Among other things, the opinions of a former member of the Zimbabwe Republic Police force. My take on the world in general and one thing in particular - a commentary on the current situation in Zimbabwe. I am not a journalist, nor a political activist, but I am a man with a conscience. Hence, this page is my civic responsibility. The more people that hear about the devastating rule in Zimbabwe and the problems therein, the better!
Sunday, January 27, 2013
Sunday, 27th January 2013
In Derby we have had
5 inches of snow, then it all began to clear, then it snowed again, but last
night there was rain and most of the snow has gone. I am not sad to see it go
as I live in fear of slipping and smashing my arm again…
(EDIT - I am sorry - I couldn't resist this...)
Anyway - let’s have a look at a certain
Southern African country’s affairs…
This I thought was particularly sad as
Makumbe had said that he was interested in entering politics - and he was
hugely educated in African politics…
political analyst and highly respected academic, John Makumbe,
MDC-T spokesman Douglas Mwonzora told SW Radio Africa that Makumbe, who was
a key member of his party, died at Arcadia Medical Centre in Harare on Sunday morning after suffering a suspected heart
is survived by his wife, Virginia, and five children.
last year, the University of Zimbabwe professor announced he was going to take a break from teaching to
contest in the forthcoming general elections as an MDC-T candidate for Buhera West constituency in Manicaland province.
told SW Radio Africa, shortly after his announcement last November, that he had
been, “doing a lot of talking and now it is time to show that I can also walk
said: “There are various ways of emancipating Zimbabwe from the tyrannical system of government we have
endured under ZANU PF. You can either make noise from your white castle or you
can put on your boots and overalls and fight for the emancipation of the
said Makumbe was a “hero of the democratic struggle” in Zimbabwe and the MDC-T owes the success of the constitution making process to his wisdom as
he was the technical adviser for the party.
are pouring in for the man who many have described as “a rare voice of sanity”
Farai Sevenzo said: “Makumbe was a rare act - a walking talking thinking advert
against prejudice and tyranny.
had a forensic analytical mind that came with charm and a disarming sense
of humour, which made the task of interviewing him never boring. A big loss.
Glen Mpani said, “Professor’s commitment to a free Zimbabwe was unquestionable. His untimely death before
achieving what he dedicated his life for, should spur those who remain to make
his dream a reality.”
Lawyers for Human Rights director Irene Petras said: “The white man from Buhera
has gone too soon.”
was one of the few outspoken voices of conscience remaining in the academic
community and a much loved member of the civil society. His wit, intellect and
humour ensured that he and those around him were able to survive troubled times
and remain resolute to the struggle for a better Zimbabwe.”
Another political mind has gone and I
do wonder how they will replace him…
Distinctly better news. Mugabe has no
need for a fleet of helicopters. Zimbabwe is not at
war and has need for more armaments…
South African court on Friday granted an interim interdict to halt the delivery
of a fleet of helicopters to Zimbabwe, amid fears of another violent election there this
entire fleet of French built Alouette III helicopters and spare parts have been set aside as a ‘donation’ by the
South Africa National Defence Force (SANDF) to the Zimbabwe Defence Force.
South African civil rights group AfriForum applied for the interdict on Friday,
arguing that Zimbabwe’s human rights record, and the role that the
country’s military has played in previous elections, support fears of future
violence during the next poll.
are that the Zimbabwean Defence Force is increasing its visibility, mobility
and presence all over Zimbabwe ahead of the national elections scheduled for later
this year. The Zimbabwean Defence Force stepped in to back President Robert
Mugabe in the 2008 presidential run-off and that military operation involved a
systematic, brutal crackdown on MDC
supporters,” AfriForum said.
week, AfriForum’s legal representatives wrote to the South Africa Minister of Defence, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula as well
as Justice Minister Jeff Radebe, (who chairs the National Conventional Arms
Control Committee, the NCACC) about speculation that the SANDF had decided to
donate its Alouette fleet to Zimbabwe.
ministers were given seven days to respond to the letter, but AfriForum did not
receive any answer or explanation. Instead spokespeople for both ministers confirmed
to the Mail & Guardian newspaper that the donation was finalised and that
delivery of the helicopters was imminent.
to AfriForum’s legal representative, Willie Spies, the group’s reasons for
seeking an interdict are primarily to do with Zimbabwe’s human rights record. He explained that in terms of
South African law, the NCACC “must consider certain principles before a
transaction for the disposal of military equipment to another country is
authorised.” He said these principles include, amongst others, the human
rights-record of the country in question.
