Source blog: The Bearded Man


I found this via a link on Facebook and thought that it was pretty cool. Team GB covers Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now”…



This report says that ‘a deadlock is looming’ between Mugabe’s ZANU PF and Tsvangirai’s MDCfaction – what about the deadlock with regard to power-sharing?

Has the free world suddenly been struck blind?

A deadlock is looming between ZANU PF and the MDC formations over the draft constitution, amid reports the SADC mediator to the Zimbabwe crisis might be flying into Harare on Wednesday to rescue the situation.

Douglas Mwonzora, the MDC-T spokesman said problems that have emerged since ZANU PF reneged on the draft they signed on 18th July may have prompted President Jacob Zuma to intervene.

‘What I know is that President Zuma has indicated his intention to come to Harare. Clearly there are problems in the constitution making process and these are some of the delays that are worrisome to the SADC bloc.

‘We need to finalise the issue of the constitution before a referendum and elections. The mediator and his facilitation team are interested in the holding of elections in Zimbabwe and I suspect this is one of the major issues Zuma will talk about if he’s coming,’ Mwonzora said.

Lindiwe Zulu, spokesperson for Zuma’s facilitation team, told SW Radio Africa that Zuma’s visit to Harare was not yet finalised.

‘We are still working on that and as I speak to you now, I’m in a meeting working out details for that trip,’ Zulu said. But Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s spokesman, Luke Tamborinyoka, confirmed to Newsday on Sunday that the South African leader will be in Harare on Wednesday.

Zuma’s anticipated visit will come two days before a SADC summit in Mozambique on Friday. it is believed Zimbabwe will be on the SADC agenda following differences that have emerged in the constitution process. The adoption of a new constitution is one of the regional bloc’s requirements for Zimbabwe to hold free and fair elections.

While the two MDC formations have endorsed the new charter, the former ruling party says it won’t accept the draft constitution without amendments.
Party spokesman Rugare Gumbo told the state controlled Herald newspaper last week that the draft was unacceptable in its present form and ‘we cannot commit ourselves’ to untenable clauses.

Mwonzora suggested that a long drawn out battle could be ahead, by declaring that the draft doesn’t have to be satisfactory to ZANU PF or to any political party, insisting the people of Zimbabwe will have a major say on that.

‘ZANU PF has no right to alter the draft, amend the draft or to review the work of COPAC. They (COPAC) do not report to ZANU PF. If they are unhappy about anything, then they must take that to the Second All Stakeholders’ conference and not try to adulterate the people’s views,’ Mwonzora said.

The MDC-T MP for Nyanga North claimed the constitutional process has simply become a battleground within ZANU PF’s factional infighting to control the party.

‘This fight is a manifestation of deep seated factionalism. It’s not a genuine desire to have a constitution that is gripping ZANU PF but underhand manoeuvres to wrest control of the party,’ he said.

ZANU PF have become specialists in agreeing to something – and then negotiating it in their own favour after the agreement has been signed.

As per my comment above, the power-sharing negotiations is a great example.

ZANU PF lost the election and somehow they continue in power, with the winners of the 2008 election as their unwanted partners…


Just as Mugabe and his party have a habit of signing agreements and then re-negotiating them, Mugabe’s call for an end to violence in IN Zimbabweis not as clean cut as he might think.

It is just window dressing.

Zimbabwe's president on Monday called for an end to violence and hostility as the country moves toward a constitutional referendum and elections.

President Robert Mugabe, 88, in an hour long address at a national shrine known as Heroes Acre outside Harare, said he wanted all parties and religious and activist groups to show tolerance for each other in the coming months.

'If people have a difference of opinion and want to defect from one party to another, it must be respected and expressed in elections. We don't want any more violence or blood spilt,' Mugabe said, speaking mostly in the local Shona language.

The last disputed elections in 2008 were marred by violence blamed mainly on Mugabe's ZANU-PF party and led to a power sharing coalition with the former opposition brokered by regional leaders.

As the leader clenched his fist and raised it into the air, the symbol for his ZANU-PF party, he reassured Zimbabweans that the image of the fist is not a gesture of violence despite its past use and forceful nature when placed alongside the open hand symbol of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic party.

'It was not for violence against our own kind,' he said of the party's fist symbol. Amid violence in recent years, Mugabe has often raised his fist in the air as a warning to political opponents. The raised fist, Mugabe said, was used to fight colonial-era white rule and was 'the punch that knocked them down.' He used it Monday to salute guerrillas who died in the bush war that ended white rule in 1980.

Mugabe has made previous calls for a peaceful transition to a new constitution and polls to end a shaky four-year coalition. But independent rights groups say political violence and intimidation has continued with proposed elections looming.

