In Crisis Analysis, which is being replaced with Hot Seat next week, Violet Gonda brings you an interview with the Justice and Legal Affairs deputy Minister Obert Gutu. He talks about the appalling situation in Zimbabwe’s prisons where scores of babies are in jail with their mothers. Journalists who toured Harare Remand Prison also said there were many inmates who have spent years in jail awaiting trial. 69 year old Jonathan Mutzinze told the Daily News he has been in prison for 15 years, following his arrest for purchasing a stolen vehicle.
Archive for the 'Crisis Analysis' Category
Alex Bell stands in for Tererai Karimakwenda and speaks to Ben Freeth from the SADC Tribunal Rights Watch group about the new constitution and the worrying sections that have enshrined discrimination and illegal land seizures into law.
Village heads and traditional leaders continue to be targeted by ZANU PF officials, who are demanding lists of all the residents under their jurisdiction and a breakdown of what political party they support. Tererai talks to a Chegutu activist named Machacha and SW Radio Africa correspondent Lionel Saungweme. Machacha says the Mayor and other MDC officials in Chegutu saw their houses bombed in 2008 and residents are being reminded of this. Saungweme received reports from Mberengwa South, Masvingo Province, where ZANU PF councillor Vakai Makuverere threatened to beat up headman and sabhukus.
On Thursday the principals in the unity government announced agreement on the draft of the constitution, saying this paved the way for progress towards a referendum. Tererai speaks to Constitutional Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga, who says the draft must now be presented to the political parties and to parliament, before a referendum is held. Matinenga insists this is just a formality, but there remains concern that ZANU PF will use the opportunity to once again delay the process.
Tererai talks to researcher Dewa Mavhinga, from the global monitor Human Rights Watch, whose new report warns Zim officials that time is running out to implement key reforms that were agreed to in the Global Political Agreement. Titled “Race Against Time – The Need for Legal and Institutional Reforms Ahead of Zimbabwe’s Elections”, Mavhinga said little progress has been made in addressing these reforms and there is no political will within Zim to move forward. He said the guarantors of the GPA, SADC, need to look at ways to penalise those who hinder progress, including suspension from SADC or sanctions.
The MDC-T’s deputy Minister of Justice, Senator Obert Gutu, says Zimbabweans should start preparing for the worst case scenario, in which the elections in 2013 might be held under the old Lancaster House constitution. This follows a stalemate in the constitution making process which the minister doubts will be resolved, as parties in the GPA remain poles apart.
Join Tererai, journalist Angus Shaw and political commentator Wilbert Mukori for a post-mortem of 2012. Shaw says people are getting impatient with the government over delays with the referendum and elections. They are beginning to question whether SADC can enforce an agreement between the political parties. Mukori says the GNU has failed to address lawlessness and the corruption that has gripped the country, and the MDC-T have joined the gravy train and done nothing to reform the system.
Tererai talks to Bulawayo South MP Eddie Cross (MDC-T director for policy research) about the current deadlock in the constitutional reform process. Cross dismisses a report published Thursday in the state run Herald suggesting there are 30 contentious issues that ZANU PF wants to be changed in the new charter and that Mugabe will call for elections under the current constitution if the reform exercise is not completed by Christmas. Cross said the MDC-T is not prepared under any circumstances to accept further changes to the draft constitution and that SADC was getting tired of the delays.
An official within ZANU PF has confirmed that troops from Zimbabwe will once again be heading to the war ravaged DRC, this time as part of a peacekeeping force under the regional Southern African Development Community. Tererai talks to Giles Mutsekwa, the MDC-T Secretary for Defence, and political analyst Professor John Makumbe, about Mugabe’s unilateral decision to send the troops. Mutsekwa said his party only knows what has been reported in the local press. But Makumbe says the GPA requires Mugabe to consult the other principals first and SADC should know this.
Andrew Makoni, chairman of the Zim Lawyers for Human Rights, talks about the petition they delivered to the Supreme Court and other government ministries to mark Human Rights Day. Makoni said the petition asks government to protect lawyers from harassment, intimidation and arrests while doing their job. Tererai also talks to ZimRights Director Okay Machisa, about the report they launched Thursday, titled “Zimbabwe: Ongoing risks for human rights defenders.” Machisa says it exposes abuses that have occurred since 2008 and it was shocking to find that many of the same issues of violence, arrests and harassment of media still prevail today.