Projects & activities that contribute towards solutions for the Zimbabwean crisis



We organise fundraisers for our Zimbabwean work but we’re a small team and would greatly value help from our supporters and anyone willing to help. Here are a couple of ideas – please contact us with yours!


There are many ways to help us through our various initiatives...

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The Gift of Time


To contribute in other ways please contact us at


 We'd love to hear from anyone who shares our passion.


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Easter greetings from the MCF

In the Mike Campbell Foundation’s Easter letter, Executive Director Ben Freeth reports on the remarkable success of the Foundation’s open-pollinated maize project in Zimbabwe, which has achieved a record yield this season. “This is very exciting in what has become such a desperately poor, hungry and struggling nation,” writes Ben.  “Our free starter packs of open-pollinated seed will once again be distributed around the country to help as many as 15,000 families who have become the poorest of the poor to feed themselves in the coming year - and beyond. This is double what we have given out in previous years!”


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Mike Campbell (Pvt) Ltd et al. v. Republic of Zimbabwe is a landmark test case decided by the SADC Tribunal. It held that the government violated the SADC treaty by denying court access and engaging in racial discrimination in the confiscation of land.

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The SADC Tribunal was set up as a regional court to hear disputes between SADC member states and between individuals and states. The Tribunal was a court of last resort for those who had been denied access to justice in their own countries.

Natasha Venter Ben Freeth Wynand Hart Wi



The Mike Campbell Foundation has initiated a court case which involves a group of dispossessed Zimbabwean farmers taking former South African President Zuma and the SA government to court for participating in the closure of the SADC Tribunal regional court.

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The MCF took the courageous decision to use the law to focus on justice and legal accountability and to establish a workable legal foundation for property rights in Zimbabwe in the future. This has included a number of ground-breaking court cases

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We provide practical conservation agriculture training to an average of 144 destitute farm workers and others in their communities each year, teaching them how to feed their families on just 1/16th of a hectare using our free open-pollinated seed.


The objective of our latest, well-attended conservation agriculture field day was to showcase our conservation agriculture activities and achievements – despite the ongoing drought conditions - in Harare and the Chegutu district of Zimbabwe. 

Open-pollinated seed maize being packed


Our open-pollinated seed project provides free high quality seed that can be replanted each year to destitute farm workers and other needy people in Zimbabwe. In 2017, we distributed more than 4,500 seed packs followed by 8,000 in 2018.

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In 2018, we paid school fees for 262 children of destitute farm workers and pastors, as well as tertiary fees for two students. For the first two terms of 2019, we paid school fees for 256 children and two tertiary students.

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Faced with yet another food crisis and economic collapse due to the demise of agriculture, the solution is simple – and this is what the MCF is working towards: Title deeds must be allocated for all agricultural land and title to the commercial farmland must be restored.


US embassy will assist US investors in Zim

US ambassador to Zimbabwe Brian Nichols has committed to assisting US investors interested in establishing companies in Zimbabwe after acknowledging the country had huge untapped economic potential.

Speaking during the Post Reconstruction Trade Mission to Mozambique and Zimbabwe meeting held virtually Monday [24 May], US ambassador to Zimbabwe, Brian Nichols vowed to render any assistance possible to potential investors in his country. “I would like to note that promoting American businesses and their investments in Zimbabwe is a top priority for me and for our entire mission,” he said.

SADC’s silence on Zim violates Treaty

“The Southern African Development Community’s perpetual silence on Zimbabwe speaks louder than the words it occasionally utters about human rights and the rule of law. Its acquiescence in the face of serial violations of the SADC Treaty makes a mockery of all its members and leaves the citizens of Zimbabwe at the mercy of a predatory political and economic elite,” writes Tony Reeler, a Senior Researcher and formerly the Director at the Zimbabwe’s Research and Advocacy.”It is beyond dispute that human rights in Zimbabwe are violated on a very large scale, and have been for nearly three decades,” he says.

