Archive for the ‘SADC’ 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

The Times Editorial : Our government finally
appears to be getting tough on Zimbabwe’s
long -serving authoritarian president . Despite
making all the right noises after he took over the
presidency from Thabo Mbeki , President Jacob
Zuma failed , at least publicly , to depart
significantly from his predecessor ‘s ” softly
softly” approach to dealing with President
Robert Mugabe .
As a result , many Zimbabweans , who have
endured years of misrule under the 87 -year -old
president – as well as under the increasingly
strained ” unity” government of his Zanu -PF and
Morgan Tsvangirai ‘s Movement for Democratic
Change – remain sceptical of Pretoria ‘s claim to
be an honest broker.
Mugabe and his acolytes , who control the police
and military, have sidelined Tsvangirai at every
turn, failing to consult him on key
appointments, frustrating the work of his
finance minister and arresting his supporters –
even his drivers and bodyguards – on spurious
charges. Of late, Mugabe has been threatening
to call an early election despite the fact that a
new constitution is not in place , a precondition
of the agreement underpinning the unity
Though Zuma ‘ s mediators have no doubt been
working hard behind the scenes to resolve the
differences between Zanu -PF and the MDC, the
silence from Pretoria has been deafening .
Until yesterday , that is.
Marius Fransman , the deputy minister of
international relations , took the unusual step of
saying that South Africa would not allow its
neighbour to hold an election until it had met
the outstanding conditions of the power -sharing
agreement , including the adoption of a new
constitution .
Without mentioning Mugabe by name ,
Fransman said ” any calls for an election without
the finalisation of the constitution – making
process are in breach of the [ agreement ] as well
as of the constitution of Zimbabwe . . . which
gives legitimacy to the inclusive government ” .
You can ‘ t put it more clearly than that .

Mar 1, 2011 11 : 07 PM | By The Editor, The
Times Newspaper

Confusion reigns over the lifespan of the
inclusive government amid indications that
President Robert Mugabe could allow the shaky
coalition to run for a further six months .
Although the Global Political Agreement ( GPA )
does not have a timeframe , the lifespan of the
unity government was tentatively put at two
years after which the three Principals to the GPA
President Mugabe , Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur
Mutambara would review its progress .
The coalition government was formed on
February 11 2008 after the signing of the GPA
following a disputed presidential run -off poll in
June 2008 which plunged the country into
political turmoil .
The crisis prompted Sadc to intervene seeking a
peaceful political settlement to the Zimbabwe
crisis .
Former South African president Thabo Mbeki
was appointed the Sadc mediator and his efforts
culminated in the signing of the GPA which
ushered in the inclusive government.
President Mugabe had threatened not to renew
the lifespan of the unity government arguing he
was unhappy with the behaviour of the MDC-T .
But sources on Thursday night said President
Mugabe would extend the lifespan of the unity
government by another six months after which
the country will go to the polls.
Secretary for Media, Information and Publicity
George Charamba yesterday said President
Mugabe had the prerogative to extend the
lifespan of the unity government, “ at the most ”
by six months .
“ The President made it clear that he is prepared
to extend the life of the GPA by six months at
the most , ” Charamba said on Thursday .

“ No government can be dissolved before
elections are held and with no political party
waiting to form a government. ”
Charamba said there was no way the country
would be run without an executive authority .
“ The GPA ensures that there is an executive
authority in place pending elections ,” he said .
Although the principals constantly bicker over
non fulfillment of the GPA , the unity government
managed to stabilise the economy and cool
down political temperatures.

19 : 17

Morgan Tsvangirai has accused
his partner in government,
President Robert Mugabe, of
causing unnecessary “ alarm and
despondency ” following Mr .
Mugabe’ s recent threat to
dissolve Parliament and call
snap elections this month ,
boosting tensions in the rickety
national unity government.
Speaking in Davos , Switzerland ,
at the World Economic Forum,
Mr . Tsvangirai told reporters
this week that under the Global
Political Agreement for power
sharing the president and prime
minister , who share executive
authority under the GPA, must
determine the date for elections
after mutual consultations .
” President Mugabe continues to
needlessly cause alarm and
despondency in the country by
pretending to be oblivious to
the fact that this is a coalition
government,” the prime
minister said . ” The president
and the prime minister now
share executive authority and
one cannot act exclusiven of the
other in making executive
decisions . “
Mr Mugabe contends that he
can call new elections under the
constitution as it stood before
Amendment 19 which
incorporated the terms of the
September 2008 Global Political
Agreement which underpins the
current unity government.
Mr . Mugabe and Mr . Tsvangirai
have now returned to the
country – the president from the
African Union summit just
concluded in Addis Ababa ,
Ethiopia. Political analyst Trevor
Maisiri told VOA Studio 7
reporter Blessing Zulu that the
premature call for a new round
of elections is a matter of
concern for a still – fragile nation .
Zimbabwe’s last round of
elections in 2008 was marred
by deadly violence , particularly
in the run- up to the presidential
run-off from which Mr .
Tsvangirai withdrew in protest.
The Zimbabwe Lawyers for
Human Rights has urged the
African Union and the Southern
African Development
Community to push for security
sector reform in Harare .
In a statement issued this
weekend the lawyers called for
the “ immediate engagement of
the security sector by senior
military structures in SADC and
AU to establish a firm
agreement on military role ( or
non-role) in electoral
processes. ”
Defense Minister Emmerson
Mnangangwa and top generals
have vowed that they will not
allow Mr Tsvangirai to take
power even if he wins the next


