the Europ- ean Union , United States of
Ame- rica and international financial institutions
like the IMF and the World Bank ” .
“ This article of the GPA attests to the direct
connection between these illegal sanctions and
the decline in the Zimbabwean economy; the
non-availability of lines of credit to Zimbabwe;
the negative international perception of
Zimbabwe; and the fall in the standards of living
of the Zimbabwean people, ” read the ZANU-PF
campaign banner .
“ Sanctions do kill! Sign against them , act against
them !” charged ZANU- PF .
Recently , business has come out in support of
measures to withdraw the sanctions , arguing
these had become an unbearable cost to
business and the economy .
It is indeed true that sanctions have been a
factor in Zimbabwe’ s economic de- cline that
ended with formation of the inclusive
government in 2009 , but they were certainly not
the major reason for the sharp decline. With the
economic crisis emerged a sharp decline in
living standards .
For many years , and as most economists and
economic journalists will confirm , the critical
economic story was government’ s budget
deficits which were largely accrued to finance
recurrent expenditure .
There was very little for capital projects , key to
the development of an economy and job
creation .
An economic adjustment programme backed by
the IMF in the early 1990 s had only worsened
the situation . Its intentions had been noble:
There was need for belt tightening as well as
austere measures by government to grow the
economy . But government panicked at the first
signs of upheaval; austere measures meant the
erosion of so -called social safety nets , and free
health care for the poor . As a result, these
reforms were abandoned , and government
argued they had been inappropriate for the
domestic economy.
But the decline in the economy became gradual;
rising commodity prices stoked spontaneous
protects in Harare ’ s urban areas after bread
prices went up in 1998.
Similar protests were to ensue in consequent
years , triggered largely by declining standards of
living and rising unemployment .
These were precisely the issues that triggered
the em -ergence of the opposition in Zimbabwe
in 1999, with the Zimbabwe Congress of Tr -ade
Unions ( ZCTU ) secretary -general , Morgan
Tsvangirai , now Prime Minister of the inclusive
government , emerging the favourite to le- ad
efforts to unseat the inc- umbent government of
Pre -sident Mugabe from power.
But , just th -en, the contentious issue of land
ownership emerged , and ZANU-PF , whose
leadership had always lured voters on the back
of promises to re -distribute land to landless bla –
cks , seized on that issue to win back support
and fend off the threat posed by the opposition .
Unsettled white farmers began bank- rolling the
M-DC formation led by Tsvan -girai , and the
international community — the USA , the EU ,
Australia, New Zealand and a few others outside
the EU block – jumped into the MDC’ s corner.
But that only served to make the MDC’ s struggle
for power a racial affair : President Mugabe
charged that the condemnation of his
government was an issue of “ kith and kin” — the
British , who led the campaign against ZANU-PF
and President Mugabe , were angry with his
government for taking away land from the
whites .
The US first targeted Zimbabwe in 2001 after
the controversial land reform programme that
saw thousands of white -owned farms invaded
and occupied.
The Zimbabwe Dem – ocracy and Economic
Recovery Act ( ZIDERA ) directed that the US
government should oppose the granting of any
loan or financial assistance to Zimbabwe.
President George Bush then expanded the
sanctions by declaring a national emergency to
deal with the Zimbabwean threat in 2003 .
Meanwhile , the opposition ’ s cup ran over, with
massive financial packages from the West –
President Mugabe had to be removed from
power , and the only viable option was the
emergence of Prime Minister Tsvangirai and his
MDC party which they bankrolled with reckless
abandon . Today , senior activists within the MDC
can be counted among US dollar multi –
millionaires through this money , yet village
activists maimed for the struggle against ZANU-
PF have been neglected, in fact shunned by a
party whose struggle has massively enriched a
So , while the economy had already been on a
downward trajectory , and required a miracle to
be salvaged from that course , it was also clearly
the intention of the West to ensure Zimbabwe
was isolated in order to undermine President
Mugabe ’ s government and buttress a surging
opposition through economic sanctions .
