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SA government fails in bid to keep Zim report secret

http://www.swradioafrica.com
 

By Alex Bell
14 December 2010

South Africa’s Presidency has failed in its attempt to keep a report on Zimbabwe’s 2002 elections hidden, after the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) dismissed the government’s refusal to release the document. See Supreme Court Judgement

The Mail & Guardian newspaper has been trying to have the report released since 2008, amid widespread speculation that it contained evidence showing that Zimbabwe’s 2002 disputed election was not free or fair. At the time the then President, Thabo Mbeki, commissioned Judge Sisi Khampepe and Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke to visit Zimbabwe and report back on the state of the 2002 election. The report was handed over to Mbeki but never made public, although the former President insisted the electoral process in Zimbabwe was completely democratic.

The newspaper’s efforts to get the report were repeatedly denied and eventually the High Court was brought in to rule on the matter. The High Court then ruled in the newspaper’s favour in June this year and Acting Judge S. Sapire ordered the government to hand over the report within 10 days. But just as the deadline was due to expire the Presidency announced that it would seek leave to appeal.

But on Tuesday the SCA threw out the appeal, after a unanimous decision by five judges who said that there was no need to change the High Court’s findings on the matter. Appeal Judge Robert Nugent said there was no evidential basis established by the Presidency for refusing access to the report.

The SCA judgement said: “There are three people who have direct knowledge of the mandate that was given to the judges – Mr Mbeki and the two judges – and two people who have direct knowledge of how that mandate was executed – the two judges themselves. Theirs would naturally have been the best evidence on those issues but it has not been forthcoming, without explanation.”

“Open and transparent government and a free flow of information concerning the affairs of the state is the lifeblood of democracy,” the SCA judgement said.

Mail & Guardian editor Nic Dawes told SW Radio Africa that he is very pleased with the the court’s deicison, calling it a victory for transparency in South Africa.

“What the judgement makes crystal clear is that it’s simply not good enough for government officials to say they believe that information should be kept secret. They need to justify such decisions on the basis of genuine evidence and a proper understanding of the constitutional and legal framework. In that sense this is a victory for all South Africans,” Dawes said.

He added: “The judgement also makes it clear that secrecy cannot be a default position by the government.”

In court papers, the Mail & Guardian argued that with new elections coming up in Zimbabwe it was important to see whether Robert Mugabe continued to hold office “by virtue of alleged illegalities and irregularities stretching back to at least 2002.” Dawes said that accessing the report “will provide us all with a much better understanding of what was going on in Zimbabwe ahead of the enormously controversial 2002 elections and what our president Mbeki was told about those circumstances by two senior judges.”

The government has argued that the report was ‘confidential’ and a “record of the cabinet and its committee.” They said it contained information “supplied in confidence by or on behalf of another state, for the purpose of assessing or formulating a policy,” and that the content of the report was not in the public interest. The government has also argued that the report would lead to a deterioration of relations between the two countries, as South Africa is the facilitator in Zimbabwe’s ongoing political crisis.

The newspaper has in turn argued that the report is of enormous public interest, as the 2002 elections were marred by vote-rigging, intimidation, violence and fraud by Robert Mugabe’s government, despite South Africa’s contention that the election was free and fair.
Dawes said on Tuesday that the government could take its appeal a level higher, by approaching the Constitutional Court. But he said he hopes it doesn’t come to that, because the SCA judgement clearly outlines the constitutionally of the High Court’s decision.


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Zim election report in the public interest - Supreme Court

http://www.moneyweb.co.za

Phakamisa Ndzamela|
14 December 2010 16:27

JOHANNESBURG - The Mail & Guardian's editor Nic Dawes said the newspaper was
awaiting its Christmas present from the South African Justice system in the
next seven days after a court ordered the Presidency to release a report
compiled by two judges on Zimbabwe.

The Mail & Guardian victory at the Bloemfontein Supreme Court of Appeal
comes after a battle with the Presidency for the release a 2002 Zimbabwean
report prepared by judges Dikgang Moseneke and Sisi Khampepe.

The two senior judges visited Zimbabwe around the 2002 election following a
request by then President Thabo Mbeki.  The judges were reportedly
commissioned to report on constitutional and legal issues pertaining to
Zimbabwe's 2002 election. The Presidency refused to make the document
public.

Then deputy information officer in the Presidency Trevor Fowler said he
thoroughly examined the contents of the report and was of the view that the
disclosure of the contents would reveal information supplied in confidence
by or on behalf of another state or an international organisation.

Fowler had argued the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) entitled
him to refuse a request for access to a record of the body if the record
contains an opinion, advice, report or recommendation obtained or prepared
for the purpose of assisting to formulate a policy or take a decision in the
exercise of a power or performance of a duty conferred or imposed by law.

In his judgement Judge Robert Nugent said: "In my view no evidential basis
has been established by the appellants for refusing access to the report. It
might be that the report contains information that was received in
confidence, and it might be that it was obtained or prepared for a purpose
contemplated by s 44, but that has not been established by acceptable
evidence."

Responding to the judgement Dawes said the judgement was important in as far
as the specifics of Zimbabwe are concerned and more importantly it
vindicated key constitutional principles of freedom of information which
were the focus of debate and controversy right now because of the Protection
of Information Bill.

"There are two things about it one is the specifics of the Zimbabwean
situation in 2002 and how important it is for us to know what two of our
most eminent judges thought about what was going on there and indeed what
they told President Thabo Mbeki, whose approach to the Zimbabwean situation
has been very controversial," Dawes said.

"In a broad sense what the document, what the judgement does is to set out
in great details and clarity the responsibilities of the government when
they decide to withhold information from the Republic and what it makes very
clear is they can't just say we think that it is not in the public interest
to make this report available. They have to give clear reasons based on
evidence and reasons that conform to the Promotion of Access to Information
Act and the constitution.

"We are awaiting our Christmas present from the South African Justice system
not from the Presidency, from the justice system."

Attempts to reach the spokespersons of President Jacob Zuma and Thabo Mbeki
were unsuccessful.

Write to Phakamisa Ndzamela: phakamisa@moneyweb.co.za


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Zimbabwe protecting Rwandan genocide suspect

http://www.swradioafrica.com/

By Lance Guma
14 December 2010

The chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
(ICTR), based in Tanzania, has accused the Zimbabwean government of
protecting 1994 genocide suspect, Potrais Mpiranya. Justice Hassan Jallow
has now petitioned the United Nations to ensure Zimbabwe cooperates in
arresting Mpiranya.

Mpiranya was the commander of the Rwandan Presidential Guard and is accused
of leading the genocide that claimed the lives of more than 1 million
people, mainly of Tutsi ethnic origin. Not only is he wanted by the ICTR and
authorities in Belgium but the United States ‘Rewards for Justice Programme’
has a US$5 million bounty on his head.

All this has not stopped Mugabe’s regime offering Mpiranya sanctuary.
Countless reports have suggested the genocide suspect has built up
businesses in Harare and is heavily involved in the training of ZANU PF
youth militias. In February this year then co-Home Affairs Minister Giles
Mutsekwa pledged the government’s cooperation in bringing Mpiranya to book,
if indeed he was in Zimbabwe.

