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Statement on the status of the Zimbabwe constitutional reform process- ZZZICOMP

http://www.sokwanele.com/thisiszimbabwe/archives/5688

Press release - The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) and Zimbabwe
Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) and Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) Independent
Constitution Monitoring Project (ZZZICOMP) have noted with deep concern the
delays in the Constitution making process. According to the Global Political
Agreement (GPA), the outreach process was supposed to have been completed no
later than four (4) months after the First All Stakeholders' Conference.
This has, however, not been the case as it is now eight (8) months since the
conference was held and there remains no sign that the outreach will
commence any time soon.

Also, of concern are reports of people who are being harassed and threatened
for expressing their views on what should be and should not be included in a
new constitution. Notably, the process has become highly politicized with
several incidences in which constitutional deliberations have ended up
entirely focusing on the adoption of the Kariba Draft in sharp contrast to
the letter and spirit of the GPA.

Furthermore, the recent proclamation by the Principals of the Inclusive
Government that there will be general elections in 2011 has shifted the
focus from the constitution making process and automatically set the country
in an election mode, and moved attention away from the constitution-making
debate, thereby further compromising the course of the process.
Unfortunately, such statements have a negative impact on the sincerity of
the political parties in their commitment to the constitution making
process.

Citizen participation in key ongoing constitutional related activities is
reportedly being marred by political interference such as "coaching" the
ordinary person on what to say thus stifling the people's right to freedom
of expression and invariably negating the principle behind a people-driven
process.

In addition, there have been several incidents in which constitution
awareness workshops by civil society organisations have been disrupted and
facilitators accused of advocating for regime change. In some areas
community members are reportedly being "trained" on what to say when the
outreach teams visit their areas.

For any national process to be inclusive and people-oriented, there is a
need to ensure a conducive environment which allows people to express their
views in safety and with the assurance that they will not be arbitrarily
targeted for harassment, intimidation and/or retribution by any political
party, state actor, or other player. In light of the above, ZZZICOMP appeals
to the Principals of the GPA to facilitate a conducive environment for all
in ongoing national processes, as promised in the GPA to which they appended
their signatures and commitment in September 2008.

This entry was posted by Sokwanele on Thursday, April 29th, 2010


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Mugabe remains stumbling block in efforts to implement GPA

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Tichaona Sibanda
29 April 2010

South African President Jacob Zuma's facilitation team jetted into Harare
Thursday in aother attempt to diffuse rising tension between Robert Mugabe
and Morgan Tsvangirai.

South Africa was appointed by the SADC to facilitate the removal of
obstacles which hinder the full implementation of the Global Political
Agreement.

It has also emerged that the team, which consists of former South African
minister Charles Nqakula, Zuma's foreign policy advisor Lindiwe Zulu and Mac
Maharaj, quietly slipped into the country two weeks ago to try to push the
principals to agree on a workable solution to the stalled negotiations.

The team held separate talks with Mugabe, Prime Minister Tsvangirai and
Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, but reportedly failed to secure any
agreement from Mugabe on key points. Mugabe is said to have flatly refused
to appoint provincial governors from the MDC formations or swear in Roy
Bennett, until the targeted sanctions issue was resolved.

Since the former foes agreed to join hands in February 2009 Mugabe has
consistently refused to fully implement the agreement and very little has
changed to help move Zimbabwe forward into a more democratic political
environment.

The MDC is also very concerned by the slow pace of key reforms, such as the
constitutional reform process and the freeing of the media. But ZANU PF
insists it will not do anything until the MDC decisively calls for the
lifting of the targeted sanctions against its top officials, business
persons and the military - all of them accused of rights abuses and the
stifling of democracy.

Our correspondent in Harare, Simon Muchemwa, told us the facilitation team
is once again expected to meet with the three principals to attempt to
kick-start the mediation process.

'The issue of sanctions has been used effectively by ZANU PF to slow down
the implementation of the GPA. While ZANU PF maintains that the MDC should
call for the lifting of sanctions before it can fully implement the GPA, the
MDC insists that ZANU PF should first implement the GPA fully before they
can talk of sanctions. This is clearly a deadlock,' Muchemwa said.

Recently the MDC secretary for international affairs, Professor Eliphas
Mukonoweshuro, said targeted sanctions could not be lifted because the
conditions that brought them about were still in existence.

He said most of the issues that led to the imposition of the targeted
sanction still remain unresolved, such as violence, human rights abuses and
violent farm disruptions.

While these endless talks continue Zimbabweans continue to suffer, and are
still not allowed to have any news or information about the detail of the
talks.



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3 'border jumpers' drown in Limpopo

http://www.newzimbabwe.com


Dangerous ... Zimbabweans wade across the Limpopo River at low flood to enter South Africa


by Lunga Sibanda

Perilous ... Zimbabweans crawl under a fence to enter South Africa

THREE men have drowned in the Limpopo River trying to enter South Africa illegally - despite a visa moratorium for travellers between the two countries, a court heard.

Prosecutors say the men drowned just after 7AM on April 16 in the flooded river because they were too poor to apply for passports.

On Tuesday, John Mapfumo, 24, went on trial facing three counts of culpable homicide after a court heard he made the men pay him some money before offering to help them across the river, and into South Africa through an undesignated entry point.

Prosecutor Forster Abheki said the trial at the Beitbridge Magistrates' Court would hear testimony from people who had been helped on the perilous journey across the crocodile-infested river by Mapfumo.