Mugabe said Monday he was 'delighted the curtain is coming down' on a new constitution after three years of bitter negotiations within the coalition after nationwide canvassing for voters' views on reformed constitutional law.

His party has proposed amendments to the 150-page draft that affect a proposed reduction of presidential powers and, it says, the absence in the draft of contributions it claims were made by its supporters and ordinary electors.

'The constitution should unashamedly reflect
Zimbabwe's values and principles. No more, no less,' Mugabe said.

Under Zimbabwe's power-sharing coalition brokered by regional leaders, the proposed constitution must be put to a referendum before fresh elections can be held. Prime Minister Tsvangirai has urged his party to support the draft with a 'yes' vote in a referendum planned before the end of this year.

His party has expressed fears that if the reforms are abandoned there could be a repeat of the violent and disputed elections. It has accused Mugabe loyalists of trying to sabotage negotiations on the new draft that ZANU-PF representatives took part in creating over three years of delays and bickering.

Mugabe's politburo, the top policy body for his party, is scheduled to meet Wednesday to agree on the amendments it demands should be included. The former opposition insists ZANU-PF negotiators helped complete the final draft and there's no place for drastic amendments.

'Once there is consensus, we will go for a referendum. It is our expectation elections will fall soon after,' Mugabe said Monday.

Mugabe has threatened to call elections without a new constitution if disputes over the reforms are not resolved. A panel of lawmakers in charge of rewriting the constitution says that would be in breach of the terms of the power sharing agreement that founded the coalition and paved the way for polls under a democratic constitution.

Regional mediators have proposed mid-2013 as a reasonable timetable for parliamentary and presidential polls.

Mugabe and his party without violence is a pipe dream. He has spent many decades ensuring that everything that he has was done using threats, malice and violence so that there will never be any come back on him or his party faithful.


More than just saying that the violence should cease, Mugabe is clearly worried that the youth in the country could stand up and be counted by triggering protests.

Now these protests would not be peaceful – what protest in Zimbabwehas ever been peaceful? – but they would be against the party of the hated Zimbabwean leader.

Mugabe lies to himself that the people of Zimbabwelove him and everything he stands for – but nothing could be further from the truth.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Monday warned frustration among jobless youths could spark violent protests as the country prepares to vote on a new constitution, five years after deadly elections.

'Youth unemployment and under-employment present one of the biggest challenges facing the nation, which if not addressed, is a potential threat to national peace and stability,' Mugabe told about 5,000 people at a memorial for fallen liberation leaders.

'I wish to urge all Zimbabweans, all political parties, religious groups, civil society and other institutions to desist from engaging in violent campaigns during the elections,' Mugabe said in the capital Harare.

'Let us fully embrace peaceful, tolerant and non-violent ways of campaigning before, during and after the actual conduct of elections.'

Zimbabwe's unemployment rate stands at 90 percent -- most of them young people -- as local industry battles to recover from a decade-long economic crisis.

Representatives of
Zimbabwe's rival political parties last month finalised a draft constitution which now must go to voters for approval. If endorsed, the charter would pave the way toward new polls.

Mugabe and his rival, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, have shared power in a rocky unity government after disputed elections in 2008.

Violence, often blamed on militant youths, left more than 200 dead after the polls, rights groups said. Most of the victims were opposition supporters.

I suppose Mugabe believes that repeated calls for a stop to the violence means that the people can look forward to a peaceful future. Again, nothing could be further from the truth.


Why is it that ZANU PF believe that it is just fine to negotiate something, and then change it all again to suit themselves?

Patrick Chinamasa is a snake in the grass and a ZANU PF loyalist that bristles danger and subterfuge.

ZANU PF representative on the COPAC management committee, Patrick Chinamasa, has said the draft charter is open to further discussion and alteration adding the constitutional reforms could not move forward his party's agreement.

Zanu PF is pushing for amendments to the draft, a move bitterly opposed by its coalition partners who have since endorsed the document and want it to be taken to the next stages of the constitutional reform process.

Chinamasa said the signatures of negotiators did not mean their respective parties could not propose changes to the document.

“We (negotiators) do not have power over the principals and party organs,” he said.

“That is why in our (Zanu PF) case we took the document to the Politburo and the central committee for approval. These are the final arbiters of what we did so it’s not yet a done deal.”

The draft was largely a result of negotiations between parties to the coalition government and the MDC parties say their Zanu PF counterparts cannot now backtrack, having signed up to all proposals during the negotiations.

Zanu PF has accused its negotiators of making too many compromises and being insensitive to key party principles.

The party is particularly unhappy with provisions whittling down the powers of the presidency and has said it will propose amendments to the coalition principals.

