Source blog: The Bearded Man


It is almost half past eightas I begin today’s posting. I was woken at 0410 hours by a neighbour who decided that it was the right time to take out their wheelie bin for collection. It did take me a while to get back to sleep.

And the bins have not been collected yet, so the mission at 4 this morning was rather meaningless.


Zimbabwe is not a State at war, so why would Mugabe need fancy military helicopters?

Mind you, I do say that the country is not at war, but ZANU PF appears to be making itself ready to go to war against the population.

And for ZANU PF to trade national assets to pimp its air power is absolutely wrong.

Russian Technologies may supply military helicopters to Zimbabwe in a swap deal to buy the world’s second largest platinum deposit

State corporation Russian Technologies may supply military helicopters to Zimbabwe in a swap deal to buy the world’s second largest platinum deposit, Kommersant business daily reported on Wednesday.

Russia is holding negotiations with Zimbabwe on an inter-governmental agreement on stimulating investment and defense, a source in the presidential administration told the paper.

Russian Technologies has already secured preliminary support from Zimbabwe’s official representatives during its visit to the country in April,” another source told the paper, adding the local authorities were interested in the supply of Russian arms, in particular military helicopters.

“The issue being discussed is the transfer to Russian Technologies of the rights to develop the deposit in exchange for the supply of helicopters,” the source said.

A source close to Russian Technologies confirmed the state corporation’s interest in the Darwendale project.

Darwendale has proven platinum reserves of 19 tons and total resources of 755 tons taking into account other metals, such as palladium, gold, nickel, copper and others. Total capital investment in the deposit development from 2011-2055 is estimated at .8 billion.

Why is it that political parties that have participated in a liberation war insist on continuing with the idea of conflict as a threat?

Why is it that they wish to go to war in order to remain in power?

ZANU PF is not the ruling party, having lost the election in 2008, but they continue to act as if they have complete and utter control, which, arguably, they have.


Of course, any draft constitution means nothing until and unless it is signed into power be none other than the President.

And knowing the various delaying tactics that they use, I fail to see any agree document becoming law with any real alacrity.

The final revision of the draft constitution has been completed and a new charter for Zimbabwe will be officially launched on Wednesday next week, a highly placed source told SW Radio Africa.

The latest version of the new charter, promising reform and transparency, was finished in Harare on Wednesday by COPAC’s management committee.

The source told us the document is now in the proof reading stage and will be unveiled to the public next week.

According to the source, the management committee that consists of the same negotiators to the GPA has all but agreed on the contentious issues that had been stalling progress, including devolution, executive structure and dual citizenship.

Despite strong objections from ZANU PF, the parties agreed that members of the armed forces will be forbidden from taking part in active politics, including campaigning for any particular political party.

‘All the contentious issues have been dealt with after the parties came up with suggestions that were acceptable to all. To show you how far things have moved, the negotiators are now dealing with transitional mechanisms, especially on how they will move from the current constitution to the next.

‘In this regard, the posts of President and Prime Minister will remain in force until after the next elections when a new leader is inaugurated. This is meant not to create a power vacuum,’ the source added.

The new charter will have an executive president answerable to Parliament and checked by a strengthened Judiciary. After nearly two weeks of negotiations over the contentious issues in a draft prepared by the parliamentary select committee, the negotiators also unanimously agreed to abolish the position of Prime Minister.

The new constitution is designed to redistribute political power away from the capital, Harare, to eight provincial councils created under devolution.

Under the new system, the national government will provide a given percentage of budgets to the provincial legislature, which will comprise elected parliamentarians, senators and local council officials.

This Electoral College will recommend a governor whose appointment will be done by the President.

In the current constitution power is concentrated in the executive branch of government, which has seen Robert Mugabe unilaterally appoint high officials, including judges and governor of the Reserve Bank. But in the new system, parliamentarians will get involved in making appointments.

Two points here.

Firstly, I do not see members of the police, army and air force giving up their political influence. In real terms, Zimbabweis a police State, and the continual rattling of sabres by the senior armed forces members does nothing to dilute that feeling.

Secondly, ZANU PF’s would gladly abolish the position of Prime Minister, by throwing the incumbent out of a suitably high hotel window…


So Mugabe wants to trade platinum for military helicopters, and then his party wants to control the diamond fields.