The trial, due to open on May 13, will hear of Mapfumo's desperate bid to save the three men as the wave swept them away, but also his attempt to conceal their deaths by taking their clothes and hiding them.

Mapfumo was arrested after he confided to a workmate about the drowning incident. The workmate shopped him to the police.

South Africa dropped a visa requirement on Zimbabweans in April last year, but many still cannot afford the US$170 application fee for a standard passport, US$310 for a 24-hour passport and US$385 for an express (instant) passport.

The visa waiver has, however, reduced illegal migration from Zimbabwe to South Africa, authorities say.


Over and in ... A Zimbabwean migrant climbs over border fence into South Africa




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Zimbabwe schools produce worst results

http://www.zimeye.org/?p=16703

By Thembani Gasela

Published: April 29, 2010

Harare - Zimbabwe schools produced the worst results in the education
history of the country with the November 2009 national percentage pass rate
for Ordinary Level examinations standing at 19 percent.

David Coltart, Education Minister revealed the Grade Seven results were
equally pathetic having recorded 20 percent - the worst in the past decade.

He said academic results in rural schools were a cause for concern, as some
institutions had a zero percentage pass rate.

Coltart said there was a grave danger that the nation will suffer from a
lost generation if the education crisis is not taken seriously.
Teachers associations attribute the poor results to lack of educators and
low morale due to poor remuneration. Teachers are earning US$150 per month
against a poverty Datum Line of US$500.

Coltart said: "Urgent steps need to be taken to rectify some of the obvious
problems, such as the scarcity of teaching and learning material, inadequacy
of physical infrastructure and the no longer attractive working conditions
for teachers."

However, for Advanced Level exams, the figure increased to 76,88 percent,
from 67 percent in 2008.

Last year, examination fees deterred candidates from sitting for
examinations. They were asked to pay US$10 and US$20 per "O" and "A" Level
paper respectively.

The Zimbabwe Teachers Association (Zimta) has said over 45 000 teachers have
quit jobs in the past 10 years due to an economic meltdown.


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ZESN says GNU making no effort to create safe election environment

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Violet Gonda
29 April 2010

Arthur Mutambara, the Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the smaller
faction of the MDC, has reiterated his stance that there won't be elections
in 2011, in complete contrast to his partners in the coalition government.
Both ZANU PF and the MDC-T insist that elections should be held next year.
However, Mutambara is quoted in the Daily News online publication saying
statements from ZANU PF and the MDC-T calling for fresh polls next year,
were political gimmicks and that the parties in the coalition government
should concentrate on reviving the economy.

But the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) says any talk that suggests
it is not necessary to hold elections is 'offensive and 'unfortunate'.

ZESN chairman Tinoziva Bere said: "I think to delay the elections in order
to fix the environment, so that conditions for holding fair elections are
welcome, but delaying elections so that people can govern for the full five
year term is unacceptable. That is not what they agreed when they said they
would start ruling us as a coalition."

Bere said when the rival parties formed the coalition government they agreed
to initiate a new constitution and take it to a referendum, ahead of new
elections. He said so far it is clear there is not a conducive environment
that would allow free and fair elections.

The ZESN chairman said the new government has made no efforts to improve
electoral conditions. "They should be talking about electoral reforms, they
should be talking about restoration of the rule of law, they should be
talking about institutional reforms. They should be talking about fixing the
voters roll. They know what they need to do, so instead of politics they
should just get down to the business of fixing the conditions on the
ground."

He said the right to rule a country is through elections and not through an
unelected 'unity' government and that since the formation of the
controversial inclusive government early last year, electoral reforms still
fall far short of the minimum requirements that are necessary.
Bere said a lot more needs to be done, including the creation of a free and
impartial media, prosecution of perpetrators of violence, an end to the
selective prosecution of cases by the Attorney General's office and a reform
of the entire electoral law.



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Minister raps RG’s Office over TTDs

http://www.herald.co.zw

Herald Reporter

Home Affairs co-Minister Kembo Mohadi yesterday blamed the Registrar-General’s
Office for failing to send specimen copies of recently introduced Tempo-rary
Travel Documents to other countries before issuing them to the public.

Scores of Zimbabweans found themselves stranded at the Beitbridge Border
Post last week when South African immigration officials refused to accept
their TTDs.

The South Africans said they had not been informed that Zimbabwe had
introduced a new travel document.

In an interview in Harare yesterday, Minister Mohadi said the Government had
held several meetings with their South African counterparts and specimens
had since been provided.

"I met the Deputy Ambassador (of South Africa in Zimbabwe) for several hours
on Monday and he indicated that his country had not been advised on the
TTDs.

"We have, however, given them a sample of the document and I understand the
officials took it to the Home Affairs Minister and we are waiting for
Pretoria to give us the greenlight."

Minister Mohadi said Zimbabwe was not challe-nging South Africa’s decision.

"The irony of this is that all Zimbabweans flying to OR Tambo Airport have
not faced any problems and its only travellers going by road through
Beitbridge.

"However, South Africa is our partner and we do not have to impose our laws
on them.

"I also believe there were shortcomings from the RG’s Office who should have
circulated the document to all the countries especially in the region," he
said.

He noted that several other countries had not raised any concerns over the
TTDs.

Government introduced the TTDs, which are valid for six months, on April 14
partly because of the proliferation of fake Emergency Travel Documents.

A number of rings making fake ETDs have been busted and the new TTDs have
better security features to make forgery more difficult.

ETDs are being phased out.