SADC region vaccine deficits

By May 2021, the majority of southern African countries, with the exception of Mauritius and Seychelles, had not fully vaccinated even one percent of their populations against Covid-19, despite the arrival of the Indian and UK variants. Yet the 16-member Southern African Development Community (SADC), comprising 16 Member States, has provided no meaningful guidance to accelerate this sluggish roll-out. SADC’s willingness to ignore human rights accountability is not new. In 2012 it dismantled and disabled the SADC Tribunal, the highly effective regional human rights court, thus denying access to SADC citizens.

No funds to compensate commercial farmers

The Zimbabwean government and representatives of dispossessed commercial farmers have signed amendments to the US$3.5bn compensation deal signed on 29 July 2020 after the government conceded it had no capacity to pay the initial US$1.75bn by July as agreed. The official announcement of the amendments is due to take place next week. In July last year, President Mnangagwa’s government tabled the offer to pay off the farmers, but had no financial backing to honour the agreement. It was supposed to pay US$1.75bn in July while the balance would be paid in installments of US$437.5m per year for the next four years.

Milk production drops amid challenges

Zimbabwe’s milk production dropped by 7% to 17,8 million litres in the first quarter of the year due to a plethora of challenges. In comparison, milk production stood at 245 million litres in 1999, the year before the farm invasions began. The current dairy herd stands at 39 000 animals with 19 000 milking cows. Historically, the national dairy herd peaked in 1994 at 104 483 cows, but by the end of 2005 the number had dropped to 35 000. Zimbabwe Association of Dairy Farmers said cows were not being well fed due to low prices paid by processors. The country now imports approximately 48% of its annual milk requirements.

New Kazungula bridge to open 10 May

The almost one kilometre-long Kazungula Bridge over the Zambezi river and One-Stop Border Post facilities will open on Monday 10 May 2021. They will improve southern Africa’s access to international markets through connectivity with major seaports. The six-year project will provide a vital link between neighbouring Botswana and Zambia, and will the ease chronic congestion at Zimbabwe’s Beitbridge border post. The project was co-funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency, African Development Bank and other major stakeholders.

Urgent petition re capture of Zim judiciary

PETITION: Constitutional Amendment (No.2) Bill:  Zimbabweans have watched with utter disbelief the ongoing mutilation of our Constitution by our leaders. The passage of this amendment represents an arrogant attack on our democracy. Removing certain of Parliament’s oversight powers has violated the principle of separation of powers as well as the tenets of transparency and accountability. By giving the President power to appoint judges of the superior courts without public interviews, and extending the tenure of the judges, the Amendments are facilitating the capture of the judiciary by the executive.

World Press Freedom Day

On World Press Freedom Day, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights calls upon government to make a commitment towards respecting, protecting and promoting press freedom. It raises awareness of the crucial oversight role played by a free press in exposing the abuse of public power, emphasises the importance of media independence and pays tribute to journalists who have been harassed, attacked, detained and killed. It serves as a reminder that many governments around the world still censor information through restrictive policies that deprive individuals of their right to information, transparency and accountability.

How Nations Succeed: report

A country’s prosperity entails much more than a society’s economy or an individual’s wealth. It is an environment in which every person is able to reach their full potential. A nation is prosperous when it has effective institutions, an open economy, empowered people who are healthy, educated and safe, the rule of law and property rights. The Legatum Institute in London has studied the journeys of 10 nations, all of which were demonstrably underdeveloped in terms of both economic and social wellbeing in 1960, across a period of six decades and explored the patterns behind their contrasting development trajectories.

Hopewell Chin’ono’s charges set aside

High court Judge Justice Jester Charewa on 28 April 2021 ended the persecution of freelance journalist Hopewell Chin’ono by setting aside his prosecution on charges of publishing or communicating false statements prejudicial to the State and ruling that the anti-corruption campaigner had been arrested and prosecuted based on a non-existent law. Chin’ono had been on remand after he was arrested by police officers on Friday 8 January 2021 and charged with publishing or communicating false statements prejudicial to the State after he allegedly tweeted about the abuse of a minor by a police officer.

Farm compensation deal off-track

Cash-strapped Zimbabwe will miss the July deadline to pay US$1.75bn in compensation to dispossessed white commercial farmers amid revelations the administration has failed to get financial support from development partners and international financiers, it emerged this week. Last year, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government tabled a controversial US$3.5bn offer to white former commercial farmers for assets expropriated by the State. Of that, US$1.75bn was supposed to be paid in July while the balance would be paid in installments of US$437.5m per year for the next four years.