Zanu (PF) wants to control all diamond mining in Zimbabwe, according to a senior official. A member of the Politburo, who cannot be named for security reasons, told The Zimbabwean last week that at a recent meeting the party’s policy makers resolved to take control of all diamond mines.

“I do not know how they are going to do it, but this is what the party is planning,” said the source.

The Diamond Act, still being debated by the cabinet committee on legislation, proposes giving management contractsto the private companies currently mining diamonds.

“The politburo is saying there are some companies who have imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe who are dominating the diamond sub-sector and all these mines must be taken over,” he added.

He revealed that Zanu (PF) was specifically targeting Murowa and River Ranch, both owned by De Beers, emphasizing that the South African mining giant faced total expropriation.

“We have resolved that the party will continue to push for the exploitation of all the resources in the country and we are saying empowerment cannot be limited to diamonds, let alone specific deposit areas like Chiadzwa,” explained the politburo member.

He said Zanu (PF) had resolved that 2012 should be aturning point in the overall indigenization and empowerment drive. The Chiadzwa diamond fields have already been nationalized and highly militarized. The companies allowed to operate there have all been appointed by Zanu (PF). They include Mbada Diamonds, which has very close links to top party officials and is run by the military, and the Chinese-run Anjin Investments.

Human rights abuses in Chiadzwa, documented by Human Rights Watch and other international organisations, continue unabated amid tight security.

In essence, Zimbabweis now to be run by those who control the mineral assets of the country. And ZANU PF are going to attempt to subvert the people’s democratic choice by ensuring that they have full control of those assets.


In typical ZRP style, here we have WOZA members being arrested for protesting.

Whenever we read of arrests like these, it is always either WOZA or the MDC.

Methinks that the arrests are orchestrated.

The police in Bulawayo arrested over 100 members of the Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) pressure group, as they conducted a sit-in protest on Wednesday calling for the immediate release of a draft Constitution. According to WOZA, many members in custody were handcuffed, which is a violation of women’s rights protocols.

The arrested group includes WOZA leader Magodonga Mahlangu, three mothers who are breastfeeding and three children who are not even WOZA members.

Police have denied lawyers any access to them on three separate occasions. WOZA coordinator Jenni Williams, who led a second group of protestors, was not arrested.

The group had organised ten protests that were due to start at 11:00 am. But riot police appear to have been tipped off and had arrested 40 people, including by-standers, by 10:30am. WOZA said only 3 of the ten protests made it to the location where a memorial statue of the late Joshua Nkomo is to be erected, which had been designated as the venue for the sit-in protest.

Four other protests were conducted after 11:30 am with members marching from the Statue site to the Bulawayo Central Police station tohand themselves in.

But riot police denied them entry into the building and threatened to assault them.

SW Radio Africa correspondent Lionel Saungweme, who witnessed the arrests in Bulawayo, said the riot police appear to have known about the protests because they were seen in large numbers near the location of the statue and at other key sites nearby, before WOZA members arrived.

“After the arrests Jenni Williams arrived with another group of women carrying placards and singing loudly. She knew her colleagues had been arrested but she did not shy away from the police. She went straight to the Central police Station to protest the arrest of WOZA members. That was very brave,” Saungweme said.

It is not clear whether Williams was also arrested when she arrived but WOZA members were denied access to the group that had been taken into custody.
“Right now as we speak there is a heavy police presence outside the station. I think there is about 30 of them. Some have AK 47 rifles and a few are in plain clothes,” our correspondent said.

Wednesday’s protests are a continuation of a campaign by the group to pressure parliamentarians to release a draft constitution and go to a referendum, instead of “bickering” over the issues and ignoring what the people said during the outreach exercise. They want the country to move forward.

The sit-in or occupation style protests started on Monday in
Harare, where WOZA members marched to the parliament building in two separate groups, just as they were trying to do in Bulawayo on Wednesday. Police in Harare did not disrupt the peaceful protest but Bulawayo was a different story.

Why does the pro-Mugabe ZRP pick on the soft underbelly of the population?

Why not get off their butts and go and do some REALpolice work?

Go and investigate the activities of the Mugabe party… It will certainly keep them busy for decades.


And in a simple few seconds, the State case is reduced to a pile of useless bits of paper.

