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Commonwealth set to visit Zim

01 Nov, 2022

The Second Republic led by President Mnangagwa is doing a lot to be readmitted into the Commonwealth, and the Club’s Secretariat is expected to travel to Zimbabwe sometime this month to assess the situation on the ground, the group’s secretary general Mrs Patricia Scotland has said.

She said this yesterday during a media conference at the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) in Midrand where she was guest of honour during the official opening ceremony of the first ordinary session of the 6th Parliament.

Mrs Scotland said the secretariat has made its assessment, it will then report back on Zimbabwe’s suitability to re-join the bloc.

“On the question of re-admission of Zimbabwe into the Commonwealth, Zimbabwe has made an application to come home (get back into the Commonwealth fold) and re-joining or joining is a three-stage process,’’ said Mrs Scotland.

“The stage where we are now with regards to Zimbabwe is that the Commonwealth Secretariat will visit the country in November this year and this team will assess the situation on the ground and then report back so that all members of the Commonwealth can come up with a position on Zimbabwe’s application to re-join.’’

Mrs Scotland said she was “delighted that Zimbabwe is putting a great deal of energy and commitmentto be re-admitted back into the Commonwealth”.

Under President Mnangagwa, the Government has adopted the engagement and re-engagement policy under which it seeks to mend bridges with those countries that had shut the door on Harare.

President Mnangagwa has declared that Zimbabwe is a friend to all and enemy to none, hence the drive to re-establish relations.

Turning to the issue of illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the West, mainly the United States, for repossessing land from the white minority and distributing it to majority blacks, Mrs Scotland said it was “a hot topic”.

“The Commonwealth does not prevail over the sovereignty of individual nations and yes the issue of sanctions on Zimbabwe is a hot issue.

“There are some very strong views that those sanctions should be removed also because of their impact on ordinary people but individual countries can deal with the issue of sanctions on Zimbabwe. I think that issue will be addressed and addressed successfully,” she said.

African leaders have declared their displeasure with the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe saying they were affecting the entire region, as the manufacturing sector was closing and affected people went to seek jobs.

Last week, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa reignited the issue during a joint press conference he held with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.

SADC has since declared October 25 as the Anti-Sanctions Day, until the sanctions are lifted.

PAP has also added its voice and demanded the removal of the sanctions.

Earlier on Mrs Scotland, in her speech during the official opening ceremony of the First Ordinary Session of the 6th parliament held in the PAP chamber, had challenged PAP to play a leading role in coming up with solutions to a myriad of challenges afflicting the African continent.

President Ramaphosa, who was represented by South Africa Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, Ronald Lamola, challenged PAP to help to strengthen democracy and the rule of law to ensure prosperity for African people the majority of whom still face a number of challenges.

The South African President also said his government stood ready to assist PAP logistically and materially to plug huge funding chasms but also called other African states to provide resources for smooth operation of the continental legislative body that is housed in South Africa.

In his opening address, PAP president Chief Fortune Charumbira said the process to reform the continental legislative body into something new and better positioned to address African problems was already in full swing.

“Going forward we want to make sure that we closely work with the African Union, we should be visible as a new PAP and be visible in projecting the continent, monitoring and evaluating AU programmesand national parliaments. We are repositioning to a performance-oriented organisation, we want a new image of a better organised PAP,’’ he said.

Chief Charumbira said Africa remained entrapped under scourges of wars, coups, coups within coups and also food shortages, which he said affect the lives of African people especially children.

PAP coffers were also now appallingly low with the continental body being forced to halve its annual budget from US$22 million five years ago, to the current US$11 million which was insufficient to finance operations.

“The voice of the African people should find space in the global development agenda and PAP should evolve into an institution with legislative powers if it is to help in stemming a myriad of challenges afflicting the African continent,’’ said Chief Charumbira.

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President Cyril Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa will tomorrow , Wednesday, 22 March 2023, deliver the keynote address at the first day of the three-day National Conference on the Constitution which is titled Reflections And The Road Ahead.

The event will take place at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, Gauteng, under the theme “Reflections on the Constitution: Rule of law, accountability, social and economic justice”.

The conference gives the nation an opportunity to reflect and engage in dialogue on the past 25 years of the Constitution, nation building, gender equality, youth economic empowerment, service delivery and social stability, with the objective of charting a way forward that builds on the gains of democracy.

As a platform for deliberating on continuous, robust debate on the purpose and effectiveness of the Constitution, the National Conference on the Constitution intends to broaden the discourse on the Constitution and encourage members of the public to participate in the conversation on constitutionalism and the state of democracy in the country.

Some of the focus areas in the programme include:

• Transforming and building an independent and resilient judiciary;
• Transforming and growing the economy as a constitutional imperative;
• Progress on land reform: restitution and distribution;
• Governance and electoral reform;
• Effectiveness of constitutional and independent statutory bodies in strengthening
constitutional democracy.

The conference will be attended by prominent figures of South African society including academics, members of legislatures, constitutional and independent statutory bodies, mayors, political parties, youth, students, business leaders, religious leaders, representatives of the legal fraternity, traditional leaders, media and others.

The conference will be held as follows:

Date : 22-24 March 2023
Time : 08h30
Venue: Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand, Gauteng

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Here are the facts:

THE COCA COLA COMPANY (TCCC) acquired THE ENTIRE ISSUED SHARE CAPITAL OF CADBURY SCHWEPPES PLC resulting in the control and management of the global Schweppes businesses into TCCC value chains including Schweppes Zimbabwe Limited (SZL), a company incorporated in terms of the laws of Zimbabwe.