Ill MDC-A MP Joana Mamombe imprisoned again

Zimbabwean authorities have seized prominent activist and opposition legislator Joana Mamombe from her hospital bed and detained her at the country’s notorious Chikurubi maximum security prison, against the advice of doctors who had ordered that she see a specialist. Dewa Mavhinga, Human Rights Watch’s southern Africa director, condemned her forcible removal from hospital, saying it was outrageous that this should happen when she needed specialist medical attention.“ This gross, blatant and brazen violation of human rights by the Zimbabwe government must be condemned swiftly and strongly,” he said.

We are like ‘stray animals’

In a new report, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) warns that in Zimbabwe, approximately 300,000 people are currently at risk of statelessness. Hundreds of thousands of migrant workers from neighbouring countries, who were brought in by colonial authorities to work on farms and mines around the country from Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia, and their descendants face barriers to acquiring citizenship. Generations of ethnic Ndebele people whose families were killed or disappeared during the Gukurahundi massacres, in early to mid 1980s, are also affected by statelessness.

Karanga Mission Hospital medical missionary dies

The medical missionary who played a major role in the establishment of Karanda Mission Hospital, in Mashonaland Central has died. Roland Russell Stephens passed away on 14 April at home in Springfield, Ohio, United States, at the age of 91. In 1962, Mr Stephens and his family left for Southern Rhodesia where he was a medical missionary at the Gunderson-Horness Mission Hospital (now Karanda Mission Hospital) until 1978. After retiring in the United States in 1995, he returned to Karanda Mission Hospital, joining his son Daniel, who was now a general surgeon and medical director of Karanda Mission Hospital.

Commercial joint ventures for schools

Cabinet last week approved a two-pronged teaching approach aimed at profit-making and academic excellence, with schools now expected to venture into commercial activity for practical subjects. The Ministry (of Primary and Secondary Education) will promote commercial ventures through use of land and space available to schools. Where appropriate each school should enter into joint ventures with private investors. Government says a business development unit will be established at the Ministry’s head office to supervise and monitor.  

Solution to the Zim crisis

To solve Zimbabwe’s crisis, the MDC Alliance needs to realise that despite the huge support it received at the polls in 2018, it must regain the status of a mass movement and recruit civil society as a partner in ‘winning the streets’, writes Tony Reeler, co-convener of Zimbabwe’s Platform for Concerned Citizens. Turning the country around will require a concerted effort, nationally, regionally and internationally. The MDC Alliance must regain the status of a mass movement and recruit civil society as a partner in “winning the streets”. This means bringing the masses together in clear, articulate and consistent demands… 

Chinese vaccines’ effectiveness is low, officials admit 

In a rare admission of the weakness of Chinese coronavirus vaccines, the country’s top disease control official has said their effectiveness is low and the government is considering mixing them in an attempt to boost their efficacy. Chinese vaccines “don’t have very high protection rates”, Gao Fu, the director of the China Centers for Disease Control, said at a conference on Saturday in the southwestern city of Chengdu. Beijing has distributed hundreds of millions of doses in other countries, mostly in Africa [including Zimbabwe], South America and other parts of Asia. Pfizer-BioNTech has been found to be 97 percent effective.

Importance of secure property rights

“The productivity of land held under private, freehold ownership is indisputable,” writes Zimbabwean economist Eddie Cross. “Under freehold land tenure two major influences are enabled: [Firstly] it gives the owner a sense of ownership and this carries with it a sense of responsibility. It also takes on the character of a privately-owned asset that can be developed, preserved and protected.” [Secondly],it gives the land value which can be used as collateral for bank borrowings to facilitate production and investment in land and buildings and fixed assets such as fencing, dams and other immovable assets, all essential to productivity.