"We are ready to assist as long as our Rwandan colleagues provide security
agents from their country who will work hand in hand with our police in
order to identify and arrest the suspect if he is in Zimbabwe," Mutsekwa
told journalists. But as with all things in the coalition government the MDC
ministers never have their way with a partner in government who believes in
unilateral actions.

The tribunal on Rwanda has already made it clear they are receiving little
cooperation from Zimbabwe and state in their petition to the UN that
Mpiranya is enjoying high level protection. “I would urge the Zimbabwe
government to devote top priority to the case of this high-level fugitive in
order to secure his location, arrest and transfer to the Tribunal.” Justice
Jallow said in the petition.
Speaking to SW Radio Africa on Tuesday Sanderson Makombe, a researcher in
criminal law, told us when Zimbabwe intervened in the war in the DRC several
years back, many of its generals had built up business and military
alliances with some of the genocide suspects. This explained why Zimbabwe
was considered a safe destination by the fleeing suspects, Makombe said.
Meanwhile Makombe said the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda was
formed by a resolution of the United Nations Security Council and since
Zimbabwe was a member of the UN it is supposed to cooperate in the arrest of
Mpiranya.

In the eighties Mugabe’s crack troops, in the form of the 5th Brigade,
killed an estimated 20 000 people in the Matabeleland and Midlands
provinces. This year a leading authority on crimes against humanity, Dr
Gregory Stanton who heads Genocide Watch, said the massacres met the
criteria of genocide since they also targeted people based on ethnicity and
language spoken.
Mugabe protecting Mpiranya becomes a situation where one genocidal leader is
protecting one of his own.


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MDC MP Amos Chibaya arrested

http://www.swradioafrica.com/

by Irene Madongo
14 December 2010

MDC-T legislator, Amos Chibaya, was arrested in Gweru on Sunday after he had
addressed a youth meeting at his constituency in Mkoba the previous day.
Chibaya’s driver was also arrested and both are still being held in police
custody in Gweru.

Obert Ncube, Director of Elections for the MDC Midlands South, said: “It
seems the police are reluctant to see him go before the courts. They have
not brought up a charge against him. If they had brought up a charge, then
he could have appeared before court. They are still saying they are
investigating.”

According to Ncube, Chibaya had been briefing the youths on what had been
discussed in parliament. It is understood that there was some violence at
the meeting between the youths and members of ZANU PF, but Chibaya was not
there when the trouble broke out.

James Tsuro, a spokesman for the MDC-T in Midlands South, said the arrest is
a continuation of chronic harassment of MDC members of parliament by
pro-ZANU-PF authorities.

Chibaya’s arrest comes just days after another MDC MP, Tongai Matutu, was
fined $100 for allegedly assaulting a Masvingo chief. Matutu said the
charges against him were politically motivated.

“We have these fictitious cases where our MPs are hauled before the courts,”
Ncube said, “all these charges are always against the MDC MPs. Whereas when
we witness what is on the ground we see that violence is being perpetrated
by ZANU PF MPs and nothing is being done against them.”

There are still widespread reports of villagers and MDC members being
attacked by ZANU PF militants and war vets around the country, but the
police make no arrests. Any ZANU PF MP’s also implicated can rest assured
that they are also safe from any police action.


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ZBC stepping up support for Zanu PF



Peta Thornycroft

After more balanced reporting that followed the 2008 signing of the
Global Political Agreement (GPA) that established Zimbabwe’s unity
government, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) quickly began
returning to partisan reporting and promotion of President Robert
Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party. Peta Thornycroft reports for VOA that
analysts say ZBC’s increasingly strident support for ZANU-PF in news
reports and current affairs is stirring political tensions and is a
major contravention of the 2008 multiparty global political agreement
which brought the inclusive government to power in February last year.

The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, ZBC, the only broadcaster in
Zimbabwe has stepped up support for ZANU-PF in the last few months
after Mr. Mugabe said he wanted fresh elections early next year.

Andy Moyse, coordinator of the 10-year old Media Monitoring Project of
Zimbabwe, said for a while after the global political agreement (GPA,)
was signed, ZBC did reform.

"ZBC initially improved after the signing of the GPA, a period of
euphoria that the parties had come to some sort of agreement and were
looking forward to a period of reconciliation."

Moyse said the ZBC even reported news about the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC), which narrowly won the 2008 elections. But
that has all changed now.

One day last month, ZBC, which is governed by an act of parliament,
started its main news bulletin of the day, mocking MDC president,
Morgan Tsvangirai, who is the prime minister in the inclusive
government.

((ZBC DRUMS ESTABLISH AND FADE))

"Welcome to news hour, I am Grace Chikanie, here are the stories
making the headlines in tonight’s bulletin: Tsvangirai chickens out of
next election."

Days later Mr. Tsvangirai, concerned with ZANU-PF’s growing violations
of the political agreement, went to Botswana to engage with the
Southern African Development Community, or SADC, which guaranteed the
inclusive government agreement. The expected meeting with SADC’s Organ
on Defense and Security, which deals with Zimbabwe, did not take place.

ZBC chose the following to headline its report:

(( ZBC DRUMS ESTABLISH AND FADE))

"MDC-T [majority faction of MDC led by Mr. Tsvangirai] leader Morgan
Tsvangirai returns from a wild good chase at the SADC extraordinary
summit."

ZBC interviewed ZANU-PF justice minister Patrick Chinamasa about Mr.
Tsvangirai’s trip, but did not interview or quote Mr. Tsvangirai.

"That is the meeting of the [Organ on Defense and Security]. It did
not take place because there was not a quorum. It was caused by the
fabrication of a crisis by MDC-T," Chinamasa said

The political agreement which established the unity government
requires that independent broadcasters be registered and permitted to
operate, but they have been prevented from doing so. ZBC was allowed
to introduce a second channel.

Initially the new channel ran soap operas and entertainment. Now it is
also using advertising slots for ZANU-PF political jingles or songs in
praise of ZANU-PF and Mr. Mugabe.

The Media Monitoring Project’s Moyse says the ZBC news and current
affairs programs and the advertising jingles are significantly
advantageous to ZANU-PF at the expense of the MDC and other parties.

"It is clearly giving a huge bias to ZANU-PF in promoting ZANU-PF
policies. It is suppressing the activities of MDC and the publicity
[the MDC] gets is all negative, so Morgan Tsvangirai is portrayed as
being incompetent and basically stupid and not a potential leader for
the nation."

The pro-ZANU-PF advertising shows up throughout the day on ZBC
broadcasts. One three minute long jingle is called The Gushungo
network. Gushungo is the Mugabe family clan name and also the name of
the dairy farm near Harare which Mrs Grace Mugabe took from a white
farmer five years ago under Zimbabwe's land reform program.

The jingle shows Mr. Mugabe relaxed and smiling and greeting young
people on his mobile phone along with visuals of them cheerfully
singing his praises.

Nhlanhla Ngwena, director of the pressure group the "Media Institute
of Southern Africa" told VOA the ZBC is mobilizing young people for
Mr. Mugabe and his ZANU-PF.