Chinamasa said the draft remained open to further discussions, adding negotiators simply represented their respective parties which could still change the provisions of the document.

“As negotiators, we represented our respective political parties not ourselves. We were not on the negotiating table as individuals and it means the document is subject to endorsement by the political parties,” he said.

“If any political party doesn’t approve the document we have produced there is nothing to take to the next stage. This is a document for life and an important one in our history and no political party should take it lightly.”

However, the MDC parties vowed to block any amendments, telling Zanu PF to campaign for a ‘No Vote’ during the referendum if it was not happy with the draft.

MDC-T spokesman, Douglas Mwonzora, said Zanu PF had signed up to all the provisions in the draft, signalling its endorsement of the document.

“A signature is not an insignificant and useless addition to a document. It means something, which in this case conclusion and recording of an agreement,” said.

“We are not going to make any changes because we respect the views of the people, views which may not be in tandem with our political philosophy.”

MDC spokesman Kurauone Chihwayi added: “That is a final document to be presented at the conference. By appending their (Zanu PF) signatures it means it’s final and there will be no other draft other than that one we signed.

If you were to look at the new constitution, you will realise that it is a very weak document with regard to change in Zimbabwe.

If I had anything to do with it, I would have begun with the LancasterHouse document (without the 19 changes Mugabe made) and work from there.

Working from scratch would take too long, and working from the constitution in its present form would prove too cumbersome.


I am not too sure why the Prime Minister attended the gathering, seeing as Mugabe and his party have made it very clear that national heroes are a ZANU PF domain..

There was an embarrassing moment at the National Heroes Acre on Monday when a small group of soldiers and ZANU PF youths seated next to the VIP area decided to boo Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai when he was introduced to the crowd.

Tsvangirai and the entire MDC-T national standing committee attended the Heroes Day commemorations. Our sources say Mugabe, who was seated next to Tsvangirai, was “a bit embarrassed by the indiscipline of the small group of soldiers and ZANU PF youths booing the PM.”

Mugabe is then said to have chided those booing telling them: “If you don’t like these people, vote against them, this is a national event. These heroes did not die to liberate ZANU PF people only, they died to liberate everyone.”

A similar booing of
MDC-T senior figures took place at the burial of former army general Solomon Mujuru last year. MDC-T officials then warned Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi that if a similar incident took place, they would instruct their youths to retaliate and boo Mugabe at the next event.

On Monday MDC-T spokesman Douglas Mwonzora told SW Radio Africa that the MDC-T executive will also be attending the Defence Forces Day on Tuesday.

“The MDC executive will be there, it’s our day too and we are ready to govern. We will be presiding over these events from next year onwards.”

Meanwhile Mugabe used the Heroes Day celebrations to give another one of his tongue in cheek calls for peace. Despite several peace calls by Mugabe, the repressive state machinery controlled by his ZANU PF party continues to be deployed against those who are in opposition and civil society.

I must admit that I have great admiration for the confidence that the MDChave in saying, “We will be presiding over these events from next year onwards”.


Just who is this Chombo that can fire entire councils and bring in ZANU PF representatives at the stroke of a pen, and can overturn a decision with regards to renaming raods?

Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo has overturned a Harare City Council decision to rename three roads in the City, in what is being described as a ‘political play’.

A full Council meeting reportedly approved the changes, which include Enterprise Road being named for the late General Solomon Mujuru. According to the Council, Enterprise Road was picked to be renamed after Mujuru because it is near the KG VI army barracks.

The Council also planned to rename Rotten Row after the late Chief Justice Enoch Dumbutshena and Churchill Road after the late Professor Walter Kamba.

Dumbutshena and Kamba’s families had agreed to the changes.

But Chombo has now reversed the council resolution, insisting it was not consulted. Chombo said the resolution to change the street names was null and void.

“That resolution is a nullity. The city should follow the proper procedures. Council should write to the Ministry for approval,” he said.

Observers have said the drama boils down to politics, with Chombo clearly trying to override a decision made by a majority MDC-T council. One observer told SW Radio Africa that the MDC-T was likely to gain political favour by making these road name changes, and Chombo is trying to prevent the party from gaining any more popularity.

Chombo obviously wields a lot more power than his position would suggest – and the fact that we never see his wings clipped by the President’s office, than we have to assume it is all done with Mugabe’s quiet acquiesce…


Chesterfieldis less than 20 miles from where I sit right now.

Police in England have launched a fraud investigation after a shipping company owned by a Zimbabwean man went under with massive debts and cargo literally at sea.

Chesterfield police opened the investigation after being contacted by over a dozen people who fell victim to Crenna Investments, a shipping company run by 35-year-old Tawanda Mungate.