Firstly, falling from a vehicle is not murder by 29 people.

Secondly, the vehicle was driven by another policeman. At the very least, the driver is guilty of culpable homicide.

Game over.

Police inspector Petros Mutedza may have died of injuries suffered when he fell off a vehicle driven by a fellow policeman, a state witness testified on Wednesday in the ongoing trial of 29 MDC-T members accused of murder.

Giving evidence a day after the High Court inspected the Glen View scene where Mutedza was allegedly stoned by the MDC-T members, Joshua Daka strongly asserted that the cop’s death was due to the fall. This was his second testimony.

Daka, a police officer, responded to reports of a brawl at Nyararai bar in the Glen View 3 shopping centre on the day Mutedza died. All the MDC activists deny the charges and have pleaded not guilty. Their trial began this month after some had already served nearly one year in custody.

During the morning court session, Daka told the trial Judge, Justice Chinembiri Bhunu, that he saw Mutedza running to a parked vehicle at the shops just as people that he could not identify started throwing stones at him.

As he reached the passenger door of the vehicle, with one leg almost inside, the driver took off at a high speed resulting in Mutedza falling hard on the tarmac. Daka said he was standing some 80 metres from where his colleague hit the road.

During his initial court appearance in early June, Daka told the Court he saw Mutedza fleeing from Munyarari bar, heading towards a residential area.
 He said he could not identify those who were running after him throwing stones.

The police officer claimed he ran to assist Mutedza when he realized he was seriously injured and helped move him to a safe place at the shopping centre. Several other police officers arrived at this point and helped to take Mutedza to hospital where he was declared dead on arrival.

I do believe that this State witness could have a troubled time ahead of him…


I agree. Zimbabweshould not be given any more money until they have repaid their debt to the IMF.

Obviously this is a tough one seeing as the bulk of the money which has been generated by diamond sales seems to have been removed by ZANU PF and has not been surrendered to the Ministry of Finance.

The easy way out, according to ZANU PF, will be to blame the MDCMinister…

The International Monetary Fund will not give Zimbabwe any more money until it repays outstanding arrears amounting to more than million, business sources have confirmed. The country owes million in all.

A high level IMF delegation was in Zimbabwe for the annual Article IV Consultations. They held discussions with several individuals including ministers.

“Yes we met with the IMF in
Harare,” said a senior official from the Business Commission of Zimbabwe, which is led by David Govere and represents all business organisations.

“They said Zimbabwe must clear all outstanding IMF arrears and get its economy back on track.”

The news comes hardly a week after President Robert Mugabe castigated Minister of Finance, Tendai Biti, accusing him of sidelining the “City of Kings” - Bulawayo.

“If Bulawayo dies then all of Zimbabwe dies,” Mugabe said in Bulawayo before dashing off to Rio De Janeiro in Brazil to attend the three-day Summit on the Environment.

“I asked Biti what he had done with the ,000 we had been given by the IMF and he said he only had about ,000 left. We should have used that money to bring the businesses in Bulawayo up to standard because most of them were closed.”

An economist said ,000 would hardly be enough to re-equip one company. Mugabe also took a swipe at the IMF, accusing it of sidelining developing nations.

Numerous politicians and business executives have accused Mugabe’s government of ignoring Bulawayo over the years.

The IMF has said several issues needed to be sorted out including structural impediments, the acceleration of indigenisation in mining and other sectors, property rights and political uncertainty.

It said it was worried about higher than anticipated increases in imported food and fuel prices as well as the financial system where most commercial banks were under-capitalised.

Zimbabwe does not have the capacity to pay off the IMF’s arrears from its own resources,” Biti said in Harare. “We will need to request cooperating partners for a concessional bridging loan or grant to settle the arrears.”

Clearance of the arrears would unlock new financing arrangements from the IMF, which would then be used to repay the bridging loan obtained from the cooperating partners.

Zimbabwe owes multilateral institutions a grand total of ,504 billion, including ,126 billion to the World Bank, million to the African Development Bank and million to the European Investment Bank.

Assuming that there are 12 million people in Zimbabwe, and that one billion is one thousand million, then it calculates that each person in Zimbabwerepresents US worth of national debt.

And how much of this money has actually been used in building a better Zimbabwe?


Take care.