However, South African port officials in Beitbridge refused to recognise the
document.

Zimbabwean travellers who were caught off guard spent days at the border in
the hope of a quick resolution to the impasse.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Minister raps RG’s Office over TTDs

Herald Reporter

Home Affairs co-Minister Kembo Mohadi yesterday blamed the Registrar-General’s
Office for failing to send specimen copies of recently introduced Tempo-rary
Travel Documents to other countries before issuing them to the public.

Scores of Zimbabweans found themselves stranded at the Beitbridge Border
Post last week when South African immigration officials refused to accept
their TTDs.

The South Africans said they had not been informed that Zimbabwe had
introduced a new travel document.

In an interview in Harare yesterday, Minister Mohadi said the Government had
held several meetings with their South African counterparts and specimens
had since been provided.

"I met the Deputy Ambassador (of South Africa in Zimbabwe) for several hours
on Monday and he indicated that his country had not been advised on the
TTDs.

"We have, however, given them a sample of the document and I understand the
officials took it to the Home Affairs Minister and we are waiting for
Pretoria to give us the greenlight."


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Complainants bail out Prison Service

http://www.herald.co.zw

Thursday, April 29, 2010

By Innocent Ruwende

Complainants have resorted to ferrying suspected criminals from remand
prison to the courts after Zimbabwe Prison Service officials indicated they
did not have the fuel to do the job.

The shortage of fuel has resulted in trial delays and in some instances,
cases in which bail is opposed, suspects are being referred back to police
stations rather than remand prison.

ZPS spokesperson Chief Prison Officer Priscilla Mtembo on Tuesday said all
their vehicles servicing Harare were grounded.

"All our vehicles are off the road. We are actually failing to service
courts in Harare but we are attending to the problem," she said.

As such, members of the public who want issues in which they are pressing
charges to be dealt with have resorted to transporting the prisoners
themselves.

The complainants ferry the accused in the company of prison guards.

A complainant in a robbery case said: "I was tired of coming to court and
being told the same story that the court had to postpone the matter because
the accused persons were not brought to court by ZPS.

"I talked to the officers and they told me that it was possible for me to
ferry the accused persons who will be escorted by prison officers.

"After court proceedings, I will also ferry the officers and the accused
persons back to remand prison," he said.

In high-profile cases, police escort suspects to remand prison. A policeman
yesterday told The Herald he waited at the courts until 10pm for a ZPS
vehicle to pick them up.

On Monday, Victoria Foods carried more than five people accused of stealing
flour to and from court.

The ZPS has in the past appealed for more resources to properly run its
operations.


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Tension rises in Mwenezi after schoolboy kills Zanu PF thug

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Lance Guma
29 April 2010

Political tension in Masvingo's Mwenezi district was said to be high, after
a 15 year old schoolboy exacted his own revenge last week Sunday by killing
the ZANU PF thug who murdered his father in 2008. An MDC official in the
area told Newsreel that Nhamo Machacha was stabbed in the stomach by the
fifteen year old, after a scuffle broke out at a church service.

Machacha, true to his reputation, had gone to the church service in Neshuro
Growth Point to harass worshippers, for yet undisclosed reasons. He had
demanded that the service be aborted when suddenly the schoolboy pulled out
a knife and stabbed him. The boy has been arrested by the police who claim
he is helping them with investigations. The MDC official was reluctant to
link the incident with the murder of the schoolboy's father in the June 2008
election violence, saying they were still investigating.

But several press reports have confirmed that the boy's father, Lameck
Muripo, was killed by a gang of ZANU PF thugs led by Machacha. The 'revenge'
attack has now fuelled tensions in the area with the ZANU PF MP Kudakwashe
Bhasikiti openly urging his party supporters to retaliate, according to the
MDC official.

Meanwhile police are hunting down several MDC youth leaders after the party
successfully held a demonstration in Masvingo last week, demanding the
arrest of people who committed crimes in the run up to the 2008 elections.
On Wednesday police raided the MDC provincial office and arrested one
official known as Dziva. He was later released on US$50 bail. Dziva and the
others are being accused of participating in a march 'likely to cause public
disorder and disturbing the peace.'

These incidents have demonstrated the potential powder-keg that is the
unresolved national healing and reconciliation question. Thousands of people
who lost loved ones during ZANU PF sponsored election violence all want
justice, and the longer it takes the more they will resort to desperate
measures to get it. The governments national healing organ has been
criticized for being nothing more than a talk shop and not having 'a
specific mandate to investigate past atrocities, to hear and record
testimonies, to compel victims and offenders to own up,' or have a
compensation package.


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Anglican Bishop's desperate plea over police repression

http://www.newzimbabwe.com

28/04/2010 00:00:00

THE Anglican Church in Zimbabwe is in turmoil due to a power struggle
between excommunicated Bishop Albert Kunonga, and Bishop Chad Gandiya who
was consecrated in July last year as his replacement.

High Court judge president Rita Makarau gave an order in March for the two
sides to share the church's buildings around the country until a final
judgment is passed over the control of the church's assets.

But writing on New Zimbabwe.com today, Bishop Gandiya, who is the recognised
by the Anglican Church Province of Central Africa, says his congregation is
being persecuted by Kunonga, and they have found no protection from the
police.

Bishop Gandiya asks: "Who will listen to our plight?"

By Bishop Chad Gandiya

MERCY, peace and love be yours in abundance. Thank you for all your prayers
of support for us.