Mr. Brian Musekiwa, a Zimbabwean-born professional based in Texas, USA, said: “I had no idea of the SZL matter and its intersection with the SMM Holdings Private Limited (SMM) affair until I joined the Justice Under Rule of Law’s (JUROL) corporate heritage and legal literacy campaign powered by the Banking on Africa’s Future (BOAF) of which I am a paid up member. I have followed the SZL saga with keen interest not because of the Zimbabwe angle but because TCCC is a global corporate icon and just the idea that this company was party to an extortion and corrupt deal involving the payment of $2.7 million to Chinamasa, Mnangagwa’s key 2017 coup ally, is chilling leading any person like me to want to know if there exists any causal link between the complicity of TCCC’s alleged corrupt practices and conduct in relation to the affairs of the SZL localization and upgrade program concluded with Africa Resources Limited (ARL), a private company incorporated in terms of the laws of the BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS (BVI) and wholly owned by Mr. Mutumwa Mawere, a Zimbabwean born South African naturalized citizen, who Mnangagwa and Chinamasa using Messrs. Edwin Manikai and Afaras Gwaradzimba as surrogates, and the extrajudicial and the unconscionable theft of the control and management of SZL and other juristic entities using an unprecedented draconian and barbaric law called the Reconstruction of State-Indebted Insolvent Companies Act that was authored by Mnangagwa to bridge him to state power.”

Mr. Cornwell Mutetwa, a Zimbabwean businesan said: “I naively thought that the reconstruction project was solely premised on the affairs of SMM as a company and not on the person of Mawere and his alleged interests in companies like SZL.

I am pleased that Mr. Mucha Mugore, a member of BOAF-JUROL, inspired by findings in his MBA dissertation research on how public power was abused in expropriating Mawere’s relationships with not only SMM but many separate and distinct juristic entities, provoked in a whatsapp group that the record of this sad chapter in the corporate history of Zimbabwe must be corrected preferably in form of a memoir written by Mawere.

I was encouraged and remain so that I have flins myself being part of this noble project that has enabled me to interface with Mr. Mawere who has generously downloaded critical information that hitherto has not been in the public domain. I had no idea that Coca Cola Holdings Netherlands (CCHN) was directly and indirectly involved in the affairs of SZL until I read this:

Having understood that it was the Zimbabwe Competition and Tariffs Commission (TCTC) was weaponized to have jurisdiction beyond its mandate to regulate competition issues to become relevant in prescribing localization matters, I began to understand that under the late Mugabe’s watch the governance system was already broken.

My memory was then provoked to appreciate why the former Minister of Indigenization, Hon Kasukuwere, had a hand in the SZL matter and used his public office to cause ZCTC to require as a condition for approving that the control and management of SZL be divested and deprived from TCCC using public power.

It is against this background that the extortion inherent in the extract below from a meeting between SZL’s then SA-based legal counsel, an employee of Coca Cola South Africa Pty Limited, a private company incorporated in terms of the laws of SA, can properly be understood:

It was made clear to CCSA that unless a payment of $2.7 million was paid to the order of Fidelity Life Asset Management (FLAM) and SMM under Chinamasa’s control through his appointee, Gwaradzimba, the ARL purchased equipment imported from Europe and delivered to SZL as part of the upgrade project, would not be released to an SZL controlled by CCSA until a ransom amount of $2.7 million was paid to the order of Chinamasa.

On the advise of Gwaradzimba whose relationship with SMM was a consequence of a decree and an order issued by Chinamasa with no judicial involvement, CCSA according to Mr. Mokwena, in his capacity as the legal counsel of both SZL and CCSA, was advised by Gwaradzimba and accepted his advise to part with a bribery of $2.7 in million to cause Chinamasa to exercise public power to issue a notice removing SZL from the purported and unlawful and invalid control by Gwaradzimba using the order issued by Chinamasa in relation to SMM affairs only.

It is chilling that Chinamasa used public power to issue a notice dates 26 January 2006 and through his appointee was rewarded with a secret gift of $2.7 million to the prejudice of ARL and its sole shareholder, Mr. Mawere.”

Mr. Peter Makoni, an attorney and a member of BOAF-JUROL, said: “I have had the opportunity to read and understand the sequence of events leading to the confiscation of equipment acquired by ARL using the personal agency of Mr. Mawere as set out below:

It is clear from the fax above that neither FLAM nor SMM under reconstruction were involved in the SZL matter as promoters and sponsors to permit any lawful payment of a bribe of $2.7 million to Chinamasa using cronies like Gwaradzimba and Manikai.

Having concluded that Chinamasa was unjustly enriched to the tune of $2.7 million based on fraudulent representation that the $2.7 million that ARL, a company whose affairs fell outside the jurisdiction of Zimbabwe and, therefore Chinamasa and his surrogates, in exchange for a government gazette to divest and deprive ARL of the control and management of the upgrade equipment that was conveyed by Petter Trading Pty Limited as ARL’s agent, received pocket money to be used for ulterior motives in the amount of $2.7 million from CCSA.

It would please anyone interested in building a future of not only Zimbabwe but Africa that is characterized by the respect of the rule of law to take notice of the documents in the flipbook below:”

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