US human rights report critical of Zim

Zimbabwe was among some of the worst human rights offenders last year as President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s regime continued to unleash violence on opponents and activists with impunity, the annual assessment by the U.S. State Department on global human rights has stated. The 2020 Human Rights Report that evaluated about 200 countries painted a grim picture across the world saying violations of liberties escalated with some countries using Covid-19 restrictions “as a pretext to restrict rights and consolidate authoritarian rule.

Easter greetings from the MCF

In the Mike Campbell Foundation’s Easter letter, Executive Director Ben Freeth reports on the remarkable success of the Foundation’s open-pollinated maize project in Zimbabwe, which has achieved a record yield this season. “This is very exciting in what has become such a desperately poor, hungry and struggling nation,” writes Ben.  “Our free starter packs of open-pollinated seed will once again be distributed around the country to help as many as 15,000 families who have become the poorest of the poor to feed themselves in the coming year - and beyond. This is double what we have given out in previous years!”

Bona Mugabe’s mansion in Harare

Bona Mugabe and her pilot husband, Simba Chikore, are building a 25-room home in Harare which is estimated to cost at least US$20 million, reports The NewsHawks. The imposing mansion sits on a 22-hectare tract of rugged hillside terrain above the Umwinsi River valley in the exclusive Umwinsidale suburb . A source told the publication that the late President Mugabe had been financing the project before he died, but the Chikores are now struggling to complete it. Mugabe gave Bona and Simba his historic Mount Pleasant house during their wedding, but after that they asked him to build a house of their choice and dreams. 

Chinese firm gets lucrative aviation deal

The Zimbabwean government has awarded a multi-million dollar tender to a Chinese firm to replace a redundant aviation system following pressure exerted by the Joint Operations Command (JOC) to award the deal to a company drawn from a “friendly nation”. In 2016, military, police and intelligence chiefs — who make up the JOC — covertly supported a Supreme Court challenge by Italian firm Selex ES to successfully overturn the US$33 million tender awarded to a Spanish firm — Indra Sistemas. The vulnerability of the shambolic radar system was exposed in 2019 when the aviation system broke down, disrupting flights.

Only 2 ambulances functional in Harare

Harare, a city of over two million residents, is currently running on two functional ambulances in the middle of a coronavirus pandemic. This translates to one usable ambulance for every million people for a city that aspires to be world-class within the next four years. “The city is operating with only two ambulances out of the desired 32 to service Greater Harare,” Acting City of Harare Town Clerk, Engineer Mabhena Moyo warned. In 2000, Harare boasted of a functional fleet of 48 vehicles against a population of about 1,5 million residents.

U-turn: Plans to nationalise BIPPA farms

The Zimbabwean government is mulling yet another amendment to the constitution to effectively nationalise commercial farms owned by foreign nationals in Zimbabwe, barely a year after making concessions on the matter. Processes are already afoot to amend section 289 of the constitution and repeal Statutory Instrument (SI) 62 of 2020 to effectively ban freehold title deeds for farms covered by Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (BIPPAs). Under the new proposed laws drafted last week, only indigenous farmers who bought land before the land reform programme will be spared.

Sixth anniversary of Itai Dzamara’s abduction

March 9 was the sixth anniversary of the abduction of Itai Dzamara, a brave Zimbabwean journalist, civil society activist and leader of the “Occupy Africa Unity Square” protest. On 9 March 2015, Itai was abducted by five unidentified men and has never been seen again. Itai had previously been targeted by State security agents, assaulted and unlawfully detained in other separate incidences. Over the years, the police have remained reluctant to take any action.In 2019, the Forum documented 86 cases of abductions and torture of perceived dissenting voices. In 2020, the Forum documented a further 34 cases.

Japan donates 20,000 tonnes of maize

Japan has donated about 20,000 tonnes of maize towards Zimbabwe’s Food Deficit Mitigation Strategy (FDMS) to meet the essential food security needs of vulnerable households. Zimbabwe has faced severe food shortages and starvation following El Nino-induced droughts and years of poor agricultural policies in the wake of the farm invasions. The maize was procured from South Africa by the World Food Program (WFP). In June 2019, Japan, also through the World Food Program, donated 30,000 tonnes of maize. Zimbabwe has been importing maize from neighboring countries and others such as Brazil.