Although denying that there were economic
sanctions in place , Prime Minister Tsvangirai,
however , noted that “ the issue of restrictive
measures” was a form of economic “ isolation
( that ) has affected the lines of credit ” into the
country .
Which , put in other words , essentially means
sanctions on President Mugabe and his cabal of
associates were not necessarily smart or
targeted but general economic sanctions which
were meant to have a bearing on the economic
performance .
How does banning individuals of a detested
government from travelling to the EU or the US
achieve democratic reforms unless those
individuals ’ lives depended on visiting those
countries ? The truth is it is Zimbabwe ’ s economy
that depends to a significant extent on financial
interaction with the EU block and the US , rather
than President Mugabe and members of his
government . Besides, the squeeze on
companies targeted under the regime of
sanctions for allegedly propping President
Mugabe ’ s former government have hundreds of
employees dependent on them , and also
interact with many other economic players for
the growth of the Zimbabwean economy . The
management of Zimbabwe’ s economy had
indeed an effect on Zimbabwe ’ s credit
worthiness , but ZIDERA and other sanction
measures gave a cue to financial institutions on
how they had to deal with even private sector
players in the crisis- torn economy.
Yet even without ZIDERA, Zimbabwe had
become unqualified to access balance of
payments support from the IMF because of
protracted arrears.
A US embassy spokesperson in Zimbabwe
indicated in a recent response to an article by
The Financial Gazette that ZIDERA , signed into
law in 2001 , and provisions contained in
subsequent appropriations acts , restricted the
ability of the United States to cast its vote in
support of assistance to Zimbabwe in
international financial institutions ( IFI ’ s) , except
for programmes that meet basic human needs
or promote democracy .
But indeed Zimbabwe was already ineligible for
multilateral loans before ZIDERA due to its
arrears to the IFIs . But ZIDERA made it a law
that the US did not have to support financial
support that could result in a positive turn to
Zimbabwe’ s struggling economy under President
Mugabe ’ s regime .
To many watchers, ZIDERA and indeed other
forms of sanctions against President Mugabe
and his allies are not an obstacle to Zimbabwe’ s
economic recovery , as observed by the recovery
experienced over the past two years . Yet their
removal is indeed an integral part of the GPA,
and indeed full implementation of that political
agreement also includes removal of sanctions .
“ The United States advocates full
implementation of the Global Political
Agreement , an accord brokered by SADC and
signed by each of the three parties represented
in the transitional government , and the holding
of free and fair elections that will reflect the will
of the majority of Zimbabweans ,” the embassy
spokesperson had noted in the statement to this
newspaper .
The spirit of any democratic system is that
political power should be vested in the people,
and if the US , the EU and their allies are sincere
about building a democratic Zimbabwe free of
exogenous influences , they must remove the
sanctions to give the contending political players
equal chances on the ballot .
This is not to say violence , electoral fraud or
human rights abuses from any of the
contending forces should be condoned ; but , it is
certainly not the reason why the US , the EU and
their allies have kept sanctions against President
Mugabe and so-called members of his inner
circle .
The West has stuck to regimes whose leaders
won power through fraudulent elections . Until
the recent protests that triggered the flight of
Hosni Mubarak from power in Egypt , that Arab
country was the single largest recipient of
financial support from the US .
There West has done business with despotic
regimes across the globe , including China ,
whose prominent dissident , Liu Xiaobo, a jailed
Chinese rights activist , won the 2010 Nobel
Peace prize last year , as well as the Equatorial
Guinea or Gabon whose violation of human
rights is equally detestable . Muammar Gaddafi
was until the recent protests viewed as a
“ rehabilitated dictator” after he had agreed
access to Libya ’ s oil resources to the west.
So , even if the sanctions on Zimbabwe might be
a token of apprehension by the West over
Zimbabwe’ s human rights record, they risk being
deduced in racial terms because of the
inconsistent application of that measure by the
West .
This is why regional leaders , including South
Africa’ s President Jacob Zuma , have urged their
withdrawal and patently shown sympathy to
President Mugabe because of the perception
that he is a victim .