"The Gushungo network is yet another attempt trying to mobilize and
rally behind President Mugabe because the song itself is calling on
the youth to join the network - you even hear Mugabe’s voice. They are
trying to project him as a warm person who understands youth."

Ngwenya said bureaucratic obstacles had been manufactured by ZANU-PF
to prevent independent broadcasters from acquiring licenses.

"No credible or demonstrable evidence has been given on the ground for
us to be persuaded into believing that this government will liberalize
the airwaves any time soon."

Before the inclusive government was formed, ZBC journalists used the
simple honorific "President Mugabe" in news bulletins. Now they use
his full title.

"Head of state and government, and commander-in-chief of the Zimbabwe
defense forces, President Robert Mugabe."

Nelson Chamisa, spokesman for the main MDC which signed the political
agreement told VOA ZBC broadcasts are becoming harder and harder to
tolerate.

"Atrocious, it is atrocious, it is atrocious. It is almost like hell
on earth, you get your eyes poisoned, [your] ears; propaganda, people
of Zimbabwe have no appetite for that trash."

Welshman Ncube of the smaller MDC party, which also signed the
political agreement, said the inclusive government is going backwards:

"There is regression not just of the public media, state newspapers
and state security agents, almost all of them are reverting to the
default mode of 2008."

ZANU-PF information spokesman George Charamba told VOA he is unable to
"recognize" the criticisms against ZBC. VOA was unable to reach a
spokesperson for ZBC.


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Zanu (PF) Officials Sidelined

http://www.radiovop.com/

14/12/2010 15:43:00

Masvingo, December 14, 2010 - Senior Zanu (PF) members who are against
President Robert Mugabe’s call for polls mid next year have been sidelined
to attend the party's annual conference which opens this week in the eastern
border city of Mutare

A reliable source within the party here said several senior party
members-including Members of Parliament and some politburo members-who
publicly said the country was not ready to hold another ballot have been
left out from the delegation that will attend the conference.

The source said the issue of Mugabe’s candidature had been dealt with and
nobody was going to dispute that. The only hurdle remaining was to decide
whether elections were going to be held next year or not.

“Those who were heard to be against elections next year have not been
accredited. Several reasons have been cooked up against them, including the
fact that their party cards are not paid up, or they are still holding on to
old party cards.

“Surprisingly, no subscriptions are being taken now, meaning they cannot get
the new cards. This is a strategy by Mugabe to make sure that all those who
go there are his ‘yes men and women’ who will not turn down his proposals
for elections mid next year,” said the top source.

“For legal reasons, I will not tell you names. But just watch out by
Thursday to see who is still in Masvingo or who has not gone there,” he
said.

Some disgruntled part members who were left out were seen at the party
offices here shouting while others were in a queue which was static for
about an hour.

Zanu (PF) provincial chairman, Lovemore Matuke declined to comment on the
matter, referring all questions to the party national chairman, Simon Khaya
Moyo, who refused to take questions from Radio VOP.


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Rhodes Remains Blocking Rains - Zanu (PF) Governor

http://www.radiovop.com

14/12/2010 10:24:00

Bulawayo, December 14,2010 -A Zanu (PF) Bulawayo governor, Cain Mathema said
he is pushing for the exhumation of Cecil John Rhodes remains in Matopo area
which he accuses of blocking the rains.

Rhodes is buried at Malindidzimu hill in Matopo just outside Bulawayo.

“I wonder why years after independence of Zimbabwe his grave is still found
there.  We are going exhume it and send it to Britain where it belongs.
Right now we are failing to get rains because of Rhodes’ bones buried at
Matopo Hills,” Mathema told Radio VOP.

Mathema also said he is very angry with Rhodes’ grave and this has made him
stop visiting Matopo area.

Rhodes was born in England on July 5, 1853 and was buried in Matopo on the
10th of April 1902.He was elected to the Cape Parliament in South Africa and
by 1890 became Prime Minister. During this time, he actively pursued north
of the Limpopo River. The result of his endeavours produced new British
annexations: Nyasaland (now Malawi), Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) and
Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).

Mathema added he wanted the David Livingstone’s stature in Victoria Falls
removed and replaced by the one for President Robert Mugabe.


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Zim MPs ’promised rewards for budget assent’

http://www.eyewitnessnews.co.za/

Eyewitness News | 1 Hour Ago

State media in Zimbabwe on Tuesday reported that MPs have been promised
double pay and single cabs in January from finance minister Tendai Biti.

Sources have told The Herald that the handouts and the raises are intended
to placate MPs from ZANU-PF and Biti’s MDC party.

They were so angry about their low pay that they threatened not to pass Biti’s
2.7 billion dollar budget.

MPs will see their salaries going up from around 400 dollars a month to
between 900 and 1,200 dollars. The lawmakers will also be given new pick-up
trucks, even though they only got new double cabs last year.

Most people in Zimbabwe earn below 200 dollars a month.

What remains to be seen is whether it will it be enough to make them want to
hang onto their jobs and boycott Robert Mugabe’s call for elections next
year.


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Mugabe’s Zanu-PF to spend half a million on bash

http://www.afrik-news.com/article18566.html

Tuesday 14 December 2010 / by Alice Chimora

Zimbabwe’s former ruling party, Zanu-PF, is set to blow close to $500,000 in
five days when it gathers for its annual Christmas bash disguised as a party
conference.

President Mugabe’s party meets from Wednesday (December 15) to Sunday
(December 19) in the eastern border city of Mutare. About 4,000 delegates
drawn countywide and some from regional liberation movements are expected at
the conference.

With a $500,000 budget and with some donations still said to be on their
way, the conference is expected to be a feast for many Zanu-PF activists.

At recent past conferences and congresses some have been accused of helping
themselves to freebies and goodies that have been donated.

Zanu-PF chairman Simon Khaya Moyo says Mugabe’s candidacy in the next
elections will not be an issue because he got the mandate at the congress in
2010.

“The conference is not about the president … We had our congress last year
and we elected the president of the party who automatically becomes the
candidate in the next elections,” said Moyo.

Realistically, Mugabe, 86, would contest his last election next year because
if he wins, his term of office would end in 2016 when he would be 92. After
that, it would be unlikely that he would run for another term.

Zanu-PF officials have publicly conceded that the Mutare conference would
not discuss the controversial succession because his rivals had failed to
call for an extraordinary congress to deal with the issue.

Party leader Mugabe normally delivers the main address at the Zanu-PF
conference where most policies which his government would promulgate in the
future are announced.

The conference is also used as a platform where the party attacks its
opponents, mainly the West and America, and with calls for the lifting of
what the party describes as illegal sanctions, taking centre stage at most
of these conferences.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC),
which is a partner to the shaky coalition government before the signing of
the coalition pact, would also get a bashing from such conferences.

Clemence Manyukwe, a political editor of Financial Gazette commenting on the
conference says, ‘There is a general feeling that if the conference endorsed
early polls ZANU-PF would be clearly defying the national mood, which to all
intents and purposes, is seemingly against snap polls.”

Manyukwe says there are genuine fears the country could be plunged back into
political chaos and economic instability witnessed before the consummation
of the global political agreement.

