Ruth Weiss' Column about Zimbabwe (39)



The final SADC report stated that the fairness of Zimbabwe's election is questionable, as the voters' roll was distributed by the national electoral commission too late for it to be verified (1). Nonetheless the report concluded that the election was `free, peaceful and generally credible,' omitting the word `fair'. In presenting the report, Tanzania's Foreign Minister Bernard Membe referred to external radio stations as "pirate stations", which should be shut down, while ZABC should provide fair coverage to all parties. By doing so, SADC exceeded its mandate. Other civic society spokespersons also denounced the report, with Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition regional coordinator saying SADC set a very bad precedent for the rest of the region.(2) MDC-T denounced the report, as it had ignored such issues as the chaotic voter registration, shambolic special vote exercise, fake voter slips, bussing of voters, high number of assisted voters.(3)


Parliamentarians took office this week, with the cabinet still to be announced.(4)

MDC-T said that post-election violence against its supporters continued weeks after the election, with police refusing to take action.(5) Refugees claiming persecution following the elections, are flooding into a Musina refugee centre, which can scarcely cope with the influx. It now houses some 8 000 people, many of whom are sleeping rough.(6) The Central Intelligence Office (CIO) is reported as introducing mass surveillance of communication such as phone, e-mail or Facebook.(7)

Local administration is tottering on the brink of collapse. Shortly before the election Minister Ignatius Chombo ordered local administrations to write off all outstanding debts from February 2009 (the date of dollarisation) to date. As a result, revenue has virtually dried up, with even regular payers hoping that similar concessions will also be forthcoming in the future. As a result many local councils are broke and in Harare's case unable to pay employees' salaries.(8) Bulawayo, with a downturn in monthly revenue from US$6.9m to US$2.4m has defied the order, by only writing off debts to 2009.(9) NMBZ Holdings chief executive officer James Mushore warned that cancellation of consumers' debts to local authorities and plans to write off more utility bills, may worsen the liquidity crisis. The incoming government faced" a herculean task of sourcing long-term capital to stimulate economic growth." (10)

Service delivery is in a dire state, with water shortages reported in and around the major cities. Some seven Harare suburbs had little to no water for well over a week.(11)

Speaking at the funeral of former Minister Kumbirai Kagai, the President waded into a new row by stating that no MDC member would be buried at Heroes Acre, which was reserved for Zanu-PF. At the same time he toned down his anti-opposition rhetoric by saying his government was for everyone, irrespective of party affiliation. During the speech he also said the Rhodesians had killed Herbert Chitepo, who had died through a car bomb in 1975. The crime has never been solved, with many believing Chitepo died in the midst of a Zanu-PF power struggle.(12)

The trial of MDC Vice-chairman Morgan Komichi, which began on August 27, was described by Eddie Cross as a mockery of justice. A cleaner had found discarded completed ballot forms in a dustbin after the July Special Vote. These were collected by MDC and handed to Komichi for transmission to the Electoral Commission as evidence of the chaotic proceedings. Komichi was arrested and detained. In Court he appeared in leg irons and handcuffs. Cross-examination showed that a police officer named Mugove Chiginya had not voted during the special vote period, while the ballot papers showed that he had cast his vote.(13).

Human Rights Watch has written an open letter to the President, urging the new administration to take "concrete steps to fulfill the country's human rights obligations." (14)

News Day suspended editor Constantine Chimakure following former South African President Thabo Mbeki's complaint that his comments on Zimbabwe's land reform were twisted in a Daily News report.(15)

Zanu-PF youths pushed for a revival of the National Youth Service training camps to improve the party's campaigns.(16)


The President accused new A2 farmers of using outdated methods. He also berated those new landowners who leased the land to whites, saying Zimbabweans could no longer work for whites. The government had not taken up an US$31m EU offer to conduct a transparent land audit.(17)

The Toroton-based New Dawn mining company closed down its 85%-owned mine bear Kadoma. It blamed increasing power and staff costs, harsh royalty regime, an illegal strike contributed to the decision as well as the indigenisation policy.(18)

Some 100 companies have received a 14 day ultimatum to register compliance with the indigenisation laws or face serious punitive measures.(19) China Africa Sunlight Energy announced a 600 MW coal-fired electricity plant in western Zimbabwe on which work will start 2014 as part of $2 billion energy projects.(20)

Concern is expressed by observers regarding Zanu-PF's ability to deliver its election promises of 2,265 million new jobs and food security. The party said it would create value of $7.3 billion from the indigenisation of 1 138 firms and over $1,8bn from unlocking parastatals' mineral rights and claims.(21).

Some 2m persons - one in four of the rural population - are expected to need food assistance during the pre-harvest period early next year. This is the highest since early 2009. Many farmers did not deliver maize to the Grain Marketing Board, as they had not been paid the previous year.(22)

  1. Times live 2.9
  2. SW RadioAfrica 2.9, 3.9, 4.9
  3. The Zimbabwean 3.9
  4. The Zimbabwean 5.9
  5. The Zimbabwean 1.9, SW Radio Africa 3.9
  6. The Zimbabwean 30.8
  7. Zim.Independent 30.8
  8. Daily News 30.8)
  9. Voice of America Zim 30.8
  10. Daily News 30.8
  11. SW Radio Africa 30.8
  12. Xinhua 2.9, Standard 2.9, Daily News 2.9
  13. Zim. Situation 31.8
  14. SW Radio Africa 4.9
  15. Daily News 30.8
  16. Newsday 3.9
  17. Daily News 31.8
  18. Mining.com 31.8
  19. SW Radio Africa 3.9
  20. Times Live 4.9
  21. Daily News 3.9
  22. World Food Programme 3.9, The Zimbabwean 5.9

Letzte Änderung: Saturday, 05-Oct-2013 21:55:16 CEST [an error occurred while processing this directive]