To allow for meaningful reforms , these
sanctions have to go and the political gladiators
have to then agree to meaningfully level the
political playing field .

Dumisani Ndlela , Deputy Editor – in- Chief
Friday , 04 March 2011 12 : 56

CABINET ministers in the shaky inclusive
government clashed in furious scenes on
Tuesday in front of President Robert Mugabe
and Prime Ministers Morgan Tsvangirai over a
series of contentious political issues prompting
the holding soon of a special cabinet meeting to
resolve the matters.
Informed official sources said GPA principals ,
including Mugabe , Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime
Minister Arthur Mutambara , watched in horror
as ministers slugged it out over unimplemented
GPA issues as political tensions ran high and
partisan hostilities exploded at Munhumutapa
Building .
The cabinet session had been called to clear
Global Political Agreement ( GPA) issues and the
future of the GNU . It however ended amid
chaotic and acrimonious clashes as ministers
engaged in heated no -holds -barred exchanges
over disputed political issues .
This had necessitated a special cabinet sitting
that would be decisive in many ways for the
political direction and future of the country ,
according to a senior government minister .
“ We are going to have a special cabinet meeting
soon. The agenda of the meeting would in brief
be the GPA, GNU and the way forward ,” the
minister said . “ We are going to examine in
detail the 24 GPA issues which have been
agreed upon but not implemented. We are also
going to examine operations of the GNU . In
fact , this meeting will be a review of the
inclusive government. ”
The extraordinary cabinet meeting would
determine the fate of the government of
national unity ( GNU ) and the way forward
following recent problems around the lifespans
of the coalition arrangement , constitution –
making process , referendum and elections .
Some of the contentious issues were on
sanctions , the media , external radio stations,
hate speech , rule of law, state organs and
institutions , review of ministerial mandates , land
audit and tenure system and electoral
vacancies .
The gathering would also have a bearing on the
country ’ s future economic prospects,
particularly in view of Mugabe ’ s renewed threats
to grab foreign -owned companies under the
guise of indigenisation and empowerment.
Cabinet has now become a theatre of political
battles , mainly between Mugabe and Zanu PF
ministers and Tsvangirai and MDC-T ministers .
Mutambara now reportedly cuts a lonely figure
in cabinet after he was fired by his party and left
it under Minister of Trade and Industry
Welshman Ncube ’ s control . Mutambara and
Ncube are fighting over the MDC leadership and
the position of co -deputy prime minister . This
has intensified tensions within the divided
government .
“ As you would be aware ,” the minister said, “ the
negotiators of the three political parties in the
GPA finished their negotiations last year after
having been engaged since 2009 on a lot of
disputed issues. After that , the principals took a
long time to meet to resolve those issues which
negotiators agreed they could not deal with .
The principals resolved some of the issues but
later there was a dispute about that as well.
Principals met on many occasions since June last
year and the end result of that was a
commitment to implement the 24 items listed
on the implementation matrix document which
was approved by Sadc ( Southern African
Development Community) leaders in Windhoek
last year in August . ”
In early August last year the three parties in the
GPA endorsed and formalised the
implementation matrix which was approved and
presented as part of the report to Sadc
mediator , South African President Jacob Zuma .
After that Zuma took the report to the Sadc
summit in Windhoek. The report was approved
by regional leaders who gave Zimbabwean
parties timeframes and deadlines on
implementation of agreed issues .
The implementation matrix envisaged some
issues being tackled immediately; others within
a month or two months ; and a few
continuously or on a periodic basis .
The issues also included cabinet and council of
ministers ’ rules, guidelines and procedures ,
transport arrangements of principals , security
aides for the prime minister and deputy prime
ministers , parallel government , external
interference , national economic council,
constitutional commissions , national heroes, role
and position of permanent secretary of media ,
information and publicity , constitutional
amendment No 19 , interference with the rights
of freedom of association , assembly and
speech , role and funding of NGOs, multi -donor
trust fund and selective funding of ministries by
donors and electoral reforms .