But prominent Harare lawyer Terence Hussein, who has represented ZANU-PF
luminaries in elections-related matters before the courts, said chances of
the conference leaving the party leader with egg on his face over the
election issue were next to nothing.

“It seems the position for the holding of elections is pretty strong. The
conference usually supports its leadership, I don’t see any decision opposed
to the leadership, I don’t see that happening,” said Hussein.


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Outcry As RG's Office Dispatches More Officers To SA

http://www.radiovop.com

14/12/2010 15:42:00

Harare, December 14, 2010 - There is an outcry among officers in the
Registrar General’s Office over officers who have been dispatched to South
Africa to quicken the process of issuing Zimbabweans with relevant papers to
enable them to regularise their stay in the country.

The local officers are alleging favouritism and nepotism in the selection of
officers who were sent to South Africa and who are believed to be earning
between US$ 15 000 and US$22 000 in the one to three months they will stay
in the country. This is compared to the US$4.85 a day that the local
officers are getting for doing a similar job.

The RG's office is battling to meet a December 31 deadline to register
undocumented Zimbabweans.

Officials at the RG’s office at Makombe Building told Radio VOP that seven
officers left the country last week to beef up staff processing papers for
Zimbabweans. The officers will join the 40 who left a few months ago.

However there have been concerns on the slow pace at which these officers
are processing the papers amid allegations that their recruitment was more
to do with money than the job at hand.

Among the 40 who initially left for South Africa, the majority were said to
be senior officers who normally don’t do the job of processing
identification papers.

The RG officers in South Africa simply help Zimbabweans sign forms which are
then send to Zimbabwe for processing, verification, clearing and production.
The local officers have since threatened to go slow if their allowances are
not increased.

South African government has insisted that it will not extend the December
31 deadline by which Zimbabweans should have regularised their stay in South
Africa.


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SA overwhelmed by process of documenting Zimbabweans

http://www.sabcnews.com

     December 14 2010 ,
7:03:00

Home Affairs Department says it will not be able to complete the
documentation of Zimbabweans living in South Africa before the December 31st
deadline.

Addressing the media in Pretoria today, Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana
Dlamini-Zuma said although the deadline will not be extended, deportation
can only start once all pending applications have been processed.

The Department says the processing of pending applications will continue
after the December 31st, but the Department will not accept new applications
after the deadline. "An extension is not going to happen actually, we will
not extend the deadline. Among other challenges, is the early closure of
Home Affairs offices in Zimbabwe."

According to Home Affairs Minister, the South African Police and the
Zimbabwean government are stalling the process. "The Zimbabweans are not
able to produce passports at the rate that will allow everybody who has
applied for it to have it before the 31st. The verification with the police
taking the fingerprints, checking records takes time."

South African Home affairs managers will now only go on leave after the 31st
and the department will arrange with police to manage queues and avoid
stampedes. The Minister could not confirm when deportation of undocumented
Zimbabweans will start.


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British bank defends role in Zim amid criticism

http://www.swradioafrica.com/

By Alex Bell
14 December 2010

A British bank, accused of circumventing the European targeted sanctions in
place against the Robert Mugabe regime, has defended its role in Zimbabwe,
saying it has had “a banking presence in Zimbabwe for over a hundred years.”

Standard Chartered Bank is accused of giving loans to Mugabe’s allies
through syndicated facilities offered by non-European Union (EU) banks, as a
way of getting around the targeted EU measures. According to Africa
Confidential, the British financial institution has been directing loans
through banks in Zimbabwe and through the African Export Import Bank
(Afreximbank) and the Eastern and Southern African Development Bank (PTA
Bank).

In a written reply to SW Radio Africa’s request for a response to the latest
claims, Standard Chartered said it has a long history of banking in the
country.

“The Bank has taken the conscious decision to maintain its longstanding
commitment to doing business there and to the long-term interests of its
staff in Zimbabwe and their extended families which they support, despite
what we acknowledge is clearly a very difficult operating environment. We
also have a clear responsibility to our corporate clients in Zimbabwe, who
are also supporting their staff and their dependents,” the group said.

The Bank added: “Standard Chartered has a robust policy framework in place
to ensure we continue to operate the strictest international standards of
governance. Standard Chartered Bank and its branches comply with UK and EU
sanctions and with US sanctions to the extent that they affect our
 business.”

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor Gideon Gono revealed in July
that Standard Chartered, Afreximbank, PTA Bank and a Chinese tobacco trader
Tian Li, were responsible for more US$400 million in lines of credit, which
had gone to 23 Zimbabwean companies in 2010 with the RBZ’s approval. Key
allies of Mugabe, including Gono and the Mujuru’s, are reportedly benefiting
from the loans, despite all of them being on the sanctions list.


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Masvingo Hospitals Runs Out of BCG Vaccine

http://www.radiovop.com

14/12/2010 10:25:00

Masvingo, December 14, 2010 -Some Zimbabwe's hospitals and clinics here have
run out of the BCG vaccine which is used to prevent mainly tuberculosis in
children under the age of five years old.

Top officials at Masvingo General Hospital disclosed that the health
institution was also facing critical shortages for syringes used with the
vaccine.

“Even if we have the vaccines, at times we do not have specific syringes for
BCGs. The problem is serious and we have since discovered that the infant
mortality rate is gradually increasing,” said the source.

Children are immunized to reduce their chances of getting infected by
diseases such as tuberculosis, measles, polio, tetanus, diphtheria and
whooping cough.

Masvingo Provincial Medical Director (PMD) Dr Robert Mudyiradima however,
said the situation was not out of hand as portrayed by ‘mothers who rush to
the press with their issues’.

“They are blowing issues out of proportion here. We are aware of certain
problems that they may encounter but I assure you we will be able to deal
with the problem swiftly,” Said Dr Mudyiradima.

However, mothers who are being turned away said their last hope was
Mogenster Mission Hospital – which is run by Reformed Church in Zimbabwe
(RCZ).

“We were turned away at Mazorodze clinic in Mucheke but some of the staff at
clinic tipped us that we must go to Mogenster if we are really sure to get
our babies vaccinated,” said Tracy Manzete.

Morgenster is about 30 kilometres away from Masvingo town. Those who went to
Morgenster with their babies said they were being asked to pay US$ 5.

“We had no option. We went there (Mogernster) and we spent the whole day in
a queue and we paid US$ 5 for the services per child,” said one mother.


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Mugabe set to become Africa’s 2nd oldest Presidential candidate

http://www.swradioafrica.com/

By Tichaona Sibanda
14 December 2010

ZANU PF leader Robert Mugabe will this week create his own piece of history
by becoming Africa’s second oldest person to be endorsed as a Presidential
candidate.

The one who still holds the record was the geriatric, senile, late
life-President of Malawi, Kamuzu Hastings Banda. At 98 years of age Banda
stood in Malawi’s first democratic election in 1994, and was roundly
defeated by Bakili Muluzi.