The affected customers – who could be as many as 30 – paid Crenna Investments thousands of pounds to ship their goods to Zimbabwe, mainly vehicles, but the cargo never reached Plumtree.

Instead, most of the cargo is stuck at Walvis Bay in Namibia and warehouses in the United Kingdom accruing storage fees.

When they sought answers from Crenna Investments, they discovered the company had closed shop, taken down its website and disconnected its phones.

Caroline Maradzirwa sent a van and a minibus on July 8 last month after paying the company a deposit of £2,050.

Last week, she was shocked to get a call from Estuary Logistics, a company which Crenna contracted to ship the vehicles to Walvis Bay, asking her to contact them about her shipment.

“They told me that Crenna Investments had not paid them and as such I should pay them directly to avoid my goods being auctioned off to recover their shipping fees,” she told New

Estuary Logistics have charged her £3,000 to release the two vehicles which are currently stuck at Walvis Bay.

Before taking down the company’s website, Mungate posted a message saying Crenna Investments was “in the process of bankruptcy”.

“All business debts will now be assessed by the receiver. These debts will evaluated in order of priority and the decision to either pay or discharge the debt will be made by the official receiver throughout the bankruptcy process,” he said.

He asked that any enquiries be directed to the official receiver, but did not give details of the company handling the bankruptcy.

He also directed customers with “live shipments” to contact shipping agents Buzzard Logistics and Estuary Shipping as well as Manica Freight to clear their goods

He added: “We sincerely apologise for taking this action, however it has been painful and difficult and one we cannot avoid.

“All company accounts have been frozen and access to any financial resources has been restrictive due to ongoing investigations.”

We were unable to locate the elusive Mungate, who says on his Whatsapp status that he “paid the price for being my own boss”.

In June, he posted a bizarre video online called ‘Mr Dozey’ – which shows him half naked in bed and striking the pose of someone about to fall asleep.

His customers find themselves in agreement that he dozed off on the job – leading a life of luxury after pocketing customer funds and failing to pay service providers.

His wife and two children have since moved in with her sister in Nottingham. She claims she has not heard from her husband in weeks.

One woman who asked Crenna to ship her Mazda 6 vehicle was told that the car had arrived in Walvis Bay. But after failing to locate the vehicle, she carried out her own investigations and found the car at a storage facility in Kent

She was told that Crenna Investments had run up a storage bill of £5,500.

Another woman from Grays, Essex, said she paid £1,200 as deposit to ship two vehicles and two industrial-size vacuum cleaners for her sister’s cleaning business in March.

She accuses Mungate of telling her a string of lies about the status of her shipment. She has not been able to recover her goods.
'I am angry with myself because I cannot believe I have been fooled like that,” she said.

Buzzard Logistics, another shipping agent used by Crenna Investments, has also contacted affected individuals.

In one letter to a customer, Buzzard Logistics said Crenna Investments owed them £30,000.

The letter says in part: “As you will be already aware, Crenna Investments have now disappeared after taking your shipping money and not paying our shipping charges. Crenna Investments have left almost £30,000 of debt with Buzzard Worldwide Logistics.

“Because Crenna have disappeared now, Buzzard Worldwide Logistics transfer the cost of freight owed to the goods shipped.

“In these situations, a shipping company would liquidate all goods for the shipping cost and the customer would lose their item altogether. We have approached this situation differently, in a way to help the individual customers of Crenna Investments.

“We are all in this position due to the non-payment for freight by Crenna...”

Although Crenna is believed to have been trading for more than a year, it only registered with Companies House in April this year. The business address listed was a residential property in Duckmanton,
A spokesman for Chesterfield Police said: “I can confirm we have an ongoing fraud investigation into Crenna Investments. Unfortunately, I cannot comment further but anyone who feels they have been unfairly prejudiced can contact us.”

The shipping industry in the
UK is largely unregulated, and several companies have gone under leaving a trail of disappointed customers.

In 2007, Protea (Europe) Limited – which was run by Zimbabwean Maria Appuhamy – collapsed spectacularly with debts of over £200,000 to shipping companies alone.

Over 100 Zimbabweans were caught up, and many never recovered their property.

The Insolvency Service wound up the company after finding that Protea and its sister company, GlobalTrade1Stop Limited, did not have any assets and had failed to keep proper accounts making it difficult to establish its full liabilities.

In 2010, John Jabulani Bhule, 54, and Sally Shamiso Theresa Chigudu, 46, both directors of the UK-registered A & B Shippers, were arrested in Zimbabwe – where they had fled – and charged with fraud after dozens of people also lost their property when the company collapsed.

It is all well and good that the boss man of this company has apologised for the problems caused to so many customers, but I guarantee that he is not as sorry as the customers that he duped.


Take care.