Rural schools still need basics

According to the Zimbabwean government, it will begin rolling out an e-learning national strategy for schools. Under the programme, Minister Mutsvangwa said that each school is expected to be equipped with a computer laboratory comprising 41 computers, a server, a projector, a printer, a white board and connectivity. However, the government did not say much about rural schools that still have no proper classrooms blocks and poor access to the internet - and are struggling to get resources to fund their basic budgetary needs. Rural schools often lack desks, chairs, books, stationery and other basic necessities. 

Forcible eviction threats cause fear

Chilonga community leaders who are at the forefront of resisting the Zimbabwean government’s decision to forcibly evict them from their ancestral lands to pave way for commercial production of a massive lucerne project by a Kwekwe-based dairy products company, Dendairy, say they are being harassed by suspected state security agents that visit their homes and send them threatening messages on a daily basis.

Some have said they now fear for their lives and safety of their families and have since gone into hiding to dodge unwelcome visits from suspected state security agents.

Dendairy in controversial land takeover

“No more land invasions,” claimed President Mnangagwa’s spokesman, George Charamba, on 16 February 2021. However, Cathy Buckle writes that 10 days later, the government went ahead with plans for lucerne farming by Dendairy in a substantial area of communal land in Chiredzi . This will see 12,538 Shangaan families being forcibly removed from their ancestral lands to make way for white commercial farmer Neville Coetzee whom President Mnangagwa said he had “worked very well with” and admitted shielding the Coetzee’s Kwekwe Dendairy farm owners from land reform because of their “good nature.”   

Italian BIPPA-protected ranch grabbed

ZANU PF Masvingo provincial officials have grabbed a massive, flourishing ranch in Chiredzi owned by an Italian national and ring-fenced under a Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) between Zimbabwe and Italy. This latest farm invasion on BIPPA land is likely to have overarching consequences as it can potentially spark a diplomatic row between Harare and Rome. Oscro farm (5 000-ha), belongs to Tony Renato Sarpo who bought the property in 1987 — title deed number 2556/88 — and had currently planted 120ha of sugarcane valued at ZW$51,3 million (US$313 140) before milling.

Vic Falls a top tourist destination: German magazine

The Victoria Falls is the second-best place to visit for holiday and leisure in the world after Zanzibar, Tanzania’s spice island archipelago, says Geo Fernweh, a German travel inspiration magazine. The publication confirms that Germans and other nationalities include the spectacular falls among their top bucket list destinations. This comes just days after American Travel & Leisure magazine named Victoria Falls Safari Lodge one of the best in the world and among top five facilities in Africa. Geo Fernweh said the Victoria Falls is a rare natural wonder.

Bleak 2021 academic year predicted 

THERE has been a countrywide outcry over a poor pass rate in the recently released Grade 7 Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (Zimsec) results. Academics are predicting a similar trend in the yet to be released ‘O’ and ‘A’ Level results. The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Primary and Secondary Education chairperson Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga blames the poor results on government’s neglect of the education sector. In an interview with NewsDay, she said the outlook was not good: “We [also] have had a situation where parents have carried the burden of making sure that the education system is running….”

Human rights defenders under siege

I am a human rights defender in Zimbabwe, a country with no rule of law and a government that has no respect for human rights. It is a high-risk job, but if we are to protect the rights of other Zimbabweans, it has to be done. The state is brutal and has a zero-tolerance policy on dissent, which they will stop at nothing to stifle. So who will protect the public protectors? The coup government has continued with the terror tactics of the Mugabe era, which means that so-called “dissidents” are unsafe. With the police and army violating the human rights of civilians on behalf of the government, there is nowhere to run!

Govt struggles to raise compensation funds

Business Times reports that Zimbabwe’s cash-strapped government is struggling to raise US$1.75bn from development partners and other international financiers to compensate white former commercial farmers who lost their farms under the land reform programme. Under the agreement signed at State House on 29 July 2020, Zimbabwe agreed to pay US$3.5bn as compensation to white former commercial farmers for the loss of land, 20 years after the government embarked on the fast track land reform programme. The compensation is for the value of improvements, biological assets and land clearing costs only, not for land.