If elections are held next year, Mugabe will be 87 years old, just 12 years
short of Banda. By endorsing Mugabe to stand as their candidate for
elections ZANU PF risks facing the same humiliation as Banda if the poll is
held under free and fair conditions.
If Mugabe did win an election held in 2011, his first term of office would
end in 2016 when he would be 92.
His opponents in the MDC contend Mugabe ‘cannot win an election, but he can
still steal it,’ through intimidation and violence. Among other strong arm
tactics used in the past to keep him in power were boundary changes,
irregularities in registration, lack of access to state-controlled media and
partisan security officials.

Our correspondent Simon Muchemwa told us ZANU PF delegates to their
conference in Mutare have already been whipped into line to endorse Mugabe’s
candidature for the elections.
The conference will run from Wednesday to Saturday, with at least 5,000
delegates expected to converge on the eastern border city of Mutare.

‘There are reports in the various media suggesting ZANU PF has yet to decide
on supporting Mugabe’s stance on having elections next year. The politburo
is reportedly divided on the issue, but once that is tabled before the
conference, I don’t think there is anyone who would dare challenge Mugabe on
that,’ Muchemwa said.

He added; ‘The fact that they will endorse him as their candidate for the
elections means Mugabe still has his eyes on a poll next year.’
Muchemwa said despite the stalemate at the politburo level, nearly all
ZANU-PF provinces are falling over each other to endorse Mugabe’s
candidature for the make-or-break polls, intended to bring finality to the
squabbles in the government of national unity.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai recently said the country’s elections
cannot be held in June 2011 as demanded by Mugabe. He said that before a new
ballot is organized a revised constitution must be in place with electoral
reforms.

‘It is not possible to have elections in June next year because we need to
have a referendum first. I don’t think at the moment you can conduct an
election when the police, army, militia, war veterans are used to
intimidate, coerce, and cause torture and death to the people,’ Tsvangirai
said in an interview with Reuters news agency.

Observers have suggested that having the ZANU PF Congress in Mutare will
enable the ruling elite to pop out and keep on eye on their diamond
concessions at Chiadzwa.


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Government Officials and Civic Organizations Call for the Adoption of UN Policy to Curb Corruption

http://www.voanews.com

The financial disclosure policy would oblige office bearers to declare their
assets, thereby promoting transparency, honesty and accountability

Tatenda Gumbo | Washington 13 December 2010

Following up on last week’s observation of International Anti-Corruption
Day, Zimbabwean government officials and civic organizations are calling for
adoption by the country of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption.

The policy would oblige public office bearers in Zimbabwe to declare
personal assets to promote transparency, honesty and accountability in
public finance.

Alois Chaumba, representative in Zimbabwe of the Anti-Corruption Trust of
Southern Africa, says corruption has created a massive financial gulf
between public officials and citizens. Chaumba noted that at independence in
1980 the predecessor of ZANU-PF adopted a similar code, but this was never
translated into action.

Chaumba said the proposal for the declaration of personal assets by public
officials, which the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime
Minister Tsvangirai has backed - as have some members of parliament of
ZANU-PF and the rivel MDC formation of Deputy Prime Minister Arthur
Mutambara - must be put in place to curb corruption.

Chaumba told VOA Studio 7 reporter Tatenda Gumbo that continued illegal
enrichment of politicians is hurting ordinary people by diverting scarce
resources.


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Zimbabwe minister calls for action on match-fixing

http://news.bbc.co.uk/

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Zimbabwe's Minister of Sport, David Coltart, has called for a police
investigation into claims of match-fixing made against the national team.

Zimbabwe players and officials have admitted being paid to throw matches on
a trip to Thailand and Malaysia.

They made the admissions in sworn testimony to an enquiry held by the
Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa).

The allegations of match-fixing centred on a tour where Zimbabwe lost 3-0 to
Thailand and 6-0 to Syria.

Minister Coltart told the AP news agency that Zifa "must initiate [a] police
investigation right now" because of what he called "very serious
allegations".

But the Zifa President Cuthbert Dube said that no action had yet been taken
because the investigation had widened to take in a previous trip to Asia in
2007.

The Chief Executive of Zifa, Henrietta Rushwaya, was fired in October,
having been accused of failing to account for a loan made to Zifa of US$103
000 and authorising a 2008 trip to Malaysia where elite club Monomotapa
masqueraded as the Zimbabwe national team.

She is hoping to be exonerated through the government's labour court where
her case has yet to be concluded.

The BBC's Steve Vickers in Harare says that the sports minister's call for
the police to take action is not a surprise given the extent of the findings
of the Zifa inquiry into match-fixing, and that Zifa itself has still not
handed out bans to the players who are implicated.


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ANALYSIS-Zimbabwe heads into a storm with early election

http://af.reuters.com/

Tue Dec 14, 2010 9:48am GMT

* Mugabe party eyes early poll despite opposition

* Tsvangirai's U.S. briefings seen as treason

* Fears election dispute will plunge country into crisis

By Cris Chinaka

HARARE, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe faces a new political storm with
President Robert Mugabe pushing for an early election opposed by rivals
while hardliners are threatening Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai over
secret briefings with U.S. officials.

Mugabe's ZANU-PF party is expected to officially endorse the 86-year-old
leader this weekend as candidate for a general election he wants by
mid-2011, although analysts say the vote could still be postponed for at
least a year due to regional pressure.

With the political calendar cloudy, there are fears the country is rolling
back into another crisis similar to the disputed 2008 elections which forced
regional leaders from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to
intervene.

"If one looks at all that is going on around us now, it's fair to conclude
that we are heading into a crisis, a very big political storm," said Eldred
Masunungure, a political science professor at the University of Zimbabwe.

Alongside the push for an early poll, state media are reporting that ZANU-PF
hawks are pushing for an official investigation against Tsvangirai over U.S.
State Department cables released by WikiLeaks regarding his briefings with
the U.S. ambassador in Harare, Charles Ray, which some officials see as
"bordering on treason".

Quoting unnamed government sources, the weekly Sunday Mail said comments by
Tsvangirai suggesting that his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) was not
genuine in calling for the lifting of Western sanctions against ZANU-PF and
that he was working with Washington to oust Mugabe amounted to treason.

"He took an oath of office which does not permit him to commit the
treasonous offence he has committed, and so President Mugabe has an
obligation to set up a commission of inquiry," the newspaper quoted one
official as saying.

BITTER ATTACKS

Tsvangirai has refused to be drawn into the spat. His aides say he is not
guilty and describe the controversy as personal attacks on the prime
minister.

Analysts say Mugabe's camp could be waging a psychological war on
Tsvangirai. Treason charges, that could turn the MDC leader into a political
martyr at a time when there are questions over his leadership qualities, are
unlikely to be pursued.

Mugabe's officials are delighted with comments by former U.S. ambassador
Christopher Dell, also released by WikiLeaks, depicting Tsvangirai as a
"flawed figure, who is not readily open to advice, indecisive and with
questionable judgment in selecting those around him".

State media have only highlighted Dell's opinion of Mugabe as a shrewd and
tactical politician while skirting uncomplimentary reference to the
Zimbabwean leader as a ruthless survivor with "deep ignorance on economic
issues".

ZANU-PF has turned up the volume with more bitter attacks on Tsvangirai on
state radio and television ahead of an annual party meeting this week that
will endorse Mugabe's candidacy.