Zimbabwe’ s cabinet approved the
implementation matrix but nothing much was
done afterwards .
Another government minister said the next
extraordinary cabinet meeting would “ seek to
revisit all these issues and enforce our own
decisions and Sadc resolutions” .
“ We must implement the GPA and that is what
the meeting will be about,” the minister said.
“ We signed the GPA and now Zimbabweans and
Sadc expect us to implement it in full . The GPA
is the basis of this government and the roadmap
to free and fair elections , so we can ’ t deviate
from it unless we want to let the country slide
back into a dark period of repression and
economic chaos. ”
Zuma ’ s facilitators have been in and out of the
country to ensure the parties implement the
GPA and define the roadmap to elections.
Although the parties have been cooperating,
Mugabe and his party have been trying to
stampede the country into early elections at
least by August . They have been doing this
through efforts to rush the constitution -making
process and referendum to pave for elections or
threats to abandon the GPA trajectory and go
back to the old constitution where Mugabe has
powers to unilaterally dissolve parliament and
call for elections . Under the GPA Mugabe does
not have these powers .

Thursday , 03 March 2011 20 : 18
Dumisani Muleya

Washington (CNN) — The United States
expressed concern Thursday about recent
arrests in Zimbabwe of political and civil society
activists and allegations by their lawyer that
some of them were tortured.
On February 19 , former Movement for
Democratic Change Member of Parliament
Munyaradzi Gwisai and 45 other labor union
and student activists ” who had gathered
peacefully to discuss recent events in Egypt “
were arrested and charged with treason , State
Department spokesman Philip J . Crowley said in
a statement .
Other political and civil society activists have
also been arrested, he said.
” Gwisai ‘ s defense attorney has reported that
several of the 46 people were tortured while in
custody, and we understand that the magistrate
has ordered physical examinations to
substantiate those claims,” he said. ” We call on
the government to provide medical attention for
those who need it and , if torture occurred , to
take immediate action to hold the perpetrators
accountable . “
A ruling on the charges’ merits is to be delivered
March 7 .
Crowley called on the government of Zimbabwe
to uphold rights spelled out under the
International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights and to ensure that those arrested are
guaranteed due process .
Zimbabwean authorities said the 46 people were
arrested and charged with treason after they
were caught watching footage of the protests
that led to the ouster of Tunisian leader Zine El
Abidine Ben Ali and Egyptian President Hosni
Mubarak .
” On 16 February they held a meeting and the
purpose of the meeting was to organize,
strategize and implement the removal of a
constitutional government of Zimbabwe by
unconstitutional means , the Tunisian-Egyptian
way ,” prosecutor Edmore Nyazamba said last
week in court .
At least 12 of the activists were beaten with
broomsticks on their buttocks and the soles of
their feet, defense attorney Alec Muchadehama
told a packed courtroom on Thursday . All 46
defendants were charged with treason, a charge
that carries a death sentence in Zimbabwe.
” If watching television footage of the uprisings
was treason, most Zimbabweans would be guilty
of it because we watch news daily,”
Muchadehama said .
Robert Mugabe, 87 , has ruled Zimbabwe since
independence in 1980 . Like Mubarak and Ben
Ali , he has been accused of rigging elections and
instituting repressive laws to tighten his grip on
power .
The arrests may be an indication that authorities
are worried that the changes sweeping across
north Africa may inspire Zimbabweans to rise
up . The opposition Movement for Democratic
Change, MDC, which is in a troubled unity
government with Mugabe’ s ZANU-PF , has called
the arrests ” an abuse of state machinery by
ZANU-PF to suppress the people’s views . “
Mugabe ‘s policies over the past decade have
been blamed for plunging the once-prosperous
country into economic crisis . Mugabe has called
for an election this year , but his political rival
and leader of the MDC, Morgan Tsvangirai, has
threatened to boycott the poll if a referendum
on a new constitution is not held .

By the CNN Wire Staff
March 4 , 2011 — Updated 0151 GMT ( 0951