Zimbabwean civil society and
political activists expressed
concern Monday that South
African President Jacob Zuma ‘s
appointment as a mediator in
the Ivory Coast crisis could
distract him from his existing
responsibilities in Harare ‘s own
troubles .
Mr . Zuma has been mediating
between the ZANU-PF party of
President Robert and the
Movement for Democratic
Change formation of Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on
behalf of the Southern African
Develoment Community since
Wrapping up a summit in Addis
Ababa, Ethiopia, on Monday, the
African Union named Mr . Zuma
to a five -member taskforce
assigned to mediate between
Ivorian President Laraunt
Bagbo, who lost last year ’ s
election but has refused to hand
over power to opposition leader
Allassane Ouattara ,
internationally recognised as the
The panel also includes the
presidents of Tanzania ,
Mauritania, Burkina Faso and
Chad. The announcement
scotched media speculation in
Harare’ s Herald and Newsday
papers that President Robert
Mugabe might be tapped for the
mediation panel .
Zimbabwe was not on the AU
agenda but sources said Mr .
Zuma would raise the Harare
issue with heads of state well
informed on the situation late
Monday. AU leaders were taken
up with more acute crises in
Egypt , Ivory Coast, Tunisa and
Somalia .
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
spokesman Philip Pasirai said
President Zuma ’ s inclusion in
the Ivorian task force will tend
to shift his focus away from
Zmbabwe .
” That is an obvious distraction
from the all- important issue of
Zimbabwe,” he ” Mr . Zuma has a
lot on his plate already and any
additional load will prove too
much to handle. “
Pasirai’s sentiments were shared
by Nhlanhla Dube , spokesman
for the MDC formation headed
by Welshman Ncube . Dube told
reporter Ntungamili Nkomo that
Mr . Zuma should strike a
balance between the Ivory
Coast crisis and the situation in
” If it was an issue of involving
someone in the SADC region ,
we would have thought of
former South African President
Thabo Mbeki who has
experience with leading
negotiations to join the Ivorian
panel . Mr . Zuma should have
been left to focus on
Zimbabwe,” Dube said .
The AU meanwhile , elected
Equatorial Guinea President
Teodoro Obiang Nguema as its
new chairman under a rotation
system , replacing Malawi
President Bingu Wa Mutharika .
Critics see Mr . Nguema as a
dictator with little regard for
human rights or democracy .
In his acceptance remarks
President Nguema called on
African leaders to unite and find
lasting solutions afflicting the
continent, including poverty and
strife .
” Africa must focus on the
dialogue for a peaceful
negotiaed solution to the
conflicts that ravage our towns .
Africa must assume , more than
ever before , a leading role not
just on the continent but in the
international arena ,” Nguema
The AU summit was also
attended by United Nations
Secretary -General Ban Ki -moon
and French President Nicholas
Sarkozy at the invitation of the
continental body .

HARARE – The Southern African
Development Community
( SADC ) and Africa Union ( AU )
should push for security sector
reforms in Zimbabwe to include
an agreement on the role of
soldiers and other security
organs in the conduct of future
elections , the Zimbabwe
Lawyers for Human Rights
( ZLHR) has said.
In a position paper on political
developments in Zimbabwe
made available to ZimOnline at
the weekend , the ZLHR said the
security forces remained the
ones with the final say in
political developments in Harare
and urged SADC and the AU to
urgently seek commitment by
service chiefs to define the role
of the military in electoral
processes .
It called for the “ immediate
engagement of the security
sector by senior military
structures in SADC and AU to
establish a firm agreement on
military role ( or non-role) in
electoral processes ” .
Hardliner Zimbabwean army
generals have refused to
publicly to recognise the
inclusive government’ s
authority , especially former
opposition leader – now Prime
Minister – Morgan Tsvangirai’ s
The generals – who include
Zimbabwe Defence Forces
commander Constantine
Chiwenga , air force commander
Perence Shiri , police chief
Augustine Chihuri and secret
service boss Happyton
Bonyongwe – are believed to
hold a de facto veto over the
transition process by taking
advantage of their positions and
symbiotic relationship with
President Robert Mugabe .
The cabal of powerful generals ,
with the support of elements in
ZANU PF , still believes that
Tsvangirai should not be
permitted to lead the country ,
even if he wins an election .
It has previously been suggested
that to get the generals to agree
to step down, SADC and the AU
should use the ” carrot and
stick ” method , with offers of
immunity from prosecution for
past political crimes in return
for retirement.
There has also been a proposal
to assure the generals they
would be able to keep at least
some of their ill -gotten wealth
and that to further sweeten the
deal Western governments
should lift visa and financial
sanctions against officers
agreeing to step down.
The senior Zimbabwean security
officials are believed to fear
prosecution for gross human
rights abuses committed in
recent repression campaigns ,
especially those associated with
the violent 2008 presidential
and parliamentary election
campaign as well as the 1980s
anti – insurgents campaign in
Matabeleland and Midland
provinces .
The so -called Gukurahundi
massacre in the two provinces
left over 20 , 000 mainly
Ndebele -speaking people in
Matabeleland dead in the
1980 s.
The ZLHR also proposed other
short -term benchmarks to test
political will and readiness for
polls scheduled for later this
year or in early 2012 .
These include the
depoliticisation of the Zimbabwe
Republic Police , repeal of tough
security and media laws,
operationalisation of the
Zimbabwe Human Rights
Commission and an audit of the
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission
to ensure its operations and
structures are conducive for the
holding of free and fair polls.