Zimbabweans will be aware that Vice President John Nkomo, together with
Ministers Sekai Holland and Gibson Sibanda, all members of the Organ for
National Healing Reconciliation and Integration, were tasked by Cabinet to
mediate between us (Diocese of Harare CPCA) and Dr. Kunonga's Anglican
Province of Zimbabwe.

Those talks are going on. But we continue to be amazed that while these
talks have begun and Cabinet's wish and message to us to worship in peace,
the very opposite is happening.

Our experience over the last two weeks is that the persecution seems to have
intensified. Police are openly telling our people to attend Dr. Kunonga's
services only, and continue to prohibit them from worshipping in their
churches as per Judge President Rita Makarau's judgment, and Justice Bhunu's
judgment of March 3, 2010.

Makarau's judgment allowed for sharing of church buildings for worship until
the courts give their final judgment on the matter, and Justice Bhunu
endorsed that judgment. Whereas in the past some of our congregations used
to hold their services outside of their church buildings, the police are
driving them away, telling them that they cannot meet outside anywhere near
the church buildings.

We are completely baffled by the behaviour of the Zimbabwe Republic Police
in this matter. We have persistently asked why they are being used to prop
up Dr. Kunonga by actively telling people that our church properties belong
to him, and therefore our members should attend his Church services only.
Nobody has given us any answers.

We continue to raise our grave concern over the police's partisan
involvement in the affairs of our church, abuse of our rights and disregard
of court orders and rulings.

We also continue to ask: Who will police the police? Have they officially
become a law unto themselves? To whom can we turn for help? Who will listen
to our plight?

On Sunday, April 11, 2010, police went to St. Mark's Church, Ruwa, and drove
our members away from both the church and church premises. When the
congregation decided to meet at the priest's house, the police prohibited
them from doing so. What right do they have to stop even this?

The priest of this church received a text message from Kunonga's priest
telling him not to use the church or else "what they did at St. Faith's
Church (Budiriro) will happen to them". St. Faith's Church is where riot
police tear-gassed our people on a Sunday morning and then followed it up on
a Thursday afternoon by tear-gassing Mother's Union members who were
worshipping away from the church in the open air. This is further proof that
Dr. Kunonga's priests are working in cahoots with the police.

Our Cathedral congregation was told by the police not to meet anywhere near
the Cathedral next week, or else they will face the wrath of law
enforcement.

At Holy Trinity Church, Ruwa acting Officer-in-Charge Assistant Inspector
Ngoshi and Sergeant Major Chibaya, force number 044621A, drove our
congregation out telling them that they had orders to stop their service
because they were to leave the Church to Kunonga's group even though he
hasn't got a single member in that area.

At St. Alban's Church, Chiweshe, where I had gone for a Confirmation
Service, the church doors were welded from inside and so we could not go in
as we had intended. We only managed to remove a pin on one of the hinges but
could not go in. As a result, we had our service in the open air.

Rev. Mangava, Kunonga's resident priest/untrained teacher, called the police
telling them that we had broken into the church. Police arrived just before
the end of our service only to find a pin that had been removed and nothing
broken. For that, about six people including the two priests who were with
me had to go to Glendale Police Station to give evidence - a process that
took forever. I followed them.

No charges were brought against them but we reported the damage that was
caused to our church building by the welding of doors, and other devices
used to prevent us from going in. We await a court hearing. What's amazing
is the ease with which even Dr. Kunonga's priests call the police, tell them
what to do and how they in turn easily comply.

A number of our congregations are using other denominations' church
buildings (we are very grateful for their generosity) while some use school
buildings and others continue to meet in the open air.

Thank you for your messages of solidarity and assurances of your prayer
support. We don't lose heart in spite of all the challenges we are facing.
He is risen indeed - Halleluiah!


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Debate on death penalty rages in Zimbabwe

http://www.sabcnews.co.za

April 27 2010 , 6:24:00

Thulasizwe Simelane, Harare

A fierce debate on the abolition of the death penalty is raging in Zimbabwe.
About 49 prisoners are currently on death row. The last execution was
carried out in 2005. Rights groups argue that capital punishment is inhuman
and compromises democratic principles.

Innocent Maja is a lawyer leading a charge to annul death row legislation.
His client is on death row, convicted of murder late last year.

"He is crushed by what he has done. He is willing to pay the society back.
One of the pleas he was making is that it is better if he is given a life
sentence. Then he can do community work to try as much as possible to at
least pay back the crime he committed," Maja said, explaining the plea his
client is making.

Death row inmates are isolated for 23 hours a day, in tiny cells, with no
ablution facilities. They are condemned to an inevitable date with the
hangman. One prisoner has been on death row for thirteen years.

"The method itself is very barbaric because we are still using death by
hanging as opposed to other countries that have moved to lethal injection,
the gas chamber, electrocution and so on," says Innocent Gonese, member of
the Zimbabwean Parliament.

On the streets of Harare, there are varying opinions. Some people believe
the death penalty will help lower the crime rate, while others believe it is
inhuman. From rights activists to editorials to legislative precincts, the
death penalty debate is very much alive in Zimbabwe.


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Tourism minister in climb down over North Korean team visit

http://www.swradioafrica.com

By Tichaona Sibanda
29 April 2010

Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi has said North Korea's World Cup squad will
no longer visit and play a friendly match in Bulawayo, following
unprecedented pressure from residents who labelled the planned trip
'insensitive.'

There was massive opposition in the Matabeleland region to the team's
proposed visit to Bulawayo, after it revived memories of the brutal
political massacres of the 1980's.