UN HR Charter forbids EWC says barrister

“Expropriation without compensation is against the UN Human Rights Charter,” writes British barrister Mark Philip Malcolm Horn. “Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others, and no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.... International Law is superior law, it takes precedence over municipal (national) law…. According to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination: “Expropriation, in particular if there is a racist angle, without compensation is illegal in international law…. Everyone… has the right to equality before the law…”

No land expropriation without compensation

“No one does business with a thief, and no one extends credit to a thief,” warns London Barrister Mark Philip Malcom Horn. "You cannot have land expropriation without compensation. It is illegal in international law…. You cannot change the Constitution therefore to make it legal - Treaty law is superior law, it always applies…. When Mugabe tried this, the point was litigated. These were the legal conclusions… The claims for illegal expropriation still are valid in law - at some point the Zimbabwean Government will need to pay them…. If they ever want to be re-integrated into the global community, they will need to pay….

Hwange villages resist Chinese mining project

HUNDREDS of villagers in the Dinde area, Hwange district in Matabeleland North are living in fear of eviction from their ancestral land to pave way for a Chinese coal-mining project.

This has attracted the interest of the Centre for Natural Resources Governance (CNRG), a civil society advocacy group and the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) who are taking legal action to stop the eviction of the villagers. The proposed coal-mining project comes a few months after government was forced to reverse a decision to allow Chinese firms to explore for coal at the Hwange National Park.

Zim informal/shadow economy: study

In a recent study carried out by economists working for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Johannes Kepler University of Linz, the phrase “Shadow Economy” is used to describe the extent of informal activities in 158 countries. To assess their importance, estimates were made of the contributions made to each separate country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Regionally, the lowest is an average of 16,77% for East Asian countries, and the highest average is 35% for Sub-Saharan African countries. At 65.1%, Zimbabwe’s figure is the highest in Africa and highest of all the 158 countries included in the study.

Music legend appeals for international intervention

US-based Zimbabwean music legend Thomas Mapfumo has written a stinging letter to the US Congressional Black Caucus, African Union, Amnesty International, US State Department, European Union, United Nations, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Black Lives Matter, and the African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa appealing for intervention in the Zimbabwean crisis. The outspoken singer also warned President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government to “reform or it will perish in big-headed arrogance.” Following his election, the economy and the political environment started deteriorating.

No teachers, lesson notes or books

In Cathy Buckle’s latest newsletter from Zimbabwe, she writes that “the faces of the children give life to the story I’ve been hearing from people desperate after a year without education for their children. One Dad from a rural area told me that his nine-year-old son had been in school for six weeks and three days in the whole of 2020 and not for a single day yet this year. Desperate to educate his boy they went to the rural school where the child is enrolled but the Headmaster sent them away: there were no provisions for COVID protection, no piped water and there were no teachers. The school had no lesson notes or books.

Zimbabwean becomes a successful US pilot

This is the remarkable story of a Zimbabwean, Felix Chiota, who grew up in a humble home in Harare and whose dream of becoming a pilot was realised with a great deal of courage and dedication. Today, he is the proud owner of Chiota Aviation, a flight school based in Waco, a city in central Texas in the United States, and employs six flight instructors on both full-time and part-time basis. Chiota is not just a commercial pilot, he is also a captain at NetJets, the world’s largest private jet charter company, which owns and operates a fleet of about 700 private jets.

Advocate Fadzayi Mahere inspires hope

In the struggles of 2021 all over the world, the Mike Campbell Foundation’s executive director, Ben Freeth,  shares the story of a friend and very brave young lawyer in Zimbabwe, Fadzayi Mahere. “I have known Fadzayi for the last decade and more, when she took her first tentative steps as a lawyer defending human rights in the dark world of the Zimbabwe justice system,” writes Ben. “I visited her when she went on and worked at the International Criminal Court in The Hague - but then came home to Zimbabwe to face the horrors of being at the receiving end of the abuse herself.  Please take a moment to read this….”  

