Archive for the ‘Politics’ 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 )

Zimbabwean authorities received a warning on
Monday from the United States , over the
country ‘s growing cooperation with Iran ‘s
controversial nuclear programme .
P. J . Crowley , a spokesperson for the US State
Department , issued a strong statement warning
Zimbabwe that cooperating with Iran on its
nuclear programme would violate existing UN
resolutions. He said Zimbabwe could face
international penalties if it helped with Iran ‘s
nuclear development .
The State Department warning came after
Zimbabwe’s foreign minister , Simbarashe
Mumbengegwi, made statements suggesting
that UN sanctions on Iran are unfair and
hypocritical .
” The foreign minister of Zimbabwe is entitled to
his opinion but the government of Zimbabwe is
still bound by its commitments to the nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty and relevant U . N .
Security Council resolutions ,” Crowley told
He said helping Iran to extract uranium would
violate U . N . Security Council resolutions and
” There are ramifications for countries that
decline to observe their international
obligations . “
Officials from Iran and Zimbabwe have been
holding talks to find a way to utilize large
reserves of uranium that were discovered in
Zimbabwe. It is known that Iran ‘ s foreign
minister visited Zimbabwe ” secretly ” in January
to assess the situation . After the visit, Robert
Mugabe denied reports that Iran had secured
uranium rights, but made statements suggesting
Iran had the right to ask for it .
Iran needs the uranium ore for its ambitious
and secretive nuclear development and
Zimbabwe does not have the expensive
equipment needed to process it. The US and its
UN allies believe Iran secretly wants to develop
nuclear weapons . Iran ‘s refusal to cooperate
with the UN Atomic watchdog has led to military
sanctions .
Noting that both Zimbabwe and Iran have been
criticized for harsh human rights abuses ,
Crowley joked: ” It would be quite a match for
Zimbabwe and Iran to cooperate ” on uranium

By Tererai Karimakwenda
9 March 2011
Sw radio Aftica

HARARE – Zanu ( PF ) is currently abusing the
government with adverts in newspapers and on
the state radio attacking the so -called sanctions
and people in the country who do no ascribe to
their views , the United States Ambassador to
Zimbabwe Charles Ray said .
Since the launch of the so -called anti -sanctions
campaign, Zanu ( PF ) has been running full
length adverts in the state media with a
government insignia .
” It is very disappointing to see full page ads
from the Zanu ( PF ) Information Department
under the heading ‘Government of Zimbabwe’
and adorned with the great Zimbabwean coat of
arms . Zanu ( PF ) is a political party , which does
not speak for the government of this great
country . Additionally , Zanu ( PF ) , which is part of
the government, has its own symbol that is
quite distinct from the Zimbabwean coat of
arms , ” said Ray .
The former ruling party last week formed an
anti -sanctions committee that is chaired by Vice
President John Nkomo. However , other
members in the Inclusive Government have
distanced themselves from the sham describing
it as a Zanu ( PF ) project .
Acting President Nkomo said in a statement that
thousands of people who were forced to attend
the anti -sanctions launch demonstrated that
they were against sanctions .
” This exceptional support was an emphatic
statement to Britain, the European Union ,
America and to all those interests which have
slapped sanctions against the people of
Zimbabwe,” said Nkomo.
In reality there are no sanctions on the people
of Zimbabwe, but rather targeted measures on
a few individuals . USA, America and Britain in
particular have played a significant role in
extending aid to the people of Zimbabwe.
Many people in both rural and urban
communities have benefited significantly from
USAID and other western donors . Yet Zanu ( PF )
says that sanctions are ” an attack on all
Zimbabweans. “
The United States dispelled the anti -sanctions
rhetoric as unfounded.
Said Ray , ” the ZANU-PF Information
Department is using misinformation and
completely unrelated facts to mislead the
public . The facts are:
1. For more than ten years , Zimbabwe has been
ineligible to receive any type of international
loan , regardless of U . S . and EU opinions, due to
its leaders ‘ failure to make payments on its
debt . Zimbabwe ‘s unpaid debts to the African
Development Bank , IMF , and World Bank put a
stop to lending long before there were
sanctions .
2. Zimbabwe’s current political and economic
environment , including fresh threats from the
President on his birthday to take over
established companies , has a chilling effect on
new investment , both domestic and
international. Banks and other businesses are
responsible to their share holders , and find it
increasingly difficult to justify investing in such a
high risk environment . Only economic
and political sanity will change this .
3. Fewer than 120 Zimbabweans are named on
the legal U . S . sanctions list , almost all of them
Zanu ( PF ) leaders who had a hand in political
violence against their fellow citizens. They may
not travel to the U . S . or do business with U . S .
companies because Americans do not want
them to enjoy the fruits of their corruption on
our soil . This does not hurt other
Zimbabweans. What hurts the rest of the
country is the corruption , mismanagement , and
lack of social investment that has brought
development to a standstill.
The former ruling party has exclusive control of
the state media and abuses it to attack
Mugabe’ s political rivals .