Mugabe and his party have held power for over 30 years, initially with a lot
of promise, but critics say they have since driven the country into an
economic ditch and hung onto power through violence and vote-rigging. Mugabe
denies these charges.

Analysts say Mugabe has already deployed his war veteran campaigners in the
countryside ahead of any election.

"I think Mugabe is almost set to have elections because he believes the MDC
is in some bad shape, and that without political reforms, he can win the
elections," Masunungure said.

"His major problem is that SADC is not convinced that early elections are
good for Zimbabwe or the region, and he will face a crisis of legitimacy
internationally," he added.

REGIONAL PRESSURE

Tsvangirai and a smaller MDC faction in the coalition are trying to mobilise
regional pressure on Mugabe to deliver on promised reforms and Zimbabwe's
business leaders are against early elections they say will scupper economic
recovery.

Senior Western diplomats in Harare say a free and fair vote is impossible in
a few months and are counselling for more time for reforms, including the
repeal of repressive laws, media freedom, new electoral laws and updating of
the voter register.

"People fear that an election on ZANU-PF terms will simply mean violence,
but there is also a danger that Mugabe risks doing a Gbagbo," Masunungure
said of Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo who is refusing to concede defeat
after calling a poll he thought he would win.

"Tsvangirai may have his problems but he and the MDC still enjoy a lot of
goodwill in a population tired of ZANU-PF."

Lovemore Madhuku, chairman of political pressure group National
Constitutional Assembly, said it was still possible ZANU-PF may not call
early elections for strategic reasons.

"Mugabe values and has thrived on regional and continental solidarity and he
may not want to offend fellow African leaders if he thinks there are some
strong reservations," he said.

"His first option will be to bring them on board, but Mugabe has survived
this long politically by pressing his advantage but also always keeping his
options open," he said.


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Interview: Magaisa on diaspora conference

http://www.newzimbabwe.com/

14/12/2010 00:00:00
    by Staff Reporter

THE recently-formed Development Foundation for Zimbabwe (DFZ) is hosting a
two-day conference on the diaspora’s role in driving development in Zimbabwe
starting on Thursday in Victoria Falls.

This week, we caught up with one of the trustees of the DFZ, Alex Magaisa,
to find out more about the organisation and its aims:
[NEW ZIMBABWE.COM] NZM: What is the purpose of this conference?

[ALEX MAGAISA] MAGAISA: The conference is designed to open up channels for
Zimbabweans based in foreign countries, commonly referred to as the
Diaspora, to participate more actively in the development processes in
Zimbabwe.

Development is not a one-day event and is multi-faceted – touching as it
does on economic and social circumstances as well as governance structures
and processes whose efficiency is essential to progress. It’s about creating
an environment that enables men and women to use their talents to the
maximum and we believe the Diaspora is a key resource in the country’s
development.

The Diaspora has so far been more of an outsider in the broader
developmental process and has sometimes been viewed with scepticism by other
key stakeholders within the country. This despite its immense contributions
to the country, albeit, so far, at mostly informal levels.
NZM: But why a Diaspora conference in Victoria Falls?

MAGAISA: Well, we are not trying to re-invent the wheel. We have done our
homework and we know that a number of Diaspora-related conferences and
events have been held in various stations in the Diaspora, including London,
Washington and Johannesburg. We realise that it’s high time the Diaspora
comes home, not only because it is the home we are talking about when we
talk of investment and other ideas but to show confidence to all
stakeholders whom the Diaspora is seeking to engage.

In our tradition, the man who is marrying a bride may start by sending
emissaries to his future in-laws but eventually he must come out and present
himself personally! Also, we realise as fact that some of the stakeholders
in the government, for example, are encumbered by travel restrictions from
visiting certain countries where Zimbabweans are based, so engagement has
not been easy.

    Advertisement

This is an opportunity to engage everyone on home soil. We understand that
not everyone in the Diaspora can make it to Victoria Falls but this must not
be seen as an end in itself but as part of a series of activities and events
aimed at engaging the Diaspora.
NZM: Why the focus on the Diaspora? Some will ask, are these not the same
people who ran away from Zimbabwe when things got tough?

MAGAISA: It’s very easy to take a disparaging approach towards the Diaspora.
A more positive view, however, is looking at the Diaspora as the
representation of a country’s competitive advantage on the global economic
landscape. The Diaspora has many faces – people left Zimbabwe for a variety
of reasons, including the political and economic challenges of recent years.

Human beings, like all animals, learn to adapt in difficult conditions. Just
as the herd of zebra travels long distances in the African Savannah to find
water and greener pastures in times of need, human beings tend to migrate in
response to challenges and the call of better pastures. It doesn’t make them
bad people. It simply means they have adapted, and for Zimbabweans, that
adaptation is thanks to the fantastic investment made by Zimbabwean
taxpayers over the years – funding education, health and other social
facilities that helped those in the Diaspora to become who they are.

It’s too much of a generalisation to say they all ran away from Zimbabwe.
There are many who left to seek opportunities but that doesn’t mean they are
permanently detached from their home country.

NZM: Well, some people who remained at home might say that the Diaspora is
seeking to return because it’s tough out there. Your view?

MAGAISA: Well, it is tough in the Diaspora as many Zimbabweans who came out
seeking new pastures can testify. Things can be good in the first years -
higher salaries, car loans, mortgages for homes, bank loans, credit cards,
etc account for that early bliss.

However, sooner or later reality bites! There is also pressure from home
because everyone seems to think the Diaspora is an infinite tunnel of gold.
You don’t want to disappoint family and friends so yes, one is under
constant pressure.

But not everyone is struggling. Zimbabweans are intelligent and highly
educated people with a wonderful work ethic and a good proportion is in
incredibly good jobs. They get things done and they have done well in their
new stations. There is always the odd story that is negative but every
nation surely has bad apples? There are many success stories in the Diaspora
and it’s a pity that we don’t often showcase our people’s successes.

Often, we highlight the bad apples and so an impression is created that the
Diaspora is all bad and desperate. I don’t think that’s the case. I don’t
think it is fair that those wishing to return are doing so simply because
they have found it tough in the Diaspora. They are coming to invest not to
look for jobs so surely they must have done well.
NZM: You didn’t really answer why there is so much interest in the Diaspora?

MAGAISA: Well, if you look across the world, most countries and development
agencies are fast recognising that the Diaspora is a critical resource for
development. Naturally, migrants move in search of better pastures in order
to help themselves, their immediate families, their parents and siblings
whom they leave at home. They occasionally help their relatives and when
they get more they extend their hand to the communities.

Zimbabwean migrant communities -- like the Chinese, Indian, Fillipino,
Ghanaian migrants -- have been doing this for years. The World Bank reported
recently that remittances to developing countries are expected to reach $325
billion by the end of 2010. This is a rise from $307 billion in 2009. And
all this, during a period of severe financial constraints around the world.

The World Bank estimates that with economic recovery taking shape
remittances to developing countries will rise even more in the next couple
of years. And please note that these are ‘recorded’ remittances. There is
more that it remitted outside the formal channels that probably goes
unrecorded.