The notorious 5th Brigade, led by the then Colonel Perence Shiri and which
killed an estimated 20,000 people in Matabeleland, was trained by military
instructors from North Korea. Shiri is now Air Marshall and Commander of the
Airforce of Zimbabwe.

On Wednesday Mzembi said the North Koreans would now be based in Harare but
that the change was 'purely a sporting issue.' The Tourism Minister added
that team switched to Harare's Rufaro Stadium because the turf was more
suitable for its World Cup preparations.

Originally, the government had invited five football teams, but only North
Korea accepted the offer to train in the country as part of their
preparations for the World Cup. Australia, England, Mexico and the United
States declined the offer.

The switch by the government to host the North Koreans in Harare has saved
the team the embarrassment of flying into a political storm as survivors of
the post independence massacres had vowed do everything in their power to
stop the team's visit.

Human rights activists, church leaders, soccer fans and survivors of the
massacres had warned the North Koreans to expect massive protests if they
tried to a play a football match in Bulawayo. As a result, the team will now
play two warm up matches with the senior national team in Harare only.


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Funerals for Zimbabwe Politicians Spark Debate Over National Hero Designation

http://www1.voanews.com

ZANU-PF official Alice Nkomo, killed in a road accident the same day as
three top MDC officials, has been declared a provincial heroine by the
former ruling party and was to be laid to rest on Thursday in Bulawayo

Taurai Shava, Sithandikile Mhlanga & Patience Rusere | Washington 28 April
2010

Officials and rank-and-file members of both formations of Zimbabwe's
Movement For Democratic Change set aside past differences on Wednesday to
mourn three top officers of the MDC grouping of Deputy Prime Minister Arthur
Mutambara who were killed in a highway accident in Midlands province on
Saturday.

Correspondent Taurai Shava reported from the Midlands province capital of
Gweru, where mourners converged for the burial of Lyson Mlambo, chairman of
the party's national disciplinary committee.

Another Mutambara MDC member killed in the same crash, Ntombizodwa Gumbo,
was buried in Mberengwa at the same time in ceremonies attended by the
party's secretary general, Welshman Ncube, and Priscilla
Misihairambwi-Mushonga, minister of regional integration and international
cooperation.

Mutambara MDC agriculture secretary Renson Gasela was to be buried at his
farm outside Gweru on Sunday, sources in the former opposition party said.

ZANU-PF official Alice Nkomo, killed in a separate road accident the same
day on the Bulawayo-Plumtree highway, has been declared a provincial heroine
and was to be laid to rest on Thursday in Bulawayo.

Spokesman Methuseli Moyo of the revived Zimbabwe African Patriotic Union or
ZAPU, told VOA Studio 7 reporter Sithandekile Mhlanga that his party is
urging President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF to accord hero status to deserving
members of other parties as speedily as it did in the case of the late Alice
Nkomo.

Mutambara MDC spokesman Edwin Mushoriwa said Gasela, who ran the Grain
Marketing Board before he left ZANU-PF in the late 1990s, deserved
recognition for that work and his defense of human rights.

Chief Whip Innocent Gonese of the MDC grouping led by Prime Minister
Tsvangirai said his party has raised the issue in Parliament but ZANU-PF has
not wanted to relinquish its control of the hero selection process.

For perspective VOA Studio 7 reporter Patience Rusere turned to two
University of Zimbabwe professors, John Makumbe and Joseph Kurebwa, the
latter arguing that ZANU-PF as an amalgam of the two national liberation
parties has traditionally selected heroes and should continue to do so even
under a unity government.

Makumbe disagreed, saying the designation of heroes should be a broader
national process.

National heroes are buried at Heroes Acre in Harare, often with a eulogy by
President Mugabe and until very recently most often without participation by
Movement for Democratic Change officials who were accustomed to being
denounced on such occasions as disloyal opponents of the Mugabe government.


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Plastic money shift

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk/

Written by Steven Nyathi
Tuesday, 27 April 2010 14:20

BULAWAYO - According to a statement by First Banking Co-operation, the
switch to multi-currencies has brought rich pickings for thieves.

The bank noted that change has been a huge problem in the payment system as
multi-currencies are not printed locally and there are no denominations
smaller than a dollar.
Retailers have had to improvise by giving small items like sweets or matches
in lieu of change, and chances are someone is short-changed in the process.
"Plastic money or use of bank cards is the way to go to resolve these
challenges according to FBC Bank. The uptake of cards in Zimbabwe by clients
and merchants alike has been slow given the market's historical attachment
to cash transactions in the hyperinflationary Zimdollar era," reads part of
the statement.
FBC said due to the high number of merchant robberies taking plastic money
is the way to go.
The bank is encouraging customers to use bank cards, credit cards, debit
cards, smart cards in their day to day transaction to avoid losing their
cash.
"For FBC, plastic money is the way to go as the payment dynamics have
shifted since the adoption of multi-currencies. The economics and security
benefits are hugely tilted in favour of card-based payments for both the
customer and the merchant," said Agrippa Mugwagwa, FBC Group Marketing and
PR Director.
He said the bank was on a drive to encourage the adoption of electronic
based payment systems as relying on foreign cash is neither practical in the
long term nor convenient.
"The keeping of cash under pillows is a huge risk which is better managed
through plastic money and products such as Internet banking," he said.
It was, however, noted that the uptake of cards in Zimbabwe by clients and
merchants alike has been slow given the market's historical attachment to
cash transactions in the hyperinflationary Zimdollar era.
"We are on a drive to encourage the adoption of electronic based payment
systems as relying on foreign cash is neither practical in the long term nor
convenient," he said.