Lack of property rights scaring away private sector

The Zimbabwean government should commit itself to a comprehensive relook of policies around agriculture financing and value chain if it is serious about achieving inclusive private sector-led growth in the sector, writes African News. Agricultural policies are scaring away the private sector. For years, the country has struggled to produce its own food such as maize, soyabean and wheat to name but a few, and has resorted to imports running into millions of dollars annually. For the 11 months to November 2020, the country imported maize worth (US$284 million), crude soyabean (US$115 million) and wheat US$89 million. 

UK investors shun Zim over property rights

UK Minister for Africa James Duddridge warns that investors from the United Kingdom are shunning Zimbabwe mainly because of concerns over property rights and a compromised judiciary. He writes: “UK investors repeatedly tell us that three things prevent them from investing in Zimbabwe: concerns about the poorly managed currency, concerns about the arbitrary property rights, and concerns about the legal system.” He says far-reaching political and economic reforms are needed for Harare to attract overseas capital. His comments have been published on the ZimLive website and in News24 South Africa.

Notorious Maj-Gen Douglas Nyikayaramba, dies of Covid-19

Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Mozambique, retired Maj-Gen Douglas Nyikayaramba, has died of Covid-19. He is the fourth military general leading the 2017 de facto coup against Mugabe to succumb to the virus. When he was promoted by Mugabe to Major-General in 2011, he had already been implicated in rhino poaching, partisan food distribution, election rigging, strategising election violence and even the murder of an army captain. In June 2008 Nyikayaramba was one of the over 200 senior army officers deployed around the country to co-ordinate the brutal ‘Operation Mavhotera Papi’ (where did you vote?).

Cartels cost Zimbabwe billions

An exclusive report detailing the rot that killed the Zimbabwean dream of freedom and independence identifies President Emmerson Mnangagwa as one of the cartel bosses. The 64-page report which details the scale of the theft among others illicit cross-border financial transactions, has been published in South Africa by the Daily Maverick. Titled “A Study of Cartel Dynamics”, it notes that underhand dealings cost Zimbabwe up to a staggering US$3-billion a year and billions in gold and diamonds smuggled out of the country. The report focuses on business cartels because these are the vehicles used for state capture.

Mnangagwa: Empty promises and lies

It has been three years and two months since Emmerson Mnangagwa took over from Robert Mugabe [as President following the November 2017 de facto coup], writes Thandekile Moyo in South Africa’s Daily Maverick of 9 February 2021]. “It has been a horrible time for Zimbabweans. Promised jobs have not materialised, the economy has collapsed and hundreds of citizens are in prison, in exile or in hiding. Not only did the jobs he promised not materialise, the economy has collapsed and hundreds of Zimbabweans are either in prison, in exile or in hiding…. everything Mnangagwa said during and after his exile was a blatant lie….”

UK sanctions four Zim officials

The UK has announced the first set of designations of individuals under its Zimbabwe sanctions regime for human rights violations. The new targeted sanctions, which include a travel ban and asset freeze on four officials, are to hold to account those responsible for the worst human rights violations since November 2017: Owen Ncube, Minister for State Security; Isaac Moyo, Director General of the Central Intelligence Organisation; Godwin Matanga, Commissioner General of the Police; and Anselem Sanyatwe, former Brigadier General, Commander of the Presidential Guard and Tactical Commander of the National Reaction Force.

UK sanctions on 4 Zim security chiefs

The UK has announced a travel ban and asset freeze on four Zimbabwean officials: Owen Ncube, Minister for State Security; Isaac Moyo, Director General of the Central Intelligence Organisation; Godwin Matanga, Commissioner General of the Zimbabwe Republic Police; and Anselem Sanyatwe, former Brigadier General, Commander of the Presidential Guard and Tactical Commander of the National Reaction Force. They cannot now freely travel to the UK or channel money through UK banks. These restrictive measures are not targeted at, nor intended to impact, the wider economy and the people of Zimbabwe.