Written by Munyaradzi Dube
Tuesday , 08 March 2011 17 : 41

Charges against three Mthwakazi Liberation
Front ( MLF ) leaders , who were arrested last
week for alleged subversion of a constitutional
government, were Monday altered to treason
which attracts the death penalty.
John Gazi , Paul Siwela and Charles Thomas will
appear in court today for trial.
They had initialy been brought to court
yesterday , but because of the new circumstance
did not appear before any magistrate and were
instead kept in the courts ’ holding cells .
The activists are being represented by a defence
team led by Advocate Lucas Nkomo and
includes Sindiso Mazibisa , Robert Ndlovu and
Matshobana Ncube .
Mazibisa said police had initially charged his
clients under Section 20 of the Criminal Law
( Codification and Reform ) Act ( subversion of a
constitutional government ) , but the charge was
altered in the holding cells without warned-and –
cautioned statements recorded.
“ They are now saying the trio distributed flyers
and calendars urging people to do the Egypt ,
Tunisia and Ethiopia and I don’ t know where
Ethiopia is coming from ,” said Mazibisa .
“ They are also saying on March 1, they held an
executive meeting in Bulawayo where they
mooted to overthrow the government. ”
The lawyer said what was strange was that the
police only decided to change the charges at
3pm yesterday yet his clients were arrested last
“ The charges were changed in the court holding
cells and no warned-and -cautioned statements
were recorded from them . They had to go back
to the police station and recharge them . We
could not go into court without seeing the
papers because we are challenging remand ,”
said Mazibisa .
Contacted for comment, the Criminal
Investigation Department coordinator for
Matabeleland region , Assistant Commissioner
Erasmus Makodza , confirmed the development .
“ They will appear in court Tuesday . They are
being charged with treason, ” he said .
MLF is pushing for a separate Matabeleland
The group formally wrote to President Robert
Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
demanding the creation of a separate state
citing “ continued marginalisation ” of the
Matabeleland region .

2011 20 : 09

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

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai Monday said
President Robert Mugabe had agreed to have a
police “ ban ” on MDC-T rallies lifted .
Observers said it was not clear whether the ban
was a calculated move by the police to maintain
law and order in the wake of political violence
or acts by overzealous and partisan officers
singing for their supper .
Monday Tsvangirai reportedly met the 87 -year –
old former guerilla leader to discuss the ban on
public gatherings, especially those of the MDC-T
and other organisations perceived to be anti –
Zanu PF .
“ The Prime Minister and the President met
today and agreed that all meetings should be
allowed to proceed ,” said Luke Tamborinyoka ,
the Prime Minister ’ s spokesperson .
“ The two agreed that there is no instruction to
stop any meetings as insinuated by overzealous
police officers who enforced a non- existent
instruction to stop the people of Zimbabwe from
exercising their constitutional right of assembly. ”
Tamborinyoka said there was a general
agreement that the government was under no
threat to justify prohibition of public meetings .
“ Moreover, Cabinet met last week and agreed
that there was no threat to the inclusive
government to warrant a ban on public
meetings , ” Tamborinyoka said.
“ According to the GPA , executive authority in
the country is shared between the President , the
Prime Minister and Cabinet . That all of them
have not sanctioned any ban on public
meetings can only mean that whoever is
tampering with the people’ s freedom of
assembly is either being deliberately
mischievous or has a parallel government
agenda. ”
He added : “ The President and the Prime
Minister agreed that there is no state of
emergency in the country ; that the people’ s
rights must be respected ; and that there is no
instruction from anyone to stop public
meetings . ”
George Charamba, President Mugabe ’ s
spokesperson , yesterday said he was not yet
aware of any such meeting between the
President and the Prime Minister .
“ I don’ t have that information as yet , but when I
left at around 1 pm I had not heard about the
meeting , I am not sure if he ( the President ) met
the PM. Let me find out and get back to you,”
Charamba said .
But by the time of going to print , Charamba had
not honoured his word .
Repeated efforts to contact him proved fruitless
Weekend reports said the police had banned
public meetings throughout the country .
The ban had been put in place ahead of the
MDC-T congress in May and possible elections
being agitated for by Zanu PF much to the
chagrin of GPA facilitator South African
President Jacob Zuma .
The ban mainly affected the MDC-T because
Zanu PF gatherings and demonstrations are
usually blessed by the police .
The MDC- T is holding restructuring meetings
ahead of its elective congress, but the ban had
adversely affected the exercise .
On Saturday , the police allegedly barred the
MDC-T from holding meetings in Mashonaland
East , West and Bulawayo provinces with
weekend reports suggesting the police and army
were on high alert amid reports of possible
disturbances in the country .
Former MDC-T MP Munyaradzi Gwisai is
languishing in remand prison charged with
treason for allegedly trying to incite an Egypt –
type revolution in Zimbabwe.
He reportedly invited political activists to watch
a video of the North African protests which
brought down Egypt ’ s strongman Hosni
Mubarak .
In a similar but unrelated incident , three top
members of a Bulawayo- based party, Mthwakazi
Liberation Front , also face treason charges after
they allegedly distributed fliers inciting people to
disobey President Mugabe’ s rule.
If convicted they face the death penalty . Last
week, planned demonstrations against political
violence failed to take off after a heavy
deployment of police and soldiers .
However , Zanu PF was allowed to hold its rally
at the Glamis Arena last Wednesday where
President Mugabe launched his anti -sanctions
campaign .

– Mar 07 2011 20 : 02