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City housing backlog shocker

CNewLog2145 Robert Mugabe Way, Exploration House, Third Floor; Website: www.chra.co.zw

Contacts: Mobile: 0912 864 572, 011 756 840, 0913 042 981, 011862012, 0733 368 107 or email info@chra.co.zw, admin@chra.co.zw, ceo@chra.co.zw

City Housing Department reveals shocking backlog

As the Chiyangwa land grab saga drags on

29 April 2010

The City of Harare’s Housing Department has revealed that the housing backlog is standing at a whopping 500 000 residents, with 200-220 housing cooperatives not yet short-listed for any residential stands. The shocking revelations come barely three weeks after the City of Harare released a land audit report in which business mogul, Philip Chiyangwa and Minister Chombo are said to have unprocedurally acquired up to 40square hectares!

CHRA conducted some interviews with senior officials at Head office of the City of Harare Housing and Community Services Department and has it on good record that the Council is staggering under the heavy burden of a long housing waiting list that seems to be growing by the day. Meanwhile, the CID Law and Order has summoned Harare City council to bring more evidence on the Land Audit report made by the City of Harare’s Special Investigations Committee on the alleged unprocedural acquisition of land by the showy businessman Phillip Chiyangwa. The report was presented to the police by Councilor Charity Bango who was acting as Mayor. The development has been described as shocking by many since the report clearly stipulates the procedure that was taken by Council vis--vis Council policy and procedures as stated in the procedures manual.

The way in which the Chiyangwa case has been handled clearly shows that the State is openly protecting Chiyangwa, which is a display of the stark reality that there is no rule of law in the country at present. The efforts to unearth corruption are being frustrated by selfish political heavyweights, who have always used the police to shroud their shoddy businesses. In comparison with the former, it is quite flabbergasting to note that Chombo and Chiyangwa alone are being accused of having unprocedurally acquired up to 40square hectares! Given the land size that has been lost to two individuals, it is quite arguable that such land could significantly clear the housing backlog and go a long way in addressing the social service delivery crisis that is being faced by council given that many residents do not have substantive accommodation. The report has clearly stipulated the methodology that was used in the investigation which includes;

Collection of all relevant documents from respective offices involved in the alienation of Council land.

Have site visits of properties sold, leased or exchanged by Council.

Conducting interviews with key Council employees involved in the process of land alienation.

Conducting interviews with occupants of the land in question.

Analyse relevant resolutions passed by Council and directives given from higher offices.

Gather information from Councilors of respective Wards.

Analyze signed Agreements of Sale and Title Deeds issued by Council during the period under review.

Interviews with the following personnel; Sunning dale District Officer , Chief Town Planner, City Treasurer’s Department, Chief Land, Surveyor, Chief Building Architect, Chief Building Inspector, City Valuer and Estates Manager, Chief Legal Officer, Heads of Departments, Chamber Secretary, Town Clerk and other officials

Given the methodology, it is seriously disturbing for the police to say that the report does not contain enough evidence to implicate Chiyangwa and Chombo because all relevant stakeholders have been consulted and have made their input in the matter. CHRA demands that justice should prevail and that those who have empowered themselves by acquiring vast tracts of land should release the land to the desperate and homeless residents of Harare; many of whom are living under inhumane conditions at Caledonia, Hopley, Mukuvisi and Gunhill squatter camps (just to mention a few).

Political influence should not be a barrier to justice and CHRA implores the office bearers in the Inclusive Government to take a giant step, in ensuring that Zimbabwe does not fall victim again to selfish individuals who have since time immemorial, thrived on fraudulent activities. CHRA remains committed to fighting for the residents’ cause and advocating for transparency and accountability in the local governance system.

CHRA Information, making the implicit, explicit


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Zimbabwe’s five pillars of anarchy

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk

Written by MORGEN KULARE
Tuesday, 27 April 2010 15:34

The Youth of Zimbabwe for transparency and progress (YZTP), concerned about
the continued deterioration of the rule of law, recently carried out some
research to find out which ministries were responsible for the breakdown of
the rule of law in Zimbabwe since the formation of the inclusive government.

Ministry of Home Affairs
This Ministry co-chaired by Kembo Mohadi and Giles Mutseyekwa of Zanu (PF)
and MDC respectively is definitely the leading pillar in usurping the
people's freedoms and liberty. The ministry controls the police and the
Registrar Generals office.
The police continue to ban and disrupt civic organization rallies despite
the Global Political Agreement (GPA) guaranteeing freedom of assembly and
expression.
ZCTU administrative meetings are banned and its leaders are detained for
attempting to organize and improve the welfare of Zimbabwean workers.
The ZRP is no longer a professional force and is engulfed in corrupt deals.
Instead of fighting crime, police officers now spend most of their time
seeking personal fortune.
The ZRP recently displayed its gross incompetence by attempting to have
Senator Roy Bennett prosecuted for hoarding 92 289 tones of maize nine years
ago. The police should explain to the public why it took them nine years to
prepare and bring a docket to the Attorney General for prosecution.