all know the human rights history of Zimbabwe and what happened in the 2008 elections. There are
so many reports of military helicopters being used to provide transport for
militia groups, to intimidate people, to unleash terror. It cannot be right for
it to happen again and South Africa cannot be an accomplice to this,” Spies said.
explained that the donation is also considered by many to be a “circumvention
of a European Union arms embargo against Zimbabwe,” as a result of the South African government’s disposal
of French imported spare parts to Zimbabwe.
interim order granted Friday will remain until the main application is
finalised by 19 February 2013.
How is it that Jacob Zuma is quite
happy to further arm Mugabe as the country heads towards a general election?
Has he not worked out yet that Mugabe doesn’t want to serve the people – he
wants to dictate to them – and is not afraid of using any kind of weapon to get
his own way?
In typical Mugabe style, he is having
the theft of the diamonds ‘investigated’ by his own party…!
is an urgent need to enact a Diamond Act to curb massive looting of gems by the
country’s political elite, Transparency International-Zimbabwe (TI-Z) has said.
findings of the study by TI-Z titled, State of Corruption in the Mining Sector - The Case of Gold, Diamond and
Platinum Mining in Kwekwe, Gwanda, Marange and Mhondoro-Ngezi, noted that some
areas where there is illegal gold or diamond mining were not raided by the
police because they were “protected” by influential politicians.
absence of a Diamond Act has promoted a free-for-all scenario in diamond trade
where the power elites have literally acted in a liassez faire fashion to
enrich themselves from diamond mining,” the study said.
findings have been released at a time when there has been a lot of acrimony
within the inclusive government and protest by civil society over the lack of
transparency on how the country’s diamond revenues were being used.
minister Tendai Biti has in the past accused senior Zanu PF officials and
members of the security forces of looting diamonds from Marange fields with
little sale proceeds trickling into Treasury.
Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Obert Mpofu has previously attributed
the lack of transparency to attempts by the European Union and United States to stifle the trading of Zimbabwe’s diamonds.
study said politicians were influencing the awarding of diamond mining
contracts for companies extracting gems in Marange.
there is no transparent and accountable process in which concessions to mine
diamonds in Zimbabwe are awarded,” reads the study. “Basing on evidence
prevailing on the ground, the study found out that all the companies that have
been given mining rights to mine diamonds in Zimbabwe are those with close links to senior politicians in
government and the military.”
says failure by diamonds mining firms to remit their contributions directly to
the Ministry of Finance further created a veil of secrecy already shrouding
diamond mining in the country.
study said while there has been little remittances to Treasury, “the
unexplained accumulation of wealth by senior government ministers and the top
military brass with close links to diamond mining in Marange is a clear
indication of abuse of position, authority and influence for self-enrichment at
the expense of the majority who have to make with poorly equipped hospitals,
clinics and schools”.
paper notes that power elites prejudiced the country of revenues that were
supposed to ensure that schools, hospitals and clinics and roads were
TI-Z study says senior politicians had formed syndicates with police officers
and illegal gold panners to engage in organised corruption at Sherwood Block in
a result, the gold that is mined there was not sold to the central bank.
entrenched is the corruption that whenever there are impending raids, the gold
panners seem to be well-informed of the raids, their timing and how they will
be carried out,” says the study. “This clearly shows that the politicians
in cohort with the police as well as the illegal miners are working to deprive
the country of gold and attendant revenues which should contribute to the
TI-Z study recommends the broadening of players involved in the granting of
mining rights and mining deals to ensure transparency and accountability.
study also recommended that all government officials including politicians and
bureaucrats should be made to compulsorily declare their wealth upon taking
a measure can be buttressed by a name and shame policy where those public
officials who acquire wealth through the abuse of office are named and shamed
in public without fear or favour,” says the study.
‘Without fear of favour’? Dream on!
Mugabe and his crowd look after their own and they know where the bodies are
buried to prove it.
The people that Mugabe could name are
very thin on the ground - so he may be using that as a deliberate reason for
delaying the nomination - that, and the excuse that he would have to call a
Mugabe may call for an emergency congress to elect a replacement for the late
Vice President and national hero Landa John Nkomo before the party’s Sixth
National People’s Congress set for December next year.