Chin’ono released on bail

Zimbabwean journalist Hopewell Chin’ono was granted bail yesterday (27 January 2021) after spending three weeks in prison. The award-winning journalist and filmmaker was arrested on charges of “publishing or communicating falsehoods”. During an interview, Chin’ono said a state-owned newspaper had confirmed the country was losing US$100 million worth of gold every month through smuggling - US$1.2 billion a year. He also discussed high-level Covid corruption worth US$60 million. Tune into NewZroom Afrika, DSTV channel 405 to watch the 19 minute interview:

Sternford Moyo new IBA President

Zimbabwean lawyer Sternford Moyo has been elected as President of the International Bar Association (IBA). Moyo, who is one of the senior members of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, is the Chairman and Senior Partner at Scanlen and Holderness Legal Practitioners. He is the first IBA President of African descent in the history of the 74 year-old organization. Established in 1947, IBA is the world’s leading organisation of international legal practitioners, bar associations and law societies and its membership includes over 80 000 lawyers and 190 bar associations and law societies spanning more than 170 countries. 

Foreign minister Sibusiso Moyo dies

Zimbabwe’s minister of foreign affairs and international trade, Sibusiso Moyo, has died. Moyo, 58, became famous as the face of the military coup that ended former President Robert Mugabe’s nearly-four decade rule in 2017. He was at the time a major general in the Zimbabwean armed forces. The cause of his death on Wednesday 20 January was complications related to Covid-19. Moyo became the fourth high-ranking official in Zimbabwe to succumb to the virus. After the election of Mnangagwa in 2018, Mr. Moyo retired as a lieutenant general and joined Mnangagwa’s cabinet alongside other military leaders.

US/EU demand justice for Jan 2019 victims

The European Union  and the United States have both expressed concern over the Zimbabwean government’s failure to probe the disproportionate use of force by security personnel against civilians in January 2019 during the fuel price hike stayaway. In a Twitter statement, the EU in Zimbabwe demanded an end to impunity and the prosecution of human rights violators. The U.S. Embassy in Harare queried why Zimbabwe has not yet prosecuted and convicted the security forces accused of rape, torture, and killing civilians in January 2019. It added that “two years is too long to seek justice/answers/accountability.”

Covid-19 second wave ravages southern Africa

Over the past few weeks, authorities in southern Africa have systematically reintroduced lockdown measures amid the second wave of Covid-19. This is after a worrying resurgence of cases in several countries including Zimbabwe, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, eSwatini (Swaziland), Malawi, Namibia and South Africa. Infections and deaths have skyrocketed in a region where authorities thought they had escaped lightly from the world’s worst outbreaks. Worryingly, the numbers of infections and fatalities seem to be worse than the first wave. This comes as no surprise, writes South Africa’s Daily Maverick.

South Africa’s ruling ANC party is fed up with ZANU PF

The relationship between Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu PF party and its sister liberation movement — South Africa’s African National Congress (ANC)— is on a cliffhanger after SA revealed that it had had enough of the Harare regime’s antics characterised by “threats and blackmail”. “You can’t have a neighbour that is always blackmailing you,” ANC national chairman Gwede Mantashe tweeted following threats by Zanu PF director of information Tafadzwa Mugwadi to ‘expose’ ANC’s alleged sinister agenda which necessitated its two visits to Harare last year. This is indeed a change from SA’s traditional support for the regime.

Author Tsitsi Dangarembga to receive PEN Award

The PEN Award for Freedom of Expression will honour renowned Zimbabwean author Tsitsi Dangarembga for her work in fighting for freedom of expression.  With the active participation of Netherlands PEN and the PEN Emergency Fund, the award honours writers who have been persecuted for their work but continue with it. In her book, This Mournable Body, which is longlisted for the Booker prize, Dangarembga depicts post-independence Zimbabwe in a narrative of gathering darkness, a wretched comparison with the hope she felt 40 years ago after returning from studying medicine at Cambridge.

Beitbridge Border Crisis Crime Against Humanity

Opposition ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba has called on South Africa to help fix Zimbabwe’s economic and political crisis as cure to the continued influx of Zimbabweans into his country. He was commenting on the Beitbridge border crisis in which thousands of Zimbabweans stranded at the border were forced to sleep in the open while trying to cross into SA. I fully appreciate the reasons for Zimbabweans fleeing their country after the destruction caused by Zanu PF and enabled by the ANC. We must fix this problem by ensuring free and fair elections in Zimbabwe and putting an end to human rights abuses…” he said.”