Ministry of Defence
This ministry could easily have been pillar number one had the research
included the pre-inclusive government period. The Zimbabwe National Army
(ZNA) has continued to intimidate, harass and beat civilians in an effort to
foster the Kariba Draft on the country's rural folk
The ZNA has reactivated torture camps in Maranda (Mwenezi West), Nyanga
North constituency, Makoni Central and other parts of the country aimed at
intimidating villagers who dare say anything outside the Kariba draft. The
camps are also meant to harass the rural folk into voting for the Kariba
draft in any future plebiscite on the country's governance charter.
The soldiers are also forcing villagers to attend political rallies of the
almost dead Zanu (PF) party.
This Ministry has stepped up efforts at infringing Zimbabweans two
fundamental rights that of freedom of expression and freedom of association
by choosing on behalf of Zimbabwean villagers which political party to
support and which opinion to express.
Zimbabwean soldiers have also teamed up with unscrupulous officials in the
Ministry of Lands in leading fresh farm invasions in Chegutu, Mutare and
other parts of the country. Soldiers under the cover of JOC are leading
staunch former ruling party henchman to forcefully evict the few remaining
commercial farmers in the country under the cover of 'offer letters'. They
are very much culpable for the anarchy prevailing in the commercial farms.

Ministry of Justice
The English saying, "you cannot come and deliver something of value when
there is nothing of value in you", definitely applies to Patrick Chinamasa
who led negotiations on behalf of the former ruling Zanu (PF) party and was
appointed Justice Minister in the inclusive government despite loosing in
Makoni central in the Mach 2008 plebiscite.
His ministry is responsible for the Attorney General (AG) s operations and
also administers the country's prisons.
The AG's office has continued to arbitrarily prosecute opponents of the
former ruling Zanu (PF) party. The Minister is actively encouraging the
Attorney General's office to abuse its discretion to prosecute and has
targeted MDC supporters and everyone who dares raise his/her finger against
the aging dictator.
Last year during the official opening of the High Court session in Masvingo,
it was discovered that there were over 3717 pending criminal cases at
Masvingo Magistrates Courts. Instead of using the limited resources to clear
this backlog, the Ministry of Justice has chosen to redirect its energy to
prosecuting innocent human rights defenders.
Furthermore the failure by the ministry to clear this backlog is grave
violation of one's right to a fair and speedy trial as prescribed by the
country's constitution.
The conditions in Zimbabwe's prisons are appalling and Chinamasa has done
virtually nothing to ameliorate the situation.

Ministry of Lands
Dr Herbert Murehwa is very much responsible for the widespread descent into
anarchy.
In Zimbabwe's few remaining productive commercial farms, he is personally
dishing out 'offer letters' like confetti, despite the GPA agreement to
carry out a land audit before any new land offers are made.
He is relying on recommendations from the Zanu (PF) dominated District Lands
Committee (DLC) and the Provincial Lands Committee (PLC) to dish out land to
faithful of the disintegrating Zanu (PF) party.
The DLCs and the PLCs are using political discretion to allocate land and
all known MDC supporters and anyone who dares challenge the past Zanu (PF)
regime are being denied access to land.
The Ministry of Lands has failed to come up with a systematic way of
offering land to landless Zimbabweans and has continued to use land as a
patronage base. Even productive farmers such as Ben Freeth who have
contributed significantly to Zimbabwe's economy have bore the brunt of
Mugabe's anarchist machinery.
This Ministry has not only encouraged anarchy against white commercial
farmers but also against black resettled farmers.

Ministry of Mines
Obert Mpofu is responsible for the escalating human rights abuses in the
Marange diamonds fields. He has enlisted the services of ZNA soldiers to
guard the mining fields after the controversial expulsion of African
Consolidated Resources (ACR).
The soldiers, under the watchful eye of Minister Mpofu, are committing gross
abuses which include beatings, torture, and murder of illegal miners. In
some cases illegal female miners are raped by the ZNA soldiers. In one
incident a female miner (Ratidzo*) who spoke to YZTP told a chilly story of
how she was raped by two soldiers after being caught with diamonds.
It is also disturbing to note that Minister Mpofu has allowed Vice President
Joyce Mujuru to continue illegally mining diamonds in Chiadzwa.
These abuses are yet to stop despite the appointment of an independent
monitor, Abbey Chikane, by the World Diamond Council. The Ministry of Mines
is yet to comply with demands by the Kimberly Process (KP) that soldiers be
removed from the Chiadzwa diamond fields

Way Forward
Pressure must continue to be exerted on these ministries to abide by the
rule of law. Both international donor and international agencies such a UN
and EU must never make donations to these ministries till they improve their
human rights record.
Furthermore, anyone purporting to conduct business on behalf of these
ministries must be stopped from doing so. It its time 'smart sanctions' be
imposed on these ministries. The US and EU companies and governments must
not do business with any of these ministries or their officials. - Morgen
Kulare is the National Research and Advocacy Officer for Youth of Zimbabwe
for Transparency and Progress (YZTP). For feedback email
yztpzimbabwe@gmail.com
*Not her real name


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Who is funding the Zanu pf backed ZIMTA?



Zimbabwe Teachers Association is the country's largest representative body
for teachers. But, the painful reality is that it is Zanu pf backed.

As reported by Radiovop earlier,
(http://news.radiovop.com/index.php/national-news/3657.html), the
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) through its President Raymond
Majongwe called for all the three separate Zimbabwean teachers` unions to
unite under one umbrella. This call sounds very reasonable, if at all the
teachers are to have any meaningful influence in pressing for a genuine
review of their salaries, benefits and working conditions.

