Archive for the ‘Zimbabwe’ Category

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

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

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

Harare , Zimbabwe (CNN) — A court in
Zimbabwe ruled Monday that six of 45 political
and civil society activists arrested last month on
charges of plotting to topple President Robert
Mugabe in a Tunisian-Egyptian style uprising
face a trial on treason charges and could be
executed if convicted .
” Merely listening to treasonous utterances is not
criminal ,” said Harare Magistrate Munamato
Mutevedzi as he freed 39 of the 45 activists who
have been detained since February 19 .
He said the six others must face trial because
they had organized and spoken at the meeting .
Mutevedzi ordered the six social and human
rights activists held , including former Movement
for Democratic Change Member of Parliament
Munyaradzi Gwisai .
They now await a trial date at the High Court on
treason charges, which carry the death sentence
in Zimbabwe.
” You can apply for bail at the High Court since
the offense you are facing is a scheduled
offense which cannot be entertained by a
magistrate court ,” said Mutevedzi, referring to
the six.
Immediately after the ruling , the activists ‘
attorney Charles Kwaramba told the court that
his clients were being detained in solitary
confinement while the women were being
forced to work at the prison .
” We seriously object to this . They are still
innocent and there is no need to punish them , “
said Kwaramba . ” Their right of liberty is being
seriously infringed . That amounts to slavery . It
must not be allowed in a democratic society . “
Last week , the United States expressed concern
about their arrests and allegations by their
lawyer that some of them were tortured.
The activists 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 .
At least 12 of the activists were beaten with
broomsticks on their buttocks and the soles of
their feet, according to their attorneys .
Robert Mugabe, 87 , has ruled Zimbabwe since
1980 . Like Mubarak and Ben Ali, he has been
accused of rigging elections and instituting
repressive laws to tighten his grip on power .
Political observers have suggested the arrests
may be an indication that authorities are
worried that the changes sweeping across north
Africa may inspire Zimbabweans to rise up .

From Columbus S . Mavhunga , CNN
March 7 , 2011 — Updated 1429 GMT ( 2229

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

Foreign Affairs minister Simbarashe
Mumbengegwi has said Zimbabwe plans to
cooperate with Iran on uranium mining.
“ Zimbabwe has rich uranium reserves , but is
faced with a shortage of funds and does not
possess the technical knowledge and equipment
needed for extracting rich uranium ores , ”
Mumbengegwi said in an interview published on
Wednesday .
“ If we can work together on uranium mining, it
will improve the economic situation of both
countries, ” he said .
Mumbengegwi also said the two countries could
cooperate in the energy sector , especially in the
construction of oil refineries .
He said Zimbabwe was willing to buy fuel from
Iran . Elsewhere in his remarks , the minister said
now was the best time for Iranian companies to
invest in Zimbabwe, adding that when a
country ’ s economy was in a dire situation , this
was the best time for making investment in that
country because investors would receive many
incentives .
On sanctions on Iran and Zimbabwe, he said
imposing sanctions on the two countries was
not accidental .
“ The Western governments treat the
governments that don’ t accept their dominance
in this way and impose sanctions on them ,” he
said .

ISNA – Mar 04 2011 12 : 42