Zanu-PF presidium made up of the President, two Vice-Presidents and national
chairperson, is elected through congress.
party holds its national people’s congress after every five years.
last congress was held in December 2009 where President Mugabe was re-elected
as First Secretary with his two Vice-Presidents Joice Mujuru and the late
Khaya Moyo was elected national chairperson at the same congress.
spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said it was not yet clear which criteria the party
would use in coming up with a replacement.
decision is usually a preserve of the congress where appointments are made,” he
this one, we cannot tell yet what criteria will be used. It is the prerogative
of the President and the Presidium to decide whether we wait for the congress.
in the absence of Congress, the President may call an emergency congress to
decide but we don’t know yet whether that will be the procedure.”
said the party’s Politburo would be guided by the recommendations of the
secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa said the revolutionary party would
not rush to replace Nkomo since he had just passed on.
that is a matter that should be referred to the Politburo for discussion.
issue is not yet on the agenda of the Politburo. It couldn’t be on the agenda
so soon after Vice President Nkomo passed on. Besides, the congress is only two
years away so we may wait,” said Cde Mutasa.
is the first time that the Vice President’s post has fallen vacant when the
congress is not supposed to be held that year.
Vice President Joshua Nkomo died in July 1999, the late Vice President Cde
Joseph Msika was elected at the party congress in December that same year.
Msika died in August 2009, Cde Nkomo succeeded him in December of the same year
after being elected at the congress.
the signing of the Unity Accord between Zanu-PF and PF-Zapu in 1987, it was
agreed that the other post of Vice President would be reserved senior former
PF-Zapu members while the other post would be filled by a former Zanu-PF
it has not been clarified whether the national chairman’s post was also a
former PF-Zapu preserve, it has been the trend over the years that it has been
occupied by former PF-Zapu cadre.
Cde Joshua Nkomo was Vice President, Msika was Zanu-PF national chairperson.
the late Vice-President Msika was elevated John Nkomo succeeded him.
Nkomo’s elevation to the Vice- President’s position saw Simon Khaya Moyo
there were challenges during nominations ahead of the congress in 2009 when some
senior Zanu-PF officials who were not former PF-Zapu argued that the chairman’s
post was not set aside for former PF-Zapu members.
three Matabeleland provinces (Bulawayo, Matabeleland North and South) nominated Khaya Moyo.
other four provinces nominated him as well but Manicaland and Mashonaland
Central initially nominated Mutasa but the latter then settled for Khaya Moyo.
province first went for Politburo member Kembo Mohadi who is a former PF-Zapu
member but the Home Affairs Co-Minister advised the province to withdraw the
nomination and instead throw their weight behind Khaya Moyo who had been
nominated by his home province Matabeleland South.
Mugabe has no shortage of friends - but
most of them are at the ZANU PF burial ground, Heroes Acre.
Why am I not surprised the Mugabe
‘dictated’ the new draft? He is, after all. A dictator…
contents of the new draft constitution were dictated by President Robert
Mugabe, Zanu (PF) negotiator to Copac Paul Mangwana told journalists at an
informal discussion last Friday. He said Mugabe did not want the views of the
people to prevail as they were detrimental to the party. The journalists had
gathered for a press conference on the hero status of late Vice President John
Copac issues with predominantly state-owned media reporters in the 14th floor
board room of the party’s HQ, Mangwana said: “As Zanu (PF) we got our way
regarding the constitution making. ‘Mudhara’ (Mugabe) warned us against
compromising on the most important aspects of the constitution.
the running mates issue we had to be cleverer than MDC. Mugabe made it very clear that this issue would further divide and
destroy Zanu (PF). The fact that he would be forced to nominate running mates
would also isolate him from the people, as he was likely to choose running
mates out of favour with remaining party supporters.”
emphasised that Mugabe made it abundantly clear that: “Whatever you agree at
Copac should never result in immediate implementation of the running mate
clause. You must outwit MDC and have the running mate clause take effect after
10 years - as something will have happened by then.”
said in order to outwit MDC Zanu (PF) had to tactfully acknowledge that the
running mate clause was a brilliant idea - but not for now. On the fate of
incumbent Zanu (PF) vice presidents, Mangwana said their offices would be
disempowered as the authority they hold would be transferred to the national
chairperson’s office. He said the arrangement that the Attorney General would
now sit in cabinet while the Prosecutor General would be responsible for all
prosecutions, was a good set up for Zanu (PF).
remember the Supreme Court would be the constitutional court for the next 10
years if the draft constitution gets the people’s approval at the referendum.