The ZIMTA President, Tendai Chikowore`s refusal to even consider unity with
the other 2 teachers` unions goes a long way to prove that the ZIMTA agenda
is not in tune with most of its members` expectations. Open-mindedness seems
to be a missing attribute within the ZIMTA structures. Open-minded to
deliberate on the suggestion by PTUZ. Chikowore`s reaction however should
not come as shocking in the light that ZIMTA is Zanu pf backed. As further
outlined in the Radiovop article, ZIMTA has since written what is described
as a `Stinging Letter To Mugabe and Tsvangirai.` The ZIMTA President said,
"We are fed up with our low salaries and we have written a stinging letter
to Morgan Tsvangirai and President Mugabe telling them that time is up.

It is noted that ZIMTA through Chikowore chooses to respect only Mugabe whom
she addresses as President Mugabe, whilst she talks of simply a Tsvangirai.
Such differential treatment of the 2 Principals in the GNU, in as much as it
may appear insignificant to some, does have a big bearing surrounding the
Zimbabweans` politicking. Yet another question that comes to mind is why it
is the very first time since Zimbabwe attained independence that ZIMTA gets
into the habit of writing `stingy letters` to the government of the day? In
2009 before the formation of the GNU when inflation was at its peak and the
teacher faced the toughest challenges, the writing of stinging letters to
Mugabe was never an option by ZIMTA. ZIMTA is simply geared out to frustrate
MDC-T.

Whilst efforts by the Education Minister, Hon. David Coltart in addressing
the plight of the teacher and pupil maybe highly commendable, the Education
Sector is still dysfunctional. The lack of motivation and the lack of any
credible service delivery, absenteeism amongst many other problems remain
some sticking aspects.

In their disunity, the bargaining position of the 3 teachers` unions in
pressing for the re-visitation of their perks is severely weakened, a
weakened position which the Public Service Commission headed by Mariyawanda
Nzuwah exploits to its advantage.

What is also disheartening is that most of the ZIMTA members remain unaware
of the real agenda behind today`s ZIMTA. Most of the ZIMTA members are also
rural based and have very limited access to information if at all. Most of
the ZIMTA members are those teachers, who joined the union in the years
immediately following the independence of Zimbabwe, whilst the younger
generations are members of the other two organizations, younger unions which
are more vibrant. However, their young rejuvenated blood and energies all
come to nothing in the face of the bigger Zanupf linked ZIMTA.
Yet another question which may fail us, is how Chikowore manages to remain
at the helm of the Apex Council, as the APEX Council national chairperson, a
big body which represents all the Public Servants. It is such kind of
politics which get some people wondering whether there is real thought put
to issues before the holding of their elections, and also before coming up
with the constitutions governing these bodies. And if the Public Servants
have so much concern over their welfare, why they would keep such an
incumbent as their Chairperson.

As if that is not enough, as per the Radiovop article, ZIMTA is being funded
by Education International. If this revelation is anything to go by, the
question that would remain unanswered is why would Education International
be funding a Zanupf backed teachers` Association, more so when all the other
Western organizations and institutions are shunning all organizations with
Zanupf links? What worthy ZIMTA activities deserve any funding by the
Educational International? Is it not such actions that Mugabe and Zanupf
exploit to strengthen themselves?

The Zimbabwean Public Servants have to stay very vigilant to avoid being
used by people who purport to be representing them yet they have some hidden
political agendas. Such kind of cunning politicking is not new in the
Zimbabwean scenario. For years, a Mrs Nondo led the Zimbabwean Nurses
Association (ZNA) as the President. For years she faked that she was
fighting the cause of the Zimbabwean nurse. She led the nurses` street
protests, the shock only coming a couple of years later when she was
elevated to the big position of Public Service Commissioner. From the street
protests to taking up a sit right next to Mariyawanda Nzuwah, where she now
determines the fate of the nurse.

It is high time the vulnerable Zimbabweans come to realise that some of the
problems faced are kind of self inflicted. Voting for a Chairperson who eats
with the devil, is self inflicting pain. No one is pushed to attend the
ZIMTA meetings. No one is forced to be paying a monthly fee towards ZIMTA.
It is one's right to pull out of ZIMTA and join any other organization or
even stay aloof should none of these organizations serve your interest,
unless and until the union of your choice is born.

It is in this light that should ZIMTA be receiving any funding from the
West, the Educational International ( http://www.ei-ie.org/en/index.php then
Zimbabweans in the Diaspora through our several Diaspora pressure groups
should unite to press for an immediate freeze of the funding until this
teachers` association cuts off its ties with Zanupf, and unite with the
others under a single umbrella. It is not right that an organization with
links to Zanupf be receiving money from the West. It is such kind of funding
that are in most cases diverted towards Zanupf linked projects.

http://britavoice-zim-girl.blogspot.com/

The writer is Bridget Tapuwa and she is reachable on
britavoice@gmail.com


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Appeal from Coventry

I was wondering if you could please help me get the word out about an event being held by Coventry Conversations. They will be showing a film called 'Mugabe and the White African' and conducting an interview with the director Lucy Bailey afterwards. Entrance is completely free and the event is open to everyone. Here are the details:

Coventry Conversations Special - Lucy Bailey on Tuesday 11th May

Location: The Herbert Art Gallery, Coventry City Centre (Opposite Coventry Cathedral)

Start time: 18:00

End time: 20:00

Coventry Conversations presents a special film at the Herbert 'Mugabe and the White African', plus a talk from Director Lucy Bailey.

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