Our idea, which is by no means new and is shared by many in the field of
development, is that with better institutionalisation, helping to track the
patterns of migration and the flow of these remittances, governments,
business and policy makers can tap into this information and formulate
policies that help to safeguard and even leverage these inflows for wider
development.

A significant point is that these inflows from remittances are double or
even triple the magnitude of official aid to development countries.
NZM: So you say this could be a better alternative to aid?

MAGAISA: Of course, there is no doubt in my mind about that. In fact, we in
Africa and most of the developing world should be moving away from
dependency on aid. Africa does not need more aid, it needs more investment.
Aid does not create jobs save for a few in the aid agencies but investment
does and creates even more opportunities.

Aid creates a culture of laziness. Investment makes people work and produce.
We should be saying ‘no to more fish’ and asking instead for fishing rods,
lines and nets. In any event, the old cliché that there is no free lunch
applies to aid – all that we refer to as ‘aid’ does not come free. So we
have to search for alternatives to promote development and the Diaspora is a
key source.

We must proceed with caution, however, because unless channelled properly
and converted into investment, remittances can also lead to a culture of
laziness in the recipient communities. Ask any Zimbabwean in the Diaspora
and they will tell you of the challenges of sending money home every month
and how they despair sometimes when however much they send, the folks at
home keep demanding more but doing nothing to create other sources of income
for themselves.

There is an impression that money shoots out of a natural spring in the
Diaspora! It is not like that. People have to work for it and they work
hard.

But we are also saying those in the Diaspora sending money home should pause
and ask: is there no better way of sending this money home as an investment,
create a job for the person at home and make them self-supporting so that in
five years’ time, perhaps, I don’t have to be sending money every month?
Calculate how much you have sent in the last five to 10 years and ask if
there has been any return at all?

In most cases there is no return at all but instead more is demanded of you.
That is the challenge and unless we take leadership in formulating and
implementing these ideas, we will continue to bleed money.
NZM: Coming back to the DFZ, how do you see your efforts in a polarised
political environment like in Zimbabwe?

MAGAISA: You know, when we are stuck or appear to have reached a cul-de-sac
on any issue, one of my comrades in these Diaspora initiatives likes to
raise an old quote from someone in the past which goes something like, ‘now
that we have seen that it can’t be done, let us think of how it can be done’.
It always raises my spirits, this reaffirmation of the idea that nothing is
impossible. It’s great to have people with so much positive thinking around.

Our country has been challenged over the last few years – economically,
politically and socially – there is no denying these facts. In fact, this is
why we are taking these initiatives, to help our country resuscitate. There
is a choice to sit back and do nothing; to take a ‘wait and see’ attitude
but you know what, whilst we ‘wait and see’, many others who see
opportunities in Zimbabwe are not waiting. They are taking them. By the time
we have waited and seen, there will be nothing of value there.

Our country will continue to be a source of wealth for others and yet our
communities will not benefit much from them. Our view is that a let’s wait
and see approach is an expensive luxury.

NZM: As with any initiative like yours, it’s just a matter of time before
you are dismissed as a political outfit by this group or that. How do you
stay above it all?

MAGAISA: One of the most dangerous perceptions in our society is that
everything is seen through the lens of politics. You know, this has caused
many outstanding individuals out there to stay away from development
efforts – because of the risk of being labelled with the tag of politics. We
must move away from that culture where everything is perceived in political
colours.

We are Zimbabweans first before we become anything else, be it
businesspeople, politicians, activists, etc. That is the common and most
important thread that binds us – our Zimbabweanness. So instead of saying
what are these ‘politicians’ doing, perhaps we should be first asking what
are these ‘Zimbabweans’ up to?

No, for the sake of clarity I must emphasise that we are non-political and
non-partisan. If any of us chose to become politicians we would have joined
political parties and there are many in Zimbabwe but we have chosen to focus
on development projects, working with everyone who is interested in
advancing this good cause. I like to think that if our country had fewer
politicians and more development practitioners and businesspeople we would
go very far.

NZM: But Dr Magaisa, as a columnist for New Zimbabwe.com some will say you
are a critic of government, politicians. How then do you work with them?

MAGAISA: Someone once said that criticism without offering solutions is
meaningless. I think the word ‘critic’ is overrated and often misused. I don’t
consider myself a ‘critic’. I just see myself as a son of Zimbabwe who is
enamoured with his country and its people and wants to contribute to its
greatness. If it means identifying errors and suggesting ways of rectifying
them, then so be it.

I like to think those who understand my work in its totality see it simply
as part of a whole package designed to advance of our nation. I don’t focus
on individuals, I choose to focus on ideas – placing ideas on the social
marketplace and debating them with the objective of facilitating growth in
ideas and institutions. Through this ‘Ideas Factory’ I have made friends and
acquaintances in various forums. We agree sometimes and we agree to disagree
at other times and I think that is healthy because no-one has a monopoly of
ideas.

So with that in mind, I have never found myself unable to negotiate paths
with people from across the country whatever their orientation in politics,
economics or other indices. Respect is the key – as long as you respect each
other and the idea, then working for mutual success should not be a problem.
And I believe this is the same spirit that informs my colleagues in the DFZ
and other Diaspora organisations trying to do their bit for Zimbabwe.

If you look back into our history, there is actually more that binds us than
there is for division. In any event, I would like us to get to a stage where
we deal with institutions, such as the DFZ and the ideas that inform them,
rather than the individuals in them who are fallible.
NZM: Last word, Dr Magaisa?

MAGAISA: I would like to encourage Zimbabweans in the Diaspora and friends
of Zimbabwe to take more seriously their role in development in all its
forms. I know that individual circumstances differ and that various
circumstances encumber us and therefore prevent us from doing all we would
like to do. But I also know that there is a huge reservoir of interest and
goodwill for Zimbabwe.

Things may not be perfect yet, but we must remember that others are
exploiting the opportunities in the country whilst we wait and see. Let’s
stop being perennial moaners because that may gain us pity but nothing else
of substance.
Any one interested in learning more about and being involved in the DFZ’s
work, please visit the website at www.dfzim.com  and make contact.


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ZCTF Report - Xmas 2010

ZIMBABWE CONSERVATION TASK FORCE
 
14th December 2010
 
As 2010 draws to a close, we realize that it hasn't been a very good year for the wildlife or the environment. It has also been a very sad year with the deaths of Steve Kok, Don Hornsby and Pete Evershed who were all killed by wild animals. Hopefully 2011 will be better. We wish all our readers a happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
 
RESTAURANT AND BAR IN THE VICTORIA FALLS RAIN FOREST
 
A 120 seater restaurant, bar and merchandise shop has been established in the Victoria Falls Rain Forest. Victoria Falls is a National Heritage Site and one of the seven natural wonders of the world and the establishment of this commercial enterprise is in violation of the rules governing National Heritage Sites. The rules state that there shall be no further infrastructural development in the rain forest, apart from the upgrading of existing structures. It is also ruled that in a National Monument such as the Victoria Falls Rain Forest, there shall be no outlet that sells food and beverages.
 
In view of the number of people that the restaurant can accommodate, there will now be a greatly increased number of people wandering through the rainforest and there are not sufficient ablution facilities to cater for them.
 