Your guess on what will happen there is as good as mine,” said Mangwana with a
by this reporter if the constitution breakthrough suited Zanu (PF), Mangwana
said: “At face value people would think MDC won the constitution-making deal. Remember, Zanu (PF) controls
institutions of power. At the end of the day, the head of state who is supposed
to sign the constitution Act into law is Zanu (PF). There was no way the
constitution process would have progressed without our nod.” Mangwana said Zanu
(PF) panicked last week when MDC
negotiators told Mugabe’s party to go to hell if it did not want to compromise
on outstanding issues. “We caught a cold when negotiators from MDC formations showed us the exit door if we were not prepared to give in
to their demands. We lost sleep and had to engage their secretary generals for
was only reached an hour before we briefed leaders of the three parties on
progress. The breakthrough was also made hastily out of fear that our
(negotiators’) credibility would be questioned by the GNU principals,” he said.
breakthrough has activated political activity around the country, with
political parties increasing regularity of party meetings. Zimbabwe is back into the tense election mood. As MDC-T is conducting countrywide debriefing meetings about the status of the
constitution and the way forward, the Zanu (PF) commissariat is frantically
revisiting the party membership register to take audit of party structures from
cell to provincial level.
Born in the Kentish town of Royal Tunbridge Wells way back in February 1963, I am the fourth of five children. My late father was South African and my mother is from Scotland.
The family moved to what was then Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in November 1964.
I joined the Zimbabwe Republic Police force in February 1981 straight after leaving school, specialising in prosecutions, based in Essexvale (now Esigodini), Plumtree and Gwanda.
As with many policemen (in Africa), once I left the service in 1985, I went into sales and then moved into management.
I was based in various places within Zimbabwe, including Chiredzi in the Lowveld, Mutare in the Eastern Highlands, and, of course, Harare.
A brief (but tiring) employment with an international trucking company saw me travelling the length and breadth (and depth) of Southern Africa which I found most enlightening.
My wife and I returned to England in December 1998.
Following an accident at work in August 2000, I was left disabled.
I am now studying for a BA(Hons) in Criminal Justice with the University of Essex Online - and loving it!
Country Flags I Have Flown, Lived & Worked Under
Union Jack (1963 - 64, 1998 - ??)
Rhodesian Flag (1964 -68)
Rhodesian Flag (1968 - 79)
Zimbabwe-Rhodesian Flag (1979 - 80)
Zimbabwean Flag (1980 - 98)
Zimbabwean Paintings By The Rodriguez Family *FOR SALE*
Rodriguez Paintings Web Site (Link)
(73cm x 58cm, Oil On Canvas) by Lorraine Randall *SOLD*
"Before The Kill"
(88cm x 61cm, Oil On Canvas) by Cheryl Rodriguez (US$ 2250)
(100cm x 90cm, Oil On Canvas) by Cheryl Rodriguez (US$ 2750)
(73cm x 58cm, Oil On Canvas) by Lorraine Randall (US$ 2000)
(102cm x 72cm, Oil On Canvas) by Lorraine Randall (US$ 2500)
"Mother & Child"
(100cm x 90cm, Oil On Canvas) by Lorraine Randall (US$ 2750)
"Out Of The Darkness"
(100cm x 112cm, Oil On Canvas) by Cheryl Rodriguez (US$ 3000)
(102cm x 72cm, Oil On Canvas with a Hand Carved African Frame) by Lorraine Randall (US$ 2500)
(125cm x 88cm, Oil On Canvas with a Hand Carved African Frame) by Cheryl Rodriguez (US$ 2750)
(102cm x 72cm, Oil On Canvas) by Cheryl Rodriguez *SOLD*
(73cm x 88cm (Oil On Canvas) by Cheryl Rodriguez (US$ 1750)
(Oil On Canvas) by Cheryl Rodriguez (US$ 2750)
Pictures published with permission (Thanks Johnny!)
Democracy In Zimbabwe Now!
LYNELBY'S EMBROIDERY ____________________
Specialists In Rhodesian Apparel
HISTORICAL RHODESIAN BADGES
A Musical Playlist
Clicking on the box above will begin a selected playlist I have on the internet. I hope you enjoy it!