Of greatest concern is the possibility that Victoria Falls Rain Forest is now in danger of losing its status as a National Heritage Site.
 
COAL MINING IN HWANGE NATIONAL PARK
 
I recently travelled to Hwange National Park and was dismayed to discover that on the road into Sinamatella Camp, you now travel through an ugly coal mining area. There are great deposits of earth alongside the road as well as heavy duty mine vehicles. We have also had reports that there are two more coal mines inside the National Park near Robins Camp.
 
CHINESE MINING IN THE MAVHURADONHA MOUNTAINS
 
Mavhuradonha means 'place of the falling water' and is a natural environment of great beauty with crystal clear water and fresh mountain air. 
 
Residents of the area, however are desperately concerned about the illegal mining operations being conducted by the Chinese in their search for chrome. The Chinese are literally ripping up the beautiful countryside just outside the wilderness area but they are closing in fast.
 
According to reports, they are mining without prospecting orders or permits and no Environmental Impact Assessment has been done.
 
Further reports have been received that the Chinese are also starting mining operations in the Nyamaneche Game Park in Mvurwi. Apparently there were 9 rhino in the game park, 6 of which have now been poached. The remaining 3 were supposed to be relocated but it is believed that they too have been poached.
 

DSCN00028.JPG    DSCN5656.JPG

                                            THE MAVHURADONHA WILDERNESS

san he mining at tengenenge (37).JPG    san he mining at tengenenge (24).JPG

                                     DAMAGE CAUSED BY THE MINING OPERATIONS

 

Johnny Rodrigues
Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force
Landline:        263 4 339065
Mobile:           263 712 603 213
Email:            
galorand@mweb.co.zw
Website:        www.zctf.mweb.co.zw
Website:        www.zimbabwe-art.com
Facebook:    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=15148470211
Temporary website: www.zctfofficialsite.org.

 


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Bill Watch Special of 13th December 2010 [Parliamentary CommitteeMeetings 13 - 16 December]

BILL WATCH SPECIAL

[13th December 2010]

House of Assembly Portfolio Committees: 13th to 17th December

The following meetings are open to members of the public, as observers only, not as participants.  [See note at the end of this bulletin on public attendance and participation at different types of committee meetings]  As there are sometimes last-minute changes to the schedule, it is recommended that you avoid possible disappointment by checking with the relevant committee clerk that the meeting is still on and still open to the public.  Parliament’s telephone numbers are Harare 700181 or 252936-55.  [Names of committee clerks are given below].  If attending, please use the Kwame Nkrumah Ave entrance to Parliament.  IDs must be produced.

Monday 13th December at 2 pm

Thematic Committee: Gender and  Development

Brief on water and sanitation organisations in Zimbabwe.

Committee Room No. 3

Chairperson:  Hon Chitsa                            Clerk:  Mrs Khumalo

Tuesday 14th December at 10 am

Portfolio Committee: Local Government, Rural and Urban Development

Oral evidence from Harare City Treasurer Mbvumbi on Harare Water Account

Committee Room No. 413

Chairperson:  Hon Karenyi                          Clerk:  Mr Daniel

Thematic Committee: MDGs

Presentation on the 2010 MDG report from YET [Youth Empowerment Trust]

Government Caucus Room

Chairperson:  Hon Chief Mtshane               Clerk:  Mrs Nyawo

Wednesday 15th December – no meetings open to the public

Thursday 16th December at 10 am

Media, Information and Communication Technology

Presentation from Mr Gwatidzo on the operations of private ICT stakeholders

Committee Room No. 413

Chairperson:  Hon S. Moyo                         Clerk:  Mr Mutyambizi

Public Attendance at and Participation in Committee Meetings

·      Open to the public to attend as observers only: Portfolio and thematic committee meetings where oral evidence is being heard.  Members of the public can listen but not speak.  [As listed above.]  

·      Stakeholders by invitation: At some committee meetings stakeholders [and those who notify Parliament that they consider themselves stakeholders] are invited to make oral or written representations and ask questions.  [These meetings will be highlighted in these bulletins.]  

·      Not open to the public: Portfolio and thematic committee meetings in which the committees are doing private business – e.g. setting work plans, deliberating on reports and findings, or drafting reports for Parliament, or when the committees make field visits.  [Veritas does not list these meetings in these bulletins.]

·      Public Hearings: When committees call for public hearings, members of the public are free to submit oral or written representations, ask questions and generally participate.  [Veritas sends out separate notices of these public hearings.]

Note:  Zimbabweans in the Diaspora can send in written submissions by email to clerk@parlzim.gov.zw

 

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Shona Language Lessons - Week 1

http://www.learnshona.com

As we in the Zimbabwean Diaspora grow roots in our countries of residence, the question arises: what constitutes a Zimbabwean identity? Many of us now have partners, children and extended families, as well as friends abroad. How will the younger generations relate to Zimbabwe? How do we continue to maintain roots there apart from the occasional holiday?

Identity is mobile these days, just as people are. This makes it much easier to lose contact with our Zimbabwean heritage than we immediately perceive.

The bond of a shared language can help to maintain a sense of community amongst Zimbabweans abroad - no matter how long ago we left, or how far we’ve travelled.

Since Shona is spoken by over 90% of Zimbabweans, learning and retaining it is also a good way to solidify one’s ties with people in Zimbabwe. As such, we present over the coming weeks, lessons in Shona to help those of you who want to learn it for the first time, or who want to recap some concepts.

These lessons are focused on simple conversations. The basic language skills are often enough to break down conversational barriers, to identify with others, and to pass on heritage by signalling to children who have been brought up abroad that Zimbabwe, too, is an important part of their identity.

Shona is a relatively easy language to pronounce because vowel sounds do not alter from

word to word. All words end in a vowel. Shona is a phonetic language - spelling easily indicates how the word sounds.

Vowel Pronunciation

a as in army e as in egg I as in big o as in hot u as in who

All vowels are pronounced e.g. roora (marry) pronounced as ro-o-ra, and kuuya ( to come)

pronounced as ku-u-ya. Note that Shona has no l,q,x,c except the combination of ch-.

Pronouns

In Shona, as in many other languages, there are different forms of addressing people depending on the familiarity of the relationship and the relative ages. Peers can be addressed casually, whilst elders, regardless of how old you are, are addressed with respect, or in the more formal way. As such, the pronouns for ‘you’, and ‘he’ or ‘she’ change depending on how ‘senior’ the person is.

I - Ini You – Iwe (singular, to a peer) You - Imi/mu (This applies for all plural forms of ‘you’, and is also the form for addressing a single, senior person) She/He - Iye It - icho We - ti Us - isu They - va/ivo (note that ‘they’ remains the same for peers and seniors) Their - avo

We’ll use these expressions in the next lesson, but for now just familiarise yourself with the variations. Remember that a language is not learned by memorising grammar, but by speaking the words. The audio for this lesson can be obtained from http://www.learnshona.com in an mp3 format that can be played on the computer, on many phones and music players.

Next week’s topics include possessives, greetings and the verb ‘to know’. We’ll also have a set of common phrases that follow on from the concepts in this lesson.

Nyasha Madavo.

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